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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
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Nemo 3.2.0 With Unity Patches And Without Cinnamon Dependencies Available In New PPA For Ubuntu 16.04 And 16.10

Tuesday 29th of November 2016 01:03:00 PM
Nemo 3.2.0 with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies is available for Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10. To make it easy to go back to Nemo 2.8.0 for Ubuntu 16.04 users in case something doesn't work properly (because there were quite a few under the hood changes in Nemo), I decided to upload the latest Nemo 3.2.0 to a new PPA.

For those not familiar with Nemo, this is the default Cinnamon file manager, forked from the old Nautilus 3.4. Nemo features include:
  • dual pane (can be enabled from the View menu or using the F3 key)
  • unified, configurable toolbar (you can show or hide the up, next, home, open in terminal, new folder, search button and more);
  • built-in actions, scripts and extensions manager;
  • treeview sidebar option;
  • re-worked statusbar with zoom controls, free space info, as well as options to toggle displaying the places sidebar, treeview or completely hide the sidebar;
  • the main toolbar, menubar, and statusbar can be hidden;
  • built-in "Open as root" and "Open in terminal" context menu items;
  • "Set as Wallpaper" context menu for images;
  • sidebar: indicators under each drive, displaying the free/used space;
  • improved the Open With dialog;
  • option to resize individual desktop icons;
  • much more.

Nemo 3.2.0 with two panes and plugin manager
Nemo has received quite a few improvements since version 2.8.x (which is available in the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA), such as:
  • option to choose on which monitor to show the desktop folder (icons). This can be changed via Dconf Editor (org > nemo > desktop > desktop-layout), and can be set to show desktop icons on primary monitor, on remaining monitors, or on all monitors (default is primary only).
  • fixed wrong desktop size with GTK 3.20;
  • re-enabled desktop type-to-select feature;
  • option to double-click empty area to go to parent directory (can be enabled in the Nemo Preferences, under Behavior);
  • only append .desktop to desktop files when they actually need it. Trusted desktop files (ones that typically get made and placed on the desktop) don't show their extension, so when you try to rename them, the new name needs .desktop appended to it;
  • many other improvements and bug fixes.

For a complete Nemo changelog, see THIS page.

This PPA provides Nemo without Cinnamon dependencies (well, one is needed for translations: cinnamon-l10n, and is provided by the PPA) and with Unity patches, such as Unity Launcher quicklists and progress bar support, GNOME / Unity Control Center support, patch to draw the desktop background (wallpaper), and various other minor tweaks / fixes for Unity.
While Nemo from this PPA is patched for Unity, it should work with other desktop environments as well, like GNOME (Shell) or Xfce, although I didn't test it.
Note that for Ubuntu 16.10, I disabled the "Recent" sidebar item, because it doesn't work. It does work, and is enabled by default, in Ubuntu 16.04. Update: It looks like a bug in the gvfs-daemon service is causing this. To get it to work, add "Environment=DISPLAY=:0" in /usr/lib/systemd/user/gvfs-daemon.service, then restart the system. To re-enable the "Recent" item in Nemo's sidebar, use Dconf Editor and enable org > nemo > privacy > remember-recent-files.



Install Nemo with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies in Ubuntu 16.10 or 16.04
Important: do not use this PPA if you use Linux Mint or if you use the Cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu! Also, if you've added any Cinnamon PPAs, you'll have to purge them before using this Nemo PPA.
To add the Nemo 3 PPA (new PPA; the old WebUpd8 Nemo PPA still has Nemo 2.8.x!) and install Nemo with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo3
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nemo
To install Nemo extensions, you can either search for "nemo" in Synaptic, or install them via command line - you can find the available extensions HERE.
Optional: set Nemo as the default file manager
To set Nemo as the default file manager (including setting Nemo to manage the desktop), use the following commands:gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false
xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search(the first command above disables Nautilus from handling the desktop, and the second command sets Nemo as the default app to open directories)

Then restart the session (logout/login) and you're done!


How to revert the changes
To revert the changes, use Nautilus to draw the desktop instead of Nemo:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true
And set Nautilus back as the default file manager:
xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search
To remove the PPA and all the Nemo packages (including the Nemo extensions), use:
sudo apt remove nemo nemo-*
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-nemo-*.list

Vivaldi Browser Sees New Stable Release

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016 10:39:00 AM

Vivaldi, the browser aimed at power users, was updated to version 1.5 today, bringing support for bulk tab commands, smart-home lighting integration, and more.
As a reminder, Vivaldi browser is built using open source technologies, like the Blink engine, Node.js, and React.js, but is not open source software. It includes features such as tab stacks, Opera-like Speed dial which supports multiple folders, as well as built-in notes, and a tool called Quick Commands, that can be used to search through the Vivaldi history, open tabs, settings, bookmarks and more.
Vivaldi 1.5 reader view
Changes in Vivaldi 1.5 include:
  • Vivaldi now integrates with Hue color lights from Philips, which allows the browser to "synchronize your physical surroundings with the color of the web";
  • you can now apply bulk commands to tabs, including dragging them into stacks or to a new window (hold Ctrl to select multiple tabs);
  • the build-in notes can now automatically attach a screenshot of a web page;
  • a reader mode button is now available in the address bar, and a configurable keyboard shortcut for it was added;
  • built-in Chromecast support;
  • support for delta updates on Windows

For more information and a complete changelog, see THIS page.


Download Vivaldi
Download Vivaldi (available for Linux: 32bit and 64bit deb and rpm, Windows and Mac)

Recent Notifications Indicator Lets You Access Missed Desktop Notifications

Friday 18th of November 2016 12:36:00 PM
Recent Notifications is an Ubuntu Indicator that collects desktop notifications, displaying them in its menu. This is useful if you missed some important notification for various reasons, like being away from the computer, etc.

I've covered Recent Notifications before, however, the last article on WebUpd8 dates back to 2011, so I decided to post another article about it (and redirect the old ones to this one), especially since the indicator changed / improved since then.
Recent Notifications indicator collects notifications sent with libnotify to a notification daemon, such as NotifyOSD, and supports Unity, Xfce, MATE and GNOME Flashback session.
Features:
  • collect notifications and display the 5 (this is configurable) most recent notifications. Older notifications can be accessed by clearing some of the most recent notifications;
  • clear individual or all notifications;
  • option to ignore notifications by application name;
  • GTK3 version only: links in notifications are clickable;
  • keyboard support: you can dismiss notifications using your keyboard. Press space to dismiss the notification but leave the indicator open, or press enter to dismiss the notification and close the indicator menu.

The Recent Notifications indicator menu allows removing individual notifications or clearing all notifications, without any other options. However, the indicator does support some customization via Dconf Editor. If you don't have Dconf Editor, you can install it using the following command:sudo apt install dconf-editor
Using Dconf Editor, navigate to net > launchpad > indicator > notifications (or notifications-gtk2), and you'll find 3 configurable options for Recent Notifications: blacklist, hide-indicator, and max-items:

Note that if you had to install the GTK2 version (if you're using Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10), both "notifications" and "notifications-gtk2" will show up - you'll need to change the options for "notifications-gtk2".
The last two options are self-explanatory, so I'll only explain the blacklist option. This allows blacklisting applications so their notifications are not collected by Recent Notifications.
The blacklist feature can be used to filter out less important notifications, like those sent by a music player, or the Sound Indicator (which displays notifications when changing the volume, something that's not really useful to have in Recent Notifications).
For example to blacklist Sound Indicator notifications from showing up in Recent Notifications, set the "blacklist" value using Dconf Editor to:['indicator-sound']Blacklisting the Sound Indicator worked in my test under Unity, but it didn't under Xfce (Xubuntu).
For applications, simply enter the application name. Note that the app name is case sensitive. For instance, to blacklist Rhythmbox, use:['Rhythmbox']
To blacklist multiple items, separate them with a comma, then a space. For instance, to blacklist both the Sound Indicator and Rhythmbox, use:['indicator-sound', 'Rhythmbox']

Install Recent Notifications
For MATE and Xfce, the Indicator Applet / Indicator Plugin is required for this to work (it must be added to the panel). Also, for Ubuntu MATE versions older than 16.10, you'll need to install the GTK2 version of Recent Notifications.

To install Recent Notifications in Ubuntu, Xubuntu, or Ubuntu MATE, you can use its official PPA. To add the PPA and update the software sources, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
sudo apt update
Then, to install the Recent Notifications GTK3 indicator, use the command below:sudo apt-get install indicator-notifications
If you use Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10, you'll need the GTK2 version, which you can install using the following command:sudo apt install indicator-notifications-gtk2
Once installed, restart the session (logout/login) and Recent Notifications should start automatically.
Report any bugs you may encounter @ Launchpad.

Bypass ISP Website Censorship With Alkasir 2.0

Thursday 17th of November 2016 04:26:00 PM
Alkasir is a free, open source website censorship circumvention tool, available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Android and iOS versions are "main objectives for 2016". For now it only works with Google Chrome.

Besides allowing users to access censored websites, the application also keeps you informed about URLs that are still blocked and those which have been unblocked.
Alkasir was launched in 2009 as a Windows-only closed source application however, with version 2.0, released in 2016, the application became free, open source software, and it gained support for Linux and Mac.
It's important to mention from the start that Alkasir was created to bypass restrictions imposed by ISPs, "to allow users to access information about their countries and regions that are concealed by the states mainly because of political reasons. An example would be news websites that cover protests, expose corruption, promote open online discussions and debates on political, social and cultural issues, etc.".
Its goal is not to unblock websites / services that exclude certain countries on purpose, like Pandora, Netflix, Spotify and so on, and it will not work with such websites. Its developers can't afford to support bandwidth-hungry websites and keep the service free.
Alkasir features:
  • to unblock restricted websites, Alkasir uses its own proxy servers (and the data is encrypted), which it activates only for blocked websites;
  • keeps you informed about which URLs are still blocked and which have been unblocked;
  • optimized for speed: since Alkasir does not support bandwidth-intensive websites, the strain on the proxy servers is reduced considerably, resulting in fast access to blocked websites;
  • it does not save IP addresses or any personal data that could directly identify a particular device or user on the Internet;
  • automatic updates.

Since the Alkasir website lacks some information that's provided in its web interface, here are some useful links from its GitHub page:
Note that while I like to test everything I post on WebUpd8, I couldn't test Alkasir because my ISP doesn't censor / block any websites.
I decided to write an article about Alkasir because Lantern, a somewhat similar tool which I covered on WebUpd8 a while back, which was initially free to use, requires a paid subscription for unlimited usage for some time.

Download and usage
Alkasir is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. The GUI (tray / AppIndicator) is available on Mac and Linux for 64bit only. For Linux 32bit (without a GUI) there are separate instructions for how to setup Alkasir.
Setting up Alkasir (with a GUI) is fairly easy. Download Alkasir (in case the website is blocked by your ISP, here's a direct link to its GitHub download page - you'll need the "-gui" binary), extract it and simply double click the "alkasir" executable to run it. You'll also need to install the Alkasir Chrome extension.
Next, from the Alkasir tray / AppIndicator menu, select "Open in browser". This will open the Alkasir web UI in your default browser. For the first step, you'll simply have to select the language and location.
In the next (and final) step, called "Browser integration", click the "Copy to clipboard" button:

... then right click the Alkasir Chrome extension icon, select "Options", and on the extension options page, paste the code copied in the step above:


That's it!

The language/location settings as well as the browser integration code can be accessed later, from the Alkasir settings, which can be accessed both via the Chrome extension or by selecting "Open in web browser" from the Alkasir tray / AppIndicator menu.

If you're running a 32bit Linux distribution, there's no GUI binary available, but you can use the Alkasir Client binary, which is available for 32bit.

To set up the Alkasir Client (without a GUI), firstly install the Chrome extension, then download the 32bit alkasir-client binary from GitHub, extract it and run it.
E.g. if you've extracted it in your home folder, open a terminal and run Alkasir by using the following command:~/alkasir-client-linux-386/alkasir-client_linux_386
Next, you'll need the Alkasir client authentication key. You can find this in the settings.json file from the ~/.alkasir folder. To open this file in Gedit so you can copy the key, simply use the following command:
gedit ~/.alkasir/settings.json
The code you're looking for should be on line 6 ("ClientAuthKey") - copy this code, then right click the Alkasir Chrome extension, select "Options" and under "browser code", paste this key and right after it, add "::8899" (without the quotes).
Now you should be able to complete the Alkasir setup process by clicking on the Chrome extension icon and following the instructions.

Get A Live Preview Of A Window From Another Workspace With WindowSpy (Unity)

Thursday 17th of November 2016 11:49:00 AM
WindowSpy is a new Unity AppIndicator that allows displaying a small live (well, almost) preview of a window on another workspace.

Created by Jacob Vlijm as a response to an AskUbuntu question, the tool is useful if you want to keep an eye on a window on another workspace, waiting for something to finish.
For example, you can use it to see the progress of something that's running in a virtual machine. WindowSpy is not exactly useful if you want to use it to watch a video in the preview, because the preview is updated every 3 seconds.

WindowSpy allows some preview window customization, like the size, border width, background color and window position. The interval between preview updates is not configurable, at least for now.
You may also want to check out Jacob's other projects: Take A Break, NoNotifications, SpaceView, Unity WallpaperSwitcher and Unity LauncherSwitcher.


Using WindowSpy
Using WindowSpy may be a bit confusing at first, so here's how it works. The first thing you'll need to do is focus the window that you want to keep an eye on in the preview, then select "Represent active window elsewhere" from the WindowSpy indicator menu.
Next, you can move to another viewport and from the WindowSpy indicator menu, select "Show preview on this viewport" to create the preview.
Once you do this, the window is minimized and set to sticky (is displayed on all workspaces). That's because for the preview to work, the window needs to be on the current workspace. This is undone automatically once you close the preview from the indicator menu.
The preview doesn't have any window borders so to move it, hold Alt and left-click, dragging the window to the desired position.
To close the preview window, simply select "Close preview and move to original viewport" from the WindowSpy indicator menu.
You can cycle through these 3 stages (represent window elsewhere, show preview and close preview) using a keyboard shortcut, which you must set manually. To do this, go to System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts, then under "Custom Shortcuts" click "+" to add a new shortcut, use "/opt/windowspy/code/cycle" (without the quotes) for the command and assign it any keyboard shorcut you want (make sure the keyboard shortcut is not already in use).

For more about how WindowSpy works, check out THIS AskUbuntu answer. 
I should also mention that in Ubuntu 16.10, getting a VirtualBox machine in a preview is a bit tricky. That's because at least on my computer, when a virtual machine is focused, indicators are not clickable (bug report). Furthermore, using the keyboard shortcut doesn't work directly because VirtualBox disables the host keyboard shortcuts when a virtual machine is focused.
WindowSpy has a built-in workaround for this - it automatically looks for VirtualBox virtual machine windows if the user clicks on the desktop and then uses the keyboard shortcut. But this didn't work for me in Ubuntu 16.10.
My workaround for this issue was to create a small script which adds a delay before running the "cycle" script, so I can use the keyboard shorcut, then activate the VirtualBox machine window. To do this, simply paste "sleep 2 && /opt/windowspy/code/cycle" (without the quotes; "2" is the number of seconds to delay running the cycle script) in a file, make it executable, and use that for the keyboard shortcut command instead of "/opt/windowspy/code/cycle" directly.


Install WindowSpy in Ubuntu
WindowSpy is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 and 14.04. To add the PPA and install the application, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vlijm/windowspy
sudo apt update
sudo apt install windowspyAlternatively, you can download the deb from HERE.

Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.

Thanks to Jacob for the tip!

Xfce Gets A `Do Not Disturb` Mode And Per Application Notification Settings

Thursday 10th of November 2016 02:21:00 PM
The Xfce developers are busy porting Xfce applications and components to GTK3, and in the process, they are also adding new features.
"Do not disturb", a much requested feature, landed in xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 (the Xfce notification daemon) recently. Using this, you can suppress notification bubbles for a limited time-frame.
Furthermore, the latest xfce4-notifyd includes an option to enable or disable notifications on a per-application basis.
After an application sends a notification, the app is added to a list in the notification settings. From here, you can control which applications can show notifications.
Both the "Do not disturb" mode and the application-specific notification settings can be found in Settings > Notifications:


Right now there's no way of accessing notifications missed due to the "Do not disturb" mode being enabled. However, a notification logging / persistence feature is expected in a future release.

And finally, yet another feature in xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 is an option display notifications on the primary monitor (until now, notifications were displayed on the active monitor).
This option is not available in the GUI for now, and it must be enabled using Xfconf (Settings Editor), by adding a Boolean property, called "/primary-monitor" (without the quotes), to xfce4-notifyd and set it to "True":

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 is not available in a PPA right now, but it will probably be added to the Xfce GTK3 PPA soon.
If you want to build it from source, download it from HERE.

Looking for a "Do not disturb" mode for Unity? Check out NoNotifications.
via Simon Steinbeiß's blog

Cross-Platform RTS Game 0 A.D. Alpha 21 Available For Download

Wednesday 9th of November 2016 12:30:00 PM
0 A.D., a free, open source historical war and economy game has reached alpha 21. The new release includes new maps, new game modes, as well as the official introduction of the Seleucid Empire.

Important changes in 0 A.D. Alpha 21 "Ulysses" include:
  • 11 random map scripts and 2 skirmish maps;
  • the Seleucid faction was completed by adding the models for the Colonnade, Barracks, Wonder, Market, Corral, Blacksmith, Dock, Library, Military Colony and City Walls;
  • new gameplay features:
    • Herocide/Regicide: you start with a hero and are defeated when he or she dies.
    • Wonder Victory: now you can change the time from when the wonder is built to when you win. Either set it to 0 so you win as soon as the wonder is built or to anywhere between 1 and 120 minutes for a chance for the opponents to destroy it before the match is won;
    • Last Man Standing: only one player can win the game. Form temporary alliances to eliminate common competitors. But be careful: as the remaining players struggle for victory, allies are forced to turn against you. This mode can be played with every victory condition;
    • new balancing;
    • buildings and units can now be upgraded;
  • the game now supports hosting on arbitrary UDP ports, which can be useful if your ISP blocks the default port;
  • various user interface improvements, like multiplayer lobby match details, a new Objectives dialog that reveals the chosen matchsettings in running games, and more.

Here is a screenshot of the new Seleucid buildings (via):


As usual, the list of improvements is pretty large, so check out the official release announcement for a complete list.
You can see some of the new features in the latest 0 A.D. Alpha 21 in its official trailer:

(direct video link)
0 A.D. is still considered in alpha because some features are still missing. However, the game is playable, and it features great graphics and sound, as well as a powerful map editor.

There are also a few bugs you should be aware of. Most importantly, large maps are known to problems, formations are disabled, and you may experience lag when there are many moving units.

If you can contribute to 0 A.D. (programming, art, sound, documentation and more), see the programmers getting started page and join #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC.

Download 0 A.D.
Download 0 A.D. (available for Linux, Windows and Mac)
Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 and 16.04 / Linux Mint 18 users can install the latest version of the game by using its PPA. Add the PPA and install 0 A.D. using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wfg/0ad
sudo apt update
sudo apt install 0ad
On Linux, the game requires a 1 GHz Intel or x86 compatible processor, at least 512 MB of RAM, and any graphics card supporting OpenGL 1.3 with 3D hardware accelerated drivers and at least 128 MB memory (e.g., Radeon 9000 or GeForce 3).

Ubuntu Budgie Becomes An Official Ubuntu Flavor

Wednesday 9th of November 2016 11:29:00 AM
Quick update: Ubuntu Budgie is now officially an Ubuntu flavor. The team behind Ubuntu Budgie aims at making 17.04 (expected in April, 2017) its first release.
Budgie Remix 16.10
Initially called Budgie Remix, the Budgie-desktop powered Ubuntu flavor has its first unofficial release back in April (16.04).
Budgie Desktop is essentially a shell for GNOME, and it features a libmutter-based window manager (although this will change - thanks Назар for the info), a customizable panel which includes an applet, notification and customization center, as well as a menu that offers both compact and category views.
Like Budgie Remix, Ubuntu Budgie should use GNOME applications by default, such as Files (Nautilus), Gedit, and so on, with extras like Plank dock, and various customizations.
Check out the official announcement HERE.

Terminix 1.3.5 Released With Quake Mode Improvements

Tuesday 8th of November 2016 12:59:00 PM
Terminix is a GTK3 tiling terminal emulator. The application allows splitting terminals horizontally and vertically, arranging them using drag and drop, along with quite a few other useful features.

Check out the Terminix GitHub page for a feature overview.
Back in September, Terminix 1.3.0 was released with Quake mode support, and the latest Terminix 1.3.5, released recently, improves this feature with two new options, while also providing a few other enhancements.

The Quake mode makes Terminix behave like a drop-down terminal, similar to Guake or Yakuake - it is invoked and hidden using a single key. 
However, Terminix works a bit differently, because you can't assign the keyboard shortcut from within the application, so you must set it from your system settings.
Changes in Terminix 1.3.5:
  • Quake mode:
    • support showing window on active monitor (X11 only);
    • added option to hide Terminix when focus is lost;
  • force application menu to appear in headerbar on desktop environments that don't support the Gnome Application menu;
  • enable color schemes to be easilty exported to themes;
  • changed "-x" switch to "-"e for compatibility with other terminal emulators
  • new "--version" command line switch;
  • added support for badges (requires VTE compiled with Terminix patches, see THIS page for details);
  • various bug fixes. The bug that caused a segfault when trying to use the feature that allows inserting a password from GNOME Keyring seems fixed (I mentioned this HERE).

Note that if you use the new option to hide Terminix when focus is lost (in Quake mode), you won't be able to access its menu under Unity, because clicking on the top panel hides Terminix. A workaround is to launch a regular Terminix instance and change its options from there.

To use Terminix in Quake mode, you must launch it with the "--quake" option ("terminix --quake"), and assign this command a keyboard shortcut in your system settings.
For instance, to assign a keyboard shortcut for this command in GNOME / Unity, go to System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Custom Shortcuts, and click on "+" to add a new shortcut. Use "Terminix" under "Name", "terminix --quake" (without the quotes) for the command, and click "Apply":

Then assign it a keyboard shortcut. Make sure not to use shortcut that's already in use!

Install Terminix in Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10 or Linux Mint 18
Note that the Ubuntu 16.10 Terminix package is built on Ubuntu 16.04 because it can't be built in 16.10 (due to ldc not building in Ubuntu 16.10 on Launchpad). However, I'm using it in Ubuntu 16.10 and I didn't encounter any issues.
To add the WebUpd8 Terminix PPA and install the application in Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10 or Linux Mint 18, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminix
sudo apt update
sudo apt install terminix
For how to install it in other Linux distributions, bug reports, etc., see the Terminix GitHub page.

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