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An online Ubuntu magazine bringing you the latest Ubuntu news, apps, interview and reviews. Daily.
Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

You Can Help Test the New Ubuntu Software Center

Friday 15th of January 2016 03:15:55 PM

A new app store is coming to Ubuntu

Testing of the app store set to replace the Ubuntu Software Center in 16.04 LTS is getting underway.

Last November we shared the news that developers plan to drop the current Ubuntu Software Center from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and replace it with GNOME Software, an upstream alternative.

But anyone taking the Xenial Xerus for a pre-emptive spin since that news broke could be forgiven for thinking Canonical had changed their mind!

Not only is the “old” app store still installed by default, but its upstream replacement isn’t even available to install from the Xenial archive.

That changes today, as migration to and testing of GNOME Software and its package-kit backend begins.

Test GNOME Software in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you’re a bug-hungry beta tester or just a plain ol’ nosey so-and-so, you can help test the Ubuntu software Center replacement on your own machine.

You need to a) be using Ubuntu 16.04 and b) be willing to add a PPA that has buggy, incomplete software.

Up for it?

Testing PPA for Xenial Users

Add the GNOME Software PPA to Software Sources, install the required packages, and then watch as the creaky old Ubuntu Software Center gets kicked in to the long grass by a leaner upstream replacement.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/gnome-software sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-software packagekit

This testing PPA holds PackageKit 1.0 and a patched version of GNOME Software that is able to pull in app reviews from the Ubuntu app servers.

(Once installed may need/want to run this script as root. This will fetch, populate and update the appstream data in the app. But please note: depending on when you read this article this step may no longer be necessary.)

Keep In Mind That This Is Still Work In Progress

Ubuntu One support for leaving reviews is a work-in-progress. You should expect missing features, application crashes and random bugs along the way.

Any kernel-crunching, hair-pulling errors you meet should get filed against the gnome-software package on Launchpad.

GNOME-Software on Launchpad

This post, You Can Help Test the New Ubuntu Software Center, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Opera Browser Gets First Updates of The Year, Has Linux Fixes Galore

Friday 15th of January 2016 12:40:18 PM

Opera users running Ubuntu should keep an eye on Software Updater, as the oft-overlooked web browser rolls out its first updates of the year.

A new year bump to both the Opera stable and developer channels sees some much-needed bug fixes and improvements land, including support for Netflix playback on Linux.

For a slightly closer look at what to expect, scroll on…

Opera Stable 34 Update

Opera running on Ubuntu

Opera’s stable build arrives with Chromium 47.0.2526.106 under the hood, meaning there’ll be plenty of core speed, bug and security fixes under the hood.

Opera Turbo shows a new icon in the URL bar when pages load through the software’s built-in byte-crushing compression technology. A minor change, but one needed as the previous Turbo icon looked a little  ‘too similar’ to the History page favicon.

Also of note to Linux users is a fix for a renderer crash that occurs when playing H264 video in the browser.

  • New Opera Turbo icon
  • “Mute tab” option removed from the tab context menu
  • Fixes data deletion bug
  • Supports Netflix playback on Linux¹

If you’re super-duper interested in what else has changed you can check the entire Opera 34 series change-log for more details.

Download Opera (Stable) for Linux

Opera Developer 36 Update

Opera 36, the browser’s developer channel, bumps its internal Chromium engine to v49.0.2593.0.

It bakes a number of new features into the build including an extension expander button to help tame  over-stuffed toolbars, and sees a redesigned start page that merges the previously separate ‘News’ and ‘Speed Dial’ pages into one.


The update also fixes a range of issues afflicting Linux, including

  • Pinned Tab icon incorrectly displayed
  • Opera says it “maybe” can play ‘audio/mp4’ and ‘video/mp4’ when it clearly can’t
  • Extension Expander crashing under Linux
  • Add ‘Activate’ button to desktop notifications

Fancy using new features that are rough around the edges? You do? Well, you can grab the latest Opera Developer release for Ubuntu by politely making your mouse meet the download links positioned …nether.

Download Opera (Developer) for Linux (32bit Deb)

Download Opera (Developer) for Linux (64bit Deb)

¹ See this comment for full details on getting it working.

This post, Opera Browser Gets First Updates of The Year, Has Linux Fixes Galore, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

New Ubuntu Convergence Device To Be Announced Next Month

Thursday 14th of January 2016 12:29:56 PM

Canonical will demo at least one new Ubuntu convergence device at next month’s Mobile World Congress next month, we’ve learned.

Details we’ve seen suggest the company is to use the four-day expo to showcase the progress it has made in creating a software environment that transforms from mobile to desktop PC when a monitor, mouse or keyboard is attached.

Yup; it’s now official.

‘Canonical has been testing Ubuntu Touch on a 10-inch tablet with 64-bit ARM processor.

Among hardware Canonical being used to test and tailor convergence capabilities is a high-definition 10-inch tablet with 64-bit ARM processor made by Spanish OEM Bq.

What Is Mobile World Congress?

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest trade show for mobile technology, and now covers wearables, tablets and IoT devices.

Held annually, the event plays host to major product launches from top manufacturers. The likes of HTC, Huawei, Blackberry and Lenovo are all expected to show off new flagship smartphones at this year’s show.

Device demos happen on the show floor but many product announcements and press launches are held in the days before the show doors open.

Bq Readers, who produced the first commercially available Ubuntu Phone, will join Canonical in attendance.

Mobile World Congress 2016 takes place 22 – 25 February, in Barcelona, Spain.

Canonical at MWC 2016: More Than an Ubuntu Tablet?

‘Canonical announced the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone at last year’s MWC

Canonical used its presence at last year’s expo to unveil the second Ubuntu phone, the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition. The device went on sale in Europe a month later.

This year we can expect even more goodies, with phone, pocket desktop and IoT all sure to snag some time in the spotlight.

Among hardware Canonical engineers are using to test Ubuntu’s convergence features is a device with the codename ‘Frieza’.

Like the code names of the previous three Ubuntu phones, ‘Krillin’ (aka Aquaris E4.5), ‘Arale’ (aka MX4) and ‘Vegeta’  (aka Aquaris E5 HD), ‘Frieza’ is named after a character from DragonBall Z.

Canonical engineers are also making use of a Bq M10 tablet to test the convergent code base.

The Bq M10 is a 10-inch HD tablet powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT8163 quad-core processor (1.3GHz) and MediaTek Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB of eMMC flash storage. The Android version retails in Europe from €239.

Could the mysterious ‘Frieza‘ be the codename of a Bq M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet?

Possibly,  or it could be the name of a separate device. Maybe the convergent phone Canonical teased back in June of last year?

‘New technologies allow desktop software to run alongside mobile apps’ 

Exciting Months Ahead

Whatever shape for form-factor Frieza turns out to be it will be, we’re led to believe, be running a new version of Ubuntu Touch¹ that integrates support for convergence, pocket desktop features and the Snappy Ubuntu Personal framework with the standard Ubuntu Touch experience.

This environment is being developed under the project name ‘Avila’ and will support traditional .Deb-based & Xorg dependant applications (e.g., Firefox, LibreOffice, Gedit, Xchat, etc) as well as software  developed and packaged for the Ubuntu Phone.

Deb-packaged, X11-based software that run in an Ubuntu Personal environment is sandboxed for safety using two new technologies:

Libertine “provides a snap package that lets a user create and maintain isolated sand boxes that can contain and run DEB-packaged X11-based legacy application software” in an Ubuntu Personal environment.

Puritin is a “bespoke Libertine container” that adds basic convergence functionality to Libertine apps. An accompanying ‘Puritin Scope’ will surface launchers for legacy apps in the Unity 8 UI.

‘Canonical say to expect ‘several exciting announcements’ at MWC 2016′

The same Ubuntu Personal code base will eventually be used on the Ubuntu desktop.

‘Showcasing The Next Stage of Ubuntu Phone’

Software convergence — using the same core OS to power both a full Ubuntu desktop experience and a content-centric smartphone one — has been the grand aim of Canonical’s mobile efforts since 2012.

With Unity 8, Mir and the Snappy package management framework maturing nicely, the pieces to get there are almost ready to clink in place.

Canonical declined to comment on the information we’ve seen, but they did tell us they will be at MWC 2016 to “showcase the next stage of the Ubuntu Phone live”, adding that attendees can expect “several (pretty exciting) announcements across both Internet of Things and devices”.

¹Apologies to Will Cooke ²’Avila’ also happens to be a small town in Spain and Bq is a Spanish company.

This post, New Ubuntu Convergence Device To Be Announced Next Month, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

How To Install Corebird on Ubuntu 15.10

Tuesday 12th of January 2016 06:27:12 PM

Corebird is an fantastic desktop Twitter app for Linux, but a lot of people have a hard time trying to install it on Ubuntu.

Well, we’re here to help.

The Corebird website says to check your distributions’ archive and install it from there. And that’s some great advice if you’re on OpenSUSE, Arch or Fedora but on Ubuntu, where there’s no distro package, it is less great, more headache.

You can, as Baedert suggests to, install it from source. This won’t be beyond the abilities of most of you, but it’s a hassle when all you want is to try an app out.

Well, not anymore. In just a few clicks you can be tweeting away from your Ubuntu desktop.

Why Corebird?

Corebird integrates with most Linux desktop environments, including Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, where it neatly adds itself to the Messaging Menu.

Prettier than the web interface (hey, no ‘Moments’) and support for some of Twitter’s newer features, like 10,000 character Direct Messages and ‘Quote Retweet’s, it’s a nimble,

Core features:

  • Tweet
  • Supports multiple accounts
  • Secure authentication
  • In-line image previews (can be disabled)
  • Support for .gifs and vines
  • Supports retweet, reply, quote retweet and favouriting
  • Uses Twitter’s link shortener

Other changes

  • – Tweets now get hidden/shown more correctly
  • – Corebird now saves an application-wide list of snippets that you can use to insert common phrases or longer unicode emoticons. It can be found in the application settings in the “Snippets” tab.
  • – Corebird now supports showing quote tweets in timelines as well as creating quote tweets. This replaces the old “Quote” item for tweets which would simply copy the original tweet’s text.
  • – Media links and trailing hashtags can now be hidden via the “Tweets” tab in the application settings.
  • – Profiles can now also show followers and followees
  • – Twitter removed the 140 char limit on Direct Messages and so did we
  • – Lots of other small enhancments and bug fixes

Among the changes coming to the next release:

  • New layout/design
  • Support for trending topics
  • Improved compose dialog
  • Star icon becomes heart
  • Avatar refreshing
  • Multiple-image uploading
  • Option to ‘cancel’ tweet sending
## Using Corebird

The first time you start the application you will need to add a Twitter account. To do this you’ll need a PIN number.

  1. Click the ‘+’ icon
  2. In the window that opens click the “Request PIN” button
  3. Your default browser will open an authentication page
  4. Sign in to Twitter using the account you wish to add and click ‘Authorise’
  5. Copy the pin number from browser to your clipboard
  6. Paste pin number into Corebird and click the “Confirm” button

The main Corebird interface is deliciously easy to navigate.

On the top bar you can access your account details (1), compose a new tweet (2), see your timeline (3), your mentions (4), your favourites (5), messages (6), view/create lists (7) or filters (8).


Mouse over a tweet to reveal buttons to let you reply (9), retweet (10) and favourite (11).


Click on the compose new tweet button (2) to get the tweet dialog. Here you can write your status, use @ mentions and #hashtags (including autocomplete).

Snippets is a useful way to enter common phrases, ASCII art or emoji quickly. To access it from the preferences menu.

“You can assign keywords to ASCII snippets. If you type these keywords in the compose window and press TAB, they will get replaced with the snippets you specify”

switch accounts

If you need to quickly change your account details, you can do so by clicking on your avatar (from the main window) and choosing Settings. (You also have the ability to disconnect your account or even open a new one from here.) The only thing that did not seem to work was the retrieval of the cover image, which is a shame, as the account “showcased” here has a really cool over image.


This article looks at how to install Corebird in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf.

GTK 3.16 is required by the latest stable release of this Twitter client, meaning Ubuntu 15.04 and 14.04 LTS users can’t install it. Not to fear: an older version of Corebird is available to install on older versions of Ubuntu — it just lacks some of the newer features highlighted above.

Corebird PPA for Ubuntu

The following Corebird PPA brings the latest stable release of the app to Ubuntu 15.10 (and an older version for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 14.10). It’s maintained by Panda Jim and makes getting the app so much easier.

To add the PPA open a new Terminal window and enter the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/corebird -y sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install corebird

Awesomely, this PPA houses Corebird packages only. Unlike ‘kitchen sink’ PPAs that house multitudes of packages this one will only install and upgrade Corebird; it touches nothing else.

Don’t like PPAs? No worries. You can download a Corebird deb for Ubuntu 15.10 by hitting one of the buttons below.

Download Corebird 1.1 (64-bit Deb)

Download Corebird 1.1 (32-bit Deb)

Making Corebird Look Better

Corebird looks okay under Ubuntu’s default theme, but modern GTK3 themes style it best. I use the Arc GTK theme in my screenshots.


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. We’re not an auto-bot that only posts links from an RSS feed. Oh no! We like to get your opinion, run competitions, share development tidbits and rumours, retweet stuff, reply to questions, and a whole lot more.


This post, How To Install Corebird on Ubuntu 15.10, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

3 Years In The Making: OpenShot 2.0 Finally Hits Beta

Monday 11th of January 2016 11:50:24 AM

A new beta build of popular open source video editor OpenShot is available for testing.

It’s the first major release of the non-linear video editing tool in three years, and the first to arrive since the project successfully met its funding goal in the OpenShot Kickstarter campaign held in 2013.

The Linux video editing landscape has changed considerably since then.

We’ve seen the launch of professional-grade and pseudo-open source Lightworks video editor, huge improvements made to Qt-based Kdenlive, and even user-friendly Pitivi hasn’t been shy in pushing forward.

No one app suits everyone, and for this reason if no other it is great to see OpenShot back.

New Features in OpenShot 2.0

OpenShot 2.0 Beta (Image: OpenShot)

Many, many new features and improvements debut in this beta candidate – far too many to comprehensively list in great detail.

Since we aim to be helpful we’ve trawled through the change-log to pull out the following key new features in OpenShot 2.0:

  • Timeline context menus (e.g., copy/paste, fade, animate, time effects)
  • Split Clip tool (this lets you ‘cut’ a video file in to chunks to use in a project
  • ‘Add to Timeline’ feature (a way to batch add videos or images to timeline)
  • Timeline fixes
  • Tags (lets you tag videos with custom name, filter them)
  • Improved fonts (Mac, Windows)
  • Faster start up time (thanks to new cache approach)
  • Title editor fixes
  • Keyframe editing
  • Real-time preview support
  • Support for adding animated .gifs
  • Video snapping improvements
  • Support for custom SVG titles (drop them into /.openshot_qt/title/)
  • Performance improvements to libopenshot
  • Mac & Windows installers
  • New video export wizard

Most of these new features have been implemented as a result of the campaign. If you chucked in a couple of dollars give yourself a pat on the back!

You can see the latest version of the video editor being demoed in this new video from OpenShot’s lead developer Jonathan Thomas.

Download OpenShot 2.0 Beta

Source packages for OpenShot 2.0 Beta are ready for download right now.

Download OpenShot 2.0 Beta (Source)

Backers of the crowdfunding campaign will receive an email link to an ‘early access’ OpenShot 2.0 Beta installer over the next day or so (or, alternatively, they can check out this link on the KickStarter page).

Beta installers for Windows, Mac and Linux will also be made public in the very near future. We’ll update this post as soon as they’re available.

It’s not yet known if Ubuntu users will be able to use the official OpenShot PPA to upgrade to the beta, or whether a new PPA will be required.

However you get to try the beta you should expect to encounter bugs, crashes and rough edges.

Did you back the OpenShot crowdfunding campaign? Are you eager to try the new version?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments space below — it’s what it’s there for, after all! 

This post, 3 Years In The Making: OpenShot 2.0 Finally Hits Beta, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

GNOME 3.20 Improves Wireless Function Keys, Audio Jack Detection

Sunday 10th of January 2016 03:42:52 PM

Tentative design for Airplane mode alert

The GNOME desktop is to add OSD notifications for wireless connectivity states and audio jack events.

Both features will bring the GNOME desktop environment in line with other operating systems and shells, including Ubuntu.

Bluetooth, WiFi & Airplane OSD

The first of the tweaks will please laptops users in particular: supporting OSD notifications for Bluetooth (XF86BLUETOOTH), Wi-Fi (XF86WLAN) and Airplane mode (XF86UWB) statuses.

“If you have keyboard buttons on your laptop to enable or disable Bluetooth, or Airplane mode, you can now use them,” explains GNOME developer Bastien Nocera on his blog, adding that “…the “UWB” toggle key will toggle the whole airplane mode mainly because no in-kernel driver uses it, and nobody remembers what UWB is.”

The most recent stable release of GNOME, version 3.18, displays no explicit visual on-screen notification when either bluetooth or airplane function keys are pressed. OSD bubbles do show for other media and function keys, e.g., volume, screen brightness and display switching.

patch to plug the gaps in support shortcut key toggles are set to ship as part of GNOME 3.20, due for stable release in early spring.

Support for the hotkeys is possible thanks to work going on elsewhere in GNOME, including work taking place in gnome-settings-daemon for audio jack notifications.

Which leads us on nicely…

New Audio Jack Event Dialog

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (and above) sometimes shows an audio device prompt when plugging in sound equipment is attached to the headphone/microphone combo jack.

Left: GNOME’s proposed uadio jack dialog; Right: Ubuntu’s

On some newer laptops the 3.5mm audio jack can automatically detect the type of audio device attached.

But where/when it can’t, Ubuntu asks the user to confirm what the type of audio device they’ve just attached, e..g, whether it is output only (like headphones), input only (like a microphone) or both (like a headset).

Using this prompt the OS is able to adjust the system audio settings so, e.g., sound plays through headphones rather than built-in speakers. This save the need for the user to manually check and/or adjust them through Ubuntu System Settings > Sound.

Work on adding a similar feature is currently underway in GNOME. It won’t be too long until users of the GNOME desktop could soon benefit from headache-free headphone set-up and manual-free microphone configuration!

System Feedback Is Useful

Neither notification type detailed sounds particularly ground breaking in isolation.

That said, both are part of the ‘spit and polish’ that all modern, desktop operating systems need, particularly as user experience expectations become informed by our mobile devices.

This post, GNOME 3.20 Improves Wireless Function Keys, Audio Jack Detection, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Don't Starve: Shipwrecked DLC is now available on SteamOS & Linux
    Heads up survivalists! Don't Starve: Shipwrecked the good looking new DLC for the single player version of Don't Starve is now on SteamOS & Linux.
  • SuperTuxKart - A simple recipe for simple fun
    It's been a while since I've done a proper Linux game review. The reasons being, we now have Steam, so there's less of a distinction between Windows and Linux. That division is now blurred, and we're past the free-only, indie-only games of yore. Good. That, however, does not mean you can't be having fun for free. SuperTuxKart is one such title. It's nothing more than a point-and-shoot racer, arcade all the way, with you taking helm in one of the many funnily shaped vehicles and racing down some crazy tracks. Then, it's about taking on some opponents, in-game traps and perks, and gradually unlocking new levels as you make progress in the existing set. But let us explore in more depth.
  • GPUOpen, Mad Max on Linux speculation, and more open gaming news

Leftovers: KDE

  • Interview with Jóhann Örn Geirdal
    What sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use? It’s the fast development and that the developers are definitely listening to the artists who use it. That is not always the case with other software.
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    Three months after the first KDevelop 5.0 Beta release, I have the pleasure to announce our second beta release! We have worked hard on improving the stability and performance of our new KDevelop 5.0 based on Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. We also continued to port many features from our old C++ language support to the new Clang-based C/C++ plugin, which is still an ongoing effort.
  • Get software packages quickly with KDE Project Neon
    Neon is a platform designed to give KDE users a way to get software updates quickly. It will be providing packages of the latest KDE software so users can stay up to date on a stable OS base.
  • Looking for FreeBSD wallpaper for Plasma 5 Desktop
    Most distro’s that ship Plasma Desktop as .. well, as a desktop to work in, have their own default wallpaper choice that isn’t exactly the upstream default. OpenSUSE has things with geekos (which I personally really like, for their understatedness). KDE neon goes for the upstream default, but that is the nature of that particular distro.
  • Former Kubuntu Head Unveils New KDE Project
    The name Jonathan Riddell should ring a bell if you read Linux and open source news. He was the creator and longtime lead developer of the Kubuntu distribution. He was forced out of his position by Ubuntu boss Mark Shuttleworth last year because he dared to ask what happened to the funds Canonical had raised for Kubuntu. (To the best of my knowledge, Canonical never really answered to his questions about finances.)
  • Calligra 2.9.11 Released
  • So, why we are different?
    On this week, I’m working very hard on my proposal to Google Summer of Code, and to say some things there, I needed to know better the others printers hosts open sources.
  • Hidden b.k.o-phab links
    Well, consider them unhidden now: if you missed a structured place to link big/wish reports with KDE Phabricator tasks, look no further.
  • Calligra Suite: The Other Free Office Suite
    Calligra Suite is a mature office suite, with a solid set of basic applications, as well as an integrated, often innovative set of utilities, and at least two truly outstanding tools that have developed their own popularity outside of Calligra Suite. Abiword and Gnumeric have their users, but when free office applications come to mind, most people think of LibreOffice, or maybe even Apache OpenOffice. Fewer have heard of Calligra Suite, and those who have sometimes dismiss it as unnecessary.
  • Krita 2.9.11 and the second 3.0 alpha build!
    Today, we’re releasing the eleventh bugfix release for Krita 2.9 and the second development preview release of Krita 3.0! We are not planning more bug fix releases for 2.9, though it is possible that we’ll collect enough fixes to warrant one release more, because there are some problems with Windows 10 that we might be able to work around.
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GNOME Development