Wallpaper changer

Sick of seeing the same wallpaper over and over again?
You have a lot of nice raytracing pictures and would like to see all of them from time to time?

Change your wallpapers easily with any of the following applications.


Wallpaper Tray
The application lets you add directories, wallpapers are then randomly selected at login or at a given interval. You can also search your wallpaper collection, and delete wallpapers you don't like anymore.
The tray icon changes to the actual image set as wallpaper.
This one is my first selection for changing wallpapers.
Install with
sudo aptitude install wallpaper-tray
or Synaptic.

Desktop Drapes
I used this first and has the advantage that it shows if a wallpaper fits well to your chosen screen resolution.
It's big problem is that it will not include all pictures when you add a folder to your wallpaper collection. It only supports one folder for images, but you can add single pictures as well.
Install with
sudo aptitude install drapes
or Synaptic or Applications main menu.

Webilder delivers stunning wallpapers to your Linux desktop, directly from Flickr and Webshots. You choose what keywords (tags) to watch for, and photos are automatically downloaded to your computer. Webilder can also change the wallpaper every few minutes.
I haven't tried this one yet...

Automatic startup

Any of these applications won't start automatically when restarting your session.
Therefore, you'll have to create an entry in the list of startu programs which can be found in System-->Preferences-->Sessions
Have a look at my tutorial for the Advanced Window Manager for an example.

More languages in Evolution

Evolution provides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop.


For me, there's only one reason I would use Evolution instead of Thunderbird:
  • Evolution can use Outlook Exchange accounts (like the one I have to use in the office).


  • It is only for Linux systems.
  • Insufficient edition possibilities when composing messages (no lists, no embedded images, ...)
  • Simple filters didn't worked for me.
  • Evolution can't be deinstalled from Ubuntu, because it is somehow linked to several applications, so uninstalling Evolution forces you to uninstall applications like Nautilus.
    This reminds me on IExplorer on Windows.

Tips & Tricks

More languages

By default, Evolution comes only with your systems language.
If you need more languages for spell checking, you have to install the corresponding aspell packages, for example:
sudo apt-get install aspell-de

Restart Evolution, and select the new languages for spell checking.

View Office documents

There's OpenOffice so why should I bother to install the Microsoft Office Suite?
  1. Some MS Office documents aren't displayed right with OpenOffice. There are few ones, but it still happens.
  2. Documents with Macros often aren't handled.
  3. You just don't want to start OpenOffice to see a PowerPoint that a friend has send you via email, because it isn't immediately.
Okay, these are some reasons, but I still don't want to install this huge Suite or I'm using Linux so this is no choice.

You don't have to.
There exist free tools from Microsoft which can display Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents, without having installed the Office Suite.
Moreover, they work perfectly with Wine on Linux.

They are simple Viewers, you can't edit the documents, but printing works as well.

You can find them here:

DVD Ripper

On Ubuntu, several tools are available. The following three can be installed right from the application menu.


I recommend this tool, because it's fast and has a lot of options for tweaking the final output.
+ It lets you encode with several codecs
+ lets you specifying the final movie size
+ visual clipping and scaling
+ normalizing audio, multiple audio languages
+ subtitle handling
- Only supports 3 container formats (Avi, Ogg, Mpeg), not Matroska f.ex.
- Audio only in mp3 or AC3, not AAC f.ex.

Install note:

You should install additional software for being able to use all features:
sudo -i
apt-get install xvid4conf

AcidRip DVD Ripper

- Only Avi and Mpeg container
- Doesn't save your setup
- A bit confusing interface

Thoggen DVD Rip

+ Quick and easy setup of encoding
- Only supports Ogg for audio and Theora for video
- Slow encoding