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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 2 hours 3 min ago

Vivaldi 1.4 Released With Theme Scheduling

Thursday 8th of September 2016 09:05:00 AM
Vivaldi, the web browser aimed at power users, was updated to version 1.4 (stable) today. There aren't as many changes as in the previous release, but a few interesting improvements.
The latest Vivaldi 1.4 ships with Theme Scheduling, a new feature that allows setting the browser to automatically change the theme based on the time of day. This is useful if you want to use a dark theme at night, change the theme based on your schedule, and so on.
To configure it, open the Vivaldi Settings (Tools > Settings), and under Themes, you'll find a new option called Scheduled Themes:

Vivaldi 1.4 also includes improved Web Panels. With this version, you can have different widths for web panels, and choose to show all navigation buttons in its toolbar (this can also be completely hidden).

Web Panels allow adding individual websites to Vivladi's sidebar, useful if you want to have something like Twitter, or some news sites and so on, always visible while browsing other websites.
And finally, a minor but useful addition, is the ability to restore the last closed tab by middle clicking on the trash icon.
For a complete Vivaldi 1.4 changelog, see THIS page.
As a reminder, Vivaldi is built using open source technologies, but the browser itself is not open source software.
For a bit more about Vivaldi, see our previous article.

Download Vivaldi
Download Vivaldi (available for Linux: deb and rpm, Windows and Mac)
Debian/Ubuntu users: the latest Vivaldi 1.4 should already by available as an update via its repository, so check your Software Updater.

How To Install Avant Window Navigator In Ubuntu 16.04 Or Linux Mint 18

Wednesday 7th of September 2016 12:17:00 PM
Avant Window Navigator is a dock / task manager for Linux, which was very popular a while back. Its developers lost interest with the introduction of Unity, and after several years of inactivity, the project was taken over by a new maintainer.
Unfortunately, the new maintainer isn't too active either, but at least Avant Window Navigator was updated to work with recent Linux distributions.

Mike Baum created an Avant Window Navigator PPA for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18, because the official AWN PPA wasn't updated in a while.
There are a few AWN applets from this PPA that can't be installed, so I decided to rebuild the packages in the main WebUpd8 PPA. Update: I added Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x packages to the PPA.
Before installing Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu 16.04, note that if you encounter bugs, chances are they aren't going to be fixed. Also, some Avant Window Navigator applets no longer work, mostly those that rely on various web services, like the Weather applet or the Pandora Radio applet, or which were built for technologies that have seen significant changes in recent years, like the Indicator applet, Lock Screen or the Media Player applet.
Many applets do still work though, like AWN Main Menu, Cairo Main Menu, Hardware Sensors, Notification Area, Shiny Switcher, Stacks, System Monitor, Terminal, Volume Control, and even the Zeitgeist-based Related applet.

Avant Window Navigator is obviously not something you'd want to install if you use Unity, since you already have a dock that can't be removed, but it can be a nice addition for nostalgics (and not only) that use the Flashback session, or on other Ubuntu flavors, like Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, etc.
I should also mention that a while back I removed the AWN applet from the DockBarX package (I maintain the official DockBarX PPA), but since you can now install AWN in Ubuntu 16.04, I re-enabled it for the Xenial package.
Note: for the screenshot above, I used AWN with the Lucido style (see THIS ancient article for how to customize the AWN Lucido style) and the the DockBarX applet (available in the DockBarX PPA for Xenial - after adding the PPA, install the "awn-applet-dockbarx" package).

Install Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu 16.04 or Linux Mint 18
Avant Window Navigator is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18. Update: I added Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x packages.

To add the PPA and install Avant Window Navigator, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install --install-recommends avant-window-navigator
Important: if Avant Window Navigator crashes the first time you run it, use the following command to restart gconfd-2:killall gconfd-2
Then, use Synaptic Package Manager to install the AWN applets you want to use (simply search for "awn applet" and you should get a complete list of applets).
Or, to install all the available applets (except the DockBarX AWN applet, which is not part of AWN), use the following command:sudo apt install --no-install-recommends awn-applets-all
I used "--install-recommends" for the AWN package because on Linux Mint, recommended packages are not installed by default, and that would result in awn-settings package (among a few others) not being installed. For the awn-applets-all, I used "--no-install-recommends" to prevent it from installing Unity Control Center and other Unity / GNOME Flashback packages along with the AWN applets in Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, etc (this is not the case for Linux Mint).

For other Linux distributions, you can find the source code on GitHub:

QOwnNotes Is A Note Taking And Todo List App That Integrates With ownCloud

Monday 5th of September 2016 01:26:00 PM
QOwnNotes is a free, open source note taking and todo list application available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. 
The application saves your notes as plain-text files, and it features Markdown support and tight ownCloud integration.

What makes QOwnNotes stand out is its ownCloud integration (which is optional). Using the ownCloud Notes app, you are able to edit and search notes from the web, or from mobile devices (by using an app like CloudNotes). 
Furthermore, connecting QOwnNotes with your ownCloud account allows you to share notes and access / restore previous versions (or trashed files) of your notes from the ownCloud server.
In the same way, QOwnNotes can also integrate with the ownCloud tasks or Tasks Plus apps.

In case you're not familiar with ownCloud, this is a free software alternative to proprietary web services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and others, which can be installed on your own server. It comes with a web interface that provides access to file management, calendar, image gallery, music player, document viewer, and much more. The developers also provide desktop sync clients, as well as mobile apps.
Since the notes are saved as plain text, they can be synchronized across devices using other cloud storage services, like Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on, but this is not done directly from within the application. 
As a result, the features I mentioned above, like restoring previous note versions, are only available with ownCloud (although Dropbox, and others, do provide access to previous file revisions, but you won't be able to access this directly from QOwnNotes).
As for the QOwnNotes note taking features, the app supports Markdown (with a built-in Markdown preview mode), tagging notes, searching in tags and notes, adding links to notes, and inserting images:

Hierarchical note tagging and note subfolders are also supported.

The todo manager feature is pretty basic and could use some improvements, as it currently opens in a separate window, and it doesn't use the same editor as the notes, not allowing you to insert images, or use Markdown. 

It does allow you to search your todo items, set item priority, add reminders, and show completed items. Also, todo items can be inserted into notes.
The application user interface is customizable, allowing you to increase or decrease the font size, toggle panes (Markdown preview, note edit and tag panes), and more. A distraction-free mode is also available:

From the application settings, you can enable the dark mode (this was buggy in my test under Ubuntu 16.04 - some toolbar icons were missing), change the toolbar icon size, fonts, and color scheme (light or dark):

Other QOwnNotes features include encryption support (notes can only be decrypted in QOwnNotes), customizable keyboard shortcuts, export notes to PDF or Markdown, customizable note saving interval, and more.
Check out the QOwnNotes homepage for a complete list of features.

Download QOwnNotes
For how to install QownNotes, see its installation page (packages / repositories available for Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, KaOS, Gentoo, Slakware, CentOS, as well as Mac OSX and Windows).
A QOwnNotes snap package is also available (in Ubuntu 16.04 and newer, you should be able to install it directly from Ubuntu Software).
To integrate QOwnNotes with ownCloud you'll need ownCloud server, as well as Notes, QOwnNotesAPI, and Tasks or Tasks Plus ownCloud apps. These can be installed from the ownCloud web interface, without having to download anything manually.
Note that the QOenNotesAPI and Notes ownCloud apps are listed as experimental, so you'll need to enable experimental apps to be able to find and install them. This can be done from the ownCloud web interface, under Apps, by clicking on the settings icon in the lower left-hand side corner.


thanks to Lionel R. for the tip!

Google Earth For Linux Update Brings Fixes For Panoramio Pictures And Various Linux Crashes

Monday 5th of September 2016 09:12:00 AM
Google has updated Google Earth recently, fixing some of the issues that were occurring on Linux, such as Panoramio pictures not working, as well as various crashes.

Google Earth had quite a few issues on recent Linux distributions. Back when Ubuntu 16.04 was released, Google Earth wasn't installable at all, and this was later fixed, but the app would still crash after a few seconds of usage, for many users. Furthermore, Panoramio pictures weren't working.
These issues should be fixed with the latest Google Earth 7.1.7.2600 for Linux. Furthermore, the update also brings support for the OAuth2, as well as updated Google and Google Earth logos.
Google Earth 7.1.7.2600 changes:
  • removed menu items for Google Maps Engine and the Google Earth Community.
  • new Google and Google Earth logos;
  • fixed crashes from rearranging items in My Places;
  • Earth Pro: Removed registration dialog as Pro no longer requires a license;
  • Linux: fixed font dialog and other crashes;
  • Linux: fixed cache data inconsistency between 32 and 64-bit builds;
  • Linux: fixed RPM installer problems with permissions in directory /usr/bin;
  • Mac & Linux: updated driver support for 3Dconnexion controller devices.


Fix Google Earth crashing in Debian
Update: according to WebUpd8 reader G.Willems (thanks for the tip!), Google Earth crashes in Debian (and probably other Linux distributions as well) when using the search feature. 
To fix this Google Earth crash in Debian, open its launcher script with a text editor (as root) - I'll use Nano below:sudo nano /opt/google/earth/free/googleearthAnd in this file, above the line starting with LD_LIBRARY_PATH (should be the last line), add the following:LD_PRELOAD=libssl.so.1.0.0 \
After editing the file, this is how its last two lines should look:LD_PRELOAD=libssl.so.1.0.0 \
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=.:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH ./googleearth-bin "$@"Then save the file (to save the file in Nano, use Ctrl + O, then Enter; to exit, use Ctrl + X).
You'll also need to install libssl1.0.0:sudo apt-get install libssl1.0.0That's it. Google Earth should no longer crash when searching on Debian.

Download Google Earth
Download Google Earth
Thanks to Martin B. for the tip!

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat, Logicalis in digital transformation partnership in Latin America
    PromonLogicalis, a provider of information technology and communication solutions and services in Latin America, and Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced a collaboration that aim to help organizations navigate the digital transformation of their infrastructures to pave the way for cloud and the software-defined technologies, and to advance open source technology awareness in the region. Open source is delivering significant advancements in many areas of technology through community-powered innovation, including cloud computing, mobile, big data, and more. And, as companies embrace modern technology as a competitive advantage via digital transformation efforts, many are turning to open source because of the flexibility and agility it can enable.
  • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”
  • An Easy Way To Try Intel & RADV Vulkan Drivers On Fedora 24
    Fedora 25 should have good support for the open-source Vulkan Linux drivers (particularly if it lands the next Mesa release) while Fedora 24 users can now more easily play with the latest Mesa Git RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan drivers via a new repository. A Phoronix reader has setup a Fedora Copr repository that is building Intel's Vulkan driver from Mesa Git plus the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver re-based from its source (David Airlie's semi-interesting GitHub branch). Fedora COPR, for the uninformed, is the distribution's equivalent to Ubuntu PPA repositories.
  • Meeting users, lots of users
    Every year, I introduce Fedora to new students at Brno Technical University. There are approx. 500 of them and a sizable amount of them then installs Fedora. We also organize a sort of installfest one week after the presentation where anyone who has had any difficulties with Fedora can come and ask for help. It’s a great opportunity to observe what things new users struggle with the most. Especially when you have such a high number of new users. What are my observations this year?

Linux Devices

  • 96Boards SBCs host Intel Joule and Curie IoT modules
    Gumstix announced two SBCs this week, based on Intel Joule and Curie IoT modules and built to 96Boards CE and IE form-factor specifications, respectively. At Linaro Connect Las Vegas 2016, where earlier this week Linaro’s 96Boards.org announced a new 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) spec, Gumstix announced support for 96Boards.org’s open SBC standards with two new single-board computers. Both SBCs will be available for purchase in October.
  • ORWL — First Open Source And Physically Secure PC, Runs Linux And Windows
    ORWL is the first open source, physically secure computer. Using a secure microcontroller (MCU) and an ‘active clamshell mesh’, the device makes sure that nobody breaks the security of the system. Its maker, Design Shift, has also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply.
  • Purism Is Still Hoping To Build A GNU/Linux Free Software Librem Smartphone
    Purism, the startup behind the Librem laptops with a focus on free software and user privacy/freedom, still has their minds set on coming up with a GNU/Linux smartphone. Purism continues selling their high-priced laptops and their Librem 11 is forthcoming as an Intel-based tablet/convertible device with stocking station. Next on their horizon they want to produce "the ideal no-carrier, Free Software phone running a bona fide GNU+Linux stack."

Leftovers: OSS

  • Asterisk 14 Improves Open-Source VoIP
    Digium, the lead commercial sponsor behind the Asterisk open source PBX project announced the release Asterisk 14 this week, continuing to evolve the decade old effort, making it easier to use and deploy.
  • Yahoo open-sources a deep learning model for classifying pornographic images
    Yahoo today announced its latest open-source release: a model that can figure out if images are specifically pornographic in nature. The system uses a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, which involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data (like dirty images) and getting them to make inferences about new data. The model that’s now available on GitHub under a BSD 2-Clause license comes pre-trained, so users only have to fine-tune it if they so choose. The model works with the widely used Caffe open source deep learning framework. The team trained the model using its now open source CaffeOnSpark system. The new model could be interesting to look at for developers maintaining applications like Instagram and Pinterest that are keen to minimize smut. Search engine operators like Google and Microsoft might also want to check out what’s under the hood here. “To the best of our knowledge, there is no open source model or algorithm for identifying NSFW images,” Yahoo research engineer Jay Mahadeokar and senior director of product management Gerry Pesavento wrote in a blog post.
  • Cloudera, Hortonworks, and Uber to Keynote at Apache Big Data and ApacheCon Europe
  • Vendors Pile on Big Data News at Strata
    Cloudera, Pentaho and Alation are among vendors making Big Data announcements at this week's Strata event. Vendors big and small are making news at this week's Strata + Hadoop event as they try to expand their portion of the Big Data market. Cloudera highlighted a trio of Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects to which it contributes. Among them is Spark 2.0, which benefits from a new Dataset API that offers the promise of better usability and performance as well as new machine learning libraries.
  • New alliances focus on open-source, data science empowerment
    How can data science make a true market impact? Partnerships, particularly amongst open source communities. As IBM solidifies its enterprise strategies around data demands, two new partnerships emerge: one with Continuum Analytics, Inc., advancing open-source analytics for the enterprise; and another with Galvanize, initiating a Data Science for Executives program. Continuum Analytics, the creator and driving force behind Anaconda — a leading open data science platform powered by Python — has allied with IBM to advance open-source analytics for the enterprise. Data scientists and data engineers in open-source communities can now embrace Python and R to develop analytic and machine learning models in the Spark environment through its integration with IBM’s DataWorks Project. The new agreement between IBM and Galvanize, which provides a dynamic learning community for technology, will offer an assessment, analysis and training element for Galvanize’s Data Science for Executives program. This program empowers corporations to better understand, use and maximize the value of their data. The program will support IBM’s DataFirst Method, a methodology that IBM says provides the strategy, expertise and game plan to help ensure enterprise customers’ succeed on their journey to become a data-driven business.
  • Apache Spot: open source big data analytics for cyber
  • Chinese open source blockchain startup Antshares raises $4.5M through crowdsourcing [Ed: Microsoft-connected]
  • August and September 2016: photos from Pittsburgh and Fresno
  • Libre Learn Lab: a summit on freely licensed resources for education
    Libre Learn Lab is a two-day summit for people who create, use and implement freely licensed resources for K-12 education, bringing together educators, policy experts, software developers, hardware hackers, and activists to share best practices and address the challenges of widespread adoption of these resources in education. The 2nd biennial conference is Saturday, October 8th, and Sunday, October 9th, at the MIT Tang Center. The keynote addresses will be delivered by the FSF’s own Richard M. Stallman, former Chief Open Education Advisor Andrew Marcinek and founder of HacKIDemia Stefania Druga. At the event, there will be a special tribute to Dr. Seymour Papert (the father of educational computing) by Dr. Cynthia Solomon.

Security Leftovers

  • Friday's security advisories
  • ICANN grinds forward on crucial DNS root zone signing key update
    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is moving -- carefully -- to upgrade the DNS root zone key by which all domains can be authenticated under the DNS Security Extensions protocol. ICANN is the organization responsible for managing the Domain Name System, and DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) authenticates DNS responses, preventing man-in-the-middle attacks in which the attacker hijacks legitimate domain resolution requests and replaces them with fraudulent domain addresses. DNSSEC still relies on the original DNS root zone key generated in 2010. That 1024-bit RSA key is scheduled to be replaced with a 2048-bit RSA key next October. Although experts are split over the effectiveness of DNSSEC, the update of the current root zone key signing key (KSK) is long overdue.
  • Cybersecurity isn't an IT problem, it's a business problem
    The emergence of the CISO is a relatively recent phenomenon at many companies. Their success often relies upon educating the business from the ground up. In the process, companies become a lot better about how to handle security and certainly learn how not to handle it. As a CIO, knowing the pulse of security is critical. I oversee a monthly technology steering committee that all the executives attend. The CISO reports during this meeting on the state of the security program. He also does an excellent job of putting risk metrics out there, color coded by red, yellow, and green. This kind of color grading allows us to focus attention on where we are and what we’re doing about it.