Customize Ubuntu and Unity

This is mostly a checklist for myself, might end up as a script, who knows?

Applications & Indicators

Unity Tweak Tool

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Compiz Settings Manager

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

System Load indicator

sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

Search for “System Load Indicator” in dash to enable it.

Workspace indicator

sudo apt-get install python-wnck python-appindicator
cd ~/Downloads
wget ""
sudo dpkg -i indicator-workspaces_0.6.4_all.deb
indicator-workspaces & disown

Right click on the indicator, chose “Preferences” and check “Start indicator at login”.


sudo apt-get install redshift-gtk

Unity Launcher

Flatten launcher icons

Remove icon “backdrop” in the Unity launcher, to get a cleaner look.

git clone
cd unity-flatify-icons

Remove animations and decorations

Start the settings manager by pressing Alt+F2 and entering about:config. Go to the “Launcher” tab and scroll down to the bottom. Set “Launcher Backlight Mode” to “Backlight Always Off” and “Launcher Icon Launch Animation” to “None”.


Arc Unity/GTK3 theme

sudo apt-key add - < Release.key && rm -rf Release.key sudo sh -c "echo 'deb /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/arc-theme.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install arc-theme

Emerald-dark icon theme

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install emerald-icons-theme

Source Code Pro font

cd ~/Downlods
wget ""
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/fonts
cd ~/.local/share/fonts
unzip ~/Downloads/
fc-cache -f

X11 cursor

Using Obsidian theme which is downloadable from

cd ~/Downloads
cd /usr/share/icons
sudo tar jxvf ~/Downlods/Obsidian.tar.bz2
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme x-cursor-theme /usr/share/icons/Obsidian/index.theme 20
sudo update-alternatvies --set x-cursor-theme /usr/share/icons/Obsidian/index.theme
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme "Obsidian" 
sudo cat <<EOF >> /etc/X11/Xresources/x11-common
Xcursor.size: 24
Xcursor.theme: Obsidian


Disable the grid in lightdm

This disables the grid both at login and after locking the screen.

gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-grid false
sudo xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm
sudo su lightdm -s /bin/bash
gsettings set com.canonical.unity-greeter draw-grid false

Update a port to a newer version

So, you know a new version of a software has been released, but the port maintainer isn’t fast enough to satisfy your bleeding edge need; here’s how you’d do it:

  1. Update Makefile, variables like PORTVERSION and any other variables used to identify the package to download.
  2. Make sure that it is possible to download the new package and generate distinfo:
    make makesum
  3. Generate the pkg-plist file so that all the new files is correctly pointed out:
    make makeplist > pkg-plist
    awk '/etc\/rc.d\/plexmediaserver/,/^$/' pkg-plist > tmp && mv tmp pkg-plist
  4. Then it’s just a matter of re-installing the ports:
    make distclean && make && make reinstall clean

Courtesy of mikec_pt on the Plex Forums [].

Building the Darwin Streaming Server in Ubuntu

Me and a colleague tried building the Darwin Streaming server on Ubuntu Server 13.10 with the help of this guide [].

It did not go as well as we were hoping due to build errors. After some troubleshooting (all credit goes to my colleague), it turned out that the linking of libraries was not done recursively. So even though the correct libraries was included in LDFLAGS it wouldn’t work.

With the following two changes, we got rid of the build errors:

$ cd lstoll*
$ find . -name "Makefile.*" -exec sed -i 's/-lQTFileExternalLib/-lQTFileExternalLib -lpthread/' {} \;
$ sed -i 's/-lQTFileLib/-lQTFileLib -ldl/' Makefile.POSIX