Ubuntu Unity how to force windows placement

Hi, I’ve always experienced problems when I upgrade my pc, I have a dual monitor system and I’m using NVidia driver manually installed because otherwise my Ubuntu (12.04 & 12.10) doesn’t work. Randomly every window that I open puts itself wherever it wants, on the main monitor, on the second one, at the middle, full screen, etc. So I have to configure Compiz manually.

For a start:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then open it via the dash, just write “Compiz”, then look up for the plugin called: “Place Windows”, the following one is its icon:

Then leave “workarounds” selected, but change “Placement Mode” personally I set “Cascade”, then at the last row of the general tab write in the void space:

In the next tab “Placing a window to a fixed position” or something like that, select “new” in “Windows with fixed position”, write “any” and insert as value 100 for x and 100 for y.

That’s it. Press Alt+F2 then write compiz –replace

Everything should works.


How to make Insync works in Ubuntu 12.04 and Gnome Shell 3.4

At least I decided to exploit Insync to use my Google space online, I haven’t done it before because there wasn’t a gnome shell extension, that is now provided, but it lacks of instructions and on other website I follow they are very general, so this morning I spent half an hour for something that takes only 5 minutes, that’s what you should do to make it works and to make the extension to appear on the right and to work properly.

1. First of all download the main package from their website, this is the download page: https://forums.insynchq.com/discussion/1478/insync-for-linux-beta-8-0-9-23, or whether you prefer it this is the direct link: http://s.insynchq.com/builds/insync-beta-gnome-cinnamon-common_0.9.23_i386.deb, this is the version for 32 bit machine, and I know they write that is the version for LinuxMint and Fedora but works on Ubuntu too; if you need the 64 bit version click here.

2. Then download but do not install the “GnomeShell Javascript Applet” (for both version) because it doesn’t work, so right-click on it when you have downloaded it and select open as an archive, then enter the folders (usr\share\gnome-shell\extensions\) until you see the one called “something@insynchq.com” extract it to /.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions (local is a hidden folder so you need to press Ctrl+H when you are in the home directory to see it)

3. Search for the Gnome Tweak Tool on the applications, and then switch on the button on Insync, it should appear on the right near the weather extension or so

4. (optional) I was running the extension called:  “Places Status Indicator by gcampax “, it’s just a shortcut for some folders on your pc, but it sopped to work when I switched on the Insync one, anyway I started using the “All-in-one Places by jofer” and the problem was solved, and to be honest the latter extension is far better than the older one. So if you have the same problem just change extension.

Ubuntu and Sound Card Via VT1708/A


It’s not a technical blog, but since I use Ubuntu and I’ got a Via VT1708/A sound card which is not detected by the system if it is used with another sound card (or as in my case the HDMI output), I decide to report here the workaround.

I’ve found it on another website (http://hardc0l2e.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/vt1708a-workaround-for-ubuntu-10-10/) where unfortunately the code contains a slight errors that in fact avoids it to work, the code contains that: ” instead of : “, in the Linux’s world it’s completely another ball game.

I can also testify that it works for Ubuntu 12.04 and previous versions (up to 10.04) , here is the code:

sudo vi /etc/default/grub

Then you replace the  GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=whatever with:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash pci=use_crs”

And finally:

sudo update-grub

Reboot and you sound card will be detected.

I hope this helps!

How to fix Ubuntu 12.04 & Nvidia Gt220 freezes with dual monitor and hdmi audio

***Ubuntu 12.10 update***

I’ve just updated my Ubuntu, the following workaround is still necessary to install the video driver manually and to blacklist some others, because otherwise Unity doesn’t work on my pc. However it seems that the audio on HDMI works pretty fine without doing anything. That’s a good news. I’m currently running Nvidia 304.60 driver with no other issues.


I’ve got an Nvidia GeForce Gt220, I recently upgraded my Ubuntu to 12.04 version, and I’ve experienced a lot of problems with my second monitor (a television set), every time I plug it in or I switch it off Ubuntu got frozen and like a bonus the hdmi audio exit doesn’t work. A great start for a Long Time Support edition…

However after dozen of tests and plenty of time wasted I managed to solve the problem, now the system do not freeze and audio on the hdmi exit works.

That is what I did:

1. We need to download the Nvidia beta driver 302.7, notice that this is the only one that has worked for me, I tried an old one which had worked with the old Ubuntu version (280.x) and it does not work any more.


5th September 2012 Update: Just checked the 304.43 version with Ubuntu 12.04 and works great. Here is the link to download it, then follow the instructions below:


2. Move it to your home

3. Then we have to disable the Nouveau driver at every level, in a terminal you write:
sudo apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau


sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

and at the end of the file let’s add:

blacklist vga16fb
blacklist nouveau
blacklist rivafb
blacklist nvidiafb
blacklist rivatv

Close the file and save.

4. Reboot

5. Then at the next start press: Ctrl+alt+F1
Insert your login credential and then write:
sudo stop lightdm
sudo sh ./NVidiaTabToCompleteTheFilesName.run

The installer will load, I always got an error from the pre-install script, anyway press “Yes” when it will ask you to continue, and press Yes to every following questions.
At the end of the process reboot again (write: sudo reboot).
The video driver should work.

6. Let’s check the audio of the second monitor plugged through the hdmi cable in my case it didn’t work so I had to do something about it, if you had the same problem, that’s what I did:

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/sound.conf

and I added this line:

options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=0 probe_mask=0xfff2

Reboot again, everything works!!!

For the last step I suggest you to read a list of other option that could be useful if you had another graphic card or a different chip or vendor:

7. [OPTIONAL] We could do another step forward implementing a script that will update every new kernel release with our Nvidia driver, I’ve got it on the Ubuntu forum and it seems to work, I tested it in the last kernel update, after two or three reboot it worked, without do anything else but anyway I do not think of it as an essential part of the process any more since I have to reboot more than once. If you do not want to use it please skip to point 8.


8. When a new kernel become available you should recompile your manually installed driver, or just reinstall it. I prefer the second solution because it is easier; that’s what the Nvidia Common Problems Chapter says about it:

I just upgraded my kernel, and now the NVIDIA kernel module will not load.

The kernel interface layer of the NVIDIA kernel module must be compiled specifically for the configuration and version of your kernel. If you upgrade your kernel, then the simplest solution is to reinstall the driver.

ADVANCED: You can install the NVIDIA kernel module for a non running kernel (for example: in the situation where you just built and installed a new kernel, but have not rebooted yet) with a command line such as this:
# sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-173.14.09-pkg1.run –kernel-name=’KERNEL_NAME’
Where ‘KERNEL_NAME’ is what uname -r would report if the target kernel were running.

There is another situation that seems not be taken in mind by anyone, when xorg is updated bad things will happen. So yesterday when I update my Ubuntu, Gnome Shell wouldn’t run any more, it says that cutter was unable to load and of course my hdmi audio didn’t work.

So if your kernel or xorg are updated you have to reinstall your Nvidia driver:

press: Ctrl+alt+F1
sudo stop lightdm

sudo sh ./NVidiaTabToCompleteTheFilesName.run --uninstall

Press yes to everything, then:

sudo sh ./NVidiaTabToCompleteTheFilesName.run

Press yes as always and finally:

sudo reboot

That’s it, everything has worked again, a little bit boring to reinstall everything every time but unfortunately that’s the only way I managed to solve both problems, dual monitor and hdmi audio.

Edit on 26th May 2012 and 5th September 2012.

Ubuntu 12.04

It’s almost a week since the new Ubuntu came out and I want to express my opinion about that. And it’s not a positive one.

Precise, not so sure...

I’m a Ubuntu user since 2007, I’ve always experienced some trouble, as almost anyone on Ubuntu, but nothing that google cannot solve in a couple of hours. Then came up Precise Pangolin, even Long Time Support…

In the last seven days I have had to install it at least three times, because my dual monitors and Nvidia graphic card make it freezing all the time.

It is so disappointing.

It’s the first time that I miss Windows, I have to admit it to my self. I spent hours (because I am a passionate not a technician) creating partitions, to have the chance to install every Ubuntu flower as soon as it was released without loosing my files. Actually this had to be the last one, because I have less spare time and I’d like a LTS edition for the next year at least. But it was not possible, what really disappointing me is that we’re talking of all hardware which is supposed to work with Ubuntu…

Anyway getting back to Windows is not a real option, the safety that Linux provide is too valuable for me and give a chance to open source still a good option for everyone in my opinion.


Edit: At the end I get Ubuntu working, with my Nvidia GT220 by uninstalling their driver and using the Nouveau driver (the one installed by default). Even the dual screen works, therefore when you plug in the second screen or you switch it on everything become black for 2-3 seconds and then everything works perfectly, on the whole this is a smaller problem than the preceding one,  and makes the system working. Anyway I had to install Ubuntu for the 4th time to make it running. Disappointing, fortunately everything now works!