Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Official Ubuntu Rolling Release Proposal

Ubuntu logo

A while back, Leann Ogasawara, Canonical Kernel Team Manager, has said that it has been discussed internally to use a rolling release model for Ubuntu between LTS releases, but that it is just an idea for now. With the new Ubuntu Touch, which needs both "velocity and agility", the rolling release mode seems to be more than just an idea and Rick Spencer, Engineering Director at Canonical, has made a proposal about this on the Ubuntu Devel mailing list.

In the thread named "Let's Discuss Interim Releases (and a Rolling Release)", he states that "we should keep LTS releases, but starting now, stop doing interim releases and start a rolling release".

New Android-x86 4.2 Test Build (Based On Android 4.2.2) Available For Download

Android-x86 4.2

Android-x86 is a project that provides Android with x86 support so it can be used on netbooks, laptops and various tablets.

Today, a new Android-x86 4.2 (based on the latest Android 4.2.2) test build has been released and it includes:

Ubuntu Touch Daily Builds Available For Download

ubuntu phablet

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview daily builds (images) are now available for developers and enthusiasts.

Unity Stacks Application `Drawers` Updated With New Active Drawers Feature, Other Changes

Drawers is an application that creates "stacks" (drawers) on the Unity Launcher, which can be used to organize various files, folders, applications or links for quick access, create drawers that automatically display the applications in a category and more.

A new "Active Folder" drawer

The application has been updated today, getting quite a few new features, including a new type of drawers called "Active Drawers". This type of drawer lets you view and launch the contents of a folder that's constantly monitored for changes, so when you add new files to that folder, they show up in the drawer. You can also access the files in that folder via quicklists (right click) available for the Active Drawer Unity Launcher icon:

Everpad 2.5 Released With Note Sharing, Filter By Tags, More

Everpad is a Linux client for Evernote, a popular note taking service. The application comes with a Unity lens that supports previews, Ubuntu AppIndicator for quickly accessing your notes, supports Evernote tags, notebooks, resources, places and more.

Everpad: sharing note and all notes window

Even though it has many Unity-specific features, Everpad isn't just for Unity and it works with GNOME Shell or KDE too (it even has Krunner integration).

CopyQ: Interesting Clipboard Manager With Advanced Features

CopyQ is a clipboard manager written in Qt that comes with some advanced features, image support, editable history, command line support, keyboard shortcuts and more. The application is available for Linux and Windows.

CopyQ clipboard manager

Bumblebee 3.1 Released With Primus Support [Nvidia Optimus GPU Switching]

Bumblebee 3.1 has been released today with support for Primus as an alternative to the VirtualGL optirun backend, along with other enhancements and fixes.

Bumblebee is a (unofficial) tool that brings Nvidia Optimus GPU switching to Linux. Nvidia Optimus is a technology used to increase battery life by switching the dedicated GPU (Nvidia) off when it's not needed; when the dedicated GPU is off, the integrated graphics chip (Intel) is used. Bumblebee also supports legacy Nvidia hybrid graphics.

Bumblebee optirun glxspheres

How To Disable The GNOME Shell AppMenu While Retaining Its Functionality

GNOME has introduced the AppMenu for some of its core applications a while back (for some applications like Epiphany, with GNOME 3.4 and for others like Nautilus, etc. with GNOME 3.6), meaning that part of the menu or the whole menu is displayed as a drop-down on the top GNOME Shell bar:

GNOME Shell AppMenu Nautilus

How To Flash Ubuntu Touch From Windows

ubuntu touch

The official Ubuntu Touch installation instructions are only for Ubuntu, so if you're running Windows, the instructions won't work for you. So here's how to install Ubuntu Touch if you're using Windows.

MediterraneanNight GTK3.6 Theme Pack Updated With 12 Color Variations, Other Changes


MediterraneanNight, a popular GTK3 theme pack, has been updated and it now includes 12 color variations: white, dark, blue and more. 

Besides the new color variations, the latest version comes with other changes, including many redesigned widgets, new progress bar style, many fixes and also, it's no longer required to make any changes to use the themes in GNOME Shell or Unity.

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview And Ubuntu SDK Released, Developers Can Now Flash Ubuntu On Nexus Devices

Ubuntu touch developer preview

The Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview has been released. This includes the source code and images for both the phone and tablet interfaces and are aimed at developers so it's not something you should install for actual every day usage. For now you'll find that some features are missing, like playing music, no mobile data connection, PIN/PUK support, etc., there are bugs and so on.

Ubuntu For Tablets Hands-On Videos

Ubuntu for Tablets

The Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview should be available for download later today and although I've found some daily images which can already be downloaded (I won't give you a download link but if you can't wait for the official release, you can do a Google search), I unfortunately don't have a Nexus device to test them on.

Update: the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview has been released.

But some Ubuntu for tablets hands-on videos have already started to show up on YouTube and below you can watch two of them, via Engadget and TheVerge:

Ubuntu GNOME Remix 13.04 Switches To Firefox And LibreOffice By Default, Replacing Epiphany, Abiword And Gnumeric

After a recent update, Ubuntu GNOME Remix 13.04 (currently under development) has switched to Firefox and LibreOffice by default, replacing Epiphany, Abiword and Gnumeric.

ubuntu gnome remix

Oracle Releases Updates For Java 7 (JDK 7u15) and 6 (JDK 6u41), PPA Updated

Oracle Java logo

Quick update: Oracle has released a Critical Patch Update for Java 6 (JDK 6u41) and 7 (JDK 7u15). Also, 6u41 is the last public Java 6 release and Oracle no longer recommends using it in production, so if you're using it, you should upgrade to Java 7.

Unity Gets New Quicklists Window Switching Feature [Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail]

Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail: Unity has been updated today and besides many bug fixes, the update brings a new feature which allows users to switch between multiple windows of an application using quicklists:

Unity - switching between windows via quicklists

Canonical Unveils New Ubuntu Tablet Interface

Ubuntu Tablet interface

Canonical has unveiled a new Ubuntu tablet interface today, which shares some of the Ubuntu Phone OS elements, but it also comes with new features such as a "Side Stage" which lets you use phone and tablet apps in the same time.

Tick, Tock, Tablet Time [Important Ubuntu Announcement Coming Tomorrow]

Just like more than a month ago, when Ubuntu Phone OS was announced, a countdown is displayed on the Ubuntu.com homepage, and this time it says: "Tick, tock, tablet time!".

So what could this be? An Ubuntu tablet is about to be released? Or more likely, an optimized Ubuntu Phone OS for tablets?

Update: this might be a coincidence (?), but if it's not, it's big (via +Nate Carpenter)! Below is a screenshot of ubuntu.com and htc.com, side by side:

Raspberry Pi: Easily Boot Multiple Linux Distributions From The Same SD Card With BerryBoot

raspberry pi transparent case

BerryBoot is a tool / bootloader that allows you to install (and boot) multiple Linux distributions on the same SD card or USB drive. It supports Raspberry Pi as well as Android tablets, TV sticks and boards that have an Allwinner A10 processor, such as MK802.

Dota 2 Game To Be Available Natively On Linux?

Dota 2 is an upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game developed by Valve. The game is currently available for early test access purchase and will be free-to-play when released. More about Dota 2 on Wikipedia.

How To Use Your Own Weather Services API Key With `My Weather Indicator`

my weather indicator ubuntu
My Weather Indicator on top panel + widget

`My Weather Indicator` is an Ubuntu AppIndicator which displays the current weather in the top panel. The application comes with many features, including weather forecast, a cool forecast map and even desktop widgets.

Because of API limitations, Wunderground and World Weather Online didn't work properly in My Weather Indicator lately, so a new version has been released recently which allows users to enter their own API keys for these services in the My Weather Indicator preferences.

You can continue to use Open Weather Map and Yahoo weather services, which don't require you to enter an API key, so this isn't something required to get My Weather Indicator to work, it's just if you want to use Wunderground or World Weather Online services.

Try TextAdept, A Fast, Cross-Platform Text Editor That Comes With GTK And Ncurses Interfaces


TextAdept is a fast, minimalistic text editor that can be extended through Lua. The application is free, open source and runs on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

TextAdept features unlimited split views, support for over 80 programming languages, powerful snippets and key commands, code autocompletition and API lookup and is entirely keyboard driven.

Steam For Linux Celebration Sale: Save 50%-80% On All Linux Games

Steam for Linux Celebration Sale

Valve has launched `Steam for Linux Celebration Sale` and all the games available for Linux are now on sale. During this campaign, the discount ranges between -50% and -80%.

Keep Your Browser Profiles In tmpfs (RAM) For Reduced Disk Writes And Increased Performance With Profile Sync Daemon


Profile Sync Daemon is a tool to move the web browser profile to RAM, using tmpfs, which has the advantage of reducing disk writes (useful for SSDs, some would say), increased speed and responsiveness.

The tool supports most browsers: Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox (stable, beta, aurora and firefox-trunk), Conkeror, Midori, Opera (including Opera Next) and Qupzilla and is based on an old script (we've covered it on WebUpd8 back in 2009), with some extra features: this is a daemonized script and has recovery protection, as well as support for all the above mentioned browsers as opposed to the old script which only supports Firefox. It's also a lot easier to use.

Since RAM content is cleared on reboot, Profile Sync Daemon automatically syncs the profile back to the physical disk using a symbolic link and rsync at a given time interval. Furthermore, the profile is synced back to the hard disk before you shut down or restart your computer, so no profile data is lost. Still, use it at your own risk!

Xubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail ISO Size Raised To 1GB, GIMP And Gnumeric To Be Installed By Default

xubuntu logo

Xubuntu, the Xfce Ubuntu flavor, will ship with a 1GB ISO starting with Raring. Obviously, after this change, Xubuntu will no longer fit on a CD but this will allow some packages that were dropped in Xubuntu 12.10 to be added back by default.

Popular Remote Desktop Tool TeamViewer 8 For Linux (Stable) Released

TeamViewer is a popular application for remote control, desktop sharing, file transfer, online meetings and more, that's available for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Android and iPhone. The application is free (freeware) for personal use only!

The Linux version uses Wine which comes bundled with it (it doesn't require the user to install Wine, like the old Picasa for Linux package), so it's not a native Linux application.

TeamViewer8 for Linux

The latest TeamViewer 8 (stable) for Windows was released back in December and today, the stable version is also available for Linux. While in beta, there were two bugs that affected for many users (myself included) until recently, which resulted either an "TeamViewer Daemon is not running. Please start teamviewerd and then restart TeamViewer" error message or a ghost window showing up.

But these issues seem fixed and TeamViewer 8 for Linux has worked properly in my tests under Ubuntu 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04. I'm not sure if these issues were present in other Linux distributions and if they were fixed or not.

A Quick Look At The New GNOME Classic Session (Now Available In The GNOME Testing PPA)

New GNOME Classic Shell session

As you probably know, the fallback mode will be dropped with GNOME 3.8 and instead, users will be able to use a set of GNOME Shell extensions that provide a GNOME2-like layout. Recently, these changes have landed in the GNOME Testing PPA for Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04.

Unity Privacy Indicator: Quickly Enable Or Disable Dash Online Search Results Or Zeitgeist Logging

ubuntu privacy indicator

Privacy Indicator is an Ubuntu AppIndicator especially created to control some privacy aspects of Unity.

The AppIndicator can be used to enable or disable:
  • Dash online search results;
  • Zeitgeist logging (so when you disable this, all files you access won't be logged by Zeitgeist and thus, will not show up in Dash or any other applications that make use of Zeitgeist);
  • show real name on the Unity panel.
After a recent update, the indicator can also clear the Zeitgeist log and recent files (from the new Nautilus 3.6 sidebar, etc.).

    Terra: Drop-Down Terminal Emulator With Support For Multiple Terminals In One Window

    Terra is a Python / GTK3 drop-down terminal emulator similar to Guake or Yakuake, which shows up from the top of the screen when you press a keyboard shortcut, like the console used in games such as Quake.

    The application combines some of the features available in Guake and Terminator, resulting in a nice drop-down terminal emulator in which you can use multiple terminals in the same window (you can split the terminal horizontally or vertically):

    terra terminal emulator

    Kubuntu: How To Enable The KDE Appmenu [Global Menu Or Title Bar Button]

    Starting with KDE SC 4.10, KDE can now use an appmenu instead of the classic menu, and two styles are available: a menu bar at the top of the screen (a global menu) that's hidden by default and revealed on mouse over or a menu button on the window decoration:

    KDE 4.10: Appmenu as a titlebar button
    Appmenu as a titlebar button

    KDE 4.10: Top screen menubar
    Top screen menubar

    Unity Notification Area (Systray) Whitelist Is Obsolete [Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail Changes]

    Ubuntu old notification area
    Old notification area (before AppIndicators)

    The notification area (systray) was removed from the Unity panel with Ubuntu 11.04, but you could still use it by whitelisting applications which would allow the icons to show up in the notification area. But not any more!

    LibreOffice 4.0 Available For Download


    The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 4.0 today, which, according to the official announcement, is the "first release that reflects the objectives set by the community at the time of the announcement, in September 2010: a cleaner and leaner code base, an improved set of features, better interoperability, and a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem".

    The new version brings Unity appmenu support, option to use Firefox Personas,  better interoperability with DOCX and RTF documents and many other changes.

    GIMP 2.8.4 Released, Install It In Ubuntu

    gimp 2.8.4

    GIMP 2.8.4 has been released yesterday, bringing some important bug fixes. This is the stable GIMP branch and no new features will be added in the 2.8.x releases, only bug fixes.

    Here are the most important changes in GIMP 2.8.4:

    Upgrade To KDE SC 4.10 In Kubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04

    KDE SC 4.10 has been released today with many improvements and additions, including a new QML-based screen locker, additional KWin effects and scripts thanks to GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) integration, a new print manager, a new Air theme and wallpaper and many improvements to Kate, Dolphin, Konsole, Okular, Gwenview, Kontact, re-written typing tutor and more. 

    KDE SC 4.10

    More information about the latest KDE SC 4.10 can be found here:

    As usual, the Kubuntu team has been super fast and the latest KDE SC 4.10 is available for Kubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 users in the Kubuntu Backports PPA, so here's how to upgrade.

    flareGet Is A Great Download Manager For Linux

    flareGet is download manager for Linux that features dynamic file segmentation, HTTP-pipelining for accelerated downloads, supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and metalinks and more. The application is free to use but not open-source.

    The application is written in Qt and besides the icons, it integrates pretty well under GNOME, including desktop notifications and an AppIndicator for Unity.

    flareget download manager

    Counter Strike: Source, Closure, Psychonauts And Shank 2 Available On Steam For Linux

    After Counter-Strike 1.6 and Half-Life 1, another important game is now available in Steam for Linux: Counter-Strike: Source (CS: S), a popular first-person shooter developed by Valve.

    counter strike source Linux

    Jailbreak iOS 6.0 And 6.1 Devices Under Linux Using evasi0n

    iOS jailbreak tool "evasi0n" allows you to jailbreak any iPhone (including iPhone 5), iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 6.0.x and 6.1, from Windows, Mac and of course, Linux. 

    evasi0n ios jailbreak tool Linux

    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail Changes: Memory Improvements, Two New Default Indicators

    The work to "make Ubuntu fit on mobile" has advantages for the desktop users and recently, some changes have landed in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail (currently under development) which should reduce the memory used by some default packages.

    Use Monochrome Icons For The Steam Ubuntu AppIndicator [Quick Tip]

    A quick tip for those of you who are using Steam for Linux in Ubuntu: you've probably noticed that Steam for Linux has recently got an AppIndicator, but its icon doesn't integrate with the default Ubuntu icons, so here's how to use Ubuntu Mono dark / light icons for the Steam AppIndicator.

    Minitube 2.0 And Musique 1.2.1 Released, Available In Our Ubuntu PPA

    Minitube 2.0

    Minitube, a native Youtube client for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X which you can use to play (and download) YouTube videos without Flash, has been updated today and the new version is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 and 13.04.

    The latest Minitube 2.0 adds YouTube categories and "standard feeds": "Most Popular", "Featured", etc., country selection for YouTube categories and feeds, related videos, bigger and nicer 16:9 thumbnails as well as some other changes such as:

    Oracle Releases Critical Security Update For Java 7 (7u13) and Java 6 (6u39), PPA Updated

    oracle java vulnerability

    Oracle has released updates for Java 7: 7u13 and Java 6: 6u39, which come with a Critical Patch Update for 50 new security issues, of which 49 could be used to execute code remotely, without authentication.

    The updates were scheduled for February 19th, but because of the vulnerabilities affecting Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in browsers, Oracle has decided to accelerate their release, specially since some browsers have automatically blocked the Java browser plugin because of these security issues.

    Seafile: Robust File Synchronization And Collaboration Tool That You Can Run On Your Linux Server

    Seafile is an open source cloud file synchronization and collaboration tool, similar to Dropbox, OwnCloud or SparkleShare, that you can use on your Linux server or you can sign up for a Seafile account and get 5GB of free space on their servers.

    Seafile features:
    • Seafile uses file libraries which can be synchronized separately;
    • Users can create and join groups;
    • File revisions;
    • File preview, comments, event notifications;
    • Library encryption;
    • Share files;
    • Clients available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS.

    How To Get Unity Launcher Window Dodge In Ubuntu 12.10 Or 13.04

    unity dodge windows

    The patch that adds the old window dodge autohide behaviour for the Unity Launcher hasn't been updated for Ubuntu 12.10, but an old script that implements the same behaviour, with some limitations, now works with Ubuntu 12.10 and even 13.04.

    The Unity Dodge Windows script was initially created by Jorge for Ubuntu 12.04 and it has now been updated by WebUpd8 reader Alex Piggott to work with Ubuntu 12.10. With a minor change, I've also got it to work with Ubuntu 13.04.