Category Archives: Linux Tutorials

Linux has become my favourite kernel when it comes to selecting a system that serves my web applications. In fact it has also become my favourite operating system. The distros I use most often are Ubuntu, Centos, and Crunchbang. This section is primarily a compilation of personal notes and examples of certain commands and techniques.

OSX Navigation Style for Ubuntu

Mac OSX Style Navigation Task Bar for Ubuntu Using Avant Window Navigator

Ok, I got fed up with the standard gnome task bar and decided to give the Mac OSX style task bar a try.  Linux can handle a ton of running processes and applications (I mean a SH!T load) .  So with more applications running, I needed more real estate for my task bar.  Yeah, yeah, I know, this hardcore Linux fanboy decides to use the Mac OSX look and feel?!  I’ll say it again, “I hate Macs and Windows”.  BUT, I do love the simplicity of the icon style task bar that both Windows and Mac have incorporated with the recent desktop GUI’s rather than trying to hunt the 50 pixel wide task bar text buttons.  I decided that I will download the “Avant Window Navigator” and alter some settings.  There are other articles out there on how to configure this application however I was unable to find documentation to create my own custom setting with the gnome panel on the top and the OSX style task bar on the bottom.  So away we go…

Screen shot of the expected outcome.
Mac OSX Navigation for Ubuntu

Adding the OSX Style Navigation Task Bar

First go to Application->Ubuntu Software Center and search for “Avant Window Manager”, click the install button.  After install, I recommend also downloading the “Ubuntu Tweak” application as well (it will make things much easier to manage).

After both applications are installed, open up your terminal and type in:

This will bring up the configuration editor for gnome. In the left hand pane, you will now want to navigate to the desktop->gnome->session->required_components. Now, in the right hand pane you will notice there are a few records. Click on the “panel” record’s value and replace “gnome-panel” with “avant-window-navigator” (don’t add the quotes).

With the previous steps completed, you will now want to go to applications->system tools->ubuntu tweak.  In the left hand pane, you will now see there are groups, find the “Startup” group and click “session control” sub category.  Make sure the panel setting contains the value “avant-window-navigator” (without quotes).  This will ensure that AWN will automatically start when a user logs in.

In order to remove the bottom task bar of gnome panel, I would right click on the bar and click delete from the context menu.  Now click on the “Auto Start Programs” from the left pane in ubuntu tweak and click the “Add” button located in the top right corner of the window.  Another window will open to add the new entry.  I named mine “GNOME Panel *Custom” so I remember that I added that entry.  In the command field, add “gnome-panel” so we can almost lazy load this application on startup to preserve the top gnome panel navigation.  I also added a comment in regards to what I did so I can revert changes with ease.

Now, moment of truth… Log out of your session and log back in.  Your top gnome panel should remain untouched and intact while the bottom panel has been replaced by the Avant Window Navigator!  You can now customize the look and feel of AWN.  I decided to go with the 3d style at 24 pixels.  I also added a bunch of cool widgets to my bottom panel and the workspaces to the top panel, center aligned… The rest is now all up to you.

Enjoy!

Android Tethering

Tethering Android Phone with Linux Ubuntu

I’ve recently purchased the HTC Evo Google Android phone from Sprint for my wife and I as wedding anniversary gifts.  The plan rocks, it includes unlimited data, 1500 anytime landline minutes (since any mobile to mobile does not use up those minutes) etc for both my wife and I…  Anyway, tonight I had lost internet (stupid comcast) and needed to update some projects since I’m obsesive compulsive and very goal oriented. I would have not been able to go to bed early like I had planned if it wasn’t for an ex colleague who had replied to my facebook status. Going forward…

How to Tether Android with Linux (Ubuntu)

First things first, I hope you have a good data plan and can download google android apps via the android marketplace.  On your android phone, download PdaNet which is a free application that allows tethering via usb cable or bluetooth.  I wasted a couple hours trying to get the usb tethering working when my ex colleague replied to my facebook status in regards to the bluetooth option.  My eyes bugged out and I felt like a total idiot since I saw the bluetooth option and had simply ignored it.  So to make a long story short… select the damn bluetooth option.  It takes only several seconds to connect and pair it up with your laptop.  Of course, you must have a bluetooth adapter of some sort.  In my case, I have one built internally in my laptop.  Cheers!