Chapter 10: Personalizing Ubuntu: Getting Everything Just Right

An excerpt from Beginning Ubuntu Linux: From Novice to Professional by Keir Thomas, published by Apress.
Power Saving—Is It Worth It?

An average computer draws anywhere between 100 to 500 watts of power. An average light bulb draws around 150 watts of power, so you can see that, relatively speaking, computers are low power consumers compared to many household devices. However, it's still worth considering employing power-saving techniques. You might not save yourself a lot of money, but if you switch on power saving, and your neighbor does too, and her neighbor does, then the cumulative effect will add up, and we can all contribute less towards global warming.

Try to avoid leaving your computer turned on overnight, or when you're away from it for long periods. As well as saving power, switching off your computer will avoid wear and tear on its components. Although the CPU can work 24/7 without trouble, it's cooled by a fan that's a simple mechanical device. There are other fans in your computer too, such as the graphics card fan and case fan. Each of these will eventually wear out. If your graphics card fan stops working, the card itself will overheat and might burn out. The same is true of the CPU fan. However, by shutting down your computer overnight, you can effectively double the life of the fans and radically reduce the risk of catastrophic failure. Isn't that worth considering?


In this chapter, you've learned how to completely personalize Ubuntu to your own tastes. We've looked at changing the theme so that the desktop has a new appearance, and we've examined how to make the input devices behave exactly as you would like.

In addition, you've learned how to add and remove applets from the desktop in order to add functionality or simply make Ubuntu work the way you would like.

Finally, we looked at the power-saving functions under Ubuntu and how you can avoid your computer wasting energy.

In the next chapter, we will look at what programs are available under Ubuntu to replace those Windows favorites you might miss.



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Ya Linux is awesome i am

Jack's picture

Ya Linux is awesome i am running a dual boot of vista and ubuntu... linux is great so far how can i customize more any websites anyone can direct me too

On Ubuntu Edgy use this

Anonymous's picture

On Ubuntu Edgy use this command for configuring font:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

You should mention which

Jaques Haas's picture

You should mention which version of Ubuntu you're using. I'm using 6.10, and lots of the tools you describe aren't where you say they are. For example, I have no configuration editor. A few other things too.

Good guide though, and thanks.

The configuration editor is

Anonymous's picture

The configuration editor is there, you just need to add it to the menu bar. I believe if you go to the menu and click add, you will be able to select it.

Ubuntu Rocks. Who Needs Windows Vista

Comp keyboard's picture

Windows Vista is going to launch pretty soon, but I am definitely not excited about that. Who want to pay extra hundreds dollars when you can get ubuntu for free and more stable operating system?

ugh...not vista

Durand's picture

well, im glad im not the only one who thinks like that!