Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Gnome Shell Focus Effects Extension

GNOME Shell focus effects extension

Florian (who's also behind the unofficial GNOME Shell System Monitor extension) has created a new extension called Focus Effects that allows you to add custom effects on window focus / blur.

According to Florian, the extension has been created to show what can be done using Clutter and to give ideas for developing fun GNOME Shell extensions similar to the Compiz plugins.

Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell Edition Screenshots

Pinguy OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that comes with many popular applications, tweaks and other customizations by default.

Pinguy OS 11.10 will come with two editions: a GNOME Shell edition as well as a GNOME 2.3x edition (either using the old GNOME 2 or using Mate, a GNOME 2.3x fork). The release date is not yet known, but it's usually a month after the Ubuntu release (though considering there will be 2 editions this time, it might take longer).

Pinguy has posted some Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell edition screenshots on the official blog and it looks great so far! Judging from the screenshots, it seems like Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell edition will continue to use some of its old features: Docky or Conky by default, but also integrate some of the best GNOME Shell extensions: from the Music extension to System Monitor, GPaste, and so on.

Install Minitube 1.6 (YouTube Desktop Application) In Ubuntu


Minitube is an application that lets you watch YouTube videos without Flash Player.

Cover Thumbnailer 0.8.3 Adds Nautilus 3.x Support

Cover thumbnailer nautilus 3.x

Cover Thumbnailer is an application that tweaks Nautilus to display images as folder thumbnails, useful for regular image folders or music folders that come with cover art:

Extended Places Menu GNOME Shell Extension

Extended places menu GNOME Shell extension

Extended Places Menu is a new GNOME Shell extension based on the official Places Menu extension, but with some extra features like:
  • open file system as root
  • submenu for quickly launching VirtualBox machines (can be enabled/disabled in the preferences)
  • submenu for FTP sites (can be enabled/disabled in the preferences) - supported clients: Filezilla and gFTP
  • collapsable bookmarks
  • a submenu for custom actions that you can define in the preferences

How To Move Unity Launcher To The Bottom Of The Screen [Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot]

Unity launcher bottom

Thanks to an unofficial Compiz plugin, you can now move the Unity (only works with Unity 3D!) launcher to the bottom of the screen. Sooner or later, this just had to happen since this was probably the most requested Unity feature.

The custom bottom Unity launcher can be configured just like the default launcher and supports all the built-in customizations such as autohide, blacklight modes, etc., though there are no new options. You can't move it back to the left using regular settings though, but this can easily be done by simply removing the plugin (don't worry, you just have to remove a file if you want to go back to the regular Unity launcher).

With this "tweak", the lens icons will be moved to the top. Here's a screenshot:

Install GPaste In Ubuntu Via PPA (Native GNOME Shell Clipboard Manager)


GPaste is a clipboard management tool which comes with a command line client as well as a GNOME Shell extension. The application is very simple and doesn't support images, files and so on.

Configurable NotifyOSD Notifications PPA Updated For Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Configurable NotifyOSD notifications Ubuntu

The configurable NotifyOSD notification bubbles PPA has been updated for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. This PPA provides a patched NotifyOSD that supports various customizations such as:
  • change font and background colors, opacity, size, corner radius
  • change the timeout (only works if an application specifies the timeout)
  • change the position on the screen
  • disable fade out
  • close the notifications on click
  • more

4 Beautiful GNOME 3.2 Themes

Evolve is a new, simplistic GNOME 3 theme created by the Ambiance Blue author. The theme is compatible with the latest GTK 3.2 and uses the Adwaita engine for the GTK3 theme and Murrine for the GTK2 theme:

Evolve GTK theme

If you use Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot , you can install Evolve by adding the WebUpd8 Themes PPA:

Minitunes Renamed To Musique, GNOME Shell Mediaplayer Extension Update [PPA Updates]



Minitunes - a Qt music player created by the Minitube developer -, has been renamed to "Musique". Besides the new name, there's also a new version that comes with bug fixes as well as a Windows version, making Musique fully cross-platform.

Is This The New Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Icon Theme?

Canonical announced a while back that a new icon theme will be created for Ubuntu, but they didn't give any further details. An user has posted on a Brazilian Ubuntu forum a link to a company called Yellowicon that has some cool Ubuntu icons in its portfolio. The page doesn't mention if these are the new official Ubuntu icons or not, but Canonical shows up on the Yellowicon clients list.

So is this the new Ubuntu Precise Pangolin icon theme? Here are some screenshots:

Ubuntu icon theme

Install SopCast Player In Ubuntu 11.10 And 12.04

I've received quite a few requests to make a post on installing SopCast Player in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. So here are two SopCast applications that you can install in the latest Ubuntu:

Glippy Clipboard Manager Gets Files And Rich Text Support, More


Glippy is a clipboard manager for GNOME that comes with some cool features: it can upload text to pastebin.com or images to imgur.com, execute actions on the current clipboard content and more. You can even quickly access the clipboard history without using the indicator / tray icon by using CTRL + ALT + Shift + C (this keyboard shortcut is configurable).

Using Gloobus Preview With Nautilus 3.2

Gloobus Preview Nautilus 3.2

Gloobus Preview is an quick file previewer which supports images, documents (pdf, odf, ods, etc.), source files, audio (mp3, wav, ogg and more), video (avi, ogg, mkv, flv, etc.), folders, archives, fonts, plain text files and more.

GNOME 3.2 got its own file previewer: GNOME Sushi, but what if you want to use Gloobus Preview instead (the main reason for this being that Gloobus Preview supports more file types)?

SparkleShare Finally Available For Android

Sparkleshare is an open source tool to synchronize your files in the cloud that supports GitHub, Gitorious or your own private GIT server.

SparkleShare finally got an Android application that allows you to connect to your SparkleShare server. For now, the application can only be used to browsing/downloading files:

SparkleShare Android

Re-Enable Working PPAs After Ubuntu Upgrade With Y PPA Manager

Y PPA Manager

Today I'm releasing Y PPA Manager The new version comes with only one new feature: re-enable working PPAs after an Ubuntu upgrade. This feature was implemented by WebUpd8 reader Christian Dannie Storgaard (many thanks!).

All PPAs are automatically disabled when you upgrade to a new Ubuntu version. This new option checks if the old PPAs work with the new Ubuntu version and if they do work, it re-enables them.

GNOME Shell Mediaplayer Extension Available In The WebUpd8 GNOME3 PPA

GNOME Shell Mediaplayer Extension

Mediaplayer GNOME Shell extension is now available in the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA. This extension can control MPRIS capable media players from the GNOME Shell top bar.

ownCloud: Your Personal Cloud Server

ownCloud is a free software alternative to some proprietary web services and it currently includes file management (with built-in file sharing), music streaming, calendar, contacts and more - all running on your computer or server..

Show Desktop Indicator For Ubuntu [Quick Tip]

Show desktop indicator ubuntu

A while back we've posted about a "show desktop" icon for the Unity launcher. But if you need more space on the Unity launcher or have autohide turned on, you may find it more convenient to access this from the panel so WebUpd8 reader Mark Bokil converted the "show desktop" Unity icon to an Ubuntu indicator.

Nautilus Terminal 1.0 Released With Support For Nautilus 3.x (Terminal Embedded Into Nautilus)

Nautilus Terminal

Nautilus Terminal - a Nautilus extension that embeds the terminal into the Nautilus window -, finally works with Nautilus 3. This is actually a full rewrite of the original Nautilus Terminal, for Nautilus 3.x.

Theme Updates: Ambiance Blue Theme Pack, Elegance GNOME Shell Theme

Ambiance Blue theme pack

Ambiance Blue - a theme pack that includes a GTK2, GTK3 and GNOME Shell theme -, has been updated for GNOME 3.2:

Ambiance Blue

Unity Mockup: Simplified Dash

Unity mockup

Unity has improved a lot recently, but there's always room for improvement. For instance, Dash seems a bit crowded so WebUpd8 reader Frederico Araújo Mendes has created an interesting Unity mockup in which he tries to simplify Dash:

GNOME Shell System Monitor Extension Available In The WebUpd8 GNOME3 PPA

GNOME Shell System Monitor is a highly configurable system monitor extension for GNOME Shell (do not confuse this with the official System Monitor extension!). It can display the CPU, RAM, Swap, Network or disk usage on the top GNOME Shell bar, either as a graph or digits (or both) and you can customize the colors, position and more.

GNOME Shell system monitor

Gnome Pie 0.2 Released

Gnome Pie, a cool launcher we've talked about a few weeks ago has reached version 0.2. The new version lets you control the "pies" using the keyboard: holding ALT, a number is displayed on each slice (and if there are too many slices, letters are assigned too) and pressing that number launches the corresponding application / action:


Network Traffic Monitor (NTM) For Computers With Limited Internet Plans

NTM Network Traffic Monitor

NTM (Network Traffic Monitor) is an application to use on computers with a limited Internet plan. It can display a complete report for received and transmitted network traffic and automatically disconnect after a certain period of time or after the traffic exceeds the value you set (MB).

Native GNOME Shell Notifications For Pidgin [PPA]

Pidgin GNOME Shell notifications

In GNOME Shell 3.2 you can reply to chat from the popup notifications, but that only works for Empathy by default. So here is a GNOME Shell extension that does the same thing but for Pidgin.

Faenza Icon Theme 1.1 Brings New GNOME 3.2 Icons, Better Ubuntu 11.10 Integration

Faenza icon theme

One of the most popular icon themes - Faenza -, was updated today and it now includes icons for the latest GNOME 3.2 applications like Gnome Documents, GNOME Contacts, GNOME Online Accounts and more.

Things To Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot


Update: for Ubuntu 12.04, see: Things To Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Back when Ubuntu 11.04 was released, we wrote a post about stuff you may need to tweak or fix. Some of those tweaks still work but since this is a new version, there are new things that need tweaking so I've decided to make a new post with some popular old tweaks as well as some new ones.

Read on!

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Released [Screenshots & Video]

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot screenshot

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot has been released! The new version uses Unity as the default interface on top of the GNOME 3.2 application stack. The launcher, panel, indicators and so on have all been ported to GTK3.

Let's take a look at the major new features in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. Firstly, a video:

GNOME Shell Dock And Alternative Status Menu Extensions Fixes [GNOME 3 WebUpd8 PPA]

GNOME Shell Extensions 3.2

A quick update for those of you who are using the official GNOME Shell Extensions 3.2 from the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA: I've added 3 patches to the package:

How To Find Out If Your Computer Can Run Unity 3D (w/ Compiz)

If Unity 3D isn't working on your computer and you want to find out if this is because of a bug, because you're using the wrong drivers or because of your computer's hardware, you can use a command which lets you know if your computer can run Unity 3D:

/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p

Install GNOME Shell Weather Extension In Ubuntu Via PPA

GNOME Shell weather extension

extensions.gnome.org is not yet ready and because I got many requests to upload more extensions to the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA, I've started packaging some unofficial GNOME Shell extensions for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

The first one is GNOME Shell Weather Extension. This extension displays the current temperature in the top GNOME Shell panel and clicking it, you can see some more info such as the humidity, pressure or wind as well as a forecast for tomorrow.

Unity Bookmarks Lens For Ubuntu 12.04 And 11.10

Unity Bookmark Lens

Unity Bookmarks Lens displays your bookmarks in Dash so you can easily search all your bookmarks with a click.

Speed Dreams (Racing Game) 2.0 Beta 1 Released With Reworked Cars And Tracks, More [PPA]

Speed Dreams 2.0

Speed Dreams is an open source racing game that works on Linux and Windows. The game is a Torcs fork with cool new features such as new cars, tracks and AI opponents.

Speed Dreams 2.0 beta 1 is now available for Linux and Windows and comes with many bug fixes, reworked cars and tracks, improved physics and many other improvements.

Install LibreOffice 3.4.3 In Ubuntu 11.04 Via PPA

Libreoffice 3.4.3

A quick update for Ubuntu 11.04 users: LibreOffice 3.4.3 is finally available in its official PPA. For what's new in LibreOffice 3.4, see THIS page.

Google Releases Cross-Platform Remote Desktop Extension For Chrome

Chrome remote desktop

Google has released a remote desktop extension for Chrome. The extension works everywhere Chrome does (including Chrome OS and Chromium) and is as easy to use as it gets: there are no settings and you only have to enter an access code and you're ready to go.

ReText Gets Improved Google Docs Export, More

Retext text editor linux

ReText is a text editor for MarkDown syntax that supports some popular formats such as PDF, ODT, HTML and plain text. It has tabs support, live previews, web pages generator, HTML syntax highlighting, KDE integration and more.

Marlin (elementary File Browser) Gets Dropbox And UbuntuOne Plugins

Marlin, the new file browser developed by ammonkey (who's also behind Nautilus elementary) for elementary OS, got two new plugins for Dropbox and Ubuntu One.

GNOME Shell Zeitgeist Extension Updated With Integrated Shell Search, More

Quick update: GNOME Shell Zeitgeist extension was updated recently and it now integrates with the standard GNOME Shell search, meaning GNOME Shell will list the Journal items in the regular search under the Activities Overview.

Install Sushi File Previewer For GNOME In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Nautilus Sushi quick previewer

Sushi previewer is now available in the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot repositories!

Sushi is a new GNOME 3.2 tool similar to Gloobus Preview that provides quick file previews. To use it, select a file in Nautilus and then press the SPACE bar.

Sushi works with both Unity and GNOME Shell and it actually doesn't depend on Nautilus so other file managers can make use of it.

Ubuntu 12.04 Codename Announced: Precise Pangolin

Precise Pangolin

The development codename of an Ubuntu release takes the form "Adjective Animal". Initially these weren't in alphabetic order - until Dapper DRAKE (6.06) that is.

Mark Suttleworth has announced the name of Ubuntu 12.04 and... it's not a penguin:

Official GNOME Shell Extensions Available In The WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA For Ubuntu 11.10

GNOME Shell extensions

As promised, the latest official GNOME Shell Extensions (version 3.2.0) are now available in the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. This PPA is an attempt to have all the stable GNOME 3.2 packages that aren't available in the official Ubuntu 11.10 repositories in a single place. Please note that I did not package this. I'm only uploading these packages to a single PPA.

Simple LightDM Manager: Change The LightDM Background Or Logo Using A GUI

Simple LightDM Manager

Claudio @ ubuntued.info has created a tool for tweaking the LightDM appearance called Simple LightDM Manager.

For now, the tool lets you change the LightDM background (and select between an image or solid color) or the logo and that's about it. For now there aren't too many things you can tweak about LightDM anyway but hopefully when we'll have enough LighDM themes, this tool will also be able to switch between themes.

Elegant Brit Theme For DockBarX

Starting with version 0.47, DockBarX supports separate themes for DockBarX, DockX and window list and some cool new themes have already started to show up on websites like DeviantArt.

One theme I really like is called "Brit" (inspired by "Elegant Brit" GTK theme) and comes with everything you need: DockBarX and window list themes as well as two dock (for DockX) themes.

Install GNOME Documents In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot (PPA)

GNOME Documents

GNOME Documents is a new application (part of GNOME 3.2) that works with both Unity and GNOME Shell which allows you to manage both online (Google Docs) and local documents.

For now, the application can only be used for searching and opening any document on your system or Google Docs so it's basically just a way to access all your documents in one place.

GNOME Shell Global Menu - Instructions For GNOME Shell 3.2

A quick update for those of you who want to use a global menu in GNOME Shell: WebUpd8 reader Micah got GNOME Shell Global Menu to work with GNOME Shell 3.2, so I've updated the original instructions in our post: Get A Global Menu In GNOME Shell (there are instructions for both GNOME Shell 3.0 and 3.2 - Fedora and Ubuntu).

GNOME Shell Global menu
GNOME Shell Global Menu running in GNOME Shell 3.2 (Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot)

In case you've missed it, here's the GNOME Shell Global Menu video I've recorded a while back:

Zeitgeist Extension For GNOME Shell

GNOME Shell Zeitgeist

A Zeitgeist extension for GNOME Shell has been released today. The extension is based on the work of GSoC student Akshay Gupta (kitallis) and it requires GNOME Shell 3.2.

Install Epiphany 3.2.0 With Web Application Mode In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Epiphany 3.2.0

GNOME 3.2 got a "web application mode" through Epiphany web browser, allowing you to save websites as web apps. These web apps show up as regular applications in both GNOME Shell and Unity and can be pinned to GNOME Shell's Dash or Unity's launcher, etc. More about them in this post: GNOME 3.2 to get web application mode.

Here is WebUpd8 saved as a web application through Epiphany (using a custom icon) under GNOME 3.2 and Unity:

Increased Performance In Linux With zRam (Virtual Swap Compressed in RAM)

While trying to optimize the elementary OS performance, Sergey Davidoff stumbled upon a project called compcache that creates a RAM based block device which acts as a swap disk, but is compressed and stored in memory instead of swap disk (which is slow), allowing very fast I/O and increasing the amount of memory available before the system starts swapping to disk. compcache was later re-written under the name zRam and is now integrated into the Linux kernel.