Thursday 27 May 2010

Saving vertical space with Ubuntu Lucid

This post was inpired by another post from webupd8 but this time I kinda made my own little twist to it.

Ok, first I'll start from the beginning before I get all mixed up. I always been interested on saving vertical space as I own a 12" netbook. I already made some reference on saving vertical space with Firefox on this post. This post is more like a sum of different post I seen and I adopted what I thought it suited my needs. Of course everyone is going to make their own version of it, but for what it's worth here is mine.

      1.- For start I remove the bottom panel in Ubuntu only using the top panel to display everything I need. This is great for saving vertical space but at the same time it leads to some compromises of the amount of things you can display on the top panel.

      2.- Removing the date/temperature from been always visible on the top panel may save you some horizontal space for displaying other things but of course this is more of a personal choise, some people may want to have those visible all the time.

      3.- We will need to switch between windows, add to the panel the window list. I also use this to see the window title. I know there are other applications that will show the window title like window title and namebar applets (more about that on this post) but like I said I'm doing my own version. And I don't think there is a need for window title when is already displayed in the window list and I think this is enough at least for me.

      4.- Next step is to remove the window title and add some buttons to the panel for maximized windows, and there is a little application that those all that. The easiest way to install it is through this PPA, in this PPA there are also namebar and window title that I already mention. Just install the gnome-window-applets and then add the window buttons to the panel. I added mine to the very left of the panel to keep with the consistency Ubuntu look. Here is the Ambience theme for the window button applet that I got from this post

      To have the window buttons work with Chromium I recommend setting the "use system title bar and borders" option in chromium and the setting from window button will take care of the rest. 

      Make sure you check the option "Hide compiz decorations for maximzed windows" under preferences, behaviors tab in the window buttons applet.

      5.- And my last tip would be to remove the Ubuntu menu and install the LinuxMint main menu instead. You can install it from the webupd8 PPA which I already posted about. The LinuxMint main menu will save you horizontal space for displaying all the things we need to display and it's a great menu. I got my icon from "/usr/share/icons/ubuntu-mono-dark/actions/16" folder.

      ***EDIT*** 6.- I'm just going to add one more tip here about saving horizontal space by removing you name from the memenu by typing this on the terminal:

      gconftool -s /system/indicator/me/display --type int 0

      You also edit it by typing "gconf-editor" into the terminal and then going to "system->indicator->me" and changing the display value to "0".
      The valid values are:
      0 - No name 1 - with name 2 - default

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