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ubuntu settings utilityTweak the way Ubuntu behaves, easily. Whether you want to stop Ubuntu from locking your screen or change your 3D desktop settings, Ubuntu Tweak is the easy way to access the Ubuntu settings that are otherwise buried in hard-to-reach places. We profiled Ubuntu Tweak back in 2008, but a lot has changed since then. Ubuntu is over three years older, and even sports a new user interface now called Unity Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More .

Ubuntu Tweak has changed too. Not only is there a great application manager embedded into the program but there are a lot of new tweaks to explore and use. If you wish Ubuntu gave you more control over your system I highly recommend you check out this app. There’s too many individual switches here to highlight, but let’s take a look at some of the biggest features.

Application Management

You know, and perhaps love, the Ubuntu Software Center 5 Great Tips For The Ubuntu Software Center [Linux] 5 Great Tips For The Ubuntu Software Center [Linux] Read More by now. Ubuntu Tweak also aims to make installing software a bit easier.

So what’s the difference with Ubuntu Tweak’s software center? Well, only popular software titles are listed. Browse and you’ll quickly find that there is no filler here:

ubuntu settings utility

Check any software you want to install; uncheck anything you want to uninstall. Then click the “Apply” button at the bottom-right to make the changes happen.


Then check out the “Package Cleaner“. Various buttons to the right of this interface let you scan your computer for excess files. You can then delete these files by clicking “Cleanup“, though you may need to click “Unlock” before you can do so.

ubuntu system settings

This is similar to BleachBit, a CCleaner alternative for Linux BleachBit - A Utility To Clean Up Your Linux System BleachBit - A Utility To Clean Up Your Linux System Read More .

It’s also possible to run updates from within Ubuntu Tweak, and to turn off the default Ubuntu update manager from running automatically (some find this annoying).

Various Tweaks

You’ll find today, as was true in 2008, a variety of tweaking options. For example, do you miss having a recycling bin or computer icon on your desktop? There’s a panel for that:

ubuntu system settings

You can not only re-add icons but also name them whatever you want. You can even have the entire home folder on your desktop, if you want.

Do you want to change how the login screen looks? There’s a panel for that too:

ubuntu system settings

Do you want to change what programs open certain file types by default?

ubuntu desktop settings

You get the idea: there’s a lot this application can do, so explore to find it all out.

3D Desktop Settings

Want to change how your desktop’s 3D settings work? Click the ‘Compiz Settings” button and you’ll have a few options:

ubuntu settings utility

Mac users will recognize the “Corners” functionality. Play with it to learn how it works.

There is, unfortunately, very little Unity-specific elements to this. I’m sure this will grow with time, however.

Get Ubuntu Tweak

Installing Ubuntu Tweak is simple. Just head to the Ubuntu Tweak home page and click the “Download Now!” button. You’ll have a .deb file; open it and the Ubuntu Software Center will take care of the installation process for you.

Do you like having easy access to these settings? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share any other Ubuntu tips and tricks.

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  1. Taylor
    August 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    The easiest way to install (in my opinion) is to open up a terminal and install this way-- don't include the $ in your input, that just indicates a new entry line--

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa$ sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

    If that doesn't work, what version of Ubuntu are you using?  You shouldn't need to install Python3.1... if anything, just 2.7 will do, if you need that--

    $ sudo apt-get install python2.7

  2. Kieran Colfer
    August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Am seeing the usual linux dependency spaghetti here. The deb pkg says you need "python >=2.7" (am on 2.6.5 as default on my ubuntu box), but if I install python 3.1 and change my default to it, the package installer stops working....  

  3. Taylor
    August 11, 2011 at 12:47 am

    What is the problem you're encountering, sulasno?

  4. Anonymous
    August 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    having problems in installing to it; what else can I try ?

  5. Taylor
    August 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I have found Ubuntu Tweak to be very useful in my Ubuntu experience.  Of late, I've taken to manual configuration-- add-apt-repository, ccsm, etc.  The stock experience is, by and large, what I tend to stick with.

    But when something needs changed, Ubuntu Tweak is absolutely a great place to look.  The Source/Application Centers are very nice for finding popular packages that are well useful.