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Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Released

Friday 23rd of January 2015 12:55:00 PM
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 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.
Compared to Ubuntu Mate 14.10, the latest Vivid alpha 2  (there was no alpha 1) release introduces some new packages installed by default:
  • MATE Tweak (a MintDesktop fork) - lets you configure which icons to show on the desktop, enable/disable compositing, change the window buttons layout, show/hide icons in menus and buttons and more;
  • MATE Menu (a MintMenu fork) - a searchable menu for the MATE panel. This is not the default menu, but you can add it to the panel by right clicking the panel, selecting Add to Panel and then adding "MATE Menu";
  • Totem has been replaced by VLC.

MATE Menu (installed but not used by default)
If you're using Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS, the changes mentioned above won't sound new to you. That's because Ubuntu MATE 14.04 was released after 14.10 (back when Ubuntu 14.04 was released, Ubuntu MATE didn't exist) and it already incorporates these changes.
There is one new MATE Tweak feature though: you can now use it to switch between Compiz and Marco, just like in Linux Mint 17.1 MATE, an option that wasn't present in Ubuntu MATE 14.04:

Furthermore, Ubuntu MATE 15.04 ships with a new default theme: Yuyo-Dark (developed by Sam Hewitt) and there's also a light "Yuyo" alternative that's installed by default:
Yuyo Dark theme
Yuyo theme
The new Yuyo themes still need some work - for now, some UI elements such as check boxes and radio buttons aren't rendered correctly, that's why Ambiant-MATE is still used for the live session and the LightDM theme, mentions the Ubuntu MATE 15.04 alpha 2 release announcement.
Other changes in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 include:
  • updated the Ambiant-MATE and Radiant-MATE icon themes with green icons;
  • added a few new community contributed wallpapers;
  • enabled X zapping via Ctrl+Alt+Backspace;
  • enabled screen reader activation via LightDM indicators and LightDM key bindings;
  • enabled touch to click by default for touchpads;
  • enable Tilda pull-down terminal integration. Press F12 to show/hide;
  • all MATE package updates from Debian have been automatically synced to Ubuntu 15.04 and are available in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 alpha 2;
  • ubuntu 15.04 has adopted multilib GObject introspection runtime (gir) which means Caja plugins now work "out of the box";
  • other bug-fixes.

Download Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2
Download Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2
The link above includes the official release notes so make sure you read them before testing the latest Ubuntu MATE 15.04 alpha 2!

via Ubuntu MATE blog

Ubuntu Flavors 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Available For Testing

Thursday 22nd of January 2015 03:02:00 PM
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.

Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2

In Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2, most GNOME components have been updated to the latest 3.14 version - this includes GNOME Shell, GNOME Control Center/Settings Daemon, Nautilus, Maps, Weather, Evince, Terminal and so on. Unfortunately, there are still a couple of apps that are quite old: Gedit and Videos (Totem), which are still at version 3.10.
Here are a few more Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 screenshots:

Another minor, but interesting change, is that Numix GTK theme is now installed by default. Adwaita continues to be used by default but Numix GTK theme is now just a few clicks away:

More information and download links for Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 alpha 2

Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2

Kubuntu 15.04 will use Plasma 5 by default and unlike Kubuntu 14.10, there will be no alternative Plasma 4 ISO.
The latest alpha 2 ships with KDE Applications 14.12 and Plasma 5.2 beta, which include numerous changes, such as:
  • new components (first release for Plasma 5): BlueDevil, KSSHAskPass, Muon, Login theme configuration (SDDM), KScreen, GTK Application Style and KDecoration;
  • work in progress modules include Touchpad settings and User Manager;
  • option to undo changes made to the Plasma desktop layout;
  • KRunner (to trigger it, use Alt+Space): smarter result sorting, added audio player controls;
  • Breeze window decoration theme is now used by default;
  • many new Breeze icons;
  • new white mouse cursor theme for Breeze;
  • new plasma widgets: 15 puzzle, web browser, show desktop;
  • KDE Frameworks 5-based versions of Kate, KWrite, Konsole, Gwenview, KAlgebra, Kanagram, KHangman, Kig, Parley, KApptemplate and Okteta.

Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 screenshots:

More information and download links for Kubuntu 15.04 alpha 2

Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2
Ubuntu Kylin (an Ubuntu flavor for Chinese users) Vivid Vervet alpha 2 ships with LIM (locally integrated menus) enabled by default, with the new "always-show-menus" featured turned on, so it doesn't use autohide:

Also, the latest Kylin 15.04 alpha 2 release comes with "click to minimize" enabled by default for the Unity launcher, a feature that's of course, also available for Ubuntu (w/ Unity) users, but it's not enabled by default.
According to the release notes, these changes are meant to "make Windows users easier to adapt to the Unity user interface".
Other changes in Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 include fixes for the Kylin-specific applications: Ubuntu Kylin Software Center, Youker Assistant, Chinese Calendar and Unity China Music Scope.
Here are a few more Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 alpha 2 screenshots (note that I installed Ubuntu Kylin in English, but some parts are not translated, that's why you'll see a mix of English and Chinese in the screenshots):

More information and download links for Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 alpha 2

Lubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2

For Lubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2, there's no changelog available - the wiki page mentions that the "LXQt is still in development, so Vivid Vervet is another bug fix release. ". So it looks like LXQt won't make it in Lubuntu 15.04.
More information and download links

All the Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 flavors include Xorg server, Mesa 10.3.2 (but Mesa 10.4.2 is available in proposed) and the Ubuntu Linux kernel 3.18.0-9.10 which is based on the upstream 3.18.2 Linux kernel (for changes in Linux 3.18, see THIS page).
Up next in the Vivid Vervet release schedule: Beta 1 (for opt-in flavors), which should be released on February 26th.

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

Wednesday 21st of January 2015 12:52:00 PM
Great news for Enlightenment fans: Bodhi Linux returns with a new release - 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded.

About four months ago, Jeff Hoogland stopped working on Bodhi Linux. However, a couple of day ago, he announced that he's returning in "full capacity as project manager/lead developer". Along with his return, Jeff also announced the release of Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded.
Bodhi Linux is a fast, minimalistic Linux distribution based on Ubuntu LTS, which uses the Enlightenment Desktop. The latest Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and it ships with the Enlightenment 19.2 desktop and EFL/Elementary 1.12.2.
Since the Bodhi Linux philosophy is to provide a minimal base only, so that users can install the applications that want to use, Bodhi Linux ships with just a few applications by default. 
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 includes Midori (web browser) 0.5.9, nm-applet (connection manager applet) 0.9.8 and of course, a few Enlightenment-specific applications like Terminology (terminal emulator) 0.7.0, ePad (text editor) 0.5, ePhoto (picture viewer) 20150116 build, eepDater (update manager) 0.11 and of course, the Enlightenment File Manager.
Here are a few Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded screenshots:

According to Jeff's announcement, the 3.0.0 release "will have a more uniform look, instead of requiring the user to choose what the system looks like when it first starts up. This makes setup easier for new users, while Enlightenment still allows power users the configuration options they crave". As a result, there's only one profile available by default in Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2, unlike the previous releases which included quite a few profiles by default.
It's also important to mention that there are three Bodhi Linux ISOs available for download: 32bit, 64bit and "Legacy". The Legacy ISO whips with a non-PAE Linux Kernel (3.2) and i486 support, so it can be used on old hardware.
The stable Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 release should come out next month.

Download Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 "Reloaded"
Download Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 "Reloaded"
For support, visit the Bodhi Linux 3 section of its user forums.

via Thoughts on Technology

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

Monday 19th of January 2015 02:46:00 PM
`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 features:
  • run applications;
  • open files;
  • open Chromium bookmarks (Firefox is on the todo list);
  • calculate math expressions;
  • search the web;
  • the modules are configurable: you can add/remove web searches, configure which files it should index, etc.;
  • supports fuzzy search (not enabled by default - it can be enabled individually for each module);
  • you can modify the actions taken by pressing the modifier keys;
  • configurable hotkey, maximum history, maximum number of proposals, subtext for selected/unselected item, etc.
  • ships with 3 themes by default.

What makes Albert special is that it's very fast, lightweight and desktop environment agnostic (it's based on Qt5, written in C++), so you can use it with whatever DE you want: Xfce, LXDE, LXQt, Cinnamon, Unity (if you don't like the Dash) and so on.
Here are a few more Albert screenshots:

Pinboard theme
Android theme

To see Albert in action, check out its GitHub page (there's a gif which demonstrates how Albert works).
Note that Albert is currently in alpha and so you may encounter bugs! In my test, I've only encountered one issue (reported here): initially, Albert used about 9-10 MB of RAM on my system but after I've set it to index some folders that contain a large number of files (about 280,000), its memory usage increased to about 280-300 MB. So for now, don't add folders containing a huge number of files to its FileIndex module!
If you encounter other issues, report them @ GitHub.

Install Albert quick launcher in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
To install Albert quick launcher in Ubuntu (15.04, 14.10 or 14.04) or Linux Mint (17.1 or 17) and derivatives, you can use the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install Albert using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install albert
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the debs from HERE.

For other Linux distributions, grab the Albert source code from GitHub.

Note that there's no option in Albert's settings to make it run automatically when you login, so you must add it to your startup applications manually.
Thanks to Felix for the tip!

Lightbox-Style Image Viewer `PhotoQt` 1.2 Released

Monday 19th of January 2015 12:18:00 PM
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.

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).
PhotoQt also features customizable keyboard and mouse shortcuts, thumbnail cache, can display EXIF information, image slideshow and more.
Changes in PhotoQt 1.2:
  • GraphicsMagick: more thorough testing and fixing;
  • intelligent detection of supported fileformats on first start;
  • color filetype tiles of unsupported formats orange (Qt formats only);
  • better SVG support;
  • added XCF support (depending on XCFtools);
  • added PSB/PSD support (depending on libqpsd);
  • added Loop and Shuffle options in Slideshow;
  • smart preloading of folder, better support for large directories (15,000+ files);
  • add sorting criteria for files (name, natural name, filesize, date);
  • restore support for Trash on Linux;
  • re-worked thumbnail handling: faster, more reliable, new "smart thumbnails" mode;
  • option to stay centered on active thumbnail;
  • dynamically detect supported context menu entries;
  • remember zoom levels/rotation per session;
  • option to fit smaller images in window;
  • improved handling of windowed/fullscreen mode;
  • automatic language detection on first start-up (system locale);
  • change: Main animation is now 'fade-in' (+Possibility to disable altogether)
  • wheel sensitivity settings;
  • opt-in to High-DPI pixmaps (Qt >= 5.4.0);
  • re-ordered settings and quicksettings;
  • many other improvements and bug fixes.

For PSD/PSB support, you need libqpsd, which isn't available in the Ubuntu repositories to if you want to use this feature, you'll have to compile and install libqpsd manually.
PhotoQt Quick Settings
PhotoQt doesn't come with a traditional menu and its Quick Settings, General functions and info panes/widgets are displayed on mouse over, so here's how to access them:
  • Quick Settings -> right edge of the app window;
  • General functions -> top-right (top edge of the app window, near right);
  • File / Exif info -> left edge of the app window.

Also, the application runs in full screen by default but you can set it to run in window mode from the Quick Settings (see above), by enabling "Window mode" and optionally, "Widow decorations".

Install PhotoQt in Ubuntu 14.04 / 14.10 or Linux Mint 17 / 17.1
Ubuntu 14.04 / 14.10 / 15.04 and Linux Mint 17 / 17.1 users can install the latest PhotoQt by using Sam Rog's PPA (for Ubuntu 12.04, there's a older PhotoQt version - 1.0). Add the PPA and install PhotoQt using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:samrog131/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install photoqtIf you don't want to add the PPA, you can simply grab the PhotoQt deb from HERE.
For other Linux distributions and Windows, see the PhotoQt downloads page.
Report any issues you may find @ GitHub.

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

Friday 16th of January 2015 12:55:00 PM
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. 

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:

Caffeine 2.8 also brings some fixes which should get the app to work with most desktop environments again (2.7 only worked in a few, according to the Caffeine developers) as well as a new feature: a new command called "caffeinate" which adds the ability to inhibit desktop idleness for the duration of a particular command - to use it, simply type:caffeinate COMMANDand Caffeine won't allow the desktop to become idle for the duration of "COMMAND".

Install Caffeine 2.8
The official Caffeine PPA was updated with the latest Caffeine 2.8 only for Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17 and 17.1 and derivatives. To add the PPA and install Caffeine 2.8, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install caffeine
Ubuntu 14.10 and 15.04: you can grab the Caffeine 2.8 deb from HERE. Note: make sure that libappindicator3-1 and gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1 are installed ("sudo apt-get install libappindicator3-1 gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1") because the package is currently missing these dependencies and the Caffeine indicator will fail to start without them (I reported the bug HERE).
Ubuntu 12.04: Unfortunately, Caffeine 2.8 doesn't work in Ubuntu 12.04. However, you can use the PPA above to install an older version (2.4.1).
If you're not using Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, you can download the Caffeine source code via Launchpad (BZR).
Important note: Caffeine is set to start automatically on login, but only the command line version so if you want to start the indicator on login, you'll have to add "caffeine-indicator" to your startup applications.
Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.

Always Show Menus Unity Feature Lands In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

Friday 16th of January 2015 11:51:00 AM
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 mouse over 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:

This option can be changed (at least for now, this is the only way) via Dconf-Editor, by going to com > canonical > unity and enabling "always show menus".
Right now, you need to restart Unity after changing the menu behavior (to restart Unity, press ALT + F2 and enter "unity" or log out and log back in) but I think this is a bug (I reported it here) because I don't remember this being required when I first tested the "always show menus" feature about 3-4 weeks ago (it was in a separate branch and not available by default in Ubuntu 15.04 back then), especially since right now, in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, you must also restart Unity if you want to switch to LIM, which is not the case in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10. But Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet is still in alpha so bugs are to be expected.
Below you can watch a quick video I've recorded under Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet (VirtualBox), demonstrating the new "always show menus" Unity feature:

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel)
Besides this feature, the latest Unity update in Vivid also brings a fix for using Dash and HUD on top of full-screen applications (as an example, until now, you couldn't open HUD or bring up the Dash when using Firefox in full-screen).

If you're using Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, make sure you update to Unity version "7.3.1+15.04.20150115-0ubuntu1" to be able to use this new feature. Note that if you're not using the main repositories mirror, it may take a while until the new version is available for you.

In other Unity menus-related news, JAyatana is now installed by default in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, meaning that the next Ubuntu release will ship with Java Swing appmenu (global menu) support by default.

Encrypt DNS Traffic In Ubuntu With DNSCrypt [Ubuntu PPA]

Wednesday 14th of January 2015 02:38:00 PM
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 (14.10, 14.04 and 12.04) 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".
Thanks to Pascal Mons (work based on  Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff's initial PPA, which doesn't have packages for Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 right now), you can easily install it Ubuntu. His packages use as the local IP address so it doesn't interfere with Ubuntu's default setup. Also, for extra security, the packages use a dedicated system user, with no privileges - DNSCrypt will chroot to this user's home directory and drop root privileges for this user's uid as soon as possible.
The default DNSCrypt-enabled resolver used by Pascal's package is Resolver #1 @ The Hague, Holland, but this, along with other settings, can be changed by editing the /etc/default/dnscrypt-proxy configuration file (use "sudo service dnscrypt-proxy restart" after making changes to the configuration file). A list of public DNS resolvers supporting DNSCrypt can be found HERE (note that to get to the actual provider name, address and public key, you need to scroll to the right - annoying, I know).

According to Pascal, he didn't use the US based OpenDNS resolver, because it keeps logs of the websites you visit and it hijacks the homepage on all browsers, redirecting any URL bar search to its own servers in some cases, which does not happen with the servers.
If you want to add DNSCrypt support to your own public or private resolver, check out DNSCrypt-Wrapper, a server-side dnscrypt proxy that works with any name resolver.

Install DNSCrypt (dnscrypt-proxy) in Ubuntu / Linux Mint via PPA
1. To add Pascal's DNSCrypt PPA and install dnscrypt-proxy in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS or other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions (including armhf), use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:anton+/dnscrypt
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dnscrypt-proxyNote: the PPA description provides information on how to check the authenticity of the code used for building the packages.
2. After installing DNSCrypt, you need to set your network connection DNS server to 

To do this in Unity, from the Network Manager indicator select Edit Connections, then select the connection and click Edit, switch to the IPv4 Settings tab and:
- if you're using Manual (static IP) as the "Method", enter "" under "DNS servers" (and remember / note your original DNS server in case you want to go back to it), then click "Save":

- if you're using "Automatic (DHCP)" as the "Method", switch it to "Automatic (DHCP) addresses only" and enter "" under "DNS servers", then click "Save":

3. And finally, restart your network connection (under Unity: select Network indicator > Enable Networking twice to disable and then re-enable it) and web browser.
You may want to check if the "" DNS is actually in use (it needs to be the only DNS) - to do this in Unity, from the Network indicator select Connection Information.
Because the dnscrypt-proxy packages from Pascal's PPA don't use OpenDNS, you can't check to see if the DNS are used via the "dig txt" command or by visiting OpenDNS' test pages. However, you can check this by visiting and running a DNS check - if you didn't change the default dnscrypt-proxy package resolver, it should display something like this:

Another way of checking if dnscrypt-proxy is working is by using the following command:sudo tcpdump -i NETWORK-INTERFACE dst host and then visiting some website in your web browser.

(where NETWORK-INTERFACE is your active network interface like eth0, p5p1, etc. - you can find it using "ifconfig" -, and "" is the default resolver used by Pascal's packages - if you've used a different one, change it in the command above with yours!)

The command output should look like this:
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on p5p1, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 262144 bytes
16:14:53.142488 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.142514 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.291372 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.291450 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.464624 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.464641 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.751950 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
16:14:53.815789 IP ubuntu-desktop.local.57467 > UDP, length 512
Tip: DNSCrypt can be used with Unbound or dnsmasq (I didn't test it though) - for this and other tips, see THIS ArchWiki entry.
For more information on DNSCrypt / dnscrypt-proxy, check out the following links:
seen @, thanks to Pascal Mons for the PPA!

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

Wednesday 14th of January 2015 12:59:00 PM
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:
  • implement Flash DRM interface. (Desktop PepperFlash doesn't use it, you need one from ChromeOS);
  • fix malfunctioning nested submenus;
  • implement file chooser dialog;
  • fullscreen fixes, stop crashing on Alt-F4;
  • rework ALSA code, add optional PulseAudio support;
  • implement screen saver inhibition interface;
  • use GLX to create GL context, for both GL and GLES;
  • fix hangs caused by wrong nested message loop handling;
  • add quiet config option to decrease amount of output;
  • fix Referer bug;

The most important change in this release is obviously the implementation of Flash DRM interface however, Pepper Flash that's bundled with Google Chrome has the DRM-related code disabled on Linux so to use this, you need to extract Pepper Flash from Chrome OS, and that's a pretty tedious process (instructions available here).
Furthermore, to get the Flash DRM interface to work, you must add "enable_3d = 1" to the freshwrapper.conf file or else you'll get a black video, even on non-DRM content.

Here's a Flash DRM test screenshot with the latest Fresh Player Plugin and Firefox, under Ubuntu 14.10:

I should also mention that I've been using Fresh Player Plugin with Firefox for months, and pretty much everything works, though I only use a few Flash websites.

Note that according to its GitHub page, Fresh Player Plugin "mostly works, but some essential APIs are still to be implemented", so it may not work with some websites.
For more information about Fresh Player Plugin, bug reports, etc., see its GitHub page.

Getting Fresh Player Plugin
If you use Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, you can install Fresh Player Plugin by using the main WebUpd8 PPA. For installation and configuration instruction, see: Install Fresh Player Plugin In Ubuntu Via PPA (Pepper Flash Wrapper For Firefox)

Arch Linux users can install the latest Fresh Player Plugin (Git) via AUR.
For other Linux distributions, you'll have to compile it from source.

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

Monday 12th of January 2015 01:10:00 PM
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.
Using it, you get Unity AppMenu and HUD support for applications such as NetBeans IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio, jDownloader and so on.
Here are a couple of screenshots of a Java Swing app (Android Studio) with global menu / HUD, under Unity:

If you want to try JAyatana in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet right now, install it from the repositories (note that the package was just promoted to release so it might take a while until it's synchronized with the repositories mirror you're using):sudo apt-get install jayatanaThen log out and log back in.

Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 users can install Jayatana by using its official PPA.

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

Thursday 8th of January 2015 03:51:00 PM
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.

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.

Since there are way too many changes between mplayer / mplayer2 and mpv to post them here, check out the official mpv changes page.
Also, SMPlayer already supports playing YouTube videos however, with mpv, it can play videos from any youtube-dl supported website (despite its name, youtube-dl supports numerous video websites). This includes Youtube (obviously), DailyMotion, Vimeo, BlipTV, CBS, CollegeHumor, ComedyCentral, NBC, Vevo and many more - about 500 websites are supported and you can see a full list HERE.

How to install SMPlayer with mpv support in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Update: the official SMPlayer Stable PPA was updated with SMPlayer builds that support mpv. If you want to purge the SMPlayer Testing PPA (which was previously used in this article), use the following commands:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:rvm/testingThen you can install SMPlayer with mpv support from the stable PPA, by using the instructions below.

Note: to be able to use SMPlayer with mpv, you'll need mpv version 0.6.2 or newer  and to for youtube-dl support, you'll need mpv 0.7.0 or newer.

A. Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 / Linux Mint 17 or 17.1

Because mpv in both Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 is very old, you'll need to use a PPA which provides a newer mpv version - that's why I've included Doug McMahon's mpv PPA in the instructions below.
To add Doug's mpv PPA and the official SMPlayer Stable PPA, and install these packages, as well as youtube-dl, in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 / Linux Mint 17 or 17.1, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/mpv-tests
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mpv smplayer smtube smplayer-themes smplayer-skins youtube-dl
Since youtube-dl in Ubuntu isn't updated frequently, I recommend using the main WebUpd8 PPA, which provides the latest youtube-dl (you can find instructions for how to install the latest youtube-dl by using the main WebUpd8 PPA, HERE).
B. Ubuntu 12.04 / Linux Mint 13

Unfortunately there's no mpv 0.7.0+ PPA for Ubuntu 12.04. The official SMPlayer Stable PPA provides SMPlayer with mpv support and mpv version 0.6.2 and while this version works, it doesn't come with youtube-dl integration so you won't be able to use SMPlayer to play videos from website supported by youtube-dl.
To add the official SMPlayer Stable PPA and install SMPlayer and mpv in Ubuntu 12.04 / Linux Mint 13, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mpv smplayer smtube smplayer-themes smplayer-skins
Windows users can find binaries with the latest SMPlayer on its downloads page.

Arch Linux users can install the latest SMPlayer from SVN via AUR (Qt5 version).

For other Linux distributions, you'll have to compile SMPlayer from SVN.

Configuring SMPlayer to use mpv
Setting SMPlayer to use mpv instead of mplayer is very easy. From the SMPlayer menu select Options > Preferences and under "General", on the "General" tab, set "mpv" as the "MPlayer executable", like in the screenshot below:

... and click "Apply". Don't close the SMPlayer Preferences yet. To be able to play videos from all the websites supported by youtube-dl (requires mpv 0.7.0 or newer so this won't work in Ubuntu 12.04!), click "Network" on the left and enable "Play videos from streaming sites":

... click "Apply" and that's it. You can now play videos from any youtube-dl supported website by copying the video URL and opening it with SMPlayer (Open > URL).

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

Thursday 8th of January 2015 12:14:00 PM
Telegram is a free, cross-platform messaging app which, according to its developers, focuses on speed and security.

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 has created a PPA.
The Telegram desktop application supports desktop notifications, stickers (Telegram only has a few for now, but more will follow soon), sending and receiving attachments (documents or photos), adding contacts and so on. What it doesn't support is sending voice messages (you can listen or download received voice messages though).
It's important to mention that by using the PPA below, the Telegram auto-update feature won't work so you'll have to rely on the PPA for updating the application.

Install Telegram Desktop in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA
To add the Atareao Telegram PPA and install the official Telegram Desktop application in Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/telegram
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install telegram
If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

Also see:

via, thanks to Icy EyeG for the tip!

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

Wednesday 7th of January 2015 12:43:00 PM
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.

For those not familiar with Variety, this is a wallpaper changer that automatically downloads wallpapers from sources such as Flickr,, Desktoppr, Wallhaven, custom RSS feeds, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day as well as World Sunlight Map: a live Earth wallpaper which changes throughout the day. 
Using it, you can get a new, beautiful wallpaper automatically at the interval you set in the application preferences.
The application can even apply fancy filters to the images: grayscale, heavy blur, oil painting, charcoal painting, pointilism or pixellate as well as display quotes or the time on top of the wallpaper.
It's also important to note that Variety supports most desktop environments: Unity, GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon or Pantheon and more. There are a few tweaks that might be needed on some desktop environments to get it to work properly though - see THIS page for more information.
Now back to the latest Variety 0.5.0. The most important new feature in this new release is of course the new Variety server-side companion - VRTY.ORG, which "is fueled by the favorites of all users who choose to participate and is a humble attempt to make Variety more social – to connect users with similar taste in wallpapers, to use the data about what users like or dislike as a basis for recommendations".
This is an optional feature and using it, you can get Variety to automatically download and set other users favorite wallpapers as your wallpaper. Variety can also automatically recommend wallpapers that try to adapt to your taste:

Setting this up is very easy - the first time your run Variety 0.5.0, you'll be asked if you want to connect the application with VRTY.ORG:

Simply click "Continue" and follow the steps.
Also, by browsing the VRTY.ORG website, you can see the wallpapers favorited by other users and set them as your wallpaper with a click (this requires configuring your browser to open variety:// links).
Another feature introduced with Variety 0.5.0, which relies on using the new server-side companion (requires logging in to VRTY.ORG using the same account on all computers), is the ability to synchronize your favorite wallpapers across computers:

Other changes in Variety 0.5.0:
  • Wallhaven has replaced;
  • Reddit support (on the General tab, click "Add" on the right, select "Reddit" and add a subreddit as a source - examples: "/r/wallpapers", "/r/EarthPorn", etc.).

Install Variety in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
To install the latest Variety in Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, you can use its official PPA. To add the PPA and install Variety, run the following commands in a terminal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety
For other Linux distributions, see the Variety installation page.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.

Quick File Previewer `Gloobus Preview` Updated To Work With Ubuntu 14.04 And 14.10 / Linux Mint 17 And 17.1

Tuesday 6th of January 2015 04:15:00 PM
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.

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).
György has fixed various bugs and ported the application to use the latest technologies, along with some new features:
  • ported the Gloobus Preview Configuration tool to Pygobject3 and GTK3;
  • ported Gloobus Preview to GStreamer 1.0;
  • ported media keys handling to GDBus;
  • added support for XPS document format;
  • added ImageMagick plugin (which supports a wide variety of image formats), replacing the icns plugin;
  • added support for bsdtar, which makes Gloobus Preview support more archive types;
  • improved office plugin (added support for more MIME types supported by LibreOffice and support for ssconvert - from gnumeric);
  • Gloobus Preview now switches to fullscreen on double click;
  • various other improvements fixes.
I tested the latest Gloobus Preview and it works pretty well, but not when it comes to documents - the application sometimes fails to display the preview quite frequently (as a side note, it's only supposed to work with files smaller than 10mb).
Here are a few more Gloobus Preview screenshots:

The Gloobus Preview PPA wasn't updated yet so to make it easier to install in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 / Linux Mint (w/ Cinnamon) 17 or 17.1, I uploaded the latest Gloobus Preview from BZR to the main WebUpd8 PPA. 
Also, since for now, Gloobus Preview only works with Nautilus (via the "gloobus-sushi" package), I also uploaded a package called "nemo-gloobus-sushi" (it's simply "gloobus-sushi" modified to work with Nemo) so you can use Gloobus Preview with Nemo file manager.

So what exactly is the difference between Gloobus Preview and GNOME Sushi / Nemo Preview? Well, Gloobus Preview supports more file types and looks more fancy but other than that, they are pretty similar, so use the one that suits your needs.
If you haven't used Gloobus Preview until now, here's an old video which showcases Gloobus Preview:

(direct video link | for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel)
The video may be old (it's recorded under Ubuntu 12.04), but Gloobus Preview looks the sam and has basically the same functionality (with the differences mentioned above) so it should be enough to get an idea on how the application looks like and what it can do.

Install Gloobus Preview in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 / Linux Mint (w/ Cinnamon) 17 or 17.1
Important: Gloobus Sushi, which is required to get Gloobus Preview to work with Nautilus, can't be installed on the system in the same time as GNOME Sushi, that's why when installing the gloobus-sushi package, gnome-sushi is removed. In Ubuntu GNOME, this also tries to remove the "ubuntu-gnome-desktop" meta package and unfortunately, only the Ubuntu GNOME devs can fix it because ubuntu-gnome-desktop depends on gnome-sushi.
Ubuntu 12.04 users: the latest Gloobus Preview doesn't work in Ubuntu 12.04, but you can use an older version (though it might be buggy) - see THIS article for more information.
1. To add the main WebUpd8 PPA and install Gloobus Preview in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gloobus-preview
For some documents to work with Gloobus Preview, you'll also have to install unoconv and Gnumeric (for its ssconvert tool):sudo apt-get install unoconv gnumeric
However, as I said above, Gloobus Preview doesn't seem to handle documents very well right now.

2. Next, you must install a Gloobus Preview helper tool which integrates the application with either Nautilus or Nemo and then restart Nemo / Nautilus, using the following commands:
- for Nautilus:
sudo apt-get install gloobus-sushi
nautilus -q
- for Nemo:
sudo apt-get install nemo-gloobus-sushi
nemo -q
  • installing the Nautilus integration (gloobus-sushi) automatically removes it for Nemo (nemo-gloobus-sushi) and the other way around;
  • installing gloobus-sushi removes gnome-sushi (you can install it back but it will remove gloobus-sushi);
  • installing nemo-gloobus-sushi removes nemo-preview (you can install it back but it will remove nemo-gloobus-sushi);

3. Using Gloobus Preview

To use Gloobus Preview, simply open Nemo or Nautilus (depends on which package you've installed under step 2), select a picture, a text file, an mp3, a folder or whatever and press the SPACE key to quickly preview the file.
You can close the preview either by pressing the SPACE key again, using the close button or you can set it to close on lose focus from its preferences. In the preferences, you can also set Gloobus Preview to always stay on top or use the GTK theme instead of its built-in theme.
If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.

Ubuntu Make 0.4 Released With Go Support, New Game Category

Tuesday 6th of January 2015 03:20:00 PM

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.
For those not familiar with Ubuntu Make, this is a command line tool created by Canonical, which allows developers to install various development tools / IDEs. Initially, the tool targeted Android developers, making it easy to install Android Studio in Ubuntu. Later, Ubuntu Make also got support for Pycharm, Eclipse and intellij IDEA.
The latest Ubuntu Make 0.4 brings support for Go, allowing developers to easily install the latest golang in Ubuntu and automatically set up various environment variables.
The new release also introduces a new game section and with it, support for installing stencyl, a multi-platform game creation software.

Install Ubuntu Make
The latest Ubuntu Make is already available in the Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet official repositories so if you're using Vivid, install it via Ubuntu Software Center or using the following command:sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make
Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 users can install Ubuntu Make by using its official PPA (the PPA has changed so if you've added the old UDTC PPA, remove it and add this one instead!). To add the PPA and install Ubuntu Make, use the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ubuntu-make
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-makeYou can then use the new "umake" command to install Android Studio and / or Eclipse in Ubuntu.

For how to use Ubuntu Make, run the following command:
umake --help
For instance, to install Go, simply use:
umake go
Or, to install stencyl, use:
umake games stencyl
To remove Go or stencyl, simply append "--remove" at the end of the commands above. For instance, to remove stencyl, use:umake games stencyl --remove
If you want to help with the Ubuntu Developer Tools Center development, report bugs, etc., check out its GitHub page.
via didrocks

EncFS 1.8 RC1 Available For Download

Tuesday 6th of January 2015 01:43:00 PM
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:
EncFS is probably safe as long as the adversary only gets one copy of the ciphertext and nothing more. EncFS is not safe if the adversary has the opportunity to see two or more snapshots of the ciphertext at different times. EncFS attempts to protect files from malicious modification, but there are serious problems with this feature.
And that's understandable since the last stable EncFS version was released back in December 2011. But that also means that the tool needs an update badly and a first step in this direction was made recently, with the release of EncFS 1.8 RC1.
The first EncFS 1.8 release candidate fixes two of the potential vulnerabilities mentioned in the security audit and brings a few other improvements:
  • improve automatic test converage: also test reverse mode (make test)
  • add per-file IVs based on the inode number to reverse mode to improve security
  • add automatic benchmark (make benchmark)
  • compare MAC in constant time
  • add --nocache option
  • lots of fixes to make building on OSX easier

Unfortunately, EncFS 1.8 RC1 doesn't fix all the potential vulnerabilities, but more should come with future release candidates - see the EncFS GitHub issues page for more information.
More information on EncFS:

The tool is especially useful to encrypt private files before syncing them with various cloud storage services such as Dropbox (without encrypting the whole cloud storage folder):

Note: EncFS doesn't come with a GUI, the tool in the screenshot above is called GNOME EncFS Manager.
Build EncFS 1.8 RC1 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
As I said above, there are still some potential vulnerabilities so you may want to wait until all are fixed. But if you want to install the latest EncFS 1.8 RC1 anyway, here's how to build it under Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
1. Enable source code repositories:
  • in Ubuntu: enable "Source code" in Software & Updates (Ubuntu Software tab), then run "sudo apt-get update";
  • in Linux Mint: under Software Sources, check the box next to "Enable source code repositories" (Official Repositories tab), then run "sudo apt-get update".

2. Download the latest EncFS and extract it.

3. In the extracted EncFS directory, run the following commands to build EncFS:sudo apt-get build-dep encfs
autoreconf -if
./configure --prefix=/usr --with-boost-libdir=/usr/lib/$(dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_MULTIARCH)
4. Install EncFS 1.8 RC1

Now you can either install it directly or create a deb (using checkinstall) and install that, so it's easier to remove / upgrade.
To create an EncFS 1.8 deb and install it, use the following commands (in the EncFS 1.8 folder):sudo apt-get install checkinstall
sudo checkinstallAnd follow the steps. Important: when prompted, change the package name from "encfs-1.8" to just "encfs" and the version from "rc1" to "1.8~rc1".
Or, to install it directly, simply use (in the EncFS 1.8 folder):
sudo make install

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Netrunner 14.1 – Main Edition (Frontier)

The “14.1” indicates an updated and polished release of Netrunner 14 LTS on the same underlying base. Since 14.1 is using the same base “trusty” like Netrunner 14, there is no need for users of 14 to migrate: Simply updating from the shared backports ppa of the Frontier release cycle should give the same result, while keeping customizations in place. Read more

Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released

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