Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

LightDM Session Locker `Light Locker` Sees First Stable Release

Light Locker, the new session locker for LightDM forked from GNOME Screensaver, has reached version 1.0 (stable).

Touchpad Indicator 0.9.5 Brings Important Bug Fixes

Touchpad Indicator is an Ubuntu AppIndicator which, like the name suggests, allows you to easily enable or disable your laptop touchpad. This is useful if your laptop doesn't have a touchpad toggle key or if the key doesn't work.

touchpad indicator ubuntu

The application comes with an optional keyboard shortcut to enable/disable the touchpad, can automatically disable the touchpad when a mouse is plugged in and more.

Metro: Last Light Linux Release Confirmed For Later This Year

4A Games and Deep Silver have confirmed that a Linux version of Metro: Last Light is scheduled for release later this year.

Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser Plugin Gets New Coverflow View, Rhythmbox 2.99 Support

CoverArt Browser is a Rhythmbox plugin that lets you browse and play your music library using an album art view.

App Grid: New Lightweight Ubuntu Software Center Alternative

App Grid is a new lightweight Ubuntu Software Center alternative that tries to make application discovery easier by using a grid view which includes app screenshots and ratings.

E-book Management App `Calibre` 1.0 Released

Calibre is an open source tool to manage e-books, which features e-book syncing with popular e-book readers, library management and e-book conversion between various formats. The application is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

The latest Calibre 1.0, released recently, features a new cover grid view of the books available in the Calibre library, a faster database backend and more.

Calibre 1.0

Download Viber For Linux Desktop (.deb)

Viber is an application that sits somewhere between Skype and WhatsApp, which can be used to make free calls, send text messages, photos and video messages without having to register (all phone contacts that have installed Viber are listed as Viber contacts).

Initially, Viber was a mobile-only application but a few months ago, a desktop client has been released for OS X and Windows. Earlier this month, Viber Media Inc. has released Viber for Linux as a public beta. For now, there are only 64bit binaries available for download.

Download The Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander Community Wallpapers

The Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander community wallpapers have landed in Saucy recently.

The wallpaper pack comes with 18 elegant images, including 3 cool salamander wallpapers:

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander wallpapers

Xubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander Not Switching To XMir By Default

Xubuntu logo

In a Xubuntu team meeting, it was decided that Xubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander won't ship with Mir & XMir by default.

Pipelight: Use Silverlight In Your Linux Browser To Watch Netflix, Maxdome Videos And More

Pipelight is project that brings Silverlight to any Linux browser that supports the Netscape Plugin API. Using it, you can use services that require Silverlight, such as Netflix, in native Linux web browsers like Firefox, Chrome or Midori.

Netflix Google Chrome Linux

Lightbox-Style Image Viewer `PhotoQt` Updated With Window Mode, GraphicsMagick Support

PhotoQt (previously called "Photo") is a fast, stylish image viewer that supports basic image manipulation and file management and more. 

The application has been updated recently, getting a window mode (previously it was full-screen only) along with other interesting changes. Also, the application now uses GraphicsMagick which means it supports 80+ file types.


New PPA For Numix GTK And Icon Themes, More

Quick update for Numix fans: a new Numix PPA has been created and it hosts daily builds for Numix GTK theme, two Numix icon themes, a Plank theme and even a Numix wallpaper. More Numix related artwork will be added to this PPA in the future.

Furthermore, Numix GTK theme is now compatible with GTK 3.4 and Pantheon (it already supported GTK 3.6 and 3.8), meaning it should work properly in Ubuntu 12.04 and elementary OS 0.2 Luna.

Here are a few screenshots:

Numix themes
Numix GTK, icon themes and wallpaper (Unity)

Evernote Linux Client `NixNote 2` To Ditch Java For C++ / Qt, Alpha Version Available

NixNote (previously Nevernote) is an unofficial open source Evernote client written in Java, but it seems this will change with the next major release and C++/Qt will be used instead.

For those not familiar with Evernote, this is a popular note-taking service that besides regular notes, supports images, video and audio, handwritten notes and basically all kind of information you could add to a note. There are Evernote applications for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and so on, but not for Linux.

Quick elementary OS 0.2 Luna (Stable) Overview

Two years after the "Jupiter" release, elementary OS 0.2 Luna (stable) has been made available for download recently. With a bit of a delay, here's a quick overview of what to expect from Luna, along with screenshots and of course, a video.

elementary OS Luna screenshots

TrueCrypt With Ubuntu AppIndicator PPA

Ubuntu doesn't support tray icons by default and further more, the systray whitelist, which could be used to get applications to use the systray, has been removed with Ubuntu 13.04.

This is pretty bad for TrueCrypt, an open source disk encryption application that still uses a tray icon and doesn't come with an Ubuntu AppIndicator, because you can't bring the mount/dismount dialog up once you close the main window unless you kill the application (it closes to the tray which isn't visible).

TrueCrypt Ubuntu AppIndicator

For this reason, Stefan Sundin has created an Ubuntu PPA for TrueCrypt which has been patched to use an Ubuntu AppIndicator instead of a tray icon.

Nuvola Player 2.1 Beta 1 Released [Cloud Music Player With Desktop Integration]

Nuvola Player

Nuvola Player is a cloud music player that supports services such as Grooveshark, Google Play Music, Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, Rdio, Hype Machine or 8tracks.

The application integrates tightly with the desktop, providing notifications, multimedia keys support, Unity quicklists, Mpris v2 (Ubuntu Sound Menu / GNOME Shell Media Player extension integration) support and more. Other features include last.fm scrobbling, proxy support, Dock Manager integration (integrates with Docky, AWN or DockBarX) and lyrics fetching.

Easily Download And Install Google Web Fonts In Ubuntu With TypeCatcher

TypeCatcher is an application that allows to easily browse, search, download and install fonts from the Google Web Fonts collection, which includes hundreds of open source fonts.

Using Nvidia Graphics Drivers With Initial Optimus Support In Ubuntu 13.10 Got Easier With Nvidia-Prime

As you probably know, the Nvidia graphics drivers have received initial Optimus support a while back. Currently, the Nvidia GPU can be used to render the desktop, but there's no power saving yet. That means you can for instance play games or watch videos using hardware acceleration.

But to be able to take advantage of this feature in the latest Nvidia drivers, you need up-to-date dependencies (such as Randr 1.4, Xorg 1.13 - that's what the initial Nvidia release notes mention, but it seems you actually need 1.14 -, Linux Kernel 3.9 with some special flags enabled), as well as a custom xorg.conf file and some other bits.

That means that out of the box, the only Ubuntu version that can use this initial Optimus support in the Nvidia graphics drivers is Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, but even in Saucy, you need to configure some things to get it to work.

If you're using Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander or newer, things got a lot easier and you don't need to configure anything to be able to take advantage of this Optimus feature in the Nvidia graphics drivers 319.12+: a package called "nvidia-prime", which comes with a set of tools that enable Nvidia's Prime on MUXless systems, has been uploaded to the Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander repositories about a month ago and it has currently reached version 0.4 (released today).

Tribler BitTorrent Client Sees New Release [Ubuntu PPA]

Tribler is an open source, decentralized peer-to-peer client based on the BitTorrent protocol, available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

Like other BitTorrent clients, Tribler features a search box you can use to find content however, the search results come directly from other peers, without using a central server and this makes it immune to government anti-piracy attacks (the application will continue to work if the torrent trackers are pulled offline), claims an article from dailymail.co.uk.

Tribler bittorrent client

The application includes features such as wiki-style channels, video-on-demand (watch videos while you download them) and more.

AeroFS Makes Cloudless, Secure File Sync Easy

AeroFS is a tool somewhat similar to BitTorrent Sync, that allows you to securely synchronize files between computers. The data is synchronized directly between clients, without using a central cloud server.

The tool is free for personal use (1-3 teammates), with unlimited syncing and 1 collaboration folder or, if you want unlimited collaborators, you must pay a fee of $10 per teammate/month. AeroFS is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and Android.

Rhythmbox Google Play Music Plugin: Rhythmbox-GMusic

Rhythmbox-GMusic is a Rhythmbox plugin for Google Play Music.

Rhythmbox Google Music

Xubuntu 13.10 XMir ISO Available For Testing

The Xubuntu team hasn't decided yet if the Xfce Ubuntu flavor will switch to XMir or continue with X.org for 13.10. Before making the decision, this needs to be properly tested so an Xubuntu ISO running on Mir & XMir has been made available for download.

Xubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

Ambiance Theme Updated With Dark Toolbars For Nautilus And Other GNOME 3 Apps [Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander]

Ubuntu 13.10 Nautilus dark toolbar

The Ubuntu Light Themes - Ambiance and Radiance -, have been updated today in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander with a fix for the GNOME 3 "symbolic toolbars". Applications that use such toolbars, like Nautilus 3.6+ for instance, now have a dark toolbar using the default Ubuntu theme.

Unity 8 Available In The Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander Repositories

Unity 8, the Ubuntu Phone Qml Shell, has landed in the Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander repositories.

For now, Unity 8 is in its early alpha stages and not ready for use, and in fact, there's a message on the wallpaper used by it that says just that:

Unity 8 shell

Tiny Tiny RSS 1.9 Available In PPA For Ubuntu 13.04, 12.10 And 12.04

Tiny Tiny RSS is an open source web-based RSS reader that you can install on a server and then access it from multiple computers/devices. Since it's self-hosted, you're in control of your data and don't have to worry that the service may be discontinued, like it happened with Google Reader (and almost happened with The Old Reader).

Official Intel Linux Graphics Installer Updated With 2013Q2 Intel Graphics Stack

The Intel Linux Graphics Installer and the Intel repository have been updated with the latest 2013Q2 Intel Graphics Stack, for Ubuntu 13.04 and Fedora 19.

Intel Driver Manager

The Intel Linux Graphics Installer is a tool developed by Intel that allows users to easily upgrade to the latest graphics drivers for Intel hardware. The installer automatically adds a repository used for upgrading the packages provided by Intel - that means that besides the Intel Linux Graphics Installer, you can also use the Ubuntu Software Updater, apt-get, etc. to upgrade the packages.