Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Official Google Drive Linux Client Screenshots Leaked

There are almost three years since Google Drive launched and we have yet to see an official client for Linux. While there are various unofficial clients, none of them is perfect, with Insync probably being the best option, but it costs $15 per Google account and not everybody wants to pay for something Google is offering for free on Windows, Mac and mobile.

After such a long period of time, some may think that an official Google Drive Linux client is never going to be released, however there are a couple of screenshots which indicate otherwise:

official google drive linux

Curse Client Linux Alternatives For Updating World Of Warcraft Addons

Curse Client is an addon management tool for games such as World of Warcraft and others, which unfortunately doesn't work on Linux.

World of Warcraft WoD Ubuntu

Installing a World of Warcraft addon is easy, you must simply extract a zip into the game's AddOns folder however, updating them manually is pretty time-consuming, even if you only use a few addons, because you must check if the addon has a new release, then download the new version, extract the zip - all of this manually and for each addon.

That's why I searched for a Curse Client Linux alternative that works with the latest World of Warcraft (Warlords of Draenor) and I found a couple of such tools which, even though are not perfect, can automatically update all World of Warcraft addons via curse.com, and I though I'd share them with you.

Vivaldi Is A New Chromium-Based Web Browser For Power Users

Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium / Blink, especially created for users who "have problems fitting all their open tabs on one screen". The browser is developed by Vivaldi Technologies, whose chief executive and founder is John von Tetzchner, former Opera CEO and co-founder.

Vivaldi web browser Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Released

Along with the official Ubuntu flavors, Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 was released yesterday. Read on to find out what's new.

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet

Ubuntu MATE is an unofficial (that will probably change in the future) MATE-based Ubuntu flavor. For those not familiar with MATE, this is a GNOME 2 fork introduced after GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell replaced the classic desktop metaphor. Currently, MATE only supports GTK2, but the plan is to add GTK3 support with MATE 1.12.

Ubuntu Flavors 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Available For Testing

The second alpha for the Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet flavors (Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Lubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin) has been released. Let's take a quick look at what's new.

As usual, Ubuntu (w/ Unity) doesn't take part in alpha releases. Also, the Ubuntu flavors not mentioned above (like Xubuntu) didn't take part in the Vivid alpha 2 milestone.

Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded Available For Download, Includes The Enlightenment 19.2 Desktop

Great news for Enlightenment fans: Bodhi Linux returns with a new release - 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded.

`Albert`: A Fast, Lightweight Quick Launcher For Linux

`Albert` is a relatively new quick launcher for Linux, which might remind you of Alfred (Mac) or Synapse (Linux). Using it, you can quickly launch applications, open files or perform web searches.

Albert quick launcher

Lightbox-Style Image Viewer `PhotoQt` 1.2 Released

PhotoQt 1.2 was released recently and it includes some important improvements, like better SVG support, XCF support, better handling of large folders (15,000+ files), shuffle and loop options for the slideshow and much more.

PhotoQt 1.2

For those not familiar with PhotoQt, this is a fast, Lightbox-style Qt5 image viewer which uses GraphicsMagick under the hood (so it supports over 80 file types).

Besides its image viewing capabilities, PhotoQt can be used for some basic image manipulation (flip, rotate, zoom) and file management (rename, delete, move, copy).

`Caffeine` App Gets Its Indicator Back With New 2.8 Release

Caffeine is a tool used to temporarily prevent the activation of the screensaver / lock screen / sleep mode when using full-screen windows. The application is useful when using video players that don't do this automatically, when listening to music while not using the computer, etc.

With the 2.7.x release, Caffeine stopped using an Ubuntu AppIndicator, a feature that many considered essential, resulting in various forks being developed. 

Caffeine indicator

Well, there's no need for that any more because the latest Caffeine 2.8, released today, brings back the Ubuntu AppIndicator, which allows to inhibit the desktop idleness manually. You can continue to use Caffeine without an indicator: simply launch "Caffeine" from the menu / Dash. If you want to use the indicator, launch "Caffeine Indicator" instead:

Always Show Menus Unity Feature Lands In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

The option to always show the Unity menus, implemented by +Marco Trevisan, has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet.

As you probably know, in the current stable Ubuntu releases (12.04, 14.04 and 14.10), the Unity (global) menus are displayed on mouseover for both the default menu that's displayed on the top Unity panel and LIM (locally integrated menu), which is displayed in the application titlebar.

With Ubuntu 15.04, there's a new option (not enabled by default) which allows setting the Unity menus to always be visible:

Unity always-show-menus Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

DNSCrypt: How To Encrypt DNS Traffic In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint [Updated]

This article was posted a while back but I've decided to repost it because there's a new PPA that you can use to install dnscrypt-proxy in Ubuntu ( 14.04) and also, some parts of the article needed to be updated.

DNSCrypt is a protocol for securing communications between a client and a DNS resolver, preventing spying, spoofing or man-in-the-middle attacks. To use it, you'll need a tool called dnscrypt-proxy, which "can be used directly as your local resolver or as a DNS forwarder, authenticating requests using the DNSCrypt protocol and passing them to an upstream server".

Fresh Player Plugin Sees New Release (Pepper Flash Wrapper For Firefox)

As you probably know, the latest Adobe Flash Player is available on Linux only via Google Chrome (it's bundled with it) while other browsers such as Firefox are stuck with an old 11.2 version.

The Adobe Flash Player plugin that's bundled with Google Chrome is in the form of a PPAPI (or Pepper Plugin API) plugin and Mozilla isn't interested in adding support for it. Because of this, Rinat Ibragimov has developed Fresh Player Plugin, a wrapper that allows Linux users to use Pepper Flash from Google Chrome in Firefox and other NPAPI-compatible browsers.


A new Fresh Player Plugin version - 0.2.2 -, has just been released, bringing various improvements and new features:

Ubuntu 15.04 To Get Global Menu And HUD Support By Default For Java Swing Applications

Quick Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet update:  JAyatana was uploaded to the main Ubuntu 15.04 repositories today (moved from proposed to release) and according to the changelog, it will probably be installed by default:

Drop dependency on java, so that we can integrate this package by default without dragging java on the default installed (as we did in the past with qt appmenu integration).

Update: JAyatana is now installed by default in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet.

Java Swing Ayatana (JAyatana) is a project that integrates Java Swing applications with Ubuntu's global menu (AppMenu) and HUD.

How To Install SMPlayer With mpv Support In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint [Updated]

SMPlayer, a Qt graphical front-end for mplayer, added mpv support a couple of months ago however, because there are some missing bits, it will take a while until a new stable version with this new feature is released.

But you can already install SMPlayer with mpv support in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, by using the official SMPlayer Testing Stable PPA.

SMPlayer mpv

For those not familiar with mpv, this is a media player based on mplayer2 (and mplayer), which comes with numerous extra features and improvements compared to mplayer2, such as:
  • native support for VAAPI and VDA and improved VDPAU video output;
  • option to display two subtitles at once;
  • Wayland support;
  • precise seeking;
  • gapeless audio support;
  • built-in encoding feature (replacement for mencoder);
  • improved PulseAudio support;
  • better MKV support (e.g. ordered chapters, 3D metadata);
  • much more.

Install The Official Telegram Desktop App In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint Via PPA

Telegram is a free, cross-platform messaging app which, according to its developers, focuses on speed and security.

Telegram Desktop Ubuntu

There are official Telegram clients for Android, iOS, WP, Mac OS X, as well as for the desktop: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (along with a web-based version, Chrome app) and quite a few unofficial clients. The official Telegram Linux desktop app is not packaged for Ubuntu so to make it easier to install, Lorenzo from atareao.es has created a PPA.

Variety Wallpaper Changer 0.5.0 Released With Option To Sync Wallpapers Between Computers, Wallhaven And Reddit Support

Variety, one of the best wallpaper changers for Linux, has been updated to version 0.5.0, bringing support for automatically downloading wallpapers from Wallhaven and an option to add Reddit as an image source.

The new version also introduces a very cool new (optional) feature: a server-side companion (beta) which allows users to synchronize their wallpapers between computers, automatically retrieve wallpapers favorited by other Variety users, and more.

Variety Wallpaper Changer

Quick File Previewer `Gloobus Preview` Updated To Work With Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10, 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x

Gloobus Preview is a quick file previewer which supports images, documents (pdf, odf, ods, etc.), source files, audio (mp3, wav, ogg and more), video (avi, ogg, mkv, flv, etc.), folders, archives, fonts, plain text files and more.

Gloobus Preview

The tool stopped working with recent Ubuntu versions but thanks to György Balló, you can now use Gloobus Preview in Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 (and obviously, other Linux distributions). Update: the PPA now also supports Ubuntu 16.04 and 15.10.

György has fixed various bugs and ported the application to use the latest technologies, along with some new features:

Ubuntu Make 0.4 Released With Go Support, New Game Category

Ubuntu Make Stencyl

Ubuntu Make, formerly known as Ubuntu Developer Tools Center, has been updated to version 0.4, bringing Go support as well as a new game category.

EncFS 1.8 RC1 Available For Download

EncFS is a FUSE-based cryptographic filesystem which encrypts individual files. As some of you might know, an EncFS security audit that was conducted in February 2014, revealed some potential vulnerabilities: