How to make a Unity launcher for Spread Mode?


I’m running 16.04. I want to click on a Unity launcher that invokes Super+W, or spread mode. Last I saw this answered was in 11.04. ( Is there anything that works in 16.04, preferably without installing more software?

Nothings really changed there, basically that ask ubuntu deal except it’s not necessary to create a script or link. You do have to install xdotool, then just create a .desktop in .local/share/applications & drag onto the unity launcher. It’s best (or possibly needed ) to give it an icon.

basic example –

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xdotool key super+w

Launchers such as this can only be used about once every 7 sec.’s or so, eg. when the icon stops flashing


Thank you, mc4man.


just in case someone wants & can’t find a decent icon, attached 2 I have, different colors, work ok in launcher as having trans backgrounds


Thanks, I altered one of those.

dist-upgrade Now WiFi don’t work



Running Ubuntu Mate on a Raspberry Pi, since doing apt-get dist-upgrade wifi now fails to connect.

This has happened on two different R-pis, on both occasions the wifi then ceased to connect.

On both occasions this was using a Pi-Hut wifi dongle. Strangely on the first R-Pi switching to an Edimax mini wifi dongle cured the fault, can’t check on second device as different location.


switching users broken?


I have found over the last year that with kde plasma 5, switching users is just an absolute mess. On my school’s computer science labs (which have been running kubuntu 15.04 and 15.10 since I started attendance) switching users, or “sessions” is a complete mess and involves hard shutting down the computer more often than not. I recently installed Kubuntu 16.04 on my personal machine and attempted to create a new user and switch users rather than log out and it appears to be direly broken on plasma 5.6 (from the backports). Is there something I’m missing? User switching has never been an issue on other desktops like GNOME, MATE, Cinnamon or XFCE. The attachment shows the error I get (hopefully I loaded it up right)

I would try the prompt on the screen. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2, then in the terminal type,
logintcl unlock-sessions

Then, press Ctrl+Alt+F7. Perhaps write the steps down on a pad to avoid confusion. After that you can go into your control panel and tweak some settings so it does not lock your sessions.


I’ve done all that before, I just want to avoid the issue so I’m not having to drop into different TTYs each time I want to switch a user. I find that rather insecure preventing sessions from locking when switching user, wouldn’t that mean switching back wouldn’t require authentication?

change wallpaper mode and background color on different desktops


I just started using lubuntu 16.04, and I usually use different background images for each virtual desktop. I did it in lubuntu (nice and easy, cool!), but noticed the wallpaper mode (the way the image is applied: stretched, zoomed, etc.) and the background color (if the wallpaper doesn’t fill the whole screen) don’t change between desktops. As most of my images don’t take up the whole screen and have very different color schemes, that bothers me.
Is there a way to fix it?

(I could open them in Gimp and make exactly screen-sized images that would fit my needs, but if there’s a simpler and more versatile solution – I change wallpapers regularly – I’d be grateful)


Lubuntu: Volume Control icon missing from panel


System is Lubuntu 16.04. Sound is working, and volume can be adjusted via pavucontrol.

But there’s no volume control icon in the panel, and no option in the panel update dialogue to add it.

Im not on my lubuntu system at present but I think the volume icon is in the “Notification area” applet in the panel.

I will try to boot to it shortly to double check that for you and report back.


In the Panel Applets menu, there’s an “Indicator applets” item within which there’s a “Sound Menu” tickbox, which is ticked. No sign of a Volume Control menu item (such as appears in my LXLE 14.04 system), or of a “Notification area”…

Dennis N

In the Panel Applets menu, there’s an “Indicator applets” item within which there’s a “Sound Menu” tickbox, which is ticked. No sign of a Volume Control menu item (such as appears in my LXLE 14.04 system), or of a “Notification area”…

Lubuntu’s default volume control is a panel applet, not an indicator applet.

Panel Settings > Panel Applets > Add > Volume Control.

Sound Menu is an indicator applet, but you have to install it, not just tick the box. When I tried it once in Lubuntu 14.04 I remember that the theming would not match the panel, so I abandoned that effort.


Ah yes, I see it now – many thanks!


Great! Please mark as SOLVED from the Thread Tools menu up-top. It is a great help to users searching the forum.

Removed unity have i3, is a bit quirky and need help tidying.


I had a choice of unity and i3 at the lightdm login, once I was used to i3 I decided to remove unity- this wasn’t so much because I didn’t want both, that was a good setup, I removed it because
there is a handful of quirky config conflicts and I couldn’t customize i3, these issues were:

A grey menu bar for each newly created and stacked i3 terminal.
That really quite nice deep purple background.
the better ubuntu font.
that i3 config would not change the font type.

also I wouldlike to know how to auto start i3 with light dm, as I have started differently a lot of the walkthroughs and tutorials I find simply dont apply to my situation,
lightdm never has the config file its suppoed to, i3 doesnt have the fonts folder, where are these things?

Also, I did use that menu bar to select preferences and have it never show up again, I also used it to change to a font htat I have gone off, ironically know that annoying menu bar HAS gone, I cant change the font back.

Incidently there is some use to the old ubuntu stuff, if I get could the networking gui upp, it was easy to conenct to wifi than with network manager.
and the old profile preferences, is there a commond shortcut to get that up too? after all I just told the menu not to appear I didn’t delete it

It seems there’s accidental problems but everythings still sort of working nicely and I could put up with the conflict if I could solve these specific issues.

-if I could get profile preferences up can someone tell me how to add a new font-

I can see this post is messy with lots of bits on it but ultimatley im looking for a bit of direction.

Unity cannot just be removed, there are packages that are needed (dependencies). For a i3 only install we have what is called the mini iso.

Notice that the mini iso is only 40M, nothing there till you put it there.


So you think I should fresh re-install the whole shebang? before I start, will I still need a fresh lightdm or is that included?

Im am new to this, and I get the impression that Iwould need to know how to configure hat.


If you do not understand the packages, then this is a very hard way to go. Maybe you would be better off installing a core system and then installing i3. I3 is not widely used and its difficult to get help with, but installing it to a core metapackage should get you going.


ahhh too late xD, however I got so far the first time round and the odd quirks could be useful and I know how I got to that point;

I originally installed arch and i3 on a piece of junk laptop as an experiment and got somewhere with that too, it looked so so deeply ugly though, but
at least I managed so I think I will be fine tk.

-wait on that note- Is there a gui network manager I really HATE network setup on cmd, I have had bad pi/virgin media problems, dhcp yo ucan forget about it especially with their new routers.


Ok, this route will be a good learning experience. I can’t help with i3, but…

auto start i3 with light dm

Arch has a different approach

And it may help you to know about googlubuntu

I’ll drop back in here at lunch (5 hours), see what you think 🙂


I3 is not widely used and its difficult to get help with

The i3 mailing list is easily accessible and newbie-friendly:
And there’s also the IRC channel: irc://


thanks guys, I been held back missivley, I used the minimum install iso and it kept loading the bootloader on the usb stick, I installed the server addition without addons in the end, im configuring networking now, got ethernet, so far so good, but cant tell you if beautiful yet, as for arch, I need to learn a bit more, but thats what the junk laptop is for.

tk guys, its less frustrating when you know your not completely alone in the world.


ja its hopeless xD

ubuntu server has a lot of junk on it too, installed light dm and i3, typing exec i3 makes the terminal purple so somethings happening/.

also no folders that are supposed to be there in the user guide exist, don’t know where to go from here.


Okay installing ubuntu is my life know and i hate every moment of it, fml


okay is fine heres what is different now.

ubuntu min you got ot take out the usb else it installs grub in the disk.
black screen does work, you hit ctrl + alt + f1 😛
downloaded all the xserver-xorg stuff.
downloaded i3, BAM it works 😀

No to go back to stressing about beauty, but my god do I got performance and efficiency!!


No to go back to stressing about beauty, …
Screenshots would be nice!

When you installed i3, did you install with or without its recommends?


im stil lworking on it, I will stil lscreen shot though, turns out to be very simple install.
no recomends at all, so I might learn the hard way, wicd-gtk works fine though.

im focussing on superficial looks now like fonts and screensaver, that and its got to start up in i3 else I could wait an age
and not know its booted (black screen)

Panel missing on startup – does anyone know what causes this?


Allow me to preface this by saying I am not stuck or anything like that. I have found a temporary solution… which I am hoping can help with figuring out what the cause is.

The issue: once in a while, when the DE loads, I have a background, but no panel on the bottom of the screen. I can right click and access settings. This has happened twice already

The fixes – according to google: Most searches end with solutions such as deleting or renaming the .cache folder, or taking ownership via chown. Removing the folder works, but resets the settings. chown doesn’t work at all.

My workaround:

The first thing I noticed was that I could still bring up the search box (alt + F2) and launch programs that way.

Then I realized I installed ksuperkey a few days ago, so I hit the super key, and the panel launched, but it was on the right side of the screen.

My temporary fix: I went into System Settings> Startup and Shutdown > Desktop Session, and selected “Start with an empty session”. On reboot, the issue was resolved.

I am thinking at this point that it has something to do with restoring the prior session. I will note – when I shut it down, there were no open programs.

I am hoping to get two things out of this post. 1) an explanation of what is happening and why, and 2) potentially helping someone else with the same issues (though I am sure someone else has already gotten this far before me.)

Vnc server without supported display HW??


I am trying to setup a headless box with no graphics HW. It is to be accessed via VNC. I am running lubuntu-desktop because it is resource light.

– How SHOULD/can this be done?
– can this be done so that I get some type of GDM login?
– The server needs to run non-gui most of the time to preserve resources, but have gui enabled/disabled from cli via ssh as needed and hopfully without reboot.

This question is for an Orange pi PC running Armbian Xenial. I upgraded the kernel to 4.7.3 to provide (mostly?) stable btrfs, but lost the display driver (not yet available in 4.7.3, only in the armbian legacy 3.4 (android?) H3 kernel).

On other boards I have used x11vnc to access the native X running on HW. Without a working display HW X will not start and that strategy will not bear fruit.

I chose to try tightvnc-server. I have not been able to figure out how to get it to work like the native server (start at boot and let user login.)

I did eventually manage to make it work by running tightvnc-server as a specific user through ssh.


No login GUI. The ssh connection/tunnel will be the credentials. Don’t use VNC directly, always go through an ssh tunnel.

VNC is one option. Use the –localhost option on the server to ensure nobody that doesn’t use an ssh-tunnel can connect. VNC network connections aren’t sufficiently secure. No encryption. ssh-tunnel is needed.

Or use x2go. It uses the NX protocol which includes ssh by default. For most people, x2go/NX is 2-3x faster than VNC.

I have ZERO clue what an Orange Pi is. If it is low resources, use ssh, not any GUI. Plus ssh is needed for all these solutions anyways, so get that working before trying x2go, which uses the same port for connections. It will also honor ssh-keys, if you have them.

Menus in title bar?


Would it be possible making Metacity display the program menus in the window decoration, beside the buttons Close, Minimize and Maximize? I don’t need seeing the title displayed, so having File, Edit, View, etc there would be a better way of using that area.