Vyacheslav Rusakov
Vyacheslav Rusakov's Blog

Vyacheslav Rusakov's Blog

Comfortable Ubuntu (21.10)

Comfortable Ubuntu (21.10)

Vyacheslav Rusakov's photo
Vyacheslav Rusakov
·Dec 28, 2021·

5 min read

I had a chance to once again configure fresh ubuntu installation and, while I remember everything, describe basic moments. For me, this post would stay as a reminder, for you, it might reveal some configuration hints.

DISCLAIMER: configuration performed for desktop PC with 22" monitor (1920x1080 resolution). The most annoying thing in Ubuntu for me is font size which I always reduce. Also, because I need VNC access, I use Xorg login instead of wayland. As I write it by memory, actions sequence may not be exact (but, anyway, all required actions should be described).

This is how fresh Ubuntu 21.10 looks:


*See overall toolbars positions

And this is how it could look:

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 12-14-20.png

Step 0

Install ubuntu-restricted-extras:

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Enable partner repositories :

Other Software tab_001.png

Install Tweaks utility from ubuntu store:

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 12-51-35.png

Language switch shortcut

By default language switched with super + space. To change it use Tweaks tool:

Screenshot from 2022-01-26 14-16-14.png

In the "Keyboard and Mouse" section click on "Additional Layout Options" and select, for example, Alt + Shift there:

Screenshot from 2022-01-26 13-59-07.png

Scroll lock for alternative language

To indicate alternative language with a scroll lock, you'll need to install dconf-editor application:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Start it form the apps menu and go to org.gnome.desktop.input-sources:

Screenshot from 2022-01-26 14-11-37.png

Add 'grp_led:scroll' in the "Custom value".

Now on each language switch (with Alt + Switch or manually in tray) "Scroll Lock" would indicate alternative language selection.


Install Microsoft fonts (Times New Roman, Arial):

sudo apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

It will be required for chrome.

My preferred monospace font is Inconsolata-g. To install it download otf version, double click, and hit install:

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 12-58-46.png

It would be used for console and code (IDE).

Also, download and install Inconsolata-g for Powerlines.otf from here. This font would be required for chrome (it looks sharper).

Then flush fonts cache:

sudo fc-cache -f -v

Configure system fonts in Tweaks tool:



Add chrome source:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
sudo apt update

Install chrome:

sudo apt install google-chrome-stable

To remove chrome icon from tray:

Chrome settings / Advanced / System
Disable "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed"

NOTE: don't enable "Use GTK+" in Appearance (as it's often suggested) - tabs would look only uglier with it.

To avoid giant tabs (and even more giant tab hints) in chrome customize fonts:

Chrome settings / Advanced / Appearance / Customize fonts


Probably, a system restart would be required for changes to take effect (do it later).


All other customizations will require extensions:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

*Could be already installed

Open extensions site. It may ask you to install also a chrome extension (do it).

Here you can find and install new extensions.

Some extensions may be configured only from the Extensions application (you can run it from apps menu):


Windows bar

The most important extension is Dash-to-Panel - windows-like bottom panel.

By default, the panel is larger than it should be. To reduce panel size, open options and reduce "Panel thickness" setting below 48:

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 13-43-27.png

By default, bar selections looks horrible (with rounded selections). To fix this I use Arc theme. But to install it you'll need to first install User Themes extension.

sudo apt install arc-theme

Then open Tweaks app "Appearance" section and set "Shell" to "Arc":

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 13-54-36.png

NOTE: it is also highly advised to change "Applications" theme (for example to "Adwaita") to get rid of orange selections (blue selections are much more natural).


To show different toolbars on each monitor (separate applications in toolbar) open dash-to-panel extension options "Behavior" tab:

  • Disable "Show favorite applications on secondary panels"
  • Enable "Isolate monitors"

Screenshot from 2022-01-26 13-36-51.png

Also, make sure that on "Position" tab "Display panels on all monitors" is enabled

Different wallpaper on login

Install Lock screen background extension and set custom background in its options.

World clocks

If you need to see multiple clocks (if you work with multiple time zones) install "Clocks" from "Ubuntu Software".

All configured additional clocks would appear in the main toolbar popup (when clicking on time).


Mulit-line date

Date Menu Formatter could help with tray date configuration and even do it in windows-style two-lines fashion


Time only in tray

By default, a "day of month" is shown in tray near time. To remove it use "Tweaks":

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 14-46-58.png

Under "Top Bar" section disable "Date" switcher and "day of month" part would disappear.



First, install the "Weather" app in "Ubuntu Software". Run it and add location.

Then install Weather in The Clock extension.

Weather icon will appear in tray and weather widget in the main popup (when clicking on date) and by clicking on this widget, the weather app would launch.


System monitor

It is always good to see what happens under the hood. I prefer to see CPU/memory/network and CPU temperature in the tray:


Install "System Monitor" from "Ubuntu store".

And then install the extension:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-system-monitor

WARNING: it is important to install it like this and not from the website because otherwise, it would not work.

System restart would be required.

After that configure graphs you need from extensions options (click on graph - "Preferences...")

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 14-23-08.png

Mark "Display" all graphs you want to see. Also, reduce "Graph Width" (to 50) for each graph.


"Quake-style" terminal (rising from above by hitting F12) is very handy.

Screenshot from 2021-12-28 14-27-02.png

Install ddterm extension.

The tray icon may be removed in options.

NOTE: it is also handy to install terminator - replacement for the usual terminal which can split into multiple sections.

Safe eyes

Last but not least: small utility SafeEyes.

All it does is show you a black screen every 15 minutes and force you to do some eye exercises.

It drives me mad sometimes, but it works very well. And it helps, especially with the "dry eyes".

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:slgobinath/safeeyes
sudo apt update
sudo apt install safeeyes
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