Small Ubuntu Tweaks

  • Date: February 17, 2019

Here are some of the small tweaks and changes I did to make Ubuntu more usable. Mostly documenting for my future self, though hopefully it helps others, too.

Getting videos working on Firefox

(As of 18.04)

sudo apt install libavcodec-extra

Make Firefox address bar behave like it does on all the other OS’

(As of Firefox 65)

Not sure why, but the address bar of Firefox on Linux doesn’t behave like Windows & MacOS. Namely, when you click the address bar, it selects all the text, and when you double-click, it selects a word (part of the address).

  • Go to about:config from the address bar
  • Set browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll to true
  • Set browser.urlbar.doubleClickSelectsAll to false

Removing the unwanted “favorites” from the sidebar of the file explorer/natilus:

(As of 18.04)

Modify these two files then restart:

$ vim ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs
$ sudo vim /etc/xdg/user-dirs.defaults

Install vanilla GNOME desktop

(As of 18.04 and GNOME 3)

I perfer the vanilla GNOME desktop.

  • Install the GNOME shell: sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell
  • Switch the CSS file used for the login screen: sudo update-alternatives --config gdm3.css and pick gnome-shell.css.

GNOME shell extensions

(As of 18.04)

  • Install the GNOME shell browser extension from
  • Install the GNOME Tweaks app from the Software Center and it’ll let you configure/manage these extensions

Useful extensions:

  • Dash to Dock gives you a dock and lets you customize dock location, auto-hide, etc.
  • KStatusNotifierItem/AppIndicator Support makes the icon on the top bar work again. Apps like Dropbox, Flameshot don’t work the the default GNOME tray icons for some reason?
  • Window List shows a bar at the bottom of the screen that shows active windows. Kind of like the Microsoft Windows task bar.