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Fix Missing libgcrypt11 Causing Spotify, Brackets And Other Apps Not To Work / Install In Ubuntu 15.04

Friday 24th of April 2015 02:06:00 PM
In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet (any flavor, be it Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, etc.), libgcrypt11 is no longer available in the repositories (it uses libgcrypt20 only) and some applications like Spotify, Brackets and others cannot be installed or they don't run unless libgcrypt11 installed:$ spotify
spotify: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directoryor:
$ sudo dpkg -i Brackets.1.2.Extract.64-bit.deb
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of brackets:
 brackets depends on libgcrypt11 (>= 1.4.5); however:
  Package libgcrypt11 is not installed.

dpkg: error processing package brackets (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.14-0ubuntu1) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:
Until these third-party application are repackaged to depend on libgcrypt20 instead of libgcrypt11 or they ship with the library so they work properly in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, here's a quick fix/workaround.
I should mention that this only affects fresh installs of the final Ubuntu 15.04 release. I installed Ubuntu 15.04 while it was still in alpha and back then, libgcrypt11 was already available (and it's still installed today) so I didn't notice the issue until it was reported by a few WebUpd8 readers (thanks to Ian Watters, Patrick and Lulzim for the comments regarding this!).
To be able to use Spotify, Brackets and other apps that require libgcrypt11 in Ubuntu 15.04, all you have to do is install libgcrypt11 from an older Ubuntu version, such as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:
Or grab libgcrypt11 debs for any architecture from HERE.
Important: on 64bit, you may also need to install the 32bit package if the app that requires libgcrypt11 uses a multiarch package.

Once installed, Spotify, Brackets, etc. should work under Ubuntu 15.04:

Brackets note: this issue occurs with the official Brackets debs but not with the Brackets version from the WebUpd8 Brackets PPA (I fixed this issue for the PPA packages today).

Ubuntu Desktop To Eventually Switch To Snappy Packages By Default

Thursday 23rd of April 2015 08:08:00 PM

Ubuntu Desktop will eventually switch to Snappy packages by default, while continuing to provide deb-based images as an alternative, at least for a while. I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise for some of you, but further details regarding this have been revealed today.
Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Manager at Canonical, posted a notice for Ubuntu Desktop Next (a Unity 8 desktop build used for testing) users which mentions that for 15.10, the plan is to have "a build based on Snappy Personal and so the current .deb based Desktop Next image will be going away and will be replaced with the new Snappy version".
Since Will's notice was pretty vague, it raised quite a few questions, especially regarding the future of Ubuntu Desktop and Michael Hall from Canonical tried to answer some of them on Reddit (/r/Ubuntu). Here's a quick summary (copy/pasted from Reddit):
Q: Will all of Ubuntu be based on snappy packages in the mid-/long term instead of deb/click?A: All Ubuntu will use snap packages eventually, yes. But the system images and even some of the snappy apps will be built from debs.
Q: What happens after Ubuntu 16.04 (assuming Mir and Unity 8 land as default)? Are there going to be two branches, one with click packages, one with deb?A: That is the plan, yes, but the details still need to be worked out at UOS.
Q: Is Ubuntu moving away from dpkg and apt altogether? What does that mean for its relationship with Debian?A: Our system images are still built from debs in the archive, our relationship with Debian isn't going away anytime soon.
Q: How does Snappy (or click--whatever) improve updates on the Desktop? Does it bring improved security & privacy in any ways so there is less chance of installing harmful software or more secure delivery methods?A: Snap packages are more secure, yes, and they can be updated by their upstream at any time, they don't get frozen to the Ubuntu release. So you get newer apps, safer apps, and the upstream gets more control over it's distribution.
Q: Snappy Personal = *.click?A: Snappy is an evolution of click, which will eventually replace clicks on the phone. Snappy Personal is to phone and desktop what Snappy Core is to cloud and IoT, it's the base install image that provides the minimum functionality needed for you to get started.
Q: Could you briefly explain the advantages of snappy packages over click packages?A: Snappy packages can provide platforms or services that other snap packages can depend on, something clicks could not. Otherwise they are the same. The snappy tool can also update your system image, where that was a separate tool from click.
Q: What about the impact of that in other ubuntu editions (kubuntu, xubuntu)? Everyone is supposed to move to snappy and abandon apt/dpkg?A: The flavors won't be affected unless they choose to add snappy support themselves to get its benefits.
Q: In this future scenario, will we see ppa's moving from apt/deb to snappy too? If yes, will we have both versions running?A: With click/snappy you really don't need a PPA anymore.
Check out the full Reddit conversation HERE. You can find more information about Snappy packages in our Snappy Ubuntu Core post (Snappy Ubuntu Core is a cloud-optimized Ubuntu flavor, but the article also explains what Snappy packages are).
The Ubuntu Online Summit, which will take place between 5th and 7th of May, should reveal more information about this.

Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) Flavors Ready For Download

Thursday 23rd of April 2015 04:48:00 PM
The official Ubuntu 15.04 flavors are available for download. Let's take a quick look at what's new in the latest 15.04 release of Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Kubuntu and Lubuntu.
For Ubuntu MATE 15.04, a new MATE-based Ubuntu flavor, there's a separate article HERE. You may also want to see what's new in Ubuntu (with Unity) 15.04.

Xubuntu 15.04
Xubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses Xfce, a fast, light desktop environment.

The latest Xubuntu 15.04 ships with Xfce 4.12, the first stable Xfce release in almost three years. Since previous Xubuntu versions were already using various Xfce 4.12 development builds, some of the new features and improvements in Xfce 4.12 were present in Xubuntu for a while.

For what's new in Xfce 4.12, see THIS article.

Changes in Xubuntu 15.04 include:
  • Xfce Window manager now supports window previews and comes with corner-tiling and better support for client-side decoration apps;
  • LightDM GTK+ Greeter Settings, a tool which allows changing various login screen settings, is now installed by default;
  • Xfce Power Manager now handles light-locker’s settings in its “Security” tab;
  • the panel now has an intelligent hiding mode;
  • the display dialog comes with improved support for multiple monitors;
  • the appearance dialog shows previews for theme styles and icons;
  • improved Qt apps appearance (the GTK theme is used now) however, Qt apps continue ignore the currently set icon theme;
  • Xfce apps:
    • Mousepad text editor was rewritten, getting support for GTK3 along with a settings dialog;
    • new/updated Xubuntu light and dark color schemes in Mousepad and Terminal;
    • The Xfce Task Manager has received a new user interface with GTK3 support along with a process filter;
    • improved keyboard navigation for Thunar.

Below you'll find screenshots with some of these changes:

Download Xubuntu 15.04 | Official release notes

Ubuntu GNOME 15.04

Ubuntu GNOME tries to bring a pure GNOME experience in the Ubuntu "family". It uses GNOME Shell by default and this release ships with GNOME 3.14 for the most part - this includes GTK 3.14.12, GNOME Shell 3.14.4, GNOME Control Center / Settings Daemon 3.14.2, GDM 3.14.1 as well as version 3.14.x for most GNOME apps, both those available by default and those available for installation from the repositories.
As far as I'm aware, the only app that wasn't updated to version 3.14 (it's still at version 3.10.x) is Gedit.

GNOME 3.14 brings quite a few changes, including:
  • multi-touch gestures for both the system and applications (for touchscreen devices only);
  • improved support for Wi-Fi hotspots;
  • network-based sharing (WebDAV, DLNA and VNC will now remember which network you want them to be active on);
  • enhanced geolocation framwork with the use of Mozilla's Location Service for 3G and network-based positioning;
  • new animations for the Activities Overview;
  • new interactive inspector which allows live examination of running GTK+ applications (can be activated via Ctrl+Shift+I);
  • Evince was updated with a new design with header bars, support for removing annotations, recent documents overview and more;
  • Weather has a new layout and it makes use of GNOME's geolocation framework to automatically show the weather for your current location (the Location Services feature is turned off by default - enable it via System Settings > Privacy);
  • Maps was updated with a route planning feature which allows you to plan journeys by foot, bicycle or car.

For a more in depth look at the changes introduced with GNOME 3.14, see THIS article.
Also, with Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, Maps and Weather are installed by default and so is Numix, a popular GTK theme (though it's not used by default).
Another change in Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 is the addition of an experimental Wayland session. This is not installed by default and to try it out, you'll have to install "gnome-session-wayland" and then select "GNOME on Wayland" from the login screen. It's important to mention that this session only works with open source GPU drivers.
Here are a few Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 screenshots:

Download Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 | Official release notes

Ubuntu Kylin 15.04
Ubuntu Kylin is an Ubuntu variant for Chinese users which uses Unity. The project provides apps commonly used by Chinese users as well as customized existing components, like a custom Online Music Search Dash plugin and better Chinese localisation.

With this release, Ubuntu Kylin has switched to LIM (locally integrated menus) by default, a feature that was also present in Ubuntu 15.04 but was reverted a few days before the release. This feature is used in conjunction with a new Unity feature which allows disabling the menu autohide.
Another feature that's enabled by default with this release is "click to minimize" for the Unity Launcher, a feature that's also available for Ubuntu (w/ Unity) users, but it's not enabled by default.
According to the release notes, these changes should make it easier for Windows users to adapt to the Unity user interface.
Other changes in Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 include fixes for the Kylin-specific applications: Ubuntu Kylin Software Center, Youker Assistant, Chinese Calendar and Unity China Music Scope as well as a refreshed default theme.
Below you'll find a few Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 screenshots:

(I installed it in English, that's why parts of the desktop are in English and not in Chinese)

Download Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 | Official release notes

Kubuntu 15.04
Kubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop as the desktop environment. Even though it's now sponsored by Blue Systems and not by Canonical, Kubuntu is still an official Ubuntu derivative.

For the previous Kubuntu version, 14.10, the distro provided two ISOs: a stable Plasma 4 ISO and a testing Plasma 5 ISO. For Kubuntu 15.04, the developers have decided to complete the transition and only provide one ISO which uses Plasma 5 by default (along with KDE Applications 14.12.2).
Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 and it provides improved HiDPI support, an updated, modern and cleaner user interface with a new theme, rendered on top of OpenGL, offloading many intensive rendering tasks.
Compared to Plasma 5.0 (tech preview) used in the Plasma5 Kubuntu 14.10 ISO, Plasma 5.2 used in this release includes the following improvements:
  • new / re-added components for Plasma 5: Icons-only Task Manager, Notes widget, System Load Viewer, BlueDevil (a set of tools to manage Bluetooth devices), KSSHAskPass (a GUI for entering SSH passwords), Muon, KScreen (Multi-monitor system settings module), KDecoration and GTK Application Style;
  • added option to undo Plasma desktop layout changes;
  • smarter results and audio player controls in KRunner;
  • improved themes;
  • Baloo should consume 2-3x less CPU on startup;
  • KDE Frameworks 5-based versions of Kate, KWrite, Konsole, Gwenview, KAlgebra, Kanagram, KHangman, Kig, Parley, KApptemplate and Okteta;
  • the default Plasma 5 login screen manager is SDDM and this is what Kubuntu 15.04 uses by default;
  • numerous bug fixes;
  • more.

Changelogs: Plasma 5.2 | Plasma 5.1 | KDE Applications 14.12

Here are a few Kubuntu 15.04 screenshots:

Download Kubuntu 15.04 | Official release notes

Lubuntu 15.04
Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu flavor which uses the LXDE desktop environment, useful for old computers.

The latest Lubuntu 15.04 only includes general bug fixes and updated artwork, as the developers prepare for the switch to LXQt.

Download Lubuntu 15.04 | Official release notes

Ubuntu Studio & Ubuntu MATE 15.04The latest Ubuntu Studio shares most of its changes with Xubuntu 15.04, so check out the changes above, for Xubuntu. Download / release notes for Ubuntu Studio 15.04.
For Ubuntu MATE 15.04, I've posted a separate article: Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Available For Download.

All the Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) flavors include the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.19.0 based on the upstream 3.19.3 Linux Kernel, Mesa 10.5.2, Xorg server 1.17.1, PulseAudio 6.0 and systemd 219 (and they use systemd as the default init system, replacing upstart - except on Touch). Also, like all non-LTS releases, the Ubuntu 15.04 flavors are supported for 9 months!

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Released, First Version As An Official Ubuntu Flavor

Thursday 23rd of April 2015 03:43:00 PM
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 was released today, this being the first version as an official member of the Ubuntu family. Compared to the previous releases, when the distro was an unofficial flavor, there are numerous changes, including new default applications, a built-in panel layout switcher, new default theme and much more.

For those who are not familiar with MATE, this is a GNOME 2 fork which lets you use the old GNOME 2 desktop interface and applications but it also allows you to use new applications so for instance, you can use Gedit 3 if you want, etc.

Changes in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 (Vivid Vervet)
Note: the changes below are between Ubuntu MATE 15.04 and 14.10. Some of these changes were already present / were backported to Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS (which was released after 14.10).
One of the most interesting changes for regular desktop users in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 is MATE Tweak, which is installed by default and comes with a couple of new features which many MATE users will love.
Firstly, the app now allows switching between Compiz and Marco, just like in Linux Mint 17.1 MATE, without having to restart the session:

CompizConfig Settings Manager, the tool which allows enabling various Compiz plugins and tweaking its settings, is not installed by default though.
And secondly, the tool can now be used to switch between various panel layouts, including: Ubuntu MATE (default), Eleven (with a top panel for the menu, systray, etc. and Plank at the bottom, as the app switcher/launcher) and more:

Depending on the packages installed on your system, more layouts can show up here. For instance, if you install the Ubuntu Indicator Applet from the PPA linked below, you'll get an extra panel layout with Ubuntu Indicators.
Another change compared to the previous (unofficial) Ubuntu MATE releases is that Ubuntu MATE 15.04 doesn't support Ubuntu/Unity Indicators out of the box because they don't support GTK2:

The Ubuntu Indicator Applet version used in previous Ubuntu MATE releases was patched to work with GTK2 and it was available in a PPA - since Ubuntu MATE 15.04 is an official Ubuntu flavor, it can't use PPAs by default and thus, the patched Indicator Applet is not provided on a fresh installation.
However, you can install the Ubuntu Indicator applet along with the Sound Indicator package (patched for MATE) from a PPA by following THESE instructions.
As for the artwork, Ubuntu MATE 15.04 ships with a new default theme, called Yuyo Dark, as well as a light "Yuyo" alternative:

However, Ambiant MATE is still used for the LightDM Greeter (login screen), probably because Yuyo still needs some tweaks to work to properly support it.
Also, compared to Ubuntu MATE 14.10, the default icon theme (Ambiant MATE) now uses green icons (this was already available in Ubuntu MATE 14.04), as you can see in the screenshots above.
Other changes in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 (Vivid Vervet):
  • enabled restating X via Ctrl+Alt+Backspace;
  • enabled screen reader activation via LightDM indicators and LightDM key bindings;
  • enabled touch to click by default for touchpads;
  • added menu categories to System > Preferences;
  • thanks to a GTK2 bugfix, MATE should have better multi-monitor support;
  • merged MATE Compatibility integration into upstream Compiz;
  • Ubuntu 15.04 has adopted multilib GObject introspection runtime (gir) which means Caja plugins now work "out of the box";
  • more.

Default applications / packages
The latest Ubuntu MATE 15.04 ships with MATE 1.8.2 and compared to Ubuntu MATE 14.10, it comes with quite a few new default applications:
  • MATE Tweak (a MintDesktop fork) - lets you configure which icons to show on the desktop, enable/disable compositing, change the window buttons layout, show/hide icons in menus and buttons and more;
  • MATE Menu (a MintMenu fork) - a searchable menu for the MATE panel. This is not the default menu, but you can add it to the panel by right clicking the panel, selecting Add to Panel and then adding "MATE Menu";
  • Totem has been replaced by VLC;
  • Plank, the elementary OS dock, is now installed by default in Ubuntu MATE (but it's not used by default);
  • Tilda, a Quake-like drop-down terminal;
  • Folder Color, a Caja (it also supports Nemo and Nautilus) extension which allows changing individual folder colors (useful for organizing your folders, make some important folder stand out, etc.), as well as change all the the folder colors or add emblems;
  • guvcview, an app that uses your webcam to take photos and videos;
  • LightDM GTK+ Greeter Settings, a tool which allows modifying various login screen settings such as the theme, font, background and much more.

Here are screenshots with some of these new default apps:

Besides the new default apps, Ubuntu MATE 15.04 ships with Firefox 37, Thunderbird 31.6.0, LibreOffice 4.4.2, Transmission 2.84, Shotwell 0.20.2, Rhythmbox 3.1, Pidgin 2.10.9, Brasero 3.12, Deja Dup 32 and HexChat 2.10.1, as well as the MATE 1.8.x core apps like Caja (file manager), Pluma (text editor) and so on.
Just like Ubuntu 15.04, the latest Ubuntu MATE release ships with the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.19.0 based on the upstream 3.19.3 Linux Kernel, Mesa 10.5.2, Xorg server 1.17.1, PulseAudio 6.0 and systemd 219 (and uses systemd as the default init system).

Download Ubuntu MATE 15.04
Download Ubuntu MATE 15.04 (now also available for Raspberry Pi 2)
Before installing it, make sure you read the official release notes! Also, note that Ubuntu MATE 15.04, like all non-LTS Ubuntu flavors, is supported for only 9 months!
To see what's new in Ubuntu (with Unity) 15.04, check out THIS article.

Ubuntu 15.04 Available For Download, See What`s New

Thursday 23rd of April 2015 02:52:00 PM

Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) was released today and it brings updated applications, various small Unity improvements including an option to always show the menus, along with numerous bug fixes.

Under the hood, the most important change is the replacement of upstart with systemd as the default init system.

Let's take a look at what's new in Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop!

Changes in Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop (Vivid Vervet)

With Ubuntu 15.04, Unity has received a minor for some, yet important change, requested ever since Unity was first introduced on the Ubuntu desktop: an option to disable the Unity menu autohide (called "always-show-menus"). This feature works with both the AppMenu (global menu), displayed on the top Unity panel as well as LIM (locally integrated menu), displayed in the window titlebar:

The "always show menu" option is not enabled by default and you won't find it in System Settings though. To use it, you must install dconf-editor and use this tool to navigate to com > canonical > unity - here you should find the "always show menus" option:

Furthermore, LIM was tweaked and it now allows accessing the menus of unfocused windows, a feature that wasn't available until now. Thanks to this, you can directly open the menu of an unfocused window by clicking on it, without having to firstly focus the window. If you don't like this behavior, you can disable it via Dconf Editor: com > canonical > unity > integrated-menus > unfocused-windows-popup.
It's important to mention that the "always show menus" feature was already backported to Ubuntu 14.04 so if you're using Trusty, you can enable it as explained above, as long as you've installed the latest Unity update.
Those are not the only menu changes in Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet)! Thanks to JAyatana, which is now installed by default, Java Swing applications now support the Unity AppMenu and HUD:

This feature wasn't backported to Ubuntu 14.04 but you can install JAyatana by using a PPA.
Other Unity and Compiz changes include:
  • Dash, HUD and the logout dialogs now work over fullscreen windows;
  • tweaks to animations for faster startup and shutdown experiences;
  • fixes for various problems that occur with the nVidia proprietary driver (mostly blank or black windows);
  • many bug fixes and small improvements.

I should also mention that LIM was set as the default menu type in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet back in February but this change was reverted with just three days before the final Ubuntu 15.04 release.
Another visual change in Ubuntu 15.04 was made to the default GTK themes (Ambiance and Radiance), which provide better client side decoration (also known as header bars) app integration, along with other tweaks:

Unfortunately client side decoration apps don't have any shadows under Unity and at least on my system, there's an nasty visual bug caused by overlay scrollbars which makes CSD apps pretty much unusable.
And finally, here's the new Ubuntu 15.04 default wallpaper:

As for under the hood changes, the most important is the replacement of upstart with systemd as the default init system. While Ubuntu 15.04 boots with systemd by default, there's an option in GRUB to boot with upstart:

This option is useful if you encounter issues when booting with systemd - for instance some users reported a slow boot process a while back and I'm not sure if those issues were fixed because this doesn't occur on my system (in fact, the boot process takes pretty much the same with systemd and upstart on my system while the shutdown process is a lot faster with systemd).

Also, Upstart continues to control user sessions.

Applications / packages
Ubuntu 15.04 ships with GTK 3.14.12 and quite a few GNOME applications were updated to version 3.14: Nautilus (for instance, Ubuntu 14.10 has Nautilus 3.10), GNOME Terminal (Utopic has an ancient version: 3.6.2), Totem (updated from 3.10.1, which is in Utopic), Evince, Eye of GNOME, File Roller (Archive Manager) and Disks, while GNOME System Monitor was updated to version 3.15.91. 
Among these, there are many apps that use client side decorations by default, but they were patched to use a traditional titlebar / menu under Unity:
Document Viewer (Evince)
Videos (Totem)
GNOME System Monitor & Disks
Gedit is still at version 3.10 (3.10.4) in this Ubuntu release and it's the only GNOME app that wasn't updated to version 3.14 (I hope I didn't miss any), excluding Brasero and Empathy, which didn't have a 3.14 release and are still at version 3.12.
Vivid doesn't ship with GTK 3.16 (and 3.16 GNOME apps) because GNOME 3.16 was released recently and Ubuntu 15.04 had its feature freeze on February 19th.
It's also important to mention that GNOME Shell 3.14.4 is available in the repositories (and available by default in Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 obviously), along with the 3.14.x version of GNOME Control Center, GNOME Settings Daemon, GDM and most GNOME apps like Maps, Weather, Clocks, Bijiben, Music, Photos, Boxes as well as GNOME games like Mines and Sudoku.
Other applications installed by default in Ubuntu 15.04: Firefox, Thunderbird 31.6.0, LibreOffice 4.4.2, Rhythmbox 3.1, Ubuntu Software Center 13.10, Transmission 2.84, Deja Dup 32 and Shotwell 0.20.2 on top of Unity 7.3.2 (+dailybuild).

It's also worth mentioning that Ubuntu Make (previously called Ubuntu Developer Tools Center) is now available in the official repositories. This is a command line tool which makes it easy to install various developer tools such as Android NDK and Android Studio, various other IDEs such as IDEA (ultimate and community editions), PyCharm, WebStorm, RubyMine, PhpStorm and Eclipse, Golang compiler, Firefox developer edition, Dartlang editor and Stencyl game development platform.

The tool automatically installs all required dependencies and does everything you need to run the tools listed above, including automatically adding the IDEs to the Unity Launcher for easy access.
Under the hood, Ubuntu 15.04 uses the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.19.0 based on the upstream 3.19.3 Linux Kernel (see what's new in: Linux 3.18 | 3.19), Mesa 10.5.2, Xorg server 1.17.1, PulseAudio 6.0 and systemd 219.

Download Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet)
Download Ubuntu 15.04 | official release notes (includes upgrade instructions)
Like all non-LTS releases, Ubuntu 15.04 will be supported for 9 months.
Make sure you read the official release notes linked above before installing Ubuntu 15.04!
Also see: Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Released, First Version As An Official Ubuntu Flavor

Syncthing 0.11.0 Released With Performance Improvements, Proper Conflict Detection

Wednesday 22nd of April 2015 02:54:00 PM
Syncthing is a cross-platform peer-to-peer file synchronization client/server application written in Go. The tool is similar to BitTorrent Sync (but it's open source as opposed to BT Sync), and it's used to synchronize files between computers. More about Syncthing, HERE.

Syncthing 0.11.0 was released today and it includes significant performance improvements as well as various other changes such as:
  • versioning now uses version vectors instead of plain integers which means Syncthing has proper conflict detection now (in case of a conflict, the file is renamed from file.ext to file.sync-conflict-YYYMMDD-HHMMSS.ext);
  • the GUI has been changed from polling for updates to listening for periodic status updates from the server side, which should reduce the CPU usage;
  • the garbage collection threshold has been changed from 25% to 100% (the Go default) which reduces CPU usage and increases sync speed for large files (but uses more RAM - to decrease RAM usage, but with a performance hit, you can run Syncthing like this: "GOGC=25 syncthing");
  • The database commit process has changed slightly to better accommodate handling lots of small files and the result of this is a faster sync with lower CPU usage;
  • scanning of many large files is now more efficient;
  • user interface improvements, language can be selected from the Web UI, process uptime is now visible in the Web UI, etc.;

The complete Syncthing 0.11.0 release notes can be found HERE.

Important: the latest Syncthing 0.11 is not compatible with older 0.10.x versions. Also, if you're running an older Syncthing version, it won't update to the latest 0.11 version automatically - to update to v0.11, you'll either have to press the update button in the Web UI or run "syncthing -upgrade" from the command line.
When upgrading to Syncthing 0.11.0, the app will rehash all the files the first time it starts. That's because the database format has changed with the latest release. The old database will be removed two weeks after it was last written so if for whatever reason you want to downgrade, you'll have two weeks to do so.
To support these changes, Syncthing GTK 0.7 was released (and is already available in our PPA) today and besides Syncthing v0.11 support, this release brings the ability to download recent daemon version if the current version is no longer supported, as well as reduced CPU usage thanks to the new Syncthing API.

For those not familiar with Syncthing GTK, this is an unofficial GTK3 & Python GUI for Syncthing which adds extra features like an Ubuntu AppIndicator / tray icon for Syncthing, running the Syncthing daemon in the background, filesystem watching and instant sync using inotify, file manager integration (Nautilus, Nemo and Caja are supported for now), speed throttling, can automatically install and update Syncthing and more.

Download Syncthing
Download Syncthing (binaries for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X FreeBSD, Solaris etc. and source files available)
You can also find packages for various Linux distributions HERE.
Alternatively, you can use Syncthing GTK to install and keep Syncthing up to date.

Try Vocal, A Podcast Manager Designed For elementary OS

Wednesday 22nd of April 2015 12:59:00 PM
Vocal is a podcast manager designed to integrate tightly with the elementary OS desktop, which supports both audio and video podcasts, with built-in video playback.

The application doesn't have every feature you can think of and instead it focuses on what it's supposed to do: play podcasts while taking care of everything automatically, without going through N tabs of settings.
For instance, Vocal can stream episodes without having to download them locally however, if you want to save some episodes for offline listening, Vocal can do that too - it can even automatically check for and download new episodes in the background.
Another useful feature is its library management: Vocal can automatically delete old downloads so you don't have to worry about doing this yourself.

Also, since the app was designed for elementary OS, it integrates perfectly with the Pantheon desktop: it comes with native notifications, launcher count and progress bar support, media keys support and Sound Menu integration.
Other Vocal features include:
  • you can assign custom skip intervals for the skip forward and backwards buttons, useful if for instance you've missed something or to jump past an advertisement;
  • episode position saving, you can can easily start an episode from where you left off;
  • supports library import/export (can import from iTunes, gPodder, etc.).

For those are new to podcasts, the Vocal website offers "starter pack" which contains a selection of great podcasts which you can add either individually or as a complete .opml pack which you can import into Vocal. Note that in my test, the imported podcasts didn't show up in Vocal until I restarted the application.

While the app reached version 1.0 recently, there are a couple of missing features: Vocal lacks a search/filter and it can't download feeds which require authentication, but hopefully they'll be added in a future release.

It's important to note that while Vocal was designed for elementary OS, it should work on any desktop environment that supports header bars (also known as client side decorations) and has GTK 3.14 or newer. As far as *buntu is concerned, Vocal should work on the following:
  • Ubuntu GNOME / Xubuntu 15.04;
  • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 with GNOME 3 updated to version 3.14 via PPA.
  • Ubuntu 15.04 (with Unity) - partially, because the app won't have any shadows and to avoid various parts of the app being transparent (bug caused by overlay-scrollbar), you'll need to launch the app like this: "LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0 vocal".

The app should also work on elementary OS Freya (obviously), Fedora 21 or 22, etc.

Download Vocal
Download Vocal (packages available for Fedora and Ubuntu-based distros)
Important: you'll also need to download the Granite framework packages (available on the Vocal downloads page) if you're not using elementary OS or Ubuntu 15.04, or else you won't be able to install the app.
If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.

Gnome Pie Application Launcher Sees New Release

Monday 20th of April 2015 10:08:00 AM
Gnome Pie 0.6 (and 0.6.1 quickly after, to fix a nasty bug) was released recently, bringing new features such as half and quarter pies, a new simple theme along with other interesting changes and bug fixes.

For those not familiar with Gnome Pie, this is an application launcher inspired by a World of Warcraft addon called OPie.
The app consists of multiple "pies", each being triggered by a keyboard shortcut or mouse button you set. Each pie has its own role: applications, bookmarks, main menu, multimedia (play/pause/previous/next), a pie that allows you to control the focused window (maximize, close, etc.) and so on.
You can create new pies or delete the already existing pies so you have full control on what each pie does. Furthermore, you can choose from 10 Gnome Pie themes.

That's not all! You can even access a pie from a dock (and even from the desktop), such as Plank or Unity Launcher:
A pie launched from the Unity Launcher, with "automatically select the best pie shape" option enabled
To do this, simply drag and drop a pie from the Gnome Pie settings to the dock.

Changes in Gnome Pie 0.6/0.6.1:
  • it's now possible to have half and quarter pies. You can select the shape yourself or let Gnome Pie do this automatically, depending on the mouse cursor position on the screen;
  • users can now define a maximum number of slices per pie. If there are more, you will have the possibility to scroll through the pie with your mouse wheel or Page-Up & Page-Down;
  • a new simple theme was added and it's best used with the new half pie layout, when opening pies from a dock (the theme doesn't have labels or a center graphic);
  • updated existing themes;
  • Gnome Pie has a new icon;
  • added option to warp the mouse cursor to the pie center;
  • Bug fixes:
    • the faked background transparency for desktop environments without compositing works now close to panels and when the mouse moved while opening the pie;
    • an old bug has been fixed which caused Gnome-Pie to hang at 100% CPU usage occasionally;
    • a bug has been fixed which caused tree view items to have no icons in the settings menu;
    • fixed invisible drag and drop icons;
    • fixed delayed mode being re-enabled if the pie was opened once before being configured;
    • fixed quick action getting activated when the user clicked outside activation range;
    • it's now possible to save trigger modes (delayed, turbo, etc.) even if no binding is defined;
    • changed WM_CLASS which enables launchers to track windows properly;

Below you can watch a video in which Simon Schneegans, the Gnome Pie developer, presents the new features in Gnome Pie 0.6.1:

Gnome-Pie 0.6.1 from Simon Schneegans.
Gnome Pie should work on most desktop environments but note that in GNOME Shell, the app doesn't show up in the tray, which means you can't access its preferences directly - however, there's a workaround for this issue: simply launch Gnome Pie twice and the second time, its Preferences dialog should show up instead of launching the app a second time.

Install Gnome Pie in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
To install the latest Gnome Pie in Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 or 17 and derivatives, you can use its official PPA. Add the PPA and install Gnome Pie using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-pie
If you're not using Ubuntu / Linux Mint, you can download the Gnome Pie source via GitHub.
Once installed, launch Gnome Pie from the menu / Dash and then use CTRL + ALT + A to launch some applications, CTRL + Alt + B for bookmarks, etc. You can find all these keyboard shortcuts, change them or create new "pies" in the Gnome Pie Preferences (which you can access via its AppIndicator / Notification Area icon).

Opera Developer 30 Adds 32bit Linux Builds

Wednesday 15th of April 2015 04:04:00 PM
Quick update: the Opera developers have started providing 32bit Linux binaries with the latest Opera developer 30.

Opera stopped updating its Linux browser for about a year, until June 2014 when Opera 24 was released on the Developer stream, followed by the stable Opera 26 release. But all those builds were for 64bit - until today, when the developers have started providing a 32bit Linux version of Opera developer 30.
While officially there are only deb packages available for download, you can use Opera on any Linux distro by following THESE instructions (see the featured comment).
Download Opera developer 32bit deb
Tip: for how to get Flash and H.264 to work in Opera, see THIS article.
via Opera desktop blog

Xubuntu 15.10 To Drop GIMP, Abiword And Gnumeric, Ship With LibreOffice (Or Parts Of It) By Default

Wednesday 15th of April 2015 02:25:00 PM

A week ago, the Xubuntu team members were asked to vote if Xubuntu 15.10 should drop GIMP, Abiword and Gnumeric and include LibreOffice by default.
The vote expired yesterday and Simon Steinbeiß, the Xubuntu Project Lead, announced the vote results, which are as follows:
  • GIMP will be dropped;
  • Abiword will be dropped;
  • LibreOffice or parts of it will be installed by default.
This doesn't mean you can't use GIMP, Abiword or Gnumeric - they will continue to be available in the repositories so you can install them via Ubuntu Software Center.
Among the reasons of shipping Xubuntu 15.10 without GIMP is that the app takes a lot of space on the ISO and it has "a lot of features that the average user probably doesn't need", mentioned Simon Steinbeiß in a message on the Xubuntu Devel mailing list. He also pointed out that there's "no obvious or natural replacement for it", and as a result, Xubuntu 15.10 won't include any image editing software by default.
As for Abiword, according to Sean Davis, Xubuntu Technical Lead, the main reasons behind this decision are "Abiword's bugs and constant theming issues".

These changes will only affect Xubuntu 15.10 and the default applications list will likely be revisited for Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Plank 0.9.0 Released With Window Dodge Hide Mode

Tuesday 14th of April 2015 01:46:00 PM
Plank is a simple, lightweight dock written in Vala. The application, which is available by default in elementary OS, features multiple hide modes, customizable screen position, theme and icon size, supports pinning apps to the dock, quicklists and more.

Plank 0.9.0 as released a couple of days ago, bringing new features and bug fixes, such as:
  • animated adding and removing items;
  • added Window Dodge hide mode (the dock will hide if it obstructs any window);
  • it's now possible to set a hide delay;
  • Plank now provides a simple dbus-interface with some methods for remote-controlling;
  • add support for loading icons with "resource://"-uris;
  • fixed rearranging icons with gtk >= 3.14;
  • more.

For the complete Plank 0.9.0 changelog, see THIS page.
It's also worth mentioning that Plank was added to the official Ubuntu (and Debian experimental) repositories with the latest Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet (to be released later this month).

While Unity users already have a dock available by default (the Unity Launcher), Plank can be a useful addition to quite a few desktop environments like MATE and Xfce - especially if you use a global menu on the top MATE or Xfce panel -, GNOME (Shell) and so on.

Install Plank 0.9.0
elementary OS Freya, released a few days ago, ships with Plank 0.8.0 however, the latest Plank 0.9.0 should already be available as an update. Note that the new 'Window Dodge' hide mode is not displayed in the elementary OS System Settings yet.
To install Plank in Ubuntu-based Linux distributions and flavors (Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, etc.) from its stable PPA, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:docky-core/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install plankFor faster but less stable Plank updates, you can use its official Testing PPA.

Report any bugs you may encounter @ Launchpad.

Tune Up elementary OS 0.3 Freya With `elementary Tweaks`

Tuesday 14th of April 2015 11:26:00 AM
elementary Tweaks is a tool especially created for elementary OS, which allows adjusting various "hidden" settings, such as changing the themes and fonts, accessing various Plank or Files settings and much more.

From elementary Tweaks, users can access the following settings:
  • Appearance: change the window, GTK, icon and cursor themes, change the window buttons layout;
  • change fonts;
  • disable animations or change various animations duration;
  • change focused/unfocused window shadows;
  • Plank: change the dock's screen position, alignment, theme, hide delay and hide mode, icon size, enable Plank for the current workspace only, lock items and more;
  • Files: disable single click, change date format and sidebar icon size;
  • Slingshot: change the number of rows and columns;
  • add/remove Cerbere watched processes (Cerbere monitors a predefined list of processes and relaunches them if they end);
  • Terminal: change opacity and color scheme;
  • more.

Since elementary Tweaks is available as a Switchboard plug (System Settings), it doesn't show up in the menu and instead, you'll find it in System Settings > Tweaks:

I'm sure many of you are already familiar with elementary Tweaks but with the elementary OS 0.3 Freya release, the distro will get many new users which will look for ways to change the themes, move the dock or change the window buttons layout and they might not know about this small but very useful tool.

Install elementary Tweaks in elementary OS 0.3 Freya
To add the elementary Tweaks PPA and install the app in elementary OS Freya, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaksReport any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.


elementary OS Freya Available For Download, See What`s New [Video, Screenshots]

Saturday 11th of April 2015 04:33:00 PM
After more than a year and a half of development, elementary OS 0.3 "Freya" has been released, bringing three new default apps, a new notification system, a redesigned multitasking view, UEFI/SecureBoot support along with many other improvements and over 1,100 bug fixes.

For those not familiar with elementary OS, this is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution (with Freya being based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, supported until April 2019) which ships with its own desktop environment, called Pantheon, and its own custom application for the most part, which look great, integrate very well with the desktop and ship with sane defaults so the user doesn't have to tweak anything.
According to the elementary OS press release, the previous version, Luna, was downloaded over 3 million times, being one of the top 10 most popular distros.

elementary OS Freya video
Since elementary's strongest asset is its design (along with its simplicity of use), a video is a must and in the video below you can see what's new in the latest elementary OS Freya along with a quick overview of the whole desktop and its apps:

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel!)

With elementary OS Freya, Pantheon, the default desktop environment, provides a redesigned multitasking view which now includes both the workspace switcher and scale features in one view (with scale still being available separately, via Super + W):

To make this feature more discoverable, a shortcut was added to Plank (the dock):

Slingshot, the default elementary OS application menu, was updated with new features like quicklists support, drag'n'drop from search and also, it can now perform quick math calculations:

One of the most important new features added with elementary OS Freya is a new notification system, specially created for the Pantheon desktop. The notifications are interactive and can be dismissed and there's a new settings pane which provides a "Do not disturb" mode for completely turning off the notifications, as well as per-app notification settings, where you can enable or disable the notification bubbles and sounds:

And speaking of System Settings, two new features were added to the Security & Privacy pane: a "Privacy Mode", which disables logging any file/app usage data, and a firewall tool:

Furthermore, the Displays, User Accounts, Applications and Date & Time settings panes were redesigned:

As for the artwork, the beautiful GTK and icon themes have been updated and they include changes like refreshed icons, a dark stylesheet for apps, rounded corners on menus and dialogs and more.
"[...] Freya also shakes off some of the trends of the early 2010s like high gloss and embraces a more matte look while preserving and enhancing our use of light and shadow", said Daniel Foré, founder and lead designer of elementary.
Other changes include:
  • improved animations;
  • intelligent transparency for the panel;
  • better emoji support & drop-in replacements for Microsoft Core fonts for the web;
  • UEFI support;
  • a new captive portal assistant to make connecting to public WiFi easier;
  • unified login and lock screens.

elementary OS Freya applications
Even though the latest elementary OS is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which uses GTK+ 3.10 by default, Freya ships with GTK 3.14 and it takes advantage of some of the new toolkit features, like header bars (client-side decorations), CSS support and animations, used throughout most of the desktop.
With header bars support in place, most of the default elementary OS applications were updated to use header bars (with a couple of exceptions like Midori and Ubuntu Software Center), as you'll see in the app screenshots below.
elementary OS Freya ships with three new applications installed by default: Calculator, Camera and Videos (Audience) and Photos was redesigned:

Calendar has received various user interface improvements as well as a major new feature: the app now has online calendar support (Google Calendar & CalDAV):

Since the previous elementary OS release, Pantheon's Terminal has evolved a lot and the latest version, available by default in Freya, ships with new features like natural copy & paste, smart tab labels and a warning popup when pasting commands containing “sudo” in Terminal:

The app was also updated with a search function, accessible via its header bar, as well as notifications that let you know when a task is finished (for example, a notification is displayed when running "sudo apt-get update" when the task is done, if the Terminal app is not focused):

And finally, Files (default file manager) has received search support as well as improved Samba support:

Third-party apps like Geary (0.8.3) Simple Scan (3.14.0), Document Viewer (3.14.1) and more have been updated with various improvements as well as an updated UI, with header bars:

Under the hood, elementary OS Freya uses the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Enablement Stack, so it ships with Linux Kernel 3.16, Xorg server 1.15.1 and Mesa 10.3.2.

Download elementary OS Freya
Download elementary OS Freya *
* The download link will ask for a donation but it's not mandatory - you can select 'Custom' and enter '0' if you don't want to donate.

BQ Ubuntu Phone Now Available For General Purchase

Friday 10th of April 2015 12:13:00 PM

Quick update: the BQ Ubuntu Phone is now available for general purchase in the European Union. Until now, the phones could only be bought through flash sales.
"After a successful few flash sales we're excited to announce that the shop is now open! The Ubuntu Phone will be available to purchase via our partner +BQ's store. We look forward to welcoming you to this new generation of mobile experiences that is simpler for developers and more unified for user".

Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is the first Ubuntu phone and it was made in partnership with BQ, a Spanish producer of smartphones, tablets, electronic readers and 3d printers. 
The phone, which costs 169,90€, uses a 4.5” display (540x960 resolution) and comes with a Quad Core Cortex A7 1.3GHz MediaTek CPU, Mali 400 up to 500MHz GPU, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 Mpx rear interpolated (dual-flash and autofocus) camera and a 5 Mpx front camera.
It's important to note that the phone targets early adopters and if you just want WhatsApp or Skype, Ubuntu phone isn't for you just yet, as these services aren’t yet available.
You can read more about the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition phone in our review.
Buy Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition (169.90€)

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Gets `Always Show Menus` Unity Feature

Wednesday 8th of April 2015 11:19:00 AM
The much requested Unity feature to always show the menus, which is already available in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet for almost three months, has been backported to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

The default Unity menus continue to be displayed on mouseover, but with this change, there's now an option available via Dconf Editor (com > canonical > unity and enabling "always show menus") which allows setting the menus to always be visible. This feature works with both LIM (locally integrated menus) and global menu (AppMenu).
The "always show menus" option was added for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with Unity version "7.2.4+14.04.20150316-0ubuntu1", which is currently available for the brave in the Proposed repository, and once it's properly tested (probably a few days), it should be promoted to Main as an update for all Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users.
You can see the always show menus feature in action in THIS video I recorded a while back under Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet.
Along with this feature, this Unity version also brings various other changes, like enabling Dash, Hud and the session dialogs over full screen windows, along with bug fixes. A complete changelog can be found HERE.

Update: this Unity version is now in the main (stable) Ubuntu 14.04 LTS repository.

Stay Focused And Boost Your Productivity With Ambient Noise Player

Tuesday 7th of April 2015 11:10:00 AM
ANoise, or Ambient Noise, is a simple yet very convenient application developed by Costales (who's also behind Folder Color), for playing ambient noise with a click, useful for helping you stay focused, boost your productivity or, why not, fall asleep listening to the sound of waves or rain.

The application is very simple, lightweight and doesn't get in your way. In fact, it doesn't even come with a GUI by default and instead, it only shows an entry in the Ubuntu Sound Menu which allows you to play various relaxing sounds like forest, storm, rain, wind, night, fire, coffee shop or sea.
However, if your desktop environment doesn't support something similar to Ubuntu's Sound Menu (GNOME Shell Mediaplayer extension, etc.), you can still use Ambient Noise thanks to a little GUI that's was developed for such cases:

Despite being so light, Ambient Noise comes with a a couple of minor yet useful features. 
Firstly, the app remembers your last selection so you can easily start the last used ambient noise after a reboot, etc., and secondly, if you want the app to use custom sounds, you can simply add your own .ogg files in the ~/ANoise folder and the app should pick them up automatically. You can also add a .png file with the same name as the .ogg file and that image will be used in the Ubuntu Sound Menu along with your custom .ogg file.

For now, Ambient Noise only supports ogg files. Update: Ambient Noise now supports adding mp3 and wav files.

Install Ambient Noise in Ubuntu
Ambient Noise is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10, 14.04 and 12.04 and derivatives. Add the PPA and install the app using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/anoise
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install anoise
Once installed, simply search for Ambient Noise in Unity's Dash, click it and it should show up in the Ubuntu Sound Menu (with no other GUI), like in the screenshot above. This is only required the first time you launch it and the app should continue to show up in the Ubuntu Sound Menu until it's removed from the system.
For extra sounds (right now there's only one: river, but more should be added in the future), you can install the ANoise Community Extension, by using the following command:sudo apt-get install anoise-community-extension1
Like I said above, for desktop environments where it's not possible to use Ambient Noise via a MPRIS v2 interface (like Ubuntu's Sound Menu or the GNOME Shell Mediaplayer extension), you can install a simple ANoise GUI:sudo apt-get install anoise-gui
Arch Linux users can install ANoise via AUR: ANoise | ANoise-GUI. For other Linux distributions, you can grab the Ambient Noise code from Launchpad.

Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.

thanks to Costales for the tip!

Enable Client Side Decorations For Rhyhmbox With `Alternative Toolbar` Plugin

Tuesday 7th of April 2015 09:26:00 AM
`Alternative Toolbar` is a Rhythmbox plugin which replaces the default Rhythmbox toolbar with a client-side decorations (header bars) toolbar or a compact toolbar that can be hidden.

The plugin, developed by +fossfreedom (who's also behind the Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser plugin) in collaboration with +Ozon and +Georgi Karavasilev, comes with options such as display type: use header bars or a regular/compact toolbar, optional compact progress bar and more:

From the header bar, you can switch between songs and categories as well as search/filter while the play controls are at the bottom, with customizable song info position, regular/compact progress bar, optional volume control and more.
Under desktop environments that don't fully support client-side decorations, the plugin is still useful because it allows you to enable a compact toolbar similar to the one available in Rhythmbox until version 2.99:

The toolbar can be hidden from the menu: View > Show Play-Controls Toolbar and you can then use Alt+Right to seek forward and Alt+Left to seek backward.
In his article about the Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar plugin, fossfreedom asks for feedback and "most importantly help with further development" so if you can help, drop by the project page or leave your feedback in the comments.
For Ozon OS, Rhythmbox will get even more changes: the sidebar and coverart plugins will be redesigned and the Alternative Toolbar plugin will be further improved. You can watch THIS video for more info.

Install Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar plugin
The Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar plugin is available in fossfreedom's Rhythmox plugins PPA (along with many other third-party plugins), for Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 and 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 or 17. To add the PPA and install the plugin, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbarOnce installed, enable Alternative Toolbar via Tools > Plugins.

Arch Linux users can install Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar plugin (git) via AUR. For other Linux distributions, see the installation instructions from the Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar plugin GitHub page.

via xpress-ubuntu

Install HandBrake Video Transcoder With Fixed Black Widgets And Unity Launcher Progress Bar Integration In Ubuntu

Tuesday 31st of March 2015 10:24:00 AM
HandBrake is a popular free and open source video transcoder available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The tool works great however, the app widgets are black under Unity, this issue being caused by Ubuntu's overlay scrollbars:

If you're using Unity, you can add +Marc Deslauriers' HandBrake PPA, which provides a fix for this black widgets bug. The HandBrake packages in this PPA also ship with Unity Launcher progress bar integration, so you can quickly see the transcoding progress without having the app on top:

For those who aren't familiar with HandBrake, here's a quick list of features:
  • for input sources, HandBrake supports most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection;
  • supported outputs:
    • file containers: MP4 (M4V) and MKV;
    • video encoders: H.264 (x264), H.265 (x265) MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 (libav), VP8 (libvpx) and Theora (libtheora);
    • audio encoders: AAC,, MP3, Flac, AC3 and Vorbis;
  • device presets;
  • title / chapter selection;
  • chapter markers;
  • queue up multiple encoding jobs;
  • subtitles support (VobSub, Closed Captions CEA-608, SSA, SRT);
  • constant quality or average bitrate video encoding;
  • video filters: deinterlacing, decomb, denoise, detelecine, deblock, grayscale, cropping and scaling;
  • live video preview;
  • comes with graphical and command line interfaces.

Install HandBrake with Unity patches in Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 and 14.04
To add Marc Deslauriers' HandBrake PPA and install HandBrake with Unity patches (fixed black widgets and Unity Launcher progress bar integration) in Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mdeslaur/handbrake
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake
For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac OS X, see the HandBrake downloads page.

via G+

Install Rhythmbox 3.2 In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint Via PPA

Monday 30th of March 2015 02:51:00 PM
Rhythmbox 3.2 was released yesterday, bringing new features like a Soudcloud plugin, along with bug fixes. If you're using Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 or 17 (and derivatives), you can already install the latest Rhythmbox via PPA.

Changes in Rhythmbox 3.2 since 3.1:
  • added a Soundcloud plugin;
  • added the ability to clear, re-fetch and manually set cover art using the song info window;
  • added support for disc and track total tags;
  • various style and layout fixes;

A complete list of changes for Rhythmbox 3.2 is available HERE.
Here are a couple of screenshots with the new Soundcloud plugin and the new cover art options from the song info window:

These are just the changes since version 3.1, available in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet however, Ubuntu 14.10 and 14.04 provide Rhythmbox 3.0.x and since then, Rhythmbox was updated with GTK 3.14 support and even more bug fixes, which you can see HERE (changes in 3.1).

Install Rhythmbox 3.2 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 or 17 (and derivatives) users can install Rhythmbox 3.2 by using fossfreedom's Rhythmbox PPA (by the way, you should also check out his Rhythmbox plugins PPA as well as his CoverArt Browser extension). Add the PPA and install/upgrade Rhythmbox by using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmboxThat's it!

If for some reason you want to remove Rhythmbox 3.2 and go back to the version available in the official Ubuntu repositories, you can purge the PPA by using the following commands:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox
via / thanks to fossfreedom for the PPA

Pushbullet Indicator Gets Option To Reply To SMS, WhatsApp And Telegram, Full Universal Copy And Paste Support

Monday 30th of March 2015 10:28:00 AM
Pushbullet Indicator was updated today with new features like bidirectional universal copy and paste, option to send SMS from the desktop and more.

Pushbullet is a service that lets you easily send files, links, notes, list and more to your Android or iOS device from your desktop or the other way around. The tool can also be used share the clipboard between your desktop and mobile device (feature called "Universal copy & paste"), mirror Android notifications on your desktop and more.
Note that some Pushbullet features, like replying to SMS, WhatsApp and Telegram from the desktop is not yet supported on iOS.

On Linux desktops, Pushbullet is available as a browser extension and there's no official native application. For this reason, Lorenzo from started working on Pushbullet Indicator, an unofficial Pushbullet Ubuntu client, which has now reached version 0.6.0.
Changes in Pushbullet Indicator 0.6.0:
  • Universal copy & paste is now bidirectional (until now, this only worked one way: copying something on your Android device and pasting it on the Ubuntu desktop). For this feature to work, you need to enable Universal copy & paste in both Pushbullet Indicator and the Pushbullet app on your mobile device; 
  • send SMS from the desktop. Important: using this feature, the SMS is sent via your mobile phone so it doesn't mean that the SMS is free! Unfortunately, to use this feature, you must know the phone number because Pushbullet Indicator doesn't retrieve your contacts list;
  • reply to Whatsapp, Telegram and SMS from the desktop (you must enable this from the Pushbullet Indicator settings);
  • you can now select the device to send text/links/files/etc. from the PushBullet send dialog.

Here are a few screenshots with some of these changes:

In my test, the latest Pushbullet Indicator worked great but there is one thing that could be tweaked: currently, when receiving an SMS or message via Telegram or WhatsApp, the Pushbullet Indicator reply window doesn't display the service name so you don't know where the message comes from but hopefully the service name or logo will be added in a future release (I reported the bug HERE).

Install Pushbullet Indicator in Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 or 17 Cinnamon
Before proceeding, install Pushbullet on your Android or iOS device.
Pushbullet Indicator is available in the Atareao PPA for Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 and 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.1 and 17 (Cinnamon only). Add the PPA and install the indicator using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pushbullet-indicator
Once installed, run Pushbullet Indicator and an authentication dialog should show up automatically - here, log in to your PushBullet account authorize Pushbullet Indicator to access your Pushbullet profile and data.

If this window doesn't open automatically, from the Pushbullet Indicator settings, set the "Allow access to PushBullet" slider to ON and authenticate with Pushbullet.
The PPA also provides Nautilus and Nemo extensions for Pushbullet (which you can use to send files directly from Nautilus or Nemo to your mobile device). These extensions are optional and Pushbullet doen't depend on the file manager you use. Install them using the following commands:- for Nautilus:
sudo apt-get install nautilus-pushbullet
nautilus -q- for Nemo:
sudo apt-get install nemo-pushbullet
nemo -q
Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.


More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

Leftovers: Gaming

Android Leftovers

  • Android Candy: Intercoms
    Ever since my "tiny $20 tablet" project (see my Open-Source Classroom column in the March 2015 issue), I've been looking for more and more cool things to do with cheap Android devices. Although the few obvious ones like XBMC or Plex remotes work well, I've recently found that having Android devices around the house means I can gain back an old-school ability that went out of style in the late 1980s—namely, an intercom system.
  • There's a wild prank hidden in Google Maps that insults Apple in the most childishly inappropriate way
    Rawalpindi is a vibrant Pakistani city known for its bazaars, ancient ruins, and array of religious shrines. But if you pay it a visit on Google Maps, you're going to notice something very unusual on the outskirts of the city — the Android "droid" mascot urinating on the Apple logo.
  • There's an Android bot peeing on an Apple logo on Google Maps
    Sick of all the Apple Watch news today? You're in luck, because we have something completely different for you. An image of an Android mascot, also known as an Android bot or Bugdroid, peeing on an Apple logo has been discovered on Google Maps.
  • An Android robot is peeing on an Apple logo in Google Maps
  • An Android is urinating on the Apple logo in Google Maps (update)
    Google and Apple have always had their differences, but a new Easter egg inside Google Maps has just taken their rivalry to a whole new level. As spotted by Team Android, if you head to these coordinates with the regular Map view enabled, you'll see Google's iconic Android mascot taking a leak on the Apple logo. At the moment, it's unclear who created this little piece of mischief and whether Google is taking action. But if this hidden message is any indication, it was snuck through by a member of the public using Google's Map Maker service, rather than a Google employee. Regardless, it's a crazy (and pretty hilarious) addition that's sure to rile some of the employees in Cupertino. Shots fired!
  • Sony's Android TV-powered 4K televisions are ridiculously thin
    Four models from Sony’s 2015 Android TV-powered 4K television range are now available for pre-order, with shipping to begin in May. The Japanese electronics giant unveiled its 4K TV lineup for 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but kept pricing and release information to itself, only saying the new sets would be available sometime in the spring. Those details are finally here and the TVs themselves aren’t far off.
  • Android Wear v1.1 APK has Apple references in it, but when is iOS support coming?
    That Google is working on iOS support for Android Wear is nearly undeniable at this point, but even more evidence has surfaced in case you aren’t a believer. We peeked inside the latest Android Wear update APK to see what hidden bits were swarming about, and we came across some very interesting references.
  • 5 Things to Expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Release
    A few weeks ago, an Android 5.1.1 update mysteriously appeared alongside an update for Google’s Android SDK. Earlier this week, Google finally confirmed the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release with an update for its Nexus Player. With an Android 5.1.1 update now on the minds of Nexus users, particularly Nexus 5 users dealing with Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 release from Google.

The Turing Phone Is Super Durable and Ultra Secure

The device also sports a 13MP/8MP camera combo, 64GB / 128GB of internal storage and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Read more