Interesting uses for Ubuntu One
Ubuntu One is a great program/service with many uses, some obvious some not so obvious. Here are a few creative uses for Ubuntu One that some people have come up with.
Create Your Own Browser Start Page
You can create a custom Start Page for all your computers using the Ubuntu One publish feature that makes files accessible through a public URL. You can create a page with your bookmarks, RSS feeds, or whatever HTML-fu you can pull off. To do this, create the HTML file and put it in your Ubuntu One folder or a UDF (User Designated Folder). Then right-click on the file and select ‘Publish via Ubuntu One’. After that right-click and select ‘Copy Public URL’. You can do this through Nautilus or from the WebUI, the latter being a little quicker. From there it is only a matter of dropping the URL in your favorite browsers preferences.
Do not wait until you get Home to Download that Torrent
Download a torrent to your computer while you are away. You will want to set up your torrent client to monitor a folder. In Transmission it is Edit > Preferences > Torrents ‘Automatically add torrents from…’. Then you will set that folder to sync with Ubuntu One. Ubuntu One can sync any folder in the users $HOME by r-clicking on the folder and selecting ‘Syncronize with Ubuntu One’. Then when you are away from home you just need to add the torrent to the folder using the WebUI. So whilst out and about you can add the torrent link to the latest Ubuntu server and have the .iso of the latest release ready to burn when you get home.
Monitor your Desktop
Keep track of your computer while you are away. Want to see the progress of a task you left running or catch unauthorized users? Set up a cronjob to take a picture of your desktop every so often and save it in your Ubuntu One Folder or other UDF(User Designated Folder). I used the program scrot in this example. I found it the easiest to set up for a cron job. If you do not already have it a quick search for ‘scrot’ in the Ubuntu Software Center will take care of that (or sudo apt-get install scrot in a Terminal). With Scrot installed, open a terminal window and enter ‘sudo crontab -e’ without the quotes. An editor will open and you will add a line that looks similar to this:
01 04 * * * env DISPLAY=:0 /usr/bin/scrot ~/Ubuntu\ One/screen\%F-\%T.png
This example saves a picture in the users Ubuntu One directory in a folder named screenshots. The 5 numbers at the beginning are in the following format:
minute(0-59), hour(0-23, 0 = midnight), day(1-31), month(1-12), weekday(0-6, 0 = Sunday)
So my example takes a picture of the desktop at 4:01. Since I didn’t specify a month or day it will execute everyday.
15 14 1 * *
This will run at 2:15pm on the first of every month.
Save your changes and your new crontab will be installed. Exiting without saving will leave your crontab untouched.
I hope you find these examples useful and/or sparked your interest enough to start thinking about what you can do with Ubuntu One. A man that sounded like he knew what he was talking about once told me ” intelligence is not what you know, but what you do with what you do know”.
If you come up with something cool, I would love to hear about it.