Valve released SteamOS Beta a few days ago as an early first-look public release. Based on Debian 7, the new operating system comes with a session called SteamOS which is a modified Big Picture mode that uses a custom SteamOS Compositor (based on xcompmgr) optimized for Steam and gaming, and some other tweaks.
If you want to run the official SteamOS session along with the custom SteamOS compositor in Ubuntu, you can easily do so by installing two packages. Once you install these packages, you'll be able to directly log in to the SteamOS session from the LightDM login screen.
A couple of days ago I was telling you about the possibility of Canonical forking GNOME Control Center and GNOME Settings Daemon for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. Well, this was confirmed by Robert Ancell, Technical Lead at Canonical, on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list.
Yesterday I wrote about installing Ubuntu on your Chromebook using Crouton. However, Crouton only installs a few apps so here's what you should install on your new Ubuntu installation running on top of Chrome OS and a few thing that you may want to fix, like the brightness and volume keys or how to get Ubuntu Software Center to work.
Note: Below I'll only cover Unity and Xfce but there are some generic tips as well.
I recently got a Chromebook and decided to install Ubuntu on it. There are two ways (that I know of) of doing this: using Crouton, which uses a chroot environment and lets you run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu in the same time and you can switch between the two using a keyboard shortcut, and ChrUbuntu, which works you can dual boot with Chrome OS but it only supports x86-based Chromebooks.
Since I have an ARM-based Chromebook (HP Chromebook 11 - it's not on sale currently due to some issues with the charger), I've used Crouton. I actually prefer Crouton for the way it allows switching between Chrome OS and Ubuntu without having to restart.
If you own a Chromebook and want to install Ubuntu using Crouton, here's how to do it. I've tested this on HP Chromebook 11, but it should work on any Chromebook.
Tor Browser Bundle is a web browser based on Firefox ESR (Firefox with extended support), configured to protect users' privacy and anonymity by using Tor and Vidalia, tools that come bundled with it. The bundle also includes 4 Firefox extensions: TorButton, TorLauncher, NoScript and HTTPS-Everywhere.
Quick update for Steam users: Valve has launched the "Steam Autumn Sale" and many games available for Linux (not only, obviously) can be purchased with discounts of up to 80% or maybe even more, depending on the upcoming daily deals and flash sales.
Enabling the proposed repository in Ubuntu is usually not a good idea because it's a testing area for updates so things can break. If you've enabled the proposed repository and something broke, here's how to revert the changes by downgrading the packages installed from the proposed repository.
In an Ubuntu Developer Summit session today, Matthieu James (Graphic/Visual Designer at Canonical) presented the design guidelines as well as some of the work done to create a new icon theme for Ubuntu (both desktop and touch).
A new Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit (uds-1311) will start next week and some interesting changes will be discussed, such as enabling TRIM for SSDs by default, supporting touch apps on Ubuntu desktop and more.
Below you'll find some of the changes proposed for the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) as well as some other interesting UDS tracks.
Genymotion 2.0 has been released with Android 4.3 support as well as new features such as drag&drop to copy files and APKs to the virtual device.
Genymotion is a fast, cross-platform Android emulator that comes with pre-configured Android (x86 with OpenGL hardware acceleration) images. The emulator features Ethernet support, multi-touch gestures, emulation widgets for GPS, battery, camera and more.
Calendar Indicator, an Ubuntu AppIndicator for Google Calendar, was updated to version 0.2.0, receiving some important bug fixes, including a fix for the calendar events not showing up in the indicator menu under Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander.
TopFeed is a new smart feed widget that lets you stay up to date with your favorite websites by displaying the latest news on your Ubuntu desktop.
The application presets all the feed items in a single column and tries to move what it thinks are the more important news to the top of the widget. The importance of news items is determined based on the following factors:
Update: for Nemo 3.x, available for Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10, there's a new PPA. See THIS article for more info.
Nemo, the default Cinnamon file manager, needs Cinnamon to be installed, even if you want to use it in some other desktop environment such as GNOME/Unity. That's not the only issue that makes using the latest Nemo under Unity difficult - Cinnamon 2.0 breaks Unity in Ubuntu 13.10, Nemo no longer draws the desktop icons and so on.
Update: the PPA now provides Nemo 2.8.7 for Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10, 15.04 and 14.04.
I wanted to use the latest Nemo under Unity, but without Cinnamon dependencies so I used the Nautilus Unity patches modified for Nemo by Jacob Zimmermann, which I updated to work with the latest Nemo, and I also added some extra patches to remove the Cinnamon dependencies (except for cinnamon-translations but that shouldn't be an issue), re-enable Nemo to handle the desktop icons and allow Nemo to use GNOME Control Center / Unity Control Center to change the desktop background or set a picture as wallpaper via context menu.
In Ubuntu 13.10, there's no Nautilus integration for Ubuntu One because the package containing the Nautilus extension was removed.
Some of that functionality is integrated with the Sync Menu, but not all: currently, there is no way of knowing if a file is currently in sync with Ubuntu One. Also, some users might prefer to right click a file in Nautilus to share it / get a share link, instead of opening the main Ubuntu One interface. Read on to find out how to get this back in Ubuntu 13.10.
I recently needed a tool to edit a Samsung TV channel list and I've tried a few tools but all were pretty buggy. I ended up using an application called SamToolBox which, even though it is a bit buggy and not very intuitive, gets the job done.
SamToolBox is available for Linux and Windows and it should work with all Samsung TVs that support extracting the channel list.
Thorsten Stettin has created a new PPA for Ubuntu / Linux Mint users who want to use the latest GIMP 2.9 development builds.
There won't be a GIMP 2.9 stable release - 2.9 is used for development and will result in the next stable GIMP version, 2.10.
The major new feature in GIMP 2.10 will be a complete port to GEGL / high bit depths and the latest GIMP from GIT already allows working in 16bit and 32bit per color channel mode, both integer and float:
I've uploaded the unofficial system-wide PulseAudio equalizer to main WebUpd8 PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. Update: the equalizer was updated to support Ubuntu 16.10. The PPA now supports Ubuntu 16.10, 16.04, 15.10, 15.04, 14.04 and 12.04, as well as Linux Mint 18 and 17.
The package update comes with a fix for a crash that occurred when no presets were found. The issue that caused audio to be muted as soon as PulseAudio Equalizer was enabled, disabled, or adjusted, was also fixed.
Ubuntu 13.10 (and derivatives) users: if you're using Skype downloaded from its official website and not from the Ubuntu repositories, chances are the sound in Skype is either distorted or there's no sound at all.
Seafile is an open source cloud synchronization and collaboration tool which you can install on your own server. The tool uses a version control model somewhat similar to GIT but with some differences such as: automatic syncing, no history stored on the client side so the data is not stored twice (GIT is not efficient with large files), resumable transfers, more user-friendly file conflicts and more.
The first development release of Parole Media Player 0.6 (version 0.5.90) was released recently, bringing changes such as: improved GStreamer 1.0 support, completed the port to GTK3, a nice new overlay for the playback controls and more.
Today I've released Y PPA Mangager 0.9.9.1 which brings bug fixes for the latest Ubuntu 13.10 as well as some changes on how the tool works.
For those not familiar with Y PPA Manager, this is a tool that lets you easily add, remove or purge PPAs as well as search for packages in Launchpad PPAs, a feature that should be very useful when you can't find a PPA for your favourite app on WebUpd8 or other similar websites. Other features include:
Ubuntu 13.10 was released today and while there aren't as many new features as in the previous releases, there are some interesting changes. Read on to see what's new in Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander)!
qBittorrent is a cross-platform BitTorrent client that aims to provide a free software alternative to uTorrent. The application comes with an integrated search engine, web interface, sequential download support, bandwidth scheduler, advanced RSS support with download filters, torrent creation tool, IP filtering and other useful features.
In Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander), it seems that the libturbojpeg .so filename has changed from libturbojpeg.so to libturbojpeg.so.0 and this breaks Bumblebee. Below you'll find a quick fix for this issue.
Pipelight, a project that allows you to install Silverlight to any Linux browser that supports the Netscape Plugin API (Firefox, Chrome, Midori), has been updated today, receiving multi-plugin support.
Almost a year after the previous major release, Clementine 1.2 is finally available for download with some interesting new features such as support for playing music from your Box, Dropbox and Ubuntu One account, a new Android app that lets you control Clementine remotely and more.
Rhythmbox 3.0 was released more than a month ago, bringing an improved user interface, Python 3 support for the plugins and more. Unfortunately, the new version didn't make it into Ubuntu 13.10, but there's a PPA you can use to install it (also available for Ubuntu 13.04).
Cinnamon 2.0 has been released today featuring many bug fixes as well as some new features.
According to the release announcement, with version 2.0, Cinnamon is no longer a frontend ontop of the GNOME desktop like Unity or GNOME Shell, but "an entire desktop environment". Cinnamon is still built on GNOME technologies and uses GTK, but "it no longer requires GNOME itself to be installed" because it now communicates with its own backend services, libraries and daemons.
In Ubuntu 13.04, if you want to get online search results in Dash without shopping suggestions, you can simply remove the Unity Shopping lens. In Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) and 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) you can't remove the Shopping lens but there is another way to achieve the same thing and it seems this isn't obvious because I've seen quite a few users complaining about it. So here's how to disable the shopping scopes or any scope for that matter, in Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04, without disabling all the online search results.
Update: this article was initially written for Ubuntu 13.10 but everything here was tested and it works with Ubuntu 14.04 too.
SparkleShare is an open source cloud collaboration/synchronization tool that uses Git under the hood and can be used with your own Git repository or with services such as BitBucket, GitHub, Gitorious and Plan.io.
Xfwm4 4.11.0 has been uploaded recently to the Xfce 4.12 PPA for (X)Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04, bringing Sync to VBlank support for the Xfwm4 (Xfce's window manager) compositor, which should prevent tearing when dragging/resizing windows, media players and flash applications, etc.
Sebastien Bacher, software engineer at Canonical, recently posted a message on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list in which he proposes that Ubuntu stays on GTK/GNOME 3.8 for the next cycle (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS).