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 Use the Ping Command to Test Your Network

The ping command sends packets of data to a specific IP address on a network, and then lets you know how long it took to transmit that data and get a response. It’s a handy tool that you can use to quickly test various points of your network. Here’s how to use it.

How to Install PureVPN on Fire Stick and Fire TV, Quick Guide

Online privacy is growing less and less common by the day. Companies and governments and ISPs are eager to take every bit of data they can get about users, monitoring everything from our e-mails to our video streaming habits. Even when you use devices like Fire TV and Fire Stick, your information is subject to collection and analysis. Fortunately, VPNs can restore some of that privacy, especially PureVPN.

PureVPN is a strong, fast, and secure VPN service that works on a wide variety of devices. Most importantly, it supports Fire Stick and Fire TV natively, making it one of the easiest VPNs to install on your favorite streaming hardware. PureVPN gives access to a ton of privacy and safety features you can’t get elsewhere, too, making it a breeze to lock down the security of your Fire TV streams. Below is our complete guide to installing PureVPN on a Fire Stick and Fire TV.

Why are VPNs Important for Fire TV?

Virtual private networks run silently in the background to keep your data and your identity secure at all costs. They do this by encrypting every packet of data that leaves your device, making it impossible for governments, hackers, or ISPs to see what sites you’re visiting or what videos you’re watching. They also lock down your identity by removing your easily identifiable IP address and replacing it with a non-local and anonymous one.

Both the encryption and IP address swapping features of VPNs bring a whole host of unique benefits that extend far beyond the usual privacy and security extras. Below are just a few examples:

  • Gain access to movies from other countries on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more.
  • Run Kodi, SPMC, Stremio, or ShowBox without alerting your ISP.
  • Keep video streams from sideloaded apps secure and anonymous.
  • Prevent ISPs from throttling your connection speed.

PureVPN – Privacy, Security, Speed, and More

PureVPN is an extraordinarily versatile VPN that’s perfect for Fire TV, Fire Stick, and dozens of other devices. It includes both privacy and encryption features in a single package, along with some seriously useful extras such as malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filters. There’s no need to install separate apps to use these bonuses, either. One quick download through the Fire TV’s app store and you’ve got a complete security suite at your disposal.

PureVPN’s server network is over 750 nodes strong, covering 140 countries with multiple options in most major cities worldwide. Data passing through this network is locked down with 256-bit encryption and protected by a zero-logging policy on traffic, as well. PureVPN also includes DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch in every version of its software for a solid foundation of VPN privacy and security.

OFFER: Take advantage of an amazing 77% discount on a 2-year plan, just $2.48 per month! You can even try it risk-free with the company’s seven day money back guarantee.

How to Install PureVPN on a Fire Stick

It’s normally a bit of a challenge to install a VPN on your Fire TV, as the process often involves sideloading, which is a method of utilizing external software to “push” new apps onto a Fire Stick. While sideloading itself isn’t necessarily difficult, it does add a few extra steps to the app installation process. Wouldn’t it be so much more convenient if your VPN could be installed straight on your Fire TV?

Below we cover the entire process of signing up for, installing, launching, and using PureVPN on your Fire TV. No jailbreaking or hacking is required, just above-board downloads to keep your device safe and secure.

Step 1 – Create an Account with PureVPN

Before you can get started with PureVPN, it’s a good idea to set up a subscription. Head to our exclusive PureVPN deals page to check out some of the discounts available on different account plans.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: 77% off for our readers.

The two year plan offers the best value, so if you’re serious about keeping your devices safe, go ahead and choose this one to get started. Next, fill out the required information below, choose a payment method, then complete the checkout process to activate your account.

Step 2 – Download PureVPN

Head to PureVPN’s downloads page for the Fire TV version of its software. Alternatively you can navigate here from the standard downloads page and click the “Firestick” icon, but the link above will take you right where you need to go. Click the white Download button (listed as “For existing users”). This will redirect you to the browser version of Amazon’s app store. From here you can click the Get App button on the right to send the app to your device.

If you’d rather download PureVPN directly from your Fire Stick, you can do that, as well. Simply go to the device’s home screen and launch the Apps > Categories section. Scroll down to Utility and browse until you see PureVPN on the list. You can often search for PureVPN manually, but it doesn’t always show up right away, especially if you use voice search. Click the store icon to download PureVPN.

Step 3 – Run PureVPN

Congratulations, you just installed PureVPN on your Fire Stick! Wasn’t too difficult, was it? Now that the app is in place, it’s time to set things up to keep the Fire TV safe. PureVPN should show up at the top of your home screen as soon as it’s installed. If it isn’t, navigate to Your Apps & Games, scroll right to See All, then look for PureVPN on the grid.

Launch the PureVPN app and you’ll be greeted with the login screen. Enter your login credentials here, starting with your e-mail address. Next you’ll add your username, which looks something like this: purevpn0xxxxxxx. If you’re not sure what this is, check your e-mail for a welcome message from PureVPN. Everyone gets one after signing up for the service, so you should have it ready to go. Enter this followed by your password, then click the green Login button to begin.

PureVPN offers a convenient Smart Connect option the moment you log into your device. This lets you sign in and stay protected with just a couple of clicks, no hassle or delay. Pick a country from the flags at the bottom of the screen, click the Connect button on this screen and you’ll be good to go.

How to Use PureVPN with Fire TV

Installation and setup was a breeze! Now it’s time to customize PureVPN a little bit to make it even more powerful than before. There are a few settings and a few features you should be aware of that can help you get the most out of your private online experience.

Change Protocols on PureVPN

Getting stuck behind an ISP throttling wall? Can’t get the best speeds out of your streams? You could have a connection issue unrelated to PureVPN. Don’t worry, there’s a good option at your disposal that can clear things up in a jiffy.

Open the PureVPN app, disconnect from the service, then select the settings gear icon in the top right corner of the screen. A window will slide in from the right. Pick the Select Protocol option near the top, just below the profile link.

In the protocol selection you’ll see two options: UDP and TCP. UDP is generally the best way to go for a smart balance between speed and security. If you’re having problems, though, you can switch to TCP for a more secure and reliable connection. Choose the option you want, confirm the changes, then return to your video streaming.

Select a Server Country

PureVPN’s huge server network spans the entire globe, covering over 140 countries with 750+ servers in all. You can use the Smart Connect feature to automatically find the fastest, closest server available, or you can choose a different country manually. This is useful for bypassing censorship walls or accessing videos using a foreign IP address.

To change your server country, open the PureVPN app and disconnect from the service. Move the selection box to the bottom where there’s a list of flags in a horizontal row. Scroll right through the alphabetical arrangement until you find the area you’re interested in. Click to select and PureVPN will automatically locate the fastest server for you in the new country. The connection will resolve after a few moments and you can return to streaming.

Logging Out of PureVPN

PureVPN will stay connected as long as you don’t force close the app or manually shut off your Fire TV. This automatically keeps you safe and secure no matter which apps you open or which videos you stream. If you want to log out of PureVPN for any reason, however, there’s a quick way to get this done.

Start by launching the PureVPN app and disconnecting from your current server. Select the settings icon in the top right corner of the screen, the one that looks like a gear. A window will slide in from the right. Scroll down and pick the Logout option at the bottom. Click your Fire TV remote and you’ll automatically be signed out of PureVPN. Be sure to log back in when you return to streaming, though, as otherwise you won’t be protected by the service’s encryption or location features.

Install PureVPN through Sideloading

While it isn’t strictly necessary to use a sideloading method to install PureVPN to your Fire TV, if you already run the service on an separate Android phone, there’s a fast and efficient way to copy it straight to your Fire Stick without having to go through the steps above.

Note that this will add the basic Android version of PureVPN’s software to your device, not the dedicated Fire Stick release. If you only have a remote for Fire navigation, you could have problems accessing some of the features. This is best reserved for anyone with a bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or mouse-emulating app for Fire who wants to quickly install PureVPN because they already have it on a dedicated device.

Follow the guide below to sideload PureVPN from another Android device using the free apps2fire program.

  1. If you haven’t done so already, sign up with PureVPN and activate your account.
  2. On your Android device, open the marketplace and search for PureVPN. You can also send PureVPN to Android via the browser downloads page.
  3. Install PureVPN on your Android phone.
  4. On the same device, install apps2fire. It’s a free program and should only take a moment to download.
  5. Run apps2fire and let it create a list of your local installs, which will include PureVPN.
  6. On your Fire TV, head to Settings > About – Network and copy down the IP address on the right.
  7. Back in apps2fire, slide the menu and tap Setup at the end. Type in your Fire TV’s IP address in the box, then tap “Search Fire TVs“.
  8. Apps2fire will establish a connection with your device. Go to the Local Apps tab on the left and scroll until you see PureVPN
  9. Tap the PureVPN icon, then select “Install”
  10. The transfer will initiate. In a few moments the Android version of PureVPN will be sideloaded onto your Fire device.

Conclusion

PureVPN is a fast and feature-rich VPN service with a lot of useful extras. It’s easy to install on any Fire TV or Fire Stick device, as the app supports the platform natively. You’ll only get the basic features, but with a little sideloading you can open up a world of safe content at your fingertips.

Read How to Install PureVPN on Fire Stick and Fire TV, Quick Guide by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Restart A Driver On Windows 10

When your Windows PC acts up, restarting it is always a good, quick fix, to a random problem. The same trick works for most every other device. If you can’t connect to your WiFi network, restart your WiFi router. If your phone is unresponsive, restart it. Sometimes, restarting  your PC doesn’t do the trick if a particular component isn’t working. For example, if the sound stops working, restarting your PC may or may not work. In such a case, you can try restarting the driver that’s causing problems. Here’s how you can restart a driver on Windows 10.

Run Troubleshooter

While you can restart a driver on Windows 10 easily enough, you should first run any and all troubleshooting options that Windows 10 gives you. As part of the troubleshooting process, the driver may automatically be restarted.

If the troubleshooter doesn’t work, feel free to manually restart the relevant driver.

Identify Driver

Before you can restart a driver, you need to identify which one it is that is causing problems. For example, if you’re having trouble with games, possibly with low FPS, you want to restart your GPU driver and not the display driver. If you’re having trouble with Bluetooth devices, you need to know which is the Bluetooth driver for Windows 10, and which is the device specific driver.

Restart A Driver

Open Device Manager with administrative rights. You can search for it via Windows search, right-click it, and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu.

Look for the device type that you want to restart a driver for. For example, for a Bluetooth driver, expand the Bluetooth devices. This is a good example of identifying the correct driver.

You will see a long list of device drivers that have been installed and somewhere in this list is your Bluetooth driver. You can try uninstalling the device and that might work but that isn’t how you restart the driver. The driver, the one that enables Bluetooth on your system, is Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R).

Right-click it and select ‘Disable device’. You will get an alert telling you that disabling a device will cause it to stop working. That’s a given so just accept the alert and the device will be disabled. Next, restart your PC.

Return to the Device Manger and enable the driver again. Open Device Manager, expand the list of devices, look for the driver you disabled, and right-click it. Select Enable Device to start the driver again.

If this doesn’t solve whatever problem it is you’re having, and the device in question is a plug & play device, you can uninstall it, unplug the device, and connect it again. Windows 10 will install the driver again when it detects the device and that may solve whatever problems you’re having.

Alternatively, if restarting a driver, and reinstalling the deHow To Restart A Driver On Windows 10vice isn’t working, check to see if there is a driver update available or if the driver has been updated which caused the device to stop working. In that case, you should roll back the driver, and stop Windows 10 from updating drivers.

Read How To Restart A Driver On Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter