Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 (beta) Review

To be honest, just like with most others who've been using GNU/Linux for some time now, I had it quite rough with GNU/Linux. I started with RedHat Linux and had to figure out how to compile and install applications, didn't have a broadband Internet connection thus I manually downloaded the source code from else where and after or while doing the "./configure", bugger used to give me "dependency" errors about which I had no clue what the heck was that all about at that time, etc. So learning GNU/Linux wasn't the most enjoyable task.

But in a way I'm glad that it happened that way. Because I love computers and it taught me a lot. But most of my friends who didn't (still don't :D) care about OS and whether it's free or not... they just wanted to something to watch a movie and play few games thus no one made their peace with GNU/Linux :. So from their point of view, having the ability to customize the OS "here and there" easily does make a difference. 

In that sense for all ya non-geeks who's leaning Ubuntu Linux from scratch and if already a bit frustrated with the Gnome (Unity included) desktops' lack of customization features and thinking how nice it would be if there's a utility not necessarily lets you access a huge list of options but gives you the ability to sneak-peak into some useful tweaks... then Ubuntu Tweak is certainly one of the best!.

The last time I tried it was about few months ago. And few days ago the developer announced the availability of the Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 Beta which brings a lot of new changes (specially concerning the UI). And after using it for a while it really impressed me and I thought that I should brag about a bit :P.

*. As said before if you've used it in the past then you'd remember the options were located to the left side of the screen and the "sub options" were located on the right side. But with the 0.6 beta version the "tabs" have been moved into the top center of the UI and their options are reveled right under them which is pretty cool implementation in my opinion.

*. Overview Tab: This is sort of the "welcome screen" and give you an overview of your Ubuntu computer. Things like your basic hardware details, OS version, tips such as how much you could gain by removing the cache files, whether your system is up to date or not, etc.

*. Tweaks Tab: This contains some additional tweaks per few popular individual application that you can edit manually using the Gconf-editor. But since the UT has implemented things more graphically... if you want to edit things like

1. Log-in settings: Enable/disable play sound at log-in, Disable user list in GDM, change screen logo and background.

2. Change Session settings: Such as disabling, reboot, shutdown, log-out buttons and changing the window manager/file manager + Panel settings.

3. Few Gnome desktop related settings: Change the desktop menu icon, enable panel animations, disable "history" list, etc.

4. Nautilus file manager settings: Show advanced permissions on file/folder properties, display location entry instead of path-bar and few thumbnail related tweaks.

5. Few Metacity Related settings: Run Metacity as the compositing manager, enable/disable transparency, change the button layout and location, etc.

And few other Compiz, security, power manager and few "workarounds" are also there.

*. Admins Tab: You can use this tab to access few administrative options such as taking "desktop" backups (very useful), edit default folder location/layout, repository source editor, file mime-editor but the "shortcut commands" doesn't work at this moment (guess it's still under development).

*. Janitor: Although Ubuntu has a Janitor app of its own which is know to cause problems after using (errrrr :D) but Ubuntu Tweak lets you things like: Clean the Nautilus Thumbnail cache, remove PPA from the synaptic list and remove apt-get cache (+ few other cache related settings).

And if you want more tweaks then you can easily install them using the "Preferences" window too. On the main window to the right-side UT also displays a list of your recently used tweaks as well.

You can install Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 (beta) in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal and 11.10 by using its testing PPA channel. To do that, use the below commands in your Terminal window.
    sudo add-apt-repository  ppa:tualatrix/next
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
I tested it on Ubuntu 11.04 and worked without any issues. But the 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot support at the moment is not as good as with 11.04 according to the developers. Anyhow, just remember, Ubuntu Tweak is still at its beta stage thus I don't recommend anyone to use it in their "serious computer" :).

But if you wanna give a try at this excellent, all in one type Ubuntu Customizer, then even though the UT 0.6 is still at its beta stage if you want to access few additional tweaks of individual apps and the OS core files, then it looks awesome (say goodbye to learning Linux, just kidding! :D).

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