This guide is for Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. If you find any errors, please let me know.



Compiz Fusion

  • Install Compiz Fusion Extras

    Ubuntu doesn't provide tools for customizing Compiz Fusion out of the box. Install the configuration tools.




Install Flash Plugin for Firefox/Epiphany

sudo aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree

Open Files as Root (Right-click)

gedit $HOME/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/Open\ as\ root

Insert the following into the new file:

gksudo "gnome-open $uri" &

Save the file. Allow the active user to execute the script:

chmod +x $HOME/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/Open\ as\ root

Install Microsoft Fonts

sudo aptitude install msttcorefonts

Increase Screen Resolution

This is the fastest way to increase your screen resolution to the native display. Ignore the lengthy tutorials on other sites; this is all you have to do. First, backup your X configuration file:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

If anything goes wrong, simply replace the original xorg.conf file.

  1. Edit your xorg.conf so that it includes the proper HorizSync and VertRefresh values in the "Monitor" section. The values can be found in your monitor's manual, or you can search for them online. sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf Mine looks like this: Section "Monitor"
      Identifier "Generic Monitor"
      HorizSync 28.0 - 64.0
      VertRefresh 43.0 - 60.0
      Option "DPMS"
  2. Add your resolution to the proper "Display" subsection in the "Screen" section. For instance, if your DefaultDepth is set to 24 (look near the top of the "Screen" section for this), you add your resolution to the subsection with 24 as the Depth value. SubSection "Display"
      Depth 24
      Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
  3. Save the file, then restart X (CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE). Done!

Enable Intellimouse Support

The following works for the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0A. It will enable full support for the forward and back side buttons (works in Nautilus, Epiphany, Firefox, Konqueror). As always, backup your files before mucking with them.

I have had a ton of reports that this no longer works properly. It worked through Feisty, but since then has caused problems. If your mouse does not work, try manually copying and pasting the content for the xmodmap file from step 7 into the terminal. I am unable to troubleshoot this, because it works on all the machines I've tested it on. If anyone can help work this out, let me know.
  1. Install imwheel: sudo aptitude install imwheel
  2. Edit xorg.conf: sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  3. Replace the mouse section with the following:
    Section "InputDevice"
    	Identifier	"Configured Mouse"
    	Driver		"mouse"
    	Option		"CorePointer"
    	Option		"Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    	Option		"Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
    	Option		"Buttons" "7"
    	Option		"ButtonMapping" "1 2 3 6 7"
    	Option		"Emulate3Buttons" "false"
  4. Create /etc/X11/imwheel/.imwheelrc: sudo gedit /etc/X11/imwheel/.imwheelrc
  5. Paste in the following code: ".*"
    None, Up, Alt_L|Left
    None, Down, Alt_L|Right

    None, Up, Alt_L|Left
    None, Down, Alt_L|Right
  6. Edit the startup file to make imwheel start with X: sudo gedit /etc/X11/imwheel/startup.conf Find this line and change the 0 to a 1: IMWHEEL_START=0
  7. Create one last file: sudo gedit /etc/X11/Xsession.d/63xmodmap Paste in the following code: killall imwheel
    xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7"
    BINARY=$(which imwheel)
    $BINARY -k -p -b "6 7"
  8. Make the file executable: sudo chmod 777 /etc/X11/Xsession.d/63xmodmap
  9. Restart X (CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE). Done!

Metacity Compositing

Instructions from here.

Install required packages

sudo aptitude install subversion gnome-common build-essential autoconf gnome-devel libtool

Build Metacity

svn co metacity
cd metacity
./configure --enable-compositor

Start using it

Enable Metacity's compositing in gconf:

You have two options. You can either replace the original Metacity with the newly built Metacity temporarily, or install the new Metacity system-wide.

To use the new Metacity without installing it:

./src/metacity --replace

To install the new Metacity system-wide:

sudo make install

Either way, you have to enable compositing in GConf:

gconftool-2 --set --type=bool /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager true

ATi Remote Wonder

As of the Gutsy release (7.10), Ubuntu no longer works with the ATi Remote Wonder by default. To enable support for the remote:

sudo gedit /etc/modules

Add ati_remote on its own line, then save and exit.

You might also need to add blacklist lirc_atiusb as its own line at the end of your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file.

Epiphany extensions

To install these third party extensions, drop both of the files into ~./gnome2/epiphany/extensions/.

  • Window Icon - Replaces tray icon with current tab's favicon
  • Tabs Left - Move tabs to the left side of the browser window
  • Restore Tab - Restore the last closed tab


Install Restricted Codecs

sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update sudo aptitude install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse w32codecs libdvdcss2 vlc

Update Video Thumbnails

rm -rf ~/.thumbnails/normal/*
rm -rf ~/.thumbnails/fail/*

Enable MP3 Previews in Nautilus - NO LONGER NEEDED IN HARDY

sudo aptitude install mpg321 ubuntu-restricted-extras pulseaudio pulseaudio-esound-compat libasound2-plugins

Compiz Fusion

Install Compiz Fusion Extras

sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager emerald


Configure Evolution for Gmail

Be sure to enable POP in your Gmail settings.


  • Server Type: POP
  • Server:
    (optional: use to specify the port)
  • Username:
    (your entire gmail address)
  • Use Secure Connection: SSL encryption
  • Authentication Type: Password


  • Server Type: SMTP
  • Server:
    (optional: use to specify the port)
  • Use Secure Connection: TLS encryption
  • Authentication Type: PLAIN
  • Username:
    (your entire gmail address)


Scroogle is a scraper that allows you to use Google search anonymously. To have Epiphany/Iceweasel use Scroogle for the default location bar search, enter about:config into the location bar, then scroll down to the keyword.URL line, right click, and modify it to contain the following string:

If you decide later that you would like to use Google install, simply replace the original code:

Epiphany Fonts

  • In Epiphany, go to Edit > Preferences > Fonts & Style.
    • Set "Minimum size" to "8"
  • Click on the "Detailed Font Settings..." button
    • Set "Variable width" to "12"
    • Set "Fixed width" to "8"
    • Set "Minimum size" to "8"
  • Jabber Transports

    sudo aptitude install gajim

    Configure Gajim for Gtalk

    This part's pretty easy--just use your username for the username and for the server.

    Configure the Transport

    1. Go to Service Discovery and input one of the servers from this site into the Address: box. I suggest using Click Browse.
    2. Right-click on the protocol you'd like to use and click Register.
    3. After registering the account, you'll receive buddy requests from every user in the account; you'll have to authorize them one at a time. After this, you don't need Psi anymore.

    Adding Buddies via the Transport

    When adding a buddy using the transport account, use the format For example:

    Configure TOR for Anonymous Browsing

    sudo aptitude install tor sudo gedit /etc/privoxy/config

    Comment out the logfile logfile and jarfile jarfile lines.

    Add the following line anywhere, being sure to include the dot at the end:

    forward-socks4a / localhost:9050 .

    To enable Tor:

    sudo /etc/init.d/tor restart && sudo /etc/init.d/privoxy restart

    Install the Torbutton extension. Tor can be toggled by simply clicking the button.

    General Tor configuration for other services (Global settings: System > Preferences > Network Proxy):

    • HTTP and SSL Proxy: localhost: 8118
    • SOCKS Host: localhost: 9050

    Gaim can be configured to use Tor by changing the settings int he Advanced tab:

    • Proxy Type: SOCKS 5
    • Host:
    • Port: 9050


    GnomeSword is Bible reading software with support for many different translations, languages, notes, etc.

    sudo aptitude install gnomesword

    I suggest using the NET Bible translation. To do so:

    • In the Module Manager (Edit > Module Manager), click Sources in the side panel.
    • In the Current Remote Sources section, click the Add button.
    • Add as a source using as the first URL and /sword/ as the second.
    • In the Configure section in the side panel, select the source as a Remote Install Source.
    • In the Install subsection of the Modules section in the side panel, click refresh.
    • Add the NETfree text and the NETnotesfree commentary. Click Install.

    Other Programs

    sudo aptitude install tvtime deluge-torrent audacious epiphany-browser gajim flashplugin-nonfree gftp glipper