Temperature Display

To get a temperature display of your laptop.
> sudo apt-get install sensors-applet

Right click on the top dock area and select “Add to Panel…”
Scroll down to the Hardware section and click on Hardware Sensor Monitor.

Virtual Machine Software

After some pretty disappointing experiences with VMWare on Ubuntu, I tried out VirtualBox.

WinXP runs very fast in VirtualBox.

Use the non-open source version of VirtualBox. Do not install the virtualbox-ose version from the Gutsy repos or else you do not get USB support.

Add following line /etc/apt/sources.list:

The innotek public key for apt-secure can be downloaded here. You can add this key with

You may need to install some additional libraries on your Linux system in order to run VirtualBox (I didn’t)- in particular, you will need libxalan-c, libxerces-c and version 5 of libstdc++.

Now install VirtualBox from synaptic.

The following is required to get USB support working.

Edit the file /etc/udev/rules.d/40-

permissions.rules (for this, you must have administrative privileges)

3.1 Search for the following lines

3.2 Change them to the following

Basically, in the file /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh you need to edit the lines:


to look like this (removing four #’s):


To copy VMs, ( for example, to copy the VM named ARMDev to XPTemplate) issue the command:

VBoxManage clonevdi ARMDev.vdi XPTemplate.vdi

Using SVideo connector

Backup your xorg.conf file first. Really. You have been warned.

pushd /etc/X11;sudo cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.safe;popd
  • Plug in the svideo cable to your TV
  • Optional: Turn off extra effects (compiz) to gain more screen area if you are running AWN
  • Reboot Linux
  • Will boot on laptop LCD but once it gets to GDM will put output on both laptop and TV. Screen resolution will be automatically reduced.
  • When done, remove svideo cable and reboot laptop to get to original configuration.

Enabling Compiz

edit /usr/bin/compiz and do 2 searches for intel then comment out the following line

T=”$T 8086:2982 8086:2992 8086:29a2 8086:2a02 8086:2a12″  # intel 965

This line blacklists the i965gm x3100 graphics chipset from compiz due to video playing problems (and sure enough, you cannot play videos with Compiz active).

Then from the menu, select System->Preferences->

Appearance then the Visual Effects tab and select Extra.

You can also install the compizconfig-settings-manager module to enable even more insane desktop effects.


To make the touchpad more responsive.

Add the xorg.conf entries first, then install gsynaptic and then reboot (or restart X)

My MaxSpeed is 1.5

Add this to your xorg.conf file. Then restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Bksp). Save any unsaved work before restarting X.

Option “AccelFactor” “0.25”

Sound Volume

The default sound volume is messed up, being set too low. To increase the sound volume, in a terminal, run:


use the left arrow key to go over to the Front bar and use the up
arrow to increase it to 100%.

Playing DVDs

From https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

Go to Applications → Add/Remove…
Set Show: to All available applications
Search for ubuntu-restricted-extras and install it.

Install VLC. Totem-gstreamer will not work properly with DVDs

You may need to go to
/usr/share/doc/libdvdread3 and run
$ sudo ./install-css.sh

to install the DVD decrypter codec, but i am not sure.

Reboot and then use VLC to play the DVD.