UnlockMe cos’ I’m lazy!
I don’t know about you but I happen to have quite a few scripts for my Linux installations. This was a Linux Mint deployment week for me; my father’s PC HDD died – which is actually cool because he has forcefully upgraded to an SSD and ohh boy that he likes! Yeah, he has been a Linux Mint user for a couple years now and he wants nothing but Linux Mint in his computer. Then a few more installs for friends and relatives as if they had all agreed upon having their machines busted and upgraded the same week; coincidence? Anyways, as I was saying… ermm, I’m lazy! It is painful to have to go through the scripts folder after a fresh run to install the apps I want, customizations, etc., so I’m giving that a turn around with a little yad application once for all… and having no flashy name for it I just called it UnlockMe!
UnlockMe is a simple yad, zenity in bash script home-brewed application that aims at keeping apps, Desktop themes, Icon themes, cursors packs and a few tweaks in one single place for Linux Mint 18.x Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce editions, both 32-bit and 64-bit Architectures. Indeed, it supports all three Editions so options will be dynamically shown or hidden based on the desktop environment and version in which it is executed. With that said, it does take quite a bit of coffee to get it all coded and tested… and it’s still a work in progress. Irrespective, the best way to get more done is to share it out and let others contribute as well as getting feedback from those who dare to take it for a spin. So, I’ll make it available at GH later where others can add contributions, feedback or simply scrutinize my poor bash scripting skills 😛 … and make it better in the process. Enough ranting, let’s dive in.
UnlockMe Main Dialog features few tweaks (more to be added as time allows), cleanup scripts and a couple of sections for installing and removing applications, themes, extensions and few more things.
This section holds Desktop, Icons and Cursors themes for installation. Note that the computer must be connected to the internet to download and install packages. Most are downloaded from GitHub, (compiled if needed) and then installed. Few may come from my own repo servers. Themes will be displayed for installation based on the OS Desktop Edition and version.
The cool thing (and the idea behind it) is that you can not only install themes but also remove them once installed – just a click away! I’ve been there before (too many times actually)… download themes or icon packs, extract them (compile it at times) and copy them to the right location. Else, add a PPA, update cache and install… UnlockMe will do this for you instead, with easy.
It also does things such as automatically installing (or warning users before removing) themes that need other themes to inherit from, for example.
There are also options that will be shown only when needed. E.g.: “Firefox Vertex Theme”. When Vertex Desktop Theme is installed, UnlockMe will also install the Firefox theme that comes with it for you (Vertex Theme provides Firefox theme support).
…and then additional options are made available to allow the user to set which flavor of Vertex theme for Firefox the user prefers. No need to manually copy and overwrite Firefox Vertex themes, UnlockMe does it a couple clicks away:
A list of commonly used applications (other common apps will be added later as time allows – tell me which common app you would like to add to the list) to have them installed contiguously with a single click. The most recent version (stable branches) are downloaded and installed for you. Some apps require the addition of PPAs and unlockMe will also take care of this on the spot; no additional user interaction required other than selecting from the list of apps.
As applications are installed, UnlockMe may help you discover additional features such as the Dropbox extension (support for your specific file manager).
The list of tweaks is pretty much self explanatory. It is a small collection of scripts to keep your system clean and speedy. Some tweaks are dynamically shown depending on the applications installed in your system and only when there are tasks to perform. For example, look at the screenshots below before and after running a cleanup:
How to change the PC Hostname is a commonly asked question at Linux Mint forums. Hence, UnlockMe features an easy GUI way to do it that does not even require to Logoff in Xfce or MATE editions. In Cinnamon though, a logoff is required but even then users do not need to completely restart. Indeed, it will update the hostname on the spot, register it on DNS so that it is instantly resolvable on the network and update services as necessary, including Samba for those running Samba shares off of the Mint machine
It also deals with the human factor a little bit :P. Mistakenly, users (specially newcomers) may try to use forbidden characters in the hostname; while there is no way to prevent users from doing that when editing files manually, UnlockMe can certainly reduce the chances of that happening.
Last but not least, there are few performance tweaks (more will be included at your suggestion as time allows). Each of them is described in the UI.
And that’s all it offers for now. I’ll make it available sometime next week