Gain More Control Of Your Ubuntu System With Ubuntu Tweak [Linux]

Danny Stieben 01-03-2012

ubuntu tweakIf you’ve recently installed Ubuntu on your system for the first time, you have probably been busy playing around with it as much as you can. Indeed, the popular Linux distribution is fun to mess with and work on, no matter what kind of user you are. However, you may be interested in controlling your system even more to get the absolute most out of it. Terminals have usually been the way to go for things like this, but on Ubuntu you have another choice: Ubuntu Tweak.


About Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak is a fantastic graphical tool to configure all sorts of things on your computer. You can configure lots of tweaks that apply to just your user account, deep admin settings, or run janitorial duties to make your system run more like a freshly installed one. Ubuntu Tweak has been mentioned a few times here at MakeUseOf before (if you’re curious, you can view the article here 4 Simple Tools for Tweaking Ubuntu's Look and Feel Do you like Ubuntu, but wish it behaved differently? Don't worry, there are a variety of ways to tweak Ubuntu to your liking. It's been a key criticism since the launch of Unity, that Ubuntu... Read More , among others), but Ubuntu Tweak has been completely redesigned from the ground up since the release of Ubuntu 11.10 10 Ways to Make Ubuntu 16.04 Feel Like Home Ubuntu 16.04 is an LTS release, so you get five years of updates, and not have to worry about installing a new version for a while. But what do you do once you've installed Ubuntu... Read More , so it’s worth taking another look.


Installation is very easy, despite taking an nontraditional pathway. Simply visit this page and click on “Download Now!”. Open the downloaded .deb file with the Ubuntu Software Center, and click on “Install”. Once it finishes, you’ll have Ubuntu Tweak installed and ready to go. If Ubuntu Tweak receives any updates, they will automatically come via the Update Manager as the installation also adds Ubuntu Tweak’s own repository to your sources list.


ubuntu tweak
The newly redesigned Ubuntu Tweak is very easy to use. The first page, named Overview, shows you some basic hardware, OS information, basic janitorial information, and update status information that might be handy for you. Aside from that, there’s not much else on this page.


tweak for ubuntu
The more interesting things happen past the Overview page. When you click on Tweaks, you can enable Ubuntu Tweak to make specific changes for many parts of your system, including Fonts, Themes, Compiz, Nautilus, and more. There are many tweaks present for each component, so listing them all here would take way too much space. Plus, exploring what Ubuntu Tweak can do is also part of the fun! Trust me, though, because all tweaks that come with Ubuntu Tweak are definitely worth your time.


tweak for ubuntu
Going over to the admin page, you’ll see less tweakable components listed, but even these few are very good. You can look at the file type manager as well as the sources editor, but on a more interesting note, there is also something called “Desktop Recovery”. This component of Ubuntu Tweak lets you backup your desktop, application, and system settings so that you can easily restore them to another computer or after a reinstallation.



ubuntu tweak
Last but not least is the Janitor page, which will probably be the most-used part of Ubuntu Tweak (unless you use something else, like BleachBit BleachBit - A Utility To Clean Up Your Linux System Read More ). Here you can clean out thumbnails as well as lots of system “crap”, like unneeded packages, unused configurations, and old kernels. Running this occasionally can give you back a good 1GB or so, as you can see from the screenshot above.


That’s about it! You can also install and enable extensions for Ubuntu Tweak by clicking on the settings icon in the top right area of the window, but I find the functionality of the app as it is to be very sufficient. The only thing I’d like to see added back from previous versions of Ubuntu Tweak is the list of suggested PPA repositories so that you can run additional or updated software without having to always update to the latest version of Ubuntu whenever one is released.

Do you use Ubuntu Tweak? What are your favorite tweaks that it has to offer? Are there other Ubuntu apps similar to this you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Linux Tweaks, Ubuntu.

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  1. the big e
    March 2, 2012 at 2:09 am

    For some reason I had Ubuntu Tweak one Ubuntu version ago but it disappeared when I upgraded Ubuntu. 

    For some reason Ubuntu Tweak is not in the collection of things that you can download from the Software Center.

    What's going on there?

    • Danny Stieben
      March 5, 2012 at 2:06 am

      The source for the old version of Ubuntu Tweak was most likely removed, and Ubuntu Tweak isn't included in the Ubuntu default repositories. You'll need to re-download it from the website.

  2. Cicas
    March 2, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Works on wattOS R4:) Though not this latest version since wattOS R4 is based on natty..
    Also thank you for mentioning BleachBit:) much better than computer-janitor..

  3. Ravi Lamontagne
    March 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I notice that when i adjust the inactive window transparency the program immediately closes. Maybe that's a bug

  4. burntcookie90
    March 2, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Anything similar for Linux Mint 11, or could this work?

    • Ravi Lamontagne
      March 2, 2012 at 12:35 am

       Im not sure, try it to see

    • Cicas
      March 2, 2012 at 2:29 am

      It works on my wattOS, which is Ubuntu 11.04 based. I just had to pick up some earlier version from the download page. Since Mint is also Ubuntu-based it should work OK, just ensure you've downloaded a proper version. ;)

    • Chubonga
      March 5, 2012 at 1:09 am

       Yes, you can use it in Linux Mint. I had it installed till I switched to Ubuntu 11.10

    • Danny Stieben
      March 5, 2012 at 2:08 am

      It should work under Linux Mint, but not LMDE.

      In case you have any issues with the source, it may help to change the source name from whatever the codename is for that release of LM to Ubuntu's codename "oneiric".

  5. Ravi Lamontagne
    March 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks alot for this info @Danny I really appreciate it. Already i was able to save 1+ Gbytes using janitor.

    • Danny Stieben
      March 5, 2012 at 2:08 am

      No problem, Ravi!