Awesome desktop #1

Gaia10_sprout by grvrulz

This screenshot has stood second in a desktop contest by OMGUbuntu(link) and a lot of people asked me to do a howto for this. So here it is.

Download the theme here GAIA Sprout by ~lassekongo83.

Download the wallpaper here Glacien by ~imrik on deviantART.

Install  p7zip, emerald, gimp & gimp-plugin-registry

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full emerald gimp gimp-plugin-registry


Extract the theme(its a 7zip file). There are 2 emerald themes, 1 panel background image and a folder called “GAIA Sprout” in there. Copy the folder “GAIA Sprout” to ~/.themes/ .

cp -R ‘GAIA Sprout’ ~/.themes/

Open Syetem>Preferences>Appearance. Select Gaia Sprout as your theme.

Note: If you dont have equinox engine installed you can install it by adding the ppa

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-equinox

Open System>Preferences>Emerald Theme Manager. Click on ‘Import’, navigate to the folder and import the two emerald themes one-by-one. Then run emerald

emerald –replace

Note: if you want to permanently use emerald as your window decoration, you might want to put the above command in compizconfig-settings-manager. Just open ccsm-> window decoration-> command. Put emerald –replace in the box and press Return.

ccsm window decoration setting


Download the iconset from here. Follow the instructions on the download page to install the icons using your favourite method. If you want automatic updates, you should use the ppa method.


The dock at the bottom is AWN(Avant Window Navigator). Install AWN  and plugins with

sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator awn-applets-c-core awn-applets-c-extras awn-applets-pyhon-core awn-applets-pyhon-extras

This will install the full package, i.e. including all plugins and features. Start AWN through Applications->Accessories->Avant Window Navigator.

To get the above look, just right click the dock and selec Dock Preferences. Go to themes tab and select any light theme. Then go to Style tab and set style to 3d. You can alter finer details in the ‘Themes’ tab by clicking on customize. Now go to Applets tab and add the applets you want to get shown on the dock.

Avant Window navigator settings

Install conky and conky-colos deps.

sudo apt-get install aptitude python-statgrab ttf-droid hddtemp curl lm-sensors conky-all

Download conky colors from here. Extract it and open terminal in the folder it was extracted in. Enter the following in the terminal.


Then type

sudo make install

conky-colors will now be installed. now type the following in a terminal to generate ypur conkyrc.

conky-colors –lang=en –theme=elementary –cpu=2 –clock=bigcairo –hd=default –cairo –network –wireless

Note that you can change the language to suit your own, and the number of cpus to whatever number you have(I have a Core 2 duo so i’ve written cpu=2).

You’ll get something like that in the output

Your conkyrc was copied to /home/gp/.conkycolors

Generated configuration files are copied to /home/gp/.conkycolors

To run conky-colors and conky type:
conky -c /home/gp/.conkycolors/conkyrc

Note that this will be different because your username will not be same as mine.:P. Now copy the last line and paste it in the terminal. Conky will now be running. You might want it to automatically start every time you restart. To do that, go to System-> Preferences->Startup Applications. Click Add and put the command in the given box.

Startup Application settings


Gnome-panel does not support ‘real’ transparency, even on  a composited desktop. Thats why we embed some graphics in our wallpaper to get the effect as shown in the screenshot.

Open the panel.png image included in the theme folder wih GIMP. Go to Layer->Liquid Rescale. Enter you screen’s horizontal resolution in the the width field. Click OK. Save the file.

Now open your wallpaper in GIMP and go to File->Open as layers. Select the resized panel.png and open. Position the panel image at the top edge and save the image as png or jpeg, as you prefer. DO NOT SAVE WITHOUT AN EXTENSION, as it will save it as an .xcf file, the native gimp image format.

Apply the  new image as wallpaper. Right click the panel, select Properties. Set the size to 24 px. Now go to Background tab, select solid color, and move the transparency slider to make the panel fully transparent. You have your awesome desktop ready. Enjoyy.

I’m not very good at writing tutorials, actually this is my first. So please ask any doubts in the comments, and please point out if i’ve missed some detail. Keep Rockin’. 😀

P.S. As a matter o fact, I dont use Ubuntu anymore. I’m  currently using Trisquel GNU/Linux which is a fully free(as in freedom) derivative of Ubuntu. See for details.

How to view Youtube videos without flash player!!

Many times it happens that you dont have the latest version of flash player and youtube doesn’t work on the older one. Well here’s a trick that lets you watch them without flash player installed. Moreover, it gives you the options to directly view the HD/HQ version of a video(if available), and a link to download the video. Let’s go

Step1  – If you are using Mozilla Firefox, go to step 2. If not download and install it from here.

Step2  – Install the Greasemonkey plugin by clicking here.

Step3  – Install Linterna Magica

Step4  – Greasemonkey will install the script. Just restart Firefox and enjoy the tweak.

Step5  – Sit back and relax.

Getting started with programming in GNU/Linux: the easy way

Are you an engineering student(or anyone for that sake), and are bored with that ugly Turbo C, or are sick of ‘javac’ to compile java programs. Well, here’s an easy way to do all the things nicely, easily, and in complete freedom. With some initial effort, it will be a lot easier and cooler.

The first step is to install a GNU/Linux system. Now mind that, C & C++ were made for UNIX, and that is the correct place to program in them. But since UNIX is out of reach for us, GNU/Linux is the best(and it’s free) alternative. Though there are many of them, most of us have heard of Red Hat 5 only, or maybe Ubuntu. But I highly recommend Trisquel, which comes with a plenty of software, and media codecs preinstalled. And it’s completely free(as in free speech). So our steps are:

Step1-Download and install Trisquel. You can read the tutorial to install it on my blog soon.

Step2-Open Synaptic Package Manager by

Main menu->System->Administration->Synaptic

or by pressing ‘Alt+F2’ and typing ‘gksudo Synaptic

search and mark the following packages

  • g++
  • openjdk-6-jdk
  • build-essential
  • gcc
  • geany

click ‘Apply’. the packages will be downloaded and installed.

If you want an easy way for all this, just open a terminal by

Main menu-> Accesories -> Terminal

and paste the following

sudo apt-get install gcc build-essential openjdk-6-jdk g++ geany

it will ask for your password. When you type it, you will see nothing, but be patient. Type the password and press enter, the packages will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Step3- Open Geany by

Main menu ->Programming -> Geany

and start typing your first program. Save the program with the appropriate extension.

Step4- Press F8 to compile the program and F5 to run the compiled program.

Step5- Sit back and enjoy a clear air of freedom.

Happy programming:-)!!!