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Category Archives: Unity

Unity Glass Tweak

I have just downloaded the nice looking Unity Glass nicely packed into a .deb package by the Spanish Ubuntu blog

For now it looks super cool and slick, and I am happy with this tweak. So, I am writing this post just to have a way of reminding myself how to uninstall in case it starts behaving badly 🙂

sudo apt-get --reinstall install unity


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Enable Compiz Cube in Ubuntu 11.10

Since Unity uses the Wall plugin, some may want the good old cube with it’s amazing desktop rotation capability back. Here are a few steps on how to achieve this.

1. Install Compiz Config Settings Manager

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

2. Open Compiz Config Settings Manager and go to PREFERENCES

3. Select Plugin List Tab

4. Disable Automatic Plugin Sorting and accept the warning that will appear after trying to disable it.

5. From the Disable Plugins List, Enable the following plugins: cube, rotate

6. From the Enable Plugins List, Disable the following plugins: wall

7. Go back from the Preferences to the Main Compiz Menu and select General Options

8. Go to Desktop Size tab and change the Horizontal and Vertical Virtual Size to 4

That’s it. No need to restart or log-out.

Thanks to Luis Alvarado for his answer/solution

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Calling shell script from Unity Launcher

I have already written in the past a post regarding how to create a custom unity launcher.
Yesterday, I’ve come across an issue. I’ve downloaded Pentaho’s Data Integration tool Kettle, and the executable is a shell script. Meaning that it needs to be called from a terminal in order to run. Now, even though I’ve added the shell script into a Unity Launcher, the software didn’t start after pressing the icon in the dash.
So, I figured out that I need to create another shell script which calls the gnome-terminal and passes the call to the kettle shell script.
In order to achieve this, I used expect (install)

So, I’ve created a script called call_tool.sh:

#!/usr/bin/expect -f

# Get a Bash shell
spawn -noecho bash

# Wait for a prompt
expect "$ "

# Send the dir to kettle and then send the command for spoon.
send "cd /path to script\n"
send "./spoon.sh\n"

# Hand over control to the user

The \n character is needed for the enter.

After that I’ve made the script executable:

sudo chmod +x call_tool.sh

Then pointed my Unity launcher to call_tool.sh, and that’s it. It works.

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Set custom width for Guake terminal

Because Guake is not yet Unity ready, the lower right corner of the terminal is not visible, hence you can not drag it to re-size the width.

Because there is no option for setting the width, the solution is to edit the python script, and manually set the desired init width. As soon as the lower right corner is visible, you can re-size with the mouse as much as you like.

Back-up /usr/lib/guake/guake.py

Because you need to be root to edit this script, run:

gksu gedit /usr/lib/guake/guake.py

Then, go line 817 (that’s valid for Ubuntu 11.10 at least), where you see the following code:

        screen = self.window.get_screen()
        height = self.client.get_int(KEY('/general/window_height'))
        width = 80
        halignment = self.client.get_int(KEY('/general/window_halignment'))

Here width=80 means the width of the starting window will be 80%. Set your desired window.

Thanks for the solution to Alin Andrei in his answer here

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Create custom Unity launcher

There are quite a few applications, which don’t integrate directly with Ubuntu’s Unity shell by default. They either won’t get kept in the launcher or their icon is not displayed.


gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/<name of application>.desktop

After entering the password, gedit will open in root mode.
Paste the following into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0  #or whatever version the software is
Icon=<> # fill in path to logo
Name=<name of the application>
Comment=<> # any description
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 <> # fill in path to the executable
Categories=Application; # add as many categories as you see fit

After filling in the required data in the file, save it and close it.

Next time you search for the application in the dash, it will be found with logo and all. You can drag&drop it on the launcher, or start it and right click then ‘Keep in launcher’.

Some of the software I have used this for are: Eclipse and Skrooge.

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