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Default Desktop for Ubuntu: XUbuntu

The top panel / toolbar

The panel is set to be at the top of the screen. To make changes to the panel or create another one, right-click in a blank area on the panel and select Panel then Panel Preferences.


Menus change and the places of programs change. If you prefer certain applications to be under different menus use the main menu editor (Applications -> Settings -> Menu Editor).


The screensaver has a low timeout. The preference menu to change it is under Settings Manager then Screensaver.

Mail notification

This is an applet which informs you when new mail arrives (a modern-day equivalent of xbiff). It will not run by default, only if you have configured it. If the in-tray icon is blinking then mail-notification is probably trying to access a system mailbox which no longer exists, and needs to be reconfigured or disabled.

To configure mail-notification, go to Settings Manager -> Mail Notification. Remove anything labelled "system mailbox". Click Add and select mailbox type IMAP.

Settings for Hermes users

  • For the server enter
  • Check that your username matches your CRSid, change it if necessary
  • The password is your Hermes password

Settings for local email users

  • For the server enter
  • Your username will already be filled in
  • The password is your Maths Linux password

Now switch to the Connection tab and change the connection type to "In band SSL/TLS" before clicking Add.

If you do not want to use mail-notification you can get rid of it by deleting your .gnome2/mail-notification directory and then logging out and back in.

Default applications

When you double-click on a file in the graphical file manager, the system guesses what program to open it with. Sometimes this won't be the one you want, in which case you can change the default. To do this, right-click on the file you're trying to open and select Properties then Open With. Select the application you want from the list and click Close.

This procedure will also work if files downloaded with Google Chrome are being opened in the wrong application. Find the files in the Downloads directory (accessible directly from the Places menu).