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Ubuntu 12.04 tweaks: Re-enable hibernate, move the window buttons, more

Jack Wallen's tips for making Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin easier to use include instructions on installing Ubuntu Tweak and Ubuntu One Cloud Indicator.

Re-enable hibernate

If you installed Ubuntu Precise Pangolin on a laptop, you probably noticed that hibernate is missing. Out of the box, Ubuntu 12.04 only offers suspend. In some cases, you need hibernate (e.g., when your computer's battery is critically low and you don't want to lose your work, or when you don't have power to save the suspend state). Here are details about the two states:

  • Suspend: This state is like putting the computer to sleep. The computer will remain powered on and all of your work will be left open, but it will use much less power. You can wake the computer by pressing a key or clicking the mouse.
  • Hibernate: This state is basically turning the computer off completely while saving the current state of the computer (such as keeping all of your open documents). When you turn the computer back on from hibernation, all of your work should be restored as it was before hibernation. No power is used during this state.

I have no idea why hibernate was not included in 12.04, but I do know how you can add it to your system. Follow these steps as I describe how to get hibernate back.

Step 1: Create a hibernate file

Open a terminal window and issue the command sudo gedit /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/hibernate.pkla. Enter your sudo password to complete the opening of a new file.

Step 2: Add the necessary text

When the Gedit window opens, add the following text:

[Re-enable Hibernate]

Identity=unix-user:*

Action=org.freedesktop.upower.hibernate

ResultActive=yes

Save that file and close Gedit.

Step 3: Reboot and configure Reboot the laptop and, once you're back at your desktop, go to System Settings | Power and enable Hibernate per your requirements (Figure A). Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.

You should be able to enjoy the hibernate option again.

Install Ubuntu Tweak

One tool I used quite a bit prior to Unity was Ubuntu Tweak, which brings most of the configuration options together in one place. To install Ubuntu Tweak, follow these simple steps:

1. Issue the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa.

2. Type your sudo password and hit Enter.

3. Hit Enter again when prompted.

4. Issue the command sudo apt-get update.

5. Issue the command sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak.

6. Open the Unity Dash, type tweak, and open the tool when the icon appears.

Install the Ubuntu One Cloud Indicator

I am a heavy user of Ubuntu One. I like to have quick access to my Ubuntu One files and account, and thankfully, there's an easy way to enable that: install the Ubuntu One Cloud Indicator. This interactive icon resides in the notification area where you can:

  • Quickly open the Ubuntu One folder.
  • Launch the Ubuntu One website.
  • Check sync status.
  • Open the Ubuntu One Control Panel.
  • Check Recently published files.
  • Disconnect the machine from the account.

To install this handy tool, issue these commands:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rye/ubuntuone-extras
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install indicator-ubuntuone
After the last command completes, log out of the desktop and log back in. You should see the Ubuntu One Cloud Indicator in the upper right of your desktop (Figure B). Figure B

Left-click the icon to reveal the menu.

Install the Recent Notifications Indicator

One of the many indicators you can add to the notification tray is the Recent Notifications Indicator. To install this, issue the following commands:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install indicator-notifications

Once you've done that, log out and log back in to reveal the Recent Notifications indicator. If you're interested in more of the indicators, you can replace "indicator-notifications" above, with any of the following:

  • indicator-weather
  • caffeine
  • indicator-virtualbox
  • classicmenu-indicator
  • cryptfolder-indicator
  • disper-indicator
  • fluxgui
  • google-tasks-indicator
  • indicator-sysmonitor
  • lookit
  • touchpad-indicator
  • indicator-keylock
  • indicator-workspaces
  • pastie

Move the window buttons

Many Ubuntu 12.04 users can't seem to get used to the Close, Minimize, and Maximize buttons that are in the left corner of the window. To move those buttons back to the right side, you must install the Gconf Editor:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Issue the command sudo apt-get install gconf-editor.
  3. Once installed, issue the command gconf-editor.
  4. In the resulting window (Figure C) navigate to apps | metacity | general.
  5. Locate and right-click the button_layout parameter.
  6. Select Edit Key.
  7. In the Value section, change the text to menu:minimize,maximize,close and hit Enter.
  8. Close Gconf Editor.
Figure C

If this tool reminds you of regedit, it should!

Share a tweak or configuration

There are a lot more tweaks and configurations you can tackle with Ubuntu 12.04. If you've found a handy or cool tweak for the latest release from Canonical, share it with your fellow TechRepublic readers.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

3 comments
billshoff
billshoff

Worked like a charm! Thanks so much for this much needed change. Good job!

bobc4012
bobc4012

I already came across the steps for "moving the Window buttons" (it actually may have been an article by you elsewhere). Anyway, they work in general except in one instance at the very top of the screen (which the text remains hidden or shows a title or whatever), when you move the cursor up to the top left corner, the buttons are still there. But for every folder or app such as Firefox, the buttons are on the right side (where God intended). I also use Ubuntu Tweak. It was great in 10.04/10.10 and earlier. With Unity, it no longer supports as much as it did, which is a disappointment. It appears to be more of an I/F to Computer Janitor rather than the "old Ubuntu Tweak". I believe I installed it from either Synaptic or the Software center, don't recall which off the top of my "receding hairline head".

teguh.umar
teguh.umar

very usefull, i love to add hibernate function. after i triedit, my laptop wont't power off, could you help me?

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