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    Dual Booting Ubuntu With Windows 10 Pro With BitLocker Encryption

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Thursday, 11 February - 15:10 · 12 minutes

I have written about dual booting Windows and Ubuntu in the past. The process has improved so much in the last few years. Ubuntu and other Linux play very well with secure boot and UEFI now.

So, why I am I writing about installing Ubuntu with Windows 10 once again? Because these days Windows 10 Pro version comes with BitLocker encryption and hence when you try to dual boot like normal, it either refuses or creates issue.

I noticed it with my new Dell XPS 13. I bought the last Dell XPS in France and it was preinstalled with Ubuntu. Unfortunately, Dell India had no option other than buying the Windows 10 version. In a way, that’s good because it helped me to write this tutorial.

To be honest, dual booting with BitLocker encrypted disk is also not complicated. It just involves the extra step of disabling encryption before starting the dual boot and re-enable it after installing Linux.

Don’t worry. I won’t leave you just like that with my words. I’ll show you each and every step with appropriate details.

Installing Ubuntu with BitLocker Encrypted Windows 10

Please keep in mind that I have used Ubuntu here, but the steps should be applicable to Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based distributions as well.

Attention!

This dual boot guide is exclusively for systems that have Windows 10 installed with BitLocker. Since it is relatively a newer thing, the steps are only for UEFI systems with GPT portioning scheme. Please check your system first before following the steps.

I also recommend reading the entire steps before you start following it. This may help you locate pain points and you may prepare accordingly.

Prerequisite

Here are the things you need:

  • A Windows 10 system with BitLocker encryption.
  • A USB key (also known as pen drive or USB drive) of at least 4 GB in size and no data on it.
  • Microsoft account for saving the recovery key of BitLocker encryption (external USB can be used as well but MS account will be more convenient).
  • Internet connection.
  • Optional: External USB disk for making back up of your data.
  • Optional: Windows recovery disk.
  • Some time and patience (mandatory).

Step 1: Make a backup of your important data on an external disk

This is optional yet recommended. You should make a backup of your important files on an external disk because you are going to deal with disk partitions.

If you are not sure of anything, I suggest look for documents, music, movies and other important stuff you must not lose and copy them on an external USB disk. You can use an external HDD (slower but cheaper) or SSD (faster but expensive).

You may also use a pen drive for copying files and storing it on some other computer (if you have more than one system).

If possible, have a Windows 10 recovery disk with you (optional)

This one is optional too but could be helpful if anything goes wrong. You could fix the boot records and restore Windows.

Step 2: Verify that you have BitLocker encrypted disk

First thing first, check if you actually have BitLocker encryption enabled. How do you do that? It’s simple. Go to file explorer and check if your main drive has a lock displayed.

Verify If Bitlocker On System

Alternatively, just search for BitLocker in Windows menu and see if you have BitLocker settings.

Bitlocker Settings Bitlocker Settings

Step 3: Back up recovery key and disable BitLocker encryption

Now that you know that you have BitLocker encryption enabled on your system, the next step is to disable it.

Before you do that, you must back up your recovery key. It is a 40 digit key to reset BitLocker encryption. Why? Because you are going to change the boot settings and BitLocker won’t like that. It will ask you to enter the recovery key to ensure that your encrypted disk is in safe hands.

Bitlocker Encryption Windows

You may back up the key on an external USB disk or to your Microsoft account. I saved it to my Microsoft account because it is easier to keep track of the recovery keys at one central place. Of course, you must ensure that you have access to a Microsoft account .

Back Up Recovery Key

Verify that your recovery key is properly saved by going to this link and logging into your Microsoft account.

Once you have saved the recovery key, disable BitLocker encryption. The decryption process may take some time depending on how much disk space you had already utilized.

While you wait for the decryption to complete, you should go on and download Ubuntu ISO. Once BitLocker is disabled, you would notice that the lock has disappeared from the drive icon.

Step 4: Download Ubuntu ISO

Download Ubuntu Desktop

While the disk is being decrypted, you should utilize the time in downloading the ISO image of Ubuntu desktop version. It’s a single file of around 2 GB in size and you may download it directly or use torrent if you have a slow and inconsistent internet.

Step 5: Create a live USB of Ubuntu

Once you have got the ISO, you should get a tool for making the bootable live USB of Ubuntu .

You may use Etcher on Linux , Windows and macOS. However, the way Etcher creates a bootable disk leaves the USB in a weird state and you’ll have a difficult time formatting the disk after the dual boot is over.

For this reason, you are using Windows, I recommend using a free tool like Rufus. Download Rufus from its website.

Plug in the USB key. Since the USB will be formatted, make sure it doesn’t consist of any important data.

Rufus automatically identifies the plugged in USB keys but it will still be a good idea to make sure that it is pointing to the correct USB. Then you should browse to the location of the downloaded ISO image.

You must ensure that it uses GPT partitioning scheme and UEFI target system.

Make Live Usb With Rufus

Hit the start button to initiate the process of live USB creation. If asked, choose ‘Write in ISO Image mode’:

Making Live Usb With Rufus

It will take a few minutes to complete the process. Once you have the live USB ready, the next step is the actual installation of Ubuntu Linux.

Step 6: Boot from live USB

With the live USB of Ubuntu plugged in to your Windows system, it’s time to boot into this live system. There are two ways to do that:

  1. Restart the system and at the boot time, press F2/F10 or F12 to access boot settings. From here, move ‘booting from removable media’ up the order to boot from USB.
  2. From within Windows, access UEFI settings and choose to boot from removable media. This will reboot the system and you’ll be booting from the USB.

I prefer the second method because you may have difficulties in with boot settings from the first method.

In the Windows menu, search for UEFI and click on ‘Change advanced startup options’:

Accessing Uefi Settings Windows

Under the Advanced startup option, click on Restart now button.

Access Uefi Settings Windows

On the next screen, click on ‘Use a device’:

Access Uefi Settings Windows 1

Recognize the USB disk with its name and size:

Access Uefi Settings Windows 2

Now it will power off your system and reboot into the disk you chose which should be the live USB disk.

Step 7: Installing Ubuntu with Windows

When you boot from the live USB, you should see the GRUB screen that presents you the option to try Ubuntu in live USB or install it right away. You may go with either option.

Ubuntu Live Install Screen Booting into live Ubuntu USB

If you chose to try live USB, you should see the installation option on the desktop screen.

Start Installing Ubuntu Start Ubuntu installation from live session

Clicking it will start the installation procedure that starts with choosing language and keyboard layout.

On the next screen, it asks for the kind of installation. Go with Normal installation. No need to download updates or install third-party software just yet. You may do it after installation completes. In my experience, it increases the installation duration and may create issues at times. I prefer to avoid it.

Install Ubuntu by replacing Windows Go with normal installation

It takes a little time and then you see the Installation type screen. This is one of the most important parts of the dual booting procedure.

If you see the ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager’, it’s good news. You can proceed with the rest of the installation.

Ubuntu Installation Type Choose to install alongside Windows

But if you are one of the unlucky ones who don’t see this option, you’ll have to quit the installation and do some additional efforts that I have explained under the expandable section.

What to do if you don’t see ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows’ option?

Here’s what you should be doing. Quit the installation. Power off the live Ubuntu session, take out the live USB and turn on the system again.

When you boot into Windows, go to Disk Management settings. Here, shrink your C Drive (or D/E/F drives wherever you have plenty of free space) and make some free space like 50, 100 GB or more.

Disk partitioning for dual booting Windows and Ubuntu

Once you have the free space, repeat the procedure from step 6. Which means boot from the USB and start the installation procedure. When you see the Installation type screen again, go with Something Else this time.

Install Ubuntu Something Else

It will take you to the partitioning screen. Here, you can use the free space you created earlier for installing Ubuntu.

partition on Ubuntu Windows 8 dual boot

You may choose to allocate the entire free space to root ( swapfile and home will be created automatically under root) or you can separate root, swap and home partitioning. Both methods are fine.

Creating partition for Ubuntu installation

Once the partition is in place, click on Install now and follow the rest of the tutorial.

Things are pretty straightforward from here. You’ll be asked to select a timezone.

Installing Ubuntu Timezone Selection

You’ll be asked to enter a username, hostname (computer’s name) and a password. Pretty obvious, right?

Installing Ubuntu Account Setup

Now it’s just the matter of waiting. It should take 8-10 minutes to complete the installation.

Installing Ubuntu

Once the installation finishes, restart the system.

Restart After Installing Ubuntu Restart after installation completes

You’ll be asked to remove the USB disk. You can remove the disk at this stage without worrying. The system reboots after this.

Ubuntu Finished Installation Remove USB and press enter

If everything went smooth, you should see the grub screen once the system powers on. Here, you can choose Ubuntu to boot into Ubuntu and Windows boot manager to boot into Windows. Pretty cool, right?

Dual Boot Grub Screen You can choose the operating system from the grub screen

If you don’t see the option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows, quit the installation, turn off the system and boot into Windows. Here, make some free space on your disk by shrinking your disk size.

What are your option if you don’t see the grub screen?

In some unfortunate cases, you may not see the grub screen. There are a few possibilities here.

If it boots straight into Windows, go to UEFI boot settings and see if there is an option for Ubuntu along with Windows. If yes, try to move Ubuntu up in the boot order.

If you see grub rescue screen, you may try to fix the boot issue by booting into live Ubuntu USB and use the boot repair tool .

If you are not able to fix the grub error and getting panic attack, calm down. You can revert to Windows. Go into UEFI boot settings and use Windows boot manager to boot into Windows. Here, delete the Ubuntu partition to claim the disk space and from the UEFI boot settings, delete the Ubuntu/grub boot file.

If you are not able to boot into Windows at all (extremely rare case), it is time to utilize the Windows recovery disk and the backup you had made earlier.

When you boot into Ubuntu, you should see this welcome screen.

Ubuntu After Booting Ubuntu first run

You are at penultimate stage. The only remaining part is to re-enable BitLocker for your Windows partitioning, if you want encryption again. You may leave it unencrypted as well. It’s really up to you.

Step 8: Enable Bitlocker after installing Ubuntu successfully

Restart your system and select Windows boot manager at the grub screen to boot into Windows. In Windows, go to BitLocker settings and click on ‘Turn on BitLocker’ option.

Re Enable Bitlocker Re Enable BitLocker

Here’s an important thing. Each time you disable and re-enable BitLocker the recovery key changes. This is why you’ll be asked to back up your recovery key once again. Save it to your account once again.

Back Up Recovery Key Again Back up recovery key again

On the next step, it asks if you want to encrypt the entire disk or only the used space. You can choose either option depending on your need.

Encrypt Disk With Bitlocker Encrypt disk space With BitLocker

Go with the new encryption mode:

Encryption Type Encryption Type

Start the encryption. Please keep in mind that encrypting the disk will take some time (based on your used disk space) and consumes considerable processing power. Have patience.

Bitlocker Encryption Completed

Things look all set. Before ending the tutorial, I’ll also show you what to do when Windows asks for the BitLocker recovery key.

Bonus Tip: Using BitLocker recovery (when asked for it)

When you re-enable BitLocker, it can sense that the boot settings has been changed. For that reason, it will ask for the recovery key when you try to boot into Windows after re-enabling BitLocker.

It mentions the recovery key ID. The first eight characters are important to identify the correct recovery key.

Bitlocker Recovery Key BitLocker asking for recovery key

On a mobile device or on another computer or boot into Ubuntu and then access your Microsoft account and look at the saved recovery keys.

You may have more than one recovery keys on the account of saving the key multiple times. This is where the recovery key ID comes in handy. Take a note of the 40 digit recovery key associated to that recovery key ID.

Bitlocker Recovery Keys Ms Account BitLocker recovery keys in Microsoft account

Enter this recovery key to unlock BitLocker and access Windows.

Don’t worry. It won’t ask you for the recovery key every time you boot into Windows. It is just when you make a change in the boot settings.

Were you able to successfully dual boot Windows 10 with Ubuntu and BitLocker?

I know it was long read with too many steps and images. I actually tried to give you all the necessary details so that you don’t feel uncomfortable or lost at any stage. I am also working on a video for these steps so that you can see things in action.

If you tried the tutorial, did it work for you? Do you still have problems or questions? Please feel free to ask in the comment section.

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    How to Add Fingerprint Login in Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 9 February - 09:30 · 3 minutes

Many high-end laptops come with fingerprint readers these days. Windows and macOS have been supporting fingerprint login for some time. In desktop Linux, the support for fingerprint login was more of geeky tweaks but GNOME and KDE have started supporting it through system settings.

This means that on newer Linux distribution versions, you can easily use fingerprint reading. I am going to enable fingerprint login in Ubuntu here but you may use the steps on other distributions running GNOME 3.38.

Prerequisite

This is obvious, of course. Your computer must have a fingerprint reader.

This method works for any Linux distribution running GNOME version 3.38 or higher. If you are not certain, you may check which desktop environment version you are using .

KDE 5.21 also has a fingerprint manager. The screenshots will look different, of course.

Adding fingerprint login in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

Go to Settings and the click on Users from left sidebar. You should see all the user account on your system here. You’ll see several option including Fingerprint Login .

Click on the Fingerprint Login option here.

Enable Fingerprint Ubuntu Enable fingerprint login in Ubuntu

It will immediately ask you to scan a new fingerprint. When you click the + sign to add a fingerprint, it presents a few predefined options so that you can easily identify which finger or thumb it is.

You may of course scan left thumb by clicking right index finger though I don’t see a good reason why you would want to do that.

Adding Fingerprint Login Ubuntu Adding fingerprint

While adding the fingerprint, rotate your finger or thumb as directed.

Adding Fingerprint Ubuntu Linux Rotate your finger

Once the system registers the entire finger, it will give you a green signal that the fingerprint has been added.

Fingerprint Added Ubuntu Fingerprint successfully added

If you want to test it right away, lock the screen by pressing Super+L keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu and then using the fingerprint for login.

Login With Fingerprint Ubuntu Login With Fingerprint in Ubuntu

Experience with fingerprint login on Ubuntu

Fingerprint login is what its name suggests: login using your fingerprint. That’s it. You cannot use your finger when it asks for authentication for programs that need sudo access. It’s not a replacement of your password.

One more thing. The fingerprint login allows you to log in but you cannot use your finger when your system asks for sudo password. The keyring in Ubuntu also remains locked.

Another annoying thing is because of GNOME’s GDM login screen. When you login, you have to click on your account first to get to the password screen. This is where you can use your finger. It would have been nicer to not bothered about clicking the user account ID first.

I also notice that fingerprint reading is not as smooth and quick as it is in Windows. It works, though.

If you are somewhat disappointed with the fingerprint login on Linux, you may disable it. Let me show you the steps in the next section.

Disable fingerprint login

Disabling fingerprint login is pretty much the same as enabling it in the first place.

Go to Settings→User and then click on Fingerprint Login option. It will show a screen with options to add more fingerprints or delete the existing ones. You need to delete the existing fingerprints.

Disable Fingerprint Login Disable Fingerprint Login

Fingerprint login does have some benefits, specially for lazy people like me. I don’t have to type my password every time I lock the screen and I am happy with the limited usage.

Enabling sudo with fingerprint should not be entirely impossible with PAM . I remember that when I set up face unlock in Ubuntu , it could be used with sudo as well. Let’s see if future versions add this feature.

Do you have a laptop with fingerprint reader? Do you use it often or is it just one of things you don’t care about?

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    How to Uninstall Applications from Ubuntu Linux

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Wednesday, 20 January - 11:37 · 4 minutes

Don’t use a certain application anymore? Remove it.

In fact, removing programs is one of the easiest ways to free up disk space on Ubuntu and keep your system clean.

In this beginner’s tutorial, I’ll show you various ways of uninstalling software from Ubuntu.

Did I say various ways? Yes, because there are various ways of installing applications in Ubuntu and hence various ways of removing them. You’ll learn to:

  • Remove applications from Ubuntu Software Center (for desktop users)
  • Remove applications using apt remove command
  • Remove snap applications in command line (intermediate to advanced users)

Let’s see these steps one by one.

Method 1: Remove applications using Ubuntu Software Center

Start the Software Center application. You should find it in the dock on the left side or search for it in the menu.

Ubuntu Software Applications Menu

You can see the installed applications in the Installed tab.

Installed Apps Ubuntu List installed applications

If you don’t see a program here, try to use the search feature.

Search Installed Apps Ubuntu Search for installed applications

When you open an installed application, you should see the option to remove it. Click on it.

Remove Applications from Ubuntu Removing installed applications

It will ask for your account password. Enter it and the applications will be removed in seconds.

This method works pretty well except in the case when Software Center is misbehaving (it does that a lot) or if the program is a software library or some other command line utility. You can always resort to the terminal in such cases.

Method 2: Remove programs from Ubuntu using command line

You know that you can use apt-get install or apt install for installing applications. For uninstalling, you don’t use the apt-get uninstall command but apt-get remove or apt remove .

All you need to do is to use the command in the following fashion:

sudo apt remove program_name

You’ll be asked to enter your account password. When you enter it, nothing is visible on the screen. That’s normal. Just type it blindly and press enter.

The program won’t be removed immediately. You need to confirm it. When it asks for your conformation, press the enter key or Y key:

Apt Remove Program Ubuntu

Keep in mind that you’ll have to use the exact package name in the apt remove command otherwise it will throw ‘ unable to locate package error ‘.

Don’t worry if you don’t remember the exact program name. You can utilize the super useful tab completion. It’s one of the most useful Linux command line tips that you must know.

What you can do is to type the first few letters of the program you want to uninstall. And then hit the tab key. It will show all the installed packages that match those letters at the beginning of their names.

When you see the desired package, you can type its complete name and remove it.

Remove Package Ubuntu Linux

What if you do not know the exact package name or even the starting letters? Well, you can list all the installed packages in Ubuntu and grep with whatever your memory serves.

For example, the command below will show all the installed packages that have the string ‘my’ in its name anywhere, not just the beginning.

apt list --installed | grep -i my
Search List Installed Apps Ubuntu

That’s cool, isn’t it? Just be careful with the package name when using the remove command in Ubuntu.

Tip: Using apt purge for removing package (advanced users)

When you remove a package in Ubuntu, the packaged data is removed, but it may leave small, modified user configuration files. This is intentional because if you install the same program again, it would use those configuration files.

If you want to remove it completely, you can use apt purge command. You can use it instead of apt remove command or after running the apt remove command.

sudo apt purge program_name

Keep in mind that the purge command won’t remove any data or configuration file stored in the home directory of a user.

Method 3: Uninstall Snap applications in Ubuntu

The previous method works with the DEB packages that you installed using apt command, software center or directly from the deb file.

Ubuntu also has a new packaging system called Snap . Most of the software you find in the Ubuntu Software Center are in this Snap package format.

You can remove these applications from the Ubuntu Software Center easily but if you want to use the command line, here’s what you should do.

List all the snap applications installed to get the package name.

snap list
List Snap Remove

Now use the package name to remove the application from Ubuntu. You won’t be asked for confirmation before removal.

sudo snap remove package_name

Bonus Tip: Clean up your system with one magical command

Alright! You learned to remove the applications. Now let me tell you about a simple command that cleans up leftover package traces like dependencies that are no longer used, old Linux kernel headers that won’t be used anymore.

In the terminal, just run this command:

sudo apt autoremove

This is a safe command, and it will easily free up a few hundred MB’s of disk space.

Conclusion

You learned three ways of removing applications from Ubuntu Linux. I covered both GUI and command line methods so that you are aware of all the options.

I hope you find this simple tutorial helpful as an Ubuntu beginner. Questions and suggestions are always welcome.

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    Highlighted Text Not Visible in gedit in Dark Mode? Here’s What You Can Do

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 19 January - 03:41 · 2 minutes

I love using dark mode in Ubuntu . It’s soothing on the eyes and makes the system look aesthetically more pleasing, in my opinion.

One minor annoyance I noticed is with gedit text editor and if you use it with the dark mode in your system, you might have encountered it too.

By default, gedit highlights the line where your cursor is. That’s a useful feature but it becomes a pain if you are using dark mode in your Linux system. Why? Because the highlighted text is not readable anymore. Have a look at it yourself:

Gedit Dark Mode Problem Text on the highlighted line is hardly visible

If you select the text, it becomes readable but it’s not really a pleasant reading or editing experience.

Gedit Dark Mode Issue Selecting the text makes it better but that’s not a convenient thing to do for all lines

The good thing is that you don’t have to live with it. I’ll show a couple of steps you can take to enjoy dark mode system and gedit together.

Making gedit reader-friendly in dark mode

You basically have two options:

  1. Disable highlight the current line but then you’ll have to figure out which line you are at.
  2. Change the default color settings but then the colors of the editor will be slightly different, and it won’t switch to light mode automatically if you change the system theme.

It’s a workaround and compromise that you’ll have to make until the gedit or GNOME developers fix the issue.

Option 1: Disable highlighting current line

When you have gedit opened, click on the hamburger menu and select Preferences .

Gedit Preferences Go to Preferences

In the View tab, you should see the “Highlight current line” option under Highlighting section. Uncheck this. The effects are visible immediately.

Disable Highlight Line Gedit Disable highlighting current line

Highlighting current line is a usable feature and if you want to continue using it, opt for the second option.

Option 2: Change the editor color theme

In the Preferences window, go to Font & Colors tab and change the color scheme to Oblivion, Solarized Dark or Cobalt.

Change Color Scheme Gedit Change the color scheme

As I mentioned earlier, the drawback is that when you switch the system theme to a light theme, the editor theme isn’t switched automatically to the light theme.

A bug that should be fixed by devs

There are several text editors available for Linux but for quick reading or editing a text file, I prefer using gedit. It’s a minor annoyance but an annoyance nonetheless. The developers should fix it in future version of this awesome text editor so that we don’t have to resort to these worarounds.

How about you? Do you use dark mode on your system or light mode? Had you noticed this trouble with gedit? Did you take any steps to fix it? Feel free to share your experience.

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    Install Privacy-friendly WhatsApp Alternative Signal on Linux Desktop

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Wednesday, 13 January - 09:41 · 4 minutes

It’s been more than a year since we covered Signal as an ideal choice for instant messaging . While privacy-aware and tech-savvy people were already aware of the existence of this awesome application, Signal got the much deserved fame after the latest WhatsApp privacy policy updates.

Whatever maybe the reason if you are new to Signal and you are wondering if you can use Signal on desktop, the answer is yes. You can install Signal on Linux, Windows and macOS systems along with your smartphone.

Signal Messenger ScreenShot Signal Messenger on Pop OS Linux distribution

I am not going to highlight the features Signal offers because you might already be aware of them. I am going to show you different methods of installing Signal application Linux desktop:

  • Install Signal on Linux using Snap (snap applications take longer to load but get automatic update and hassle-free installation)
  • Install Signal on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions using apt (additional efforts in adding the repository but installed apps get automatic updates)
  • Install Signal on Arch and Manjaro Linux using AUR
  • Install Signal on Fedora and other Linux using Flatpak package

You can choose one of the methods based on your distribution and preference:

Method 1: Installing Signal on Ubuntu and other Linux using Snap

If you are using Ubuntu, you can find Signal desktop app in Snap package format in the Software Center.

Signal Desktop Ubuntu

Alternatively, you can use the Snap command to install Signal on any Linux distribution that has Snap support enabled.

sudo snap install signal-desktop

You can remove it using snap remove or from the Software Center.

Some people do not like Snap packages because they take too long to start. The good news is that you can use apt command to install Signal. The next section discusses that.

Method 2: Install Signal on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions via APT (using official Signal repository)

Here are the steps you have to follow to install Signal from its official repository on Debian, Debian, Linux Mint, elementary OS and other distributions based on Debian/Ubuntu. You can copy the commands and paste it in the terminal .

First thing is to get the GPG key for the official Signal repository and add it to the trusted keys of your APT package manager.

wget -O- https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt/keys.asc | sudo apt-key add -

With the key added, you can safely add the repository to your system. Don’t get alarmed with the use of xenial in the repository name . It will work with Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 and newer version as well as Debian, Mint etc.

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

Thanks to the tee command in Linux , you’ll have a new file signal-xenial.list in the sources.list directory /etc/apt/sources.list.d . This new file will have the Signal repository information i.e. deb [arch=amd64] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main .

Now that you have added the repository, update the cache and install Signal desktop application:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop

Once installed, look for Signal in application menu and start it.

Signal App In Ubuntu

Since you have added the repository, your installed Signal application will be automatically updated with the regular system updates.

Enjoy encrypted messaging with Signal on your Linux desktop.

Removing Signal

The tutorial won’t be complete if I don’t share the removal steps with you. Let’s go through it.

First, remove the application:

sudo apt remove signal-desktop

You may leave it as it is, or you may remove the Signal repository from your system. It’s optional and up to you. With the repository still in the system, you can install Signal again, easily. If you remove the repository, you’ll have to add it again following the steps in the previous section.

If you want to remove the Signal repository as well, you can opt for the graphical method by going to Software and Updated tool and deleting it from there.

Remove Signal Repository from Ubuntu

Alternatively, you can remove the file with rm command:

rm -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

Method 3: Installing Signal on Arch and Manjaro from AUR

Signal is available to install on Arch-based Linux distributions via AUR . If you are using Pamac on Manjaro and have enabled AUR, you should find Signal in the package manager.

Otherwise, you can always use an AUR helper .

sudo yay -Ss <package-name>

I believe you can delete Signal in the similar function.

Method 4: Installing Signal on Fedora and other Linux using Flatpak

There is no .rpm file for Signal. However, a Flatpak package is available , and you may use that to get Signal on Fedora.

flatpak install flathub org.signal.Signal

Once installed, you can run it from the menu or use the following command in the terminal:

flatpak run org.signal.Signal

Signal and Telegram are two mainstream and viable options to ditch WhatsApp. Both provide native Linux desktop applications. If you use Telegram, you can join the official It’s FOSS channel . I use Signal in individual capacity because it doesn’t have the ‘channel’ feature yet.

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    The Definitive Guide to Using and Customizing the Dock in Ubuntu

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Thursday, 7 January - 13:06 · 8 minutes

When you log into Ubuntu, you’ll see the dock on the left side with some application icons on it. This dock (also known as launcher or sometimes as panel) allows you to quickly launch your frequently used programs.

Ubuntu Dock

I rely heavily on the dock and I am going to share a few tips about using the dock effectively and customize its looks and position.

You’ll learn the following in this tutorial:

  • Basic usage of the dock: adding more applications and using shortcuts for launching applications.
  • Customize the looks of the dock: Change the icon size, icon positions.
  • Change the position: for single screen and multi-monitor setup
  • Hide mounted disk from the dock
  • Auto-hide or disable the dock
  • Possibility of additional dock customization with dconf-editor
  • Replace dock with other docking applications

I’ll use the terms dock, panel and launcher in the tutorial. All of them refer to the same thing.

Using the Ubuntu dock: Absolute basic that you must know

If you are new to Ubuntu, you should know a few things about using the dock. You’ll eventually discover these dock features, I’ll just speed up the discovery process for you.

Add new applications to the dock (or remove them)

The steps are simple. Search for the application from the menu and run it.

The running application appears in the dock, below all other icons. Right click on it and select the “Add to Favorites” option. This will lock the icon to the dock.

Right click on the icon and select "Add to Favorites" to add icons to the dock in Ubuntu Right-click on the icon and select “Add to Favorites”

Removing an app icon from the doc is even easier. You don’t even need to run the application. Simply right click on it and select “Remove From Favorites”.

Right-click on the icon and select "Remove from Favorites" to remove icons from the dock in Ubuntu Right-click on the icon and select “Remove from Favorites”

Reorder icon position

By default, new application icons are added after all the other icons on the launcher. You don’t have to live with it as it is.

To change the order of the icons, you just need to drag and drop to the other position of your choice. No need to “lock it” or any additional effort. It stays on that location until you make some changes again.

Reorder Icons On Ubuntu Docks Reorder Icons On Ubuntu Docks

Right click to get additional options for some apps

Left-clicking on an icon launches the application or bring it to focus if the application is already running.

Right-clicking the icon gives you additional options. Different applications will have different options.

For browsers, you can open a new private window or preview all the running windows.

Right Click Icons Ubuntu Dock

For file manager, you can go to all the bookmarked directories or preview opened windows.

You can, of course, quit the application. Most applications will quit while some applications like Telegram will be minimized to the system tray.

Use keyboard shortcut to launch applications quickly [Not many people know about this one]

The dock allows you to launch an application in a single mouse click. But if you are like me, you can save that mouse click with a keyboard shortcut.

Using the Super/Window key and a number key will launch the application on that position.

Keyboard Shortcut For Ubuntu Dock

If the application is already running, it is brought to focus, i.e. it appears in front of all the other running application windows.

Since it is position-based, you should make sure that you don’t reorder the icons all the time. Personally, I keep Firefox at position 1, file manager at 2 and the alternate browser at 3 and so on until number 9. This way, I quickly launch the file manager with Super+2.

I find it easier specially because I have a three screen setup and moving the mouse to the launcher on the first screen is a bit too much of trouble. You can enable or disable the dock on additional screen. I’ll show that to you later in this tutorial.

Change the position of the dock

By default, the dock is located on the left side of your screen. Some people like the launcher at the bottom, in a more traditional way.

Ubuntu allows you to change the position of the dock. You can move it to the bottom or to the right side or on the top. I am not sure many people actually put the dock on the top or the right side, so moving the dock to the top is not an option here.

Change Launcher Position in Ubuntu Change Launcher Position

To change the dock position, go to Settings->Appearance. You should see some options under Dock section. You need to change the “Position on screen” settings here.

Change Dock Position in Ubuntu Go to Settings->Appearance->Dock

Position of dock on a multiple monitor setup

If you have multiple screens attached to your system, you can choose whether to display the dock on all screens or one of chosen screens.

Ubuntu Dock Settings Multimonitor Ubuntu Dock Settings Multimonitor

Personally, I display the dock on my laptop screen only which is my main screen. This gives me maximum space on the additional two screens.

Change the appearance of the dock

Let’s see some more dock customization options in Ubuntu.

Imagine you added too many applications to the dock or have too many applications open. It will fill up the space and you’ll have to scroll to the top and bottom to go to the applications at end points.

What you can do here is to change the icon size and the dock will now accommodate more icons. Don’t make it too small, though.

Normal Icon Size DockSmaller Icon Size Dock

To do that, go to Settings-> Appearance and change it by moving the slider under Icon size. The default icons size is 48 pixels.

Changing Icon Size In Ubuntu Dock Changing Icon Size In Ubuntu Dock

Hide mounted disks from the launcher

If you plug in a USB disk or SD Card, it is mounted to the system, and an icon appear in the launcher immediately. This is helpful because you can right click on it and select safely remove drive option.

External Mounted Disks In Ubuntu Dock Mounted disks are displayed In the Ubuntu Dock

If you somehow find it troublesome, you can turn this feature off. Don’t worry, you can still access the mounted drives from the file manager.

Open a terminal and use the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-mounts false

The changes take into effect immediately. You won’t be bothered with mounted disk being displayed in the launcher.

If you want the default behavior back, use this command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-mounts true

Change the behavior of dock

Let’s customize the default behavior of the dock and make it more suitable to your needs.

Enable minimize on click

If you click on the icon of a running application, its window will be brought to focus. That’s fine. However, if you click on it, nothing happens. By default, clicking on the same icon won’t minimize the application.

Well, this is the behavior in modern desktop, but I don’t like it. I prefer that the application is minimized when I click on its icon for the second time.

If you are like me, you may want to enable click to minimize option in Ubuntu :

To do that, open a terminal and enter the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize'

Auto-hide Ubuntu dock and get more screen space

If you want to utilize the maximum screen space, you can enable auto-hide option for the dock in Ubuntu.

This will hide the dock, and you’ll get the entire screen. The dock is still accessible, though. Move your cursor to the location of the dock where it used to be, and it will appear again. When the dock reappears, it is overlaid on the running application window. And that’s a good thing otherwise too many elements would start moving on the screen.

The auto-hide option is available in Settings-> Appearance and under Dock section. Just toggle it.

Autohide the Dock Ubuntu Auto-hide the dock

If you don’t like this behavior, you can enable it again the same way.

Disable Ubuntu dock

Auto-hide option is good enough for many people, but some users simply don’t like the dock. If you are one of those users, you also have the option to disable the Ubuntu dock entirely.

Starting with Ubuntu 20.04, you have the Extensions application available at your disposal to manage GNOME Extensions .

Gnome Extensions App Ubuntu Look for Extensions app in the menu

With this Extensions application, you can easily disable or re-enable the dock.

Disable Dock Ubuntu Disable Ubuntu Dock

Advanced dock customization with dconf-editor [Not recommended]

Warning

The dconf-editor allows you to change almost every aspect of the GNOME desktop environment. This is both good and bad because you must be careful in editing. Most of the settings can be changed on the fly, without asking for conformation. While you may reset the changes, you could still put your system in such a state that it would be difficult to put things back in order.

For this reason, I advise not to play with dconf-editor, specially if you don’t like spending time in troubleshooting and fixing problems or if you are not too familiar with Linux and GNOME.

The dconf editor gives you additional options to customize the dock in Ubuntu. Install it from the software center and then navigate to org > gnome > shell > extensions > dash-to-dock. You’ll find plenty of options here. I cannot even list them all here.

Dconf Editor Dock

Replace the dock in Ubuntu

There are several third-party dock applications available for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. You can install a dock of your choice and use it.

For example, you can install Plank dock from the software center and use it in similar fashion to Ubuntu dock.

Plank Dock Ubuntu Plank Dock in Ubuntu

Disabling Ubuntu Dock would be a better idea in this case. It won’t be wise to use multiple docks at the same time.

Conclusion

This tutorial is about customizing the default dock or launcher provided in Ubuntu’s GNOME implementation. Some suggestions should work on the dock in vanilla GNOME as work well.

I have shown you most of the common Ubuntu dock customization. You don’t need to go and blindly follow all of them. Read and think which one suits your need and then act upon it.

Was it too trivial or did you learn something new? Would you like to see more such tutorials? I welcome your suggestions and feedback on dock customization.

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