With Steam support for Linux, there will most likely be a whole lot more games coming out for Ubuntu and its consorts. While the database of games with Linux support still grows, many titles are already available.
To install Steam on Ubuntu or Linux Mint, open a Terminal and enter the following commands:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys B05498B7
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam" >>
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install steam
Afterwards start it with
Surely you have witnessed this feature on a Linux system before: with a simple key combination the user is able to switch between multiple instances of the same desktop to reduce the clutter that you get when you open everything on just one desktop. That way, you can have your mail client open on one desktop, switch to another to surf the web and to another one to chat with your pals.
This feature is also accessible on any version of Windows and the only thing we need for that is a little tool that comes with Microsoft's SysInternals Suite which is a package downloadable directly from their website filled with handy executables, most of them used to troubleshoot problems on your computer.
You can download the SysInternals Suite here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sysinternals/bb842062.aspx
After you have acquired it, start the program called Desktops that came with it. There, you can define the key combination that switches between the different desktops - of course you can also do that manually with the help of the tray icon. You can also set it to launch on system start-up which you should do if you are planning on using it regularly.
Desktop is also compatible with the new Windows 8 user interface. One desktop is unaffected by another one with the Windows 8 UI open.
Minecraft provides you with really good support on Linux. To be able to play, you need to download the .jar file from the official website first (you need that from the Minecraft for Linux / Other section: http://minecraft.net/download.
After you have it, you need to check if the java runtime environment is installed: open Synaptic Package Manager and search for the openjdk-7-jre package - if it isn't installed, install it now.
Head back to the downloaded minecraft.jar file. Right-click it and open the Properties. Go to the Permissions tab and check the Execute checkbox, close the window afterwards.
Now start minecraft by right-clicking the jar file again and selecting Open With >OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime - Enjoy Minecraft!
Just as in Windows you have the option to rotate your screen into any direction in Linux, too. While in Windows you only need to press some keys, a key combination is not configured in Linux by default. But as you may have figured out, there are some terminal commands that let you do the exact same thing (you can configure shortcuts for these manually later on).
First, you need to find out how the screen that you want to rotate is labeled - to do that, use the following command:
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 768, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 194mm
1360x768 59.8 60.0
800x600 60.3 56.2
VGA2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
You will get a list of connected monitors - I have only one here which is labeled LVDS1, it says connected next to the name. Determine the one that you want to rotate here. Next, we want to turn it around. For that, we use one of the following commands:
xrandr --output LVDS1 --rotate right
xrandr --output LVDS1 --rotate left
xrandr --output LVDS1 --rotate inverted
xrandr --output LVDS1 --rotate normal
Replace LVDS1 with your monitor label in the above commands and you'll be able to rotate the screen to your likings! This is especially helpful if you need to go through documents and can turn your physical monitor around.
Screen brightness is an attribute that is reset automatically upon rebooting your machine on Ubuntu and all its fellow distributions. Lucky you if you find the settings okay, but on notebooks and similar machines, you might want to lower the brightness, you it doesn't suck your batteries dry.
To do that, open the following file as root via terminal:
sudo gedit /etc/rc.local
In there, enter the following line somewhere before the very last one that says "exit 0":
echo 0 > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
0 is the lowest brightness setting. You can adjust it to your likings!
Cinnamon 1.6 will apparently be the version used in Linux Mint 14 and is already available for testing. Be warned, since it's the first release of 1.6, it will be buggy.
Open Sofware Sources from the main menu and check the Unstable packages (romeo) checkbox to make the packages available to your Update Manager.
Afterwards open the Update Manager and upgrade these four packages:
Afterwards uncheck the romeo repository again! Restart cinnamon and check if the correct version is used using a terminal:
It may occur that by default your computer won't connect to wireless networks after starting up the system. A way to solve this might be to install the WICD network manager which is available in the Ubuntu repositories.
Just fire up Synaptic Package Manager and search for WICD.
During installation, you will be asked to add system users to the netdev group - check the users that you would like to use WICD with:
Proceed with the installation and launch WICD through Ubuntu's/Mint's main menu. In the program's interface, check the network that you would like to connect with on system startup and try it out by rebooting your machine.
A connection should now automatically be build with the chosen wireless network.
Ubuntu, other than most distributions as well as MS Windows, decided to move its window menu buttons to the left side of the top window panel. This brings along many accustomization problems for people who are used to rush their mouses to the top right instinctively.
If you want to, you can revert this change with the help of gconf-editor.
Open it by entering gconf into Dash or
into a terminal. Browse the left pane for /apps/metacity/general and look for the value of button_layout which should be close,minimize,maximize: . This value defines where the buttons are positioned and in which order - the commands stand for the appropriate button whereas the colon determines on which side they will be. You can also add a menu button by including menu.
To move the buttons to the right and adjust their order, a value like
would be appropriate. Don't forget to set the colon or metacity will crash as soon as you have entered and confirmed your value!
Gnome-Screenshot is the default tool to take screenshots on Ubuntu and Mint and brings a great deal of functionality. While it also has the ability to exclude the mouse pointer for screenshots if you use the graphical interface, you won't find this feature if you want to take them from the command line - the only option to exclude them there is to set the option as default which is possible with dconf-editor.
If dconf-editor isn't installed on your system yet, install it by entering the following into a terminal:
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
Afterwards you can change the default behaviour of pointer inclusion with
dconf write /org/gnome/gnome-screenshot/include-pointer false
If you want to revert things, just set it to true again:
dconf write /org/gnome/gnome-screenshot/include-pointer true
Next time you open the GUI or take a screenshot via PrtScr or the terminal, the mouse pointer won't be included on the screenshot.
The default settings in the Unity desktop environment move a window's control panel away from the actual window up to the top panel of the screen - this is called 'global menu'.
Since that is a major change of paradigm and might hinder your workflow if you decided to switch, here is how to reverse the settings:
Open a terminal and enter following command:
sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt
Afterwards you need to log out or reboot your machine. To enable it again if you should change your mind, just reinstall the packages:
sudo apt-get install appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt