Posts Tagged ‘gnome’

Fix Touchpad tap to click not working on Linux mint 16 petra

January 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Touchpad tap to click is by default disabled on Linux mint 16 and you can easily enable it by going to System settings -> Mouse and touchpad -> TouchpadĀ  and selecting “Enable mouseclicks with touchpad”. This is fairly straight forward.

enable touchpad tap to click

enable touchpad tap to click

However, for some people who have upgraded from older versions of Linux mint instead of doing a fresh clean install of Mint 16, they might have two versions of system settings installed, like shown below.

Screenshot from 2014-01-18 12:35:53

Both are different system settings application and not displayed twice due to some menu configuration error, it’ll become obvious once you open both side by side.The fact that both applications have the same name and icon is very deceptive for the normal eyes.You might have used both applications but you might be unaware of this fact, unless you look for it. Here, is a screenshot showing both opened side by side.

screenshot showing a comparison of gnome system settings and cinnamon system settings side by side

comparison of gnome system settings and cinnamon system settings

Applicaion window open in the right is Gnome settings application and any changes you make through here is not of any use, unless you are running Gnome desktop. Window shown in the right is the cinnamon system settings application and this is where you have to make your changes if are running default Linux Mint Cinnamon desktop.

Here is a comparison of how touchpad settings looks in both Gnome and Cinnamon settings applications.

comparison of cinnamon and gnome touchpad settings

Cinnamon system settings is easily distinguishable from Gnome settings by the fact they have a “switch to advanced/normal mode” link at the bottom of the application screen. Finally, the link has found some way of being actually useful šŸ˜‰

gnome-control-centre is the application responsible for Gnome system settings, it has a lot of dependent applications, that removing the application will mess with your system, unless you know whatĀ  you are doing. So, if you are not absolutely sure what you are doing, I’ll ask you to not remove it.


configure battery power settings in Gnome

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Gnome desktop does not allow users to set the values for battery critical state, Power settings will only allow users to set what action is to be taken when the battery is critical. By default it is considered critical when battery backup time isĀ  5 minutes and it will initiate battery critical action when backup time remaining is 2 minutes. This default behavior is questionable because 2 minutes will not be sufficient for all users to find a power source and as most batteries used today are lithium-ion batteries, their life will get significantly reduced by this default behavior when drained so low so often.

Fortunately, this can be changed in configuration editor. systems using older Gnome versions such as Gnome2 desktops had a tool called Gconf-editor to change these configuration settings. Newer Gnome versions such as systems using Gnome3 desktop use a tool called dconf-editor to make changes to these configuration settings.Install this tool by using below command from terminal

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

After installing open dconf-editor and look for following path in the left pane



In the right pane look for the fields,




and change the time values for the fields according to your preferences.Note that the time is defined in seconds.

Description for the fields and the type of value it accepts will be available at the bottom pane, when you select the fields.

Alternatively, if you want your system to consider the battery percentage instead of remaining time, uncheck the key


and modify the keys




to your preference.Now your system should take the values you defined after the next boot or restart your system for the settings to take effect immediately.

Disable video and audio preview in Brasero disk burner

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Brasero disk burner has a new feature to show the preview of the video and audio files while choosing them for burning and it sometimes reduces the user’s ability to quickly select files for burning.For people who find the video and audio preview in the Brasero disk burner is annoying then this trick is for you.Brasero disk burner is the default disk burner in GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu,Linux mint, Fedora, etc using the Gnome desktop environment. There’s no option to directly disable the preview viewer in the Brasero disk burner.Fortunately you can disable it using the gconf-editor.

For those who do not know about the gconf-editor , it is something similar to registry editor in windows .Various configurations of the Gnome desktop can be modified using the gconf-editor. To know what more can you do about the gconf-editor visit my earlier post about the gconf-editor here.

Now to disable the preview viewer in Brasero open gconf-editor by pressing Alt+F2 while and type in gconf-editor and press enter or open it by typing gconf-editor in terminal.After opening gconf-editor navigate to the following in the left pane:


Then in right pane there will be a key named viewer under the name column and a checkbox next to it in the value column ,just uncheck it to disable the preview viewer.If you want the previewer again just recheck it.

Alternatively,you can disable it using the command line tool named gconftool.To disable the previewer using gconftool open a terminal and type in the following:

gconftool-2 –type bool –set /apps/brasero/display/viewer false

To re-enable it using gconftool just change the key value in the end of the command to true.

Note: double hyphen is used before type and set in the above command.

Improve your productivity in linux with these little tricks

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

your productivity in linux can multiplied with these simple tricks that most new users do not even know of its existence.Some of those lesser known tricks are given here:

  • All linux distributions support an extra method of copy/paste by using the middle(scroll) button of your mouse.One drawback of this method is that it only supports copying text.You can use this method by selecting the text you want to copy and by middle clicking where you want it to be pasted.The text can be pasted as many timesĀ  as long as the original text remains selected.This method would be helpful if you want to paste the same text multiple times and could be more useful inside the terminal.For example,when you look for solutions to your problem about linux most of them deals with command line, you could just select the commands given and middle click in the terminal.The text can also be copied using ctrl+c and can be paste by clicking the scroll button in your mouse.
  • The nautilus file browser can be opened from the desktop by simply pressing “/” (forward slash) key and pressing the enter key.You can also type the path of the folder where the nautilus should be opened.For example to browse /etc folder just press / and type etc,the nautilus will open the etc folder for you.
  • Desktop background can be set in linux distributions using gnome desktops such as ubuntu by dragging and dropping the picture in the desktop with the middle mouse button and selecting set as background from the menu that appears.
  • Instead of typing the entire path of the file in the terminal window you could just drag and drop the file into the terminal window and the terminal will complete the path name of the file for you.
  • TAB key can be used inside the terminal for auto completion of commands.For example to open Firefox from terminal, type fir and press TAB key the terminal will auto complete the remaining for you,this applies to pathnames and filenames.If there is more than one match for what you typed in the terminal, the TAB key displays nothing and when you press the TAB key again it displays a list of possible matches for what you have typed.

Hope this would be useful for most new users out there.If there is something other you want to know just let me know in the comments.

conserve battery in gnome when the system is idle with a little tweak

October 5, 2009 2 comments

I recently bought a new lenovo laptop and decided to install Linux mint 7 on it along with vista.Every thing worked fine by default.I started tweaking the system so that i could achieve longer battery life,and i wanted to post my experiences ,thus this post.This should work well for all gnome desktops.At first i couldn’t change the time when the display goes to sleep when idle,to less than 11 minutes as you can see below:

by default

by default

But this can changed easily by changing the idle time in gnome screen saver preferences,just open screensaver from system->preferences menu.

by default

by default

change the “Regard the computer as idle after:” slider from 10 minutes to your liking,i changed it to 1 minute as below:

changed to 1 minute.

changed to 1 minute.

now computer is regarded as idle after 1 minute and open power management preferences ,now you can reduce the “put display to sleep when inactive for:” slider to upto 2 minutes.As display is the major power consumer in the laptop you can put it to sleep quicker to save more power,when ever you are away.

after editing

slider can now be reduced upto 2 minutes

For more power management options install and run powertop application and it will suggest some options to further reduce power consumption and you can also identify which applications often wake the cpu from idle,also note that it will be useful only when you have an intelĀ® cpu.For further information on power conservation in linux visit

customize your ubuntu desktop using gconf-editor

December 2, 2008 2 comments

I think you would have heard about the customization power of linux distributions.Now let us see the customization power of ubuntu and similar distributions with GNOME desktop.For these tweaks no coding would be necessary,you just have to know how to use your keyboard and mouse.

If there is one single place for all your customization needs then it would be gconf-editor.Open gconf-editor window pressing alt+F2 in your desktop a “Run Application” window will appear type gconf-editor in the window that appears and click Run.Now gconf-editor window will appear.It is here we are going to customize our ubuntu desktop.There are tons and tons of features available now we will look at some most looked features.But before editing a key make a bookmark of those keys.



By default in ubuntu desktop there is no home or computer icon available.Most users wanted to have their home folder icon,computer icon and trash icon available on their desktop.To do this go to:/->apps->nautilus->desktopIn the right pane you will see several options.There you can click the checkbox next to computer_icon_visible to have your computer icon on your desktop,click the checkbox next to home_icon_visible to have your home icon on your desktop,it same for the trash icon and network icons.You can also note that you can also change your icon names from the same place.To change the name double click on the key for which you want to change the name,an “Edit Key” window will appear select the type as string and give the name you wish and select ok.

some users might want to make their desktop look clean and they do not want any mounted volumes visible on the desktop.For this go to the same place as above,


and there will be a key named volumes_visible at the bottom which is checked by default,uncheck it to make your desktop clean.

Now some users wanted to change the location of the close,minimise,maximise buttons of an application window to the right as in mac os.To do this go to the location:


In the right pane you will see a key named button_layout.the value of the key would be menu:minimize,maximize,close by default.To make the buttons to come to the right simply modify this as close,maximize,minimize:menu and another important thing is that you can put close,maximize,minimize in any order and the buttons would appear in that order it’s this simple.

For those users who have resource constraint system and installed ubuntu,there is a key available in the same place as above:


Named as reduced_resources.If this key is set to true your ubuntu system will use less resources for example when moving your application window,it uses wireframe instead of moving the whole application window.Here you have to sacrifice some usability,but it will be useful for low end systems.

Another most wanted feature is giving name for your workspaces.For this move to:


in the right pane you can give name for your workspaces by editing the key and giving your name in the value field.

Now you can make the names visible in the workspace switcher by editing the key:


and there would be many submenus from applet_0 to some applet_20.Find the one which has a submenu to it as prefs for me it was applet_17 it may vary for you depending on number of applets installed.

To the right pane there will be a key named display_workspace_names check the box next to it,to have names of your workspace visible in the workspace switcher.Now you can directly right click the workspace switcher applet and select preferences and you can see some extra options available as in fedora system.

And there are tons of features available which might be useful for you,and you can play around in your own now.But make sure what you are doing while editing important system keys as you might render your system to become unstable.

WARNING:make sure to backup your settings or when you edit a key bookmark the key’s location.This would be very useful when you mess up with these settings

UPDATE: Gconf-editor is now being phased out in gnome as the configuration settings are migrated from Gconf to Gsettings. There is a similar new tool called dconf-editor to manage the configuration settings in Gnome.This tool should be used to modify the configuration settings and if the key you are looking for is not listed here,you can look for it in Gconf-editor. Ubuntu doesn’t include Gconf-editor and dconf-editor by default from Ubuntu 11.04. To install it look for it by package name in software center or enter the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

for installing gconf-editor replace dconf-editor with gconf-editor in the above command.