Bringing the Mac experience in Ubuntu

Anyone who have used Apple’s Mac OS X might have become an admirer of it just because of the usability and the great design in user interface. For the past few days, I have been trying to bring a Mac experience in my Ubuntu 10.10. I googled several times and the most suggested solution was to use Macbuntu. I downloaded and installed the Macbuntu transformation pack. It was pretty good. Almost everything, including the bootsplash, the desktop and the widgets got a Mac OS touch.

But I was thinking of some additional customizations of my own so that it will provide me exactly what I expected.

The bootsplash, the icons and the cursor theme were already changed  while I installed the Macbuntu package. Still I felt like editing the GTK+ theme files and changing some of the widget styles and also adding some more stunning visual transition effects.

Regarding the transition effects, all I had to do was to install the CompizConfig Settings Manager and install an additional package named compiz-fusion-plugins-extra and configure the keyboard shortcuts. The most tedious task was modifying the GTK+ theme and creating necessary pixmaps.

Instead of editing a pre-designed theme, I decided to create a new theme package that includes the best of widget classes specified in different themes like Macbuntu, Elegant-GTK, Aurora, Mac4Lin etc… etc…

Different GTK engines like murrine, aurora and pixmap were used accordingly. For example, notebook tabs, buttons, and combo entries uses the “aurora” engine, scrollbars uses the “murrine” engine, progressbars and toolbars uses the “pixmap” engine.

The default window decorator was replaced with Emerald window decorator, using the command emerald –replace.

Everything finished okay and the theme is applied, but the nautilus window was still annoying. There was a solution for that too. I upgraded it to Nautilus-Elementary and enabled features like clutterflow which made it look similar to the default Finder in Mac OS X. I installed Gloobus preview utility which shows the file contents in a blink, when space-bar is pressed.

Here are some screenshots:

Desktop after login

Skype Linux Version

Miro Internet TV

Nautilus Elementary with Clutterflow feature

Window Picker Initiated


Ring switcher

Shift switcher

The Desktop Cube

Water effect

Painting fire

Gloobus Preview

XBMC in window mode

Audacious Audio Player


Managing Tomcat localhost directories in Ubuntu

Recently I installed Apache Tomcat Server to work with JavaServer Pages. I was trying to identify the localhost directory of the server (the directory similar to /var/www in Apache PHP server).
Later I learned that it is very easy to set our own localhost project directory.
Here are the steps:

Go to /etc/tomcat6/Catalina/localhost and create a .xml file with the name of your webapp.
Suppose your webapp is testwebapp, create a file named testwebapp.xml

Now add the following lines to the XML file.
<Context path=“/testwebapp” docBase=“path to the directory where source files are located” />

Now open the web browser and type http://localhost:8080/testwebapp to load the index.jsp file (Server restart may be required).

Managing swap space in Ubuntu

Swap space is the area in secondary storage devices which temporarily holds memory pages that are inactive. Swap space is used when the system needs physical memory for active processes and there is insufficient unused physical memory available. In such a case inactive pages in physical memory are moved to the swap space therefore freeing up that physical memory for other uses.

In Ubuntu, the user is prompted to create a swap partition during OS installation. But have you ever felt that the space you have allocated is insufficient?
If yes, it is possible to create a new swap file and add it to the running system so that the total swap space will be increased.

I added 512 MiB of additional swap space to my system, creating a new swap file named NewSwap512.swap in the /mnt directory.

1. Creating a 512 MiB swap file and setting the permissions.
sudo fallocate -l 512m /mnt/NewSwap512.swap
sudo chmod 600 /mnt/NewSwap512.swap
sudo mkswap /mnt/NewSwap512.swap

2. Add it to the running system
sudo swapon /mnt/NewSwap512.swap

That will do, but this additional swap area is temporary
and will be lost after reboot.
To make it permanent, edit /etc/fstab
sudo gedit /etc/fstab
add this line to the end of the file
/mnt/NewSwap512.swap none swap sw 0 0