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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 28 min 11 sec ago

Access Blocked Websites In Censored Regions With Lantern

Thursday 26th of May 2016 10:30:00 AM
Lantern is a free, open source internet censorship circumvention software that was created to "give users fast access to the blocked Internet". The application is available for desktops (Linux, Windows, Mac) and Android.

The application is not new, but I never got to write about it on WebUpd8. Lantern is built by Brave New Software, whose founder and lead developer is Adam Fisk, former lead developer of LimeWire and LittleShoot.
The project was started in 2013 and it was initially available through an invitation-only system, but with version 2.0, released in 2015, the application no longer requires an invitation to use.
Lantern relies on both its own servers and on the bandwidth of users (with connections to multiple users at once) in uncensored regions acting as access points, to unblock websites. According to its FAQ, Lantern encrypts all of your traffic when you are accessing a blocked site.
It's important to mention that Lantern was not designed to be an anonymity tool and if that's what you need, you should use Tor instead. Lantern's goal is to provide fast, easy to use and secure access to blocked websites.
The application is very easy to use: simply install and run it, and it should automatically change your system proxy, allowing your web browser to access blocked websites. 
Its user interface consists of a tray / appindicator and a web interface (which opens automatically upon launching Lantern) that allows access to some options, like running Lantern on system startup, proxy all traffic, enable/disable anonymous usage statistics and manage system proxy:

By default, Lantern tries to use a proxy only for websites it detects as blocked. This didn't work properly for most websites I tried in my test, like Pandora, CBS and others however, everything worked as expected after I enabled the "proxy all traffic" option.
Note: you may need to restart Lantern and your web browser after changing the "proxy all traffic" option.
Lantern used to allow customizing the proxied sites list, but that feature is no longer available with Lantern version 2, although this feature might return in a future release.
For more information about Lantern, check out its FAQ.


Download Lantern
Download Lantern (binaries available for Debian / Ubuntu and derivatives, Windows and Mac OS X as well as Android)
Arch Linux users can install Lantern from AUR.

For generic Linux binaries, source code, bug reports, etc. see the Lantern GitHub page.

Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar Plugin 0.17.1 Released With Options To Use Dark Theme And Vertical Categories

Friday 20th of May 2016 10:17:00 AM
Alternative Toobar is a plugin that enhances the Rhythmbox play controls and interface, including optional headerbars for GNOME-based desktops.
Rhythmbox with Alternative Toobar 0.17.1 with the new dark theme option enabled (using Adwaita theme / headerbars / GNOME Shell)
The plugin was updated to version 0.17.1 recently, which brings the following changes:
  • added an option to use a dark theme (this works with themes that include a dark theme, like Adwaita);
  • added an option to display the categories horizontally of vertically;
  • fixed displaying the app-menu in Budgie Desktop;
  • added an option (only available via gsettings / Dconf Editor) to force the display of the app-menu (GNOME menu) if required;
  • correctly toggle the search button using Ctrl + F (when using headerbar only).

Here's Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar under Unity, using classic window borders and vertical categories:


And another screenshot under Unity (Ubuntu 16.04), with the "Modern" (headerbar) option enabled in the Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar preferences:

While Rhythmbox Alternative toolbar was initially started as a simple plugin to change some parts of the Rhythmbox toolbar, it has evolved and the plugin can now change the sidebar, enable client-side decorations (headerbars), use a compact style toolbar and much more.
Here's a list of Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar features:

  • allows toggling between headerbars ("Modern" option in plugin settings) and classic window decorations
  • use compact controls for the Rhythmbox toolbar;
  • redesigned sidebar;
  • redesigned plugin window, about box and plugin preferences window;
  • allows moving columns (title, artist, etc.) using drang'n'drop;
  • Source Toolbars can be toggled (CTRL + T or from the menu: View > Show Source Toolbar);
  • option to display album/genre/year for playing song;
  • volume Control can be switched on or off for all toolbars;
  • seek forward (fast-forward) through a track (ALT + Right Arrow) and backward (ALT + Left Arrow);
  • repeat button can switch between repeat tracks and repeat-one-song mode;
  • and of course, the recently added features mentioned above.


Install Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar is available in the Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10 repositories (however, the latest 0.17.1 version is only available in the Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak repositories) as wells Debian (version 0.17.1 in sid and 0.16.3 in stretch). To install it, simply use the following command:sudo apt install rhythmbox-alternative-toolbar
To install the latest Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar in Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 18 or 17.x, you can use a PPA. 
To add the PPA and install the plugin, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt update
sudo apt install rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar
For source, installation instructions for other Linux distributions, bug reports and more information about Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar, see its GitHub page.

update via xpressubuntu

Temporarily Disable Notifications In Ubuntu (w/ Unity 7) With NoNotifications Indicator

Tuesday 17th of May 2016 12:16:00 PM
NoNotifications is a simple indicator for Ubuntu (Unity 7) that allows you to temporarily suppress NotifyOSD notifications. The tool is useful for presentations, when working, and so on, to prevent unwanted notifications from getting in your way or distracting you.

The NoNotifications indicator offers only two options (and Quit): "Don't disturb", which disables the notifications and changes the indicator icon to red, and "Show notifications", which you've guessed it, enables the notifications, and changes the indicator icon to green.
Ubuntu (with Unity 7) lacks a "Do Not Disturb" mode and while NoNotifications can be useful for temporarily disabling NotifyOSD notifications, it doesn't provide a complete "Do Not Disturb" mode.
A "Do not disturb" mode that also mutes the sound, disables all kinds of popups and allows scheduling when you want to activate this mode would be extremely useful. I'm not sure if the NoNotifications developer is interested in these features but nevertheless, I reported a bug for NoNotifications to include them @ Launchpad.

Install NoNotifications (NoNotifs) in Ubuntu
NoNotifications indicator is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10, 15.04 and 14.04. Add the PPA and install the indicator using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vlijm/nonotifs
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nonotifs

Tool To Display Keystrokes In Screencasts `Screenkey` 0.9 Released [PPA]

Tuesday 17th of May 2016 11:09:00 AM
Screenkey is a tool which displays key presses on the screen, useful for screencasts.

Screenkey itself can't be used to create screencasts, its use is to display your keystrokes on the screen. To record your Linux desktop, I recommend SimpleScreenRecorder.
Screenkey 0.9 was released a couple of days ago and is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA. Changes in the latest version include:
  • Ctrl+Ctrl detection now works correctly in more scenarios;
  • Ctrl++ (and similar sequences with repeated characters) are now shown as Ctrl+"+" for improved readability;
  • Shift+Backspace is now recognized and shown correctly;
  • Several multimedia keys are now supported. If "FontAwesome" is installed, the correct symbol is also displayed instead of a text abbreviation (in my test, volume up/down and mute/unmute worked while play/pause/next/previous didn't however, other keys like brightness also worked)ge;
  • Visualization of whitespace characters can now be controlled;
  • Repeated key sequences are now abbreviated with a repeat count if above the specified threshold (3 by default).


The original Screenkey was abandoned and the application was forked a while back, received quite a few extra features, like multi-monitor support, configurable font face, size, and position, includes several keyboard translation methods, and more.
Tip: to pause Screenkey at any time, press both Control keys in the same time.
For more information about Screenkey (fork), see our initial article: Display Keystrokes In Your Screencasts With `Screenkey`


Install Screenkey in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA
The latest Screenkey 0.9 is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA. To add the PPA and install the app in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install screenkey fonts-font-awesome
Arch Linux users can install Screenkey via AUR (not updated to the latest 0.9 version at the time I'm writing this article).

For other Linux distributions, download Screenkey via GitHub.

Report any bugs you may find @ GitHub.

Limited Time Offer To Get Insync Plus For Free (Unofficial Google Drive Client)

Tuesday 17th of May 2016 09:45:00 AM
Update: the promotion has expired however, I'm not removing this article because it also contains a fix for an issue some of you may encounter in Ubuntu 16.04 (and probably other Linux distributions as well).
Insync is an unofficial Google Drive client available for Linux, Window and Mac. The application is not free (well, except for the next 51 hours): it costs $25 per Google account (one-time fee), along with plans for 3 Google accounts and business.

For the next 51 hours, you can get an Insync Plus account (for one Google account) for free. Simply sign up using THIS link with your @gmail.com or @googlemail.com account. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to Google apps users.
After signing up, download, install and login using your Gmail account on the Insync app within the next 24 hours to activate your free Insync Plus account.

Note: for Ubuntu 16.04 and 15.10, download the Insync 14.04 deb. If Insync fails to start for you, there's a fix/workaround at the end of the article.
Insync features:
  • nested selective sync (allows you to selectively sinc subfolders and files) and ignore list (allows adding rules for files and folders that you don't want to upload or download);
  • both desktop and command line interfaces (a headless client is also available)
  • symlink, junction and alias support;
  • support for external and network drives;
  • options to convert Google Docs to OpenDocument or Microsoft Office formats (by default it doesn't convert Google Docs)
  • recent changes feed;
  • integrates with most file managers on Linux (Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Thunar and Dolphin)
  • supports multiple accounts (but using the free promo, you can only use one account with Insync Plus)
  • proxy support, desktop notifications and more

In Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and derivatives, after installing Insync, a repository is automatically added which is used for future Insync updates as well as to install the Insync file manager integration.
After authorizing Insync with your Google account, the application will ask you if you want to install the file manager integration package (Insync tries to detect your desktop environment). 
If this doesn't show up for you or you want to install the Insync file manager integration for another file manager, you can do this manually. Firstly update the software sources:sudo apt updateAnd then install the Insync integration for your file manager:
sudo apt install insync-FILEMANAGER... replacing "FILEMANAGER" with: caja, dolphin, nautilus, nemo or thunar.

Important: in my test, Insync failed to start in Ubuntu 16.04 . To fix it, I renamed (thanks to the Insync AUR package) /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 to /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.old.  To apply this fix/workaround from the command line, use:
sudo mv /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.oldAfter running the command above, try running Insync - now it hopefully works.
Tip: you can encrypt your Google Drive files using Cryptomator.

WebTorrent Desktop 0.4.0 Released With Subtitles Support, More

Monday 16th of May 2016 09:36:00 AM
WebTorrent Desktop was updated to version 0.4.0 recently, receiving subtitles support, new "Create torrent" page and more.

For those not familiar with WebTorrent Desktop, this is a simple open source BitTorrent client that lets you stream torrents to your desktop, as well as to AirPlay, Chromecast and DLNA devices.
The application is available for Linux, Windows and Mac and comes with a very simple user interface that allows dropping a torrent file or pasting a magnet link to start streaming it.

Subtitles support was one of the most requested features and the latest WebTorrent Desktop 0.4.0 includes this feature: you can now load .srt and .vtt subtitles either from the file selector or via drag'n'drop.
The current version doesn't yet support automatically loading subtitles in the same folder (in WebTorrent Desktop's case, in the torrent). Update: this is now available with WebTorrent Desktop 0.5.0.
Another new feature in the latest WebTorrent Desktop is the ability to stream to VLC for audio codecs that aren't supported by WebTorrent (for instance when the audio codec used is AC3 or EAC3). Unfortunately there's no option to force WebTorrent Desktop to use VLC so I assume this is only done automatically, but you can manually open the file in VLC.
Other changes in WebTorrent Desktop 0.4.0 include:

  • new "Create torrent" page which allows modifying the torrent comment, trackers and enable/disable the private torrent flag;
  • add "Show in Folder" item in context menu;
  • add a volume slider, with mute/unmute button;
  • use mouse wheel to increase/decrease volume;
  • improve app startup time by 40%;
  • UI tweaks: reduce font size, reduce torrent list item height;
  • add Playback menu for playback-related functionality;
  • Remove OS X-style window menu in Linux and Windows;
  • remove "Add Fake Airplay/Chromecast" menu items;
  • block power save while casting to a remote device;
  • support playing .mpg and .ogv extensions in the app;
  • fix video centering for multi-screen setups;
  • various other minor improvements and bug fixes.

Furthermore, starting with this release, there are 32bit Linux WebTorrent Desktop builds available for download (deb and generic).

Download WebTorrent Desktop
Download WebTorrent Desktop (for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X)
Important: after installing the application in Ubuntu / Linux Mint / Debian using the official deb files, you must run it once from a terminal (simply type "webtorrent-desktop" in a terminal) so it creates a desktop file. After that, you'll be able to run WebTorrent Desktop from the menu / Dash.
Arch Linux users can install WebTorrent Desktop via AUR (packages not updated to the latest 0.4.0 version at the time I'm writing this article).

New Version Of Linux Email Client `Geary` Released [PPA]

Monday 16th of May 2016 08:06:00 AM
Geary is an email client that uses a simple, modern interface, especially created for GNOME 3. Geary 0.11.0, released today, includes new features, improved server compatibility and network reliability, and various bug fixes.
Geary 0.11.0 in Ubuntu GNOME (GNOME Shell) 16.04
Geary features include:
  • quick account setup;
  • supports Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com, and popular IMAP servers (Dovecot, Cyrus, Zimbra, etc.);
  • mail organized by conversations;
  • ability to answer directly in conversations or open it in a separate window
  • signature support;
  • full-featured HTML mail composer;
  • fast keyword search with values like from:john;
  • desktop notification of new mail.

After Yorba Foundation, the open source company that developed Geary, stopped its activities, the future of the application was unclear. elementary OS, which was using Geary as its default email client, forked the project back in November 2015, continuing its development under the Pantheon Mail name.
In March 2016, Michael Gratton, an old Geary contributor, became an unofficial maintainer (until he can fulfill the GNOME membership application requirements), posting his patches to GNOME Bugzilla while still requiring Adam Dingle, Yorba founder, to commit them.
More about this @ Wikipedia.
Geary 0.11.0 in Ubuntu (Unity) 16.04
Changes in Geary 0.11.0:
  • added archive special folder support;
  • added is:read, is:unread: is:starred search operators;
  • fixed using multiple search operators - to:, from:, etc.;
  • work around crashes caused by WebKitGTK+ 2.4.10;
  • fixed a crash when searching;
  • fixed images not being displayed in some HTML messages;
  • fixed empty main window when opened from notification;
  • fixed UI freezing when network connections are lost;
  • work better with Cyrus & other servers when network unreliable;
  • enabled the use of custom FTS3 tokeniser in SQLite 3.12 and later;
  • fixed inconsistent Composer 'Detach' button placement;
  • documentation improvements;
  • updated UI translations.


Install Geary in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Geary is available in the official Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint (and derivatives) repositories - tough it's not the latest version -, so to install it, simply use the following command:sudo apt install geary
The version available in the official repositories is not the latest 0.11.0. To install Geary 0.11.0 in Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10 or 14.04, Linux Mint 18 or 17.x and derivatives, you can use its new official PPA. Add the PPA and install Geary using the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geary-team/releases
sudo apt update
sudo apt install geary
Download Geary 0.11.0 source.

Thanks to Michael for the tip!

How To Get A Global Menu In Xubuntu 16.04 Or Lubuntu 16.04 (Using TopMenu)

Wednesday 11th of May 2016 12:40:00 PM
TopMenu (a global menu for MATE, Xfce and LXDE panels) is available in the official Ubuntu 16.04 repositories and it works great in Ubuntu MATE 16.04, but it doesn't work in Xubuntu 16.04 and Lubuntu 16.04 by simply installing the panel applet package.
Here's how to get TopMenu to work in Xubuntu 16.04 and Lubuntu 16.04, using the official packages, with a minor tweak.
Note that TopMenu only works with GTK2 and GTK3 applications. It doesn't work for Qt (4 or 5) applications as well as LibreOffice, Firefox andThunderbird.

How to install and get TopMenu to work in Xubuntu 16.04

1. Install all the required packages

The TopMenu Xfce panel applet package doesn't depend on all the packages required for it to work. To install all the required packages in Xubuntu 16.04, use the command below:sudo apt install xfce4-topmenu-plugin libtopmenu-client-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-client-gtk3-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk3-0 topmenu-gtk2 topmenu-gtk3
2. Load TopMenu via /etc/profile.d/

The next step is to create a file, let's call it "topmenu-gtk.sh", in /etc/profile.d/ - I'll use Mousepad (the default Xubuntu 16.04 text editor) below to open an empty file at that location:pkexec mousepad /etc/profile.d/topmenu-gtk.shAnd in this file, paste the following:
#!/bin/sh
export GTK_MODULES=$GTK_MODULES:topmenu-gtk-moduleThen save the file and restart the session (logout/login or restart the system).
3. Add TopMenu to the Xubuntu 16.04 Xfce panel

To add TopMenu to the Xfce panel, right click the panel, select Panel > Panel Preferences and on the "Items" tab, click "+" and add TopMenu, then use the up and down arrows to move the applet to the desired location:


It's important to mention that TopMenu doesn't support panel transparency so if you want Topmenu to have the same backgound as the rest of the panel, set the Xfce panel opacity to 100 by right clicking on the panel and selecting Panel > Panel Preferences, on the Appearance tab (set "Alpha" to 100):


How to install and get TopMenu to work in Lubuntu 16.04

1. Install all the required packages

Just like the Xfce panel applet, installing the LXDE TopMenu panel applet doesn't install all the packages required for the applet to work, so let's install them:sudo apt install lxpanel-plugin-topmenu libtopmenu-client-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-client-gtk3-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk3-0 topmenu-gtk2 topmenu-gtk3

2. Load TopMenu via /etc/profile.d/

The next step is to create a file, let's call it "topmenu-gtk.sh", in /etc/profile.d/ - I'll use Leafpad (the default Lubuntu 16.04 text editor) below to open an empty file at that location:gksu leafpad /etc/profile.d/topmenu-gtk.shAnd in this file, paste the following:
#!/bin/sh
export GTK_MODULES=$GTK_MODULES:topmenu-gtk-moduleThen save the file and restart the session (logout/login or restart the system).
3. Add TopMenu to the Lubuntu 16.04 LXDE panel
Top add Topmenu to the LXDE panel, right click the panel, select "Add / Remove Panel Items", click "Add" and select TopMenu:

Test SMPlayer Version Includes HiDPI Support, Option To Send Video To Extended Display, More

Wednesday 11th of May 2016 10:44:00 AM
An article posted on the SMPlayer blog yesterday points out some of the new features that will be available in the next SMPlayer version, like support for high DPI screens, an option to send the video to the second screen while controlling the application from the primary screen and more.

You can try this SMPlayer version right now in Ubuntu, Debian 8, Fedora (22 and 23), openSUSE (13.2, 42.1 and Tumbleweed) and Windows. See the instructions and links below.

SMPlayer is a QT front-end for mplayer and mpv. It features a configurable user interface, playlists support, highly configurable subtitles, it remembers the settings for all the files you play, it can download subtitles, and it can even play YouTube videos, with an optional YouTube browser.
New features available in the latest SMPlayer testing version include:
  • HiDPI support (it requires Qt >= 5.4);
  • tablet mode which makes it easy to control SMPlayer using a touch screen. In tablet mode, SMPlayer changes the following:
    • the font size and buttons are increased;
    • some of the options in the menus are hidden;
    • sliding vertically in the video changes the volume, sliding horizontally seeks in the video;
    • tapping while in fullscreen displays the floating control.
  • dual screen support: when using a second screen (which must be configured as "extended"), you can now use SMPlayer to send the video to the second screen while controlling the application from the primary screen. To use this option, right click on a video and select Video > Send video to screen;
  • global hotkeys: you can now the media keys (play/pause, stop, change the volume and so on) even when SMPlayer is in the background. This option can be enabled from the SMPlayer Preferences > Keyboard and mouse and it requires Qt5;
  • Settings are now remembered for streams too.


Install the latest SMPlayer test version in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA
To install the latest test SMPlayer version in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives, you can use the official SMPlayer Testing PPA. Note that the PPA now provides SMPlayer built with Qt5, while Ubuntu continues to use Qt4 for its SMPlayer packages.
Add the PPA and install SMPlayer using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/testing
sudo apt update
sudo apt install smplayer smplayer-skins smtube
Debian 8, Fedora (22 and 23), and openSUSE (13.2, 42.1 and Tumbleweed) users can install the latest testing version of SMPlayer by using the openSUSE Build System packages.

Arch Linux users can install the latest SMPlayer from svn via AUR.

For Windows you can download the latest SMPlayer unstable from SourceForge.

Markdown And reStructuredText Editor `ReText` Sees New Release

Tuesday 10th of May 2016 12:24:00 PM
ReText is an editor for Markdown and reStructuredText which features live preview, tabs, math formulas support and it can export to PDF, ODT and HTML.

ReText 6.0 was released today includes some useful changes, like automatically scrolling the live preview to match its position in the editor (for Markdown only), improved responsiveness for the editor thanks to markup conversion now being performed in a background process, and more.

Here's the list of changes in the latest ReText 6.0:
  • the live preview now automatically scrolls to match its position with the editor (only for Markdown);
  • markup conversion is now performed in a background process, improving responsiveness of the editor;
  • images can now be copied and pasted into ReText;
  • added a button to quickly close the search bar;
  • added basic CSS styling for tables;
  • replaced the tags box with the new "Formatting" box for Markdown;
  • hitting return twice now ends the Markdown list;
  • reText now depends on version 2.0 or higher of pymarkups;
  • the QtWebKit dependency is now optional (though still recommended).

ReText is officially supported on Linux only, but it can run on Windows and Mac OS X too, though there are no binaries available for download.
For more information about ReText, including how to enable and use additional Markdown features using Markdown syntax extensions, how to use Math formulas in Markdown with ReText, configuration, table editing mode and more, see the ReText wiki.

Install ReText in Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives
ReText is already available in the official Ubuntu repositories, but it's an older version (5.3 for Xenial, 5.2 for Wily and 4.1.2 for Trusty). If you prefer to use the version available in the official Ubuntu repositories, install it using the following command:sudo apt install retext
The latest ReText is not available in a PPA for now so to install it, you can either do it manually by using its source or use Python3 pip.
Using the commands below, you can install the latest ReText in Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and derivatives for the current user, using Python3 pip (and remove ReText if it's already installed from the repositories):sudo apt remove retext
sudo apt install python3-pip python3-pyqt5
pip3 install retext --user
sed -i "s|Exec=.*|Exec=$HOME/.local/bin/retext %F|" ~/.local/share/applications/me.mitya57.ReText.desktop
sed -i "s|Icon=.*|Icon=$HOME/.local/share/retext/icons/retext.png|" ~/.local/share/applications/me.mitya57.ReText.desktop
The last two commands should fix the ReText desktop file which doesn't have the correct executable and icon path. Once installed, you may need to logout and log back in to get ReText to show up in the menu / Dash.
If later on you want to update ReText via pip, use the following command (simply append "--upgrade" to the install command):pip3 install retext --user --upgrade
For other Linux distributions, install Python3 pip and PyQt5 and use the same instructions as above, skipping the "apt" part.

Parental Control App Timekpr (Fork) 0.3.6 Released With Ubuntu 16.04 Support

Tuesday 10th of May 2016 09:57:00 AM
Timekpr is a parental control application that can be used to track and control the computer usage. Using it, you can limit an user's login time duration and access hours or lock accounts with a click.


The Timekpr development stopped a while back, but it was later continued with a fork, called Timekpr-Revived, which works with recent Ubuntu versions.
Timekpr-Revived features:
  • limit users' daily usage of the computer based on a time access duration and configure times of day when they can or cannot login;
  • option to lock accounts;
  • option to bypass restrictions for today;
  • add time rewards / penalties;
  • client functionality from the original Timekpr app changed to better inform user about time he has left
  • Ubuntu AppIndicator / notifications.


The latest Timekpr-Revived 0.3.6, released recently, adds quite a few changes, including:
  • UI ported to GTK3;
  • speech synth implemented using python-espeak;
  • added speech, first notification options and about menu;
  • added Ubuntu 16.04 support;
  • loginctl now filters only active users;
  • Timekpr now uses DBUS for notifications where it's possible;
  • various cleanup, fixes and reorganization of the project to make it more streamlined.

Note that the version in the official Timekpr-Revived PPA is built with GTK2 for now.

I should also mention that the Ubuntu AppIndicator only shows up after you restart the session (logout/login). From the indicator, you can see the time remaining (clicking "Time left..." in the indicator menu triggers a notification that displays the remaining time), option to enable/disable notifications as well as launch the Timekpr GUI:



Timekpr should work on most Ubuntu flavors, including Ubuntu with Unity, Ubuntu MATE and Xubuntu. Kubuntu 16.04 is not currently supported, according to the Timekpr 0.3.6 release announcement.

Install Timekpr (Revived) In Ubuntu or Linux Mint Via PPA
To add the Timekpr (Revived) PPA and install the latest version of the app in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjasnik/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install timekprIf you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE. For other Linux distributions, you can grab the code from Launchpad.

Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.

Customize NotifyOSD Notification Bubbles In Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)

Wednesday 4th of May 2016 09:31:00 AM
Sukochev Roman's (Leolik) patched NotifyOSD PPA adds extra features on top of the Ubuntu NotifyOSD notifications, like closing the notifications on click, option to move the notifications to a different screen corner, configurable colors for both the notification background and text, and much more.


The PPA was updated recently with packages for Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus.

Features:
  • change notification position: top-right, middle-right, bottom-right, bottom-left, middle-left and top-left;
  • close notifications on click;
  • enable/disable fading notifications on hover;
  • change the size of various NotifyOSD notification elements, such as the notifications vertical and horizontal gap, icon size, notification width, corner radius, etc.;
  • change notification text and background color, and opacity;
  • change font size, weight, margin, opacity, etc.;
  • the NotifyOSD Configuration tool also allows saving and restoring custom notification settings and restoring the defaults.

Leolik's patched NotifyOSD doesn't come with a GUI to change the notification settings but there's a tool developed by Amandeep Grewal, called NotifyOSD Config, that can be used for this. Since the NotifyOSD Config PPA wasn't updated for Ubuntu 16.04, I uploaded it to the main WebUpd8 PPA.

Here's a quick demo showing Leolik's patched NotifyOSD with NotifyOSDConfig in Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus):

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to the WebUpd8 Youtube channel)

Install the patched NotifyOSD and Notify OSD Config in Ubuntu
The instructions below should work with Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10, 15.04 and 14.04.

1. Add Leolik's patched NotifyOSD PPA, update notify-osd, install libnotify-bin (for testing the notifications) and restart notify-osd:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:leolik/leolik
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install libnotify-bin
pkill notify-osd
2. Install NotifyOSD Config by using the WebUpd8 PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install notifyosdconfig
Once installed, open NotifyOSD Configuration from Dash and tweak the NotifyOSD notification settings to your needs. To test the settings, click the "Apply" button and a test notification which uses the new settings should be displayed.
Note that by default, the notifications will use the old color settings (dark grey instead of using the Unity Dash color). To get the patched NotifyOSd to use the Unity Dash color, in NotifyOSD Configuration, on the Bubble tab, enable "Use Unity Dash colour".

Easily Create Your Own Numix-Based GTK Themes With Oomox

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016 11:00:00 AM
Oomox is a tool used to generate various color variations of the popular Numix GTK 2/3 theme.

The tool features built-in presets, but it also allows changing theme colors individually, and it can even generate random themes. The themes generated using Oomox support GTK3, GTK2 and include Openbox and Xfwm4 themes.
Also, the latest Oomox 0.15, released a few days ago, includes initial support for Unity. What's not included yet is the ability to change the Unity theme image colors and as a result, the window buttons color used by themes generated using Oomox won't change in Unity (so the default Numix color will be used for this).
Monovedek Oomox preset (Unity / Ubuntu 16.04)
Note that Numix theme requires GTK 3.16 or newer, so the themes generated with Oomox require the same version.
As far as Ubuntu is concerned, Ubuntu GNOME, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Lubuntu and Ubuntu (with Unity) are supported. Since it requires GTK 3.16 or newer, than means you need to be using an Ubuntu 15.10 or 16.04 flavor for the themes to work.
An easier way to change theme colors would be GTK Theme Preferences but unfortunately, this tool no longer works with some themes. For instance, in Ubuntu 16.04, GTK Theme Preferences can change both GTK2 and GTK3 theme colors for Ambiance and Radiance themes, but it doesn't work with the Numix GTK3 theme.

Here are a few more screenshots featuring themes generated using Oomox:

Oomox Retro/Excelsior preset
Oomox GNOME Noble preset
Oomox Monovedek preset
Oomox Tizix Dark preset
Oomox Retro/Next preset (Ubuntu GNOME 15.10)
Oomox GNOME Noble preset (Ubuntu 16.04 / Unity)
Oomox GNOME Noble Dark preset (Ubuntu GNOME 16.04)

Download and use Oomox
Arch Linux users can install Oomox via AUR.

1. Install the required dependencies

Oomox requires python3-gobject as well as the following executables: glib-compile-schemas, gdk-pixbuf-pixdata and sass, while Numix theme requires the Murrine GTK2 engine. xorg-xrdb and xmllint are optional.

Install them in Ubuntu 15.10 or 16.04 using the following command:
sudo apt install python3-gi libglib2.0-bin libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev ruby-sass libxml2-utils x11-xserver-utils gir1.2-gtk-3.0 gir1.2-glib-2.0 gtk2-engines-murrine
2. Download and install Oomox

You can download Oomox from HERE.

To download Oomox and install it into /opt/oomox/, you can use the following commands:sudo apt install wget
cd /tmp
wget https://github.com/actionless/oomox/archive/0.16.1.tar.gz
tar -xvf 0.16.1.tar.gz
sudo mkdir /opt/oomox
sudo cp -r oomox-0.16.1/* /opt/oomox/
That's it.

To run the Oomox GUI, use the following command:
/opt/oomox/gui.sh
Using Oomox is very simple - select the preset you want to use (and optionally change the colors if you want to make your own custom Numix theme) and click "Export theme":

After the theme is generated, it should be available in the ~/.themes folder. You can use a tool like Unity Tweak Tool, GNOME Tweak Tool and so on to change the theme.
Report any bugs related to the generated themes to the Oomox GitHub page. If you think the bugs are Numix theme-related, report them to the Numix GTK Theme GitHub page.

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