Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Get Giver To Work In Ubuntu 12.04 And 11.10 [Quick Tip]

Giver is an application that allows you to easily share files with other people on your network. It automatically detects other Giver users on your network and lets you send and receive files with a click. Unfortunately, Giver stopped working under both Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10, so here is how to get it working again.

Install Ubuntu Unity Bottom Launcher Via PPA

A while back we wrote about an Unity plugin that allows you to move the Unity 3D Launcher to the bottom of the screen which you had to manually install and had a few annoying bugs.

Paullo, the Unity Bottom Launcher developer, has fixed the most important bugs (like the unmaximized Dash design, drag'n'drop items from Dash to the launcher, etc.), created a stand-alone Unity plugin plugin called "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated" and uploaded it to a PPA so it's easier to stay up to date with newer versions. This also means that the package now works on 64bit too.

Bluefish Text Editor 2.2.0 Released With GTK3 Support

Bluefish, an amazing cross-platform text editor, has reached version 2.2.0, finally getting GTK 3 support.

Tomboy And Gnote GNOME Shell Search Provider

GNOME Shell Note Search provider is an extension that can be used to search for Gnote or Tomboy notes in GNOME Shell Overview. It's kind of like Unity Tomboy Lens, but for GNOME Shell.

Pinguy OS Mini 11.10 Released

Pinguy OS Mini 11.10 Shell - a stripped down Pinguy version -, has been released today. Just like the full edition, Pinguy OS Mini is called "beta", even though this is most probably the final version (more info about the reason behind this in our Pinguy OS 11.10 post).

MyPaint 1.0.0 Released With Dockable Windows, More

MyPaint is an easy to use open source graphics application for digital painters. It comes with a simple interface, unlimited canvas, extensive brush creation, basic layer support and more and is available for both Windows and Linux.

MyPaint was recently updated, the new version brining some cool new features such as a configurable toolbar or dockable floating windows. Here's the full list of changes for the latest MyPaint 1.0.0:

Marlin Gets Unity Progress Bar Support

Marlin (which according to ammonkey, the lead developer, is "no longer an elementary app" but of course, that doesn't mean it won't be a part of elementary OS), got Unity progress bar support thanks to a patch by Marco Trevisan. Along with Unity progress bar, Marlin also got dynamic quicklists that allow you to show the copy dialog or cancel in-progress actions.

Oxygen Appmenu - Replace The Menu With A Titlebar Button (KDE)

Oxygen Appmenu is an Oxygen style for Kwin that displays the application menu as a button in the titlebar and works with Qt and GTK applications as well as Firefox or Thunderbird:

Shutter Screenshot Tool Gets New Upload Plugins (Including: Dropbox, TwitPic, Imgur, Minus)

Shutter, probably the best screenshot tool for Linux, has been updated today, getting many new upload plugins for services such as Dropbox, ImageShack, Imgur, Minus, Omploader, TwitPic, UbuntuPics and more.

Install GNOME Shell Global Menu In Ubuntu Via PPA

Because I've got many requests for this, I've uploaded GNOME Shell Global Menu to the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA.

How To Get Electric Sheep To Work With Xscreensaver

Electric Sheep is a really cool screensaver which communicates with other computers that use the screensaver to generate complex fractal animations.

By default, Electric Sheep doesn't show up in Xscreensaver preferences / screensavers list, so here's how to solve this issue.

Rhythmbox Confirmed As Default Music Player In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, Jupiter Might Be Included Too

In an Ubuntu-Desktop mailing list message, Jason Warner (Ubuntu Desktop Manager) has confirmed that Rhythmbox will be the default music player in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, replacing Banshee:

Never Miss IM Notifications In GNOME Shell With Shell Message Notifier

Currently when you receive a message in GNOME Shell, the notification is displayed for a few seconds and that's about it - you can't tell if you have new messages unless you take a look at the message tray, which is hidden by default.

So if you often miss IM notifications in GNOME Shell, you can use an extension called Shell Message Notifier which displays the number of conversations with unread messages on the top GNOME Shell bar (in my test it only worked with Empathy).

Update: it seems the extension works with any application that displays a notification counter in the message tray (so for instance, it works with Mailnag too).

JDownloader Unity Integration (Speed Counter, Progress Bar And Quicklists)

JDownloader is a cross-platform download tool which supports most popular file sharing websites and comes with captcha recognition, multi-part downloads, tweak wait times, auto-reconnect, scheduler, automatic file extraction and more.

To integrate JDownloader with Unity, you can use a package called Unity-JDownloader which adds quicklists, a speed counter (Unity badge), progress bars as well as notifications for completed downloads.

2 Unity Applications Lens Alternatives

The default Unity Applications Lens displays frequently used applications as well as applications available for download along with the installed applications list, and this may seem too cluttered for some. So here are two alternatives to the Unity Applications Lens: Unity Bliss Lens and RunLens.

Unity-Like Launcher For KDE: Icon Tasks Plasmoid

Icon Tasks is modified KDE 4.7 taskbar applet that comes with some of the best Unity / DockBarX features. It supports Unity quicklists, counters and progress bars, window previews with media player controls, comes with DockManager API (you can use the Docky helpers in Icon Tasks) and lots more.

Here are a few screenshots:

Icon Tasks kde
Window group - previews

Google Music Frame Renamed To Nuvola Player, Grooveshark (Free) Support Added To The Latest Development Builds

Nuvola Google Music Frame grooveshark

Google Music Frame used to be an application that integrates Google Music in Ubuntu, providing sound menu support, notifications, multimedia keys and even last.fm scrobbling.

But the application has evolved and the latest development builds work with Grooveshark too. Because it now supports two music services (more cloud music services might be added in the future), Google Music Frame has been renamed to "Nuvola Player".

Download Ambiance With Dark Nautilus 3 Sidebar

When using Ambiance (the default Ubuntu theme), Nautilus 3 has dark breadcrumbs / toolbar (and menu if you disable appmenu), white background and a gray-ish sidebar, which doesn't look too good if you ask me.

In case you're not using Ambiance, here's a screenshot:

Ambiance Ubuntu 11.10

Not exactly pretty, isn't it?

So WarriorIng64 has modified Ambiance to use a dark sidebar for Nautilus 3 and in my opinion, it looks a lot better:

Ambiance nautilus 3 dark sidebar

Xt7-Player Is A Fully Featured Mplayer GUI


Xt7-Player is a graphical user interface for Mplayer with a huge list of features, "while trying to keep usability in mind". Among the most important features are YouTube and Shoutcast integration, dvbt, library and playlist management, local and global hotkeys, "stackable" Audio and video filters managed via drag'n drop, audio and video equalizers and lots more.

Overlay Scrollbars, No Maximized Window Titlebar By Default In GNOME?

Music mockup -  overlay scrollbars / no titlebar

In his GNOME Design Update article, Allan Day (contributor to GNOME UX design and user experience designer for Red Hat) has posted two very interesting comments:

Get LibreOffice Thumbnails In Nautilus With OOO Thumbnailer

ooo thumbnailer

OOO Thubnailer is a Nautilus utility that provides thumbnails for LibreOffice / OpenOffice.org documents, presentations, spreadsheets and drawings.

Clementine Music Player Gets Spotify And Grooveshark Support


The latest Clementine music player available in the Clementine Development PPA got some very interesting new features: you can now listen to Grooveshark or Spotify songs through Clementine. For this, you need a Spotify Premium / Grooveshark Anywhere account though.

Install Audacious 3.1 In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Audacious 3.1

Audacious 3.1 has been released a few days ago, and as usual, it's available in the main WebUpd8 PPA.

Audacious is a highly configurable music player for GNOME that has a very low memory footprint and comes with many plugins as well as two interfaces: a GTK and a Winamp2-like interface (it also supports Winamp 2 skins). Here's the Winamp-like interface:

Add PPA Bug Work-Around For Linux Mint 12 RC

There is a bug in Linux Mint 12 RC related to adding PPAs: when you add a PPA using "add-apt-repository", the .list file (under /etc/apt/sources.list.d/) uses "lisa" as the code name instead of "oneiric". Since the PPAs are not using the Ubuntu code name, they won't work and when running "sudo apt-get update", you'll get a "Failed to fetch [...] 404 Not Found" error.

Y PPA Manager

A work-around is to edit the .list files under /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and replace "lisa" with "oneiric", but to make it easier, I've updated Y PPA Manager with a work-around for this bug, so adding a PPA through Y PPA Manager should work as usual, without having to tweak anything else.

Gnome Pie 0.3 Released With Mouse Bindings, More

Gnome Pie

Gnome Pie, an application launcher with some really cool effects, has reached version 0.3. The new version brings a much requested feature: mouse bindings, so you can bind "pies" to any mouse button. To assign a mouse button to a pie, open the Gnome Pie settings and on the Pies tab, click on the "Command" field next to a pie, then click the mouse button you want to assign for that pie.

Pinguy OS 11.10 (Final, Yet Beta) Released

Pinguy OS 11.10

Pinguy OS 11.10 has been released today and comes with GNOME Shell (on top of GNOME 3.2.1) as default. Even though this is most probably the final version, it's called "beta":

I am very doubtful that there will be another release of the 11.10. Until Shell can work without 3D acceleration I am not happy calling this a stable product. [...] I don’t feel Gnome 3.2 is mature enough to be called a stable product and thats why Pinguy OS 11.10 will stay as a beta release.

- Pinguy

For those not familiar with Pinguy OS: this is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that comes with many applications installed by default as well as a huge list of tweaks or fixes, making it a great Ubuntu alternative for those who want everything working out of the box.

Grooveshark Scope For Unity Music Lens

Grooveshark scope Unity music lens

David Callé has released a Grooveshark scrope for the Unity Music lens which lets you search for music on Grooveshark from Dash. The new scope uses the free Grooveshark API and clicking on a search result opens a new tab in your default browser, playing the selected song.

Autohide Top Bar Extension Finally Available For GNOME Shell 3.2 (Bonus: Hamster And Overlay Icons Extensions)

WebUpd8 reader KRK has updated the GNOME Shell Autohide Top Bar extension for GNOME Shell 3.2. The extension, initially created by fpmurphy, lets you hide the GNOME Shell top bar by double clicking it. To disable autohiding, double click the top bar again.

New / Updated GNOME Application Designs (Mockups)

The GNOME developers are working on new application designs for Music, Photos, Chat, Transfers, Weather, Web, Mail, Calendar, Videos, Maps, Boxes (application for accessing other computer systems or images) and Notes as well as a redesign for Documents and Contacts. Here are a few very interesting mockups:


Download The Wallpapers From GMail HD Themes

Gmail has launched a new design recently and the themes were updated with some beautiful backgrounds. WebUpd8 reader Dmitry Shachnev has discovered that you can download these backgrounds so you can use them as desktop wallpapers.

The wallpapers come in different sizes: 1050x600, 1280x800, 1440x900, 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 (might be others too). Here are a few of these Gmail wallpapers (posted only as previews, don't try to download them - see below):

Gmail Wallpapers

How To Integrate Google Calendar With Unity / GNOME Shell Through Evolution

Evolution Google Calendar Unity

Back when we've posted about integrating Google Calendar with GNOME Shell (without Evolution), some of you didn't know how to do this with Evolution. So here is how to set up Evolution to display Google Calendar events in the Unity / GNOME Shell calendar.

Unity Tomboy Lens

Unity Tomboy Lens

WebUpd8 reader Remi Rerolle has created a cool Unity Lens that allows searching and opening Tomboy notes from Dash.

Fedora 16 Verne Released

Fedora 16 screenshot

Fedora 16 "Verne" has finally been released. As expected, the new version uses GNOME Shell by default as well as a complete GNOME 3.2 application stack: GNOME Sushi, GNOME Contacts and so on.

There are also a lot of changes under the hood: GRUB2 is now used by default, HAL has been removed, ext4 driver mounts ext2 and ext3 partitions, systemd and virtualization improvements, GPT support and many others. Fedora 16 also comes with "Trusted Boot":

Follow WebUpd8 on Google+

Google+ for pages has been released recently and we've created a page for WebUpd8. Follow WebUpd8 on Google+ @ https://plus.google.com/u/0/101912980608854649615. And don't forget to share our Google+ page with your circles.


Y PPA Manager Released, Finally Works In KDE Too

Y PPA Manager

Today I've released Y PPA Manager For those not familiar with Y PPA Manager: this is a GUI tool for easily managing and searching for PPAs. It can add/remove/purge PPAs, search all Launchpad PPAs for certain packages, backup and restore PPAs, remove duplicate PPA sources, comes with Unity quicklists and more.

Update Indicator For GNOME Shell Displays New Updates On The Top Bar

GNOME Shell update manager indicator

Update Indicator GNOME Shell extension displays new updates on the GNOME Shell top bar. Using it, you can see a list of available updates, update the software sources or install the updates with a single click.

Mixxx (Mixing Software) 1.10 Beta Released

Mixxx 1.10 beta

Mixxx is a free, cross-platform mixing software for DJs, providing features for both new and advanced users. It supports mp3, ogg, wave and flac playback and among the most important features are: automatic crossfading, playlists and crates, vinyl emulation, hot cues, pitch-independent time strech, BPM detection and estimation, multichannel soundcard suport and lots more.

Try The New Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE)

Linux Mint GNOME Shell extensions

The official Linux Mint GNOME Shell (more about Linux Mint 12 here) extensions can be downloaded via GitHub. However, since some of them are forks of the official GNOME Shell extensions, it's not a good idea to install and activate all of them because of possible conflicts with the original extensions.

If you want to manually install some of the MGSE extensions, get the Git branch, open the "test" script and remove any extensions you don't want to install. And finally, run the "test" script (./test).

For Arch Linux, you can find all the MGSE extensions in AUR: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=53742

To make it easier for Ubuntu users to give some of the new MGSE (Mint GNOME Shell Extensions) a try, I've uploaded 3 extensions to the WebUpd8 GNOME 3 PPA (all credits for the extensions: Linux Mint and their official authors, all I did was to upload them to the PPA).

Expected Changes In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin (UDS-P In Brief)


The Ubuntu Developer Summit for Precise has ended yesterday, so here is short list of possible changes in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin.

How To Mount Partitions Automatically On Startup In Linux

Although partitions created when installing a Linux distribution are automatically mounted on boot, the ones created before the installation need to be mounted manually (unless you manually create a mount point on installation). This can be changed, however, so here is how to mount these partitions automatically.

Linux Mint 12 To Use GNOME Shell By Default, MATE Might Be Included On The DVD Too

According to a new LinuxMint blog post, Linux Mint 12 will use GNOME 3 with GNOME Shell by default. For those who prefer the classic GNOME 2.3x desktop, MATE (a GNOME 2.3x fork) will probably be included on the DVD edition.

Linux Mint 12 will use MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions) which makes it possible to use Linux Mint in a traditional way: a panel with a menu and window list on the bottom, switching between windows and not applications, system notification icons on top, classic ALT + TAB and more. 

Post Installation Script "Fedora Utils" Updated For Fedora 16

Fedora Utils

Fedora Utils is a "post installation" script for Fedora which lets you easily install applications that are not available in the main Fedora repositories and tweak various settings.

Gedit Dash: New Tab Gedit Plugin Powered By Zeitgeist

Seif has released Gedit Dash 0.1, a plugin for Gedit that uses Zeitgeist to display recently or most used items in new Gedit tabs. You can search both recently and most used items and also, the plugin generates previews which "try to jump directly to some code or text from your work".

Here are a few screenshots:

Gedit Dash Zeitgeist

GNOME Shell To Work Without 3D Acceleration In Fedora 17

Fedora 17 gnome shell software rendering

According to a message on the Fedora mailing list, GNOME Shell should work without 3D acceleration in Fedora 17:

AwOken Icon Theme 2.3 Released With Full Unity Support, Improved GNOME Shell Integration

Awoken icon theme

The beautiful AwOken icon theme has been updated a couple of days ago and it includes a new AwOken White icon set so it's now possible to choose between three different icon sets: AwOken, AwOkenDark, and AwOkenWhite.

The new version also comes with full support for Unity (Ubuntu Oneiric) as well as improved GNOME Shell integration. Also, the AwOken PPA finally provides packages for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

Make Applications Autostart Only In A Certain Environment (GNOME, Unity, KDE, Etc.)

By default, the applications that you add or are automatically added to startup are launched automatically on any desktop environment. Here is how to make an application start automatically only in a certain environment.

Example: Mailnag is a GNOME Shell mail notifier and it displays an ugly dialog box instead of regular notifications under Unity, so it's only useful in GNOME Shell. Using the instructions below, you can get Mailnag to automatically start only when you log in to GNOME.

Rhythmbox Might Replace Banshee In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, More News


The Ubuntu Developer Summit has started this week and there were two very interesting sessions today: GNOME version and default applications in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin.

Indicator Applet Ported To GNOME 3, Can Already Be Used In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Classic GNOME 3 Session

Classic GNOME 3 Indicator Applet Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric

Jason Conti has ported Indicator Applet to GNOME 3. That means that you can now get almost the same classic (fall-back) GNOME 3 session look in Ubuntu 11.10 like in Ubuntu 11.04.

With this, you'll be able to use all the applications that come with an Ubuntu Appindicator, Indicator Date/Time, the session indicator, network, Ubuntu Sound Menu, Messaging Menu and even the Global Menu (optional) in the classic (fallback) GNOME 3 session, just like in Unity. However, unlike in Unity, the Global Menu doesn't hide automatically for maximized windows and there are no buttons on the top panel.

Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell Edition Pre-Alpha Available For Download

Pinguy OS 11.10 gnome shell

A quick update: Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell edition pre-alpha is now available for download. According to Pinguy, it's called "pre-alpha" because it's still missing a lot of stuff, but other than that it should work just fine.

Download Pinguy OS 11.10 GNOME Shell edition pre-alpha (32bit only for now).

Thanks to Pinguy for the tip!

Install Mailnag (GNOME3 Email Notifier) In Ubuntu Via PPA

Mailnag GNOME3 email notifier

Mailnag is an email notifier for GNOME 3. The application makes use of the GNOME 3 notifications system and works with both POP3 and IMAP servers (this includes Gmail).

Besides new mail notifications, Mailnag can also execute a command or a script on mail check or on mail arrival, can open new emails in your preferred email client and more. We've actually written about Mailnag before, but starting today, Mailnag is available in the WebUpd8 GNOME3 PPA so it's now even easier to install in Ubuntu. Mailnag now has its own official PPA - add it and install Mailnag using the following commands: