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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 5 min 50 sec ago

Ambient Noise (ANoise) Player Fixed For Ubuntu 16.04 And Newer

Wednesday 14th of June 2017 01:38:00 PM
Ambient Noise, or ANoise is a simple, lightweight application for playing ambient noises, such as waves, rain, fire, and so on, useful to help you stay focused and boost productivity, or fall asleep.
The application didn't work in Ubuntu 16.04 and newer until recently, when it was updated to GStreamer 1.0 and Python 3, along with some bug fixes.

ANoise runs directly in the Ubuntu Sound Menu, without a GUI. From there you can easily play various relaxing sounds such as rain, wind, forest, storm, fire, night, coffee shop, or sea.
Besides the Ubuntu Sound Menu, ANoise also supports the Media Player Indicator extension for GNOME Shell, as well as the Linux Mint (Cinnamon) Sound applet. Although for Linux Mint, note that the ambient noise icon is larger than it should be.
Here's ANoise running in GNOME Shell (with Media Player Indicator extension):

ANoise can also be used on desktop environments without Ubuntu Sound Menu / Media Player Indicator. In such cases, you can install the ANoise GUI:

Other ANoise features include:
  • default sounds: rain, wind, storm, fire, forest, night, coffee shop and sea;
  • it remembers your last played ambient noise between reboots;
  • includes a sleep timer as well as an option to start automatically on system startup;
  • unlike some websites that offer the same functionality, ANoise works without an Internet connection;
  • supports custom sounds. You can copy extra ambient noises (ogg, mp3 or wav) into the ~/ANoise or ~/.ANoise folder and the application should be able to use them (you can also add a .png with the same name as the audio file to be used in the Ubuntu Sound Menu);
  • extra ambient noise packs are available in its PPA.

Note: if the ANoise GUI package is not installed, to open the ANoise preferences you'll need to click on the ANoise entry in the Ubuntu Sound Menu.

Install ANoise in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
To add the Ambient Noise PPA and install the application in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/anoise
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install anoise gir1.2-webkit-3.0
Note that the default ANoise sounds package is about 100 MiB in size!

Once installed, simply launch "Ambient Noise" from Dash / the menu, and control it from the Ubuntu Sound Menu / Media Player Indicator Extension / Cinnamon Sound applet.
For other desktop environments, you can install the ANoise GUI using the following command:sudo apt install anoise-gui
For extra sounds, you install the ANoise community extensions, by using the following command:sudo apt install anoise-community-extension1 anoise-community-extension2 anoise-community-extension3 anoise-community-extension4
Here's what they contain:
  • anoise-community-extension1: river sound;
  • anoise-community-extension2: old air conditioner, large boat, house fan, fountain, forest rain, fishing boat, dump truck idling and diesel motor sounds;
  • anoise-community-extension3: white, pink, brown OSSL and brown noises;
  • anoise-community-extension4: pinery wind, old dam waterfall, thunderstorm, stoney creek, rideau river, lake superior, lake huron, frogs, dinosaur drain and coon creek sounds.

For more about Ambient Noise, see its web page.

via Marcos Costales @ G+

Tool To Create Bootable Windows USB Stick From Linux `WinUSB` (Fork) Renamed To `WoeUSB`, Sees New Release

Wednesday 14th of June 2017 12:17:00 PM
The WinUSB fork we covered a while back was renamed to WoeUSB recently, while also seeing quite a few releases for the past few days.

WoeUSB / WinUSB is a tool that can be used to create a bootable Windows installer USB stick from an ISO or DVD. The application supports Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, as well Windows 10, and can be used either with a GUI or from the command line.
As for supported bootmodes, WoeUSB / WinUSB can create a bootable Windows USB installation stick using the following:
  • Legacy / MBR-style / IBM PC compatible bootmode;
  • Native UEFI booting is supported for Windows 7 and later images (with a limitation: only FAT filesystem can be used as the target filesystem).

Since it was forked from Colin Gille's WinUSB, the application has seen a major code refactoring, bug fixes as well as some minor new features. The changes include:
  • support for both wxWidgets 2 and 3;
  • use pkexec instead of gksudo for privilege escalation;
  • UEFI boot support;
  • numerous bug fixes.

Some newer WoeUSB changes include:
  • support customizing the --label of the newly created filesystem in --format mode;
  • implement checking on target filesystem in --install mode;
  • command line: check if target media is busy before continuing and bail out when the target partition is mounted;
  • support Linux distributions that uses "grub2" as prefix name, such as Fedora;
  • --install and --format installation options are deprecated in favor of --partition and --device, to be more clear what both options will do. The old options will still be available until WoeUSB v3.0;
  • from now on, GRUB will pause when the ENTER key is used before starting to load Windows. This is useful if you want to see if there are errors in the GRUB loading stage.

Also, since the application name has changed, the executables have changed as well: "woeusbgui" for the GUI and "woeusb" for the command line tool.

You can see what's new in each new WoeUSB release (there were 13 new releases for the past 2 days) on GitHub.

Despite the major code refactoring and numerous bug fixes, I still encountered an error using the WoeUSB GUI, which I also found in the original WinUSB. When the Windows USB stick is completed, WoeUSB displayed the following message: "Installation failed ! Exit code: 256". This bug was closed on GitHub and it looks like it doesn't affect the actual Windows USB stick in any way.

In my test, I was able to install Windows 10 64bit in VirtualBox (on an Ubuntu 17.04 host) despite this error.


Install WoeUSB in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA
WoeUSB is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 18.x or 17.x. To add the PPA and install WoeUSB, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can grab the latest WoeUSB deb from HERE (you'll only need the "woeusb" deb; the "winusb" deb is there as a transitional dummy package, so those that had the old fork installed will receive the new WoeUSB package as an update).

For how to build WoeUSB from source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

MATE Dock Applet Sees New Release

Tuesday 6th of June 2017 10:37:00 AM
MATE Dock Applet is a MATE panel applet that displays open windows / applications as icons. The latest 0.78 version includes 5 new types of indicators, a new option to add space between dock icons, and more.

Among the MATE Dock Applet features are pinning applications to the dock, display an indicator for running applications, supports activating applications using keyboard shortcuts, and more. The applet can even change the color of MATE panels to the dominant desktop wallpaper color.
Changes in MATE Dock Applet 0.78 include:
  • 5 new types of running application indicators: circle, square, triangle, diamond and subway. For the GTK3 version of the applet (Ubuntu 16.10 and newer), the indicator color will use the current theme highlight color. Since that's not possible for GTK2, you can use the fallback color option to set this (see the MATE Dock Applet preferences, in the Misc tab);
  • you can now set the spacing between dock icons. Supported values are 0-7 (Dock Preferences > Panel Options > App spacing);
  • for windows requiring attention, you can now configure if a badge (exclamation mark) should be displayed on top of the icon instead of a blinking icon (Dock Preferences > Misc > Action when apps need attention).

Here are a few screenshots with some of these changes:

window requiring attention showing a badge (image via MATE Dock Applet release notes)
"0" app spacing
"7" app spacing
New "Subway" running window indicator
You can find more screenshots in the MATE Dock Applet 0.78 release notes.


Install MATE Dock Applet
MATE Dock Applet is available in the Ubuntu (MATE) repositories, but it's not the latest version. You can see the version available for each Ubuntu release HERE. To install the version from the official Ubuntu MATE repositories, simply use the following command:sudo apt install mate-dock-applet
Ubuntu MATE 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 or 14.04 users can install the latest MATE Dock Applet by using the WebUpd8 MATE PPA. Add the PPA and install the applet using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/mate
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mate-dock-applet
Once installed, right click the MATE panel, select "Add to panel" and add the "Dock" applet.
To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the MATE Dock Applet GitHub page.

Why Oracle Java 7 And 6 Installers No Longer Work

Friday 2nd of June 2017 09:41:00 AM


Because I've received more than 50 emails about this, I though I'd make a post about it, to clear things up for everybody.
While Oracle Java 6 and 7 are not supported for quite a while, they were still available for download on Oracle's website until recently.
However, the binaries were removed about 10 days ago (?), so the Oracle Java (JDK) 6 and 7 installers available in the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA no longer work.

Oracle Java 6 and 7 are now only available for those with an Oracle Support account (which is not free), so I can't support this for the PPA packages.
From the Oracle Java downloads page:

"Updates for Java SE 7 released after April 2015, and updates for Java SE 6 released after April 2013 are only available to Oracle Customers through My Oracle Support (requires support login).

Java SE Advanced offers users commercial features, access to critical bug fixes, security fixes, and general maintenance".

It's highly recommended you update to Oracle Java 8. Check out the following articles for how to install Oracle Java 8 in Ubuntu (or Linux Mint and derivatives) or Debian via PPA.
If you have an Oracle Support account and you really need Oracle JDK 6 or 7, you can get the installers from the WebUpd8 PPA to work by downloading the binaries and placing them in the following folder:
  • /var/cache/oracle-jdk6-installer/ for JDK 6 (you'll need version 6u45)
  • /var/cache/oracle-jdk7-installer/ for JDK 7 (you'll need version 7u80 for 32bit and 64bit or 7u60 for arm)
... and then install the oracle-java6-installer or oracle-java7-installer package.

Tilix (Previously Terminix) 1.5.8 And Guake 0.8.9 Available In PPA

Wednesday 31st of May 2017 12:12:00 PM
Tilix (previously called Terminix) and Guake terminal emulators have had new releases recently, and are both available in PPA for Ubuntu / Linux Mint.

Tilix 1.5.8

Tilix is a GTK3 terminal emulator. The application allows splitting terminals both horizontally and vertically, which can easily be re-arranged using drag and drop.
Other features include a Quake-like mode (the terminal appears at the top of the screen, and can be toggled on or off with a key), saving and loading groupped terminals, synchronized input and more.
Changes in Tilix 1.5.8 include:
  • window state is now saved and restored between sessions (e.g. if a window is maximized when closed, it will be maximized when you launch Tilix again);
  • sessions can be detached using drag and drop. They can also be re-attached to another Tilix window;
  • sessions can now be reordered using drag and drop or by using Ctrl + Pg Up / Ctrl + Pg Dn;
  • if Ctrl + C is assigned to copy shortcut, tilix is smart enough to only copy when text is selected otherwise normal interrupt is passed;
  • added new variable for titles at session scope for active terminal title;
  • added support for GTK active CSS style. This sould enable better styling of terminal titlebars;
  • added support for VTE hyperlink functionality;
  • bug fixes.

Update: the latest Tilix is now also available for Ubuntu 17.10 (patched to avoid PCRE2 issues).

To install Tilix in Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10, 17.04 and 17.10 / Linux Mint 18.x, you can use the WebUpd8 Tilix PPA. To add the PPA and install Tilix, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminix
sudo apt update
sudo apt install tilix
I didn't link directly to the Tilix deb because you'll need some extra dependencies from the PPA.
For how to install Tilix in other Linux distributions, bug reports, etc., see its webpage.

Guake 0.8.9

Guake is a drop-down terminal emulator. While a GTK3 version is in development (currently in alpha), the stable Guake version is currently using GTK2.
The application slides down from the top of the key when a key is pressed and slides back up when using the same key. This functionality is inspired from consoles using in games such as Quake.
Quake features multi-monitor support, tabs, transparency, and is higly configurable.
Changes in Guake 0.8.9 include:
  • a new option was added which allows running a script when the Guake window becomes visible (this is available on the "Hooks" tab);
  • added an option for toggling 'resizer' visibility;
  • tabs now share the full screen width;
  • the 'Quick open' feature now also matches /home path;
  • added "-l" command line option to get the tab label;
  • fixed quick open not working with dash;
  • Unity screen size fixes.

Guake 0.8.9 is available in the WebUpd8 Unstable / Backports PPA for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04, and 14.04 / Linux Mint 18.x and 17.x. 
I used this PPA so it's easy to go back to the Guake version available in the official repositories in case you don't like the new version or it's buggy. The packages in this PPA are usually pretty stable, though some unstable packages may be added at times.
To add the PPA and install the latest Guake, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install guake
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the Guake deb from HERE (scroll down for the latest version).

To download the Guake source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • EV3DEV Lego Linux Updated
    The ev3dev Linux distribution got an update this month. The distribution targets the Lego EV3 which is a CPU Lego provides to drive their Mindstorm robots. The new release includes the most recent kernel and updates from Debian 8.8. It also contains tools needed for some Wi-Fi dongles and other updates.
  • Purism Librem 13 / 15 Laptops Hit GA Status
    Purism has announced their privacy-minded Coreboot-friendly Librem laptops have reached a general availability state. Purism will now be holding an inventory of their Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops for quicker shipping rather than everything being made-to-order. While this means users will no longer need to wait "months" when ordering a Librem 13/15 laptop, it still doesn't sound like it will be a very quick turnaround time. Their press release announcing the GA state says, "will now arrive in user’s hands a few weeks after purchase."
  • Linux is Running on Almost All of the Top 500 Supercomputers
    Linux is still running on more than 99% of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. Same as last year, 498 out of top 500 supercomputers run Linux while remaining 2 run Unix.
  • Alioth moving toward pagure
    Since 2003, the Debian project has been running a server called Alioth to host source code version control systems. The server will hit the end of life of the Debian LTS release (Wheezy) next year; that deadline raised some questions regarding the plans for the server over the coming years. Naturally, that led to a discussion regarding possible replacements. In response, the current Alioth maintainer, Alexander Wirt, announced a sprint to migrate to pagure, a free-software "Git-centered forge" written in Python for the Fedora project, which LWN covered last year. Alioth currently runs FusionForge, previously known as GForge, which is the free-software fork of the SourceForge code base when that service closed its source in 2001. Alioth hosts source code repositories, mainly Git and Subversion (SVN) and, like other "forge" sites, also offers forums, issue trackers, and mailing list services. While other alternatives are still being evaluated, a consensus has emerged on a migration plan from FusionForage to a more modern and minimal platform based on pagure.
  • elementary + GitHub
    We’re excited to finally say that elementary has completed our move and now lives on GitHub! We’ve migrated over 70 repositories from Launchpad and bzr. So what does that really mean?
  • Ultimate Edition 5.4
    For those who like a visually enhanced form of Linux then Ultimate Edition 5.4 is for you. The graphics are extremely nice compared to other versions of Linux I have seen. With animated cursors and having a desktop called ‘Budgie’ the Operating System (OS) is visually pleasing.
  • Google Summer of Code day 16
  • Google Summer of Code day 17
  • Running virt-controller locally
  • How to install and use Monit on Ubuntu/Debian Linux server as process supervision tool
  • AMDGPU VRAM Improvements Could Help DiRT Rally, Dying Light
    A patch series posted on Friday could help games suffering from visible video memory pressure when using the AMDGPU DRM driver. Independent developer John Brooks has posted a set of nine patches for improving the driver's performance when limited CPU-visible video memory is under pressure.
  • Understanding Xwayland - Part 1 of 2
    In this week’s article for my ongoing Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project I planned on writing about the basic idea behind the project, but I reconsidered and decided to first give an overview on how Xwayland functions on a high-level and in the next week take a look at its inner workings in detail. The reason for that is, that there is not much Xwayland documentation available right now. So these two articles are meant to fill this void in order to give interested beginners a helping hand. And in two weeks I’ll catch up on explaining the project’s idea. [...] In the second part next week we’ll have a close look at the Xwayland code to see how Xwayland fills its role as an Xserver in regards to its X based clients and at the same time acts as a Wayland client when facing the Wayland compositor.

Flirting With Red Hat and Fedora Games Spin 25

  • Q&A: Flying the open source flag
    Red Hat’s vice-president and general manager for the ASEAN region, Damien Wong, sheds light on the company’s strategy for tackling a market that is not used to paying for software
  • Coming off a strong quarter, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst talks public clouds and containers
    Coming off a quarterly earnings report that shattered expectations, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst believes his company is as well-positioned to capitalize on the shift to cloud computing as it ever has been. Red Hat is in a very interesting place in 2017, with one foot in two different eras of enterprise computing but thriving in that position instead of feeling trapped. It still makes most of its money selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux to companies running their own data centers, but it has become the de facto leader of the OpenStack cloud computing project and has interesting DevOps products in Ansible (IT automation) and OpenShift (container management). On Tuesday, the company reported a 19 percent increase in both revenue and net income to $677 million and $73 million, respectively, during its first fiscal quarter of the year. Financial analysts, who peppered Whitehurst with more than their usual share of “Great quarter!” asides during a conference call, were expecting revenue of $648 million according to Marketwatch. The company also raised revenue guidance for its full fiscal year.
  • Fedora Games Spin 25
    Fedora Games Spin can be downloaded from https://labs.fedoraproject.org/games/download/index.html. Here, you can choose from the 32- or 64-bit version of the OS. Download the version you need and save it to your hard disk.

Software: Calibre, juju, Wine, Castle Game Engine, Budgie and Latte Dock

  • Calibre 3.1 Open-Source Ebook Manager Released with Support for RAR 5.0 Archives
    Last week's major Calibre 3.0 update made a lot of noise among the ebook community with its new support for reading books in-browser on your phone or tablet, and now developer Kovid Goyal announces the first point release to the series. Calibre 3.1 is out, and among the new features is ships with, we can mention support for reading RAR and CBR files compressed using the latest RAR 5.0 archiving format, a new option in the Tag browser to control the spacing between items, and new buttons to the Edit metadata dialog to easily set and clear the "Yes/No" columns.
  • conjure-up dev summary for week 25
    We recently switched over to using a bundled LXD and with that change came a few hiccups in deployments. We've been monitoring the error reports coming in and have made several fixes to improve that journey. If you are one of the ones unable to deploy spells please give this release another go and get in touch with us if you still run into problems.
  • Wine 2.11 Adds OpenGL Support in the Android Driver, Adobe Premiere Improvements
  • Castle Game Engine 6.2 release
    We’re proud to announce the release of Castle Game Engine 6.2!
  • Budgie Desktop User? Here’s 5 Applets You Should Be Using
    Are you a Budgie desktop user wanting to add a bit more functionality to your nimble, lightweight desktop? Well you can, by adding Budgie applets. Budgie applets are like little souped-up mini-apps that live in your panel. They provide additional features and functionality in an accessible and semi-uniform manner. You likely already have a small set of icons and applets nestled in the far reaches of your Budgie panel right now, such as the simple clock applet, Wi-Fi signal status, and volume control.
  • Latte Dock Is Working On Wayland Support, New Features
    Latte Dock, the desktop dock based on KDE's Plasma Framework and Qt, is preparing for their next release at the end of August. Latte Dock 0.7 is expected to be the next major release of this dock and it's slated for availability by the end of August.
  • Latte Dock accepts donations, what is coming...
    to cheer you up a bit for the upcoming 0.7 version which is scheduled for the end of August or maybe earlier ;) based on the effort...

OSS Leftovers

  • [Older] Andy Rubin says Essential’s Ambient OS will be open source, just like Android
    Playground CEO Andy Rubin, whose new company Essential unveiled a new premium Android smartphone and Amazon Echo competitor today, says his company’s Ambient OS smart home platform will be open source. That means that Rubin, who rose to fame in the tech industry for co-founding Android, essentially wants to apply the same open-source philosophy that made Android the most dominant mobile operating system to the smart home.
  • [Older] How to Build Open Source Communities
    Seeing programming as a social activity changes how we build communities around programming. We should focus on building a community, and not on building a codebase, argued Ash Furrow at Craft. He suggested using a code of conduct, moving long or heated discussions into a Skype call or Google Hangout, avoiding fixing easy issues yourself, and distributing power and responsibilities.
  • [Older] R3’s open-source distributed ledger platform ‘Corda’ goes into public beta
    R3, the financial innovation company that runs blockchain consortium, announced that it’s open-source, financial-grade, distributed ledger platform ‘Corda’ has entered into first public beta. The release of the public beta represents a step forward in the path of Corda, towards API stabilization for production applications. The announcement was first made by Richard Gendal Brown, Chief Technology Officer of R3, last week.
  • As Blockchain Advances, Developers Look To Open Source As A Solution
    As the digitization of financial transactions becomes ever more mainstream, with Bitcoin’s core technology blockchain leading the way, the rapid adaptation raises security concerns at the same time its enhanced efficiency is being exploited. A recent Greenwich Associates survey highlights the conundrum but also points to solutions.
  • The perils of live demonstrations
    Yesterday, I was giving a talk at the The South SF Bay Haskell User Group about how implementing lock-step simulation is trivial in Haskell and how Chris Smith and me are using this to make CodeWorld even more attractive to students. I gave the talk before, at Compose::Conference in New York City earlier this year, so I felt well prepared. On the flight to the West Coast I slightly extended the slides, and as I was too cheap to buy in-flight WiFi, I tested them only locally.
  • Announcing automatically updating Linux LibreOffice builds
    I’m finally ready to announce LibreOffice daily builds for Linux that integrate our new automatic updater. The work on the automatic updater has been going on for nearly a year now and is finally in a shape that we produce builds on TDF hardware that will automatically update using delta updates. The current builds are 64-bit Linux builds created on SLES 12.2 and should run on most Linux distros. These builds are .tar.gz based archives that you can extract and just run. Note that we can’t update builds that are placed into locations that are not writeable by the current user (and due to missing support for signing executables and libraries on Linux there are no plans to change that).
  • A beta for PostgreSQL 10
    PostgreSQL version 10 had its first beta release on May 18, just in time for the annual PGCon developer conference. The latest annual release comes with a host of major features, including new versions of replication and partitioning, and enhanced parallel query. Version 10 includes 451 commits, nearly half a million lines of code and documentation, and over 150 new or changed features since version 9.6. The PostgreSQL community will find a lot to get excited about in this release, as the project has delivered a long list of enhancements to existing functionality. There's also a few features aimed at fulfilling new use cases, particularly in the "big data" industry sector.
  • Firefox Focus for Android, Torvalds reflects on Linux, and more news
  • University of Missouri launches systemwide initiative to adopt affordable and open educational resources
    On Wednesday, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and Chancellors Leo Morton, Tom George, Garnett Stokes and Christopher Maples announced a plan that will save students significant amounts of money on textbooks and other course materials. This effort is designed to reduce the cost of attendance and enhance learning for students. The plan takes advantage of Open Educational Resources, or class materials that are free for students, and AutoAccess, which is a program that makes textbooks and class materials available online at a lower cost than traditional learning resources.
  • Textbook Costs to Drop Under University of Missouri Plan
    University system President Mun Choi wants to use more open-source learning material written by experts, vetted by their peers and posted for free downloading. Choi spoke about the effort Wednesday at an event with members of the Board of Curators, administrators, lawmakers, faculty from all four campuses and student representatives, the Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/2t2L4HQ ) reported.
  • Sudo or Sudo Not, There Is No (4th) Try
    If you've been using Linux for any length of time, at some point in some tutorial or troubleshooting guide you've more than likely encountered Linux's magic word: "sudo". A casual observer probably can tell you that it's used to access restricted functions on your computer, but there is much more to it than that.