Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Google Music Frame (Nuvola Player) Gets Last.fm, Multimedia Keys Support

Google Music Frame

Google Music Frame, an an application that integrates Google Music in the Ubuntu sound menu and adds NotifyOSD notifications got two new very important features in the latest daily PPA builds: multimedia keys support and Last.fm scrobbling (thanks to an user script that you must install manually).

Also, the daily builds PPA now provides packages for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot too. Soon, it will also support Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

AwOken Icon Theme 2.2 Brings Gnome Shell Tray Icons Support, More

Awoken icon theme 2.2

AwOken, an amazing Gnome (works great with both Gnome 2 and Gnome 3) icon theme was updated yesterday, getting support for Gnome Shell tray icons. The new version (2.2) also comes with fully revamped audio, network, battery and arrow icons as well as 371 new small size icons and some new/revamped icons.

Here are a few screenshots:

Awoken icon theme

Double Commander 0.5, Released (Dual Panel File Manager)

Double Commander Ubuntu

Double Commander is a very interesting cross-platform file manager inspired by Total Commander (it even supports Total Commander plugins). It uses two panels side by side and comes with a huge feature list: tabbed interface, multi-rename tool, embedded terminal, internal text editor and file viewer, browse archives (ZIP, TGZ, LZMA, RPM, RAR, DEB, etc.), extended search and is fully customizable.

Ambiance Blue: A Cool Blueish Ambiance Theme Pack (GTK2/GTK3/GNOME Shell)

Ambiance Blue is a pack that includes GTK2, GTK3, GNOME Shell and Avant Window Navigator themes, especially designed for those who like the Ambiance theme style but don't like the orange or simply want to try a fresh style while keeping the overall Ambiance look.

Since the pack comes with both GTK2 and GTK3 themes, you can use Ambiance Blue in both GNOME 2 (Ubuntu 11.04 or older) as well as GNOME 3 (Ubuntu 11.10) - or other Linux distributions, but for the GTK3 theme you'll need to install Unico GTK3 engine.

Restore DELETE Key For Moving Files To Trash In Ubuntu 11.10 / Fedora 15 [Quick Tip]

In GNOME 3 (be it Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity or GNOME Shell, etc.), you can't move files or folders to trash by pressing the DELETE key anymore and you must use CTRL + DELETE instead. But you can restore the Gnome 2 behavior - just follow the steps below.

Save Pidgin Passwords In System Keyring Instead Of Plain Text

Pidgin plain text password

By default, Pidgin saves all your passwords in plain text (look under ~/.purple/accounts.xml). About four years ago there was a bug report that asked to encrypt the passwords, but the developers marked the bug as "wontfix". Update: you can read about the reasons behind this, here.

Here's where Pidgin Gnome Keyring plugin comes in: this plugin will make Pidgin store your passwords in the system keyring. One note though: the plugin will not prevent other plugins from writing passwords in the accounts.xml file (I don't use any such plugins so I can't give you an example).

Update: Despite the plugin being called "Pidgin GNOME Keyring", it was ported from gnome-keyring to libsecret in February 2015.

Faience: New GNOME 3 Icon Theme By Tiheum

Faience icon theme

Tiheum, who is best known for the Faenza icon theme and Equinox GTK themes has started working on a new icon theme for GNOME 3 / GNOME Shell called "Faience". The theme is work in progress (this is the first public release) and it currently depends on the original Faenza for many icons, but it looks really promising and it already comes with 3 folder color variations.

Integrate Google Music With Ubuntu Sound Menu / Notifications

Google Music Frame Ubuntu

Google Music is a service that allows you to upload up to 20,000 songs which you can then listen from any computer and even your phone, for free. Google Music is only available in the US for now and requires an invitation (you can request an invite from its main page).

While the Google Music Manager is available for Linux, the service uses a web interface for playing the songs, so there is no desktop integration. But you can get Ubuntu Sound Menu integration and NotifyOSD notifications thanks to an application called Google Music Frame:

Window Controls For Maximized Windows Hidden By Default, More Updates [Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot]

Unity 3D Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Unity 4.10.2 was uploaded to the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot repositories last night, bringing lots of changes. The most important change is that window controls are now hidden for maximized windows and are displayed on mouse over.

Mount EXT4, EXT3 Or EXT2 Partitions In Windows 7 Or XP

EXT4 Windows

Ext2Fsd is a file system driver that allows accessing (both reading and writing) EXT2, EXT3 or EXT4 partitions from Windows. It works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Ext2Fsd has limited EXT4 support and by default it will load the filesystems in read-only mode, but you can force this if you really have to write on EXT4 partitions from Windows (this is not recommended). Using it, your EXT partitions will be displayed just like native NTFS or FAT partitions, being accessible from Windows Explorer.

Installing / Using Classic GNOME Desktop In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot will use Unity (with Compiz) as the main session and Unity 2D as a fallback mode for those computers which cannot run the Compiz-based Unity. GNOME Shell will be (well... is already) available in the Ubuntu 11.10 repositories and can easily be installed, but how about the classic GNOME desktop?

Well, you can use the classic GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, but it will be the GNOME 3 classic desktop and not the old GNOME 2. To use it, install "gnome-session-fallback" using Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic or use the command below:
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

gThumb 2.13.3, Gnome Subtitles 1.2, More [WebUpd8 PPA Updates]

Gnome Subtitles 1.2

GNOME Subtitles

Gnome Subtitles is an application that you can use to edit subtitles and among its main features are: support for most common text-based subtitle formats, video previewing, timing synchronization and more.

Ubuntu Gmail Notifier GmailWatcher Gets New UI, Instant Notifications [Oneiric]


GmailWatcher is a Gmail notifier especially designed for Ubuntu. It supports multiple accounts, labels (you can select for which labels to receive notifications) and comes with Ubuntu Messaging Menu integration / NotifyOSD support.

The application displays the unread email count in the Ubuntu Messaging Menu and clicking it, you can see details such as the sender, title and so on, each under its label - all without having to open your browser.

Drakfire Dream Suite: New GTK2/GTK3/GNOME Shell Theme Pack

A new GTK2/GTK3/GNOME Shell theme pack has been released: Drakfire Dream Suite. Having a theme that supports both GTK2 and GTK3 applications is pretty important because not all applications support GTK3 yet. So for instance if you run Ubuntu 11.10 or Fedora 15, you still have applications like Rhythmbox, GIMP, Shotwell and lots more that use GTK2.

DockBarX 0.46 Released With New Autohide Options, More

DockBarX 0.46

DockBarX, a task manager that works as a GNOME Panel applet, as an Avant Window Navigator applet or as a stand-alone dock, has reached version 0.46. The new version comes with new autohide options for the dock: dodge windows or dodge the active window, Unity progress bars and badges support as well as dynamic quicklists.

Video: Recent Changes In Ubuntu 11.10

Since I was gone for two weeks and there were quite a few changes in Ubuntu 11.10 during this period, I've made a video with all the new features / improvements: