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How to install Linux Mint’s Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu

full cinnamon desktop

full cinnamon desktop

Recently Linux Mint’s developer team released Cinnamon for Linux Mint 13 which is the new desktop environment, it follows the layout of traditional desktops. If you want to try out Cinnamon but you don’t have Linux Mint installed on your system and you are using Ubuntu instead, then you can use the method given below to install it on your Ubuntu machine.

Cinnamon is available in a PPA (personal package archive) for Ubuntu. First of all open the terminal and run the following command:

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:merlwiz79/cinnamon-ppa


ubuntu terminal

Press Enter when it prompts you. After that update the available packages list by running the command given below:

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo apt-get update

Now you can install Cinnamon with this command:

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo apt-get install cinnamon cinnamon-session cinnamon-settings

Press Y and Enter when it prompts you.

ubuntu terminal 2

If you are not using Ubuntu then you can go to Cinnamon’s official page to find instructions on how to install cinnamon on your distribution.

Starting Cinnamon

Installing Cinnamon will not replace your default Ubuntu desktop environment. It will just add an option of Cinnamon at your login screen. To enable Cinnamon log out from your current session and from the login screen select Cinnamon and log back in.

starting cinnamon

What you see now is Cinnamon. Start playing with it and check out its features.

set Cinnamon as the default desktop environment

If autologin is enabled in your system then every time the system gets rebooted it will come up with unity by default, then you will have to logout each time you want to switch back to Cinnamon. It will be better to make Cinnamon your default desktop environment, here’s how to do that.

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo /usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm-set-defaults -s cinnamon

Removing global menu of Ubuntu

menu bar ubuntu

You will see Ubuntu’s global menu bar is still there (at the top of the screen). If you want to remove it then run the command given below, log out and log back in:

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo apt-get remove appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt

If you want to get it back then use the same command by replacing “remove” with “install”

chankey@linuxstall:$ sudo apt-get install appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt

Linux Mint 13 featuring Cinnamon to seduce its users by enhanced user interfaces


Now a days developers are focusing on improving the user interfaces of almost all devices, therefore, so many experiments are going on desktop interfaces designing too. Developers of Linux Mint are following the same trend and they are designing a new user interface for Linux Mint 13.

The older versions of Linux Mint were using Gnome environment but the upcoming versions will include Cinnamon whose version 1.2 was released 5 days ago.

We’re hoping Cinnamon will seduce most Linux Mint users, whether they’re coming from Gnome 2, Gnome Shell or other desktops. -Clement Lefebvre (Linux Mint creator)

Cinnamon seems to be a good conservative design which can compete with Gnome and KDE but still we will have to wait for the public response to see which one they like the most? Recently KDE 4.8 was also released. So at the moment there are 2 new desktop environments.

Lefebvre made Linux Mint after reviewing all the the other Linux distributions which were available in the open-source market and from that review he got some new ideas about what features should a ideal distribution should have? Then he made Linux Mint specifically for those folks who want a desktop operating system which is easy to use and require no or very little maintenance.

He said:

We expect much more from our desktop than other distributions. We look at common use cases and if they fail to work out of the box or if they’re too complicated for the user, we identify it as a problem that needs fixing.

Last year Ubuntu desktop were changed from Gnome to Unity interface by Canonical because they didn’t like unnecessary features of Gnome. Unity is an overlay for Gnome 3. Canonical is planning to advance its user interface even more by using “Head-Up Display” technology in the next release of Ubuntu.

While Canonical is constantly improving its interfaces, Linux Mint remains steadfastly committed to the traditional desktop. Desktop market is still ruled by Microsoft and Apple. Linux has much work to do to reach to that place.

Lefebvre said:

Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS dominate the desktop market with inferior products. There’s a huge potential for growth for Linux on the desktop market. Our core expertise is on the desktop, we’re not interested in smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.

Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu (which itself is based on Debian), so it is possible that Linux Mint would use Unity. This is not the case, however.

So far Unity is only used by one other distribution. It doesn’t look particularly interesting to us and there’s no demand for it. -Lefebvre

It is clear that Linux Mint team don’t want to continue to use Gnome 3. Gnome 3 asks folks to change the way they use their computers. It requires users to think about using the computer in terms of the applications they want to use rather than the tasks they want to complete. Nor does it multitask well. Linus Torvalds has already called Gnome 3 “an unholy mess“.

Cinnamon follows traditional notions of how the desktop interfaces should look like. The interface has a slim panel which contains icons for applications, operational status report and basic commands. Users are allowed to place this icon panel along the top, or on the bottom, or you can have two panels for both the top and bottom.

In the upcoming versions the users will be allowed to place this panel anywhere they want (on the desktop obviously). This approach is a notable contrast from Unity, the icon panel for which is affixed to the left-hand side of the screen.

Users can customize the look and feel of the desktop from “Cinnamon Settings”. They can choose different themes, desktop effects, can add new applets and extensions etc. Which is quite same as Gnome.

Other than Cinnamon, Linux Mint 13 will feature Mate (another desktop), which puts a shell over Gnome 3 that presents an interface that replicates the experience of using Gnome 2.0. It is for those people who are used to the old interface or don’t have the enough system resources to run Cinnamon.

Below are some screenshots of Cinnamon, to see full size image just click on it:




cinnamon theme


Which desktop environment is the best according to you?

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Not using Linux Mint? You can install Cinnamon on any distribution, check out this post.

KDE 4.8 is out!

kde 4.8

kde 4.8

KDE development team revealed the latest version- KDE 4.8 and will be available for users to install and taste the all new KDE 4.8 loaded with features and enhancements. Major portion of update is occupied by Plasma Workspace. Changes introduced with this update are listed below:

  •          Image scrolling made easy is  Gwenview
  •          You can choose from different window switcher layouts (Six of them).
  •          KMail goes more stable
  •          File loading in Dolphin is even more faster
  •          Secured password sharing with KSecretService
  •          Improved power management

KDE 4.8 screenshot

How to install KDE 4.8 in Ubuntu

Users with Ubuntu 12.04 wait for it show up in update manager, few hours to go!
Kubuntu users will enjoy KDE 4.8 in few weeks, stay tuned.

sudo command

sudo command

sudo command

sudo command is required when executing a command with some other user’s permission. Other user can either be root or else. Why we need to execute command with root’s permission? There are some commands that do some change in the system which are dangerous and can bring the system down, only root has such permissions.

sudo command


One can also switch user via su command and then execute the desired command but sudo is much more secure than su. Commands (along with arguments) executed with sudo are logged in a file. For Red Hat distros, /var/log/secure saves all the logs and for debian based, its /var/log/auth.log.

The file /etc/sudoers can be edited for configuring sudo and giving privileges to individual users or group of users.

Setting up sudo

For an individual user

Syntax for allowing an individual user (here Ayush) is:

ayush ALL=(ALL) ALL

“ayush” here is username of the user you want to allow
“ALL” specifies that sudo is accessible from all terminals
“(ALL)” specifies all users
“ALL” for all commands

For a group

Entry in sudoers file goes like:

%linuxstall ALL=(ALL) ALL

“linuxstall” can be replaced by the name of group.

Execute commands as root

Once the sudoers file is all set, you can now execute commands as root. For an instance, mount command can only be executed by root, but things go well with sudo.

ayush@linuxstall:$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt


Use sudo command on the fly while editing in vim

There are some files that only root can save (say /etc/group) but having sudo in hand, it can be done as follows:

ayush@linuxstall:$ sudo vim /etc/group

But, if you have opened the file as a normal user and wish to save but unable as only root can do that- sudo is your friend:

:w !sudo tee %

Above command will the save the file for you as a root even when you didn’t use it while opening. sudo just doesn’t mind!


If a user is not listed in sudoers file and tries to use sudo, admin will be notified by making a log entry and user will get following error:

<user> is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

SOPA and PIPA are dead

SOPA and PIPA are dead

Check out this statement by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.

It means that SOPA and PIPA are almost dead but still there are many actors behind the scene who are supporting this. They are not ready to give up right now. Let’s see what happens! Till then keep protesting against SOPA & PIPA.

View log files in real time

log files in realtime in linux

log files in realtime in linux

Most of the log files in linux can be found in /var/log . You can go to this directory with cd command but root permission is required.

cd /var/log

To view the log files in real time:

tail -f /path/toFile.log

For example, to view the live version of yum log files execute tht following command:

tail -f /var/log/yum.log

How to block a country using iptables?

If you are an admin of a website and you see a lot of bogus traffic coming from some countries which give no profit to you, and you want to block those countries from accessing your website then you can use the bash script given below.

There are two ways to block countries. First is to configure your Apache server and second is to set iptables commands. We will do this using iptables. First of all download the list of IP zone files of the country which you want to block from here.

The script will not work if people of that country are using any proxy server or they have spoofed their IP address.

### Block all traffic from AFGHANISTAN (af) and CHINA (CN). Use ISO code ###
ISO="af cn"
### Set PATH ###
### No editing below ###
$IPT -t nat -F
$IPT -t nat -X
$IPT -t mangle -F
$IPT -t mangle -X
# create a dir
[ ! -d $ZONEROOT ] &amp;&amp; /bin/mkdir -p $ZONEROOT
# clean old rules
# create a new iptables list
for c  in $ISO
	# local zone file
	# get fresh zone file
	$WGET -O $tDB $DLROOT/$c.zone
	# country specific log message
	SPAMDROPMSG="$c Country Drop"
	# get
	BADIPS=$(egrep -v "^#|^$" $tDB)
	for ipblock in $BADIPS
	   $IPT -A $SPAMLIST -s $ipblock -j LOG --log-prefix "$SPAMDROPMSG"
	   $IPT -A $SPAMLIST -s $ipblock -j DROP
# Drop everything
# call your other iptable script
# /path/to/other/iptables.sh
exit 0

You must be logged in as a ‘root’ user to run this script. Mention the country names which you want to block in ‘ISO’.

To run the script

# /path/block_country.sh

You can add this script to crontab so that it will run automatically.

@weekly /path/block_country.sh

Below is an another script which does the same work:

wget -c --output-document=iptables-blocklist.txt http://blogama.org/country_query.php?country=$COUNTRIES
if [ -f iptables-blocklist.txt ]; then
  iptables -F
  IPS=$(grep -Ev "^#" $BLOCKDB)
  for i in $IPS
    iptables -A INPUT -s $i -j DROP
    iptables -A OUTPUT -d $i -j DROP
rm $WORKDIR/iptables-blocklist.txt

No big useless shortcuts in Unity Dash of Ubuntu 12.04

If you don’t like those 8 big shortcuts in Unity Dash then this is a good news for you. There will be no big shortcuts in Unity Dash of Ubuntu 12.04. The reason of removing these is that they are useless, yes useless! Ask yourself how many times do you use them? Do they help you? If your answer is no then you should be happy now.

Old look of Unity Dash

The Unity Dash of Ubuntu 12.04 will consist of 3 sections:

1. Recent Apps: This section will display the recently used applications.

2. Recent Files: This section will display recently accessed files.

3. Downloads: This section will display the items of your ‘Downloads’ folder.

Here is how it will look:

New look of Unity Dash

Isn’t this cool? You can get access to your recently used Apps, files and downloaded items from just one place. I think this is a good and necessary decision which Ubuntu 12.04 developers have taken.

Microsoft’s attack on Linux: The hardware way

Microsoft restricts Linux on ARM

Microsoft restricts Linux on ARM

Microsoft did it again! This time by putting the gun on shoulders of ARM hardware makers. Their hatred for Linux is not a new issue, they have always been figuring out ways to edge out Linux. It has been in news that, Microsoft wishes ARM hardware manufacturers to make it impossible disabling UEFI secure boot feature which is required by Windows 8.

What is secure boot?

Secure boot is a scheme that checks all the stages of booting cryptographically maintaining the integrity of code under execution. It restricts the malicious or unauthorized software from running.

A Walkthrough

Later in the last year, Microsoft stated that secure boot would be required in order to boot Windows 8. Secure boot, as mentioned above, keeps ‘keys’ by itself inside the system. These keys are required if a software needs to run, Operating systems included. If the operating system is not ‘signed’ by a respective key, it cannot boot!

Microsoft is totally using secure boot the wrong way, with the prime intention of locking out Linux. Microsoft made crystal clear instructions for vendors:

MANDATORY: Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems.

Which is in contrast to statement they made it on their blog:

Who is in control?
At the end of the day, the customer is in control of their PC. Microsoft’s philosophy is to provide customers with the best experience first, and allow them to make decisions themselves.

How the customer is in control if he is not allowed to disable features on the device he paid for! If it goes on this way, Linux users would be ‘forced’ to buy a Windows license which is so not fair.

How to delete spaces from file name in Linux?

If your file name has spaces in it and there are many such files that it is not possible for you to rename each file’s name manually then you may use the command given below. It will rename all the file names which have spaces by replacing the spaces with an underscore ( _ ).

for FILE in *; do mv "$FILE" "$(echo "$FILE"|tr ' ' '_')"; done


for file in *; do mv "$file" `echo $file | sed -e 's/ */_/g' -e 's/_-_/-/g'`; done

I had two files named a b c.txt and x y z.txt in my directory. I used the command given above to delete spaces from file name. It changed the file names to a_b_c.txt and x_y_z.txt respectively. See the screenshot below: