Deepin, previously known as "Linux Deepin", is a Chinese Linux distribution (a multi-language ISO is available) based on Ubuntu, that ships with its own desktop environment based on Compiz and some unique applications, which integrate with the overall Linux Deepin look and feel.
Until version 12.12, Deepin used a highly customized GNOME Shell as the default desktop environment / shell and then it switched to its own desktop environment: Deepin Desktop Environment, which uses Compiz (with some patches) under the hood.
Deepin 2014 video
As usual, let's start with a quick video showcasing the new features / changes in Deepin 2014:
(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel!)
While it retains the main features available in the previous releases: a full-screen application launcher, a dock at the bottom and so on, the Deepin 2014 desktop environment has received a major update.
Deepin 2014 ships with Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0 and the most important change is probably the new Control Center.
The new Control Center pops up to the right of the screen and other than the new design which you can see below, it includes major improvements to the display, network and personalization modules as well as a much more stable sound module. For instance, the network module has received support for broadband and VPN connections, hidden network connections and static IPs.
The Deepin dock / taskbar has also received a lot of attention with the 2014 release: the application uses new effects and it was split in two parts: the original dock which shows a list of running applications (with live window previews) and allows you to pin apps to it, and the tray which includes the network, audio, USB device, clock / calendar and power trays as well as the program tray which is where you'll find the apps that use a tray icon / Ubuntu AppIndicator:
The dock continues to offer options to auto-hide it, show the desktop when clicked and so on:
The application launcher was updated with a new design and it now uses a button in the top left corner which allows the users to switch between the favorite apps view and the app categories:
Also, users can now uninstall applications by dragging them from the launcher and dropping them onto the trash icon:
Yet another updated feature is the hot corners settings: by right clicking the desktop and selecting "Corner navigation", you can configure various actions for each desktop corner: open the app launcher or Control Center, show the desktop or all windows, etc.:
The Login / Lock Screen Manager (a greeter on top of LightDM which uses HTML5) was updated to use a beautiful sky animation (which you can see in the video above) and also, the lock screen now displays music controls:
It's also important to note that the Deepin 2014 ISO offers 10 languages and 67 languages are in the works but unfortunately they weren't ready for this release.
Deepin 2014 continues to use its own custom apps as the default music player, screenshot, video player, software store and so on and unfortunately I can't tell you what's new in these apps because I couldn't find any information about that. What I can tell you is that Deepin 2014 ships with 2 new default applications especially created for it: Deepin Translator which makes use of Google Voice and Deepin Boot Maker - you can see both apps in the screenshots below:
It's also important to note that Deepin 2014 users can now install applications using Deepin Store without entering a password.
Also, DMedia, the default video player, is now called DMovie and the release notes mention that this is an important upgrade but there are no details as to what features / improvements were added:
And finally, even though the games are in English, Deepin Game Center continues to use Chinese game descriptions:
Here are some screenshots with the other Deepin applications:
Besides the applications that were built especially for it, Deepin 2014 ships with Nautilus as the default file manager as well as the following applications: Google Chrome, LibreOffice, Pidgin, HexChat, Remmina, Skype, Thunderbird, Gedit, Brasero, Evince, GDebi Package Installer, GParted, GNOME System Monitor, GNOME Font Viewer and Calculator.
I must confess I really enjoy the overall Deepin 2014 desktop experience: I love the new Control Center, the dock / taskbar does everything I need and the application launcher is easy to use, yet featureful - for instance, you can right click an application from the app launcher to add it to the dock or to the desktop and even add it to startup, and you can drag and drop an app icon from the app launcher to trash to uninstall it.
I'm also pretty pleased with how the Deepin applications looks (though I'm sure some of you won't agree but you can always replace them) and features.
However, I'm not exactly satisfied with its performance.
Note: I didn't install Deepin 2014 on my computer - I've created a startup disk and booted Deepin 2014 on a desktop with AMD graphics (it doesn't boot on my Nvidia Optimus laptop unless I edit Grub to use "nomodeset" and then the resolution is pretty crappy).
According to the official release announcement, Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0 was optimized to use less system resources but in my test the desktop still feels kind of heavy. However, the developers are planning to write a new window manager to replace Compiz for future Deepin releases and with this, they hope to solve all performance issues.
Also, while I like the fact that Deepin tries to use its own applications for music and video playback, software store and so on, I have to note that I'm not exactly pleased with two of them: Deepin Store and Deepin Music.
For instance, Deepin Store is a bit sluggish (but then again, so is Ubuntu Software Center). Also, I was pretty disappointed by Deepin Music, which worked ok while using it to play various Internet radio stations, but it kept freezing after adding only about 300 MP3s. But of course, there many music players out there which can be used to replace Deepin Music, so that's not such a big issue.
Overall, the desktop is very easy to use with a unified design (well, if you don't count the non-Deepin apps which obviously have a different look and that can't be fixed) and besides the issues I've mentioned above, everything worked as expected in the 4-5 hours I spent testing it.
Have you tried Deepin 2014? What's your opinion about it?
Download Deepin 2014
- windows view: shows all windows of the current workspace (with live previews) - you can use this to switch between applications / windows or close them;
- applications view: it's like a menu, showing all installed applications with categories, etc. - using this view, you can launch applications or add them to your favorites (which will add a shortcut in the quicklaunch / left panel);
- favorites: you can add application shortcuts to your favorites - the shortcuts will be displayed in the left panel, just like in GNOME Shell. To remove an application from the favorites, drag and drop it onto the application icon (first icon from the top) - the icon should turn into a delete icon while dragging one of the favorites;
- search view: when you start typing, a search view is displayed, useful to quickly find and launch an application;
- workspace selector: shows each workspace with live window previews in their stacked order. Note that the live previews might not work if you're using a window manager that doesn't allow this, such as Xfwm4 (in that case, only non-minimized windows of the current active workspace will be updated and the application icon will be displayed for the other windows). You can switch between workspaces by using the mouse wheel (in which case Xfdashboard won't be closed) or by simply clicking on a workspace (in which case, Xfdashboard will be closed);
- theming support.
Here are a few more Xfdashboard screenshots:
While Xfdashboard was created for use under Xfce, it can be used in any desktop environment however, it has a couple of Xfce dependencies: xfconf and garcon.
The application is great for those who want the GNOME Shell Activities functionality (or at least most of it) under a light desktop environment such as Xfce, but there are two things which need to be improved: in my test, Xfdashboard was a bit slow when searching for applications and also, its design needs some improvements in my opinion. The latter might be solved by using a theme since Xfdashboard supports theming, but I couldn't find any themes for it. I see that the app is under heavy development so hopefully these will be solved soon.
For how to use Xfdashboard, see THIS guide. You may also want to check out the Xfdashboard Xfconf settings, which are documented HERE.
Note: to quit / close Xfdashboard, either select a window or start an application or simply press ESC (if you've entered some text in the search box, ESC will clear the search so in that case, you need to press ESC twice to close Xfdashboard).
Below you can watch an Xfdashboard demo video (also includes some hints on how to use Xfdashboard - make sure the video annotations are enabled) I've recorded in Ubuntu 14.04 - Xfce session:
(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to the WebUpd8 YouTube channel!)
How to install and set up Xfdashboard in Xubuntu 14.10, 14.04 or 13.10 / Linux Mint Xfce 17 or 16
Xfdashboard can be installed in Xubuntu 14.10, 14.04 and 13.10 (as well as Linux Mint Xfce 17 or 16) by using the Xubuntu Extras PPA. To add the PPA and install Xfdashboard, copy/paste the following commands in a terminal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfdashboard
Arch Linux users can install Xfdashboard via AUR: stable | git.
For other Linux distributions, grab the source code from the Xfdashboard GitHub page.
Once you've installed Xfdashboard, you need to set up a way to launch it:
A. The easiest way is to search for Xfdashboard in the Xfce menu and drag and drop it to the panel - you can then simply click its icon to launch Xfdashboard.
B. Some of you will probably prefer to launch it by using a keyboard shortcut so below you'll find instructions for how to set up a keyboard shortcut in Xfce to launch Xfdashboard:
1. Open the Xfce Settings, select Keyboard and click on the Application Shortcuts tab:
2. Click "Add" and in the window that pops up, enter "xfdashboard" as the command, then click OK:
3. Next, you'll be prompted to press a keyboard shortcut which will be used to show Xfdashboard:
Here, enter the keys you want to use and you're done (important: make sure that the key combination you've set isn't already in use!).
C. Of course, using a keyboard shortcut or a launcher aren't the only ways of activating Xfdashboard. For instance, you can get a complete GNOME Shell "feel" by opening Xfdashboard using hot corners: you can assign commands to screen edges / corners under Xfce by using Brightside.
However, VLC supports plugins and there is one called Srpos (available for Linux and Windows) which does just that: it allows VLC to automatically save the playback position when you close the player and to automatically start playing from the same position when you replay the file.
To avoid confusion, let me clarify this: Srpos automatically saves / restores the last played position, unlike some other extensions out there such as Remember Position, which requires you to click a button to save/restore the last played position.
Install Srpos VLC plugin in Ubuntu
Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 (as well as Linux Mint 17 and derivatives) users can install the Srpos VLC plugin by using Sam Rog's PPA. To add the PPA and install the plugin, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:samrog131/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc-srpos-pluginIf you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the Srpos VLC plugin deb from HERE.
Unfortunately the latest Srpos plugin doesn't seem to work with VLC versions older than 2.1 (it didn't build successfully for me with VLC 2.0.8), despite the fact that its homepage says it should work with 2.0 and 2.1, that's why there aren't any packages for older Ubuntu versions (Ubuntu versions older than 14.04 have vlc 2.0.x). However, if you're using an old Ubuntu version but have installed VLC 2.1.x from some PPA, follow the instructions from HERE to build Srpos.
For other Linux distributions and Windows, see the VLC srpos plugin homepage for installation instructions.
How to enable the Srpos VLC Plugin
Once you install Srpos, open VLC (close it if it was started when you installed the plugin) and from its menu select Tools > Preferences, then in the bottom left corner under "Show settings" select "All", scroll down to "Interface" on the left, click "Control interfaces" and enable "Save/restore position of last player files". Here's a screenshot with these steps:
Once you've enabled this option, restart VLC. That's it!
Screencasting App `Simple Screen Recorder` 0.3.0 Adds Profile Support, New OpenGL Recording System And Lots More
The tool comes with basically all the features you need in a screencast app: record the entire screen (with multi-monitor support), record a fixed rectangle, follow the cursor, record OpenGL applications (which can be used to record games), record audio input (PulseAudio, JACK and ALSA), options to scale the video, to record (or not) the cursor, to pause/resume the recording and so on. It even has experimental live streaming support.
Simple Screen Recorder can record your screen using any container (MP4, MKV, OGG, WebM and so on) and audio/video codec (H.264, VP8, Theora for videos and Vorbis, mp3, AAC, etc. for audio) supported by libav, with configurable bit rate, etc.
For more information on Simple Screen Recorder, check out our initial article about it: SimpleScreenRecorder: Powerful Screen Recording Software For Linux
Changes in the latest Simple Screen Recorder 0.3.0:
- added profile support;
- new, more flexible OpenGL recording system (glinject-next branch merged);
- more robust sound notifications;
- show progress dialog while flushing the encoders;
- improved hotkey support using XInput2;
- improved synchronizer;
- native support for mono microphones (plughw no longer needed);
- added source detection for ALSA;
- partially rewritten output backend;
- improved mouse following algorithm;
- new icon;
Here are a few screenshots with the latest Simple Screen Recorder 0.3.0:
Below you can watch a quick Simple Screen Recorder demo video recorded using... the tool itself (the video is old, but it should be enough to get an idea on what the app can do and to checkout the quality of the screencasts recorded using this tool):
(direct video link)
For more screencasts created using Simple Screen Recorder, check out the latest videos from the WebUpd8 YouTube channel - I've been using Simple Screen Recorder to record the WebUpd8 screencasts for about a year now.
Install Simple Screen Recorder in Ubuntu / Linux Mint
Ubuntu / Linux Mint (and derivatives) users can install Simple Screen Recorder by using its official PPA. To add the PPA and install the application, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder
For H.264 support, you'll need to install some extra packages:
sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra-* libavformat-extra-*Ubuntu 64bit: if you want to record 32bit games, make sure you also install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386:sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386
For other Linux distributions, see the instructions available on the Simple Screen Recorder homepage.
If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.
The new release also includes full Nemo / Cinnamon support (with a Cinnamon theme) and other changes.
With this update, the theme pack is now available in 12 color variations (the theme already included the following colors: blue, brown, graphite, green, orange - different from the default orange -, pink, purple, red and yellow), all available as both light (Radiance) and dark (Ambiance).
The theme pack supports Unity, MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon. Since the default/stock Ambiance and Radiance don't support client side window decorations, the Ambiance and Radiance Colors pack doesn't support it either, so GNOME Shell is currently not properly supported.
Besides the 3 new colors, the latest Ambiance & Radiance Colors 14.04.5 includes other changes such as:
- improved window buttons color (it's now brighter / less dull) - white window buttons are also still available if you don't want to use colored window buttons (set the theme to Ambiance-COLOR-pro or Radiance-COLOR-pro to get white window buttons);
- full support for Nemo file manager and the Cinnamon desktop (including a Cinnamon theme);
- new menubar gradient for GTK3 apps. No longer a upside down one like it is in the stock Ambiance / Radiance themes;
- Nautilus and Nemo now use a dark sidebar;
- Xfce Virtual Desktop Pager is now more visible and uses prelight color for selected desktop (as opposed to grey);
- fixes for some GTK2-based terminal apps - they now use a nice black/grey background;
- fixes for dark MintMenu on MATE;
- 2 new (optional) window border themes are available for MATE and Xfce with classic big window borders for easier resizing: 4px wide as apposed to 1px, as it was before. This is for use on MATE and Xfce without Compiz if you have issues with the window border resize area being too small (an issue that was introduced with all new "borderless" themes such as Ambiance and Radiance in Ubuntu 14.04);
- other under-the-hood fixes and enhancements.
Note that in my test, MintMenu under MATE still has an issue: the favorites text is blurry.
It's also important to mention that the Nautilus toolbar doesn't look like the original Ambiance/Radiance theme because of a limitation in its code (probably some Nautilus / Unity patch or something like that) - the Nautilus toolbar code is identical in both the stock Ambiance/Radiance themes and in Ambiance & Radiance Colors (so in theory, they should look the same, but that's not the case as you can see below):
Here are a few more screenshots with some of the changes mentioned above:
Ambiance Aqua - Cinnamon
Ambiance Aqua - MATE
Ambiance Teal Xfce
Ambiance Teal - Unity
Radiance Manila - Unity
As a reminder, for matching icons, see the Humanity Colors icon theme pack.
Install Ambiance & Radiance colors in Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17
Ambiance and Radiance Colors can be installed in Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17 (and derivatives: Xubuntu 14.04, etc.) by using the RAVEfinity PPA. Add the PPA and install the themes using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ambiance-colors radiance-colorsFor other Linux distributions or if you don't want to add the PPA, you can get the themes from HERE.
To change the theme in Unity, you can use a tool such as Ubuntu Tweak or Unity Tweak Tool
Note-Taking / PDF Annotation Tool `Xournal` 0.4.8 Released With New Export To PDF Code, Other Changes
For those not familiar with Xournal, this is a GTK+ application for note-taking, sketching, keeping a journal using a stylus on Tablet PCs and other platforms.
The application comes with various tools such as: pen, eraser, highlighter, text tool and shape recognizer. Additionally, strokes and blocks of text can be selected, moved and copied using a rectangular selection tool. Besides taking notes or sketching, these tools can be used to annotate PDF files (it uses the Poppler library to render PDF documents) which can be saved either in native Xournal file format or exported to PDF.
Xournal 0.4.8, released today, includes some new features / changes such as:
- new Export to PDF code using Cairo (+ config option to prefer old code in the options menu > Legacy PDF Export) which should fix various issues;
- optional auto-save of documents and recovery from auto-saves;
- a horizontal view mode (pages are shown next to each other horizontally);
- add "new pages duplicate background" option;
- various bug-fixes and configuration options for touchscreen devices;
- smoother icons for eraser and shapes buttons.
Install Xournal 0.4.8 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Xournal is available in the official Ubuntu repositories, but it's not the latest 0.4.8 version (Ubuntu 14.04 and 13.10 have Xournal 0.4.7 and Ubuntu 12.04 has Xournal 0.4.6). If you don't care for the features in the latest 0.4.8 release, simply install the package from the Ubuntu repositories by searching for Xournal in the Ubuntu Software Center.
The latest Xournal 0.4.8 can be installed in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (and derivatives) by using the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install Xournal by using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xournalIf you don't want to add the PPA, you can grab the Xournal deb from HERE.
Note: the Ubuntu / Debian Xournal maintainer accidentally (?) used "4.7" as the version number for Xournal 0.4.7 from the Ubuntu 14.04 and 13.10 repositories so to receive the update from the WebUpd8 PPA, I had to use "4.8" as the version instead of 0.4.8.
For other Linux distributions, grab Xournal from SourceForge.
My Weather Indicator and one of its optional desktop widgets
If you're not familiar with My Weather Indicator, here's a quick list of its main features:
- displays current temperature, humidity, wind, sunrise, sunset, etc. in the indicator menu;
- supports the following weather services APIs: Open Weather Map, Yahoo!, Wunderground and World Weather Online (the last two require an API which you can obtain by registering on the corresponding website);
- weather forecast;
- multiple locations support;
- optional notifications support;
- supports imperial and metric units;
- if you need more than just an AppIndicator, My Weather Indicator can also display (optional) various weather widgets on your desktop (the current version comes with 8 different widgets).
With the latest My Weather Indicator 0.6.8, the desktop widgets are easier to move and pin behavior is now correct - in case you weren't aware of this, there's a pin in the top left corner on the widgets, displayed on mouse over, which you can click to allow the widget to be moved or to lock/pin it:
Also, you can now select if you want the desktop widgets to be displayed on the current desktop or all desktops.
Another change available in the latest My Weather Indicator is that the preferences and forecast windows are smaller, useful for small screens:
In addition to these changes, My Weather Indicator 0.6.8 also comes with quite a few bug fixes:
- weather applet crashes frequently in 14.04;
- crash w/ coredump on first run in some cases;
- my-weather-indicator blocks suspend / standby on Ubuntu 14.04 in some cases;
- crash with OpenWeatherMap;
- Forecast not fitting on 1024X600 screen;
- characters outside of the widget;
- weather applet crashed on login if there is no connection;
- get_dew_point raises unhandled ValueError with negative humidity;
- widgets close when reducing all windows;
- font characters in widget showing as squares in some cases;
- added support for Vietnamese font;
- local time incorrect when 24 hr format used as system time;
- Evolution crashes with yahoo service;
- Yahoo weather service always showing forecast conditions the same as current;
- Shows all day sunrise as all day sunset;
- wrong time in Dawn/Sunrise/Sunset/Dusk (i.e. "20:60");
- weather doesn't update in some cases;
- second weather location displays wrong time by -2Hrs;
- no forecast data for the next 4 days from Yahoo;
- current weather symbol for the secondary location is wrong;
- evolution only on Second Location and not working properly;
- occasional HTTP 503 errors causes applet to stop updating;
- time not synchronized from widget to PC;
- weather applet doesn't start in some cases;
- second location missing from panel after reboot;
- incorrect icons: daytime ones displayed at night;
- day/night time weather icon problem for the second location;
- auto location not working at all;
- My-weather-indicator crashes on Ubuntu 13.10 in some cases;
- crash on startup after changing weather source;
- wrong Sunrise and Sunset time;
Install My Weather Indicator in Ubuntu 14.04 or 13.10
To install My Weather Indicator in Ubuntu, you'll need to add the Atareao PPA. Simply copy/paste the following commands to add the PPA and install My Weather Indicator in Ubuntu and derivatives ((the latest My Weather Indicator 0.6.8 is only available for Ubuntu 14.04 and 13.10 but there is an older My Weather Indicator version for Ubuntu 12.04):sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install my-weather-indicator python3-requests
Once installed, launch My Weather Indicator from the menu / Dash. Note that the app (indicator) doesn't start automatically on login by default - to set it to start automatically, open its preferences and on the "General options" tab, check the Autostart checkbox.
If you want to download the source code, see THIS page.
Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.
Find more AppIndicators.
The tool is used as the default Xubuntu application menu starting with the latest 14.04 release and in Linux Mint Xfce starting with version 15 (Olivia).
Whisker Menu was updated to version 1.4.0 recently, getting some interesting changes:
- added option to switch position of categories and launchers;
- added waiting for grabs;
- allow modifier as shortcut;
- added padding to username;
- added single panel row option;
- added about entry to context menu;
- the applications are now loaded immediately;
- recognize keypad enter as return for searching;
- the menu window type hint is now set to DIALOG;
- translation updates.
Install / upgrade to the latest Whisker Menu in Xubuntu or Linux Mint
The Whisker Menu PPA was updated to the latest 1.4.0 version recently and you can use to both upgrade to the latest version obviously, as well as to install the tool in (X)Ubuntu versions for which Whisker Menu isn't available in the official repositories (supported versions: Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10 and 12.04 and the corresponding Linux Mint versions).
Note: I've only tested the latest Whisker Menu 1.4.0 in Xubuntu 14.04.
To add the Whisker Menu PPA and install / update the application, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gottcode/gcppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin
If you've already had an older Whisker Menu version installed, you'll also need to restart the Xfce panel (or log out and log back in) to get the latest version:xfce4-panel --restart
If this is a new Whisker Menu installation, add the menu to the panel by right clicking the panel and selecting: Panel > Add New Items, then select "Whisker Menu" and click "Add".
If you're not using Ubuntu / Linux Mint, grab Whisker Menu from HERE.
Arch Linux: install Whisker Menu via AUR.
Lubuntu 14.04 shipped with a pretty annoying (and a deal-breaker for many new users I'd say) bug: the Network Manager icon wasn't displayed on the panel by default. There was a pretty simple work-around, but for some reason it didn't work for all the users. Well, this bug was finally fixed today so the Network Manager icon should now show up for everyone.
The bug was caused by lxsession, which failed to start applications from system directories.
To get the fix, simply open the Software Updater and install all the available updates. Then use the following command to check your lxsession version:apt-cache policy lxsession
The command above should display something like this:
*** 0.4.9.2+git20140410-0ubuntu1.1 0
400 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-proposed/universe i386 Packages
500 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty/universe i386 PackagesNotice that the version has "1.1" at the end. If yours doesn't, then the latest lxsession wasn't synchronized yet with the mirror you're using so you can either wait until your mirror is updated or temporarily switch to the main server (Software & Updates > Ubuntu Software tab: under "Download from" select "Main server").
Once you've updated to the latest lxsession version, log out and log back in and the Network Manager icon should show up on the panel.
Besides supporting most popular audio/video formats, Selene supports 2 types of presets: JSON presets (which determine the audio/video format, codecs, bitrate, quality and so on) as well as Bash script presets which can be used for converting files using any command line utility, useful for integrating tools that aren't directly supported by Selene, as well as for automated / unattended encoding.
It's also important to note that Selene can also crop / resize / resample videos or embed subtitles.
The application is under constant development, with the latest version (2.4) being released about 10 days ago with SOX Audio Processing support, an option to check for missing encoders (see screenshot below) and bug fixes.
Selene - encoders status
Selene Presets - filter options
Selene Media Encoder features:
- Encode videos to MKV/MP4/OGV/WEBM formats;
- Encode music to MP3/AAC/OGG/OPUS/FLAC/WAV formats;
- Option to pause/resume encoding;
- Option to run in background and shutdown PC after encoding;
- Option for SOX Audio Processing;
- Customizable presets;
- Preview file before converting;
- Bash scripts can be written to control the encoding process;
- Command line interface for unattended/automated encoding (run "selene --help" for a list of available commands);
- Support for copying audio tags (Artist, Album, etc) to the the output file;
- Option to check for missing encoders.
Install Selene Media Encoder in Ubuntu or Linux Mint
Ubuntu / Linux Mint (and derivatives) users can install the latest Selene Media Encoder by using its official PPA. Add the PPA and install Selene using the following commands:sudo apt-add-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install seleneIf you don't want to add the PPA or you're using Debian, etc., grab the Selene Media Encoder deb from HERE.
For encoding AAC/MP4 format, Selene needs NeroAAC encoder which you can install by using the following commands:cd /tmp
unzip -j NeroAACCodec-1.5.1.zip linux/neroAacEnc
sudo install -m 0755 neroAacEnc /usr/bin
sudo apt-get install gpac
Arch Linux users can install Selene via AUR.
Other Linux distributions: grab the Selene source code via Launchpad (BZR).
For more information, usage, how to use bash scripts for encoding and more, see Selene's homepage.
Xnoise is a GTK+ media player built with big music collections in mind. Its development started back in 2008 and unfortunately, it looks like 2014 is its final year because, according to Shuerhaaken, the Xnoise developer, the player "lost development contributors" and he doesn't have enough time to continue the project:
"I started doing xnoise in 2008 and I spent quite some time developing it and that was fun for me! With the nice and then newly created vala language, it was a great adventure to gain more experience by adding new features, speeding things up and discussing design issues.
Problem is, I lost development contributors and I wasn't able to interest others to join the development of xnoise. With me now having less time, I decided to let this project die. Anybody can fork xnoise and proceed, but I'm out. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thanks to all helpers, contributors and translators!
On the other hand, Libtaginfo, a library for reading media metadata (tags), which was used by Xnoise and developed by the same Shuerhaaken, will not be abandoned.
Xnoise is free, open source software so even though its developer won't be maintaining it any more, it doesn't mean it's dead yet: if there are Xnoise users out there who can continue its development, contact Shuerhaaken on the Xnoise mailing list and see if you can take over the project.
Thanks to Gijs for the tip!
Guake is a Quake-style drop-down terminal which can be invoked with a single keystroke and hidden by pressing the same key again.
Guake Indicator features:
- easily connect to your SSH hosts and MySQL servers;
- run various commands / tasks (e.g. navigate to a folder, ping google.com and so on);
- GUI to add new SSH hosts or localhost tasks.
The SSH hosts / commands can be added by using the Guake Indicator GUI or by editing the ~/.guake-indicator/guake-indicator.json configuration file.
Install Guake Indicator in Ubuntu
Guake Indicator can be installed in Ubuntu Utopic, Trusty or Saucy by using a PPA. To add the PPA and install Guake Indicator, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gun101/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install guake-indicator
Once installed, launch Guake Indicator from the menu / Dash.
Guake Indicator doesn't start automatically on login. To add it to startup, open Startup Applications, click "Add" and enter "guake-indicator" under "Name:" and "Command:", then click Add and you're done - Guake Indicator should now start automatically when you log in.
Guake Indicator should be available in the Debian repositories soon. Until then, you can try to use the Ubuntu packages in Debian (not tested).
Other Linux distributions: grab the source from HERE.
The application is not new and you'll find it in the Ubuntu (and Fedora, etc.) repositories but it hasn't been updated in about 4 years. Recently, the Font Manager developer started working on a new GTK3/Vala version and he needs you to test it and post feedback.
Font Manager 0.7 alpha under GNOME Shell
Font Manager 0.7 alpha under Unity
The initial Vala/GTK3 Font Manager version (0.7) is currently considered alpha quality and if you can test it and give feedback, it "would be incredibly useful to determine whether it can move to beta or even a release", as Jerry Casiano, the Font Manager developer, recently told me in an email. So if you want to post feedback, issues, suggestions or whatever regarding the current development (SVN) version, see THIS page.
The following features should work in the latest Font Manager alpha:
- migration of fonts and collections from the previous version;
- font previews;
- enabling / disabling fonts;
- creating / deleting / enabling / disabling font collections;
- font installation: by drag and drop or by using the file selector (drag and drop should allow installation of not only individual font files but also entire directories and archives. The file selector unfortunately will not allow selection of directories);
- font removal;
- font directory monitoring;
- adding / removing font folders.
Missing / planned features:
- help contents;
- font metadata viewer;
- character map details viewer;
- database search;
- FontConfig editor: session-wide settings, per font settings and aliases;
- exporting collections.
Install Font Manager alpha
The latest Font Manager 0.7 alpha is available in a daily builds PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 (it can't be built on older Ubuntu versions). To add the PPA and install Font Manager alpha, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:font-manager/staging
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install font-managerOr, if you don't want to add the PPA, simply download the deb from HERE.
If you want to build the latest Font Manager alpha from source, see THIS page. For feedback, issues, suggestions or whatever regarding the current development (SVN) version, see THIS page.
Cinnamon 2.2.13 in Ubuntu 14.04
To make Cinnamon easier to install for Ubuntu users, a couple of new stable Cinnamon PPAs were created. The new PPAs aren't official but I've been following them for a while / tested them and I didn't encounter any issues, so I though I'd share them with you.
Before using these PPA, please read the following notes:
- if you're currently using Nemo with Unity patches from the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA or some other PPA which copies my modifications (and even if the PPA is enabled but you've removed Nemo), purge the PPA ("sudo apt-get install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:webupd8team/nemo") before adding any Cinnamon PPA;
- don't add any Cinnamon PPAs if you're using Linux Mint!
Install Cinnamon stable in Ubuntu via PPA
If you use Ubuntu 12.04, use the second (B) PPA below. For Ubuntu 14.04, you can use any of the two PPAs below.
A. Install Cinnamon in Ubuntu by using Lester Carballo Pérez's PPA (Ubuntu 14.04 only).
Lester Carballo Pérez's PPA offers stable Cinnamon builds for Ubuntu 14.04 only. To add the PPA and install Cinnamon stable (version 2.2.13 at the time I'm writing this article; the PPA also provides all the required packages: cinnamon, cinnamon-screensaver, nemo, various nemo extensions, etc.) in Ubuntu 14.04, copy/paste the following commands in a terminal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lestcape/cinnamon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
B. Install Cinnamon in Ubuntu by using Tsvetko's PPA (Ubuntu 14.04 and 12.04 only!)
Tsvetko's stable Cinnamon PPA provides the latest Cinnamon for Ubuntu 14.04 (2.2.13) and Cinnamon 2.0.14 for Ubuntu 12.04 (that's because newer Cinnamon versions don't work in Ubuntu 12.04) as well as all the required packages like Nemo, cinnamon-screensaver, etc. To add the PPA and install Cinnamon stable in Ubuntu 14.04 or 12.04, copy/paste the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tsvetko.tsvetkov/cinnamon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
Once installed, log out, select Cinnamon from the login screen session menu and log in. That's it.
How to completely remove Cinnamon
If for some reason you no longer want to use Cinnamon (which you've previously installed by using the PPAs above) and you want to completely remove it, follow the instructions below.
A. If you've used Lester Carballo Pérez's PPA, purge the PPA using the following commands:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:lestcape/cinnamon
B. If you've used Tsvetko's PPA, purge the PPA using the commands below:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:tsvetko.tsvetkov/cinnamon
Then, regardless of what PPA you've used, completely remove Cinnamon and all its dependencies (Nemo, etc.) using the following commands:
sudo apt-get purge cinnamon* nemo nemo-data cjs muffin* python-nemo(you can also use just "sudo apt-get purge cinnamon* nemo*" but that might also remove some Unity packages, etc., so it's safer to use my command above)
Old Audacious version (2.3) - GTK2 interface
The change was made because certain design choices  in recent releases of GTK3 have made it increasingly difficult to write a "traditional" PC / desktop program using the toolkit.
 A few examples of non-traditional design choices: monochrome icons (or none at all), client-side window decorations, and message windows mimicking Android.
In a recent forum post, John Lindgren, Audacious Manager and Developer, notes that the long-term goal is to switch to Qt however, the GTK+ interfaces need to remain stable in the meantime and "going back to GTK2 appears to be the only way to achieve this".
According to John, for the 3.6 release, the devs might provide separate GTK2 and GTK3 tarballs if there's enough interest though.
As you probably know, I maintain unofficial Audacious packages for Ubuntu (because the repositories usually don't provide the latest version). So, if there will be both GTK3 and GTK2 tarballs for the upcoming Audacious versions, which one would you prefer to install from the PPA?
Thanks to N. W. for the tip!
Skype for Linux webcam set to DroidCam on my Ubuntu 14.04 laptop
- Chat using "DroidCam Webcam" on your computer, including Sound and Picture;
- Connect over Wifi, Bluetooth or USB cable;
- Simple and efficient: designed to save battery and space as much as possible.
DroidCam is free to use but if you want extra features / enhancements, like high-resolution video support, Surveillance/IP Camera/Monitoring MJPEG access, camera controls like flash, auto focus, zoom and so on, you must buy DroidCamX.
Because installing the DroidCam desktop client under Linux requires running a script, manually downloading each update, etc., +Paolo Rotolo has created a PPA so you can easily install (and stay up to date with the latest versions) DroidCam in Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives.
Install DroidCam in Ubuntu / Linux Mint via PPA
Before installing the desktop client, firstly install the Android app: DroidCam (free) or DroidCamX (paid, with extra features - see above).
To add Paolo's DroidCam PPA and install the application in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the commands below:sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:paolorotolo/droidcam
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install droidcam
To use it, launch DroidCam on your Android device, then from the menu / Dash launch the DroidCam client on your desktop, select how you want it to connect to your Android device (WiFi / LAN, Wifi Server Mode, Bluetooth, USB), enter the phone IP if you're connecting via WiFi, and click Connect.
Those of you who prefer installing the DroidCam Linux client manually can follow the instructions from HERE.
If you encounter bugs related to the DroidCam Linux client packaging, report them HERE.
Opera web browser hasn't been updated for Linux since version 12.16 (about a year ago) - until today, when the Opera desktop team announced that they released Opera 24 for Linux on the Developer stream:
"Many of us at Opera use Linux as our primary platform. It’s great to be able to try out the newest developments of Opera on Linux once again".
"Adding Linux to our browser line fulfills an important part of Opera’s vision to shape an open, connected world. We want everyone to have fast and safe access to the web. Adding Linux opens up that possibility to more machines running the open-source operating system".
For those who haven't kept an eye on the Opera development, it's worth mentioning that the web browser now uses the Blink engine. With this Linux development release, you'll be able to experience features like:
- Discover (shows news and other articles in various categories, somewhat like Stumbleupon);
- Stash (Stash captures a searchable list of your exploration of the internet. If you find yourself wanting to save a page for reading later, Stash can help. Stash records the location, meta data, and a screenshot of the page, then places these into a list entry that can be searched by keyword and/or scanned by screenshot);
- the latest extensions and themes;
- vastly improved Speed Dial and Opera Turbo.
It's also worth mentioning that an article posted about a week ago on the Opera Desktop blog mentions that Pepper Flash is coming to Opera 24. In my test, Opera is already using Pepper Flash from the Chrome installation directory:
In Ubuntu, you can install Pepper Flash by installing Google Chrome or:
- use the official Pepper Flash installer available in the Ubuntu 14.04 (and newer) repositories;
- in Ubuntu versions older than 14.04, use a PPA.
Download Opera 24 for Linux (Ubuntu 64bit)
Note that this is a development release so you may encounter issues! In my test (Ubuntu 14.04 64bit with Unity), I've found a few annoyances - for instance, Opera 24 for Linux doesn't use native window decorations, even though it looks like it does: the theme is always Ambiance, no matter what GTK/window theme you set and the buttons are on the right under Unity. Also, it's pretty difficult to resize the window. I've only been using it for about half an hour, so there might be other issues too.
The latest Opera 24 for Linux is tested on Ubuntu (64bit only) with Unity and GNOME Shell and while it may work on other platforms, that's not guaranteed for now.
Download Opera 24 Developer for Linux (64bit deb only for now!)
Arch Linux users can install Opera 24 Developer via AUR.
Thanks to muhasturk for the tip!
The latest Laptop Mode Tools 1.65, released yesterday, includes important changes and bug fixes such as support for Intel PState driver and a more robust Runtime Power Management Framework that deprecates the usb-autosuspend module. That means that there should be less issues with USB devices such as mice / keyboards not working properly with LMT (if such issues still occur, you'll need to blacklist the device id or disable the runtime-pm and usb-autosuspend modules using the Laptop Mode Tools GUI).
Changes in Laptop Mode Tools 1.65:
- fixed grep error on missing $device/uevent;
- ethernet: replaced sysfs/enabled by 'ip link down';
- wireless-iwl-power: sysfs attr enbable -> enabled;
- wireless-iwl-power: added iwlwifi support;
- Runtime Power Management Framework is more robust now. Deprecates module usb-autosuspend;
- fixed multiple hibernate issue;
- when resuming, LMT now runs in force initialization mode;
- added module for Intel PState driver;
- GUI: implemented suspend/hibernate interface.
I'm sure you'll say that the Laptop Mode Tools GUI is pretty ugly. And it is (let's hope it'll get better in a future release), but LMT didn't have a GUI until version 1.64 and users had to edit configuration files which made it a lot more complicated to use, so now it's at least easier to use. The GUI uses tooltips which explain what each option does.
Also, you're probably aware of TLP and you're wondering which one's better. Well, they both try to achieve the same thing and the results depend on many factors so I suggest you give both Laptop Mode Tools and TLP a try (not in the same time though, they conflict!) and see which one works better for you.
Install Laptop Mode Tools 1.65 in Ubuntu / Linux Mint
Laptop Mode Tools 1.65 is available in the WebUpd8 Unstable / Backports PPA (because I can only test it in Ubuntu 14.04) for Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10 and 12.04 / Linux Mint 17, 16 and 13 and derivatives, backported from Debian. Add the PPA and install the latest Laptop Mode Tools using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install laptop-mode-toolsIf you don't want to add the PPA, you can download Laptop Mode Tools deb files from HERE.
Once installed, it's probably best to restart your laptop.
The Laptop Mode Tools GUI needs to run as root so under Unity/GNOME, launch it using gksu (use kdesudo under KDE, etc.):gksu /usr/sbin/lmt-config-guiNote that after enabling/disabling some modules via the Laptop Mode Tools GUI, you'll have to restart your system.
The Laptop Mode Tools Ubuntu / Debian package comes with a menu entry (desktop file) but it doesn't work unless you edit it and add gksu, kdesudo, or equivalent tool you use.
For other Linux distributions, see the Laptop Mode Tools downloads page.
Report any bugs you may find @ GitHub.
Humanity Colors 14.04.3 includes 3 new colors: Manila, Aqua, Teal, bringing the icon theme to a total of 12 colors variations (the theme already included the following colors: blue, brown, graphite, green, orange - different from the default Humanity orange -, pink, purple, red and yellow), all available for both dark and light panels.
Here are the 3 new icon colors in action:
The new version also brings "darker, crisper and way better looking overall colors" for the whole icon theme pack, according to Jared Sot, one of the Ravefinity designers:
It's also worth mentioning that the icon theme no longer requires Humanity and Ubuntu Mono icon themes to be installed, these being bundled with the theme. Because of this, Humanity Colors now uses about 90-100 mb of HDD space.
In the email I received today from Jared, he mentioned that Ambiance & Radiance Colors are to be updated to match the new colors at some point. For now though, Ambiance & Radiance colors is available in 9 color variations - see THIS article for more info.
As a reminder, Humanity Colors icon theme pack should work with Unity, GNOME (Shell), Xfce, LXDE, Openbox and probably other DEs/shells too.
Install Humanity Colors in Ubuntu
Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10 and 12.04 / Linux Mint 17, 16 and 13 (and derivatives) users can use the Ravefinity PPA to install the latest Humanity Colors:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install humanity-colors
For other Linux distributions, grab Humanity colors from the Ravefinity website.
To change the icon theme in Unity, you can use a tool such as Ubuntu Tweak or Unity Tweak Tool. For GNOME Shell, you can change the theme using GNOME Tweak Tool. Make sure to set Humanity-dark-COLORX icon themes for dark panels and Humanity-light-COLORX for light panels.
For matching GTK themes, see: Ambiance And Radiance Colors Theme Pack Available For Ubuntu 14.04.
Thanks to Jared Sot for the tip!
Changes in the latest Skype 4.3 for Linux:
- updated user interface (login window, the main window, options, etc. - see screenshots below);
- new cloud-based Group Chat experience;
- more reliable file transfer support when using multiple devices at once;
- greater accessibility by blind and visually impaired users;
- PulseAudio 3.0 and 4.0 support;
- Lot of bug fixes.
It's also important to note that starting with Skype 4.3, the application no longer supports Alsa.
A thing I've noticed, which is not available in the official Skype 4.3 for Linux release announcement, is that starting with this version, Skype uses its own interactive notifications by default and in my test under Unity, they slightly overlap with the top panel:
There is an option to use the built-in system notifications, but you must manually enable it for each notification action, which is pretty annoying:
Also, some of the tray/indicator icons are now dark, which isn't exactly great news for Ubuntu, which uses dark indicator menus by default:
Have you tried the new Skype 4.3 for Linux? What do you think?
Download Skype 4.3 for Linux
The Skype package available in the official Ubuntu repositories should be updated to the latest Skype 4.3 version soon (I don't know exactly when).
If you want to install Skype right now, download the deb by using the link above (for Ubuntu 64bit, make sure you download the "Ubuntu 12.04 (multiarch)" package).
Then, before installing the newly downloaded Skype version, make sure you don't have Skype from the Ubuntu repositories installed, or else you won't be able to install the latest version downloaded from the Skype website - to do that (and remove Skype), simply use the following command:sudo apt-get remove skype skype-bin:i386 skype:i386
And also, make sure sni-qt is installed and it's not marked for removal (so you don't lose the Skype AppIndicator) by using the following command:sudo apt-get install sni-qt:i386
Then you'll be able to install the Skype 4.3 deb downloaded from the Skype website.
Also see: Fix Skype Not Using The Desktop GTK Theme In Ubuntu 64bit [Quick Tip]