Ubuntu: My Missing Manuals

  1. Driver Installation
  2. Software Installation
  3. Customization
  4. Accelerators
  5. Issues

Driver Installation

  1. Read for detail: “Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8812AU USB Wireless Dongles”[1].
  2. Read for detail: “Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8192EU USB Wireless Dongles”[2].
  3. Read for detail: “Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8811CU/RTL8821CU USB Wireless Dongles”[3].
  4. Read for detail: “Install and Configure Linux Driver for Brother MFC-J430w”[4]. Although it’s written for OpenSuSE, they have similar steps. I will write a new tutorial for Ubuntu later this year.

Software Installation

Install from Ubuntu Software

  1. UFW
  2. GNOME Tweaks
  3. Psensor
  4. VLC
  5. GIMP
  6. Chromium
  7. System Profiler and Benchmark

I trust the source from “ubuntu-bionic-universe”, “ubuntu-bionic-updates-universe”, and “snap store”. Although some packages from the “snap store”[5] have permission issues[6], it usually provides a newer version.

Install from apt-get

  1. Read for Detail: “Install and Use Chinese Input in Ubuntu”[7].
  2. htop
  3. Xsane

For Rime for fcitx, htop, and XSane:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install fcitx fcitx-rime htop xsane

For Rime for iBus, htop, and XSane:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install ibus-rime htop xsane
$sudo gsettings set org.freedesktop.ibus.general switcher-delay-time -1

For Google Pinyin, htop, and XSane:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install fcitx fcitx-googlepinyin htop xsane

For Mainline, add the repository before installation[8]:

$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cappelikan/ppa
$sudo apt update
$sudo apt install mainline

Install from the Downloaded Package

  1. Chrome

Open with “Software Install” for easier installation.

Missing Customization

UFW Commands

$sudo ufw disable
$sudo ufw enable
$sudo ufw status

I don’t open any service to others. Just activate the firewall for basic protection. nixCraft explains more customization in detail[9].

GNOME Settings

  1. Background & Lock Screen (18.04 LTS)
    • “Colors”→”Black”
  2. Appearance (20.04 LTS)
    • “Window colors”→”Dark”
    • “Icon size”→”34” (for vertical resolution less than 800px)
    • “Position on screen”→”Right”
  3. Dock (18.04 LTS)
    • “Icon size”→”34” (for vertical resolution less than 800px)
    • “Position on screen”→”Right”
  4. Sound (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Over-Amplification”→”On”
  5. Power (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Blank screen”→”15 minutes”
    • “Automatic suspend”→ When idle “On” and Delay “20 minutes”
    • “When the Power Button is pressed” (18.04 LTS) or “Power Button Action”(20.04 LTS)→”Suspend”
  6. “Devices→Keyboard→Keyboard Shortcuts” (18.04 LTS) or “Keyboard Shortcuts” (20.04 LTS)→Typing (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Switch to next input source”→”Ctrl+Space”
  7. Region & Languages (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Formats”→”United Kingdom’

GNOME Tweaks

  1. Appearance→Themes (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Applications”→”Adwaita-dark”
    • “Cursor”→”DMZ-Black”
    • “Icons”→”Ubuntu-mono-dark”
  2. Desktop (18.04 LTS)
    • “Show Icons”→”On”
    • “Home”→”On”
    • “Network Servers”→”On”
    • “Trash”→”On”
    • “Mounted Volumes”→”On”
  3. Top Bar
    • “Application Menu”→”On” (18.04 LTS)
    • “Battery Percentage”→”On” (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Weekday”→”On” (20.04 LTS)
    • “Date”→”On” (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
  4. Windows→Titlebar Buttons (18.04 LTS) or Windows Titlebar (20.04 LTS)
    • “Placement”→”Left”
  5. Workspaces (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • Static Workspaces
    • “Number of Workspaces”→”8”

Text Editor Preferences

  1. Font & Colors (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Color Schema”→”Cobalt”

Chrome Preferences

  1. Appearance (18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS)
    • “Font Size”→”Large”

Rime for fcitx Installation and Preferences

After installation, change the input method:

  1. Run the command: $im-config. If it is not available, run “$sudo apt-get install im-config” to install.
  2. Select “fcitx” as the “user configuration”.
  3. Reboot.
  4. “Settings” → “Region & Language” → “Manage Installed Languages”.
  5. “Fcitx” should be selected in the “Keyboard input method system”.
  6. Click on Fcitx’s icon on top, “Configure” → “+” in the “Input Method” tab → Disable “Only Show Current Language” → Add an input method by searching “rime” and select “Rime”.
  7. Make sure the accelerator in the “Trigger Input Method” in the “Global Config” tab is assigned. It must be different from the “Switch to next input source” in the GNOME Control Center (“Settings” → “Devices” → “Keyboard”) which is used by IBus.
  8. To change the background color of the candidate area, open the “Input Method Configuration” dialog in step 6. In the “Appearance” tab, enable the “Show Advanced Options” and manually set the  “Skin Name” to ‘dark’. Selecting “skin/dark/fcitx_skin.conf” in the “Skin” list doesn’t work.

To customize displayed candidates, look for “page_size: 5” in “~/.config/fcitx/rime/build/default.yaml”. Only 1 to 9 is allowed. MUST have a space between the colon and the number.

If the “~/.config/fcitx/rime/build/luna_pinyin.schema.yaml ” exists, the “page_size” setting would overwrite the defaul in luna pinyin(朙月拼音). Edit the “luna_pinyin.schema.yaml” instead.

Restart Fcitx to apply.

On 2020/6/23, Fcitx has no problems with GoogleDoc but sometimes a double entry in OneNote or crash.


Pin order top-down:

  1. Chrome
  2. Firefox
  3. Chromium
  4. Calculator
  5. GIMP
  6. Text Editor
  7. Files
  8. VLC
  9. Ubuntu Software
  10. Software Updater
  11. Terminal
  12. Psensor
  13. System Monitor
  14. VirtualBox
  15. Screenshot



  1. Startup
    • Enable “Launch on session startup”
  2. Graph
    • Enable “Smooth curves”
    • “Monitor duration”→”300”
    • “Update interval”→”5”
  3. Sensors
    • “Measure update interval”→”5”

Scan All Sensors

$sudo sensors-detect

Sensor Preferences

  1. acpitz = ACPI Thermal Zone
  2. isa = ISA Adapter
  3. TIN = Temperature Index
  4. AUXTIN[10] = Auxiliary Temperature Index
    1. AUXTIN0 = Motherboard = SYS
    2. AUXTIN1 = MCH = Northbridge
    3. AUXTIN2 = CPU
    4. AUXTIN3 = Sensor near GPU/VRMs
  5. “SMBUSMASTER is the inner die CPU temperature while CPUTIN is the one reported through the motherboard sensors so SMBUSMASTER should be more precise[11]“.
  6. “Composite looks to be SSD temperatures, more specifically NVMe drives[12].”
  7. Enable “Display sensor in the label” for CPU, ISA Adapter, and ACPI thermal zone when found.
  8. For those with none or incorrect information, uncheck both “Graph”→”Display sensor in the list of sensors” and  “Application Indicator”→”Display sensor in the menu”.

Read the FAQ[13] to learn more.

There is no need to run “sensors-detect” after Ubuntu 16.04. It detects automatically[14].

System Monitor

  1. Preferences→Processes
    • “Update interval in seconds”→”5”
  2. Preferences→Resources
    • “Update interval in seconds”→”5”
    • Enable “Draw CPU chart as stacked area chart”
    • Enable “Show network speed in bits

Force GRUB Menu to Display and Duration

Open the grub configuration file, set GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE=menu and GRUB_TIMEOUT=10. Update the /boot/grub/grub.cfg configuration file.

$sudo vi /etc/default/grub
$sudo update-grub


They are all customizable in GNOME Settings→Devices→Keyboard→Keyboard Shortcuts.


Save a screenshot to Pictures[Print Screen]
Save a screenshot of an area to Pictures[Shift] + [Print Screen]
Save a screenshot of a window to Pictures[Alt] + [Print Screen]
Copy a screenshot to Clipboard[Ctrl] + [Print Screen]
Copy a screenshot of an area to Clipboard[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Print Screen]
Copy a screenshot of a window to Clipboard[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Print Screen]
Switch to workspace 1[Super] + [Home]
Switch to last Workspace[Super] + [End]
Move to a workspace above[Super] + [Page Up]
Move to a Workspace below[Super] + [Page Down]


Slow Startup

For any unusually slow startup, read for detail: “Fix Slow Boot with Linux”[15].

Fail to Launch Gnome Desktop

Try to fix gnome by reinstalling[16]:

$sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop

gnome may be launched by command line:


Need to reinstall rime after reinstalling ubuntu-desktop.


  1. Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8812AU USB Wireless Dongles
  2. Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8192EU USB Wireless Dongles
  3. Build the Linux Kernel Module to Enable RTL8811CU/RTL8821CU USB Wireless Dongles
  4. Install and Configure Linux Driver for Brother MFC-J430w
  5. snapcraft: Getting started
  6. AskUbuntu: Which VLC player should I install? [duplicate]
  7. Install and Use Chinese Input in Ubuntu
  8. UbuntuHandbook: Mainline – Another Tool to Install Latest Kernel in Ubuntu / Linux Mint
  9. nixCraft: How To Configure Firewall with UFW on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  10. Tom’s Guide HWMonitor CPUID: What is CPUTIN, AUXTIN, SYSTIN and TMPIN3?
  11. Reddit: What is the SMBUSMASTER in a Ryzen machine and why is it so hot?
  12. Boinc: What do the different temperatures mean?
  14. AskUbuntu: How do I get the CPU temperature?
  15. Fix Slow Boot with Linux
  16. AskUbuntu: Cannot open “Display” settings, error “Could not get screen information”

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