Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr Final Beta Available For Download [Video, Screenshots]

Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS final beta is available for download, this being the first and only milestone for Trusty. Read on to find out what's new!

Ubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Note: this is the first and only Ubuntu 14.04 beta, even though the ISO says "beta 2" however, some Ubuntu flavors already had a beta release so today it's beta 2 for Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Kubuntu for instance.

Get Firefox And Phonon-GStreamer To Support H.264 In Ubuntu 14.04 [Updated]

The FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer 0.10 is not available in the official Ubuntu 14.04 repositories and because of this, Firefox doesn't support the H.264 codec.

Furthermore, without the FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer 0.10 package, KDE apps can't play H.264 videos in Kubuntu 14.04 if they use the GStreamer backend. Another issue with this is that Amarok can't play WMA files. There might also be other affected applications.

How To Install GNOME 3.12 In Fedora 20 Via Repository

If you're using Fedora 20, there's a repository maintained by Richard Hughes (the GNOME Power manager and PackageKit maintainer, among others) you can use to install the latest GNOME 3.12.

GNOME 3.12 Fedora 20

GNOME 3.12 Released - See What`s New [Video, Screenshots]

GNOME 3.12 was released today and it includes some important changes such as proper HiDPI support, improved Wayland support, various enhancements for the core GNOME applications as well as 3 new preview applications.

GNOME 3.12

TLP 0.5 Released, Install It In Ubuntu [Tool That Helps Save Battery Power]

Ubuntu laptop

TLP, a tool that applies various settings and tweaks that help your laptop save battery power, was updated to version 0.5 which includes better support for some ThinkPad models as well as some new features and bug fixes.

How To Install MATE 1.8 In Ubuntu

MATE 1.8 was released about 3 weeks ago, bringing various refinements and new features such as support for Metacity as window manager, side-by-side window tiling and more, as well as many bug fixes - for more information, see THIS article.

Multi-Platform youtube-dl GUI: YouTube dlG [YouTube Downloader]


Youtube-dlG is a multi-platform GUI for the popular command line video download tool `youtube-dl`. The GUI lets you download multiple videos at once, can automatically convert downloaded videos to audio, lets you select the video quality and more.

Linux Mint Might Use The Same LTS Base For Linux Mint 17, 18, 19 and 20

Linux Mint logo

In a comment posted recently, Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint Project Leader, points out that Linux Mint might use the same LTS base for Linux Mint 17 (to be released at the end of May 2014) as well as the next 3 releases.

Pinguy OS 14.04 Alpha Available For Testing

Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha, an Ubuntu remaster that ships with many popular applications and tweaks, is available for testing.

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu remaster that uses GNOME Shell by default, customized with extensions such as Gno-Menu, Media Player Indicator, Top Icons and more. It comes with many useful applications and tweaks by default, making Pinguy OS a great alternative for those who don't like to tweak or install applications but want everything to work out of the box. 

How To Install Oracle Java 8 In Debian Via Repository [JDK8]

Oracle Java 8 was released yesterday and it can be installed in Debian by using the WebUpd8 Java PPA repository.

Usually, the packages available in Launchpad PPAs don't support Debian because they are built against specific Ubuntu libraries, but since the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA contains just an installer, it works on Debian too.

KKEdit: Text Editor Inspired By BBEdit And Gedit [Ubuntu PPA]

KKEdit is an interesting text editor inspired by BBEdit (a Mac-only text editor) and Gedit. The application features jump to function declaration, bookmarks support, search/replace with regex support, option to save/restore sessions and more.

KKEdit text editor

Intel Graphics Installer For Linux 1.0.4 Available For Download [Ubuntu 13.10 And Fedora 20]

The Intel Linux Graphics Installer was updated to version 1.0.4 and the new version supports Ubuntu 13.10 and Fedora 20.

Intel Graphics Installer for Linux

The Intel Graphics Installer for Linux 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.

Oracle Java 8 (Stable) Released, Install it In Ubuntu

Oracle Java 8

Oracle has released Java 8 (stable) and the new version can already be installed by using the WebUpd8 Java PPA.

Minimize On Click For Unity Launcher Available In Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

Quick update: The Unity 7 minimize on click feature has landed in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

Unity Might Finally Get The Minimize On Click Feature [Ubuntu 14.04]

Ubuntu 14.04: A branch that adds the minimize on click feature for the Unity Launcher was proposed for merging in Unity a few minutes ago.

Peerflix: Stream Torrents With VLC Or MPlayer Via Command Line

Peerflix is an experimental video streaming BitTorrent client for Node.js. The tool can be used to stream video torrents via command line and play the stream with your favorite video player, such as VLC or MPlayer.

Peerflix Ubuntu VLC

Automatically Record Skype Calls In Linux With Skype Call Recorder

Skype Call Recorder is a small Linux utility that lets you record your Skype calls easily. The application can record all Skype audio calls automatically or you can set it to ask before recording a call.

Skype Call Recorder Linux

Wallpaper Changer With Multi-Monitor Support `SyncWall` 2.0.0 Released, Available In PPA

SyncWall, a Qt wallpaper changer with multi-monitor support, was updated to version 2.0.0 recently and the new version is now available in the main WebUpd8 PPA for all supported Ubuntu versions.

SyncWall 2.0

SyncWall doesn't support downloading wallpapers automatically, like Variety Wallpaper Changer for instance, but it has some interesting features that aren't available in other similar apps (that I know of anyway): for instance, SyncWall can span a single wallpaper over multiple monitors (you can do this with a single wallpaper from the Appearance settings, but that doesn't work when using a wallpaper changer).

Also, the application can synchronize your current wallpaper across your local network.

Cross-Platform Video Editor `Avidemux` 2.6.8 Released

Avidemux, a cross-platform video editor especially useful for simple tasks like cutting a video, encoding and so on, has recently reached version 2.6.8.

Avidemux 2.6.8 Ubuntu

Fix Skype Not Using The Desktop GTK Theme In Ubuntu 64bit [Quick Tip]

On 64bit Ubuntu systems, Skype uses the Clearlooks theme instead of the default Ubuntu theme, Ambiance (this also happens with other themes).

This occurs because Skype is a 32bit application and the GTK2 theme engine (Murrine or Pixmap in most cases) is not installed for 32bit.

Install BitTorrent Sync GUI In Ubuntu Or Debian [PPA Repository]

An unofficial BitTorrent Sync GUI for Linux was released today, providing almost all the features available in the official Windows and Mac BTSync GUI.

BitTorrent Sync is a tool that can be used to automatically synchronize files between computers using the BitTorrent protocol, available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and NAS devices.

BitTorrent Sync GUI Linux

Google Translate CLI Lets You Translate Text From The Command Line

Google Translate CLI is a tool that lets you use translate text from the command line using Google Translate.

Google Translate Command Line

Unity 7 Gets Its Own LockScreen [Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr]

Yet another interesting Unity 7 change will make it into Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr: Unity will get its own lockscreen. 

Update: this feature landed in Ubuntu 14.04 last night.

Unity lockscreen

Ubuntu 14.04 Themes To Use Borderless Window Decorations

Back in Ubuntu 11.04, the default Ubuntu themes (Ambiance and Radiance) had the window borders removed. That change was reverted because of some Unity 2D related issues but it looks like borderless Ambiance and Radiance will finally make it into Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Default Wallpaper Revealed

In a rather vague article posted yesterday, Michal Izydorczyk revealed a wallpaper that was later confirmed to be the default Ubuntu 14.04 LTS wallpaper.

I couldn’t post about it since I wasn't sure that's the new default wallpaper but a bug reported a few minutes ago on Launchpad makes it clear that this is indeed the new default Ubuntu 14.04 wallpaper:

Download The Ubuntu 14.04 Community Wallpapers

The community wallpapers that will be included by default in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS have been revealed today:

Ubuntu 14.04 community wallpapers

Ubuntu 14.04 community wallpapers

Automate Tasks In Linux Using Actionaz, A Powerful Tool That Can Emulate Clicks, Key Presses And More [Updated]

Actionaz is task automation tool written in C++ / Qt, available for Linux and Windows. Using it, you can run repetitive tasks automatically, all without having to know any programming languages.

Ubuntu Touch X86 Emulator: Better Emulator Performance, Faster Startup [Ubuntu Installation Instructions]

Yesterday I wrote about installing Ubuntu Touch Emulator (ARM) in Ubuntu, but as you've probably noticed from the video or from your own experience if you've installed it, the ARM emulator is very slow.

There's a preview Ubuntu Touch Emulator x86 image that works a lot better than the ARM emulator and even though it's available as a preview, it's probably better to use that instead of the ARM emulator, so here's how to install it.

Ubuntu Touch x86 Emulator

In my test, the x86 Ubuntu Touch Emulator did not only work very fast and fluid, but it also started very fast (in about 10-15 seconds) as opposed to the ARM emulator which takes minutes to start.

ClassicMenu Indicator 0.9 Released With New Configuration Options

ClassicMenu Indicator is, like the name says, a classic, old GNOME style menu available as an AppIndicator so it can be used in Unity, as an alternative for those who dislike Dash, but it should also work in other desktop environments.

ClassicMenu Indicator

Ubuntu Touch Emulator: Installation And Usage In Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10 And 12.04

A while back, Canonical released an experimental Ubuntu Touch emulator running Unity 8 and Mir. Back then, there were a few bugs, including a nasty one on 64bit that could break the system and since they were fixed, I though I'd write an article on how to properly install and use the Ubuntu Touch Emulator in Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10 and 12.04.

Ubuntu Touch Emulator

How To Disable The Spotify Tray / AppIndicator Icon In Ubuntu

The native Spotify Linux client uses a tray icon / appindicator that can't be set by the icon theme so it doesn't integrate with the rest of the Ubuntu desktop. Furthermore, Spotify is integrated in the Ubuntu Sound Menu so the tray icon is not needed.

Below you'll find two ways of removing / hiding the Spotify tray icon.

Spotify tray icon Ubuntu

Command Line YouTube Player `mps-youtube` Gets YouTube Playlists Support, More

mps-youtube, a command line tool to search, play and download YouTube videos with local playlists support, has received quite a few changes since our previous article about it. The most important new feature is YouTube playlist support: you can now search and play YouTube playlists.

Searching YouTube playlists in the latest mps-youtube

Dukto LAN File Transfer Tool Is Easy To Use, Multi-Platform

Dukto R6 is an open source, multi-platform LAN file transfer tool, useful to transfer files form one computer to another without having to worry about configurations, operating systems, clients, servers and so on.

Dukto R6 in Ubuntu 14.04

MATE Desktop 1.8 Released

After 11 months of development, MATE 1.8 has been released, bringing various refinements and new features such as support for Metacity as window manager, side-by-side window tiling and more, as well as many bug fixes.

MATE desktop 1.8

XBMC Media Center 13.0 Gotham Beta 1 Released

XBMC Media Center 13.0 "Gotham" Beta 1 has been released, bringing improvements across all platforms, such as hardware decoding on Android, proper PulseAudio support for Linux, improved settings, support for some 3D movie formats and more.

XBMC 13.0 gotham

Fix "Cannot add PPA. Please check that the PPA name or format is correct" And Other CA-Certificates Related Issues In Ubuntu

Yesterday I encountered an issue in Ubuntu related to CA-certificates which resulted in errors when trying to add PPA repositories, cloning GIT repositories and more and I decided to make an article on how to fix these issues in Ubuntu, in case you run into the same issue.