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ubuntu control centerAs you know, Ubuntu and Linux are hugely configurable. Find some spare time and you can customize anything starting from the boot up messages to the gradients used on the buttons and the scroll bars. While one might not attempt such extreme feats very often, administration and configuration are standard tasks that you might perform every now and then.

One of the things that irks me about the Ubuntu interface is the fact that you have to find your way among the unusually long Preferences and Administration menu to perform any configuration changes. Things are so much nicer in Windows with the Control panel and even better within Mac OS.

However, as configurable as Linux is, there is almost always a way to tweak it according to your liking. Recently, I found an excellent way to consolidate all the settings in a single panel or window.


It’s called the Ubuntu Control Center. Ubuntu Control Center offers you a central place you can visit for most of your Ubuntu administration needs.

ubuntu control center

Installation is easy. You download a deb package for Ubuntu using the above mentioned Google Code page. At this point, if you try to install using the DEB package, you will most likely get an unresolved dependency error. This is because in addition to the files within the DEB package, Ubuntu Control Center also uses other software like the previously mentioned Hardinfo How to Get Detailed Information & Benchmark Linux System How to Get Detailed Information & Benchmark Linux System Read More , font-manager and the likes to provide you a streamlined administration experience. Of these, you need to install the "font-manager" before you try to install Ubuntu Control Center.

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ubuntu control center

After font-manager is installed, you can proceed with Ubuntu Control Center installation. It should most likely resolve, download and install all other dependencies. Once installed, you will find Ubuntu Control Center listed under Applications > System Tools.

ubuntu control center

Go ahead and run it, you are greeted by a slick interface like the one above. The left side lists categories namely: Software Management, Hardware, Network and Internet, System, Local Disks and Personal Settings. Click on a category and the right pane updates to reveal the configuration tools available in that particular category. "Software Management" for example provides you easy access to Ubuntu Software Center, Software sources, updates, cruft removal and the like. Clicking on a configuration tool will run the same commands and launch the exact same tool and interface as you would have got using the Terminal or the System Menu.

Ubuntu Control Center provides you access to almost all the configuration tools that you will find listed under the long System > Administration menu. In addition to this, Ubuntu Control Center also uses external tools like GuFW for firewall settings and Font-Manager for configuring fonts.

Ubuntu Control Center provides a centralized interface, where in you can access all of the common settings and configuration for your computer. It has an intuitive interface and does a great job of providing easy access to configuration tools. In fact, this is how the things should by default inside Ubuntu. That said, there are a few features that would make a lot of sense if included in Ubuntu Control Center. For starters, there could be a "tweak" section that can list some of the common tweaks that Ubuntu users apply (ala Ubuntu Tweak).

What are your thoughts about the application? Should Ubuntu ship with such an interface out of the box? Let it out in the comments.

  1. Tarek Saber
    August 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    there is something similar to that which is "Gnome control center" which can be enabled in ubuntu without installation, but I wonder why Canonical refuses to include these handy programms to make ubuntu even easier ,i will go with the say that they don't lestin to end users , and thier ubuntu barainstorm "brainstorm.ubuntu.com" website which have some great ideas that the users want is completely ignored.

  2. Tarek Saber
    August 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    there is something similar to that which is "Gnome control center" which can be enabled in ubuntu without installation, but I wonder why Canonical refuses to include these handy programms to make ubuntu even easier ,i will go with the say that they don't lestin to end users , and thier ubuntu barainstorm "brainstorm.ubuntu.com" website which have some great ideas that the users want is completely ignored.

  3. Sqfqf
    June 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    A control center is a very good thing.
    Why doesn't Ubuntu just use and help the Gnome control center project?
    Or whatever it's called.

  4. Sqfqf
    June 14, 2010 at 11:18 am

    A control center is a very good thing.
    Why doesn't Ubuntu just use and help the Gnome control center project?
    Or whatever it's called.

  5. Varun Kashyap
    June 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Hey, Tom seems like you need to install jstest-gtk. You can find it here http://ucc.googlecode.com/file... (for 32 bit) and http://ucc.googlecode.com/file... (for 64 bit)

  6. Tom Markham
    June 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I installed Hardinfo and font-manager, then dl'd UCC. but every attempt to install it comes back with a refusal and the message that the dependency is not "satisfiable - jstest-gtk". I was careful to run apt-get and aptitude updates before installing each package. What am I doing wrong

  7. Kevin
    June 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    http://sites.google.com/site/ubuntucontrolcenter/downloads

    links to font-manager and jstest-gsk

  8. SJK68
    June 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanks Miguel! Sometimes the simplest is the most obvious! All installed well after installing jstest-gtk.

    "Miguel (unregistered) wrote, in response to SJK68 (unregistered):
    jstest-gtk is on the same page for downloading
    http://code.google.com/p/ucc/d..."

  9. SJK68
    June 1, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Thanks Miguel! Sometimes the simplest is the most obvious! All installed well after installing jstest-gtk.

    "Miguel (unregistered) wrote, in response to SJK68 (unregistered):
    jstest-gtk is on the same page for downloading
    http://code.google.com/p/ucc/downloads/list"

  10. siff
    June 1, 2010 at 10:50 am

    You can get it here:

    http://gtk-apps.org/content/sh...

  11. Miguel
    June 1, 2010 at 3:18 am

    jstest-gtk is on the same page for downloading
    http://code.google.com/p/ucc/d...

  12. SJK68
    May 31, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Kind of a Linux noob here, but after installing font-manager, now it looks like I am missing jstest-gsk . After searching, I am confused on how to install jstest. Can someone point me to an easy way to install that?

  13. omer
    May 31, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    ubuntu sould defenetly come with this by defult

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