Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.


I'm going on holiday for the next two weeks (I'm leaving in a few hours) so there will be no new posts or WebUpd8 PPA updates until I get back.

See you in two weeks!

How To Switch Between GDM, LightDM, MDM Or KDM In Ubuntu [Quick Tip]

GDM 3 Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot
(GDM 3 in Ubuntu 11.10)

Let's say you have both LightDM and GDM display managers installed on your computer (running Ubuntu, Linux Mint or any other Debian-based Linux distribution). LightDM is default but you want to switch to GDM - to do this, run the command below in a terminal:

Install Hamster Indicator (Time Tracking Tool) In Ubuntu

Hamster Indicator Ubuntu

Hamster applet is a tool that helps you keep track on how much time you've spent during various activities. For more information, see the Hamster Project page.

CPU Frequency Scaling Indicator, Fixed For Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Indicator CPUFreq Ubuntu 11.10

CPUFreq Indicator is a CPU frequency scaling GNOME panel applet replacement.

A new CPUFreq Indicator version has been uploaded to its PPA for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. The new version comes with some very important fixes, such as: the bug that caused CPUFreq Indicator to only manage one core as well as the bug that was causing it not to work at all in Ubuntu 11.04 have been fixed for Ubuntu 11.10. The latest version also comes with a new AppIndicator icon.

How To Get Hardware Information In Linux

1. lshw

lshw is a command line utility that provides detailed hardware information such as firmware versions, BIOS info, motherboard, and memory configuration, CPU info and so on.

Lubuntu Daily ISO Finally Available For Download

Lubuntu 11.10

After 3 unofficial releases, Lubuntu was accepted to become a part of the Ubuntu family back at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest. It's still not 100% certain that Lubuntu will become an official Ubuntu flavor starting with version 11.10, but it's getting there, especially since you can finally download Lubuntu 11.10 daily builds starting today.

Julien Lavergne, the Lubuntu project leader:

Last 2 Weeks Top Posts (Weeks 28, 29 - 2011)

Install Zukitwo GTK2/3 Theme With A Fixed Unity Panel Background [PPA]

Speaking of Zukitwo, as you probably know, the GTK2/3 theme is available in the WebUpd8 Themes PPA for quite some time (and is constantly updated).

Well, because the theme was especially designed to be used with a custom panel background (which you have to edit in GIMP) and because you can't use a custom panel background in Unity, I've enabled a tweak for Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 which makes the theme use a regular panel background by default (dark) so you don't have to tweak anything by yourself.

Mikogo: Cross-Platform Desktop Sharing And Web Conferencing Tool

Mikogo linux

Mikogo is a freeware, cross-platform desktop sharing tool. Starting with the latest version 4 - released a few days ago -, Mikogo is also available for Linux, in addition to the already existing Windows and Mac clients. There is also a web client but it lacks most of the Mikogo features so it can only be used for viewing.

Mikogo can be used for web conferencing, online meetings, presentations or remote support and comes with built-in file transfer and chat features. It doesn't come with native audio conferencing but it does support it through regular phone calls. For more info, see the Mikogo audio conferencing page.

Lubuntu 11.10 Default Theme "Ozone2" Gets Revamped

Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu flavor that uses LXDE. According to the Ubuntu Developer Summit that took place earlier this year in Budapest, Lubuntu will finally be considered an official Ubuntu flavor starting with 11.10.

The default Lubuntu theme - Ozone2 - has been revamped for Lubuntu 11.10:

Lubuntu 11.10 Ozone2

Nautilus 3 With Ambiance Mockups

After seeing how Nautilus looks using the latest Ambiance theme with dark toolbars in Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot, WebUpd8 reader Erkka has created two mockups on how Nautilus would look like with a dark toolbar or with the toolbar above the sidebar:

Glimpse Lets You Test Unstable Applications Without Breaking Your System

Shnatsel, a member of the Elementary OS team, has created Glimpse, an application that lets you test unstable applications without interfering with the stable versions:

You open Glimpse, click “Update sandbox”, and the latest version of the player arrives in a few minutes, not hours. And if you find that all the music files in the sandbox are broken, you think “thanks to Glimpse, my files are safe,” click the “Purge sandbox files” button, and your original music is available in the sandbox again.

Glimpse supports elementary OS and Ubuntu for now, but it may support other Linux distributions in the future.

Glimpse has not been accepted as an elementary application yet because the UI is not exactly pretty. But you can try it out already - read all about it @ Shnatsel's blog post: We've Just Revolutionized Alpha Testing.

P.s.: the Glimpse Ubuntu profile ("glimpse-profile-ubuntu") has not been built in the PPA yet so skip its installation for now. It should be available in a few hours.

New Window Switcher, Ambiance With Dark Toolbars [Oneiric Updates]

A recent update finally brought dark toolbars for Ambiance, but that's not the only interesting recent change in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. There's also a new window switcher (which currently uses CTRL + TAB instead of ALT + TAB by default, but this is probably temporarily - at least according to the tooltip in CompizConfig Settings Manager) as well as new Compiz Grid plugin animations.

Character Palette Replacement With Ubuntu AppIndicator Support: Chars Indicator

Chars Indicator

Chars Indicator is a simple Ubuntu appindicator that serves as a replacement for the old Character Palette GNOME Panel applet. It allows you to store some special characters that aren't available on your keyboard directly and easily access them without having to use the full Character Map each time you need them.

Get Your Webcam To Work With Google Plus Hangouts Or GTalk

If your webcam doesn't work (it's not detected) with the new Google Plus Hangouts or with Google Talk Video, here's a possible way to get it working.

VirtualBox 4.1 Released With GUI Option To Clone VMs, More

VirtualBox 4.1

VirtualBox 4.1 hs been released today, bringing some new GUI features like support for cloning VMs and a new wizard for copying virtual disks. Other changes:
  • Experimental support for PCI passthrough for Linux hosts
  • Enhanced wizard for creating new virtual disks
  • Raised the memory limit for 64-bit hosts to 1TB
  • Windows guests: Experimental WDDM graphics driver, supporting Windows Aero and providing Direct3D support using a cleaner approach
  • New Networking Mode UDP Tunnel: allows to interconnect VMs running on different hosts easily and transparently
  • Experimental support for SATA hard disk hotplugging available with VBoxManage

Ambiance To Get A Dark Toolbar, Compiz Modal Dialogs Update [Oneiric]

Ambiance, the default Ubuntu theme, will get a dark toolbar very soon. The news comes from Andrea Cimitan who has posted a screenshot on Google+:

Ambiance Dark toolbar
(The theme is not yet available in Oneiric)

FBuntu: Facebook Notifier With Ubuntu Messaging Menu Integration


FBuntu is an application that integrates Facebook into the Ubuntu Messaging Menu and displays NotifyOSD notifications for each new Facebook notification you receive.

Android App To Send And Receive Text Messages Via Gmail Or GTalk: DesktopSMS

DesktopSMS is an Android application that forwards SMS messages from your phone to GMail or Google Talk. You can even reply to these text messages, either using Gmail or using your favourite IM client (it needs to support Google Talk).


2 More GNOME Shell Extensions: CPU Temperature, Window Overlay Icons

GNOME Shell CPU Temperature is an extension that displays the CPU temperature on the top bar. The extension is not new, but it never worked for me until recently when the extension got support for lm-sensors. 

Unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu Lands In Oneiric, New Power Indicator Available [Oneiric Updates]

2 quick Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot updates:

- The unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu has finally arrived in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot:

Messaging Menu Oneiric

28 Beautiful HD Wallpapers You`ve Seen On WebUpd8

Many of our readers have requested we post the wallpapers used in various articles on WebUpd8. So here they are:

1. ".56"

Wallpaper 56

2. (no name)


3. (no name)


4. Aqua Pro

Wallpaper Aqua Pro

Adobe Releases Flash Player 11 Beta (64bit Too)

Adobe has released Flash Player 11 beta, the new version being available for both 32bit and 64bit (yes, for Linux too!).

Expected Changes In GNOME Shell 3.2

Here's a list of what to expect in GNOME Shell 3.2 (to be released on September 28), according to Allan Day, one of the main GNOME Shell developers:

- Notification counters:

GNOME Shell 3.2 notification counters

- A new look for the window picker decorations:

New GNOME Shell 3.2 window picker decorations

What I wonder is: why only for the window picker? It it looks good, it should really be used in Adwaita (the default GNOME 3 theme). But maybe you like Adwaita the way it currently looks - I for one would like to see some more polish for a default theme.

- A revamped login screen theme. Finally!

0 A.D. Alpha 6 Released (Age Of Empires Like RTS Game)

0 A.D. is an Age of Empires like real-time strategy game. The game is open source and is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

The sixth 0 A.D. alpha was released a few days ago, bringing a huge list of improvements such as:

5 Beautiful Plank Themes

Plank is new dock for Linux written in Vala, developed by the Docky team.

1. Glass Pill:

Glass Pill Plank theme


Get Rid Of PPA "404 Not Found" Messages When Running "apt-get update"

PPA 404 errors

If you type the wrong PPA address when adding a PPA or you add a PPA that doesn't provide packages for your Ubuntu version, you'll get a "404 Not Found" error message when running "apt-get update".

These errors are pretty much harmless (though they probably slow down "apt-get update" a bit) but if you want to get rid of them anyway, you must disable the PPAs that cause the 404 errors via Software Sources. If you want an easier, automated way to disable the PPAs that cause these errors, give "fix404" a try.

First Ubuntu 11.10 LightDM Greeter (Theme) Screenshot

As you probably know, LightDM has replaced GDM in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. A "LightDM Greeter" is a login screen theme.

An initial implementation of what will probably be the default LightDM login screen theme ("Unity Greeter") for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot has just been uploaded to Launchpad:

GDM3Setup: GUI To Change GDM3 Wallpaper, Theme, Logo And More


Last week we've posted about changing the GNOME 3 login screen background / GTK3 theme via command line but if you want to use a GUI for this, you'll be glad to know that one already exists: GDM3Setup.

GDM3Setup is a simple GUI tool to tweak GDM3 (GNOME3 login screen). Using it, you can change the following GDM3 settings: wallpaper, GTK3 theme, icon theme, logo, disable the login screen user list or restart buttons.

Faenza Icons For LibreOffice Toolbar

Rho from seekngeek, has created a Faenza icon pack for the LibreOffice toolbar, based on Kado20es' work. The icon pack is still in beta but it looks great already:

LibreOffice Faenza toolbar icons

LibreOffice Faenza Icon pack will only replace the LibreOffice toolbar icons with Faenza monochrome icons and will not affect the LibreOffice application icons. Also, you don't have to use Faenza as the system icon theme to use the LibreOffice Faenza icons!

Pinguy OS For Netbooks Released: Ping-Eee OS 11.04

Ping-Eee OS

Pinguy has released Ping-Eee OS 11.04, an Ubuntu-based remaster especially designed for netbooks:

This was built and compiled using the ASUS Eee 901 Netbook and designed from the ground up to run on netbooks.

A Cool Dock For GNOME Shell: Unity 2D Launcher

Unity 2D GNOME Shell

There's a new cool dock in town and it works perfectly with GNOME Shell. Actually, it's not new and you've seen it in lots of screenshots or you may even use it already but maybe you didn't know that you don't have to run Unity 2D to use it: the Unity 2D Launcher.

Free Linux Compression Utilities Benchmark

Shnatsel, member of the elementary OS team, has recently stumbled upon a benchmark of free Linux compression utilities and the code that generates it. There were some issues with the script so he fixed it and here are the results:

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 Has Been Released [Screenshots And Video]

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot alpha 2 has been released today. Here's a recap of all the changes in Oneiric since alpha 1.

"Recent Notifications" Indicator Keeps A History Of Recent NotifyOSD Notifications

Recent Notifications AppIndicator

Recent Notifications is a GNOME panel applet that displays a history of recent NotifyOSD notifications. We've covered it before so check out our previous posts for more info.

Well, since you can't use GNOME applets in Ubuntu 11.04, the applet is available as an AppIndicator (for a while now but I've missed the update). But there's some bad news: in the GNOME applet to AppIndicator transition, "Recent Notifications" lost some features, most importantly: the option to blacklist applications from showing up in the recent notifications history.

GNOME 3 Email Notifier "Mailnag" 0.1 Released

Mailnag GNOME 3 email notifier

Mailnag is an application that notifies you about new emails you receive via the new GNOME 3 notifications system. It works with both POP3 and IMAP servers (and yes, it works with Gmail too) and looks pretty much like Popper (it's actually a Popper fork).

Unity Mail Gets GNOME Keyring Support, Graphical Configuration Dialog

Unity Mail

Unity Mail is a Unity-specific application to display the email unread count on the Unity launcher.

Unity Mail features:
  • Display unread email count on the Unity launcher
  • Unity quicklists to compose new email, inbox, etc. (Gmail only)
  • Works with any IMAP4 server (Gmail configuration is added automatically)
  • Multiple accounts support
  • NotifyOSD notifications
  • customizable quicklists

Unity Mail was updated today, the new version (0.5.3) bringing GNOME Keyring support so the passwords are no longer stored in plain text. Also, Unity Mail now comes with a GUI which allows you to configure it so you no longer have to edit any config file manually:

Easily Install Extra Applications In Fedora Using Autoplus Or Fedora Utils

Autoplus and Fedora Utils are two "post installation" scripts for Fedora which you can use to easily install applications that are not available in the main Fedora repositories, such as Adobe Flash, codecs, Google Earth, Skype, Sun Java and more.

Autohide Added To DockBarX v0.45

(DockBarX running as an Avant Window Navigator applet)

DockBarX is a GNOME Panel / AWN applet and last month it also got an option to run as a stand-alone dock (run "dockx" to launch it) but it was missing autohide, a very important feature for a dock.

Well, autohide was added to DockBarX 0.45, released today. There's no intellihide and you can't customize the autohide behavior yet, but this is an important step and we might see this in a future release.

Modal Dialogs Compiz Plugin Lands in Ubuntu 11.10 [Oneiric Updates]

Modal dialogs Unity Compiz

The Compiz modal dialogs finally landed in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot today. There was some initial work for this, but the actual modal dialogs Compiz plugin has just been uploaded to Oneiric.

Here's a video demoing the new Compiz modal dialogs (Unity 3D):

Last 2 Weeks Top Posts (Weeks 25, 26 - 2011)

How To Change GNOME 3 Login Screen (GDM3) Background / Theme [Quick Tip]


Unfortunately, some of the applications (like GDM Tweaker) you could use to change the GDM login screen background / GTK theme no longer work with GNOME 3 / GDM 3, so here is how to change the GDM3 theme or background manually, via command line.

Install Terminator With Built-In "Quake" Mode

Terminator terminal

Terminator is a very cool terminal Emulator for GNOME. It supports tabs and notifications, you can get multiple terminals in the same window and many other cool features.

Terminator 0.96 is supposed to get "Quake mode" (like Guake or Yakuake; this mode lets you hide/unhide the terminal using a keyboard shortcut in a Quake-like drop-down), but it's been almost an year since the last release and this version still hasn't been released so I've built Terminator from BZR in the WebUpd8 unstable PPA so you can use the new "Quake mode" feature even though version 0.96 hasn't been released yet.

AriOS 3.0 Released [Ubuntu 11.04 Remaster]

AriOS 3.0

AriOS is a really interesting Ubuntu remaster that comes with a clean design and a large default application selection, especially useful for those with poor or no Internet connectivity.

The latest AriOS 3.0 is based on Ubuntu 11.04, but it doesn't come with Unity and uses Avant Window Navigator instead: an instance running as a launcher on the left (with DockBarX as the task manager) and another AWN instance on the top right edge of the screen which tries to replicate the initial version of Wingpanel and only displays appindicators / notification area.

Thunderbird Made Default In Ubuntu 11.10, Final Default Email Client Decision Not Yet Taken

Thunderbird Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

According to a recent change, Thunderbird is now the default email client in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, replacing Evolution. The update should be available for Oneiric users in a few hours.

But this doesn't mean Thunderbird will be default in the final Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot release because according to the default email client blueprint, the final decision has not been taken yet. We should find out if Thunderbird will stay as default sometime around Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 3, after both Thunderbird and Evolution will be evaluated:

gNatty: Ubuntu 11.04 Remaster With GNOME 3 (Includes Both GNOME Shell And Unity)


gNatty is an Ubuntu remaster based on Ubuntu 11.04 which includes GNOME 3.0 packages via the UGR (Ubuntu GNOME Remix) project as well as the ricotz/testing PPA.

The customization only includes GNOME 3, so everything else is similar to Ubuntu 11.04. An important aspect of gNatty is that you can run both GNOME Shell and Unity (3D) as long as your computer supports them, by simply selecting one of the two in the GDM login screen as you can see in the short video below (gNatty running in VirtualBox):

Unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu On The Way [Mockup]

Messaging Menu MeMenu

According to a recent update to the Ubuntu Wiki Messaging Menu page, the MeMenu will be integrated into the Messaging Menu. Further more, the MeMenu Ubuntu wiki page now says it's obsolete and will be replaced "by an IM status section in the messaging menu", which makes it pretty clear that the MeMenu and Messaging Menu unification is about to happen.