Five Little Gnome Features

I have comprised a list of the five features in Gnome that I can not live without.  While not all are exclusive to Gnome, (Other Linux desktop environments, such as KDE and XFCE, have some of these features too) they remind me when I am forced to use a Windows machine of why I switched to Linux.  All five of these have definitely made my life a little easier and hopefully made me more productive.

1.) Center Click

For someone new to Linux there are a variety of new tools at you disposal that may not be apparent once installed.  This is one of them.   Anything that can be highlighted can be copied and pasted into another text editor or box just by center clicking.  This does the same thing as copy (Ctr-C) and then paste (Ctr-V), but it does it with only one hand on the mouse in much less time.

2.) Always On Top

Any window in Gnome can be forced to stay on top of ever other window by right clicking the title bar and checking "Always On Top".  This is very useful coupled with the previous feature by having a terminal always on top and highlighting lines of code from a tutorial in a web browser and center clicking at the terminal prompt. Always On Top

3.) Multiple Desktops

Multiple Desktops are becoming much more common in modern operating systems, but I feel that it is one of the best features created in recent years.  The screen shot on the left shows my desk top cube with Compiz, but even on a old computer just having a few extra desktops can greatly improve productivity.  In Gnome "Ctr-Alt-Left" or "Ctr-Alt-Right" will move you to the left or right desktop, respectively.  Thats great for changing desktops, but you can also change desktops while taking the currently selected window by holding Shift with "Ctr-Alt-Left/Right".

Compiz Cube

4.) Alt-F2

By typing Alt-F2 the "Run Application" menu comes up.  From here you can type any command you would normally from the terminal window.  For example typing in "firefox" and hitting enter will run Firefox.  If it is a terminal program such at top, you can check "Run in terminal" and the default terminal will run the command.

Run Application

5.) xkill

This program can kill programs that will not quit.  By running xkill, hopfully coupled with my last point, you can easily kill any program that is behaving badly.  When this little program is run you mouse cursor will turn into an x.  By left click on the program's window you can kill the frozen program.  If for some reason the program fixes itself, or you decide you don't want to kill it, you can left click to get back your original coursor.