How To Make Gnome Shell Windows-like Using Dash To Panel

Love Gnome Shell but wish you could mix it’s modern design with something more Windows-like? If so, you may want to check out Dash to Panel. It’s a Gnome Shell modification that cam make Gnome Shell Windows-like by adding a full-featured panel inside of your Gnome Shell session.

Install Dash To Panel

Dash to Panel is a Gnome Extension, so in order for it to be used on Gnome Shell, you’ll need to install it. To get this extension, be sure to install the official Gnome Shell browser integration app. Don’t know how? Follow our guide here to get started.

To install the Dash to Panel app, click on this link here to go to the Gnome Shell extension page. If the Gnome Shell browser addon is working, look for the slider and change its position from “off” to “on”. This will quickly download Dash to Panel to Gnome, and show an installation dialog. Click the “Install” button to allow the extension to install.

Once the installation finishes, Dash to Panel should automatically enable itself. If this isn’t the case, open up the Gnome overview mode (by pressing Win on the keyboard) and search for “Tweaks”.

Note: can’t find Tweaks in your app menu? It may not be installed. Search for “gnome-tweak-tool”, or “tweaks” in Gnome Software and install it.

Open the Tweaks app and select the “Extensions” button on the side. Scroll down, look for “Dash to Panel” and click the button next to it to enable the extension.

Setting Up Dash To Panel

By default, Dash to Panel sets itself up pretty well. However, it still makes heavy use of icon-style buttons on the taskbar and relies on the “activities” button that Gnome uses. For someone in a hurry, this might not be a huge deal, but if you want to change Gnome into something more traditional, it’s a good idea to change the way applications are listed in the taskbar, and add a new menu.

To change settings for Dash to Panel, you’ll need to open up Tweaks. Launch the app by searching for it in the Gnome dash, and navigate to the “Extension” area of the app.

Under “Extensions” in Tweaks, scroll down to the Dash to Panel extension and click the gear icon next to it to reveal the settings menu.

For a traditional panel layout, click on the “Behavior” tab, and select “ungroup applications”. This will allow Dash to Panel to display the names of programs next to icons in the panel. Not interesting in keeping favorite icons in your panel? Look for “Show favorite applications” and set the slider to off.

Lastly, find “show previews on hover” and change it to “off”.

Application Menu

Now that the basics are set up for Dash to Panel, it’s time to add a new application menu. We’ll need a more traditional and reliable one than the default Gnome app drawer button. There are many menus to choose from, but by far the most configurable one out there is Arc Menu.

Once Arc Menu is installed, close the settings for Dash to Panel and re-open Tweaks. Look for “Arc Menu” under the Extensions page and click the gear icon next to it to open the menu settings.

First, in the Arc Menu settings click on “Behavior” and click the slider next to “Disable activities corner”.

Next, look for the “Appearance” tab and select it. Inside the appearance area, click the gear icon to open up the advanced icon settings.

Look for “Enable the arrow icon beside the button text” and set it to off. Then look for the menu icon menu, and change the drop-down menu from “Arc Menu Icon” to “System Icon”. Set your desired icon size, then close the Arc Menu settings.

After closing the Arc Menu settings, re-open the Dash to Panel settings in the Tweak app, click on “Behavior” in the Dash to Panel settings, look for “Show application icon” and set it to off.

Resetting Gnome

Dash to Panel is nice, as it allows users to take Gnome Shell and transform it into an entirely different desktop experience. Obviously, this is appealing, especially for those that don’t like the default way of doing things. However, if you find that using this panel isn’t for you, follow these instructions to quickly get everything back to normal.

Start off by opening Tweaks. Inside the Tweaks app, move on over to “Extensions”. In the “Extensions” area, look for Arc menu and change the slider from “ON” position to the “OFF” position. This will instantly disable the Arc menu and remove it from the panel.

Find the Dash to Panel and change “ON” to “OFF” to disable it as well. Disabling both of these extensions will return Gnome Shell to the look it had before modification.

To return to the modified desktop, turn both extensions back on. If you’d like to completely remove the extensions altogether, head over to the Gnome Extension page and click the red X button next to Arc Menu, and Dash to Panel.

Read How To Make Gnome Shell Windows-like Using Dash To Panel by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Use The Unity Desktop Environment On Ubuntu 18.04

With Ubuntu 17.10, Canonical made a big deal about dropping the Unity desktop environment in favor of Gnome Shell. For the most part, Linux fans were excited, as Unity isn’t exactly the most popular desktop environment in the community. However, not everyone was happy. As it turns out, many people do love Unity and rely on it daily. If Ubuntu Unity is still a part of your daily routine, and you’ve been putting off upgrading from 16.04, rest easy as it is possible to get the Unity desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Note: Are you using Ubuntu 17.10? Follow the instructions in the tutorial below. The instructions outlined work for that version of Ubuntu as well.

Install Unity On Ubuntu 18.04

To install Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, you’ll need to open up a terminal window. Sadly, it’s not practical to install this desktop environment from the Ubuntu Software Center, as some system-level prompts appear that require user interaction. Open up a terminal window and use the update command to refresh Ubuntu and check for updates.

sudo apt update

Running apt update is a good idea when installing new software, as the new software you’re installing will likely be at its best when everything is up to date. After running the refresh command, you’ll notice that the terminal says Ubuntu has some updates ready to install. Install these updates by following apt update with the apt upgrade command. Be sure to add a -y to the end of the command to automatically accept the installation, otherwise, you’ll need to do it manually.

sudo apt upgrade -y

At this point, it’s safe to install the Unity desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.04 PC. To do this, enter the following command.

sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

Running this installation isn’t like installing normal software. It’s a complete desktop environment that comes with its own configurations, and settings that need to be tweaked. For Unity, most of this is taken care of (except for the login manager).

In Ubuntu 17.10, Canonical ditched LightDM as the default login manager app, as they were no longer using Unity by default. As a result, Ubuntu 18.04 doesn’t have the Unity desktop manager. When you run the installation command for the Unity desktop on 18.04, you’ll also have the option to switch everything back over to LightDM.

Don’t worry! This isn’t absolutely required, and Ubuntu should work just fine using the Unity desktop without it. However, if you miss the Unity desktop environment and want it on 18.04, it’s also a good idea to switch from GDM to LightDM.

To switch, read the prompt window that appears in the terminal. Read the message and press enter on the “OK” button. Then, move to the next page and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight “LightDM”. Press enter to save your choice. After that, Ubuntu will switch to using LightDM by default.

When the installation completes, Ubuntu should be using the LightDM login manager, and the Ubuntu Unity desktop should be installed.

Switching To Unity

The Unity desktop is installed on your Ubuntu PC. The next step in the process is to actually start using the new desktop. If you decided to keep GDM, look for the “log out” button in Gnome Shell, click it and return to the GDM menu. Click the gear logo, highlight “Unity” and select it.

After that, select your user, enter the correct password and log into Unity. Using LightDM? Reboot your PC. When your PC finishes restarting, you’ll be ready to use Unity.

Click the logo next to the default username, highlight “Unity” and click on it. Enter your password and log in to access the Unity desktop.

Uninstalling Unity

Decided you don’t want to use Unity on Ubuntu anymore? If you’re looking to uninstall it, start out by logging out of the Unity session and back into the Gnome Shell one. Uninstalling a desktop while logged in can break things and potentially make your PC unusable.

After logging back into Gnome, open up a terminal and run the uninstall command.

sudo apt remove ubuntu-unity-desktop

Installing the Unity desktop pulls down a lot of dependent programs, so running this remove command isn’t enough. To fully get rid of everything, run:

sudo apt autoremove

Lastly, if you switched your login manager from Gnome Desktop Manager to Light Desktop Manager, you’ll need to set it back to the defaults. Do this with:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

Go through the selection menu, highlight GDM3 and press the enter key to confirm your selection. Then, reboot your Linux PC. Upon restart, you won’t see LightDM anymore, but GDM like before.

Upon login, uninstall LightDM and Unity will be removed entirely:

sudo apt uninstall lightdm --purge

After running uninstall with the purge command, all traces of LightDM will be gone from your Linux PC.

Read How To Use The Unity Desktop Environment On Ubuntu 18.04 by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Install Electrum On Linux

Bitcoin wallets are known to be confusing to new users, so if you’re a Linux user looking to get started with crypto, finding a good wallet is hard. Many other wallets on Linux try to simplify using Bitcoin so it doesn’t seem like rocket science. One of the better wallets for beginners is Electrum. It’s a multi-platform Bitcoin wallet that is great for beginners and pros alike. The reason many people install Electrum over others is that it combines ease of use with features many advanced users come to expect.

Install Electrum

Installing Electrum on Linux is quite refreshing compared to a lot of other Bitcoin wallets out there as there’s no fussing with binary packages that have iffy support, browser extensions, or AppImages that don’t get updated often. Instead, users install the necessary python tools required to build the program, then install it through the built-in Python package installer.

Going this route means that nearly anyone on any distribution can use Electrum. To start the installation process, open up a terminal window and use it to install Electrum dependencies.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install python3-setuptools python3-pyqt5 python3-pip

Debian

sudo apt-get install python3-setuptools python3-pyqt5 python3-pip

Arch Linux

Arch users, you’re in luck! Don’t worry about installing any dependencies. Instead, grab the latest version of the Electrum wallet via the AUR.

Fedora

sudo dnf install python3-setuptools python3-qt5 python3-pip

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install python3-setuptools python3-qt5 python3-pip

Generic Linux

Installing Electrum on lesser-known Linux distributions is quite easy, as the program only needs basic Python3 tools to compile correctly. Open up a terminal and search your package manager for the dependencies below. Be sure to also check your distribution’s Wiki entry on Python development.

  • python3-setuptools
  • python3-pyqt5 or python3-qt5
  • python3-pip

Building Electrum is quite easy. To do it, go to the terminal and use the Python3 Pip tool to install. The package tool should handle everything automatically. If the installation fails, try the installation again. Alternatively, consider downloading the program and running it, rather than installing it to your Linux PC. Find the download here.

sudo pip3 install https://download.electrum.org/3.1.3/Electrum-3.1.3.tar.gz

When running the Electrum installation tool within Pip, you’ll see a warning that it’s “generally not a good idea to run Pip with sudo privileges”. Usually, this is accurate, as installing a program system-wide may mess up your Python development environment. However, since the program developers recommend it, it should be safe.

Desktop Icon

Though the Electrum wallet is installed, it’s not ready to use yet. During the installation, you’ll notice no desktop shortcut. For whatever reason, the developer’s didn’t include one. To solve this problem, we’ll create our own. It’s a fairly simple process, and it starts out by using the touch command to make a new file.

touch ~/Desktop/electrum.desktop

Running the touch command will create a new, blank electrum shortcut file on the desktop. Next, we’ll need to open up the new file and add code to it. This code will allow Electrum to run directly from the shortcut icon.

nano ~/Desktop/electrum.desktop

Paste the following code into Nano with Ctrl + Shift + V:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Electrum
Comment=Lightweight Bitcoin Wallet.
GenericName=Bitcoin Wallet.
Exec=/usr/local/bin/electrum
Icon=/opt/electrum/electrum-icon.png
Type=Application

Save Nano with Ctrl + O, and exit with Ctrl + X.

Use the wget tool to download a new icon for Electrum.

cd /opt/
sudo mkdir -p electrum

cd electrum

sudo wget http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/alecive/flatwoken/256/Apps-Electrum-icon.png

sudo mv Apps-Electrum-icon.png electrum-icon.png

Finally, update the shortcut’s permissions:

chmod +x ~/Desktop/electrum.desktop

Updating the permissions for the Electrum icon means that the program is usable just by clicking the icon on the desktop. However, if you also want a shortcut in your app-menu, run this command:

sudo cp ~/Desktop/electrum.desktop /usr/share/applications/

Set Up Electrum

As the Electrum wallet starts up, a wizard will appear and inform you that no wallet is detected. At this point, you’ll need to go through the tool to create a new wallet. On the first page of the wizard, enter the name of your new wallet and click “next” to move to the next page.

The second page of the setup wizard for Electrum gives different options to choose from. These options allow the user to tell the program what the new wallet will be. If you’re new to Electrum, select “Standard Wallet”. Otherwise, go through the other options and choose your needs accordingly.

After classifying the type of wallet, you’ll need to deal with “seeds”. For a new wallet, select the option that says “new seed”. If you’ve got a seed already, select “I already have a seed”.

Next, click over to the “seed type” page and select the “Standard” option.

Now that the seed business is taken care of, Electrum will generate a unique code for your wallet. Write this code down on a piece of paper.

Lastly, enter a new password to encrypt the wallet and finish the installation.

Payments

To fund your Electrum BTC wallet, click “Receive”. In the receiving area of the wallet, you’ll see a BTC address as well as a QR code image. Give this address/QR image to anyone you’d like to receive Bitcoins from.

Additionally, send BTC payments by clicking “Send”. In the send area, enter the BTC address, followed by a description of the payment, and the BTC amount. Click the “Send” button to transmit the payment.

Read How To Install Electrum On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

The 5 Best Linux Distributions For Security Testing

The Linux platform is one of the best when it comes to security and ethical hacking. Thanks to the open source community, anyone that wants to get into this field has all the tools they need, for free. If you’re looking for a good Linux distribution for security testing, there are a lot to choose from.

Since there are so many choices, we’ll sort through and rank the best Linux distributions for security testing, ethical hacking and etc.

Note: please do not download any of these Linux distributions to use them for malicious activities. They are tools for learning how to improve security practices, find bugs, exploits, and network problems.

1. Kali Linux

When most users think about “hacking”, they think of Kali Linux. It’s the name-brand for this kind of thing, and for good reason: nearly every tool one would need to inspect the security of networks, programs and find exploits is there.

Notable Features

  • Customization feature lets users build their own version of Kali Linux.
  • LUKS Encryption support.
  • Supports FDE (full disk encryption) means sensitive data is protected.
  • Has a “forensics” mode that can run completely from USB, which is useful when inspecting other computers.
  • Comes with a full suite of penetration testing tools installed and ready to go.
  • Documentation includes “training” for would-be security experts.
  • Can be used as a traditional operating system, with a privacy focus alongside security testing.
  • Has a companion Android ROM which allows users to security test anywhere.
  • Use of Debian as a base gives users superior program support.
  • Custom kernel ensures support for a multitude of wireless devices via included drivers.
  • Support for ARM devices (armel, armhf, and arm64).
  • Kali allows users to create a “persistent” live USB version of the operating system, ensuring maximum security without the need to constantly re-setup the OS before each use.

2. BlackArch

BlackArch is an expansion to mainline Arch Linux with a focus on ethical hacking, penetration testing and security. Unlike a lot of other pen-testing distros, Black Arch gives users a choice to install the OS or to add a third-party software repo.

Notable Features

  • If users don’t want to install the BlackArch official distribution but still want to use the tools they can add the software to any traditional Arch Linux installation.
  • Arch Linux base ensures users always get the latest tools as soon as possible.
  • Has both Live ISO images and installable images to provide for multiple use-cases.
  • Supports ARM devices like Raspberry Pi.
  • Has downloadable VirtualBox OVA images to allow security experts the ability to quickly get a VM going to test in.
  • All BlackArch tools show users how to build software from source in detail on the web, ensuring users of Arch Linux derivatives the ability to install the tools as well.

3. Parrot Security OS

Parrot Security OS is a great penetration testing operating system with a reliable Debian base. The developers behind Parrot try to deliver a sleek, lightweight security distribution with a great set of tools.

Notable Features

  • Lightweight desktop environment means it will run on nearly any PC, which is a plus when doing forensics on aging hardware.
  • Sandboxing support means no private information leaks.
  • Comes with Bettercap, Tor, Wifite, and dozens of other penetration and security testing tools pre-installed.
  • Aside from security testing, Parrot is set up as a fully functional operating system centered around privacy protection.
  • Includes anti-forensics tools to ensure other people can’t get to your data.
  • Has a “stealth” boot option to allow maximum privacy.
  • Uses Debian 9 Stretch (stable branch) as a base for the OS for superior reliability.

4. WifiSlax

WifiSlax is a secure, Spanish Linux distribution with a major focus on wireless connections and Wifi security. It has support for various different wireless chips that may not be present on other security distributions. In addition to it’s focus on wireless, WifiSlax includes forensic, security and pen-testing tools.

Notable Features

  • Slackware base ensures maximum stability and reliability.
  • Support for dozens of different wireless chips means tons of Laptops can be put to use for wireless-related security/pen-testing.
  • Can run as a live ISO or install directly to the hard drive.
  • Ability to choose between multiple desktop environments directly from a live USB ISO without installing anything.

5. BackBox Linux

BackBox is a security and penetration testing Linux distribution with an Ubuntu base. Like many other distributions out there, it comes with lots of different tools, pre-installed to make security testing less about installing tools and more about using the software.

Notable Features

  • Ubuntu LTS base ensures users can keep the operating system installed without the need for constant upgrades between releases.
  • PPA support means alternative security tools not included with BackBox is easy.
  • Also available to use on Amazon AWS, perfect for professional security testers working with servers and enterprise environments.

Read The 5 Best Linux Distributions For Security Testing by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

The 7 Best Task Manager Tools For Linux

Got a program you can’t stop from running on your Linux desktop? Curious as to what’s using all of your CPU or RAM? You’ll need a good task manager. Luckily, there are dozens of great task management tools for Linux for all types of use-cases.

In an effort to sort through the massive amount of task management programs to choose from, we’ll go over some of the best task management tools to use for managing problem programs, viewing system resource usage and more.

1. Htop

Htop is a text-based task manager tool for Unix inspired by the Top task manager. Many people, especially system admins rely on Htop as it offers up dozens of options for stopping, restarting and controlling programs, as well as offering real-time information of system usage.

Notable Features

  • Despite being text-based, Htop is easy to use, modern and much more responsive than “Top” which it is based on.
  • The powerful search feature makes finding processes simple.
  • Multiple end-program options mean no process will refuse to quit.
  • Due to its text nature, it can run anywhere, even over the internet on a server via SSH.
  • Shows CPU and Memory usage at a glance, rather than hidden away in a menu.
  • Processes can be filtered and sorted with the press of a button.

2. Stacer

For those that want something more than a task manager, check out Stacer. It’s a system optimizer, package manager, PC cleaner, PC resource viewer and program task manager all in one. This app is best for users who are new to Linux or just love having a lot of tools in the same place.

Notable Features

3. Ksysguard

Ksysguard is the default task manager for the KDE Plasma desktop environment. It is a no-nonsense tool that makes killing problem programs easy. It’s built-in search function is one of the best!

Notable Features

  • “Client/Server” design allows monitoring of both local and remote systems.
  • The quick search feature is very fast and makes it easy to find and end programs.
  • Detailed system-load tab makes keeping track of your Linux machine easy.
  • Can be used in terminal mode, aside from the graphical interface.

4. Gnome System Monitor

Gnome System Monitor is a minimalistic, but powerful task manager for the Gnome Shell desktop environment. It offers easy to read metrics on PC performance, memory usage and more.

Notable Features

  • The minimalistic interface makes managing processes fast and efficient.
  • Useful “File Systems” features let users view hard drive space in a neat, easy to understand menu.
  • “Resources” tab shows a timeline of PC hardware usage, network activity, RAM/SWAP usage all in one place.
  • Let’s users customize the “Resources” tab and add things like CPU Time, Shared Memory, Status, and etc.

5. LXTask

LXTask is a lightweight graphical task management tool for the LXDE/LXQt desktop environments. Light on its feet ensures that it doesn’t take up precious resources while helping you diagnose stubborn programs.

Notable Features

  • Amazingly lightweight means it’ll run on the oldest of Linux PC’s no problem.
  • “More details” feature lets users see more information about any running process.
  • Unlike a lot of other basic task managers, LXTask lets the user display (or hide) Root tasks.

6. Glances

Glances isn’t a task manager. Instead, it’s a terminal-based tool that lets you take a quick “glance” at programs running, CPU usage, RAM usage and etc. Very useful if you often check your PC’s performance and stats.

Notable Features

  • Offers real-time monitoring, so you’ll always know what your PC is up to.
  • Displays storage usage (hard drives, and other devices in use by the system like USB storage, memory cards, etc).
  • Even though it can’t actually manage processes, Glances displays process ID numbers in the event the user wants to take the process ID and issue a kill command in a terminal.
  • Shows disk read/write speed.
  • Displays processes using lots of resources in red.
  • Gives detailed information on CPU usage, RAM, SWAP, and more.

7. Ps

It is a barebones command-line tool to view what programs are running. I’ts not necessarily a task manager, but useful in a pinch.

Notable Features

  • Ps is scriptable, and works well with other commands in the terminal, making it more useful.
  • Despite its basic nature, Ps has dozens of useful command arguments, like sorting processes, showing process IDs, displaying individual threads of a given process and more.
  • Comes on virtually every Linux distribution in existence, meaning users don’t need to install anything to use it.

Read The 7 Best Task Manager Tools For Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter