Does Evil Nick have a pencil eraser? Why? It used to be just such the way on the path of Ubuntu – the OS was infallible and therefore, many felt, it should need no easy way to adjust things. A rocky time of some quite startling changes on the desktop has meant a renewed interested in messing with the way things were intended to be, but, in keeping with the essence of the OS, it’s always nice to do it in a friendly, seemingly risk-free GUI environment.
Ubuntu Tweak has been around for a while, but seems to be more popular than ever now, and the latest 0.6 release is getting a lot of attention, even though it’s still in beta (we’re betting it will be released by the time that you read this).
There are some major changes in terms of functionality and design. The new interface is much clearer than the old split panel design and looks more in keeping with the traditional Gnome desktop settings. The one section that will catch your eye is the new setting for Unity, because even that’s fair game for tweaking now. There weren’t too many things to twiddle when we tried it, but a new organisation of the code makes it easier to plug in new controls, so expect this section to blossom soon.
As well as the tweaks, the Janitor tool will help tidy things up for you, especially if you’re short on disk space. It’s there for all those jobs you never get around to (or didn’t even know needed doing), such as cleaning out old kernel versions and deleting out of date cached packages. With this, Ubuntu Tweak progresses from a settings tool to more of a general utility.
This latest version of Ubuntu Tweak is compatible only with the 11.10 release of Ubuntu (or, as we’ve discovered, the Alpha release of Precise Pangolin, 12.04) so please make sure you’re up to date before you try installing. As ever, the preferred way to download this app (since it’s Ubuntu-only anyway) is via the PPA, You should check on the website, though – we’ve downloaded the developer’s beta version so we could give it a test run, but the full version is likely to be available by the time you read this.