Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Nautilus Trash Information Plugin: Date Deleted And Original Location

nautilus trash folder

I find Nautilus to be a pretty good file manager, however it's far from being complete - missing some very basic features such as "undo/redo" which also includes "undelete", mp3 and FLAC tags in list view and many others. One such missing feature is the option to see when exactly a file in the Trash has been deleted and its original location.

Until Nautilus actually implements this trashed files deleted date and original location, there is a very small plugin you can use to see this info. You can install it by copying the following commands in a terminal:

Banshee 1.6.0 Stable, Released!

banshee 1.6.0 screenshot

After almost a year, a new Banshee stable version has been released: 1.6.0.

Compared to Banshee 1.5.6 (1.6.0 RC2), there aren't many new things. However, Banshee has made an amazing progress since the last stable version and it now has a lot of very interesting features. If you're a constant WebUpd8 reader, you already know most of them since we've covered almost every release of Banshee until 1.6.0.

LiVES Linux Video Editor Gets A Launchpad PPA Repository

lives linux video editor screenshot

LiVES is a non-linear Linux video editor. It comes with dozens of effects, a clip editor which you cna use to trim and edit your clips and then merge them into a video using the multitrack timeline. You can even use LiVES to record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away. A complete list of features can be found @ LiVES sourceforge page.

Dropbox Increases Referral Additional Space To 8GB (For Free)

dropbox 8gb referral

Up until now, Dropbox offered 2 GB of space for free, as well as an additional 3 GB maximum for referring people to signup for Dropbox.

But Dropbox wants to eliminate all of its competition (UbuntuOne, SpiderOak, etc.) by offering it's users the option to get an additional 8GB of space for free, by referring new users to sign up for Dropbox using their referral link (250 MB per referred user).

If you're not using Dropbox yet, you can use my referral link and get 250 MB for free when signing up.

In case you don't know what Dropbox is, see THIS article. You can also browse all our Dropbox posts.

[Thanks to Linux und Ich for the heads up]

Grsync (Rsync GUI) 1.1.0 Ubuntu 9.10 And 10.04 .deb Download

grsync 1.1.0

We wrote about Grsync before, an open source rsync GUI (Graphical User Interface) which you can use for file and directory synchronization (for backups, etc.).

Rsync is the well-known and powerful command line directory and file synchronization tool. Grsync makes use of the GTK libraries and is released under the GPL license, so it is opensource. It doesn't need the gnome libraries to run, but can of course run under gnome pretty fine. It can be effectively used to synchronize local directories and it supports remote targets as well (even though it doesn't support browsing the remote folder). Sample uses of grsync include: synchronize a music collection with removable devices, backup personal files to a networked drive, replication of a partition to another one, mirroring of files, etc.

Grsync 1.1.0 was released 2 days ago and it adds some small new features as well as some bugs fixed:

Terminator 0.90 Finally Released [Multiple Terminals In The Same Window]

terminator 0.90

Like cmsj was announcing yesterday, he finally released Terminator 0.90.

Take Screenshots In Linux And Windows Using ScreenShooter

Sure, Shutter has all the options in the world for taking professional screenshots, but if you're not a blogger you probably want simplicity instead of all those features.

ScreenShooter is a screenshot taking application for Windows and Linux which is designed for simplicity, yet it has a few nice features which you might find very useful. The option I like the most in ScreenShooter is that it automatically uploads the screenshots you take to it's server and gives you a link for your screenshot:

Kubuntu 10.04 New Branding [Logo]

Kubuntu 10.04 finally got a new branding (logo) to match the new Ubuntu branding:

kubuntu 10.04 branding

There should be an update on the Kubuntu Plymouth theme really soon.

[via darkwing duck]

The Best Linux Music Player

In this week's hive five post, it's time to see which Linux music player WebUpd8 readers consider to be the best.

More Right Window Button Ideas For Ubuntu 10.10

Since Mark Shuttleworth said that moving the Metacity window buttons to the left "opens up the space on the right nicely", lots of button ideas came out. The most controverted one is probably Esfera, an idea by Pablo Quirós which Mark Shuttleworth forwarded to the Ayatana mailing list.

A recent idea by Izo makes a lot more sense than all the previous ideas. Have a look (it's called "The Workflow Button"):

metacity right corner window button

How To Replace PulseAudio With ALSA Or OSS In A Few Seconds [Ubuntu Linux - GStreamer]

I couldn't get PulseAudio to work on one of my computers no matter what I do. But removing PulseAudio can be tricky and besides, there is a very easy way to "fix" it (if you're using GStreamer as a backend for music and videos). This is very useful for applications which use GStreamer but do not let you select the sound output module like: Rhythmbox, Totem and so on.

To use ALSA or OSS instead of PulseAudio for Gstreamer based apps, all you have to do is press ALT + F2 and enter:

Install Defrag (Defragmentation Application) In Ubuntu

On most forums, websites and so on, when someone asks "do I need to defragment my Linux filesystems?", the answer is "no". But that's a common misconception and in some cases you do have to defragment your Linux filesystems. This is even confirmed by an Ubuntu developer on a very recent post I stumbled upon just a few minutes ago about ureadahead on the ubuntuforums.

I'm not sure if this common misconception is related or not, but there aren't many applications for defragmenting your Linux filesystems. In fact I could only find 2 and posted about them a while back (shake and defrag). Unfortunately defrag development stopped some time ago, but Phillip Susi rescued Defrag by creating a bzr branch in Launchpad and converting Defrag to a native Ubuntu package which you can access @ https://code.launchpad.net/~e2defrag/e2defrag/trunk

To help in saving Defrag, I've uploaded it to the WebUpd8 PPA (packages available for Karmic and Lucid).

Yonoo Social Media Client Integrates Instant Messaging Accounts Also, In Addition To Twitter, Facebook, And So On [Linux, Windows, Mac OSX]


I've always missed the option to add my instant messaging accounts, in practically all social media clients. A great idea for Ubuntu would be to integrate Empathy into Gwibber but unfortunately there are no plans for this. At least for now.

Luckily, there is a social media client called Yoono which supports instant messaging accounts like Yahoo, GTalk, AIM and MSN, as well as the usual social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Friendfeed, Flickr, LinkedIn.

Yoono can be used either as a Firefox addon or as a stand-alone application with it's own browser or you can select to open the links in your default browser. Both the addon and the stand-alone client work on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. I've only tested the Linux version using the built-in browser option because I find it very useful to open the links from Twitter or Facebook in the same application as where I read the tweets / FB updates. Also, I for one don't like using a Firefox addon for this because I usually do other things in Firefox and want a separate app for social media.

Poll Results: Best Linux Video Editor

Here are the results from our latest poll in the weekly 'hive five' posts - Best Linux Video Editor:

Lubuntu 10.04 Gets A New Plymouth Theme Too

After Kubuntu, it's Lubuntu's turn to get a new Plymouth theme to match the new Ubuntu branding:

lubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx plymouth theme

For more screenshots, see our Lubuntu 10.04 Alpha 3 screenshot tour post (there haven't been any major changes since then).

Rhythmbox 0.12.8 Released [Available In The WebUpd8 Ubuntu PPA]

rhythmbox 0.12.8 ubuntu

Rhythmbox 0.12.8 was released just a few hours ago. This is mostly a bug-fix release (lots of bugs!) but there are also a few new features/improvements:

  • Last.fm cover art search
  • Automatically unmount MTP devices mounted by gvfs
  • More improvements to mixed-direction text display
A complete list of fixed bugs can be found here.

Ubuntu Karmic users will be very glad to know that Rhythmbox 0.12.8 is available in the WebUpd8 PPA. We've also packaged it for Ubuntu Lucid, although Rhythmbox 0.12.8 will be updated in the Lucid repositories too (don't worry, the Lucid version will overwrite the one in the WebUpd8 PPA when it comes out).

To update Rhythmbox 0.12.8 in Ubuntu Karmic or Lucid, simply paste this in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

If you do not have Rhythmbox installed, replace "update" with "install rhythmbox" in the last command above.

Update: the bug in the initial package has been fixed so you can now safely install Rhythmbox 0.12.8 in Ubuntu Karmic. My apologies for that issue!

Download The Latest Gnome Icon Theme Via GIT

gnome icon theme GIT

gnome icon theme

The Gnome icon theme is not exactly a great one or at least I for one never found it to be polished enough to use, but the latest version available via GIT is definitely an improvement. This will probably be the icon theme which will ship with Gnome 3.

To download and install the latest Gnome Icon Theme, simply paste this in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install git-core #in case you don't have git installed
git clone git://git.gnome.org/gnome-icon-theme
mv gnome-icon-theme/gnome ~/.icons

Then set the new icon theme via Appearance Preferences.

[via lathund.nu]

Last Week's Top Posts (Week 12, 2010)

Zenity + Bash Audio Converter Script Updated

zenity bash audio converter script

The script created by WebUpd8 reader Remy which we were telling you about a few days ago just got updated.

The new version can convert to / from two more formats: flv and aac (it used to work for lac, mp3, wav and ogg), and an quality selector for ffmpeg has also been added. This version also checks if a file exists and asks if you want to open Nautilus.

To use it, firstly install zenity and ffmpeg:
sudo apt-get install zenity ffmpeg 

And then download and run the script using these commands:
wget http://raymii.org/cms/content/downloads/easyconverter.sh
chmod +x easyconverter.sh

For more info, check out Remy's post @ raymii.org (thanks once again!).

Kubuntu 10.04 Plymouth Theme

kubuntu plymouth

Kubuntu just got a new Plymouth theme, however it's not finished yet. Richard Johnson explains that the logo is temporary as the new Kubuntu branding logos are not ready for now, so the theme will be further tweaked.

via Richard Johnson

Gnome Nanny (Parental Control) Takes Care Of Your Children Computer Access [Ubuntu PPA]

Update: Gnome Nanny is unmaintained. I recommend Timekpr for recent Ubuntu versions.

gnome nanny parental control linux ubuntu

Gnome Nanny is an easy way to control what your kids are doing in the computer, under Linux. You can limit how much time a day each one of them is browsing the web, chatting or doing email. You can also decide at which times of the day the can do this things. Gnome Nanny filters what web pages are seen by each user, so you can block all undesirable webs and have your kids enjoy the internet with ease of mind, no more worries!

Using Gnome Nanny (Parental Control), you can control which websites you children can and can't access and for how long for each day of the week they can access the computer, the web, email or an instant messaging client.

Installing the latest Gnome Nanny version in Ubuntu Linux is very easy, as there is a Launchpad PPA available. To add the PPA, simply paste the following command(s) in a terminal:

Shutter 0.86 Released

shutter 0.86

We already presented Shutter 0.86 and it's beta Ubuntu PPA so you know all the new features in Shutter 0.86.

This post is for those who don't want to install beta versions. So to install the latest Shutter 0.86 from the stable PPA in Ubuntu, paste this in a terminal:

Switch Between The Same Windows Of The Focused Application Using A Keyboard Shortcut [Quick Linux w/ Compiz Tip]

Here is a quick tip which many of you might know but I for one only today came across it and I'm finding it really useful.

Ever since we wrote about the very simple Pidgin/Empathy script to focus the conversation window using a keyboard shortcut, I've been trying (together with WebUpd8 reader RKV) to create a similar script using xdotool for switching between the same windows of the currently focused (active) application: kind of like an ALT + TAB but for an application only (for example: all opened Nautilus windows, all opened OpenOffice Word Processor opened files, etc.). But there's no need of a script after all, as it seems Compiz can do much more things than I could imagine, and comes with an option for the behavior I was telling you about above.

How To Create A MultiBoot LiveUSB Using A GUI [Ubuntu]

MultiSystem (formerly called MultiBoot) is an application similar to the MultiCD script which we wrote a while back, except MultiSystem comes with a GUI so is somewhat easier to use for non-technical users.

What MultiSystem does is allows you to make a live USB with multiple Linux distributions. A list of supported Linux distributions can be found HERE.

Esfera: New UI Element Proposal For Ubuntu 10.10

Mark Shuttleworth posted a suggestion he got from Pablo Quirós for the free space on the top right window corner (now that the button(s) will be placed on the left side of the Metacity), on the Ayatana mailing list.

The proposal is a new UI element for the windows in Ubuntu called Esfera which should be placed in the free space on the top-right of the windows. The button will basically support gestures which you can perform on that window, like a joystick.

Mark attached a PDF with the exact explanation of this Esfera. Here is a small excerpt:

Ambiance And Radiance Themes No Longer Need Special Fixing After Today's Update [Ubuntu]

The Ubuntu light-themes: Ambiance and Radiance got an update today which finally fixes the border around the Metacity buttons, meaning you can now place them in any order without the need to edit the theme in GIMP to fix the border around the maximize button. Well, sort of, meaning the active window buttons were fixed for both Ambiance and Radiance, but the inactive window buttons still need a bit of fixing:

ubuntu radiance partially fixed theme

ubuntu ambiance partially fixed theme

FatRat Is An Amazing Linux Download Manager [Ubuntu PPA Included]

fatrat linux download manager

FatRat is the big brother of SlimRat (or is it fat brother?) which we previously covered HERE. So what is it? Well, it's an open source download manager for Linux but not an ordinary one. Read on!

FatRat comes with many very interesting options. For one, it can download from HTTP(S)/FTP, RapidShare free and even YouTube. But FatRat can also download torrents, (it has BitTorrent support) has RSS feed support + special functions for TV shows and podcasts, support for SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies and even remote control via Jabber and a web interface and of course, a scheduler. FatRat has way to many options to list them here so check it out for yourself by installing FatRat (instructions further down).

Ubuntu Radiance Firefox Theme

firefox radiance

There are already Radiance and Ambiance themes for Google Chrome. But how about Firefox? I mean, Firefox doesn't look exactly ugly without a theme, but I still find it really nice to make the Radiance color consistent within Firefox.

I just saw @ ubuntulife an userChrome.css style for Firefox which makes the Ubunu Radiance consistent through Firefox (and looks like in the screenshot in the beginning of the post).

Ubuntu 10.04 Proposed Ubiquity Slideshow Goes Live

ubuntu 10.04 lucid slideshow

The Ubuntu Ubiquity Slideshow is a project which uses Webkit that provides a slideshow when you install Ubuntu.

The new Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Ubiquity Slideshow which we were telling you about ~2 weeks ago is now live and you should be able to take a look for yourself by downloading an Ubuntu 10.04 daily build starting tomorrow (or by updating the installer but that didn't work for me - the package is probably not in the repositories yet).

Besides the improved look, there are some other changes too: the Ubuntu slideshow is now 816x500 pixels in size (it used to be 700x420), the slideshow now uses the official Firefox icon rather than a generic browser icon, as well as some other minor improvements.

Here are a few more screenshots:

qmmp Is A Fast, WinAmp-Like Music Player For Linux

qmmp screenshot

qmmp is a Linux music player which will remind you of Winamp. In fact, it looks a lot like it and it can even use Winamp skins (as well as Xmms skins) so if you're just switching to Linux and can't give up WinAmp (although I really liked Foobar2000 on Windows but anyway), you should try qmmp as an alternative to WinAmp.

It supports mpeg1 layer 1/2/3, ogg vorbis, native flac support, musepack and wavpack, modplug, wmpa, pcm wave, acc. audio cds, CUE sheet, WavPack embedded CUE and FLAC embedded CUE support. It can use ALSA, PulseAudio, Jack or OSS sound. Of course, those are just the essential features. qmmp comes with basically all the features you would want in a music player (and even more).

One downside would be that qmmp is a QT application, but since it supports Winamp skins I don't think QT is a big drawback.

Other qmmp features include:

Zenity + FFmpeg Bash Script To Convert flac, mp3, wav and ogg Audio Files

WebUpd8 reader Remy sent us a tip with a bash script which uses Zenity and ffmpeg for easily converting various audio files. It can convert from / to flac, mp3, wav and ogg.

Using the script is very easy so it should be very useful for lots of people. The first thing you need to to to get it working is to install Zenity and ffmpeg. To do this in Ubuntu, simply paste the following command in a terminal:

Now You Can Say: "Linux Supports iPhone / iPod Touch Out Of The Box" [libimobiledevice 1.0.0 Released]

iphone ubuntu 10.04

libimobiledevice is a FOSS software library that talks the protocols to support iPhone ® and iPod Touch ® devices on Linux. Unlike other projects, it does not depend on using any existing proprietary libraries and does not require jailbreaking.

When we posted an article named "Ubuntu 10.04 supports iPhone / iPod Touch out of the box", it was actually libimobiledevice (and usbmuxd/gtkpod) who made this possible, not Ubuntu (thanks to Karl for mentioning this).

libimobiledevice (formerly known as libiphone) development started in 2007 and today it hits the first stable version: 1.0.0 and was followed by the release of usbmuxd 1.0.3. The result is that now you can say that in fact "Linux supports iPhone / iPod Touch out of the box!". Most distributions will feature the library in their next release. For now, the following have confirmed using libimobiledevice: Ubuntu Lucid (for Ubuntu Karmic, see THIS), Fedora 13, openSUSE 11.3 and Mandriva 2010.1.

Install / Upgrade OpenOffice 3.2 From A PPA Repository [Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic]

openoffice 3.2 ubuntu karmic screenshot

The OpenOffice Scribblers PPA was finally updated and it now hosts the latest OpenOffice.org 3.2 packages for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) for now.

We wrote about installing OpenOffice from the official website and installing Go-OO but those didn't support upgrades since they weren't installed through a repository and also the desktop environment integration wasn't the best, therefore using the packages in the OpenOffice Scribblers PPA is the recommended way of installing / upgrading OpenOffice to version 3.2 in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic).

Why would you want to upgrade to OpenOffice 3.2? Well, it has many many improvements and just as an example, OpenOffice Calc and Writer start up time should be reduced by 46% in 3.2.

Gnome And KDE Might Collaborate Into Creating A FLOSS Alternative To Dropbox

There is an ongoing discussion on a Gnome mailing list which points out that Gnome and KDE might collaborate for a new project: a FLOSS alternative to Dropbox.

One might think: well, we have Ubuntu One - but that's only for Ubuntu (even though work is done to port it to other Linux distributions too - or it was done at some point) and also it's KDE integration is still experimental (and not official as far as I know). And finally: many will agree that Ubuntu One is not the best implementation of this great idea so there is room for some competition. And also, the Ubuntu One server is not open source (only the client is) and it seems there are no plans to open-source it.

The Gnome and KDE approach is more towards an collaboration tool, but which is very close to Dropbox. The DE independent FLOSS Dropbox alternative idea came because Google Summer of Code is approaching and both Gnome and KDE have a collaboration tool on their list:

Tweak Ubuntu With Ailurus 10.03.2 (Just Released)

ailurus 10.03.2 screenshot

Ailurus is an application similar to Ubuntu Tweak, however it's more "hidden settings" oriented rather than installing new software through PPAs like Ubuntu Tweak is.

Since we last covered Ailurus, it has come a long way and now you can customize every inch of you Ubuntu (and Fedora now) desktop.

The latest version (10.03.2) was released just a few minutes ago and it brings a lot of new features which are designed to make your life easier:

Ubuntu One Music Store Now Available For All

ubuntu one music store

For the Ubuntu One Music Store, the primary goals are to 1) provide a wide selection of popular songs to users and 2) enable Ubuntu users around the world to have access to these songs. Among the partners evaluated, 7digital was chosed because they had the largest selection of songs available without digital rights management (DRM) for the most regions around the world.

Ubuntu-Mono 0.9 Brings Lots Of Updated / New Icons [Ubuntu 10.04]

ubuntu-mono restart icon

A recent Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) update (ubuntu-mono 0.9 - mono meaning monochrome) brings a few new panel icons as well as some updated ones to match the new Ubuntu visual identity:
  • Adding new restart icons, work in progress
  • Adding new broadcast icon (microblogging)
  • Adding new user status icons based on simple icons from new visual identity
  • Adding more weather icons and reworked microblogging
  • Starting to add weather icons, work in progress
  • Adding MessagingMenu Chat and Email icons
  • Adding Tomboy, Session Menu and -dark nm-applet wifi icons
  • Adding microblogging icon for messagemenu

If you're using Ubuntu Lucid 10.04, all you have to do is "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade" to use these updated packages.

For Ubuntu Karmic and Jaunty, the packages are already available in the WebUpd8 PPA so take a look at the instructions in this post to see how to install ubuntu-mono (icons) as well as the new Ambiance and Radiance themes in Ubuntu Karmic and Jaunty.

Subtitle Editor 0.36.1 Released [w/ Ubuntu PPA]

subtitleeditor 0.36.1 ubuntu

Subtitle Editor 0.36.1 was released today, the new version bringing mostly bugfixes:
  • Reorganize the menu file with a sub-menu import and export
  • Fix bug #15525 : Video playback doesn't work
  • Fix bug #15374 : gtkmm-2.14 has not Gtk::Action set_stock_id
  • Fix bug #15464 : segfault on waveform generation
  • Fix build error with the WaveformRendererGL

Subtitle Editor is a GTK+2 tool to edit subtitles for GNU/Linux/*BSD. It can be used for new subtitles or as a tool to transform, edit, correct and refine existing subtitle. This program also shows sound waves, which makes it easier to synchronise subtitles to voices.

Contacts: New, Experimental Firefox Addon Released By Mozilla

mozilla contacts firefox

Mozilla released an experimental Firefox addon called "Contacts" which allows you to import Twitter and Gmail contacts (for now) and the Mac OS X address book into Firefox. This is a first step for globalization (contacts-wise):

Why is this information important? Address books and buddy lists have become an integral part of how we manage our relationships online. Your email addresses, Twitter handle and openID are used in hundreds of ways as you connect, follow and share online.

Every desktop operating system, and hundreds of web-based service providers, has some way of representing “who-you-know”. Managing all of this information can be a lot of work. There are multiple copies of your data, and they are inconsistent and disjointed.

Shutter 0.86 Development Build Adds Lots Of New Features And Improvements [PPA]

shutter 0.86

I recently came across the Shutter Testing PPA and decided to give the new Shutter 0.86 (testing - not yet released) version a try and I was impressed with the new features and improvements Shutter will be getting so I started using this new version. Since I didn't encounter any bugs, I decided to write an article about it so you can enjoy this development build too.

Shutter is a screenshot taking application for Linux which you can use to capture a specific area, window, your whole screen, or even of a website – apply different effects to it, draw on it to highlight points, and then upload to an image hosting site, all within one window.

Last Week's Top Posts (Week 11, 2010)

Banshee 1.5.6 (1.6 RC2) Released

banshee 1.5.5

Banshee 1.5.6 is now available for download, this being just a bug-fix release. A list of fixed bugs can be found HERE.

Banshee 1.5.6 (1.6 RC2) is the last release before 1.6.0 stable which is due March 31, 2010.

Ubuntu installation instructions can be found HERE. For other Linux distributions, see the Banshee download page.

Finally Opera 10.51 .deb And .rpm Linux Packages

opera 10.51 linux screenshot

Ever since the Opera team started working on the new Opera 10.50 / 10.51, there were no .deb or .rpm packages but this finally changed and you can now install Opera 10.50/10.51 in Debian (and derivates like Ubuntu, etc.), Fedora, openSUSE and so on using .deb and .rpm packages.

The Best Linux Video Editor

For this week's hive five post we've chosen 5 Linux video editors and as usual, we'd like you to vote for the one which you find to be the best.

This time we found it really hard to only pick 5 apps but since we had to, we decided to go with: Avidemux, OpenShot, KDEnlive, LiVES PiTiVi. But there were other applications just as good as these such as Cinerella, Kino, Open Movie Editor, even Blender can do video editing and so on so don't hesitate to vote for an application which is not among the 5 we've picked, by selecting "Other answer" and then entering your choice.

Vote: Best Linux Video Editor:

As usual, don't forget to let us know (in the comments) why you like a certain video editor as well as suggest some we might not know of.

Previous Hive Five posts

Xubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Beta 1 Screenshots Tour

Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu and so on are getting lots of attention but it seems everybody is forgetting about Xubuntu so I decided to make a screenshot tour of Xubuntu. I never used XFCE so my notes are from the point of view of someone used to Gnome (so I'll underline the difference between XFCE and Gnome too - or Ubuntu and Xubuntu if you want).

The default theme (well, actually style) in Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 1 is Albastross and the icons are Xubuntu Elementary (you can see these throughout all the screenshots in this post):

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 1 Released [Screenshots Tour]

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 1 was released and because it features so many visual changes, I decided to make an article with most of them (fresh new screenshots of course), even though I already posted most of them. For easy gallery viewing, wait until the page is completely loaded, click the first image and then navigate to the next / previous images using the arrows at the bottom.

Update: here is also an Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 2 Screenshot Tour

ubuntu 10.04 lucid beta 1 screenshots

The most noticeable change in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is obviously the new "light" theme pack: Ambiance and Randiance, as well as the now notorious change to put the Metacity controls to the left side of the window as well as inverting the minimize and maximize buttons. This visual change also brought a new wallpaper, a new additional icon pack: ubuntu-mono (monochrome) and a few new purple icons to match the new branding.

In the screenshot in the beginning of the post you can see the Ambiance theme. Here is Randiance:

Poll Results: Best Linux Instant Messaging Client

This week you voted for: The Best Linux Instant Messaging Client

This time there were less votes than usual, one factor being probably the fact that some Linux users are undecided when it comes to IM clients:

I can't wait to see the results at this poll. I sooo hate pidgin and I'm sooo looking forward to find a very good alternative :D!


I am holding on my vote, in a dilemma between pidgin and empathy. I use empathy at work and pidgin at home! And I love them both ;)

The poll results

Ubuntu Lucid Beta 1 Delayed Until March 19th

Due to some critical issues with the image rebuilds, the validation for Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 1 is still in progress, meaning the first Lucid beta will not be released today but tomorrow, March 19.

More info: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2010-March/000695.html

Lucid XSplash For Ubuntu Karmic

If you like the new Plymouth theme Ubuntu Lucid got recently and want to use it in Ubuntu Karmic... you can't (or can but have to install Plymouth) because Karmic doesn't use Plymouth. But you can install this nice XSplash screen called lucid-Xsplash:

lucid xsplash

To install it, download lucid-Xsplash, then open nautilus as root (press ALT + F2 and enter: gksu nautilus), navigate to /usr/share/images/xsplash and extract there all the contents of the downloaded archive. Then remove all the images in that folder having the name "bg_RESOLUTION.jpg" (where RESOLUTION is a number like 800x600, etc.), and then append "bg_" in front of each resolution file (eg: 1024x768.jpg) file extracted from the archive. You have to do that because it appears the author of this XSplash forgot to add the "bg_" prefix to the files.

Then, to test the new XSplash, type this in a terminal:
sudo xsplash

And pres ESCAPE to exit the XSplash preview.

See also: 8 More Beautiful XSplash Screens For Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth: "This is not a democracy"

After Mark Shuttleworh's recent comment regarding the decision to put the Metacity window buttons on the left, the debate is more intense then ever.

In a recent comment (posted a few seconds ago), Mark Shuttleworth states that:

Script To Focus The Pidgin / Empathy Conversation Window Using A Shortcut Key [Linux]

I was reading an article on tux-planet.fr about xdotool when I realized I can use this to create a script to focus (activate) the Pidgin conversation window using a shortcut key - something I have been searching for a long time. Being a relatively old ubuntuforums.org member, I also noticed quite a few users were looking for a way of doing this, so I'm guessing this might be interesting for WebUpd8 readers also. Of course, you can use xodotool to focus (or perform many other different actions) any window using the terminal or a script which can be set as a keyboard shortcut, etc.

xdotool is a command line tool for simulating keyboard input and mouse activity, move and resize windows and so on.

TerminalRun Firefox Addon Allows You To Run Shell Commands From Websites Via Right Click [Linux]

TerminalRun and FoxRunner are two similar Firefox extensions for running a command from a website in a terminal. Because FoxRunner didn't work for me (but it seems to be working for most people so you can try it if you want), I'll review TerminalRun.

Here is a video I've just recorded with TerminalRun in action:

Amarok 2.3

Amarok 2.3 was released yesterday and I wanted to see how the new version is working, the system resources it uses and so on.

I've installed it (see here Karmic and Lucid PPAs), and then tried to load my ~30.000+ music collection. Now that's a nice memory usage:

amarok 2.3

and it took Amarok 2.3 about ~30 minutes to index my music collection. So my review ended here. There's no point in using such an application when we have so many to choose from. I'll be sticking with GMPC.

Now, I realize Amarok is a KDE application and I was running it in Gnome, but I used to do that all the time with Amarok 1.4 and it worked just fine.

Speed Up DPKG With TDPKG (Using A Tokyocabinet Or Sqlite3 Database) [ Ubuntu / Debian ]

dpkg is pretty slow in Debian-based systems, usually because of the many files which are stored in the /var/lib/dpkg/info folder. To speed up things, Luca Bruno created a project called tdpkg which uses an sqlite3 or tokyocabinet database for loading the dpkg .list files in the /var/lib/dpkg/info folder which makes dpkg a lot faster.

The author (Luca Bruno) says that:

I've managed to bring cold startup time from about 14 seconds down to about 2 seconds. I will definitely have fun installing and removing applications back again.

Before installing this, the author clearly states that: "You'd better not install this library, it could make your system highly unstable". However I've made a backup and have been using it for a while and everything works great so if you also want to install it anyway, here's what you need to do!

Fixed Ubuntu Light Themes Metacity In WebUpd8 PPA [Lucid, Karmic, Jaunty]

ambiance radiance fixed

First of all, for those not interested in fixing the Ubuntu "Light Themes" or not interested in these themes at all: I'm sorry! But new things just keep coming up. Hopefully everything will calm down soon.

Now, about the fixed Light Themes for Ubuntu Jaunty, Karmic and Lucid: I just posted about a PPA which has a fixed Light Themes package for Lucid, but that PPA doesn't have packages for Karmic and Jaunty and also that package replaces the original Light Themes.

Mohegan asked if we could upload a fixed light-themes package in the WebUpd8 PPA and so we did, but we tried to please as many people as we can, so:

  • the package was uploaded under the "light-themes-fixed" name and the themes are now displayed as "Ambiance-Fixed" and "Radiance-Fixed" in the Gnome Desktop Appearance dialog. That means that the "light-themes-fixed" package does not replace the original "light-themes" package so you can have both of them installed and use whichever you want. The original "light-themes" package is of course still available in the WebUpd8 PPA (for Jaunty and Karmic).
  • we packaged the themes for Ubuntu Jaunty, Karmic and Lucid (as well as the latest ubuntu-mono icons, humanity-icons packages and of course the latest Murrine and Aurora engines).
  • the advantage of using this PPA is that I will try to update the fixed packages as soon as new versions for the original "light-themes" package in Ubuntu Lucid are released.

In case you didn't understand what this "fixed" does, well, it fixes the border around the minimize/maximize buttons so you can put the Metacity window buttons in the "minimize,maximize,close" order like the buttons were on Ubuntu Jaunty, Karmic and so on.

To install this light-themes-fixed package, add the WebUpd8 PPA:

'Fixed' Ubuntu Light Themes PPA [Lucid Only]

radiance metacity normal buttons

In the same bug report as the one where Mark Shuttleworth commented on yesterday regarding the reason for moving the Metacity window controls to the left, there is a comment which points to a 'fixed' Ubuntu Light themes PPA (for Ubuntu Lucid only). By 'fixed' I mean you can put the buttons in the same order as you are used to from Karmic, etc. : "minimize,maximize,close" instead of "maximize,minimize,close", without having a broken border around the minimize button.

I don't know if the PPA will be maintained further or not (so that it includes each update to the ubuntu-light package, but with fixed Metacity), but I find it to be a great idea for those who don't want to use the new Metacity button order but still want to be up to date with the themes.

Exaile 0.3.1 Has Been Released! [And Available In WebUpd8 PPA]

exaile 0.3.1

Exaile 0.3.1 has been released today. There are no new features since the beta, but a lot of bugs have been fixed.

Exaile 0.3.1. brings some pretty exiting new features (since 0.3.0):
  • A completely revamped and much more powerful tag editor
  • An equalizer!
  • Collection panel should now be faster
  • Better support for non-standard filename encodings
  • A standalone lyrics pane plugin
  • Plugins for DAAP music sharing support
  • Better display of compilation albums

qBittorrent 2.2.0 Brings Some Interesting New Advanced Features

qbittorrent 2.2.0

qBittorrent is a multi-platform lightweight but fully featured BitTorrent client, very similar to uTorrent.

It features a µTorrent-like User Interface, torrent labels, WebUI, µTorrent spoofing to bypass private trackers whitelisting, advanced RSS support with download filters and many other really nice features.

qBittorrent 2.2.0 was released yesterday and it brings some cool new features for advanced users such as:

And The Reason Why The Metacity Window Buttons Are On The Left In Ubuntu 10.04 Is...

...from Mark Shuttleworth himself:

The default position of the window controls will remain the left, throughout beta1. We're interested in data which could influence the ultimate decision. There are good reasons both for the change, and against them, and ultimately the position will be decided based on what we want to achieve over time.

Moving everything to the left opens up the space on the right nicely, and I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options there. It's much easier to do that if we make this change now. I appreciate that it's an emotive subject, and apologise for the fact that I haven't been responding in detail to every comment - I'm busy moving house this week. But the design team is well aware of the controversy, your (polite) comments and more importantly *data* are very welcome and will help make the best decision.

When we have a celebrity bug report like this, it's a real exercise for our values of communication, civility, and ubuntu. Thank you to those who have pointed to the code of conduct when things get heated. And thanks even more to those who FELT heated but didn't let it show :-)

So the buttons might be moved to the right somewhere between beta 2 and the release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid depending on the data gathered data, but that would be a bit in the way of the changes planned for Lucid+1 (10.10).

What do you think Mark Shuttleworth is planning on introducing to the top right corner of the windows starting with Lucid+1? Could it be some indicator messages or some sort?

Some News On VideoLAN Movie Creator

vlmc videolan movie creator

Remember VideoLAN Movie Creator (VLMC)? Many people (including myself) got really exited on the news that the VLC team is working on a video editor but then everything seem to fade away and there weren't any news about it. That until now, when a blog post from one of the VLMC developers is pointing out that VLMC 0.1 was supposed to be released yesterday but some bugs on Windows prevented this from happening.

However, I find this to be great news and can't wait for the first version of VLMC to be released. Of course, don't expect a lot of features and an equivalent to VLC but for video editing already. Especially since only 2 developers are working on VideoLAN Movie Creator.

In case you were checking the website or was subscribed to the VLMC mailing list: those were down for a while but should be up and running again soon. However, the VLMC website is just a bug tracker for now.

Hopefully we'll hear more often about VLMC.

Keryx 0.92.4 (Offline Installer For APT-based Systems) Released

keryx 0.92.4

Some time ago we told you about Keryx, an amazing cross-platform (yes, it also works on Windows - so you can download the packages from Windows and install them in Ubuntu/Debian, etc.) application which can be used for offline package download and installation for APT-based systems (Ubuntu, Debian, etc.). Basically Keryx provides a graphical interface for getting updates, packages and dependencies for offline installation.

The latest version (0.92.4) brings 2 new features which should be very helpful for those with limited internet connectivity:

How To Get GIT Working Behind A Firewall [Using A SOCKS Proxy]

Some GIT servers support the http protocol but some don't and if you're behind a firewall like me (at work - so I don't have control over it and most ports are blocked) you basically can't access GIT.

But with the help of WebUpd8 reader RKV and this post, I got GIT working behind a firewall using TOR.

Install Linux Mint (USP) Main Menu in Ubuntu

If you ever used or seen some screenshots of Linux Mint, I'm sure you noticed how amazing it's menu is. I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to install it in Ubuntu. Sure, you could install Gnome Main Menu ( sudo apt-get install gnome-main-menu ) but I don't find it to be nowhere near as useful as the Linux Mint main menu.

Note: mintMenu is based on a fork of USP (Ubuntu System Panel), but the two are not the same thing, mintMenu being a lot nicer.

Here is how Gnome Main Menu looks like:

gnome main menu

And here is the Linux Mint menu:

linux mint main menu

Mwbuttons: Complete GUI For Customizing Metacity Window Buttons Order

Mwbuttons (Metacity Window Buttons) is very easy to use yet complete GUI for customizing the Metacity window button order. I really like the way this was implemented because it is very intuitive and easy to understand by new Ubuntu users.

Using Mwbuttons you basically have a horizontal line with all the buttons and you can chose which button and it's placement, exactly the way it will be displayed in Metacity:


How To Get Plymouth Working With Nvidia Proprietary Drivers [Ubuntu Lucid]

new ubuntu 10.04 boot splash

Update: for a better way of fixing this, see: Script To Fix The Ubuntu Plymouth For Proprietary Nvidia And ATI Graphics Drivers.

Reading the Ubuntu Lucid development forum, I noticed most people can't get the new Plymouth to work with Nvidia proprietary drivers. Some get just some errors, some see just some blue progress bar, etc.

But here is a very easy solution for getting Plymouth working with proprietary Nvidia drivers (and it works in VirtualBox too). Being so easy, I don't understand why they haven't included this tweak in Ubuntu Lucid yet, but I suppose there is a reason behind this so be aware of this before proceeding.

Last Week's Top Posts (Week 10, 2010)

UbuntuTweak 0.5.3 Released With Easier Window Titlebar Layout Buttons Arrangement

ubuntu tweak 0.5.3

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.3 was released in an attempt to stay up to date with the 'trend' and make it easier for new Ubuntu users to place the window titlebar buttons on the left / right, enable or disable buttons and change their order.

This feature was already in Ubuntu Tweak since version 0.5.0, but it was improved to allow more customization.

For Ubuntu Tweak installation instructions via a Launchpad PPA, see THIS post.

Alternatively, you can simply download .deb files:

-Ubuntu Lucid: ubuntu-tweak_0.5.3-1~lucid1_all.deb

-Ubuntu Karmic: ubuntu-tweak_0.5.3-1~karmic1_all.deb

Metamorphose Is Great Mass File And Folder Renamer For Linux, Mac OS X And Windows

metamorphose mass renamer linux

Metamorphose is a free, open source program to mass rename files and folders for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

The application has many great features such as using photo EXIF data or mp3 ID3 tags for renaming, undo renaming operation in case of mistakes, preview every item to be renamed before applying changes and of course basic features like adding a prefix, suffix, etc to files, mass replace, insert or modify, length modification and so on. Basically most of the option can also be found in pyRename, but I find Metamorphose easier to use (and Metamorphose working on Windows and Mac OS X is another difference).

So What's The New "Synchronize On Ubuntu One" Right Click Menu Item For? [Ubuntu 10.04]

synchronize with ubuntu one

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx has a new (well, not very new) Nautilus right click menu item called "Synchronize on Ubuntu One" which I suspected for what it's for, but it's nice to have a confirmation.

Matt Griffin posted the following answer @ Ubuntuone-users mailing list:

This will enable you to mark folders outside of the Ubuntu One folder for synchronization. It's only supported in Lucid and we haven't build the website experience yet but many were asking for this feature. You can mark any folder in your home folder for synchronization.

Now that's a really nice option! Now if only Ubuntu One would work on a standard port so I could use it on any computer...