Dec 20, 2011

Browse the Ubuntu Software Centre online

This is one more reason why Ubuntu is the best Linux based distribution. From the 11.10 version on wards ubuntu has replaced the synaptic package manager with the Ubuntu Software Center (USC). Now the same software center is available online at . The entire catalogue of software is made available online.

Visiting this website will present you a   screen with various categories of software. You can search for applications. If you are viewing this website from Ubuntu or its derivatives, You will also see an option to install the application. Clicking on the install will install the application on your system. You can also filter  the applications for your Ubuntu version by choosing the version on the right side. The currently available  versions are Maverick, Natty, Lucid, Oneiric. Application views look much like they do in the native desktop app, with screenshots, information and user ratings and reviews.

I've compared the performance of the online based USC and the one that is on my system. The online based software center is more faster than that is in the Ubuntu on my system.

Ubuntu online tour

Linux based distributions can be frustrating for the first time users. It will be more difficult for the new people who wish to switch to Linux from windows as the user interface is changed in almost all major Linux distributions. You have to install the Linux  based OS to view its features but this can be time consuming process. Although there is a live CD mode for most Linux distributions, you have download the . ISO image, burn the image to the disk and try it by booting. This is also some what time consuming. But what if you can try the new OS on the web without any CD, DVD or installation.

Meet Ubuntu online tour. A website to get acquainted with the user interface of the Ubuntu. On this website you can see the features of the Ubuntu interface, experiment by exploring the menus and applications. There are two option two explore the interface. One is the 'guided tour' and the other is the 'show around yourself'. By selecting the former option, you will be auto guided by the program to explore various features of Ubuntu. Where as with latter option you are free to explore yourself.

The Ubuntu online tour interface is exactly similar to the interface of a real OS. It does not take long time to load the features. When you click on anything, the event happens instantaneously.

There is also download option to download Ubuntu. Once you have got enough understanding about the Ubuntu interface you can directly download from the Ubuntu online tour website. This is a very good web based application for newbies who want to try Linux or Ubuntu.

Have a great tour!!

Dec 16, 2011


We all know that a terminal in Linux is most the powerful application. Though we can do most of the tasks  with a single terminal window, sometimes we need multiple terminals to do some tasks .This may be done by opening multiple terminal windows. But this will occupy more real estate on the desktop you need to switch between the terminals to do the task. But what if we want to view all the tabs in a single glance. One simple solution would be to open multiple terminals in a single window so that you can see all the terminals at once. 

Well the solution to the above scenario is the 'terminator'. Terminator is a little project to produce an efficient way of filling a large area of screen space with terminals. The user can have multiple terminals in one window and use key bindings to switch between terminals. The above image is the screen shot of terminator with 4 terminals. The present working terminal is highlighted in red. You can switch between these terminals by pressing Ctrl+T or Alt+arrow key. Terminator is available in Ubuntu 11.10 through Ubuntu Software Center. Install terminator and launch the application. Right clicking on the terminal will  provide a menu to split the terminal. You can also change the color preferences of active, inactive and receiving terminals. Some other preferences options are same as that of default terminal.

If you wish to view a single terminal for a while, right click on that terminal and select zoom terminal. This will open the terminal in full screen. To restore, again right click and select 'restore all terminals'.

There are also many keybindings for terminator. Here are the keybindings to split the terminals

Ctrl+Shift+O (Split terminals Horizontally).

Ctrl+Shift+E (Split terminals Vertically).

For more keybindings right click on a terminal, select preferences and click on the keybindings tab.

Dec 14, 2011


Today I was going through the Ubuntu Software Center (USC) to find any applications that interests me. After some filtering and scrolling through the (USC) I found this simple, yet interesting application called PyRoom. It is a notepad with a difference. 

PyRoom is plain text editor just like another text editor. But what makes PyRoom special about is that it is a full screen editor. The whole screen is covered by the plain background and you are provided with a narrow resizable area in the middle of the screen for editing. This makes it easy to read or edit. You can write the text without being distracted by the Ubuntu menu bar or bottom bar. PyRoom has no menu bar or toolbar. This is a very good application to note down your first thoughts. There is no spell check, no bold or italic fancy quotes. The focus is only on writing.

Though it is minimal in features, you can customize the editor by pressing the Ctrl+P. Pressing Ctrl+P brings up a small window where you can set the preferences of PyRoom. Currently there are twelve themes. Auto save option is also available. You can resize the the text area, change text color, text background.

PyRoom is available in Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu 11.10