Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Get A HTC-Like Weather / Clock Widget In Ubuntu With My Weather Indicator, Now With Widgets Support

My Weather Indicator

My Weather Indicator has got widgets support a few days ago, but I didn't write about it back then because it was the initial widgets release and there was still work to be done. 

Today, the application has been updated, adding 3 weather widget styles along with options to display the widget on top (or under), or to hide the indicator when the widget is displayed:

- My Weather Indicator "full" widget is a HTC-like weather / clock widget:

My Weather Indicator widget full

Better Steam For Linux Performance With `Steam Login`

Steam Login is a package that you can use in Ubuntu or Linux Mint to login directly to Steam BigPicture mode from the login screen. 

This is useful because it doesn't load a whole desktop environment, resulting in more resources being available (there's also no composite manager running) for Steam and the games available for it.

Steam for Linux Big Picture mode
Steam BigPicture mode

Steam For Linux Now Available To All Users

Steam for Linux screenshot

Valve has just announced that Steam for Linux (beta) is now available to all Steam users, just in time for the Steam Winter sale which starts today:

How To Properly Mount Android 4.0+ Devices In Ubuntu Using Go-mtpfs

Mounting an Android 4.0+ device in Ubuntu is pretty tricky, but there is a FUSE filesystem called Go-mtpfs, created by a Google employee because "mtpfs was very unstable" for him, which works great. Read on to find out how to use it and easily install it in Ubuntu using a PPA!

Also see: AirDroid: Manage Your Android Device Using A Browser, however, there are cases when you can't use AirDroid.

By default, when connecting an Android device to an Ubuntu computer, gvfs is used via gphoto2 (because gvfs doesn't have native MTP support yet). And that doesn't always work properly.

Here's my experience with this: trying to mount my Android 4.2.1 phone fails most of the time (I've experienced the same behaviour with Android 4.1 too), usually with some "Sorry, could not display all the contents of "Android": Timeout was reached" errors. It does work at times, but it's very slow and with such an unreliable behaviour, an alternative is always nice.

I didn't try mtpfs but it seems that's not reliable any more either, but what I did try is Go-mtpfs and it works great under Ubuntu 12.10: it's fast and it works every time. Well, unless I forget to unlock the phone when I mount it (it's probably something sleep-related because it doesn't always happen), but anyway.

Download Steam For Linux Skin Manager (Includes Ambiance And Radiance Skins)

Martin Kozub, who has created the first Ubuntu-like skin for the Steam Linux client, has released a simple Skin Manager for Steam (obviously, for the Linux client) which you can use to install or remove skins.

Steam Skin Manager

Steam Skin Manager comes with two skins by default: Ambiance and Radiance which make Steam look close to the default Ubuntu themes. Using them, you'll get Steam to use the Ubuntu font, thin scrollbars, Ubuntu (Humanity) back and forward arrows, native-looking window buttons displayed on the left and other tweaks. Also, the font should look better using one of these skins.

Steam for Linux - Ambiance Skin
Ambiance skin for Steam

Download The New KDE SC 4.10 Default Wallpaper

A new default wallpaper, which will be used for the new KDE SC 4.10, was pushed to the KDE GIT repository today:

KDE SC 4.10 wallpaper screenshot
New KDE SC 4.10 default wallpaper

How To Get A Global Menu In MATE Desktop

MATE Desktop GlobalMenu

MATE GlobalMenu is an applet forked from the old GNOME2 GlobalMenu project, which adds a global menu to the MATE panel.

Mate GlobalMenu is based off the upstream GNOME GlobalMenu v0.7.10 and it only supports GTK2 applications, so don't expect Firefox, LibreOffice or Qt applications to work with this, but it's nevertheless an useful addition to the MATE desktop, especially for small screens.

Raspberry Pi Gets An App Store

Raspberry Pi app store

Raspberry Pi, the "$25 computer", now has its own app store. Pi Store is available for Raspbian (Debian for Raspberry Pi) and only 25 applications/games are included right now, but the Raspberry Pi folks hope it will get a lot more, as users upload their own content to the store.

Free Cross-Platform RTS Game 0 A.D. Alpha 12 Available For Download

0 AD alpha 12

0 A.D, one of the best free, open source real-time strategy (RTS) games, has reached the alpha 12.

For those not familiar with 0 A.D., this is a historical war and economy game that works on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. It features great graphics and sound and it has both single-player and multi-player functionality (multi-player uses peer-to-peer networking, without a central server and there's no matchmaking service yet).

0 A.D. alpha 12 "Loucetios" has been released with interesting new features such as diplomacy, packing siege engines, heroes, new match setup options, improved graphics and user interface and more.

Changes in 0 A.D. alpha 12 "Loucetios":

How To Install Nemo File Manager In Ubuntu

After forking GNOME Shell (Cinnamon), Mutter (Muffin) and GDM 2.0 (MDM), the Linux Mint team has forked Nautilus and the result is Nemo, a file manager which is now used by default in Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition.

Nemo file manager git

Initially, Nemo used to look the same as the patched SolusOS Nautilus so I didn't write about how to install it since it was basically the same thing under a different name.

But Nemo has evolved, gaining many new features and under the hood optimizations and tweaks. Here are some of the features available for Nemo file manager (for the version available in GIT / Cinnamon Nightly PPA) that aren't included in Nautilus 3.4:

Fun Racing Game SuperTuxKart Hits 0.8 Release

SuperTuxKart 0.8

SuperTuxKart (STK), a free, Mario Kart-like arcade racing game available for Linux, Windows and Mac OSX, has been updated to version 0.8.

The game is very fun, featuring mascots such as Tux, Mozilla, Pidgin, Gimp (Wilber), and others, with more installable via addons (see the Addons menu inside the game) and it can be played with up to 4 friends on a single computer, racing each other or against the computer.

SuperTuxKart 0.8 has been released recently, and unfortunately it doesn't add network multiplayer support, but there are some important new features and changes in this release:

Linux Google Drive Client Insync Gets Xfce And Mate Desktop Integration

Insync, an unofficial Google Drive Linux client that's available for a wide range of desktop environments has been updated today, getting support for MATE Desktop (Caja) and Xfce (Thunar).

Here's the Insync or Linux Beta 11 changelog:
  • Fixed symlink to symlink (chain of symlinks);
  • Mate desktop support - Caja emblems and context menu;
  • Xfce - Thunar 1.5 emblems and context menu.

I've only tested the new Xfce (Thunar) support and it works, but there are some minor glitches. However, this is the first Insync for Xfce release, so hopefully all the issues will be fixed soon.

Thunar 1.6 Insync xfce

Schedule Alarms Or Reminders Under GNOME Shell With Remindor Shell

Indicator Remindor, an application that can be used to schedule alarms or reminders has been updated to version 12.12, getting some new features and GNOME Shell support.

Indicator Remindor can remind you of various events using notifications, a popup window (so you don't miss the reminders), it can change the AppIndicator icon, can play a sound and everything is highly configurable.

Nautilus 3.6: How To Clear The Recent Files List (Or Disable It)

Nautilus 3.6 comes with a "Recent" sidebar item (left sidebar: Places > Recent) which displays recently used files: documents, pictures, music, videos and so on. 

Nautilus Recent files

This is a pretty big privacy issue because there's no option in System Settings (GNOME Control Center) to clear the Nautilus recent files list or to disable it.

So here's how to clear this Nautilus Recent files list and optionally, how to completely disable it.

What To Expect From Linux Mint 15 (Cinnamon, Nemo Changes)

The Linux Mint roadmap was updated recently, pointing out what to expect in Linux Mint 15 for Cinnamon, Nemo, MDM or Mint Tools.

Cinnamon bumpmaps
Cinnamon with Bumpmaps support

Linux Mint 15 is expected to ship with Cinnamon 1.8 which will include new features like:

Batch Lossy JPG And PNG Compression Script Using GraphicsMagick

WebUpd8 reader Bruce Ingalls has created a script for batch lossy compression of jpg and png files. The script is useful if you have a lot of images - e.g., you can run it to compress all the images used by a website, etc.

The script compresses only the files for which the resulted compressed image is detected to be smaller than the original image file. It uses GraphicsMagick which Bruce says is better for compression than ImageMagick (~1.5% smaller images with GraphicsMagick than with ImageMagick) and also faster, when compressing a large number of images.

Audacious Media Player 3.3.3 Available To Install In Ubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04 (PPA)

Audacious is a fast, lightweight music player that focuses on high audio quality. The application comes with a huge list of plugins and with two interfaces: a GTK interface (used by default) and a Winamp 2.x like interface (to which you can switch from the menu: View > Interface > Winamp Classic Interface).

Audacious 3.3.3 GTK3

Install SparkleShare 1.0 In Ubuntu (Dropbox-Like File Synchronization Tool)

SparkleShare is an open source file synchronization and collaboration tool somewhat similar to Dropbox, available for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows.

SparkleShare uses GIT version control system and can be used with code hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket or Gitorious as well as your own server.

SparkleShare appindicator

Unity Stacks Application `Drawers` Gets New Features

Drawers, an application that can be used to create stacks (drawers) on the Unity Launcher, has been updated to version 12.12.1, getting new features which some of you have requested such as an option to automatically close drawer when focus is lost and more.

Drawers lets you create launchers for Unity on which you can add applications as well as files, folders or even links so you can quickly access them from one place. 

Drawers Unity Launcher

2 Beautiful Dark Themes For GTK 3.6 Or 3.4 [Ubuntu PPA]

We've got quite a few requests to post some dark GTK3 themes, so here it is: DeLorean Dark and MediterraneanNight are two great dark GTK3 themes that support both GTK 3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10) and 3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04).

DeLorean Dark

DeLorean Dark is a beautiful GTK3 theme that supports the latest GTK 3.6. There's also a GTK2 theme available, which has been completely redesigned recently.

Also, the theme isn't just for GNOME (this includes Unity, Cinnamon, etc.), there are Xfce and Openbox themes available as well.

Here are some DeLorean Dark screenshots:

DeLorean Dark theme

DeLorean Dark theme

Download Google Earth 7 With Fixed "Signal 11" Issue For Ubuntu

Google Earth 7 was released more than a month ago, however, the new version doesn't work for most Linux users. Here's how to run Google Earth 7 on Ubuntu right now.

Use Nvidia Experimental 310 Drivers With Bumblebee

The Bumblebee PPA has been updated today, and the packages now allow the latest "nvidia-experimental-310" drivers to be used with Bumblebee.

Nvidia GeForce driver 310 is said to "double the performance and dramatically reduce game loading times for those gaming" and it can be installed from the "updates" Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 repository. Below you'll find instructions on how to configure Bumblebee to work with nvidia-experimental-310 driver.

Foobnix Music Player Gets New Ubuntu PPA

A quick update for our Ubuntu readers using Foobnix: the player has a new PPA, so remove the old one and add ppa:foobnix-team/foobnix-player instead.

Foobnix music player

For those not familiar with Foobnix, this is a very interesting music player available for Linux, Windows, Mac OSX and even Android that comes with a clean design and can play formats ranging from mp3, mp4, aac, audio CDs, wma to FLAC, WavPack (WV), Musepack, CUE and many others (and can convert between audio formats). Among its features are:

How To List Packages From A PPA / Repository In Ubuntu

A few weeks ago, we saw how to find out to which PPA / repository a package belongs to in Ubuntu / Debian. But how about getting a list of packages available in a PPA / repository?

Evernote Linux Client `Everpad` Available For GNOME Shell, KDE

Everpad Unity

Everpad, an Evernote (note taking service) client for Linux, has reached version 2.3, getting GNOME Shell support (TopIcon extension is recommended), along with other new features and improvements.

How To Install Synaptic With GTK3 Support In Ubuntu [PPA]

The latest Synaptic Package Manager from BZR has been ported to GTK3 and the new version will probably be available in the Ubuntu 13.04 repositories. Since many of us are still using Ubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, I've uploaded the latest Synaptic with GTK3 support to a PPA so you can easily install it.

Zukitwo, Adwaita Cupertino Themes Ported To GTK 3.6

Two pretty popular GTK3 themes have been updated to work with the latest stable GTK 3.6 recently: Zukitwo and Adwaita Cupertino (now called Gnome Cupertino).

Gnome Cupertino (previously known as Adwaita Cupertino) is a GTK2/3 theme pack based on the colors of Mac OSX Snow Leopard and Lion, each with variations optimized for either GNOME Shell or Unity.

Gnome Cupertino theme

Use Ubuntu 13.04 Software Center, Software Updater And Nautilus Icons With My-humanity Icon Theme

My Humanity Ubuntu 13.04 icons

If you want to try the new Nautilus, Ubuntu Software Center and Software Updater icons (not released yet), which will be available in Ubuntu 13.04, you can use them right now on any Ubuntu version thanks to a new icon theme available on gnome-look.org called 'My-humanity'.