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Linux hints and tips

Mint: Stop windows snapping to the screen sides

Everyone is different and they have their likes and dislikes when it comes to the Linux interface. One feature that you either love or hate in Mint is that when you drag a window around the screen to reposition it and it comes close to the screen edge, it snaps to it and lines itself up. If you pick up a window and try to move it into the corner of the screen you'll find that it is repelled and it's difficult, if not impossible to do.

If this is driving you nuts, then here is how to turn off the feature. Go to the Menu and open CompizConfig Settings Manager (find it under All or Preferences). Go to the Window Management section and clear the tick against Snapping Windows.

Of course, if you like this feature then you'll find some useful customisation settings if you click the icon. For example, you can adjust the edge resistance distance and edge attraction distance - basically how close to the screen edge you have to be before the effect is felt. Whether you love it or hate it you can configure it to work the way you prefer.

Mint/Ubuntu: Add the weather to the (taskbar) panel

Weather in Linux Mint panelAt the bottom of the screen (top in Ubuntu) is the Panel, which is basically a Windows taskbar look-alike. At the right-hand side are some icons and the current time and date. This is useful, but you can make it even more interesting by including the current weather. It's easy.

Right click the time/date in the panel and select Preferences from the menu that is displayed. Select the Locations tab in the Clock Preferences dialog and then click the Add button. Enter the nearest major city to you and then select the location from the pop-up list that is displayed (there are identically named cities in the US and Europe, so you often have to select the one you want). Click OK. Select the Weather tab and choose the temperature and wind speed units, such as C and mph. Finally, select the General tab and tick Show weather and Show temperature. Click the Close button.

Now you'll see the temperature and a weather symbol, such as cloud or sun, in the panel next to the clock. Let the mouse hover over the weather icon and a mini weather report is displayed in a pop-up information box. It's brilliant!

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