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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

G`MIC (GREYC`s Magic For Image Computing) Sees New Stable Release

6 hours 4 min ago
G'MIC (GREYC's Magic for Image Computing) is a framework for image processing that comes with a large number of pre-defined image filters and effects (almost 400, with an extra 300 testing filters). There are several interfaces for G'MIC: a command line tool, a web service, a Qt based interface for real-time webcam manipulation, a library and a GIMP plugin.
Below you can see a screenshot with the G'MIC GIMP plugin in action:


If you're interested in the complete list of filters available with the G'MIC plugin for GIMP, you can find it HERE.  You can also see most of the G'MIC filters in action by following the links below:
G'MIC 1.6.0 was released today, bringing just a few visual changes but a lot of new things under the hood, mentions the release announcement posted on the G'MIC Google+ page. Notable changes included in this release:
  • [gimp] New filter 'Film emulation / Various' that adds about 20 new color presets to the old 'Other effect' filter (which has been removed);
  • [gimp] New filter 'Details / Mighty details', to push out details in images;
  • [gimp] Filter 'Layers / Blend [standard]' has an additional option to manage how multiple blends are performed, in case more than 2 layers are given as input;
  • [gimp] Improved "Preview error" image when an error is encountered;
  • [core] New native command '-pass' that allows to insert images from parent contexts in custom commands and local environments. This allows to design custom commands that can take images as arguments;
  • [core] New command '-outputx' (eq. to '-ox') that saves images with same base filenames but with different extension(s);
  • [core] New command '-names' (eq. to '-nms') that can set different names to multiple selected images, with a single command;
  • [core] New command '-mul_channels' that multiply each channel of an image with different provided values;
  • [cli] New command '-update' that allows to retrieve command updates from the G'MIC project server. This way, the CLI interface of G'MIC can benefit from Internet updates easily, exactly as the GIMP plug-in;
  • [core] Many aspects of the libgmic API have been improved;
  • [cli] Invoking 'gmic -h' now display colored output on the terminal (if using bash);
  • [doc] Documentation pages have been improved. Links to tutorial pages have been inserted;
  • bug fixes and much more.

A complete list of changes for the latest G'MIC 1.6.0 can be found HERE.


Install G'MIC in Ubuntu / Linux Mint
G'MIC and the G'MIC GIMP plugin are available in the official Ubuntu repositories however, it's not the latest version. If you don't care about getting the latest version, simply install the "gmic-gimp" for the GIMP plugin(s) and "gmic" if you only want to use the command line interface:sudo apt-get install gmic gimp-gmic
To get the latest G'MIC version, Ubuntu users can use +Thorsten Stettin's PPA. Note: by using this PPA, you may also receive GIMP (stable) updates. To add the PPA and install the latest G'MIC and the G'MIC GIMP Plugin in Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gmic gimp-gmicOnce installed, open a photo in GIMP, go to Filters > G'MIC and a dialog will pop-up from which you can select the effect(s) you want to apply. Each effect is of course customizable and you can see a live preview in the G'MIC window.
Note: Thorsten Stettin also maintains a GIMP 2.9 (development builds) PPA which includes G'MIC - for more information, see: GIMP 2.9 (2.10 Development Builds) Available In New Ubuntu PPA


Download G'MIC
For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac OS X, see the G'MIC downloads page.

Screensaver / Lock Screen Inhibitor `Caffeine Plus` Brings Back The Screensaver Toggle Option

Wednesday 20th of August 2014 02:27:00 PM
Caffeine is a tool used to temporarily prevent the activation of the screensaver / lock screen / sleep mode when using full-screen windows. The application is useful when using video players that don't do this automatically, when listening to music while not using the computer, etc.

The latest Caffeine version (2.7.x), released back in May, no longer comes with an Ubuntu AppIndicator so you can't manually toggle it on/off any more, feature which was considered pretty important by many of its users. If you're one of them, you can now use Caffeine Plus, a Caffeine 2.7 fork which restores the Ubuntu AppIndicator icon, allowing you to manually toggle it on/off.
Like the original Caffeine, the fork also inhibits the screensaver / lock screen automatically if it detects a full-screen window.

Install Caffeine Plus in Ubuntu 14.04
Since I couldn't find Caffeine Plus in any PPA, I uploaded it to the main WebUpd8 PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 (if you use Ubuntu 12.04, use the original Caffeine application). Note that by installing Caffeine Plus, the original Caffeine package will be removed automatically.
To add the PPA and install Caffeine Plus in Ubuntu 14.04, use the commands below in a terminal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install caffeine-plusIf you don't want to add the PPA, grab the Caffeine Plus deb from HERE.

Thanks to Willi for the tip!

Encrypt DNS Traffic In Ubuntu With DNSCrypt [PPA]

Wednesday 20th of August 2014 12:41:00 PM
DNSCrypt is a protocol for securing communications between a client and a DNS resolver, preventing spying, spoofing or man-in-the-middle attacks. To use it, you'll need a tool called dnscrypt-proxy, which "can be used directly as your local resolver or as a DNS forwarder, authenticating requests using the DNSCrypt protocol and passing them to an upstream server".
I wrote about DNSCrypt before but some things have changed since then (127.0.0.1 can't be used by DNSCrypt any more on Ubuntu because that's used by Ubuntu's local DNS cache, there are no Linux binaries available for download, etc.) so this is an update for Ubuntu users who want an easy way of installing / using it.
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff, one of the elementaryOS developers, maintains a PPA for dnscrypt-proxy, so you can easily install it Ubuntu. His package uses 127.0.0.2 as the local IP address so it doesn't interfere with Ubuntu's default setup. Also, for extra security, the package uses a dedicated system user, with no privileges - DNSCrypt will chroot to this user's home directory and drop root privileges for this user's uid as soon as possible.
The default DNSCrypt-enabled resolver used by Sergey's package is OpenDNS, but this, along with other settings, can be changed by editing the /etc/default/dnscrypt-proxy configuration file. A list of public DNS resolvers supporting DNSCrypt can be found HERE (note that to get to the actual provider name, address and public key, you need to scroll to the right - annoying, I know).
If you want to add DNSCrypt support to your own public or private resolver, check out DNSCrypt-Wrapper, a server-side dnscrypt proxy that works with any name resolver.

Install DNSCrypt (dnscrypt-proxy) in Ubuntu / Linux Mint via PPA
1. To add Sergey's DNSCrypt PPA and install dnscrypt-proxy in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS or other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shnatsel/dnscrypt
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dnscrypt-proxyNote: the PPA description provides information on how to check the authenticity of the code used for building the packages.
2. Ubuntu 14.04 (and derivatives) only.

The AppArmor profile used by dnscrypt-proxy prevents the OS from shutting down correctly. Until it's fixed, use the following commands as a work-around:sudo ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.dnscrypt-proxy /etc/apparmor.d/disable/
sudo apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.dnscrypt-proxy
3. After installing DNSCrypt, you need to set your network connection DNS server to 127.0.0.2. 
To do this in Unity, from the Network Manager indicator select Edit Connections, then select the connection and click Edit, switch to the IPv4 Settings tab and:
- if you're using Manual (static IP) as the "Method", enter "127.0.0.2" under "DNS servers" (and remember / note your original DNS server in case you want to go back to it), then click "Save":

- if you're using "Automatic (DHCP)" as the "Method", switch it to "Automatic (DHCP) addresses only" and enter "127.0.0.2" under "DNS servers", then click "Save":

4. And finally, restart your network connection (under Unity: select Network indicator > Enable Networking twice to disable and then re-enable it) and web browser.
You may want to check if the "127.0.0.2" DNS is actually in use (it needs to be the only DNS) - to do this in Unity, from the Network indicator select Connection Information.
If you're using the default setup with OpenDNS, you can check if DNSCrypt is working by visiting THIS page - if it works, it should be blocked as a phishing site (if it doesn't work, the website should display a message saying that it's just a demonstration site):


Tip: DNSCrypt can be used with Unbound or dnsmasq (I didn't test it though) - for this and other tips, see THIS ArchWiki entry.
For more information on DNSCrypt / dnscrypt-proxy, check out the following links:
seen @ desdelinux.net

Viber 4.2 For Linux Available For Download

Tuesday 19th of August 2014 11:48:00 AM
Quick update for Viber users: Viber for Linux was updated to version 4.2.x recently, finally catching up with the Windows version. Unfortunately, the application continues to be available for 64bit only.


For those not familiar with Viber, this is an application which has over 100 million monthly active users (and 280 million registered users), that sits somewhere between Skype and WhatsApp: it can be used to make free VoIP calls, send text messages, photos and video messages without having add any contacts manually (all phone contacts that have installed Viber are listed as Viber contacts). Viber is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc. and for the desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux).
Viber for Linux features:
  • HD quality voice calls;
  • video calls (desktop to desktop only);
  • text, photo and sticker messages;
  • group conversations;
  • full sync between the mobile and Linux clients;
  • transfer ongoing calls between devices;
  • no registration or password required.

Even though some websites wrote back in November that Viber 4.0 was released for Linux, it was actually just an updated 3.x version (see this AUR package comments for instance) which was then never updated until a few days ago, to version 4.2. So assuming I'm right, here are the changes / new features introduced with Viber 4.0 to 4.2 for desktops, which should now be available in the latest Viber for Linux:
  • sync all of your stickers from mobile;
  • support for dragging and dropping photos into conversation window
  • support for Viber Out calls to all land lines and mobiles (a feature released in December 2013 which allows users to call mobile and landline numbers and thus, people not using the Viber application - note that you need Viber Out credit to be able to use it). I didn't test this feature though;
  • support for video messaging so that you can stream videos sent to you on your desktop;
  • increased group capacity to 100 participants and automatic group sync from mobile;
  • "Seen" delivery status lets you know when your messages have been viewed
  • view descriptions sent with photo and video files;
  • new conversation feed;
  • dockable sticker menu;
  • improved video quality and performance;
  • see participants in each of your groups right at the top of the screen;
  • one-on-one conversations from within a group;
  • play voice messages;
  • "Last online" status lets users know when their contacts are online.

It's also important to note that a couple of bugs that were present in the initial release weren't fixed: the floating tray Viber icon is still displayed under Unity (in the top left corner and it can't be moved) but at least there aren't double Unity launcher icons now and also, the "Start Viber on system startup" option doesn't work.

Download Viber for Linux (64bit only)
Important: you firstly need to install Viber on your mobile device before being able to use it on the desktop!

Ubuntu / Linux Mint (64bit only!) users can download Viber from HERE (deb).

Arch Linux (64bit only) users can install Viber from AUR.

Other Linux distributions (64bit only): Viber binaries are available as a zip file HERE but please note that Viber was only tested on Ubuntu so it may not work on your system (to run it, double click the "Viber.sh" file).
seen @ Phoronix

How To Enable HTML5 Playback For Netflix On Ubuntu 14.04 Or 14.10

Tuesday 19th of August 2014 10:14:00 AM
Netflix supports HTML5 playback (using the Encrypted Media Extensions) but unfortunately, it doesn't work out of the box on Linux for now. However, following a few steps, you can get native Netflix HTML5 video playback through Google Chrome (Beta or Unstable at the time I'm writing this article) in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10.

The instructions below are for Ubuntu, but they should work on other Linux distributions as well, as long as you have a recent libnss3 version (tested with libnss3 and libnss3-1d version 3.16.3, libnss-db 2.2.3pre1 and Google Chrome 37 Beta under Ubuntu 14.04).

How to get a native Netflix viewing experience on Ubuntu
1. For Ubuntu 14.04 only: to get Netflix HTML5 to work properly in Google Chrome, you'll need libnss3 from Ubuntu 14.10. The easiest way to install it is to use the PPA below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:leonbo/nss
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libnss3 libnss3-1d libnss3-nssdb(thanks to Leon Bogaert for the PPA)

If you're on 64bit, you may have some libnss 32bit (multiarch) packages installed so to make sure you get all the required packages, also run an upgrade - either open Software Updater and install all the available updates, or run:sudo apt-get upgrade
Just in case, log out and log back in once you're done.

2. Install Google Chrome Beta or Dev (Unstable).

Netflix HTML5 requires the Encrypted Media Extensions which are bundled with Google Chrome. So download Google Chrome Beta or Google Chrome Dev from HERE and install it.

Don't worry, if you prefer Chrome stable, you can continue to use it as Chrome Beta or Dev won't replace it (but you can only use Chrome Beta or Dev for Netflix).

Note that Chromium browser won't work. You need Google Chrome!
3. Install the User-Agent Switcher Chrome extension from HERE and in its options, add the following user agent:Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3, Win64, x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36

This is required because Netflix doesn't use the HTML5 player on Linux. Using the user agent above, Netflix will detect your browser as Google Chrome 38 for Windows.
4. In your Netflix settings (Your Account > Playback Settings), make sure "Prefer HTML5 player instead of Silverlight" is enabled:

This option was enabled by default in my test, but you should check it anyway in case it's not enabled for you.

5. And finally, from User Agent Switcher, switch to the custom user agent you've set up under step 3, go to Netflix and it should now use the HTML5 player.

How to revert the changes
If for some reason you want to revert the changes made by following the instructions above, here's what you need to do.
To downgrade the packages installed from the PPA used at step 1 (and disable the PPA), use the following commands:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:leonbo/nss
If you also want to remove Google Chrome Beta or Dev, use the commands below:- for Google Chrome Beta:
sudo apt-get purge google-chrome-beta- for Google Chrome Dev (Unstable):
sudo apt-get purge google-chrome-unstable
Thanks to Matthew for the tip - instructions adapted via via Reddit & G+

PPA Updates: Atraci 0.6.0, Atom 0.123.0, Brackets 0.42, GPaste 3.10.3 And 3.12.2, Minitube 2.2, Oracle JDK 7u67 And More

Monday 18th of August 2014 02:08:00 PM
As you might have noticed, I was on holiday* until today and because of that, there were no new articles on WebUpd8 and no updates for the WebUpd8 PPAs. Today I updated the PPA packages for most applications that had a new release while I was away, and to speed things up, below you'll find a quick list with what was updated / what's new.
Notes:
  • there are no installation instructions in the article for the apps below. Instead, you'll find links to articles explaining how to install those applications in Ubuntu / Linux Mint.
  • as a reminder, only Ubuntu 14.04 and 12.04 are still supported by Canonical (and of course, 14.10, which is currently under development) / Linux Mint 17 Qiana and Linux Mint 13 Maya. Launchpad PPAs don't support other Ubuntu / Linux Mint releases any more.

That said, let's proceed with the updates.



Atom 0.123.0, an open source "hackable text editor for the 21st Century" developed by GitHub, which is currently in beta:
  • The maximized state of the window is now properly restored on launch;
  • The language-mustache package is now bundled by default;
  • Added a button to the Incompatible Packages view that reloads Atom and rechecks all the installed packages for compatibility. This is also available from the command palette;
  • Atom's Chrome version has been upgraded from 31 to 36;
  • Atom's Node version has been upgraded from 0.11.10 to 0.11.13;
  • Support for number pad keybindings have been removed. Number pad keys will now resolve to their equivalent keystroke as if they were pressed on the main keyboard area. You should remove the num- modifier from any keystrokes in your ~/.atom/keymap.cson file;
  • Fixed an issue on Linux where tabs could not be dragged between windows;
  • You can now delete a bracket and its matching pair at the same time using ctrl-backspace on Mac and alt-ctrl-backspace on Linux and Windows;
  • ctrl-shift-Z is now mapped to core:redo on Linux;
  • Atom now ships with a light version of the Base16 Tomorrow syntax theme;
  • Added a bunch of new Go snippets;
  • Many other new features and bug fixes, check the changelog below for details.

Changelog | Article on WebUpd8: Install Atom Text Editor In Ubuntu Via PPA [32bit + 64bit]



Atraci 0.6.0, a new open source music player which uses YouTube as a source:
  • fixed YouTube decipher issues;
  • added support for multimedia keys;
  • shows featured playlist if you live in Taiwan & USA;
  • added option to open song in YouTube;
  • many bug fixes.

Changelog | Article on WebUpd8: Atraci: New YouTube-Based Music Player



Brackets 0.42, an open-source code editor for web design and development built on top of web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript:
  • Theme support: Brackets now has built-in support for editor themes, and includes default light and dark themes. Additional themes can be installed via Extension Manager;
  • Replace in Files: Check/Uncheck All Matches for a File: When doing a batch or multi-file replace, you can now check/uncheck the matches for an entire file;
  • Change Language Mode: Change the language mode for an individual file by selecting the language from the dropdown menu in the status bar
  • Turn off Code Hints: New preferences to disable all code hints or hints from an individual provider;
  • Drag and Drop Installation of Extensions: Install extensions by dragging zip files onto the Extension Manager dialog.

Changelog | Article on WebUpd8: Install Brackets In Ubuntu Via PPA (Open Source Code Editor For HTML, CSS And JavaScript)



GPaste 3.12.2 (for GNOME 3.12 / Ubuntu 14.10 only) and 3.10.3 (for GNOME 3.10 / Ubuntu 14.04), a clipboard manager which was initially created for GNOME Shell, but which now also ships with an Ubuntu AppIndicator:
  • Desktop files have been fixed;
  • Fixes for the ubuntu app-indicator;
  • Keybinding to mark an item as being a password;
  • Misc bugfixes.

Changelog | Article on WebUpd8: Install GPaste In Ubuntu Via PPA (Native GNOME Shell Clipboard Manager)



Minitube 2.2, a native YouTube client for the desktop:
  • Subscriptions context menu: Unsubscribe, Mark as Watched;
  • Added --stop-after-this command line switch;
  • Added Stop After This Video Unity & Gnome 3 action;
  • Fixed painting errors when scrolling playlist on Linux;
  • Fixed bug with dragging playlist items from the thumbnail;
  • Fixed some videos not playing.

Changelog not available | Article on WebUpd8



Oracle JDK 7u67: according to the release notes, this update includes only a bug fix for a regression - java_arguments not accepted after update to 7u65.
Changelog | Article on WebUpd8: Install Oracle Java 7 in Ubuntu via PPA Repository



Y PPA Manager 2014.08.18: the search feature stopped working while I was on holiday due to a change in Launchpad.net's code. This issue was fixed with the update released today.
No changelog available | Article on WebUpd8


Other packages from the WebUpd8 PPAs updated today include: FreshPlayer Plugin (Git pull), Tor Browser 3.6.4, KKEdit 0.2.2, Wimlib 1.7.1 and youtube-dl 2014.08.10.
* In case you're wondering why I didn't announce that I'm on holiday well, that's because I did that a while back and the website was filled with spam comments and also, the number of attempts to hack my online accounts increased considerably. That's why I stopped announcing it publicly. Sorry about that!

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