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

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 9:16pm
Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS final beta is available for download, this being the first and only milestone for Trusty. Read on to find out what's new!

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

Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr final beta video
Below you can watch an overview of the changes included in the latest Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr final beta:

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel)

Unity changes in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr final beta
Unity has received a lot of changes in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, even more than in the previous Ubuntu release, even though 14.04 is a LTS. Among the new features / improvements are:
  • Ubuntu 14.04 ships with Unity Control Center and Unity Settings Daemon, forked from GNOME Control Center and GNOME Settigns Daemon so it doesn't interfere with Ubuntu GNOME;
  • Unity now uses GTK3 CSS themed window decorations, instead of the Compiz decorations. The new decoration support full GTK 3 theming and they introduce improved resizing speed and anti-aliased corners as well as a fix for an old regression: the panel is now right-clickable when a window is maximized with global menu enabled, displaying the same menu that's available when right clicking an unmaximized window titlebar (lets you minimize, unmaximize, set the window always on top, move to workspace, etc.);
  • two years after this feature was first announced (and then abandoned), Unity finally got locally integrated menus (LIM). Locally integrated menus are displayed in the window decorations for unmaximized windows, instead of the default Unity approach which is to display the menu on the top panel. There is one thing that the default Unity menu and LIM have in common: both are displayed on mouse over and there's no option to make the menu permanently visible, at least not yet. LIM can be enabled via System Settings > Appearance > Behavior > Show the menus for a window > in the window's title bar;
  • Unity Spread (triggered by clicking on an application icon in the Launcher which already has focus and has multiple windows or for all open windows, by pressing SUPER + W) has received support for filtering windows by title. The search field is not displayed by default in the Unity Spread, but as soon as you start typing, the windows are filtered by their title and a Dash-like search is displayed on top of the spread view;
  • Unity got its own lockscreen, designed to look like the Unity Greeter (login screen);
  • a lot of HiDPI work: Unity got improved support for HiDPI screens, though from what I've read, there are still some bugs regarding this (and I can't test it since I don't have an high pixel density display). The UI scale can be set from System Settings > Displays;
  • you can now set Unity to allow minimizing applications by clicking their icons in the Unity Launcher. This option is not enabled by default and it can be enabled via CompizConfig Settings Manager (Unity Plugin > Launcher > Minimize Single Window Applications (Unsupported)). This feature only works for single-window applications so if an application has two windows, it won't work;
  • "live" window resizing. Until now, resizing windows in Unity would only display a frame with the new window size and the actual resize would only happen after you were done resizing the window but starting with Ubuntu 14.04, the windows are resized in real time;
  • the default Ubuntu 14.04 themes (Ambiance and Radiance) no longer use window borders;
  • Unity global menu can now be disabled for individual applications (via Dconf for now);
  • the Unity launcher can be scaled down to 8px.

Here are a few screenshots with these changes:

Borderless window decorations
HiDPI (UI scale) settings
Locally integrated menu settings
Locally integrated menu (LIM)
The new Unity lockscreen
Anti-aliased window corners
The new Unity Spread filter

Other changes
TRIM is now enabled by default for Intel and Samsung SSDs. TRIM allows the OS to "inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally". Without this, the write speed on SSDs becomes very slow over time.
A Unity 8 preview session is available to install via the Ubuntu 14.04 repositories. However, the session is currently broken and installing it may break your system so don't install it for now!

Nvidia Optimus support has improved a lot in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr: nvidia-prime now supports switching between the integrated and discrete GPU and thanks to this, Nvidia Settings itself also supports switching between GPUs. xorg-server was also updated with various Nvidia Optimus fixes, including a patch to fix GPU screen output hotplugging.

Type-ahead is used by default in Nautilus, instead of recursive search
Other new features / changes:
  • libimobiledevice was updated to the latest Git code, so it now supports iOS 7 properly.;
  • the volume can now go past 100% (see System Settings > Sound);
  • the Ubuntu Sound Menu icon turns red if it's muted and some application, like a music play for instance, plays some music / sounds;
  • Nautilus was updated with a patch that allows switching between the type-ahead find (interactive search) feature that was available in Nautilus 3.4 and the new recursive search that was introduced with Nautilus 3.6. Further more, the default behavior in Ubuntu was set to type ahead find, instead of the recursive search that was used in the previous Ubuntu versions (and which is default in upstream Nautilus).

Of course, these are just a few of the many changes available with Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, far too many to cover in an article.

Default applications
Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr final beta ships with the following applications by default: Nautilus 3.10.1, Firefox 28, Thunderbird 24.4.0, LibreOffice 4.2.3, Ubuntu Software Center 13.10, Gedit 3.10.4, Totem 3.10.1, Rhythmbox 3.0.1, Empathy 3.8.6, Transmission 2.82, Deja Dup Backup Tool 29.5, Shotwell 0.18.0 and Brasero 3.10.0, on top of Unity 7.1.2 daily build as of 21.03.14 and GTK3+ 3.10.7.
Trusty beta uses the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.13.0-19, Xorg 1.15.0 and Mesa 10.1.0.

Download Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS final beta
Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr final beta may not be stable yet, but many (myself included) find it very stable already. That said, this is still beta software, so it's not recommended to install it on production machines!
If you've installed an Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr daily build and you've updated the packages through Software Updater, you already have Trusty fiinal beta, so there's no need to reinstall it.
Download Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS final beta | Release notes
This is the only Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr beta release (not counting the other Ubuntu flavors). Ubuntu 14.04 will be released on April 17th.
Also download / see what's new in 14.04 beta 2 for the Ubuntu flavors:

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

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 1:44pm
The FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer 0.10 is not available in the official Ubuntu 14.04 repositories and because of this, Firefox doesn't support the H.264 codec.
Furthermore, without the FFmpeg plugin for GStreamer 0.10 package, KDE apps can't play H.264 videos in Kubuntu 14.04 if they use the GStreamer backend. Another issue with this is that Amarok can't play WMA files. There might also be other affected applications.
The bug was reported on Launchpad and it's not yet known if it will be fixed. Until (if) it's fixed, here's a work-around you can use to get Firefox and KDE apps that use the GStreamer backend to support H.264 in Ubuntu 14.04: basically, all you have to do is install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg by using a PPA:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg
Here's the YouTube HTML5 page under Firefox in Ubuntu 14.04, before and after installing gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg: 

via Phoronix & lffl.org

How to Switch Between The New Unity Lockscreen And LightDM In Ubuntu 14.04 [Quick Tip]

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 12:59pm
Quick tip for Ubuntu 14.04 users: Unity got its own lockscreen a while back and it's used by default but if for some reason you want to switch back to LightDM for screen locking, here's how to do it.
To switch between LightDM and Unity for screen locking, firstly install CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM):sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CompizConfig Settings Manager, click on Ubuntu Unity Plugin and on the General tab, under "Lockscreen", you can select to use Unity, LightDM or no lockscreen:

That's it - there's no need to restart the system or log out, the settings should be applied instantly.

How To Install GNOME 3.12 In Fedora 20 Via Repository

Wed, 26/03/2014 - 8:51pm
If you're using Fedora 20, there's a repository maintained by Richard Hughes (the GNOME Power manager and PackageKit maintainer, among others) you can use to install the latest GNOME 3.12.

I tested the GNOME 3.12 Fedora 20 repository in VirtualBox and I didn't encounter any major issues (this is the repository I've used for upgrading to GNOME 3.12 in Fedora 20 to record the video in our GNOME 3.12 article) however, the repository maintainer notes that since the repository only had a small amount of testing, it's probably better to try it in VirtualBox rather than on a production system. So use it at your own risk!
If you want to try GNOME 3.12 in a virtual machine, you can also do this by using the GNOME 3.12 live CD.
That being said, let's proceed.

Install GNOME 3.12 in Fedora 20
1. Add the GNOME 3.12 repository in Fedora 20 by using the commands below:

- 32bit:
su -
echo -e "[rhughes-f20-gnome-3-12-i386]\nname=Copr repo for f20-gnome-3-12 owned by rhughes (i386)\nbaseurl=http://copr-be.cloud.fedoraproject.org/results/rhughes/f20-gnome-3-12/fedora-\$releasever-i386/\nskip_if_unavailable=True\ngpgcheck=0\ncost=900\nenabled=1" > /etc/yum.repos.d/rhughes-f20-gnome-3-12.repo
- 64bit:
su -
echo -e "[rhughes-f20-gnome-3-12-i386]\nname=Copr repo for f20-gnome-3-12 owned by rhughes (i386)\nbaseurl=http://copr-be.cloud.fedoraproject.org/results/rhughes/f20-gnome-3-12/fedora-\$releasever-i386/\nskip_if_unavailable=True\ngpgcheck=0\ncost=900\nenabled=1\n\n[rhughes-f20-gnome-3-12-x86_64]\nname=Copr repo for f20-gnome-3-12 owned by rhughes (x86_64)\nbaseurl=http://copr-be.cloud.fedoraproject.org/results/rhughes/f20-gnome-3-12/fedora-\$releasever-x86_64/\nskip_if_unavailable=True\ngpgcheck=0\ncost=800\nenabled=1" > /etc/yum.repos.d/rhughes-f20-gnome-3-12.repo
2. Upgrade to GNOME 3.12 in Fedora 20:
yum update
Once the update is completed, log out and log back in (though a system restart is probably better to avoid running into issues).

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

Wed, 26/03/2014 - 7:19pm
GNOME 3.12 was released today and it includes some important changes such as proper HiDPI support, improved Wayland support, various enhancements for the core GNOME applications as well as 3 new preview applications.

GNOME 3.12 video
Below you can watch a GNOME 3.12 video I've recorder under Fedora 20, which should give you a better idea about what's new in this GNOME release:

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel)
Please note that I used VirtualBox for the video, that's why you might notice some lag at times.

GNOME 3.12: Changes in GNOME Shell, Settings, etc.
The most important improvement in GNOME 3.12 it that GNOME now properly supports high resolution displays, but there are many other interesting changes.
GNOME Shell 3.12 didn't receive the huge amount of changes we're used to from the previous releases, but there are still some interesting new features and improvements:
  • Jumplists (also known as Quicklists in Unity) support;
  • improved network menus;
  • you can now create your own app folders from GNOME Software: go to the Installed view, select some applications and then choose which folder you want them to belong to;
  • when searching the Activities Overview, GNOME Shell now displays applications available to install, along with installed apps;
  • A geolocation indicator was added to the status menu;
  • refined animations;
  • window previews are now keyboard navigable.

Other changes:
  • improved initial Setup Assistant
  • better Wayland support
  • Allow specifying monitor for OSD
  • new Bluetooth settings
  • GNOME Online accounts has better Facebook and Google support and also, it now supports Pocket (a web service that lets you save videos, articles and pretty much anything from the browser for later use)
  • Google Cloud print support
  • updated Adwaita GTK theme: new style for tabs and buttons, etc.

Also, GTK 3.12 introduces restyled tabs and "popovers", an overlayed bubble interface element that is already used in some of the GNOME 3.12 core apps, such as Gedit.
Here are some screenshots with these changes:

New bluetooth settings
Quickly toggle location on/off
Applications available for installation in the Activities Overview
New buttons style
New tabs style and popovers

GNOME 3.12 applications
Gedit was redesigned for GNOME 3.12, bringing it in line with the other GNOME core applications: Gedit now uses header bars (client side decorations), the tabs were redesigned, GtkPopovers are used for various UI elements, Solarized light & dark styles are now available by default and more.

GNOME Software
GNOME Software
GNOME Software - manage software sources
GNOME Software 3.12 received various performance improvements, along with some new features:
  • GNOME Software now displays application screenshots;
  • automatic ratings which indicate the application quality;
  • supports removing third-party repositories.

GNOME Videos (Totem)
GNOME Videos (Totem)
Like Gedit, GNOME Videos (previously known as Totem) was also redesigned: it now uses header bars, the playback view was completely redesigned and it now uses a floating playback controls bar that hides when it's no needed, etc. 
The application has also received some new features, such as an option to browse online videos - in this release, GNOME Videos supports The Guardian Videos, Applet Movie Trailers, Blip.tv and Rai.tv but more will be added in the future. Also, since GNOME 3.12 comes with Pocket integration, Videos allows you to watch any videos you've saved to Pocket.

PolariGNOME Sound Recorder
With GNOME 3.12, there are also some new preview applications: Polari (an IRC client), Sound Recorder and Logs - see above.

Web (Epiphany)
Web (Epiphany), the GNOME browser, features a new address bar design, a new style for incognito windows, better downloading behavior, redesigned cookies and password dialogs as well as Chrome-like one process per tab.
Changes in other GNOME apps:
  • Photos: Facebook integration, improved screenshot handling, performance improvements and also, you can now search for photos from the Activities Overview;
  • Games: 10 games now have modernized window layouts;
  • Terminal: automatically wrap lines, setting to use dark visual theme, Solarized style is available by default and it's now possible to search for terminals from the Activities Overview (it will search for commands and display open terminals that match the query);
  • Notes: new option to open notes in a new window, as well as a trash bin to prevent you from accidentally deleting notes;
  • Boxes: networking improvements and and option to import existing boxes from the host system;
  • Music: support for creating playlists;
  • Maps: search will autocomplete previous searches, and there is a better minimum zoom level.

For more information, see the official GNOME 3.12 release notes.

Test GNOME 3.12
If you want to give GNOME 3.12 a try, you can download an ISO from HERE.

Ubuntu users: Ubuntu (and thus Ubuntu GNOME) 14.04 won't use GNOME 3.12 by default but it will be installable via PPA.

information and some screenshots via GNOME 3.12 release notes

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

Tue, 25/03/2014 - 1:10pm

TLP, a tool that applies various settings and tweaks that help your laptop save battery power, was updated to version 0.5 which includes better support for some ThinkPad models as well as some new features and bug fixes.
Changes in the latest TLP 0.5:
  • tpacpi-bat: auto detection of all ThinkPad models (v2.1);
  • tlp-stat: include newer models in tpacpi-bat suggestions;
  • tlp-rdw: support newer docks;
  • Handle special case where BAT1 = main battery (Thinkpad Edge/L/S series);
  • Fix: sound power save depending on power source ac/bat;
  • Fix: don't touch devices in RUNTIME_PM_BLACKLIST or excluded by RUNTIME_PM_ALL=0;
  • Fix: do not write sata link power when not configured;
  • Restore bay power state upon resume only when on bat power and the setting is active;
  • Use nmcli before rfkill to change radio state; re-enable wifi on shutdown when not explicitly configured (Ubuntu 14.04).

Install TLP in Ubuntu / Linux Mint
Before installing TLP, make sure "laptop-mode-tools" is not installed (it conflicts with TLP):sudo apt-get remove laptop-mode-tools
Ubuntu / Linux Mint users can install TLP by using its official PPA. Add the PPA and install it by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
TLP will start automatically on startup but to avoid having to restart the system, the first time you can start it manually, by using the following command:sudo tlp start
There are also some optional packages you can install - for more on that as well as more information about TLP, see: Improve Power Usage / Battery Life In Linux With TLP.

For how to install TLP in Fedora, Debian, Arch Linux or Gentoo, see the TLP installation page.

To check out the source code, report bugs, etc., see the TLP GitHub page.

image via

How To Install MATE 1.8 In Ubuntu

Tue, 25/03/2014 - 12:02pm
MATE 1.8 was released about 3 weeks ago, bringing various refinements and new features such as support for Metacity as window manager, side-by-side window tiling and more, as well as many bug fixes - for more information, see THIS article.  

The official MATE Desktop wiki page doesn't offer Ubuntu installation instructions for the latest MATE Desktop 1.8 (their instructions are for MATE 1.6 - because MATE 1.8 uses a different Ubuntu repository -, at least at the time I'm writing this article), so here's how to install MATE 1.8 in Ubuntu.
Note that the official MATE 1.8 Ubuntu repository only supports Ubuntu 14.04 and 13.10!
MATE Desktop is a GNOME2 fork which lets you use the old GNOME 2 desktop interface and applications but it also allows you to use new applications so for instance, you can use Nautilus 3 with it and so on. Also, MATE can be installed in parallel with GNOME 3, something that wasn't possible with the vanilla GNOME 2.

Install MATE Desktop 1.8 in Ubuntu

Warning: do not use the instructions below if you're using Linux Mint (it might break your installation)!

To add the MATE 1.8 repository and install MATE Desktop 1.8 in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr or 13.10 Saucy Salamander, use the following commands:echo "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/archive/1.8/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mate-desktop.list
wget -qO - http://mirror1.mate-desktop.org/debian/mate-archive-keyring.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment mate-notification-daemon(MATE 1.6 and 1.8 use different Ubuntu repositories - as you can see in the repo line above, it uses ..."1.8/ubuntu" -, that's why if you follow the instructions on the MATE wiki, you'll get MATE 1.6 in Ubuntu, not the latest MATE Desktop 1.8)
Once all the packages are installed, log out and select MATE from the login screen.
For how to install MATE Desktop in other Linux distributions, see the official MATE wiki.

How to remove MATE 1.8 from Ubuntu
If you've used our instructions to install the latest MATE 1.8 in Ubuntu 14.04 or 13.10, you can completely remove MATE and all the packages installed from its repository by using the following command:sudo apt-get remove atril atril-common caja caja-common engrampa engrampa-common eom eom-common gir1.2-mate-panel libatril libcaja-extension1 libmarco-private0 libmate-desktop-2-17 libmate-menu2 libmate-panel-applet4-1 libmatekbd-common libmatekbd4 libmateweather-common libmateweather1 marco marco-common mate-applets mate-applets-common mate-backgrounds mate-calc mate-calc-common mate-control-center mate-core mate-desktop mate-desktop-common mate-desktop-environment mate-dialogs mate-dialogs-common mate-icon-theme mate-media mate-media-common mate-media-gstreamer mate-menus mate-notification-daemon mate-panel mate-panel-common mate-polkit mate-polkit-common mate-power-manager mate-power-manager-common mate-screensaver mate-screensaver-common mate-session-manager mate-settings-daemon mate-settings-daemon-common mate-settings-daemon-gstreamer mate-system-monitor mate-terminal mate-terminal-common mate-themes mate-utils mate-utils-common pluma pluma-common
To also remove the MATE 1.8 repository, use the command below:
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mate-desktop.list

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

Mon, 24/03/2014 - 5:07pm

Youtube-dlG is a multi-platform GUI for the popular command line video download tool `youtube-dl`. The GUI lets you download multiple videos at once, can automatically convert downloaded videos to audio, lets you select the video quality and more.
youtube-dl is a command line video downloader which, despite what its name suggests, supports downloading videos from hundreds of websites, it can extract the audio automatically, supports downloading playlists, downloading and embedding subtitles into videos and much more.
Youtube-dlG features:
  • download videos from all websites supported by youtube-dl;
  • supports downloading multiple videos in the same time;
  • can automatically convert downloaded video to audio (with format and quality options);
  • supports Youtube DASH videos (it automatically downloads both audio and video and merges the two; optionally, it can remove the audio only and video only files)
  • lets you select the video format;
  • playlist options: you can enter the first and last video in the playlist you want to download as well as the maximum number of files to download from a playlist;
  • subtitles: can download all available subtitles, write subtitles to videos, lets you select the subtitles language;
  • options to write description to file, write thumbnails to disk, limit download speed and min/max file size, etc.;
  • supports settings the user agent, referrer, login to download video, proxy support;
  • automatically downloads youtube-dl and keeps it updated;
  • supports specifying command line arguments that are passed to youtube-dl.

Youtube-dlG (or youtube-dl-gui) doesn't offer access to all the youtube-dl features (there are so many, it's almost impossible - I'd say -, to fit them all into a single UI) but it does offer access to most basic features which should be enough for most users.
Here are a few more screenshots with some of the options available in Youtube-dlG:

By default, the videos are downloaded in your home folder but you can change that from the application options.

It's important to not that selecting "highest available" in the Youtube-dl-gui video options, the application will download the highest available video format that's not DASH, which usually means 720p. If you want to download 1080p Youtube videos, select "mp4 1080p(DASH)" and make sure to also select "DASH m4a audio 128k" under "Dash audio".

Install Youtube dlG (youtube-dl-gui) in Ubuntu
Youtube dlG (youtube-dl-gui) is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA. To install it in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install youtube-dlgIf you don't want to add our PPA, you can download the deb from HERE and install it manually.
Once installed, launch "YouTube DL GUI" from the menu / Unity Dash.

Arch Linux users can install Youtube dlG via AUR.

To download the source code, Windows binaries, report bugs, etc., see the youtube-dl-gui GitHub page.

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

Mon, 24/03/2014 - 3:35pm

In a comment posted recently, Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint Project Leader, points out that Linux Mint might use the same LTS base for Linux Mint 17 (to be released at the end of May 2014) as well as the next 3 releases.
That means that Linux Mint 17, 18, 19 and 20 might all use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as a base instead of being based on newer Ubuntu releases
If that happens, Linux Mint would have a more stable base and it would allow the Mint team to "push innovation on Cinnamon, be more active in the development of MATE, better support Mint tools and engage in projects we’ve postponed for years".

That doesn't mean there will be only one Linux Mint release every 2 years. There would still be a Linux Mint release very 6 months, but the base (the Ubuntu version Mint is based on) would only change once every 2 years.
The comments posted by Clement Lefebvre can be found below:

(speaking about Linux Mint 17 Qiana) "Yes, it’s an LTS release (we’re also considering basing the 3 releases after than on the very same LTS base)".
"The decision wasn’t made yet, and after/if it is made we can always adapt it based on how things go. The length of the support is an element but it’s not the most important one at play. There’s also an element of quality and a wish to run mature and proven software rather than to jump on brand new frameworks, techs and toolkits every 6 months. And then there’s the fact that we want to develop more. We want to push innovation on Cinnamon, be more active in the development of MATE, better support Mint tools and engage in projects we’ve postponed for years. So the idea is to boost all that by only adapting to new bases once every 2 years, to better commit to that one base shared by all releases and to better support it, and to have our hands freed to do exciting stuff. Note that all will become important post-Qiana though, around November 2014".
Are you a Linux Mint user? What do you think?

via Antoni Norman