Taming the Raring Ringtail, My ubuntu 13.04 setup


All right, I’ve finally decided to blog something, and I think it’s fair to start from the beginning.

Ubuntu 13.04 has just been released, so I thought to write down all the little tweaks I usually apply to my development workstation.

Disclaimer: And what do I care about your “tweaks” and all your clever stuff?, you might be wondering. You’re right, you don’t care, I write it down mainly to have it right at hand next time I have to set up my desktop, but perhaps you may find some interesting tip you didn’t know about.


You’ll have to download the iso image file, which is something about 826 MB, so you better get yourself a clever download manager. Install DownthemAll Firefox plugin and configure the Number of Concurrent Downloads and Downloads per server in the Network tab, and also the Max. number of segments per download in the Advanced tab.


Then just head to Ubuntu’s download page, choose the 32 bits or 64 bits edition, and grab a cup of coffee.

I burned it to a live usb using the startup disk creator utility. Strange enough, unetbootin, which has never failed me before, didn’t work this time.

startup disk

No surprises during installation, just the usual Ubuntu installer.

First steps

You’ll be fetching quite a bunch of .deb files, so might want to install apt-fast to speed up packages installation

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apt-fast/stable
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install apt-fast

Instead of apt-get just use apt-fast.

Tweaking tools

There are several tweaking tools in Ubuntu 13.04. These are my favourite ones:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-fast update
sudo apt-fast install ubuntu-tweak
sudo apt-fast install unity-tweak-tool
sudo apt-fast install gnome-tweak-tool

tweak tools

Some more useful tools:

sudo apt-fast install synaptic
sudo apt-fast install bleachbit

And also y-ppa manager

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-fast install y-ppa-manager

I find the latest version of nautilus a bit limiting, so I rather use Nemo, the cinnamon fork of Nautilus.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo nemo-fileroller

Finally I like to have the system loader indicator in the upper panel

sudo apt-fast install indicator-multiload

system load2

Startup applications

By default most startup applications are not visible from the Statup applications configuration utility. Follow these steps to enable them:

sudo sed -i "s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g" /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

Here you have an article that might give you a few ideas about which ones you might disable. And here you have more information about it.

These are what I left activated:


Cloud storage

In the old days I was pretty much accustomed to DropBox, then I changed to UbuntuOne, but the problem was that with only five 5GB of storage I quickly ran out of space. The other problem is that I was obviously looking for a multiplatform alternative.

That’s when I discovered this new great multiplatform alternative to dropbox: Copy.

The good thing about it, is that you start with 5GB, but for a promotional time you’ll get extra 5GB for every referral you get, and the same goes for your lucky friend.

So if you use the following link you’ll get 10GB:


Plus 2GB if you twit about it.

So go ahead and use the link so we both get our extra 5GB.

You’ll have to download the installer from https://copy.com/install/linux/Copy.tgz uncompress it with:

tar -xvf copy_agent-1.28.0657.tgz


To install the nautilus overlay indicators (so that you can notice on first sight if the files are updated on your Copy remote box) just go the the folder where you uncompressed the tar file and then run

sudo ./CopyAgent -installOverlay

And then just run


to start the intallation


Here you have an article with more tips about Copy.

Like I said, I no longer use UbuntuOne, so I just uninstall it

sudo apt-get autoremove ubuntuone-client python-ubuntuone-control-panel


Here comes the really important stuff. The looks.

This is a must, faenza icons and faience theme:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-fast install faenza-icon-theme faience-* 

Then you can install the gnome cupertino theme if you want a more mac-style window borders

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-fast install gnome-cupertino-gtk-theme

I’ve became particularly fond of the Mediterranean Light Darkest theme

sudo apt-get install mediterraneannight-gtk-theme

cupertino theme

You have several more good-looking themes in that ppa. You can also have a look at this other repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/themes

Also, zukitwo and zukiwi are two well known and quite polished themes:

sudo apt-fast install zukitwo-theme zukitwo zukiwi

Anyway, in the end I finally settled with MediterraenLightDarkest for the GTK theme, Faenza Darkest for the icons and Faience-Ocre for the window borders.


To add a couple of more tweaks, I installed the compiz setting manager and the compiz extra plugins (I missed my wobblying windows…)

sudo apt-fast install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra

I set the alt-right click to resize windows:


And then I activated the wobbly windows plugin

compiz wobbly

Finally, using the Unit tweak tool, I set the windows snapping to each corner of the screen:


The keyboard

I have an US american keyboard, but I usually write spanish texts, so I need to type characters like ñ, Ñ, ¿?, ü, ¡!, etc.

So I add an English (US, alternative international) keyboard


And configure the right ctrl key ans composite key and alt-shift as the changing layour hot key:


That way, when I want to type the opening question mark (¿) I select the international layout with alt-shift, then type the right-ctrl key and after that I have to type twice the “?” key. It sounds pretty troublesome, but you’ll soon get used to it.

Final touches

First we need to enable the Canonical partner repository, in order to install skype and the flash plugin installer.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner"
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-fast install skype
sudo apt-fast install flashplugin-installer

Then we will disable the guest account

sudo gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

And we will add the following line at the en of the file:


I prefer the vlc media player

sudo apt-fast install vlc

And I’m also giving a try to the geary email client (By the way, it’s your opportunity to help them build the next version)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install geary

And a few more tools I cannot live without

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser terminator meld

Cleaning up the mess

If you don’t use empathy, you can remove the indicator on the panel bar:

sudo apt-get autoremove indicator-messages
sudo apt-get autoremove telepathy-indicator

These command might also come in handy

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove

You can also remove all the unity lenses you wont be using

sudo apt-get autoremove unity-lens-shopping unity-lens-music unity-lens-photos unity-lens-gwibber unity-lens-video

You should also start ubuntu-tweak and run the janitor


I would also run bleachbit, as user and as root, to clean up the system a little bit more.

And finally, make sure you have everything updated

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-fast dist-upgrade

Bonus track – Unity tips

Nowadays, I must confess that I feel pretty comfortable with Unity. You should just learn few shortcuts to feel comfortable with it. These are my favorites:

Just hold on the super key for a while and you’ll get a cheat-sheet with Unity’s keyboard shortcuts. My advice: do take some time to learn them.

You will also see that each item in the launcher can be launched pressing for the first item, for the second and so on. This is a great time saver.

unity launcher

Here you can press super-1 to open Nemo, super-2 to open terminator, super-3 to open sublime and so on.

ctrl-alt-left and ctrl-alt-right will let you move to the desktop to the left and to the right respectively. Just add the shift key to the mix to carry with you the current window.

This one is rather annoying, but you’ll have to get used to it. If you have several windows of the same app (let’s say several Firefox windows), when switching with they will all appear grouped. If you want to switch between those Firefox windows you’ll have to use the `-alt combination (yeap, that’s the tilde beneath the ~ character)

And with ctrl-super-left and ctrl-super-right you’ll resize the current window to occupy the left and right part of the screen. ctrl-super-up will maximize, ctrl-super-down will restore and pressing it again will minimize it.

Finally, to create you own launcher, you’ll have to install the gnome-desktop-item-edit utility

sudo apt-fast install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel

And then follow these steps:

gnome-desktop-item-edit /usr/share/applications/ --create-new

This will make the app available to every user. If you want to create it just for the current user issue:

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/.local/share/applications/ --create-new

For more info check this question at askubuntu

When I’m not using Unity, I usually install some kind of launcher. Synapse or kupfer are pretty simple and fine tools for that job.


I’ve just found this nice tool to visually edit and manage your launchers: ezame

just issue:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caldas-lopes/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-fast install ezame

more info at webupd8.

Next steps

Finally, this is how my desktop looks like:

my desktop

BTW, this is the wallpaper I’m using: minta.


Here you have a bunch of articles with nice ideas about what to tweak after installing ubuntu:







With all these tweaks I find myself with a quite comfortable desktop. In the next post I’ll document how I set up my development environment.

For those who are anxious like myself, here’s a script that will add all the repositories, update the package list and install all the packages.


# apt-fast
printf "\n\ninstalling apt-fast repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:apt-fast/stable

# tweaking tools

# ubuntu-tweak
printf "\n\ninstalling ubuntu-tweak repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:tualatrix/ppa

# administration tools

# y-ppa manager
printf "\n\ninstalling y-ppa repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager

# nemo
printf "\n\ninstalling nemo repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable

# appearence
printf "\n\ninstalling faenza-icon repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:tiheum/equinox
printf "\n\ninstalling webupd8team repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/themes

# zukiwi
printf "\n\ninstalling noobslab repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:noobslab/themes

# applications

printf "\n\ninstalling canonical partner repository\n"
sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner"

# now let's install everything

printf "\n\nabout to update package list\n"
sudo apt-get update

printf "\n\ninstall apt-fast\n"
sudo apt-get install apt-fast

# tweaking tools

sudo apt-fast install ubuntu-tweak
sudo apt-fast install unity-tweak-tool
sudo apt-fast install gnome-tweak-tool

# administration tools

sudo apt-fast install synaptic
sudo apt-fast install bleachbit

# y-ppa manager
sudo apt-fast install y-ppa-manager

# nemo
sudo apt-fast install nemo nemo-fileroller

sudo apt-fast install indicator-multiload

# gnome-desktop-item-edit utility
sudo apt-fast install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel

# show all startup applications
sudo sed -i "s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g" /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

# appearence

sudo apt-fast install faenza-icon-theme faience-* 
sudo apt-fast install gnome-cupertino-gtk-theme

# zukiwi
sudo apt-fast install zukitwo-theme zukitwo zukiwi

sudo apt-fast install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra

# applications
sudo apt-fast install skype
sudo apt-fast install flashplugin-installer
sudo apt-fast install vlc
sudo apt-fast install chromium-browser 
sudo apt-fast install terminator 
sudo apt-fast install meld

# clean up

sudo apt-get autoremove indicator-messages
sudo apt-get autoremove telepathy-indicator
sudo apt-get autoremove unity-lens-shopping unity-lens-music unity-lens-photos unity-lens-gwibber unity-lens-video

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove

# refresh everything

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-fast dist-upgrade

Just save it to a my_desktop.sh file, and then:

chmod +x my_desktop.sh



Tagged with: ,
Posted in distros, ubuntu
17 comments on “Taming the Raring Ringtail, My ubuntu 13.04 setup
  1. SK says:

    Wow Great!!! Such a long and informative article. I don’t thing that this is your first post. It seems to be that you have vast experince in blogging. Keep up the good work.

  2. I can’t find startup applications list in 13.04 =(

  3. kian says:

    DownTHemAll replacements:
    1. xdma: http://xdman.sourceforge.net
    2. Combination of Firefox Flashgot PLugin + Prozilla command

    Apt-fast replacement: apt-proz 🙂

    IMO, best keys to change layout: “Capslock” for english layout and “Shift + Caps Lock” for the second one

    Set the best layout on your language: the below command can analyse any text file. Run it on your native text to se is your native standard layout the best one?
    sed ‘s/\(.\)/\1\n/g’ FILE_NAME | tr ‘[:upper:]’ ‘[:lower:]’ | sort | uniq -c
    (replace FILE_NAME with the path to text file that it can be a book like: Don Quixote; you can find mor details here: http://www.workmanlayout.com/blog )

    I prefere smplayer2: http://www.webupd8.org/2012/01/install-mplayer2-and-smplayer2-in.html which is more power than vlc on 1080. it’s because of “multikernle decoding” on smplayer2.

    If your using geary, so follow this link: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/04/geary-campaign

    Have a nice time, I’ll be waiting for your next post about your own layout 🙂 my friend is writing a keyboard analyser program using “Qt”, I can share it with you if your willing; So, mail to me.

    • opensas says:

      very nice tips, I’ll have a look at apt-proz. My keyboard layour is pretty simple, I just type alt-shift to switch to US international, and the I use dead keys to type Ñ, á, é í ó ú, etc.

  4. screamwork says:

    thx man, i really appreciate posts like this one… subscribed 😉

  5. phimkilby says:

    After running the following command:

    tar -xvf copy_agent-1.28.0657.tgz

    It installs Copy onto my hard drive.

    Then when I run this command

    sudo CopyAgent -installOverlay

    I get this response

    sudo: CopyAgent: command not found

    This is what I get, whether I’m in the Downloads folder, in the Copy folder, or the x86 folder (I’m running 32-bit ubuntu 13.04)

    Then, when I run this command, in either Downloads, Copy, or x86 folder


    I get this response:

    CopyAgent: command not found

    Please advise.


    • opensas says:

      in linux, if the program is not in the path, it wont be recognized, you have to specify the whole path

      one shortcut is to just run:


      while in the same directory

      I hope it helps (I’ll update the blog, BTW)



  6. Joe says:

    Another way to edit gnome menus, run:

    sudo apt-get install alacarte

    alacarte &

    Alacarte is also added to the launcher as ‘Main Menu’

  7. Dania says:

    I installed the gnome cupertino theme. How do you enable it?

  8. mfg says:

    If you were to identify all of the repos you need to add up front, one apt-get update should do it instead of running it every time i get to a new repo. Good list though, followed a bunch

  9. George says:

    Thank You. 🙂

    This helped me out quite a bit.

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