Sunday, December 30, 2012

Drawers 12.12.2 Brings Improved Loading Speed for Large Drawers - Ubuntu 13.04/12.10/12.04

Drawers has been updated recently to version 12.12.2 bringing more new features and fixes. Drawers is an application that allows Ubuntu users to organize items in the Unity launcher by creating drawers (stacks) into which you can add and group your favorite programs, files/folders, and links with support of drag and drop.

The Drawer's window can also be customized via the Preferences menu:

New created drawers will be now added automatically to the Unity launcher, no need to do that manually. Here are the complete new features and changes in Drawers 12.12.2:

  • New Item Properties Editor Dialog (allows icon selection)
  • Quicklists for alternate execution of Drawer Items
  •        - Will import from newly added applications
  •        - Alternates can be added in Edit Properties dialog
  • New Drawers are added to Unity Launcher Bar automatically
  •        - Preference dialog appears first to allow icon changes
  •        - Thanks to Bernhard Kaindl for code
  • Color and Font Changes take effect immediately on closing preferences
  • Improved loading speed for large drawers
  • Locale support for application names
  • New Translations added (German & Russian)

Drawers 12.12.2 Installation

To install Drawers 12.12.2 from PPA in Ubuntu 13.04/12.10/12.04, enter these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ian-berke/ppa-drawers 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install drawers
Search and open Drawers from the Unity Dash to start creating new stacks.

Drawers Removal

To uninstall Drawers from Ubuntu, enter these commands:

sudo apt-get remove drawers 
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ian-berke/ppa-drawers 
sudo apt-get update

20 Useful Terminal Commands and Tools that you May Need in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Terminal is a text-based interface that grants users direct access to the UNIX system. You can use Terminal to run some specific commands, create files/folders, change system settings, and any other features that aren't available via programs with GUI.

In this article, I have collected 20 tools and commands that can be useful for Ubuntu/Linux Mint users. If you have more interesting commands or tools, you can mention them below.

1. Make An ISO From A Folder

If you want to make an iso file from a directory containing other files and sub-directories via the terminal, you can use the following command:

mkisofs -o image.iso -R /path/to/folder/

If you wish to backup the home folder, use this command:

mkisofs -o image.iso -R $HOME

2. Remove Non-Empty Folder

To remove a non-empty folder from the command line, you can use this command:

rm -rf /path/to/folder/

3. Checking Current CPU Architecture (32-bit or 64-bit)

To list your processor architecture in Ubuntu/Linux Mint, use one of these commands:

uname -m




 file /bin/bash | cut -d' ' -f3

4. Generate Random Passwords

To generate random passwords via the terminal, you can use the following commands:

   a - makepasswd

makepasswd is a command line tool for generating passwords in Ubuntu/Linux Mint. Install it with this command:

 sudo apt-get install makepasswd

To generate a password with 20 characters, enter this command:

makepasswd --chars=20

b- OpenSSL

You can also use OpenSSL to generate random passwords using this simple command:

openssl rand -base64 20

5. Check Uptime

To check for how long your computer or laptop has been running since you powered it on, issue this command:


To monitor system uptime in real-time, use this command:

 watch -n 1 uptime

6. Check Information About Your Video Card

To list information about your graphics card (Nvidia, AMD, Intel, etc.), enter this command:

 lspci -v -s `lspci | awk '/VGA/{print $1}'`

7. Download And Extract Tar Files In One Command

If you want to extract an archive file after being downloaded in a single command, you can use the following command for tar files:

 wget URL-To-TAR-File -O - | tar xfz -

Here is an example:

 wget -O - | tar xfz -

8. Block/Unblock Wifi/Bluetooth

To disable wifi or Bluetooth in Ubuntu/Linux Mint, we can simply use the rfkill command line tool. To deactivate wifi, enter this command:

rfkill block wlan

For Bluetooth:

rfkill block bluetooth

To unblock WiFi, enter this command:

rfkill unblock wlan

For Bluetooth:

rfkill unblock bluetooth

9. Check CPU Temperature

To get the current temperature of your processor, issue this command:

acpi -t

To check CPU temp in real-time, run this command:

watch -n 1 acpi -t

10. Change Read Speed Of A CD/DVD

Let's first get the maximum read speed of your optical drive with this command:

eject -X

To increase/decrease read speed of a CD/DVD inserted into your optical drive, enter this command followed by the desired speed:

 eject -x 4

For more than one optical disc drive, use this command:

 eject /dev/cdrom -x 4

11. Check RAM Speed

To check memory speed from the command line, run this command:

 sudo dmidecode -t 17 | awk -F":" '/Speed/ { print $2 }'

12. Read/Write Speed Of A Hard Disk

To check read/write speed of your hard drive on the terminal, use this command:

sudo hdparm -tT /dev/sda

13. Monitor Network Usage

IPTraf is a command line utility that allows to monitor network activities in real-time. Install it in Ubuntu/Linux Mint with this command:

 sudo apt-get install iptraf

Start monitoring using this command:

sudo iptraf

14- Downloading Websites

If you want to download an entire website via the terminal, enter this command:

 wget --recursive  --page-requisites --convert-links

15. Check Gmail Unread Messages

To check for unread messages in your Gmail account, use this command:

curl -u GMAILUSER --silent "" | perl -ne 'print "\t" if //; print "$2\n" if /<(title|name)>(.*)<\/\1>/;'

16. Monitor HDD Temperature

Use hddtemp to monitor hard disk temperature on the terminal. Run these commands:

sudo apt-get install hddtemp 
sudo hddtemp /dev/sda

17. Force Kill Apps

To force close an unresponsive software, run xkill from the terminal then click the software's window to close it.

18. Screen Recording

To capture your screen and record it in a video, use ffmpeg:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg 
ffmpeg -f x11grab -s wxga -r 25 -i :0.0 -sameq output.mpg

19. Check Current Kernel Version

You can simply use this command:

uname -r

20. Dtrx

The dtrx tool allows to extract most archive files without the hassle of memorizing the various extraction commands. To install it, run this command:

sudo apt-get install dtrx

Here are some examples:

dtrx file.tar.gz 
dtrx file.7z

Snowlinux 4 RC

Lars Torben Kremer has announced that the release candidate for Snowlinux 4, a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution with MATE, is now ready for testing: "The team is proud to announce the release of Snowlinux 4 'Glacier'. Snowlinux 4 is based upon Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 'Wheezy' and uses Linux kernel 3.5. MATE 1.4 is the default desktop environment and LightDM as the new default login manager that replaces GDM 3. Many new features were introduced, like snowMenu, the Snowlinux menu and snowMount, the Snowlinux mount tool for drives. The Snowlinux Metal theme was colored blue and the icon set was updated with the latest Faience icons. Snowlinux now uses Pidgin as the default IM client. This release comes with Firefox 17 and Thunderbird 17, LibreOffice, Rhythmbox and Shotwell." See the release announcement for more details and a screenshot. Download links (MD5): snowlinux-4-glacier-i386-rc.iso (980MB), snowlinux-4-glacier-amd64-rc.iso (1,008MB).