Ubuntu Fix Annoying Things
Here lies some steps of things to unfuck some default settings from Ubuntu and or its default applications, desktops, etc that I find awful. Note that these are the opinions of someone who expects to mostly navigate by keyboard, and has not used Windows since Win2k or so, primarily switching to XFCE for many years, which mostly has the same behavior of classic windows.
Why aren't I still running XFCE then? On my current work laptop - Dell XPS 13 9370 - many things simply didnt work properly - touchpad, power management, etc. After months of frustration and realizing that a coworkers laptop had no issues with stock Ubuntu LTS, I switched, only to find many issues that seem mind bogglingly incorrect.
Here are my fixes, mainly for my own documentation
Super+R "Run" Behavior
- Expectation: Mimic Windows 'run' behavior with Super (aka windows key) + R Key combo:
- Reality: nah
- Fix: Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts, Show the run prompt map to Super+R
- Expectation: Switch between windows including important visual cues (highlight window, show a popup of windows)
- Reality: By default, it switches between app groups, not windows (like OSX does)
- Fix: Nothing great, Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts, re-map key to use the Alt-Esc method instead (which highlights borders but does not show pop up)
- Expectation: Alt-Tab is instant
- Reality: Ubuntu 18 introduced intentional lag because ???
- Fix: Install and run gnome-tweaks, Extensions -> Alt-Tab switcher popup delay removal: On
- Expectation: Alt+Shift+Tab goes back in list
- Reality: Nah
- Fix: ??
UI and Desktop
- Expectation: You can see a list of apps
- Reality: you have to know what apps exist first because you have to start typing it
- Fix: Use Dash to Panel extension. Install per below, log out/in and then run gnome-tweaks, Extensions -> Applications Menu: On. Makes it win95-like.
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-panel gnome-tweaks
- Expectation: Have one main menu bar with applications, status icons, etc
- Reality: Nah here's a bar on the left and a bar on the top, both containing half of these things and wasting space
- Fix: Use Dash to Panel extension. Install per below, log out/in and then run gnome-tweaks, Extensions -> Dash to Panel: On. I further went in to settings to move it to the top
- Expectation: A suspend button exists, somewhere, literally anywhere
- Reality: It's hiding "behind" the power button on the dropdown, visible when one presses alt, and you'd have no way to know this in advance.
- Fix: Since above is stupid, install Suspend Button extension, requires logging off/on or a reboot.
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extension-suspend-button
- Expectation: When browsing a list of files, start typing to skip to that section of the list instantly
- Reality: When you start typing it starts doing a filesystem search of your current directory, slowly. Your intended item may or may not be at the top.
- Fix: Replace the default Nautilus file manager with nautilus-typeahead
- Expectation: Have reasonable shortcuts to open new tabs, set tab titles, and cycle through them
- Reality: Nah (cant set tab titles at all), shortctuts are different than expected
- Fix: Use xfce4-terminal instead