The joy of customizing Ubuntu

One of the best things about Linux is the freedom to do almost anything you want with it. So when I started using Ubuntu Linux, one of the first things I did after a fresh install is customizing it to look and behave like Apple’s OS X. It’s a hack to get the best of both worlds: a taste of the OS X experience because it is a great operating system and still be able to use free and open-source software that is Linux. Both OS traces its roots to Unix so that should take care of any philosophical hang-ups and make customization easy.

There are a lot of good tutorials out there, just make sure that it’s up to date and it matches your Linux distro or flavor of Ubuntu. As for me, I’ve stopped customizing my Ubuntu installation to look & behave like OS X mainly for two reasons: appreciation for the GNOME desktop environment and my minimalist attitude towards software, eye-candy like fancy animations or icon sets should be as light on system resources as possible. It’s also the reason I loved Google Nexus phones because it ran on stock or pure Android.

More than a month since going back to using Ubuntu as my main OS and it’s only been a couple of days since I changed the default wallpaper and the biggest customization so far is the installation of GNOME Tweaks tool to refine small bits of the OS: showing what day of the week it is, the battery percentage, managing Workspaces and replacing the default dock with Dash to Dock.

The last piece of customization is installing “Albert” an app launcher similar to macOS Spotlight. Everything was wrapped up by adding shortcuts to my most-used websites and apps. With that, my personal Ubuntu setup is now complete.

My customized Ubuntu 20.04 with GNOME Tweaks and Albert app launcher

If you’re also using Ubuntu and have made your own customization, feel free to share about it in the comments below or slide into my inbox with some screenshots. I’d love to see what you came up with.


Back on focus with Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

After more than seven years I’m finally back to using Ubuntu Linux as my main OS. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed using Mac OS and Windows however nothing beats the feeling of using Linux. Free and open-source software has a special appeal for me. Hardcore Linux users would probably scoff at my choice of distro, I fully understand that and would not argue that Ubuntu is the best. It’s just that for my needs and level of proficiency, it’s perfect.

Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa running on my new Lenovo Ideapad S145 notebook

So the moment I got my new notebook yesterday, I set it up to dual-boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. It’s been a great and smooth experience so far. You can check out OMG Ubuntu’s round-up of what’s new with this latest release of Ubuntu or you can go ahead and get it from the official website. A review of both Focal Fossa and my new notebook would be posted next week.