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Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews
Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Easily Manage / Connect To SSH Hosts With Guake Indicator

Friday 27th of June 2014 09:44:00 AM
Guake Indicator is an Ubuntu AppIndicator for Guake terminal users, useful for those who need to connect to multiple SSH hosts frequently: the indicator lets you easily manage your favorite SSH hosts and establish new SSH connections via Guake.

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.

Help Test New Font Manager Vala/GTK3 Alpha Version

Wednesday 25th of June 2014 03:45:00 PM
Font Manager is a GTK+ font management application which allows previewing, enabling/disabling fonts and font collections, font installation and removal and more.
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.

New Cinnamon Stable Ubuntu PPAs [Ubuntu 14.04 And 12.04]

Wednesday 25th of June 2014 11:11:00 AM
As you probably know, the official Cinnamon Stable PPA was closed not so long ago, leaving Ubuntu users who want to use Cinnamon with three choices: build the packages from source, use the Cinnamon Nightly PPA or switch to Linux Mint.
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)

Audacious Going Back To GTK2 Starting With Version 3.6

Monday 23rd of June 2014 05:16:00 PM
Quick news update for Audacious (audio player) fans: it looks like the Audacious developers aren't very happy with all the changes happening in GTK3 lately and they've decided to switch back to GTK2 starting with the next major release (3.6).
Old Audacious version (2.3) - GTK2 interface
The change was made because certain design choices [1] in recent releases of GTK3 have made it increasingly difficult to write a "traditional" PC / desktop program using the toolkit.

[1] 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!

Install DroidCam (Wireless Android Webcam) Client In Ubuntu Via PPA

Monday 23rd of June 2014 01:40:00 PM
DroidCam is a tool which lets you use an Android device as a wireless webcam that can be used from your desktop (Linux or Windows) to chat on Skype, Google+ and so on.
Skype for Linux webcam set to DroidCam on my Ubuntu 14.04 laptop
DroidCam features:
  • 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 Finally Sees New Linux Update With Opera 24 Developer Stream

Monday 23rd of June 2014 10:09:00 AM

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:

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!