Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5: An Early Look

ubuntu tweak 0.5

A post on the Ubuntu Tweak blog points out that the new 0.5 version release should come today [it seems Ubuntu Tweak will not be out today - see the update at the end of the post] (as well as the new website):

I plan to make it online at the the last day of 2009: I don’t want to take this task to the new year, because I’ve been developed for them over half year!

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5 will come with a redesigned UI (but version 0.6 will suffer major UI changes), XFCE specific features and most importantly: the ability to fetch online database to keep the ppplication information up-to-date. That means that you will be able to keep your applications and sources up-to-date without updating Ubuntu Tweak.

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5 will be fully compatible with all Ubuntu 9.10 or 9.10 based Linux distributions. Some of the tweaks will not work with older Ubuntu versions.

A look at the most additions in Ubuntu Tweak 0.5

Ubuntu Users: OpenShot Needs You!

If you use Ubuntu and really like OpenShot (video editor) and would like it to be included by default in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, it's developers have a packaging request filed and you can help.

Here is what you can do: go to THIS Launchpad bug and click the green link that says "Does this bug affect you?":

openshot bug

and select "Yes, it affects me".

[via openshot blog]

gCue2tracks Splits Compressed Audio CD Images To Tracks [Linux]


gCue2tracks is a GUI for splitting compressed audio CD images to tracks and then automatically entering their tags based on the cue sheet file info. We wrote a while back about splitting ape and flac files and adding tags by cue file in Ubuntu, but using gCue2tracks should be much easier.

gCue2tracks can decompress all the formats supported by ffmped (flac, ape, wv, tta, etc.) and can encode in the following formats:

Speed Dreams 1.4.0 Ubuntu .deb

speed dreams

Speed Dreams, a TORCS game fork with new features, cars, tracks and AI opponents for Windows and Linux, which instantly became our favourite here, at Web Upd8, is now available on PlayDeb, so you don't have to compile it anymore!

All you have to do to install Speed Dreams 1.4.0 beta 1 in Ubuntu is download this DEB file which, when you run it, will add the PlayDeb.net repository.

Then, simply run this in a terminal:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install speed-dreams

Minify (Shrink) JavaScript And CSS With Reducisaurus

Reducisaurus is a web service for minifying and serving CSS and JS files, based on Yahoo! YUI Compressor. Sure, there are lots of way of minifying javascript and CSS, but Reducisaurus is probably the easiest to use.

In case you don't know:

Minification is the practice of removing unnecessary characters from code to reduce its size thereby improving load times. When code is minified all comments are removed, as well as unneeded white space characters (space, newline, and tab).

RSSOwl v2 - Amazing Cross Platform Feed Reader

rssowl 2.0.2

RSSOwl 2.0.2 was released today, and comes with 30 bugfixes and enhancements (you can find the list HERE) but this post is actually not about that. Because we never got to talk about the new RSSowl v2, I would like to present it to Web Upd8 readers.

RSSOwl lets you gather, organize, update, and store information from any compliant source in a convenient, easy to use interface, save selected information in various formats for offline viewing and sharing, and much more. It's easy to configure and the best of all: It's platform-independent (works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X).

When you start RSSOwl, the first thing you will notice is that it can automatically add some feeds for you. All you have to do is select some categories such as computers (Linux / Windows / etc), humor, technology and so on, and some well-known websites are instantly added to your subscriptions. You can also chose to import your feeds, for instance from Google Reader (you must firstly export your feeds, of course).

rssowl sort by author

The RSSOwl interface is pretty similar to that of a modern browser: you can open the feeds in new tabs. What I really like about the RSSOwl interface though, is that you can sort feeds by their author or category meaning that if you are subscribed to a multi-author website, you can sort the posts by author and only read posts from certain authors. The same goes for tags: you can sort the posts by tags and only read certain posts form a website or blog.

BaconBits: New BitTorrent Tracker For Reddit Users Only

baconbitsReddit is one of the best resources for finding new and interesting content and sometimes even more. Speaking about this "even more", there is now a new tracker called BaconBits created by a Reddit user, which can only be used by Reddit users who have at least 100 comment karma and have signed up for at least 3 months.

The interesting part about this private BitTorrent tracker is that there is no minimum ratio. You will, however get a "warn" if your ratio drops below 0.2.

Avidemux 2.5.2 Ubuntu Karmic .deb

There are a lot of Linux video editors and more are coming (VLMC, Lombard) but I've always found Avidemux to be as simple as it gets and never fail doing what I want (I usually just cut some parts of a video, add some audio, etc). Others will also find OpenShot easy to use. But you should really give Avidemux a try.

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

avidemux 2.5.2

The new Avidemux 2.5.2 was released about a week ago, and it includes the following changes and new features:

GCstar: Free, Cross-Platform Collection Manager (Movies, Books, Music and More)

gcstar movies

GCstar is a free open source application for managing your collections which works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Detailed information on each item can be automatically retrieved from the internet and you can store additional data, such as the location or who you've lent it to. You may also search and filter your collection by many criteria.

The current collections supported by GCStar are: movies, books, music, wine, board games, comics, numismatic (coins), TV shows (episodes) and video games but you can always create your own collection type. Also, GCstar can import collections from different collection managers such as Alexandria, Ant Movie Catalog, DVDProfiler, GCFilms, MyMovies and Tellico.

GCstar has an GTK, KDE and base skin, so it should look ok on both KDE and Gnome. It it also fully or partly translated in these languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian.

To see GCstar in action, I've just recorded a small screen-cast:

Alien Arena 7.33 Released (FPS Game) [Windows, Linux]

alien arena

Alien Arena 7.33 has been released, 2 months after version 7.32 and even though it missed the Christmas, most people still have some days off from work for the holidays and that should give them enough time to try it out.

Alien Arena is a free, stand-alone FPS deathmatch game for Windows and Linux.

The new Alien Arena 7.33 additions and improvements:

Add A RSS Feed Or Twitter Stream To Your Facebook Fan Page With Involver

There are a lot of Facebook applications which allow you to display a RSS feed on your Facebook fan page but I've tried lots of such applications and none worked and looked as good as the Involver Facebook applications.

Involver rss feed facebook

Involver allows you to add a RSS feed to your Facebook fan page, ideal for displaying your latest blog posts, etc. Involver RSS feed will display only excerpts for your feed, along with an image thumbnail (if your post had an image, of course). Involver RSS feed also displays a "Subscribe" link so everyone reaching your Facebook fan page can also easily subscribe to your RSS feed without even visiting your website.

Another great web app for your Facebook fan page by Involver is the Twitter stream widget, which displays your latest tweets, right on your Facebook fan page:

Script To Generate A XML Wallpaper File For Gnome

A while ago, we published an article on a script which generates an XML wallpaper set from the National Geographic 2009 wallpaper contest but what if you want to use different wallpapers to generate such an XML file (if you don't know what's this, think of the "Cosmos" automatically changing wallpaper which comes with the Gnome 2.28, like in Ubuntu Karmic)?

ozhoo @ ubuntuforums (thanks!) has created a bash script which generates such an .xml file for Gnome: DOWNLOAD.


GDM 2 GUI Configuration Tool [ Ubuntu / Linux ]

gdm configuration tool

GDM (Gnome Display Manager) is the graphical login program which you see when you log-in to your Linux computer. GDM used to support themes and a lot of other customizations - all available through the "Login Screen" option under System > Administration - but the new GDM2 (2.28) which comes with Ubuntu Karmic for instance, doesn't support all this unfortunately.

However, exosyst @ ubuntuforums created GUI (in Python and GTK) which allows you to customize the new GDM 2. It doesn't have as many options as the "Login Screen" option used to, but that's because the new GDM 2 doesn't support a lot of customization.


EasyTAG: Great Audio Files Tag Editor For Windows, Linux and Mac OS X

I have a huge music collection for Which I like having the correct tags, etc. Until now, I used to use MP3 Diags (cross-platform) which also fixes mp3 files. But after I recommended it to some people and saw that they didn't get used to it and found it hard to use, I remembered a great audio files tag editor which is very easy to use and has all the features you would need: EasyTAG.

Nvidia 195.22 Beta Linux Display Driver Available In Nvidia Vdpau Team PPA [Ubuntu]

Nvidia recently released it's 195.22 beta Linux display driver about a week ago. The new display driver brings VDPAU improvements, support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Stereo (Quatro cards only), better DisplayPort monitor handling, and many other enhancements.

The Nvidia 195.22 graphics drivers are finally available in the Nvidia Vdpau Team PPA so you can easily install them in Ubuntu. You can find installation instructions for the latest Nvidia 195.xx graphics drivers, HERE.

If you don't use Ubuntu, you can download the drivers from HERE.

Download Digikam 1.0 Final .deb For Ubuntu Karmic Koala

digikam 1.0 ubuntu karmic

DigiKam 1.0 was recently released and it features lot of new features and improvements (see the full list, here).

digiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac-OSX.

DigiKam 1.0 final is currently only available in source files or pre-compiled with KDE-Windows installer, but there are some .deb files available for Ubuntu Karmic you can install if you can't wait to take the new DigiKam 1.0 final for a spin (that's right, the final DigiKam 1.0 isn't even available yet in the Kubuntu Beta PPA):

Upload Image To Imgur: Nautilus Actions Script [Linux]

cozzyd (Multumesc, Cosmin) Reddit user wrote a simple Nautilus Actions script to upload images to Imgur.com via right click.

To use it, make sure you have nautilus-actions, zenity and curl installed. In Ubuntu, install them using this command:
sudo apt-get install nautilus-actions zenity curl

Then, to set up the script, follow these steps:

TwiBack Automatically Changes Your Twitter Background Or Profile Icon At A Given Interval


TwiBack is a free web app which can automatically change your Twitter background or profile icon at a given time of a day / week / month or every day. You can select from the default backgrounds and profile icons or upload your own.

Upload your photos, icons, avatars, patterns, designs, background wallpapers, even advertisements and they will change automatically on Twitter´s background — on time, every time! There is no need to go to twitter settings to change or refresh your twitter background or icon anymore.

Try TwiBack

Merry Christmas

The Web Upd8 team wants to wish a Merry Christmas to all the Christians. We will be celebrating Christmas and also relaxing for the next few days, so don't expect a lot of new articles these days (but that doesn't mean none)! Thank you for reading us and stay posted for interesting articles to come right after Christmas.

Since we are from Romania, here is Merry Christmas in Romanian too: Craciun fericit!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thank you for reading Web Upd8. See you in the coming days!

[image via deviantart]

Open Source Media Center XBMC 9.11: Camelot Released [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X]

xbmc 9.11 camelot

XBMC 9.11: Camelot has been released just in time for the holidays. It includes a revamped user interface via the new default skin "Confluence", DirectX support by default for the Windows platform, a complete reorganization of the settings menus, automatic video information extraction, and smoother video playback using updated codecs.

2 Ways To Mount A Folder / Filesystem Through SSH

If you have access to a remote computer through SSH, but you're not very comfortable with the command line or for any other reason, you can mount a folder or the whole filesystem through SSH. This can be done in 2 ways:

OpenShot Help Manual Released (English And French)

openshot online help

The OpenShot developers have announced the immediate availability of the OpenShot Help Manual in English and French (links to the online manual).

The manual contains 100 topics and illustrations and if you though OpenShot was hard to use, now you can finally learn how to use it in 5 minutes (there is a chapter called "Learn how to use OpenShot in 5 minutes) so go ahead and read it so you can create amazing movies out of your holidays videos with one of the best open-source non-linear video editors out there: OpenShot.

How To Build VideoLAN Movie Creator (VLMC) In Ubuntu

vlmc videolan movie creator

I finally got to build VideoLAN Movie Creator(VLMC) in Ubuntu so I though I'd share some basic steps in doing it. I will not post a step by step guide because it's a lot to do and I don't remember each package name - so you will have to handle the dependencies yourself (it's pretty easy: when compiling VLC, simply use sudo apt-get build-dep vlc and then when running ./configure, look for what else is missing), but I will post a generic guide and a tip without which you will not be able to build the current VLMC version (there is a small bug in the source code).

Update: We have now published a complete step-by-step guide on compiling VLC and VLMC from Git in Ubuntu.

DockBarX 0.24 Released, Features "Pin To Taskbar" [Linux]

dockbarx 0.24

DockBarX 0.24 has been released. In case you don't know, DockbarX is a taskbar with grouping and group manipulation.

DockBarX 0.24 features a new "pin to taskbar" (ok, it's actually "pin to Gnome Panel", but I wanted to make sure you understand what I mean from the title =) ) option for running applications which a lot of people were probably waiting for.

Here are all DockBarX 0.24 new features:

Speed Dreams: TORCS Game Fork With New Features, Cars, Tracks And AI Opponents [Windows, Linux]

Speed Dreams

Speed Dreams is an open source, multi platform (works on Windows and Linux) motorsport simulator. It was forked in late 2008 from the famous open racing car simulator TORCS, in order to implement exciting new features, cars, tracks and AI opponents, to make a more enjoyable game for the player, as well as constantly improving visual and physics realism.

Speed Dreams 1.4.0 beta 1 new features:

  • visually reworked menus by Brian Gavin, Andrew Sumner and Jean-Philippe Meuret,
  • 2 amazing fine tuned and balanced new car sets by Andrew Sumner : Super Cars and 36 GP,
  • an updated TRB1 car set (well balanced, more realistic behaviour),
  • 3 exciting new tracks and many visually improved ones,
  • smashing liveries for all these cars, by Eckhard M. Jager and Haruna Say,
  • 2 new TRB first-class robots for the 3 car sets: USR by Andrew Sumner and Simplix by Wolf-Dieter Beelitz (at last real AI opponents,
  • animated driver by Andrew Sumner on 36GP cars, 3D wheels for all cars by Eric Espie,
  • 2 new leader-board modes by Gabor Kmetyko, smoke on spinning tires by Andrew Sumner,
  • brand new gauges by Eckhard M. Jager, and many many other small visual improvements,
  • experimental full 3D "Simu V3" physics engine by Christos Dimitrakakis,
  • many menu improvements (support for grid shifting, optimized track select load time, category filter when selecting driver, more infos in results and standings boards),
  • and more ...

VideoLAN Movie Creator Pre-Release Coming Very Soon [Screenshot]

The VLC team has been working (or actually, they call it "support" so they might not do this entirely on themselves) on a new project for quite some time, called VideoLAN Movie Creator, a free video editing software offering features to realize semi-professional quality movies, but with the aim to stays simple and user-friendly.

VLMC (VideoLan Movie Creator) pre-release will be coming soon to Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, but until then, you can fetch the current working tree using Git:

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta 2 Released

A "flash"back from the future is displayed on the Adobe Labs website. It reads:

At Adobe MAX 2009, Adobe unveiled the next release of Adobe Flash Player that realizes the promise of a consistent, cross-platform runtime across desktop and mobile devices. Flash Player 10.1 beta 2 was released on December 17, 2010 and is available for download.

To see what's new, visit this page.

So if you want to download this Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta 2 which apparently is to be released on December 17, 2010 but don't want to wait till then (joking), download Flash Player 10.1 beta 2 from HERE. Of course, this is only available for 32bit, as the 64bit Adobe Flash Plugin is still in Alpha (for Linux I mean).

To install Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta 2 in Linux:

How To Get AWN 0.4 Edgy Mode [Linux]

avant window navigator edgy mode

I've seen a lot of posts on Avant Window Navigator (AWN) 0.4, none featuring an "Edgy" mode screenshot which probably means most people don't know how to set AWN to the Edgy mode. Obviously, this will only work with AWN 0.4 (installation instructions HERE).

Here is what you need to do to get AWN 0.4 Edgy mode:

Backupify: Free, Unlimited Accounts Until January 31, 2010


Backupify backs up all your online accounts (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs, Zoho, Photobucket, Wordpress, Blogger and so on) to the cloud, normally for a nominal fee, but until January 31, 2010, all Backupify accounts will be free with unlimited storage.

After this period, the service will be paid again, but anyone signing up for an accout until January 31 will have an forever-unlimited free account.

[via lifehacker]

KDE SC 4.4 Beta 2, Amarok, KDevelop Betas Available In Kubuntu Beta PPA

The second beta of KDE SC 4.4 has packages available in the Kubuntu beta PPA. There are also betas of Amarok and KDevelop available.

Users of the latest development release, Lucid, can upgrade to the latest packages:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Users of the stable Kubuntu Karmic 9.10 release can install it from the Kubuntu Beta PPA (installation instructions inside).

Heroes Of Newerth Game Open Sign-up For The Next 83 Hours! [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X]

Heroes of Newerth (which we previously covered) is an online, multi-player strategy game for Windows, Linux (native) and Mac OSX that is based upon DoTA (Defense of the Ancients).

Heroes of Newerth

Heroes of Newerth (or HoN) requires an invite to play, but it's developers created an HoN Holiday Open Registration form so you can sign-up for Heroes of Newerth for free - for the next 83 hours! After that, you will need an invitation to play HoN.

So hurry up and sign up for a Heroes of Newerth, here:

[via gabuntu]

Synchronize The Remote Bittorrent Download Folder With A Folder On Your Local Computer [Linux]

We talked about remote Bittorrent clients a couple of times (using rtorrent and wtorrent and transmission-daemon with a remote GUI) and now I am going to tell you how to incrementally sync (every 5 minutes in my example) the remote downloaded torrents with your computer.

Why would you need this? Let me tell you for what I'm using it: on my work computer, most of the ports are blocked, meaning I cannot use a Bittorrent client. I can, however, use a remote Bittorrent client, and then I use the steps described in this article to synchronize the remote Bittorrent download folder with a local folder. Using this, I can basically use a Bittorrent client on my work computer, even though it's a remote one - the files end up being downloaded on my local computer.

Obviously, you can use this for other purposes too, like remote back-up, simple folder synschronization and so on. In this article, I am going to explain syncing the remote folder with a folder on your local computer, but the other way around is possible, just use the same instructions, but replace "local" with "remote" and the other way around, in the steps provided below.

For this, we are going to use rsync, an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfer. So make sure rsync in installed on both computers. To install rsync in Ubuntu, simply:
sudo apt-get install rsync

Let's get started!

More Info On Firefox 4 For Windows [And New Mock-ups]

We've already seen some early concepts for Linux and Windows and there's even an easy-to-install Strata 4 theme (called Strata40) for current versions of Firefox, but let's take a look at some new mock-ups (for the Windows version), shared by Mozilla contributor Stephen Horlander on his personal blog (via dsq).

firefox 4 apps button

1) Apps Button: One of the benefits of the App Button is that it is similar to the way Microsoft is treating its native apps and Office. Another benefit is that the placement is closer to where the Menubar would be and therefore it is more familiar. Several variations of the App Button have been explored:

eToolz: Check The PageRank, DNS, Whois, Traceroute And More [Windows]


Linux users have a tool called Network Tools which comes by default in most distributions which allows you to check the Whois of an IP or domain, traceroute, ping and so on (sure, all these are available as cli-tools, but I'm talking about GUI here).

Windows users, however, don't have a similar tool built-in, but for this, they can use eToolz, a portable, free application which includes some of the most important networking tools like NS-Lookup, Ping, TraceRoute and Whois. It allows also to check E-mail addresses (MX-Server) and to search/convert domain names showing DNS entries (A, PTR, NS, SOA). eToolz supports also international domain names.

Note: the application starts in German, but you can immediately change the language under the "Sprache / Language" option in the window.

Download eToolz

[via 140 geek]

Grsync: Rsync GUI For Easily Synchronizing (And Backing Up) Folders [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X]


Grsync is an open source rsync GUI (Graphical User Interface) which works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Rsync is the well-known and powerful command line directory and file synchronization tool.

You can use it for easily data backup. For instance, since Dropbox does not have it's own back-up tool (that's why I really like SpiderOak for this job), you can use Grsync to syncronize some folders you want to back-up with your Dropbox folder. Obviously, you can also use it with Ubuntu One or a network drive.

Grsync is VERY easy to use: just choose the origin and destinations folders.

Grsync features:

Most Popular Ubuntu / Linux Posts Of 2009 [Part 2]

This is the second part of the most popular Ubuntu / Linux posts of 2009, on Web Upd8. See the first part, HERE. There is also a multi-platform popular posts of 2009.

1. Ubuntu Netbook Remix Optimization Guide

pimp tux

Tips for optimizing your Ubuntu Netbook Remix netbook, including: improving the battery life, replace the Window-picker-applet with Namebar and DockBarX, tweaking Maximus, lots of Firefox optimization tips, EeePC specific optimization and so on.

2. 25 Great-Looking Compiz Emerald Themes

jimi hendrix tux

I'm gonna say it once again: Ubuntu users love Emerald! And Emerald rocks!

3. Avant Window Navigator (AWN) 0.4 Available - See What's New

The new AWN 0.4 looks amazing, and comes with 3 new styles: curved, floaty and corner (edgy). Even though it still is beta, I've seen lots of screenshots with AWN on people's desktops meaning it's not only good looking, but pretty stable too. In my oppinion, AWN 0.4 slowly kills all of it's competition (Cairo Dock, Docky, etc.) due to it's speed and lots of styles but easy configuration (as opposed to Cairo Dock for instance).

How To Get A 3 Dimensional (3D) Docky [Quick Linux Tip]

docky 3d

Firsly, if you do not have Docky installed, you will find installation instructions for Ubuntu Karmic HERE.

Then, to enable the ThreeDimensional (3D) Docky mode, simply paste this in a terminal:
gconftool-2 -t bool -s /apps/docky-2/Docky/Interface/DockPreferences/Dock1/ThreeDimensional true

Then close Docky (if opened) and run it again. If you have more than one Docky, replace "Dock1" in the command above with the dock you want to enable 3D mode for.

To revert this change, simply run the command again, with "false" instead of "true" at the end.

All the credits go to Whise for finding this (thank you!).

Tonido: Access And Share Your Files From Any­where Through A Web Browser [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X]


Tonido is an extensible personal web application platform (I guess you could call it a "home server" or your own personal 'cloud'), that offers an set of rich and powerful browser based applications. The files are hosted on your computer and you (or somebody else if you allow it) can access them remotely, through these web apps. It works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX and comes with the following free applications (you can install / uninstall them through the web store):

  • Tonido Backup - Backup files and folders to any computer running Tonido!
  • Tonido Photos - Allows you to send photos directly and privately via Tonido P2P network to your friends and family. Photos are automatically sent to your friends when you add new photos to your folder.
  • Tonido Jukebox - Gives you quick and easy access to your personal mp3 music collection from anywhere via a web browser. Enjoy your music from multiple PCs in your home or while you are at work or away from home.
  • Tonido Webshare - Allows you to share large files (documents, music, home videos and photos) that are too big to email, directly from your desktop to anyone with a web browser.
  • Tonido Workspace - Allows you to setup a collaborative workspace in a matter of seconds to sync tasks, notes, contacts, calendars and documents with anyone across the world via the Tonido P2P network. In standalone mode it is a Personal Information Manager.
  • Tonido Thots - Is a personal blog or journal to record your ideas, notes and other random information. It has Twitter integration.
  • Tonido Search - Allows you to search your Desktop files from anywhere.
  • Tonido Torrent - A web-based bittorrent client that allows you to manage your bit torrent file transfers from any device with a browser.
  • Tonido Screenshare - Allows you to share your computer's desktop screen with anyone via a web browser.

Setting Up Transmission-Daemon To Use With Remote GUI In Ubuntu And Debian

I've used rTorrent and wTorrent (which I've already posted how to set up) and also ruTorrent and various Web UIs for rTorrent but I've came to the conclusion that the best way (for me at least) for remote Bittorrent download is Transmission Remote GUI - I've been using it for a few days now and love it. Please note that I've only tested it on a remote Debian server but I've adapted everything for Ubuntu so it should work for it too.

In this article, I will cover installing and configuring transmission-daemon in a headless (but should work on a normal Debian / Ubuntu install too) Debian or Ubuntu machine.

transmission remote gui

transmisson-remote-gui is feature rich cross platform (works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX) front-end to remotely control Transmission daemon via its RPC protocol. It is faster and has more functionality than build-in Transmission web interface.

Transmission Remote GUI features:

* Native application for Windows and Linux (GTK2)
* uTorrent-like interface
* Select files to download
* Choose files priority
* View details about connected peers
* Full information about each torrent
* Per torrent options

Install Transmission

Last Week's Top Posts (Week 51, 2009)

Fixing Partition Error: "Couldn't mount because of unsupported optional features (2000200)" [Linux]

The problem

I recently got the following error trying to mount a ext3 partition on an old hard disk:

couldn't mount because of unsupported optional features (2000200)

Trying to mount it from the terminal says:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdc4, missing codepage or helper program, or other error. In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so

And dmesg | tail output:

couldn't mount because of unsupported optional features (2000200)

Read It Later 2.0 (Firefox Add-on, iPhone App, Bookmarklets)

read it later 2.0

Read It Later (web version, Firefox add-on, iPhone app) has been updated to version 2.0. In case you don't know, Read It Later allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest.

Read It Later Features:

• Save pages to a reading list to read when you have time
• Offline Reading Mode - Read the items you’ve saved for later on the plane, train, or anywhere
• Access Anywhere - Manage your list in any browser, on any device. Your list is saved on readitlaterlist.com for web access.
• RSS Feeds - View your list from anywhere with automatic rss feeds of your items
• Sync Between Computers - Sync your reading list with any number of computers, work or home
• After reading, bookmark pages on your preferred bookmarking service
• Click to Save Mode - Quickly batch a reading list just by clicking on interesting links

Read It Later 2.0 now syncs your position in every article between all of your devices. This means you can start reading an article on your computer, get up, grab your phone, and pick up exactly where you left off.

Nautilus CoverChooser Script Automatically Downloads Music Album Covers [Ubuntu]

CoverChooser albumart downloader

CoverChooser is a really nice Nautilus script which searches for albumart on the internet and downloads it to the selected folder. By applying the script to a music folder, it uses the metadata to get the album info, then uses the Last.fm, Discogs and Amazon web service to download the album art and names it "folder.jpg".

It is great to use with Cover Thumbnailer, an application which automatically sets album art as folder thumbnails in Nautilus (but you must download the album art yourself - Cover Thumbnailer does not download it for you).

Wasp Gnome Theme Updated To Version 0.8

wasp 0.8

Wasp, one of the Ubuntu Lucid proposed themes has been updated to version 0.8.

The new version does not require the Stylish addon for Firefox and also, there are not multiple versions anymore, just an editor you can use to create your own Wasp suited for your taste:

Key-Mon Displays Keyboard And Mouse Status On The Screen

Keyboard Status Monitor

Keyboard Status Monitor (key-mon) is a Linux tool for displaying keyboard and mouse status on the screen, ideal for creating screencasts.

Here are Keyboard Status Monitor features:

Giveaway: Get SoftMaker Office 2008 For Free Until December 31 [Windows and Linux]

softmaker office 2008 linux

Until December 31, SoftMaker is giving away full versions of SoftMaker Office 2008 for Linux and Windows, permanently usable and entitled to future upgrades. For every download, SoftMaker donates EUR 0.10 to charity. The normal SoftMaker Office 2008 price is $80 for the Windows or Linux version and $100 for both.

You will probably think "I have MS Office or OpenOffice.org, why would I need SoftMaker Office?" but if you are looking for speed, you should really try SoftMaker Office. It starts in about a second on my PC and I can't wait to try it on my work computer which is very old and OpenOffice takes forever to start.

ALSA 1.0.22 Released [Linux]

The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) project developers have released a new version, 1.0.22. This new version brings fixes for the Creative X-FI cards whose support has been introduced this year, some more work on CMI8788 Oxygen APU and many improvements to the HDA codec and driver (both generic and Intel).

Mozilla Announces Personas 2.0

Mozilla released Personas 2.0 bringing many new features and improvements, such as a cleaner look, clearer navigation, and easier ways to discover and engage new art.

What's new in Personas 2.0:

FFmpeg Little Helper Generates FFmpeg Commands Or Scripts

FFmpeg Little Helper

FFmpeg Little Helper is a web tool created by RodrigoPolo.com for generating FFmpeg code, meaning it creates the FFmpeg commands you need, by just selecting some options in drop-down menus.

The output can be either a command or a script you can then use to encode audio/video with FFmpeg.

Please note that you must compile FFmpeg for yourself for some of the formats. If you use Ubuntu, see this great guide on Ubuntuforums.

uTorrent 2.1 Beta Adds Video Torrents Streaming

uTorrent 2.1 beta has added the option to stream video files while downloading. With this new functionality, BitTorrent Inc. hopes to provide the ‘point-click-watch’ experience people have grown used to from their usage of streaming sites such as YouTube.

utorrent 2.1 video streaming

NatGeoWalls Creates A XML Wallpaper Set From 2009 National Geographic Wallpapers [Linux / Gnome]

[Linux (Gnome) only]: Lucast @ Gnome Look has created a script which uses my NatGeo wallpapers download script to get all the wallpapers for 2009 (~170 wallpapers) from the National Geographic website and then it creates a .xml file similar to the Cosmos wallpaper set in Gnome 2.28 which you can then use to automatically change your wallpaper every 29 minutes.

I have checked the script and is malware-free so it's safe to use!

How To Install KDE SC 4.4 Final In Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic

Ubuntu Lucid users can simply "sudo apt-get upgrade" to upgrade to the latest packages, because KDE 4.4 is already available in the main repository.

Ubuntu Karmic (9.10) users have to add the following PPA to install KDE 4.4 final:

Remove The User List From Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic GDM Login Screen

ubuntu karmic gdm login screen

The GDM login screen in Ubuntu Karmic displays the user list by default, which is considered a security risk by many people.

If you wish to hide this user list, and manually enter your username, run the following command in a terminal:

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list true

Install Enlightenment (E17) In Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic [How-to]

enlightenment e17 ubuntu karmic

Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. Enlightenment is often used as a substitute for a full desktop environment.

Enlightenment version 0.17, or E17 is a complete rewrite on DR16 (0.16) and was designed to be a full-fledged desktop shell, based on the new Enlightenment Foundation Libraries. E17 is very fast and responsive, and should be good for older computers or netbooks.

I've been wanting to try our E17 in Karmic but I never had time to set it up. kappa962's post made me want to try it finally (credits go to him). I will also try it soon on my netbook (E17 comes with different setups you can choose when you first install it: for netbooks, desktops, minimal, etc.).

Install Enlightenment E17 in Ubuntu Karmic

Mark Shuttleworth Announces A New Canonical CEO

mark shuttleworthMark Shuttleworth has announced he wants to focus on energy on product design, partnerships and customers and the new Canonical CEO will be Jane Silber, currently Chief Operating Officer and Director of Online Services.

This change should be be completely in place by 1 March 2010.

Mark Shuttleworth points out that this doesn’t mark a change of direction, however:

this change does mark our commitment to continually optimise our operations and offerings, and as Canonical matures as an organisation I believe that Jane brings the skills and experience that we need in the CEO role.

Pino: Lightweight Twitter Client For Linux

pino twitter

Pino is a Linux twitter client written in Vala and designed to be simple and fast. It only shows your timeline and mentions but it's still in the beta stage (currently beta 3).

Download Pino:

Other Linux distributions

Banshee Grid View Almost Ready

banshee grid view

Aaron Bockover, the creator and maintainer of the Banshee project has announced a new grid layout mode for the album browser in Banshee. The Grid View is not finished yet, as there are still a few quirks to work out and some more polish, but this is a big step towards a friendlier way of displaying your media collection.

Google Launches Browser Size - Tool To See How Others View Your Website

google browser size

Just like in a newspaper (where the most important story is featured on the front page, "above the fold"), your website has different "importance" areas which depend on monitor sizes, browsers, toolbars and so on.

This is why Google has launched Browser Size, a tool which can help you see how users view your website. Browser Size is based on a sample of data from visitors to google.com. Special code collects data on the height and width of the browser for a sample of users. For a given point in the browser, the tool will tell you what percentage of users can see it. For example, if an important button is in the 80% region it means that 20% of users have to scroll in order to see it.

The Latest Firefox Trunk Build Adds Multi-Process Plugins

firefox 3.7Mozilla has been working on multi-processes (Google Chrome style) for some time and now this is finally available in the latest Firefox trunk build (Firefox 3.7), though it's not one tab per process yet - but for plugins.

To enable it, type about:config in the address bar, and set:

to true.

Gnome: Maximize A Window Vertically Or Horizontally Using A Single Click [Quick Linux Tip] [Update: Also Works In KDE And XFCE]

This might also work in KDE, but I've only tested it in Gnome. Update: thanks to the readers comments, it seems this also works in KDE and XFCE!

-To maximize a window horizontally, RIGHT click on the window maximize button. Exactly, right click it instead of left clicking it:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

-To maximize a window vertically, middle click on the window maximize button:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Aquaria: Native Linux Game, Free Until January


Aquaria is an action-adventure single-player game by independent game company Bit Blot. The game is commercial and runs on Windows and Mac but as we don't usually write about commercial stuff, I will only present the Linux native version which is in open beta and is free until January (full version).

Aquaria won the Seumas McNally grand prize from the Independent Games Festival in March 2007, and has been praised by reviewers for its visuals and atmosphere.

The game follows Naija, a mermaid-like woman, as she explores the underwater world of Aquaria. Along her journey, she learns about both the history of the world and her own past. The gameplay is focused on a combination of swimming and singing, through which Naija can interact with the world. Songs sung by Naija can move items, affect plants and animals, and change her physical appearance into other forms. These forms have different abilities, such as firing projectiles at hostile creatures or passing through barriers inaccessible to her in her natural shape.

Here is a video with Aquaria in action:

Linux w/ Compiz: Tile, Position And Resize Your Windows To Fit An Imaginary Grid

grid tile compiz

Not many people are aware of a great Compiz plugin called "Grid" which can be used to tile, position and resize your windows to fit an imaginary grid. You can basically use it to get something (somewhat) similar to Xmonad (remember Bluetile?), but still use Compiz.

Using the Grid Compiz plugin, all you have to do is press Ctrl + Alt + Keypad numbers to place the selected windows.

Most Popular Ubuntu / Linux Posts Of 2009 [Part 1]

After the most popular "Multi-Platform" posts of 2009, here are the most popular Ubuntu & Linux posts - part 1 (because there are so many - but don't worry, I'll only post 2 parts). Please note that obsolete / not very up to date posts such as how to install Firefox 3.5 in Ubuntu Jaunty have been skipped (for articles which are still very useful).

1. 12 Great Gnome Themes with Ubuntu Repositories

gnome themes ubuntu

A collection of 12 amazing Gnome themes which are constantly updated and come in a Launchpad PPA.

2. Things To Fix / Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

working tux

A list of user experience "fixes" which will make things smoother in Ubuntu (at least, they did for me). From activating Ctrl + Alt + Backspace behavior to restart X, to disabling the login sound, fixing the popping sound, enabling the icons in menus and dialogs, make the Super key bring down the Applications menu, modified notify-osd behavior and so on.

3. How to Install Themes / Emerald [Ubuntu Newbie Guide / Part 6]

emerald themes

Back when Web Upd8 was still young, we had a series of "Ubuntu Newbie Guide" posts which were ment to teach new users how things work and how to tweak the visual appearance so that hopefully they won't switch back to Windows (that was my main though initially). It appears new Ubuntu users really enjoy Emerald :-)