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Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Meet RecApp, a New Screen Recording App for Linux Desktop

Monday 6th of July 2020 09:25:57 AM

Brief: RecApp is a simple open-source screen recorder tool. It doesn’t boast of huge features but gives you enough to record your screen with a simple user interface.

We have plenty of screen recorders available for Linux. Abhishek prefers to use Kazam while I like using SimpleScreenrecorder. Neither of us use the GNOME’s built-in screen recorder.

Recently we were contacted by the developer of RecApp, a new screen recording tool. Since I like experimenting with different applications, I took it upon myself to cover RecApp as this week’s open source software highlight.

RecApp: A fairly simple screen recorder for Linux desktop

RecApp is an interesting open-source screen recorder tool that does not depend on FFmpeg and utilizes free GStreamer modules. If you’re curious, it’s written in GTK.

If you were looking for a simple and open-source solution to record your desktop screen, RecApp could be a solution.

Features of RecApp

Even though RecApp doesn’t offer a lot, it does have the necessary features to record a desktop screen. Here’s what it lets you do:

  • Tweak frames per second settings
  • Add a delay to the recording
  • Select the screen region to record
  • Toggle between high quality and compressed quality.
  • Ability to record audio from apps
  • Toggle to record the cursor or not
  • Choose the folder for saving the video
  • Supports mp4, webm, and mkv formats

The best thing about RecApp is that you don’t have a separate preference box to tweak settings., which makes things less confusing. You get everything in just a single screen and that’s all you have to follow.

Installing RecApp on Linux

Primarily, it offers a Flatpack package. So, you can simply refer to It’s FOSS guide on using Flatpak to install it.

For Fedora, you can utilize the terminal and type in the command to install it:

sudo dnf install recapp Download RecApp Conclusion

Though RecApp is a fairly new project but it worked mostly fine in my usage on Pop OS 20.04. So, take that with a pinch of salt.

RecApp has a simple interface and is easy to use. However, the aspect ratio of the video recorded wasn’t perfect in my case. It was not completely 1080p and I couldn’t find a way to change that. Other than that, I didn’t have any other issues recording my screen.

What do you think about RecApp? What screen recorder do you use to capture your desktop?

How to Make a Transparent Background in GIMP [Step by Step Guide]

Sunday 5th of July 2020 04:14:33 AM

Removing the background is one of the most used graphic design procedures. There could be many reasons why you would want to do that.

For example, you don’t like the background, you want to add the image to another background, or you simply want to make the image transparent.

When you make the image background transparent, you can use the colour according to the background of the new image. If you put a transparent image on top of a blue image, the image will now have a blue background. This is quite handy in graphic designing.

You can use GIMP to remove the background from an image. I am going to show you how to do that step-by-step in this GIMP tutorial.

How to Make a Transparent Background in GIMP Step 1: Open up the image as a layer

As I have mentioned before, you need to get used to isolate different images and actions as layers. This tutorial is so simple that if you just open your image, it will still be fine. Although I want to maintain a good habit and open my image as following.

File -> Open as Layers

Open As Layers Step 2: Use the Fuzzy select tool

The Fuzzy Select tool is designed to select areas of the current layer or image based on colour similarity. This tool will help us to select the unwanted background with one click.

Step 3: Add Transparency

An alpha channel is automatically added into the Channel Dialog as soon as you add a second layer to your image. It represents the transparency of the image.

If your image has only one layer (like our example), this background layer has no Alpha channel. In this case, to Add an Alpha channel.

Layer -> Transparency -> Add Alpha Channel

Step 4: Delete the background

Press the Delete keyboard button to remove the background.

If you have other different coloured regions that you need to remove, click on them and delete them.

You might have to repeat the steps 2 to step 4 if necessary. I have to remove the blue background in this example.

Step 5: Export the image

To export the image go to File -> Export As, choose PNG file format and click on Export. All done!

Advanced tutorial: Removing the complex background of an image in GIMP

If you have a complex background to remove, you need to take a different approach to do your job.

For the second part of this tutorial, I will demonstrate how to remove the background by adding a transparent layer and how to add a layer of your preference.

Step 1: Add a transparency layer

Once you open your image, right click on the image layer and click “Add Alpha Channel“. This needs to be done, to ensure that there is transparency at this layer.

Step 2: Select the foreground

Next you need to select the foreground by using the foreground select tool. You may wish to copy my settings as shown at the example below and before you start outlining your object make sure that the draw foreground option is selected at the settings.

Once you have adjusted your settings, draw a rough outline of your object and hit the enter key when done. Precision is not important at this step.

Adjust the stroke width at the settings panel and draw your object by clicking and dragging your mouse, like you paint it with a brush. You can adjust the stroke width near the outline of your object to get a more accurate result.

You can also change the foreground colour prior to selecting the foreground, to be more obvious whilst go through the process. My personal choice is a red colour.

When you release your mouse it should show up like the example.

Step 3: Fine tune your selection

You can fine tune the process by selecting the draw background option, to adjust the initial rough outline. Again, you don’t need to as far as you can with the precision.

You may need to go a bit back and forth between the draw foreground and draw background adjustment to minimize the work for the next step. A result as per below will be fine.

Hit the enter key when satisfied.

Step 4: Final adjustment

To get a more accurate result, you can refine even further the outline by working with the path nodes. This is what you can also use to outline text in GIMP.

To see the path nodes follow the steps as shown.

  • Make sure that you are at the paths dialog
  • Click the selection to path option
  • Unhide the path > Click Ctrl+Shift+A to deselect the path
  • Choose the paths tool
  • Click on the path

Focus on the outline precision

Adjust the outline to be nearly tangent to your desired foreground shape.

To add a node: To add a node point to a segment, and click where the node you want to be.

To adjust the outline curvature: Click the Ctrl key and drag the node. The node handles will be revealed to increase the precision to maximum.

To delete a node: Click the ctrl+shift key and click on a node to remove it.

When the path is refined to a final shape, click the “Select from Path” option.

Step 5: Add a layer mask

Finally, you need to add a layer mask to “reveal” the transparency, that you created in the initial step.

To add a layer mask, right click on the current layer > Add Layer Mask > Selection and click Add.

If you have followed all the steps correctly, the background will now be masked and you can import or create the background that you like.

Step 6: Add a new background

To create a new background, you have to create a new layer. If you are a regular reader of It’s FOSS, you already know how to create a new layer as it is shown in several GIMP tutorials.

As the difficult part is done, I will let you explore different ways to add a new background. If you already have an image that you want to add as a background, you need to open it as layers from the file drop menu, so you don’t have to create the layer manually.

Either way, you may need to re-order your layers to achieve the final result.

My preference for this example is to use the gradient tool, and yes I picked the colours from Ubuntu!

Final result with complex background removed and replaced by another Conclusion

There are many different ways to add transparency to an image, depending on the complexity of the background. There is not an absolute path to follow for every occasion and the more hours you spend with GIMP the more efficient user you become.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter and let me know what you created following this tutorial at the comments below.

Purism’s Ultra-Secure Linux Machine is Now Available in a New Size

Friday 3rd of July 2020 11:58:43 AM

Purism is well-known for its privacy and security focused hardware and software while utilizing open-source technologies. Not to forget the latest Purism Librem Mini.

After a good success with Librem 15 and 13 series laptops, Purism has unveiled Librem 14.

Librem 14 looks like a perfect laptop for an open-source enthusiast who’s concerned about the security and privacy of a laptop.

In this article, we will talk about Librem 14 specifications, pricing, and its availability.

Librem 14: Overview

Similar to other variants in the series, Librem 14 offers all the essential security features like the hardware kill switch to disable webcam/microphone and its secure PureBoot boot firmware.

Librem series is one of the rare few laptops that come preloaded with Linux. Purism uses its own custom distribution called PureOS. If you’re curious, you can also browse the source code for it.

As a key highlight of Librem 14 laptop, here’s what Purism mentions:

The most distinctive feature of the Librem 14 is the new 14″ 1080p IPS matte display which, due to the smaller bezel, fits within the same footprint as the Librem 13.

Even though that’s not something mind-blowing, it is good to see that they’ve made the laptop fit within the same footprint as its predecessor.

It’s a great decision targeted for users who do not want a lot of changes with their laptop upgrade or may appreciate a compact dimension of the laptop.

Librem 14: Specifications

Along with the key highlight, Purism’s Librem 14 offers an impressive set of specifications. Here’s what you get:

  • Intel Core i7-10710U (Comet Lake)
  • 14″ Matte (1920×1080) Display
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • RAM Up to 32GB, DDR4 at 2133 MHz
  • 2 SATA + NVMe-capable M.2 slots
  • 1 HDMI Port (4K capable @60Hz max)
  • USB Type-C Video Out (4K capable)
  • 3.5mm AudioJack
  • Gigabit Ethernet Adapter with Integrated RJ45 Connector
  • Atheros 802.11n w/ Two Antennas
  • USB-C Power Delivery Port
  • Weight: 1.4 kg

It’s slightly disappointing to see Intel chipsets in 2020 — but considering the presence of PureBoot and other features that Librem 14 offers, an Intel-powered secure laptop makes sense.

Nevertheless, it’s good to see them including USB Type-C video port. Without dedicated graphics, it may not be a steal deal for power users but it should get a lot of work done.

Also, it’s worth noting that Purism offers anti-interdiction services to detect tampering during shipments for high-risk customers. Of course, that wouldn’t prevent tampering — but it’ll help you know about it.

Librem 14: Pricing & Availability

For now, Librem 14 laptop is available for pre-orders with an early big base price of $1199 ($300 off from its regular price) that features 8 Gigs of RAM and 250 GB of M.2 SATA storage.

Depending on what you prefer, the price might go up to $3,693.00 with the maxed out configuration with anti-interdiction services included.

You can expect the orders to start shipping in the early Q4 2020.

Pre-Order Librem 14

What do you think about Purism’s Librem 14 laptop? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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