Tips and Tricks for Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

The Ubuntu 11.10 codenamed Oneiric Ocelot comes with several changes including improvement of Unity, Gnome 3 and a new redesigned Ubuntu Software Center. The connection manager GDM has disappeared and replaced by LightDM. Ubuntu 11.10 uses the Linux kernel 3.0, which brings many improvements, including improved memory management, better support the Btrfs file system and IPv6 and the ability to adjust the screen brightness.

Apply a different keyboard layout to the entire system

If you managed to select the wrong keyboard layout during setup and you have troubles to enter your password each time, you can permanently change the settings as follows:

Edit the file /etc/default/keyboard and change the values to reflect your keyboard layout, for a French keyboard values could be:


Open a Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Turn on Num lock at startup

LightDM for now has no support to automatically activate NumLock at startup. To solve this, open a Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run this sequence of commands:

$ sudo apt-get install numlockx
$ echo "greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on" | sudo tee -a /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Disable Guest account

Ubuntu 11.10 ships with the guest account available at the LightDM login screen. The guest account can be disabled as follows:

Edit the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file.

$ sudo vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Add the following to the [SeatDefaults] section:


To achieve the changes restart the lightdm daemon:

$ sudo restart lightdm

Gnome Shell

Ubuntu 11.10 uses Gnome 3 (based on GTK 3) but the default user interface is Unity. To install Gnome Shell, open a Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Change Unity 2D Launcher auto-hide behavior

The Unity 2D Launcher auto hides by default in Ubuntu 11.10. To turn off this feature, install dconf-editor:

$ sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Check unity-2D options with this command:

$ dconf list /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/

You will see something like this:


Type in the following command to disable auto-hide:

$ dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut true

To reenable auto-hide, use this command:

$ dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut 0

Change icon size in Unity 3D Launcher

Open a Terminal (Ctrl-Alt-T) then install and run the CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) package using the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
$ ccsm

After launching CCSM, choose Desktop category and make sure that Ubuntu Unity Plugin is enabled by clicking the check box to the left of it. Select the Ubuntu Unity Plugin, click the Experimental tab then adjust the value of Launcher Icon Size by simple scrolling.


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