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Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

Ubuntu tips and tricks from my usage of Ubuntu from time to time.


To make changes, edit /etc/default/grub. Commit them by issuing the following command

    sudo update-grub
  • Force boot menu by commenting out following line

  • Reprobe for other OS's

    sudo os-prober


Canonical has a searchable site for all the packages provided by any PPA.

If you want to list ALL the available PPAs, you can browse on the right to the appropriate release and architecture. The resulting page will be a search. Enter nothing and hit the search button. An alphabetically sorted list will be provided. 18.04 has nearly 80,000 PPAs, so some search parameter will be needed to narrow things down.


    grep ppa /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/danielrichter2007-ubuntu-grub-customizer-artful.list:deb artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/danielrichter2007-ubuntu-grub-customizer-artful.list:# deb-src artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ deb-src artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/heyarje-ubuntu-makemkv-beta-artful.list:deb artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/heyarje-ubuntu-makemkv-beta-artful.list:# deb-src artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ deb-src artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/system76-ubuntu-pop-artful.list:deb artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/system76-ubuntu-pop-artful.list:# deb-src artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ artful main
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ deb-src artful main


Update repos and current install

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt upgrade

Fix PPAs to new release

    sudo sed -i 's/artful/bionic/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

Update to new release version

    sudo apt dist-upgrade


To use any NVIDIA driver other than what Canonical supports add the graphics team's following PPA:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
    sudo apt-get update

You should have in the "Software & Updates" application, under the "Additional Drivers" tab, the new driver series. In the case of 18.04 at launch, 390 and 396 were both present now, along with nouveau.

If you want to do this via the terminal, here you can search available drivers:

    $ sudo apt-cache search nvidia metapackage
    vdpau-driver-all - Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (driver metapackage)
    nvidia-driver-390 - NVIDIA driver metapackage
    nvidia-headless-390 - NVIDIA headless metapackage
    nvidia-headless-no-dkms-390 - NVIDIA headless metapackage - no DKMS
    boinc-client-nvidia-cuda - metapackage for CUDA-savvy BOINC client and manager
    bumblebee-nvidia - NVIDIA Optimus support using the proprietary NVIDIA driver
    hashcat-nvidia - Installs hashcat and its dependencies for users with NVIDIA GPU
    nvidia-opencl-dev - NVIDIA OpenCL development files
    nvidia-driver-396 - NVIDIA driver metapackage
    nvidia-headless-396 - NVIDIA headless metapackage
    nvidia-headless-no-dkms-396 - NVIDIA headless metapackage - no DKMS

To install the 396 driver, and vulkan:

    sudo apt update 
    sudo apt install nvidia-driver-396 vulkan


By the time you read this, the .deb file should have the repo fixed, but if you are upgrading from anything to 18.04, the repo file will be broken. Here are the steps to take to fix it, aside from removing the package, and reinstalling:

Edit the repo file:

    sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

Find the repo line, and fix it so it has [arch=amd64] in it as follows:

    deb [arch=amd64] stable main


Plymouth is the tool that handles your boot theme. If you, for example install Kubuntu and drop XFCE into it via installing xubuntu-dekstop metapackage, you will likely have the Xubuntu boot image. Reverting back can be done using the following procedure. This also applies if you install any additional themes via the plymouth-themes package and wish to use them.

    sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
    sudo update-initramfs -u