Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Sikuli is a visual technology to search and automate graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images (screenshots) which we've covered not so long ago but which at the time of our post didn't work on Linux (but did work on Windows and Mac OS X).

Sikuli Script automates anything you see on the screen without internal API's support. You can programmatically control a web page, a desktop application running on Windows/Linux/Mac OS X, or even an iphone application running in an emulator.

Basically, you can use Sikuli to automate tasks using screenshots, like taking screenshots of buttons which you need Sikuli to press, etc. To understand what Sikuli really is, take a look at this video (everything is done automatically, by using a very simple Sikuli script):

(Choosing a terminal app for my demo was probably not the best choice, but I wanted to underline the fact that you can use screenshots and also enter text, simulate key pressing like the ENTER key, etc.)

Installing Sikuli in Linux

The latest version of Sikuli finally works on Linux (with some tweaking). To get Sikuli to work, you must install some packages. In Ubuntu, paste this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install libcxxtools6 libcxxtools-dev libhighgui1 libhighgui-dev libcv1

To use Sikuli, simply download it (make sure you download the Linux version and that you hava Java installed), extract the downloaded archive and run the sikuli-ide.sh file inside the Sikuli-IDE folder.

Like we've told you in the title, Sikuli recently moved to Launchpad. Tsung-Hsiang, one of the Sikuli developers:

We want a place to report and discuss bugs, ask and answer questions, and also download and track the development of Sikuli.

We compared Github and Launchpad, and at last chose Launchpad over Github because Launchpad has almost everything we need, except a wiki for writing documents. But we already had a wiki in our Trac system, so this was not a big problem.

You can read an interview with Tsung-Hsiang, on the Launchpad blog.

To learn how to use Sikuli, visit it's documentation page.

For a somewhat similar application (but which does not use screenshots), see AutoKey.