Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

GNOME Shell Is Finally Available In The Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Repositories [Oneiric Updates]

GNOME Shell is now available in the official Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot repositories, along with most of the GNOME 3 applications (Gedit 3, Nautilus 3 Evolution and so on; some of them are available for quite some time - like Nautilus, while some were uploaded recently - like Gedit or Evolution).

Note for those who are not up to date with everything that's going on in Ubuntu: GNOME Shell is not and won't be installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. However, Ubuntu 11.10 will use GNOME 3 with Unity instead of GNOME Shell.

GNOME Shell 3 (3.0.1) was uploaded about three days ago and the GNOME 3 session finally arrived yesterday. Here's a screenshot featuring GNOME Shell running in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot:

GNOME Shell Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot screenshot
(No, that's not the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot default theme; I've used a different theme because Ambiance doesn't support GTK3 for now as you will see in some of the screenshots in this post)

Install Emesene 2.11.5 In Ubuntu [Official PPA]

Emesene 2

When Emesene 2 was released, we uploaded it to our Unstable PPA, but Emesene 2 now has its own official PPA which was just updated and it now includes the latest Emesene 2.11.5 (released today).

Emesene 2.11.5 comes with around 100 bug fixes since the previous version, an experimental Qt4 GUI (you need to launch Emesene with "-e main:qt4_main" for this), better support for Adium themes (including emoticon themes and support for MSN group chat), drag and drop support in chat window and Ctrl+Tab support for switching tabs.

Video: Slingshot, Plank, Wingpanel, Beatbox (Elementary Apps) [PPA Available]

I got a request to make a Slingshot video so I though I'd make one featuring some more Elementary apps which are currently under development like Plank (Docky re-written in Vala - this is a project of the Docky team and not the elementary team), Wingpanel, Beatbox (music player) and of course, Slingshot launcher.

So here is the video:

In the above video you'll also notice an updated Elementary theme which works with GTK3 too (but there's still a lot to do for the GTK3 version - the menus for instance look broken for now). I'm running Ubuntu 11.04 with GNOME 2, however Marlin is using the GTK 3 Elementary theme.

Remember, these are all under development so they are not stable nor feature complete! Read Cassidy James' comment for more info (and some insights on what will change).

Installation: Slingshot (package name: slingshot-launcher) is available in the same PPA as Wingpanel and Marlin: Elementary Dev, while Beatbox and Plank have their own PPAs: Beatbox PPA, Plank PPA.

Mailnag: Email Notifier For GNOME Shell (Popper Fork)


Mailnag is a Popper fork for GNOME Shell. It description on Launchpad says it all: "What Popper is to Ubuntu's Unity (messaging menu), Mailnag is to gnome-shell.".

So what's Popper? Well, it's an application that uses POP3 and IMAP servers and notifies you about new emails you receive (the number of emails, subject, sender, etc.).

Elementary File Browser "Marlin", Available To Install Via Ubuntu PPA

Marlin is a new file browser for GNOME developed by ammonkey (who's also behind Nautilus Elementary) for Elementary OS.

How To Remove Maximized Windows Titlebar In GNOME Shell

GNOME Shell no titlebar maximized windows

Removing the maximized windows titlebar can be very useful, especially on netbooks but not only. And if you use the default GNOME SHell theme "Adwaita", you can gain quite a few pixels by doing this.

Get Emerald To Work In Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

Emerald Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal screenshot

I don't know if this happens to everybody or just to a minority of users, but for me, Emerald crashes with a segmentation fault in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I'm definitely not alone because the bug report on Launchpad shows that this bug affects at least 23 other people.

New / Updated GTK2 Themes In The WebUpd8 Themes Ubuntu PPA (Wave, Hope, Zukitwo, Victory, Clearlooks Revamp)

It's time for some more easy to install themes via the WebUpd8 Themes PPA repository, available for Ubuntu 11.04, 10.10 and 10.04 users (GNOME 2)!

The WebUpd8 Themes Repository provides themes that are not available in other repositories / PPAs such as Minty Freshness, Bluebird many Faenza icon theme variations, etc.

With today's update I've added the following themes: Zukitwo (with 3 variants: Zukitwo, Zukitwo Dark and Zukitwo Resonance and an Emerald theme), Wave GTK and Emerald themes, Hope GTK theme, and Clearlooks Revamp GTK theme. I've also updated the Mint-X icon theme with the latest version from Linux Mint 11 and Victory (Strikes Again) GTK theme (this one comes with 5 variations: regular, Dark, Light, Light V2 and Light v2 borderless - because I was too lazy to package this in 5 different debs, I've only made one which installs all of them).

Bodhi Linux 1.1.0, Ambiance Evolution, Shotwell 0.10, ClipIt 1.4.1 [Updates]

Bodhi Linux 1.1.0

Bodhi Linux 1.1.0

A new Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 was released yesterday bringing an updated Enlightenment SVN Build (as of May 05/23/11), Linux Kernel 2.6.39, Intel 2.15 drivers, Midori 0.3.6 as well as some repository updates such a Nvidia 270.41 driver, Chromium 11 and Firefox 4.0.1.

Other changes in Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 include a new boot splash and LXDM as well as 5 new themes you can choose from: Ambient, Boox, Elegant, LG2, Moonlight.

Install Miro 4 In Ubuntu And Get It To Convert Videos

Miro 4 screenshot Ubuntu

Miro is an open source music / video player and converter that features an integrated BitTorrent client, podcast support and many other interesting features. It runs on Linux, Windows and Mac.

Miro 4 was released a few days ago, getting some major new features like Android sync (with makes use of the media file conversion that was already built in Miro), Amazon Mp3 Store and Android store support, Ubuntu AppIndicator, share files with other computers that use Miro in your local network and well, there's a huge list so check it out here.

Linux Mint 11 Has Been Released [Screenshots]

Linux Mint 11 screenshots

Linux Mint 11 has finally been released! As you know, Linux Mint 11 is based on Ubuntu 11.04 so it comes with all the features in the latest Ubuntu, but without Unity.

More GNOME Shell Extensions (MediaPlayer, noa11y, ActivitiesButton Logo)

Before installing any extension in this post: remember that some GNOME Shell extensions might not be compatible with others and they may crash GNOME Shell. Only try to install them if you know how to fix this, just in case.

GNOME Shell Mediaplayer extension

GNOME Shell Mediaplayer extension lets you control applications that support MPRIS by adding a status menu icon:

GNOME Shell extension Mediaplayer

Zukitwo: A Beautiful GNOME2/3/Shell Theme Pack

Zukitwo is a pack of GTK2, GTK3 (with 3 variations) and GNOME Shell themes. In this post I'll only cover the GTK3 and GNOME Shell theme (you already know how to apply GTK2 themes, right? If not, have a look in the "INSTALL" file).

Since the pack comes with both GTK2 and GTK3 themes, if you're using GNOME 3, GTK2 applications will still look great. And of course, you can also use these themes (except for the GNOME Shell theme obviously) in the old GNOME 2.

I especially like the GNOME Shell theme which comes with a transparent Top Bar and a beautiful Message Tray, giving GNOME Shell a glassy look.

How To Downgrade To Compiz 0.8.6 In Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

If you're using Ubuntu 11.04 with the classic Ubuntu desktop (no Unity), you've probably noticed that not all Compiz plugins work as they used to in Ubuntu 10.10 and changing some of the default Compiz settings results in quite a few bugs. This can be solved by downgrading Compiz to version 0.8.6 (Compiz from Ubuntu 10.10).

Further more, downgrading Compiz will also give you the notification area (systray) back, without having to whitelist applications and without the bug that occurs sometimes when whitelisting the systray (which prevents you from clicking certain AppIndicators).

Ubuntu Ambiance GNOME Shell Theme

After Adwance (Ambiance ported to GTK3), we now have a GNOME Shell theme to get a complete Ambiance look in GNOME Shell thanks to Half-left's latest "Ubuntu Ambiance" Shell theme:

Ambiance GNOME Shell

Syncany: A Great Dropbox Alternative Which Supports Multiple Storage Types


Syncany is a brand new open-source file sync software (similar to Dropbox, or Sparkleshare). "Oh no, not another Dropbox alternative" you might say. Well Syncany is different and has the chance to become better than other such applications. Read on!

Firefox Nightly Channel PPA Lets You Install Firefox Nightly Builds, Side-By-Side With Stable Firefox

Firefox Daily build 6.0 Ubuntu

Want to try out the latest Firefox daily builds (the version is actually called "Nightly") from a PPA without affecting your current stable Firefox installation (or Firefox beta)?

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Daily Builds Available For Download

Ubuntu 11.10 daily builds are finally available @ http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/

But don't get too excited just yet because it's not usable for now. In my test I was unable to install it and booting the Live ISO looks like this:

Ubuntu 11.10

News thanks to Novatillasku

Gnome Tweak Tool Gets Option To Switch GNOME Shell Extensions On / Off

GNOME Tweak Tool

The latest Gnome Tweak Tool from GIT supports switching GNOME Shell extensions on / off (well, the new feature was added about 2 weeks ago but I've somehow missed it) with a click. Tweak Tool also got an option to install GNOME Shell extensions, but it was later disabled because it's too unstable for now.

Fedora 15 Has Been Released

Fedora 15

Fedora 15 has just been released and as you probably know, it comes with GNOME 3 (with GNOME Shell) by default. But don't worry, if your favourite application hasn't been upgraded to GTK3, you can still use it in Fedora 15.

For those not familiar with Gnome 3, check out this older (but great) video created for the GNOME 3 launch:

BlueProximity: Use A Bluetooth Device To Lock / Unlock Your Linux Computer

BlueProximity is an application that lets you automatically lock / unlock your (Linux) computer using a bluetooth device such as a mobile phone.

You can configure the proximity distance (this is just an approximation because the signal strength is not always the same) and duration and when you move away from your computer, the screensaver is triggered and your computer is locked. When the bluetooth device (phone) is in range, it automatically unlocks the computer, without requiring any input on your side. This is useful for instance if you use Linux at work and want your computer to lock automatically when you leave for a few minutes, etc.

Create A Custom Unity Launcher To Trigger The Compiz Scale Plugin [Quick Tip]

Compiz Scale

In Ubuntu 11.04 (both classic desktop and Unity), you can trigger the Compiz Scale plugin using the SUPER + W keyboard shortcut but if you don't like using keyboard shortcuts, here's how to create a custom Unity launcher (but also works on as a Gnome Panel shortcut) that triggers the Compiz Scale plugin.

Fuduntu 14.10 RC Released With A New Installation Customization Tool

Fuduntu 14.10 RC

Fuduntu, despite its name, is a serious Fedora 14 remix, heavily optimized and without too much bling-bling. For more info, check out our previous posts on Fuduntu.

Fuduntu 14.10 RC has been released today. This release includes Linux kernel 2.6.39, Adobe Flash 10.3 (including tweaks to improve Flash performance), ATI and Nvidia proprietary drivers support, EXT4 as the default filesystem as well as some minor tweaks.

Oxymentary: Oxygen (KDE) Icons For GNOME

Oxymentary - Oxygen icons in GNOME
(Nautilus running in Ubuntu 11.04 / Orta theme and Oxymentary icons)

Oxymentary is an Oxygen (KDE) icon pack for GNOME. The theme doesn't come with application icons (well, not with Gnome application icons anyway) but it has most of the icons for actions, emblems, mimetypes and so on. And when an icon doesn't exist in Oxymentary, it falls back to Elementary icon theme (if installed). There is still a lot of work to do, but this is the first release so be gentle :-)

Get A Minimalistic, Wingpanel-Like XFCE4 Setup [Xubuntu]

WebUpd8 reader Erlan has sent us a tip on getting more vertical screen space in Xubuntu. Using his tweak you can get the XFCE panel in Ubuntu 11.04 to overlap the unused part of the maximized applications titlebar - more or less like Wingpanel.

Here are a couple of screenshots:

XFCE minimal Xubuntu

Xubuntu 11.04 wingpanel

Placing window controls on the right is not mandatory. You can place the panel on the right and window controls on the left if you want. This is similar to getting the Gnome Panel to behave like "wingpanel", but for XFCE.

Gnome Shell Weather Extension

Gnome Shell Weather Extension

Gnome Shell Weather extension displays the weather next to the clock in Gnome Shell. Unfortunately there's no GUI to configure the extension so you must manually enter the YAHOO weather ID for your city in the extension.js file.

Firefox Beta Channel PPA For Ubuntu

Firefox 5.0 Ubuntu

Firefox 5.0 beta 2 has been uploaded to the semi-official Firefox-Next Launchpad PPA (now called "Firefox Beta Channel PPA") for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

Firefox Beta Channel PPA provides Firefox releases from the beta channel only, meaning you won't get highly unstable builds like the Mozilla Daily PPA. All new Firefox beta channel releases will be provided by this PPA, but with a delay because it takes some time to package new Firefox versions.

Advaicium: Adwaita Theme Ported To GTK2

If you use GNOME 3 and Adwaita theme, GTK2 applications look different (as in ugly) than GTK3 apps. That's why maximo1010 @ Ubuntuforums has ported Adwaita GTK3 theme to GTK2.

Wuala: Secure Dropbox Alternative (Cross-Platform)


Wuala is a secure online storage solution like Dropbox or SpiderOak which comes with a cross-platform client (runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX and you can also launch it via its website, without installing the Wuala client, useful when you're not using your computer).

Why use Wuala if you already have Dropbox? Well, if you care about security, you'll be glad to know that Wuala encrypts the data on your computer so no one can see your private data, not even Wuala employees. Which is something that Dropbox lacks. But it's not only that!

Last 2 Weeks Top Posts (Weeks 19, 20 - 2011)

System Monitor Extension Puts RAM, CPU Usage And Network Upload / Download Speed On Your GNOME Shell Top Bar

Gnome Shell system monitor extension

Here's yet another very useful GNOME Shell extension which serves as a replacement for an old Gnome Panel applet: "Gnome Shell System Monitor Applet".

"Gnome Shell System Monitor" extension displays the RAM, swap and CPU usage on the Gnome Shell top bar (apparently that's how it's called although I tend to call it the 'top panel'). The values are displayed in percentages but when clicked, you can see the actual values and you can also turn off/on the items that are displayed on the top bar:

Split Lossless Audio Files And Automatically Add Tags In Ubuntu With "Split Lossless" Nautilus Script [PPA]

Split Lossless

Split Lossless is a Nautilus script created by WebUpd8 reader CokiDVD to split single lossless audio files (ape, flac, wavpack) by .cue file into flac or mp3 (320kbps or 192kbps). Further more, the script also adds tags to the new files so all the resulting flac or mp3 files will have the artist, album, title and genre tags set up automatically.

We've covered the script before but a new version has been released, adding many improvements: the script now uses YAD (also used by Y PPA Manager) so the interface is cleaner compared to Zenity and also, it now comes with a PPA that includes all the dependencies (which cannot be found in the official Ubuntu repositories) so you only have to add one PPA to get everything working.

Skype Ubuntu Messaging Menu / NotifyOSD Integration

Skype Notifications Ubuntu

There's a very old thread @ Ubuntuforums which includes a python script to get NotifyOSD notifications for Skype. Since the first post, the python script has been improved by many users and it now provides both Ubuntu Messaging Menu integration (with all the features the Messaging Menu provides like the envelope icon changing color when you have a pending notification, etc.) as well as NotifyOSD notifications for Skype.

Using the script on Ubuntu Forums involves manual setup and the instructions are pretty clear but there are quite a few steps to follow. Also, the thread doesn't provide info on what dependencies you may need to install to get it working. So I've made a script which sets up most of the stuff automatically, however you still have to add a command in the Skype options manually to get it to work.

If you prefer to do this the manual way, download the improved Skype Notify by not_insane from UbuntuForums and follow the instructions inside. For an somewhat automated way, follow the instructions below.

GIMP And Inkscape Plugins To Publish Images To DeviantArt

Gimp publish to deviantart

Martin Owens has announced the release of two plugin that allow you to publish your images to DeviantArt with a single click from GIMP or Inkscape:

This is a BIG deal my friends and I’m very excited because not only do we have this functionality, but we have it FIRST, before ANY proprietary software package. That’s right, the stash API was only announced last week and here I am giving you the keys to brand spanking new functionality right from within your favourite art creation applications!

- Martin Owens

The Unarchiver: Finally A Free Software Tool To Extract RARv3 Archives

We finally have a free software tool to extract RARv3 archives on Linux. The news comes from a post on the Free Software Foundation (thanks to Peter Slavek who sent us the tip!) blog which presents a new tool that can extract archives in many different formats, including RARv3.

"Quicklist Editor For Ubuntu Unity Launcher": Create And Edit Quicklists Using A GUI

Unity launcher quicklists editor

Update: Ubuntu Tweak now supports editing quicklists.

The Unity launcher has a cool feature called "quicklists" that allows you to quickly access commonly used tasks for a specific application. Here's an example (also see the screenshot above):

Unity Quicklists Nautilus

Creating quicklists for an application is not very hard but it involves creating or editing a .desktop file manually which some may find a bit difficult. But it's now a lot easier to edit / create quicklists thanks to Quicklist Editor for Unity Launcher (yeah, that's its name, at least for now).

How To Easily Change The Resolution In VirtualBox Via Command Line [Quick Tip]

Ever wanted to change the resolution of a virtual machine (in VirtualBox) and couldn't find the resolution you want in the settings? You can easily do this using VBoxManager, a command line tool that lets you control various aspects of your virtual machines.

Textadept Is A Lightweight Cross-Platform Text Editor, Extensible Through Lua


Textadept is a cross-platform text editor for programmers, extensible through Lua scripting language.

I've used Textadept for a very short period of time but WebUpd8 reader Bruce Ingalls is using it for a while so below he will try to tell you his experience with Textadept.

Change GDM Theme / Background In Ubuntu With GDM Tweaker

GDM Tweaker

GDM Tweaker is a very simple application that allows tweaking the GDM login screen look: change the GDM background image, hide the username list, enable Compiz and change the GDM login screen icon or GTK theme.

VirtualBox 4.0.8 Released With GNOME Shell Support (For Fedora 15 And Ubuntu 11.04)

Fedora 15 GNOME Shell VirtualBox

The latest VirtualBox 4.0.8 finally comes with GNOME Shell support. I've tested it in Ubuntu 11.04, using a Fedora 15 virtual machine and Gnome Shell worked great. According to the changelog, it should work with both Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15:

3D support: fixed GNOME 3 rendering under Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15

GNOME Shell Workspace Indicator Extension

Gnome Shell Workspace Indicator

Here is yet another new GNOME Shell extension which I'm sure you'll find very useful: Workspace Indicator. The extension works in the same way as Indicator-Workspaces for Gnome 2: it displays your your current workspace number on the panel and lets you switch to a different workspace.

The extension has another "hidden" but interesting feature: it changes the workspace on scroll over the Workspace Indicator.

Zeitgeist Activity Log Manager Now Available In A PPA

Activity Log Manager

A quick update: Activity Log Manager, the application that lets you delete your Zeitgeist history or blacklist applications from being tracked by Zeitgeist is now available in the Zeitgeist PPA.

Gnome 3 Menu Mockups

Some applications are removing the traditional menus (see Firefox, Chrome and so on) so a page has been created to discuss possible changes to the GNOME 3 menus.

Let's take a look at some of the mockups available so far.

How To Remove Keyboard Indicator Icon From The Panel, But Keep The Language Selector [Quick Tip]

This is a tip sent by WebUpd8 reader Jeff. He writes:

The app-indicator applet has an ugly keyboard icon which is not monochrome like the rest. It appears when you are using another additional language. It is a terribly ugly icon that sits besides "USA" or any other language, e.g. "RUS"; clicking either would present a list of languages you added, to choose from.

To remove it and retain all functionality in the language-switch indicator, simply search as root (or "sudo gnome-search-tool") for "input-keyboard" and delete all the .png files. It has zero effect on the system and deletes only the icon up in the panel. The indicator itself is still functional minus the icon, in the form of "USA" or say "RUS".

So if you want a totally monochrome panel, without this ugly icon, this simple procedure would solve it.

BlueGriffon Web (WYSIWYG) Editor Reaches Version 1.0


WYSIWYG is an acronym for what you see is what you get. The term is used in computing to describe a system in which content displayed during editing appears very similar to the final output, which might be a printed document, web page, or slide presentation. [via Wikipedia]

BlueGriffon, an open source, cross-platform WYSIWYG editor has reached version 1.0. You can use it to edit / design web pages and supports CSS3 and HTML5, web forms, web fonts and more.

Keep Files From Showing Up In Unity (Dash) Or Other Programs That Use Zeitgeist With Activity Log Manager

Activity Log Manager (previously called "Zeitgeist Global Privacy" or "History Manager") is a new GUI tool that allows you to tweak the Zeitgeist history.

What's Zeitgeist?

"Zeitgeist logs user's activities and notifications (files opened, websites visited, conversations hold with other people, etc.) and makes the relevant information available to other applications". Starting with Ubuntu 11.04, Zeitgeist is installed by default in Ubuntu and is used by the new Unity menu called "Dash" (Applications / Files Places) as well as other applications such as Synapse, Sezen, Avant Window Navigator, DockBarX, Docky, Cairo Dock, Gnome Activity Journal and more. It will also be used in Gnome Shell.

Activity Log Manager

Activity Log Manager lets you delete part of the Zeitgeist history, blacklist some applications or prevent logging certain types of files as well as blacklist folders. This is useful if you want to keep some recent files from showing up in Dash (in Unity) or maybe just to exclude some private files or folders and so on.

Here are a few Zeitgeist Activity Log Manager screenshots with all the available options:

Activity Log Manager Zeitgeist
(Deleting Zeitgeist history)

New GNOME Shell Extensions That Provide A GNOME2-Like User Experience

Ron Yorston has created some pretty cool GNOME Shell extensions that "provide a user experience more akin to that of GNOME 2". Using these extensions you can move the clock next to your username, get an old-style menu, disable dynamic workspaces and place the favourites on the top panel.

Pinguy OS 11.04 Released With Classic GNOME 2.32.1 Desktop

Pinguy OS 11.04

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that comes with a lot of applications installed by default, trying to cover everyones needs. But it's not the default application selection what makes Pinguy OS so interesting and easy to use (though it's a plus if you use most of the default applications in Pinguy OS) but Pinguy's attention to detail: every single aspect of the desktop is carefully customized to provide a great out of the box experience. From drivers (and Compiz enabled by default) to pre-installed Firefox addons, themes and so much more from both the Ubuntu and Linux Mint worlds.

Pinguy OS 11.04 (based on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal) has been released yesterday. The new Pinguy OS comes with GNOME 2.32.1 and uses the classic GNOME desktop while Unity has been completely removed from the CD. Let's take a look at what's new in the latest Pinguy OS 11.04. Read on!

Real Files / Folders Search Unity Lens: Unity Place Filesearch

Unity Place Filesearch

Unity has a "Files & Folder" lens (place) to search for recently used files or folders but it can't be used to search for files or folders you've never accessed. But there's a brand new Unity lens developed by David Briscoe called "Unity Place Filesearch" that you can use to search any files or folders on your system.

Unity Place Filesearch can also be configured: you can set what folders to be included in the search (by default it's only your home folder) as well as what to ignore. Personally, I find this a lot more flexible and useful then the default Unity Files & Folders (if you do too, you can even remove the default Unity Files & Folder lens).

Custom Unity Launcher To Reboot In A Different OS

Unity Reboot Custom Launcher

I triple boot on my netbook and dual boot on my main computer so I wanted a quick way to reboot in a different Linux distribution. Using the instructions in our previous post on how to reboot in Windows from Ubuntu, I've created a script that creates a custom Unity launcher you can use to reboot in some other Linux distribution (or any other OS) you have installed via quicklists.

The launcher will not change the GRUB menu entries order. When GRUB starts, the first GRUB menu item is highlighted - selecting to reboot from a this custom launcher quicklist will highlight the menu entry you set and will boot it if you don't select a different option in the GRUB menulist (so the GRUB menu will still be displayed if you've set a GRUB timeout higher than 0).

Expected Changes In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot [Ubuntu Developer Summit Overview]

UDS Budapest Hungary Ubuntu Developer Summit

It would take me a week just to write a sketch of all the new things that were discussed on the Ubuntu Developer Summit that took place in Budapest this week (which has ended today), so I'll only write a short overview of what's to come in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

Off-topic: a recent Blogger outage (which also prevented us and a few million other users from posting in the last 24 hours) removed our last two posts from UDS so I've added a bit of info from those too. Hopefully the posts will be restored.

LightDM To Be Default Display Manager In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot [UDS]

We really need a new login experience in Ubuntu and this could only be achieved by patching GDM or by switching to some other display manager. And since LightDM sounds really great, today it was decided to switch to LightDM by default in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

LightDM is - as the name says - much lighter then GDM and is very easy to theme (it uses HTML, CSS and Javascript). That means we'll finally get login screen themes back - and hopefully a really cool login theme by default. But that's not all: we might even be able to login using an OpenID or Facebook, etc. That's not something that was considered to be included by default but it's nice to know it's possible and you can do it with some tweaking.

Further more, LightDM can be shared with other Ubuntu flavors and the Lubuntu developers have already expressed their interest in LightDM.

Trying out LightDM

Here is a LightDM screenshot without using any theme - that's because I couldn't get the Webkit theme to work:


Important: do not set LightDM as default yet. You can try it out without setting it as default by installing it from the main Ubuntu 11.04 official repositories or you can get a more up-to-date version via this PPA, then install "xserver-xephyr" and finally run "lightdm --test-mode". More info here (note: creating a lightdm.conf file causes LightDM to fail on my computer).

There's even an online LightDM greeter available - but remember, the theme is just an example, it can look any way you want it to. Try it out @ http://people.ubuntu.com/~robert-ancell/lightdm/greeter.html (you can look at the page source to see how to theme LightDM).

Check out the LightDM session notes here.

Ubuntu 11.10 Will Stay With Evolution But Switch To Thunderbird If It Integrates With The Desktop [UDS]

Even though in the beginning of the default email client session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, it looked like it's certain that Evolution will stay as default in Ubuntu 11.10, towards the end of the session things changed and it was decided to stay with Evolution for now BUT switch to Thunderbird as the default email client in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot as long as it integrates with the desktop.

The Thunderbird desktop integration is not just about Unity (Launcher badge or quicklists) but also E-D-S, contacts as well as better integration with the GTK theme. And of course, there's also the CD space issue.

To see when / if Thunderbird becomes default in Ubuntu 11.10, keep an eye on the default email client blueprint - when all the "work" items are marked as done, Thunderbird should be added as default (the blueprint needs to be updated firstly with todays notes, etc.).

You can read the session notes here.

Dropbox-Share Fix For Latest Dropbox Changes

Dropbox Share

Dropbox Share is a tool to easily share files using Dropbox. Using it, you can right click any file or folder on your computer (outside of your Dropbox folder), select Scripts > Dropbox Share and as soon as the files/folders are uploaded, the links are copied to the clipboard and you're notified through NotifyOSD. Also, the shared files get an emblem so you know which files you've shared. There's also an Unity version which you can add to the Unity launcher and use drag'n'drop to share files or folders.

Déjà Dup Backup Tool: Default In Ubuntu 11.10 If The Work To Integrate It Gets Done

Déjà Dup is an easy to use backup tool that supports local, remote, or cloud backup locations, such as Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files. 

Déjà Dup was proposed to be included by default in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot but there was nothing official regarding its approval until now.

However, in an email in which he proposes Déjà Dup for inclusion in GNOME, Michael Terry, the Déjà Dup developer (he's also an Ubuntu member) confirms that his application has been approved for inclusion in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot by default:

Mixxx: Free Cross-Platform Mixing Software For DJs


Mixxx is a free, open source mixing software for DJs, providing features for both new and advanced users. It runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.

Compiz Modal Dialogs, Some Useless Plugins To Be "Killed" [Ubuntu 11.10 Developer Summit News]

The desktop-dx-o-compiz UDS session ended about 1 hour ago. Even though the discussion about this was very short, the session note has a link for a new "modal dialogs" (GNOME Shell already has this by the way) which you can see in the screenshot below:

Compiz modal dialogs

This is a window attached to a parent window. There are some issues with the modal dialogs: the parent window turns gray which looks just more or less like a window that stops responding so that's a bit confusing. One suggestion was to make freezing windows turn red but we'll see how this issue is addressed later on.

UDS-O News: Unity 2D Will Switch From Metacity To Compiz, Firefox To Remain Default [Ubuntu 11.10]

Firstly, sorry about the lack of updates these days, I'm currently in Budapest at the Ubuntu Developer Summit and I had some issues with my netbook. Then I got stuck in traffic and well, today wasn't a good day for science :)

The Ubuntu Developer Summit has started today and some very interesting discussions have already taken place:
  • Unity 2D will switch from Metacity to Compiz (Compiz can run on different backends, including non accelerated ones). Also, the classic Gnome desktop will be removed from the CD but we already knew that. Session details
  • The default browser session was canceled so Firefox will remain default in 11.10. Not a big surprise really.
  • The Deja Dup session also took place today but from what I've understood, the Deja Dup inclusion by default is still under discussion. You can read the meeting notes here.

Up next: Default e-mail client session. Update: this was rescheduled for tomorrow.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll get my netbook working and bring you some more news soon.

Also see: Possible New Default Applications In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Configurable NotifyOSD Bubbles For Ubuntu: Move, Close On Click, Change Colors And More

Configurable notifyosd Ubuntu 11.04

NotifyOSD - the default notification bubbles in Ubuntu - don't allow any kind of customization: you can't change the colors, screen position and you can't close them.

Leolik provides a PPA that allows you to customize the Ubuntu notifications:
  • colors
  • size of the bubbles, font size, icon size, corner radius
  • opacity
  • timeout
  • position on the screen (you can place NotifyOSD notifications in any screen corner)
  • disable fade out
  • click anywhere on the notification to close it

The last two options have been added Faheem Pervez. Oh and all the options above are of course optional.

Here is a video I've just recorded to see exactly how everything works:

More GNOME 3 Themes: Hope, Adwance GTK3 And Gaia GNOME Shell Theme

A few days ago we saw Atolm, Orta and DrakFire Caffe GNOME Shell / GTK3 themes and today I'll present you some more GTK3 / GNOME Shell themes which have just been released: Hope (Hope theme ported to GTK3), Adwance (Ambiance ported to GTK3) GTK3 themes as well as a new GNOME Shell theme called Gaia.

$25 "USB Stick PC" Running Ubuntu

David Braben, an UK game developer has created a tiny computer which is about the same size as an USB stick, should cost about $25 and it will ship with Ubuntu by default.

USB computer Ubuntu
(The USB computer running Ubuntu 9.04)

The USB computer is going to be used in teaching computer programming to children and will be distributed by a new charitable foundation called "Raspberry Pi Foundation" within the next 12 months.

YaRock (Music Player) 0.0.47, Released


YaRock is a very simple music player for Linux written in Qt (it doesn't install KDE libraries so it can be used under GNOME without KDE services, unlike Amarok for instance) that doesn't have many features for now, but what's very cool about it is the multiple views: album, artist, track, genre, year view or folder view. Every part of the UI is very well though which makes YaRock a pleasure to use.

Nautilus Elementary Ambiance Mod [Theme Tweaks]

If you use Nautilus Elementary (either in Ubuntu 10.10 or 11.04) and the default Ubuntu Ambiance theme, here's a nice tweak which makes Nautilus Elementary integrate better:

Nautilus Elementary Ambiance mod

How To Display Network Upload / Download Speed On The Panel In Ubuntu

Indicator sysmon

Indicator-Sysmonitor (System Monitor Indicator) is a really interesting Ubuntu indicator because it allows you to display pretty much anything on the Unity (or GNOME) panel by using a simple command or a bash script.

(Speaking of Indicator-Sysmonitor: a recent update brought sensors support (make sure you install hddtemp and lm-sensors), but this post isn't about that)

Currently there is no AppIndicator to display the actual network usage as in the actual values on the Unity panel in Ubuntu. We have Indicator Multiload but it only displays a graph so I wrote a script for Indicator-Sysmonitor to display the network upload/download speed as well as CPU and Memory usage (Indicator Sysmonitor already has CPU and Memory usage but if you want to use a script, you must get your script to display the CPU and Memory usage independently).

Update: I've replaced "up" and "down" in the AppIndicator with up/down arrows (thanks to manequin for the tip!) so this is how it looks now:

System monitor indicator