Polari IRC client integrates Gnome Pastebin

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a highly popular medium of communication among open source devs. There are numerous IRC clients available and my personal favourite is Pidgin IRC plugin. Gnome has its own IRC client, Polari (aka “It’s Yoghurt. It’s French”), for a while now. Polari got an important update in Gnome 3.18.1, the ability to paste directly into Gnome’s home grown pastebin service. Continue reading Polari IRC client integrates Gnome Pastebin

Install Pantheon desktop on Ubuntu

Update: The original procedure is outdated now. For the brave who don’t mind broken systems, here’s a procedure to use packages from daily and testing PPAs:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/os-patches
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/testing
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install elementary-theme elementary-icon-theme elementary-default-settings elementary-desktop

To install the latest elementary-tweaks:

$ sudo apt-get install libgconf2-dev libpolkit-gobject-1-dev
$ git clone https://github.com/elementary-tweaks/elementary-tweaks
$ cd elementary-tweaks
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ make
$ sudo make install
// run
$ switchboard

Note: The following procedure (the original one published) might be outdated by now. Results may be unexpected. You may also need to create a conf file for pantheon manually under /etc/lightdm to find the entry in lightdm login prompt.

Pantheon is the flagship desktop environment os Elementary OS, one of the most beautiful Linux distros. If you are a stock Ubuntu desktop user, you do not need to install Elementary OS afresh to check out Pantheon.

The beauty of Linux is, almost any desktop environment can be installed on any distro like additional software packages. Elementary being an Ubuntu derivative, the process becomes simpler.

To install Pantheon desktop on Ubuntu from the official Elementary OS PPA, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install elementary-desktop

That’s it! Now logout and choose Pantheon to relish your new desktop.

Gnome Classic Desktop on Ubuntu 15.04

ubuntu_logo_81x81Unity has come a long way and still there are users who prefer the vintage Gnome experience without many bells and whistles. While the earlier Ubuntu versions came with gnome-session-fallback package, Vivid Vervet gets a change in the name of the classic desktop. To install, run:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-session-flashback

Now you have two flashback sessions installed – Gnome Compiz Flashback and Gnome Metacity Flashback. Logout and select the classic desktop you prefer and login back.

Ubuntu MATE now official Ubuntu flavour

Ubuntu MATE just announced that it has received official Ubuntu flavour status. Talks were ongoing to include the distro in the pack of official Ubuntu derivatives and it seems that the positive reception of the distro made it easier to take a decision. Alongside the inclusion, the distro has also published it 15.04 Beta1 version.

If you are not aware of it, Ubuntu MATE builds on the MATE desktop environment, which is a continuation of Gnome 2. It is under active development and is an intuitive and attractive desktop environment. The last stable release of Ubuntu MATE is 14.04. It is also one of the major distros to support PowerPC.

In our tests Ubuntu MATE 15.04 proved quite stable. Grab the ISO to get a taste of it!

If you want to try out MATE on stock Ubuntu Trusty Tahr, run the following commands:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-mate-core ubuntu-mate-desktop

Logout and login back to the MATE desktop environment.

xfdashboard: XFCE gets a dashboard

The dash or dashboard is the modern version of the run dialogue showing matching shortcuts or paths when a user types in a pattern. Users of Gnome Shell or Unity are accustomed to the dash or dashboard for quick search results. Unity even extends the functionality to the next level (like websearch, weather, gmail etc.) using lenses and scopes. However, desktop environments like Xfce or LXDE didn’t have anything of that sort integrated into the framework.

Seems like the wait is over for Xfce users. Developer Stephan Haller is working on a Gnome Shell like dashboard which is in a fairly stable state now – xfdashboard.


  • Set keyboard shortcut for xfdashboard
  • Supports several views and switching between them
  • The windows view (default) shows an overview of currently running apps and allows switching between them
  • Applications view shows all installed applications like a menu
  • Search view to search and start applications
  • Includes widgets like View selector, Search text box, Quicklaunch, Workspace selector
  • Move windows between workspaces
  • Add an application to favourites, organize favourites, remove from favourites
  • Keyboard shortcuts for navigation and selection
  • Supports theming and configuration tuning


To install xfdashboard on Xubuntu, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install xfdashboard


Type in xfdashboard or assign a shortcut to launch the application. For quicker start-up run xfdashboard in daemon mode which keeps it running in background. You can start xfdashboard in daemon mode by executing the command

$ xfdashboard --daemonize
$ xfdashboard -d

or by enabling auto-start at Settings  Session and Startup  Application Autostart in Xfce.

Webpage: xfdashboard