Useful software for your Ubuntu “Geek Machine”

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This is the second part of my previous post which is optional, but packs some appeal for you geeks.

Lets start…

1. Preload

Preload is very much similar to the prefetcher which you might have heard in Windows systems. It will help you load software faster, for instance, your favorite text editor, IDE or browser. Install it with the following command.

sudo apt-get install preload

2. TLP

TLP is a power management application for Linux. Actually, it is more of a daemon which controls power to be consumed by different devices. It is an “install and forget” type of power manager. You will need to add its repository after which it will be available:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw

3. SMPlayer

Although many are highly personal in their choice regarding media players, I would still recommend SMPlayer. Believe me or not, I was a VLC fan-boy, but some videos just won’t output any audio for some reason. I still like VLC, but I needed something which would play those same videos properly, and SMPlayer did exactly that. Its interface is also pretty good. Install it by issuing the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smplayer smtube smplayer-themes smplayer-skins

Note that the above command also installs themes and skins for you to customize.

4. Variety

Variety is a automatic wallpaper changer. Although it does more than just changing the wallpaper, such as showing daily quotes, its core functionality is what makes it useful. Liven up your desktop to relieve yourself from hours of programming. Run the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install variety

5. Unity Tweak

It offers a host of options to customize the Unity interface like animations, shortcuts, etc. Personalize Ubuntu to reflect your individuality. Install using the below command:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak

6. Samba

Samba is a service which enables Linux and Windows systems to share files over the network. Many of you might need this, as it is very unlikely to have all Linux machines in a network.

The simplest way to install it is to share a file or folder. Ubuntu will automatically prompt you to install Samba. Once installed, your shares will be visible to Windows systems on your network.

7. Fonts

Want to have some fancy fonts to use in LibreOffice? Simply get those font files (.ttf or .otf) and put them into .fonts directory under your home directory. Create the directory if it doesn’t exist.

8. End

With this, I end my Ubuntu Geek Machine series, although it was not exactly a series considering only two posts. Anyways, Ubuntu is a great Linux distribution to work with. Those who prefer the CLI can work at the CLI, those who like the Unity interface can work graphically, using software center for installing apps. Nevertheless, the CLI will remain an important asset for Linux, which is why both my posts consisted of commands to set up all the applications.

I may not have covered all as I was more focused on what I really need, although I feel that most of you might have benefited from both the posts. Try to discover more things which will add value to your geek machine and comment or post it if possible.

Do have a great time using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS!


Vivek Prajapati

A moderate level programmer interested in administration and Arduino. Familiar with C++, Java, PHP, C# with my favourite being C++. Just finished my bachelor's degree in IT.

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