Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

How To Install GNOME 3.10 In Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

GNOME 3.10 has been released yesterday and I've received requests to write an article on how to upgrade to it in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, so here goes. 

The instructions below are only for those who want to use GNOME Shell (Ubuntu GNOME users, Unity users who want to switch to GNOME Shell, etc.) because of some bugs with the GNOME 3.10 PPA packages and Unity.

See What`s New In GNOME 3.10 [Video, Screenshots]

GNOME 3.10 has been released today with some important changes such as initial Wayland support, header bars (client side decorations), a new system menu for GNOME Shell which combines the previous system status menus and of course, updated core GNOME apps as well as some new applications.

Let's take a look at what's new!

Steam Machines: Valve Announces New Living-Room Hardware That Runs SteamOS

Valve has announced a new category of living-room hardware today, that will be running Steam OS and will be available in multiple configurations. Only 300 of these boxes will ship this year though, for testing purposes.

Steam machines

Valve Reveals SteamOS, A Linux-Based Operating System

Valve has announced SteamOS today, a free, Linux-based operating system "designed for the TV and the living room".


How To Set Up Tunlr DNS Under Linux To Access Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora and More Outside The US

tunlr logo

Tunlr is a free DNS service that lets you use U.S.-based on-demand Internet streaming providers, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS, MTV, ABC, Pandora and more, if you're living outside the U.S.

At the time I'm writing this article, Tunlr reports that the following streaming services are working:
  • US video streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, MTV, theWB, CW TV, Crackle, NBC, Fox, A&E TV, TV.com, Vevo, History, Logo TV, Crunchyroll, DramaFever, Discovery, Spike and VH1;
  • US audio streaming services: Pandora, Last.fm, IheartRadio, Rdio, MOG, Songza;
  • Non-US streaming services: BBC iPlayer (excluding live streams), iTV Player, NHL Gamecenter Live and TF1 Replay / WAT.tv (excluding "direct" stream).

In my test, Tunlr has worked as advertised, but there's one issue: using Tunlr DNS permanently is not a good idea: for privacy/security reasons, speed and so on. Even the Tunlr FAQ page says you shouldn't use the Tunlr DNS for every day web surfing. On Windows, there are some tools you can use to quickly switch the Tunlr DNS on/off, but there's no such tool for Linux, so here's how to properly use Tunlr under Linux.

Raspberry Pi Configuration Manager `PiCon` Lets You Configure Your Pi Using A GUI

PiCon is a Raspberry Pi configuration manager which lets you make changes to the config.txt file using a GUI. The config.txt file is used to store various system parameters that you would normally set from the BIOS, but Raspberry Pi doesn't have a conventional BIOS and thus, it uses this file for such settings.

picon raspberry pi configuration manager

The application is designed to run on a host system (works on Windows, Linux and Mac since it's written in Java) and not directly on the Raspberry Pi. It is possible to run the app on Raspberry Pi, but the performance is pretty bad.

Map Keyboard/Mouse Input To Your Gamepad With AntiMicro

AntiMicro is an application that can be used to map keyboard and mouse keys to gamepad buttons, useful for playing games with no gamepad support.

The application, written in C++ using Qt for the graphical framework, has been created as a replacement for QJoyPad which unfortunately is no longer being maintained.

Lightweight Ubuntu Software Center Alternative `AppGrid` Now Available For Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 and 13.10

AppGrid, the lightweight (but proprietary) Ubuntu Software Center alternative which we covered recently, was updated yesterday and it should now work on Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 and 13.10. Initially, the application was only available for Ubuntu 13.04.


Free Turn-Based Strategy Game `Freeciv` 2.4.0 Released

Freeciv is a free and open source turn-based strategy game inspired by Sid Meier's Civilization. The game supports both single-player and multiplayer game modes and is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X*, Android and there's even a HTML5 version you can play using only a web browser.

Freeciv 2.4.0

Football Manager 2014 Release Date Announced

Sports Interactive has announced that Football Manager 2014 will be released on October 31.

Football Manager 2014 Steam Linux

Flowblade Video Editor 0.10 Released With New Audio Mixer, Other New Features

Flowblade, a multitrack video editor for Linux, has reached version 0.10, getting a new audio mixer, a range log panel, new UI icons and more.

Flowblade video editor

Nuvola Player 2.2.0 Released, Needs New Maintainer

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

Nuvola Player 2.2.0

With Nuvola Player, you get notifications, Unity quicklists, multimedia keys support, Mpris v2 support (Ubuntu Sound Menu / GNOME Shell Media Player extension integration), lyrics fetching, last.fm scrobbling, proxy support and more.

How To Disable Recursive Search In Nautilus 3.6 or 3.8 [Patch w/ PPA]

The type-ahead find feature was removed from Nautilus starting with version 3.6. Now when typing in a Nautilus (3.6+) window, it performs a search in the current directory and all subdirectories instead of selecting the file or folder that matches what you've typed.

This feature is not that bad except for one thing: searching in subdirectories makes it pretty much unusable at times. If you find this behaviour annoying, you can install Nautilus with a patch created by Amr Osman that allows disabling the recursive search so Nautilus only displays files and folders in the current directory, without looking in its subfolders.

The patch allows enabling/disabling recursive search in Nautilus via Dconf so you can easily switch between the two behaviors.

Cross-Platform Android x86 Emulator `Genymotion` Sees New Release

Genymotion, a fast, cross-platform Android emulator that comes with pre-configured Android (x86 with OpenGL hardware acceleration) images, has been updated recently, getting new features such as multi-touch gestures as well as many bug fixes.

Genymotion Linux

Oracle Java 7 Update 40 (7u40) Released, Ubuntu PPA Updated

Quick update: Oracle has released Java 7 Update 40 (7u40) today and the new version is available in the WebUpd8 Java PPA, for Ubuntu and Debian users.

Oracle Java 7u40

KrISS Feed Is A Simple, Fast Feed Reader For Your Web Server

KrISS Feed is a simple feed reader you can install on your web server. Like Tiny Tiny RSS, this is a web application so you can access it from any computer or mobile device that has an Internet connection, using only a web browser.

KrISS feed

New GNOME 3.10 PPA Announced For Ubuntu 13.10: GNOME3-Next

GNOME 3.10 won't make it into Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander and to make it easier to install, the GNOME 3 Launchpad Team has created a new GNOME3-Next PPA.

Dropbox Uploader 0.12 Released [Bash Script To Access Dropbox Via Command Line]

Dropbox Uploader is a bash script that allows you to perform various actions on your Dropbox (upload, download, delete, share, etc.) without installing the Dropbox client. This is useful for servers, automatic backups or accessing Dropbox from ARM devices, like Raspberry Pi.

Free RTS Game 0 A.D. Sees New Alpha Release

0 A.D., one of the best free, open source real-time strategy games, has reached alpha 14, codenamed "Naukratis". The new release features a brand new building type (with models for all factions), exponential armor and realistic health along with other gameplay changes as well as many graphics, sound and user interface improvements.

0 a.d. alpha 14

Adobe Flash Player Hardware Acceleration on Intel Graphics Cards

libvdpau-va-gl is a VDPAU driver that uses OpenGL under the hood to accelerate drawing and scaling, and VA-API (if available) to accelerate video decoding.

Using it, you can get hardware acceleration on some Intel graphics cards for Mplayer (well, we already have mplayer-vaapi but it hasn't been merged) and even Adobe Flash Player (the Flash content needs to use StageVideo! - YouTube supports it for instance). That means a lot less CPU usage as you'll see below. 

intel flash vdpau ubuntu

Avidemux Video Editor Reaches Version 2.6.5

Avidemux, a cross-platform video editor especially useful for simple tasks like cutting a video, encoding and so on, has recently reached version 2.6.5.

The application can be used to apply various filters, transcode videos into many formats, insert ("muxing") or extract ("demuxing") audio streams from video files and more.

Mount Google Drive In Linux With google-drive-ocamlfuse

More than a year after Google has announced its file storage and synchronization service called Drive, there's still no official Linux client. There are some unofficial clients, but they're not perfect: Insync is not free, Grive is command line only and its development seems to have stopped and so on.

So here's another alternative for easily managing your Google Drive files under Linux: google-drive-ocamlfuse.

google-drive-ocamlfuse is a FUSE filesystem backend for Google Drive which you can use to mount your Google Drive under Linux.