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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 5 min 18 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.

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