Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Dropbox Uploader Bash Script: Useful For Servers, Raspberry Pi And More

Dropbox Uploader is a bash script you can use to access your Dropbox files from the command line, without having to install the Dropbox client. The script can upload, download, delete, share or list the files available in your Dropbox account.

The script is useful in many situations, including: automatic backups, access Dropbox from an ARM server / Raspberry Pi, etc. (since Dropbox isn't available for ARM). That's because its only requirement is cURL, so you don't have to install the Dropbox client to quickly upload or download some files from Dropbox.

XBMC 12.0 `Frodo` Stable Released. Use It On Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi, Android And More

XBMC Media Center 12.0 "Frodo" has been released today with HD audio, Live TV and PVR support and many other enhancements. Also, the application is now available for Android and Raspberry Pi (although there are no official Raspberry Pi builds provided by XBMC).

Xbmc 12.0 Ubuntu

Sublime Text 3 Beta Available For Download

Sublime Text is probably among the best text/code editors available for Linux, and it's cross-platform so it works on Windows and Mac OS X too.

Sublime Text 2 stable was released about 7 months ago and since then, its developer has been working on a new version: Sublime Text 3. Even though Sublime Text is not free, up until now, users could evaluate it for an unlimited period of time which basically meant you didn't really had to buy it unless you wanted to support the developer. However, the latest Sublime Text 3 beta can only be used if you've purchased a license (USD $70, pretty expensive I'd say), but the old evaluation model might be used later on.

I-Nex: Tool To List Hardware Information In Linux, Similar To CPU-Z

I-Nex is an application that gathers information for hardware components available on your system and displays it using an user interface similar to the popular Windows tool CPU-Z.

I-Nex can display information for the following components: CPU, GPU, Motherboard, Sound, Hard disks, RAM, Network and USB as well as some system info like the hostname, Linux distribution and version, Xorg, GCC, GLX versions and Linux Kernel info.

Besides being able to display hardware information, I-Nex can also generate an advanced report for which you can select what to include and optionally send the report to a service such as Pastebin (and others). It also features an option to take a screenshot of the I-Nex window directly from the application.

Upgrade To Gvfs With MTP Support In Ubuntu 12.04 To Easily Connect Android 4.0+ Devices

Like I was telling you a while back, Gvfs has been updated in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail, bringing a new MTP backend which allows users to access Android 4.0 devices which do not support the USB Mass Storage protocol, along with many other changes. Since it's unlikely for the latest Gvfs (1.15.2) to be backported to older Ubuntu releases, you can use a PPA which has the latest Gvfs MTP backend backported to Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10.

Android 4.0+ gvfs Ubuntu

Watch LOVEFiLM, Maxdome And RedBox Videos In Ubuntu Using The Netflix Desktop PPA

The Netflix Desktop Ubuntu PPA has been updated with separate packages for LOVEFiLM, RedBox and Maxdome, three video streaming services similar to Netflix.

LOVEFiLM, Maxdome and RedBox, like Netflix, are on demand TV shows and movie streaming services that require Microsoft's Silverlight plugin to play so they don't work natively under Linux, but thanks to Erich Hoover's custom WINE build, it's now possible to use all these services on Linux.

LOVEFiLM silverlight ubuntu wine

Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser Plugin Sees New Release

CoverArt Browser, a Rhythmbox plugin to browse and play music using an album art view, has been updated to version 0.7, getting some new features as well as improvements which should make the plugin start a lot faster.

Half-Life And Counter-Strike Games Now Available Natively For Linux [Steam]

counter strike linux

Valve has released the original Half Life 1 and Counter Strike 1.6 games for Linux (and OS X).

Eclipse IDE: Get Ubuntu AppMenu And HUD Support

By default, the popular Eclipse IDE does not support the Ubuntu AppMenu or  HUD. The reason for this is that Eclipse has been blacklisted so it wouldn't use the AppMenu around the time of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat because it didn't work back then.

Now Eclipse does work with the AppMenu, however, there are some minor glitches like some menu shortcuts not being displayed (although they do work). If this isn't a problem for you, here's a quick way to whitelist Eclipse so it can make use of Ubuntu's Appmenu and HUD.

Below you can see Eclipse IDE with global menu and HUD support running in Ubuntu 13.04:

uGet Download Manager 1.10.3 Gets New Icon, Mirrors Support

uget download manager

uGet 1.10.3 has been released today with a new application icon, support for mirrors and more.

uGet is a GTK3 download manager that can make use of aria2 (a command line download accelerator also used by apt-fast) to accelerate downloads, and comes with features such as: clipboard monitoring, scheduler, resume downloads, batch downloads, supports multiple protocols (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, BitTorrent or Metalink - these last 2 require the aria2 plugin), HTML and TXT file importing, proxy support, cookie and user agent control and much more. 

Elegant Image Viewer `Photo` Sees New Release

"Photo", a fancy Qt image viewer, has been updated recently with new features some of you have requested, such as a slideshow, new settings and others.

photo image viewer

Photo is an image viewer in which the image is displayed in full-screen with a configurable, semi-transparent overlay behind the photo if it doesn't cover the whole screen. 

The application also features image thumbnails on the bottom, which are set to autohide in the new version, but you can set them to always be visible from the settings. The menu is also hidden by default and to access it, you must point the mouse to the top right edge of the screen. 

Ubuntu Might Become A Rolling Release Distribution Between LTS Releases

ubuntu logo

Ubuntu may become a rolling release distribution, but keeping LTS (Long Term Release) releases every two years.

Leann Ogasawara, Canonical Kernel Team Manager has said in a recent Google+ hangout that it has been discussed to use a rolling release model between LTS releases. This is just a discussion for now, but it could become a reality starting with Ubuntu 14.04:

Unity Reboot (Launcher To Quickly Reboot In A Different OS) Updated For Ubuntu 12.10 And 13.04

Today I've updated Unity Reboot to work with the latest GRUB 2.0 available in Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04.

Unity Reboot is a custom Unity launcher that can be used to quickly reboot into a different OS / Linux distribution, useful for those who dual boot (or triple boot or... it should work with any number of operating systems, including Windows, various Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora, etc.). This isn't just for Unity and it should also work with docks that support Unity quicklists, like DockBarX, Cairo Dock or Plank.

Here's a screenshot with Unity Reboot in Ubuntu 12.10 on a system on which I triple boot: Ubuntu 12.10, Fedora 18 and Windows 7 (in VirtualBox, set up just for testing this):

unity reboot ubuntu fedora windows 7

Unity Revamped PPA Is Back For Ubuntu 12.04 (Unity Launcher Dodge, Minimize On Click Features)

The Unity Revamped PPA is back for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This is a PPA that comes with a custom Unity build that brings back the old "Dodge windows" and "Dodge active window" Launcher hide behaviour as well as a feature that many have requested: minimize / restore windows by clicking on their icon in the Unity Launcher.

unity dodge windows revamped

Unity Changes - Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

As you probably know, there will be no alpha milestones for Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail and Unity has got some minor, but interesting changes since the Raring development has begun, so I though I'd make a video showing some of these features so you can see what's new.

unity ubuntu 13.04 raring ringtail screenshot

For instance, in an update last night, the BFB (the Ubuntu logo button used to open Dash) got the new asset (icon) we wrote about a while back. The same update has brought refreshed Launcher tile assets and the removal of the 32px minimum Launcher icon size limit.

Latest Nemo File Manager From GIT Gets Breadcrumbs, Option To Hide The Menu, More

Nemo, the default Linux Mint (Cinnamon) file manager, forked from Nautilus 3.4, has got a lot of interesting changes in GIT recently.

The most visible change is the addition of breadcrumbs which look great if you're using the Mint-X theme (default Linux Mint theme, also available in the WebUpd8 Themes Repository) as you can see below:

Nemo file manager

How To Use Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x As A Drop-Down Console (Guake-style)

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Xfce

Xfce4 Terminal has been updated recently, two new versions being released: 0.6.0 and 0.6.1, and many new features were added, including an option to use the terminal as a drop-down console, like Guake or Yakuake. But this new feature isn't available as an option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences, so here's how to use it.

Among the new features added in the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x, are:
  • Added search dialog;
  • Terminal tab color changes when activity occurs in a tab since last viewed;
  • Support for color presets and some presets were added by default, including "Solarized Dark", my favourite terminal / text editor color scheme that I've been using everywhere for a long time (see: Solarized: A Must Have Color Scheme For Gnome Terminal, Vim, Gedit And Lots More)
  • Drop-down window support when using "--drop-down" parameter

Download AirDroid 2 APK, Now With Remote Camera, Find My Phone Features [Android]

AirDroid 2
AirDroid 2 - browser (web) interface

AirDroid is a free Android application that you can use to control your Android device from your desktop, by using a web browser (so it on Linux and any other OS). It can be used to transfer files (upload to the phone or download to your desktop), browse images, quickly send or read an SMS and many others.

We've covered AirDroid before, so take a look at our initial post for more info.

The latest AirDroid 2 beta could only be downloaded by using an invitation, but the apk can now be downloaded by everyone, although it's not on Google Play just yet. The new version comes with many cool new features such as a new "Find my phone" service, a remote camera feature and others.

Work Started On Cinnamon Screensaver (Forked From GNOME Screensaver 3.4)

Like we were telling you a while back, Linux Mint 15 will get a new screensaver, among other cool new features and changes.

The work on the new Cinnamon screensaver has started and the code is available on GitHub:

Cinnamon Screensaver
Cinnamon Screensaver / lock screen (work in progress!)

GNOME Shell 3.8: Redesigned Search

GNOME 3.8 will feature a redesigned search which displays the results in a list. A new search settings panel will allow users to configure the GNOME Shell search: you can enable or disable searching for documents, files, contacts or boxes and so on as well as a way to configure search locations:

GNOME Shell 3.8 search settings

Fedora 18 `Spherical Cow` Released

Fedora 18 screenshot

Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" has been released today, featuring the latest stable GNOME 3.6 by default and a brand new installer UI.

Enable TRIM On SSD (Solid-State Drives) In Ubuntu For Better Performance

kingston ssd 120gb v200

TRIM allows the OS to "inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally". Without using TRIM, the SSD speed decreases after a while so if you have a solid-state drive that supports TRIM, you should enable it so your SSD remains fast over time.

This isn't easy to benchmark because the performance decreases over time so you'd neet to check the SSD speed constantly for a few months to see exactly how the SSD is affected when TRIM is not enabled. But if your SSD read / write speed decreases a lot over time and you haven't enabled TRIM, this may be way.

Some articles mention using online discard - enabling TRIM by adding the "discard" option to /etc/fstab -, but there are many who say this isn't a good idea for most solid-state drives and you'll get a pretty significant performance hit when trying to delete a large number of small files. So below I'll let you know how to use both of these methods: online discard (not recommended) and the recommended way: using fstrim and a cron (anacron) job.

Note: the instructions below have been tested in Ubuntu, but they may (most probably) work with other Linux distributions as well.

Beautiful MediterraneanNight GTK 3.6 Theme Pack Updated

MediterraneanNight is a pack of 3 darkish GTK3 themes based on Gnome Cupertino available for both GTK3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04) and GTK3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04) as well as for Xfce.

The beautiful theme pack has been updated yesterday, getting some interesting changes, but only for the GTK3.6 version:
  • new switches,
  • more rounded buttons,
  • improved Rhythmbox sidebar color,
  • Nautilus 3.6 changes: pathbar better spacing, improved icons sidebar color, changed the style of tabs (better readability),
  • many fixes and details like fixed OSD widget, checkbox and radiobutton symbols in menus, fixed Synaptic GTK3 toolbar and more.

Below you can see a few screenshots featuring the latest MediterraneanNight, MediterraneanDark and MediterraneanLight for GTK 3.6:

MediterraneanNight GTK3.6 theme

MediterraneanNight widget factory


Spotify Ubuntu Ambiance Theme

Michael Tunnell has created a nice Ambiance theme for Spotify which makes the Spotify Linux client integrate better with the Ubuntu desktop.

For those not familiar with Spotify, this is a music streaming service with comes with desktop applications for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X as well as iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone. The service is available in a limited number of countries. More @ Wikipedia.

The Ambiance Spotify theme comes with Ambiance-like toolbar and colors, a better Spotify tray icon especially designed to look like the Ubuntu Mono Dark icon set (the default icons used in Ubuntu), along with other tweaks that try to give Spotify a more native feel.

Here's a screenshot in which I'm using the Ambiance Spotify theme in Ubuntu:

Spotify Ambiance theme Ubuntu

Fix Facebook Not Working With Gwibber In Ubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04

Facebook doesn't currently work with Gwibber (the Facebook feeds aren't updated - bug HERE) and this bug affects Ubuntu 12.10, 12.04 and probably older Ubuntu versions as well.

Update: This bug also affected Ubuntu 13.04 (currently under development), but a fix was pushed a few minutes after publishing this post. Hopefully the fix will make it into older Ubuntu versions soon.

There is, however, a work-around which I can confirm it works for Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal and 12.04 Precise Pangolin - so here's how to apply it and get Facebook to work with Gwibber again!

gwibber facebook working

Oracle Releases Java 7 Update 11 (7u11) To Fix Critical Security Vulnerability, Ubuntu PPA Updated

oracle java

Quick update: Oracle has released Java 7 update 11 which fixes a critical security vulnerability in update 10, so if you're using our PPA, update to the latest JDK 7u11 as soon as possible.

Undistract-me Notifies You When Terminal Commands Are Completed

Undistract-me is a simple tool that notifies you when a command you run in a terminal which takes longer than ten seconds to finish is done.

Besides letting you know that the command has finished running, the notifications sent by Undistract-me display the command you ran (useful if you run multiple commands in the same time) and the number of seconds it took for the command to finish.

This can be useful e.g. when you start to compile something and then you switch to some other window to read your emails or whatever and get distracted and forget about the command you ran: Undistract-me displays a notification when the command / job you ran in the terminal is done so you can go back to the terminal and see the final result, etc.

command completed notification

How To Get Flash Player To Work With Steam For Linux On 64bit

Steam for Linux 64bit no Flash

If you're using Steam for Linux beta on 64bit, chances are you can't watch game trailers because Steam can't find Flash Player and you get a message similar to the one below:

"You need to have a specific Flash Player installed to view video content in Steam. Please follow these directions to get the right version for Steam. You will need this Flash player even if you already have the latest player for your default web browser".

So here's how to get Adobe Flash Player to work with Steam for Linux on 64bit.

Parole Media Player 0.4.0 Released With New Features

Parole, the default Xfce / Xubuntu media player, has reached version 0.4.0, a development release which brings many new features and improvements.

The latest Parole 0.4.0 features CD and DVD playlist support, DVD navigation support, custom subtitle management and other new features along with some important bug fixes for fullscreen controls, screensaver inhibition and others.

Parole Media Player 0.4.0

Get The Ubuntu Phone OS Welcome Screen On Android As A Live Wallpaper

Ubuntu Live Wallpaper is a new Android live wallpaper designed to look like the Ubuntu Phone OS welcome screen:

Ubuntu Phone OS live wallpaper for Android
Ubuntu Phone OS live wallpaper for Android

Fix Wireless Or Wired Network Not Working After Resume From Suspend In Ubuntu

It's time for another fix, this time for wired / wireless network not working after resume from suspend. In Ubuntu, sometimes when resuming from sleep, the wired network doesn't work and I keep getting "disconnected" notifications. I've read that some users are having similar issue with the wireless connection but for me, it's always the Ethernet connection.

Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Some Ubuntu users are reporting LightDM errors when using a SSD: about half the time when starting the computer, LightDM (the default Ubuntu display manager) doesn't load correctly and only a black screen and a blinking command line cursor shows up. The issue isn't limited to those who are using a SSD, but it's a lot more frequent when booting Ubuntu from a solid-state drive.

I too am experiencing this issue with Ubuntu 12.10 (not tested on older Ubuntu versions because I didn't have a SSD when I was using 12.04) and I've found two possible workarounds which have worked for me so I thought I'd share them with you, in case you're experiencing the same issue.

Fuduntu 2013.1 Released With Netflix, Steam And E17 Support, New Default Dock

Fuduntu 2013.1

Fuduntu 2013.1 has been released today, bringing Netflix, Steam and E17 stable support, along with Jockey for proprietary video driver installation and other changes and updates.

Fuduntu is a Linux distribution forked from Fedora that uses GNOME 2 by default, which provides rolling updated for non-GNOME2 packages so you get the latest updates for applications such as VLC, Chromium, Firefox and so on while using a stable desktop.

How To Find Out Maximum Supported RAM Or Number Of Available DIMM Slots In Linux

Dmidecode ubuntu

If you need a quick way to find out how much RAM your Linux system supports or to determine the number of DIMM slots available, you can use a command line tool called "dmidecode".

Cube 2: Sauerbraten 2013 `Collect Edition` FPS Game Update Brings New Maps And Game Modes

Ater two years and a half, a new Cube 2 Sauerbraten version has been released: 2013-01-04 "Collect Edition", which brings new maps, new game modes: "collect", "insta collect", and "efficiency collect" and other interesting changes.

Cube 2 Sauerbraten 2013-01-04

Cube 2: Sauerbraten is a first-person shooter that runs on Linux, Windows and mac OSX which features both single-player and multi-player game modes (LAN, local, online play).

Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 Released With Stable E17 Desktop, non-PAE 32Bit ISO

Bodhi Linux is a minimalistic Linux distribution that uses the Enlightenment Desktop (E17). Based on Ubuntu, Bodhi Linux is a semi-rolling release distribution: it comes with the core Ubuntu LTS packages but it also uses backports for its applications so the users can get the latest app updates.

Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 Desktop
Bodhi Linux 2.2.0: Desktop profile, default theme

The latest Bodhi Linux 2.2.0, released yesterday, is the first version to ship with the new stable E17 desktop.

But that's not all, the new release also comes with two 32bit versions: one that has PAE enabled by default and one that uses the non-PAE Linux Kernel - however, the non-PAE Kernel is older: 3.2 while the PAE-enabled version ships with the 3.7 Kernel. This means that old computers that couldn't boot the previous release (or that can't boot Ubuntu 12.04 / 12.10) can now do so by using the Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 non-PAE ISO.

MyPaint 1.1.0 Released With New Color Dialog And Geometry Tools, More

MyPaint 1.1.0

MyPaint, an open source application for digital painters, has reached version 1.1.0, the new version bringing new blending models, new geometry tools like sequence of lines, curved lines and ellipses, a new color dialog and other interesting changes.

MyPaint is especially designed to create images from scratch and it's not intended to be an image manipulation application (like GIMP), although you can still do many such operations using it. The application features a simple interface, unlimited canvas, extensive brush creation, basic layer support and more and is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.

Elegance Colors GNOME Shell Theme Gets New Customization Options

Elegance Colors, a GNOME Shell theme that can automatically change its colors based on the current GTK theme or wallpaper, has been updated today with many new customization options.

Elegance Colors Preferences

Here's what's new in Elegance Colors 1.1:
  • Options to customize Background color, Text color, Border color, Background opacity, Border opacity etc. for Panel, Menu and Dialogs
  • Added 5 inbulit presets to choose from
  • Better export dialog for exporting the theme
  • Ability to import/export settings (via the Gmenu on the top GNOME Shell panel)
  • Support deriving color from more GTK themes
  • Toggling "Monitor changes" now starts or stops the background process accordingly
  • New styles for Buttons and Entries
  • Option to customize Font family
  • Option to customize the Gradient for the Dash in overview
  • Option to customize Roundness of the theme

With this release, Elegance Colors has evolved from a chameleonic and beautiful, but other than that a pretty much standard theme, to basically a template that you can use to make your own custom GNOME Shell themes.

Ubuntu For Phones Announced Today

ubuntu for phones

The mysterious "so close you can almost touch it" countdown from the ubuntu.com website has just expired, revealing a new operating system for mobile phones: Ubuntu Phone OS.

Check out the trailer and Mark Shuttleworth's presentation of Ubuntu Phone OS videos below: