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Software

Software and Games

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Software
Gaming
  • Indicator Diskman Makes It Easy to Manage Drives & Partitions on Ubuntu

    Indicator Diskman Indicator Diskman is a small panel-based indicator applet that lets you view and manage mounted drives, volumes, partitions, and disc images.

  • Synapse or Alfred — What’s Your Favourite App Launcher for Linux?

    Sometimes there are apps that I want to write about but I’m uncertain of why I want to write about them. Case in point today is Synapse, a smart application launcher (and then some), a one-time mainstay on many a Linux desktop.

  • VirtualBox 5.1.8 Out Now, Oracle Adds Linux Kernel 4.8 Support in VirtualBox 5.0

    A few minutes ago, Oracle announced the availability of two new maintenance updates for its popular, open-source and cross-platform VirtualBox virtualization software, versions 5.1.8 and 5.0.28.

    The VirtualBox 5.1.8 point release is the most advanced Oracle VM VirtualBox version you can get right now, and it promises a month's worth of bug fixes and improvements to further stabilize the application for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

  • Wine Staging 1.9.21 Lets You Run Steam Web Browser in Windows 7 Mode on Linux

    Today, October 18, 2016, the Wine Staging development team announced the availability for download of a new version of their Wine Staging open-source alternative to the popular Wine software.

    Based on the recently released Wine 1.9.21 development build, Wine Staging 1.9.21 promises a bunch of goodies for those interested in running the latest Windows games and applications on their GNU/Linux operating system, among which we can mention improvements to the Vulkan wrapper.

  • The 'SMACH Z' gaming handheld is back on Kickstarter, no longer using SteamOS but their own Linux version

    The 'SMACH Z' [Kickstarter] is a promising device and I'm quite excited to see how this all turns out, the promise of taking my Steam library easily on the go sounds fun.

    They are no longer using SteamOS, but their own Linux-based "SMACH Z OS", although it will still be a mostly normal Linux distribution since it will run Linux games and Steam.

    What bugs me, is that they "recommend" their Linux OS, but all their benchmarks in the video and noted on the Kickstarter were done on Windows. That tells me a lot about their confidence in showing how it will run games if people don't use Windows. As sad as that is, we know most games run a bit slower on Linux right now, so it's not really surprising. The real issue here, is that Windows support is a stretch-goal, meaning all of the benchmark/performance information is useless unless they hit that goal.

Tor Project Releases Tor (The Onion Router) 0.2.8.9 with New Security Fixes

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Software

Tor Project informed the Tor (The Onion Router) community about the immediate availability of the Tor 0.2.8.9 stable update, which adds a few important security fixes to keep your Tor installation reliable at all times.

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Leftovers: Software

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Software
  • MKVToolNix 9.5.0 "Quiet Fire" MKV Split and Merge Tool Now Available to Download

    MKVToolNix developer and maintainer Moritz Bunkus had the great pleasure of announcing the other day the availability for download of the MKVToolNix 9.5.0 stable update.

    MKVToolNix is currently the best open-source tool you can use for manipulating MKV (Matroska) files, which are have become in the past few years that standard of multimedia containers, allowing users to add video, audio, and subtitle tracks into a single file. Dubbed Quiet Fire, MKVToolNix 9.5.0 is now the most advanced version, bringing various improvements to the mkvmerge component, and GUI enhancements.

  • Docker 1.12.2 App Container Engine Brings Swarm Mode and Networking Improvements

    After being in development for the past two months, the second point release of the major Docker 1.12 open source and cross-platform application container engine has been published.

    During its two-month development cycle, Docker 1.12.2 received a total of three Release Candidate (RC) builds, which brought numerous networking and runtime improvements, as well as multiple enhancements to the Swarm Mode feature introduced in the Docker 1.12 release.

    Besides the networking, runtime, and Swarm Mode changes, which you can view in detail if you read the changelog attached at the end of the article, Docker 1.12.2 adds stability improvements for the Docker Client under the new macOS Sierra 10.12 operating system from Apple.

  • gettz 0.0.2

    Release 0.0.2 of gettz is now on CRAN.

  • pgpcontrol 2.5

    pgpcontrol is the collection of the original signing and verification scripts that David Lawrence wrote (in Perl) for verification of Usenet control messages. I took over maintenance of it, with a few other things, but haven't really done much with it. It would benefit a lot from an overhaul of both the documentation and the code, and turning it into a more normal Perl module and supporting scripts.

  • Shotwell 0.24.1 Linux Image Viewer and Organizer Improves the Piwigo Uploader

    The Shotwell open-source image viewer and organizer has been updated recently to version 0.24.1 for the GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment, bringing various improvements and bug fixes, as well as updated translations.

    According to the internal changelog, which we've attached at the end of the article for your reading pleasure, Shotwell 0.24.1 is here to improve the Piwigo uploader, which should now longer crash and allow the creation of albums. Deprecated CSS style code has been removed, and the focus handling should work correctly when in full-screen mode.

Leftovers: Software

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Software
  • Find Files Faster with FSearch, an ‘Everything Search Engine’ for Linux

    FSearch is a promising new file search utility for the Linux desktop, inspired by the Everything Search Engine tool for Windows.

  • Released OpenStack Newton, Moving OpenStack packages to upstream Gerrit CI/CD

    OpenStack Newton was released on the Thursday 6th of October. I was able to upload nearly all of it before the week-end, though there was a bit of hick-ups still, as I forgot to upload python-fixtures 3.0.0 to unstable, and only realized it thanks to some bug reports. As this is a build time dependency, it didn’t disrupt Sid users too much, but 38 packages wouldn’t build without it. Thanks to Santiago Vila for pointing at the issue here.

    As of writing, a lot of the Newton packages didn’t migrate to Testing yet. It’s been migrating in a very messy way. I’d love to improve this process, but I’m not sure how, if not filling RC bugs against 250 packages (which would be painful to do), so they would migrate at once.

  • Rcpp now used by 800 CRAN packages

    A moment ago, Rcpp hit another milestone: 800 packages on CRAN now depend on it (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo declarations). The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage over time.

    The easiest way to compute this is to use the reverse_dependencies_with_maintainers() function from a helper scripts file on CRAN. This still gets one or false positives of packages declaring a dependency but not actually containing C++ code and the like. There is also a helper function revdep() in the devtools package but it includes Suggests: which does not firmly imply usage, and hence inflates the count. I have always opted for a tighter count with corrections.

  • backup.sh opensourced

    All the authors agreed to a GPLv2+ licensing, so now it's time for backup.sh to meet the world. It does about the simplest thing you can imagine: ssh to the server and use GNU tar to tar down every filesystem that has the “dump” bit set in fstab. Every 30 days, it does a full backup; otherwise, it does an incremental backup using GNU tar's incremental mode (which makes sure you will also get information about file deletes). It doesn't do inter-file diffs (so if you have huge files that change only a little bit every day, you'll get blowup), and you can't do single-file restores without basically scanning through all the files; tar isn't random-access. So it doesn't do much fancy, but it works, and it sends you a nice little email every day so you can know your backup went well. (There's also a less frequently used mode where the backed-up server encrypts the backup using GnuPG, so you don't even need to trust the backup server.) It really takes fifteen minutes to set up, so now there's no excuse. Smile

  • Skype’s WebRTC Linux app remains in alpha, but it now has video calling [Ed: Video calling worked fine in Skype for GNU/Linux before Microsoft bought and then RUINED it. Stop revisionism.]

Leftovers: Software

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Software
  • Calamares 2.4.2 Universal Linux Installer Supports Disabling of LUKS UI Elements

    The development team behind the Calamares universal installer framework for GNU/Linux distributions announced the second update to the Calamares 2.4 stable series.

    Calamares 2.4.2 is now the latest version of the installer, and, according to release notes, it implements support for disabling LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) related UI (User Interface) elements, adds support for Debian-style /etc/default/keyboard configuration as an option, improves the checking of system requirements configuration, and removes the dependency of chfn in the users module.

  • 10 Top Tools for Novelists

    Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.

    At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewritter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewritter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.

  • Lighttpd 1.4.42 Brings New Modules, Rewritten Authentication Framework

    Lighttpd 1.4.42 was released this Sunday morning as the newest version of this open-source, lightweight HTTP web-server.

    Lighttpd 1.4.42 introduces some new modules including mod_deflate, mod_geoip, and mod_uploadprogress. This release also has a rewritten auth framework that affects mod_authn_ldap, mod_authn_gssapi, and mod_authn_mysql.

  • Nautilus 3.22.1 File Manager Improves the Batch Renaming Feature, Adds Fixes

    The popular Nautilus (Files) file manager saw its first point release for the latest 3.22 series, distributed as part of the recently announced GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment.

    Yes, that's right, we're talking here about Nautilus 3.22.1, the latest, and most advanced, stable version of the file manager used in numerous GNU/Linux distributions, including the very popular Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed, Solus, and many others.

Leftovers: Software

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Software
  • Atom 1.11

    Atom 1.11 features performance and stability improvements and, in particular, we’re excited that Atom now asks for permission before sending any telemetry data.

  • Is Open Source Design a Thing?

    The prowess and power of Open Source is undeniable. From servers, to the desktop, mobile, to the underpinnings of the so-called “Internet of Things”, Open Source spans sectors and continents, public and private. One profession, however, that has traditionally been dominated by closed, proprietary software solutions – and usually very expensive ones at that! – is the field of design. In this article, we’ll take a look at some free and open source options to pad, if not replace your existing design arsenal. Maybe you’re a designer just starting out and you are understandably on a budget. Maybe you’re more seasoned and simply want to adopt more of an “open” workflow. Read on and let’s see what the free and open source software world has to offer!

  • Audacious 3.8, Terminix 1.3.0, Atom 1.11.1, MATE Dock Applet 0.75 [PPA Updates Part 1]
  • Multiload-ng 1.4.0, GNOME Twitch 0.3.0, Sublime Text 3 Build 3126 [PPA Updates Part 2]
  • tint 0.0.3: Tint Is Not Tufte

    The tint package, whose name stands for Tint Is Not Tufte , on CRAN offers a fresh take on the excellent Tufte-style for html and pdf presentations.

  • New free software projects on Hosted Weblate
  • Calibre 2.70 Ebook Manager Adds Tool to Download External Resources for Books

    Today, October 14, 2016, Calibre developer Kovid Goyal proudly announced the release and immediate availability of the Calibre 2.70 ebook library management software for all supported platforms.

    Calibre 2.70 comes two weeks after the release of Calibre 2.69, and it promises two new features. First, there is a new tool implemented in the Edit Book component and designed to let users download external resources, such as stylesheets or images, that aren't included in a book.

    The second feature added in the Calibre 2.70 release is support for custom columns in the Manage Categories sub menu of the Alter Tag Browser function. Also new is the implementation of the Various Danish news source, which has been submitted by Allan Simonsen.

  • Vectr’s Roadmap: How Free Cross-Platform Graphics Editor Is Going To Evolve Over The Next Year

    Vectr is a free collaborative vector graphics editor, for both web & desktop. Our mission is to help everyone create vector graphic designs easily and intuitively, using its simple yet powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool. For three years now we’ve been working hard building Vectr from scratch. Last month we launched Vectr 1.0 out of beta and got covered by top media creating lots of positive buzz in design and tech communities. This is however only the beginning of journey for Vectr.

  • Get your Linux on

    One of the top requests from the community after we launched end-to-end encryption was to also provide a Linux client. We’ve just released an experimental version, available from wire.com/download.

    Our Linux app has comparable functionality with Wire for Windows and macOS, and calls, video calls, etc. work cross-platform. However, it is an experimental build and we expect to see some issues arise from day-to-day usage. One known shortcoming is that there is no auto-update. We recommend to follow Wire News to find out about updates.

  • Getting started with music production on Linux: Three ways to get set up with pro-audio free software

    There are plenty of reasons to choose Linux over other platforms for audio production: For me, I was willing to learn some new software, and was sick of being burned by vendor lock-in, not even to mention the crazy high cost of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. I wanted to have a free software audio set-up that I could "set up and forget", so I could stop wasting time tinkering with different options, and instead jump head-first into producing soundtracks for the video games I'm developing on Linux.

    So, I investigated 3 different routes, and recorded my results here.

    The conclusion? KXStudio is super freaking cool. Seriously: Install once and get a crazy number of instruments and effects, dozens of DAWs and sequencers, on top of a low-latency kernel, all set up and ready to go, all for free. At least in terms of quantity, it's the simplest way to go from 0 to 60 for audio production on any platform. Pro-audio in Linux is totally here.

  • PlayOnLinux second review - The magic man?

    Roughly five years ago, I tested PlayOnLinux. My first reaction was, blimey, was it five years ago? Damn. It feels like only a few months back. Anyhow, this program is a very nice wrapper for WINE, allowing you to install Windows software with more ease and a higher chance of success than just manually. In Linux. Need I say that?

    Back in 2011, PlayOnLinux did an okay job, but as I aptly titled the article, there are no miracles. Some of the stuff simply did not work. Fast forward a lot, WINE seems to have stagnated, at least in my experience. Winetricks looks outdated. Which leaves us with PlayOnLinux, and recently it did an excellent job of getting Sketchup 3D to run on Ubuntu. So, we are giving it a second chance. Five years is a long time in the binary world. Let us see if and how PlayOnLinux has changed. Perhaps there will be a miracle this time. To wit.

Leftovers: Software Development

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Development
Software
  • TFW an obituary you wrote five years ago goes viral

    This is not a new phenomenon. Social media snap-posts have killed off celebrities hundreds of times before their actual deaths (to the point where some have required websites to constantly fact-check their mortality). Facebook is full of years-late "RIP" posts. The Internet may never forget, but the humans who use it have become increasingly absent-minded.

    It wasn't even just my story that went viral—a similar Guardian story also resurfaced, probably because of the same "memories" feature on Facebook or some other social media feature that dredges up old content. Still, there was something personally unsettling about having words I had written in tribute of "dmr"—a man whom I credited personally for making my early exposure to computing and its potential possible—suddenly resurface five years later.

    The first few times I spotted Twitter acting up, I thanked people for resurfacing the story after so much time. But reading the post again—partially to make sure I hadn't somehow written another tribute subconsciously from my perch at my dad's bedside—was affecting in ways I didn't expect. Maybe I got emotional because I was in a hospital room with my father, who was recovering from an other-than-routine knee replacement surgery, and I had spent the day before sitting in a surgical waiting room.

  • Gitano - Approaching Release - Changes

    As mentioned previously I am working toward getting Gitano into Stretch. A colleague and friend of mine (Richard Maw) did a large pile of work on Lace to support what we are calling sub-defines. These let us simplify Gitano's ACL files, particularly for individual projects.

  • anytime 0.0.3: Extension and fixes

    anytime arrived on CRAN with releases 0.0.1 and 0.0.2 about a month ago. anytime aims to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, ... format to POSIXct (or Date) objects.

  • motranslator 2.0

    Yesterday, the motranslator 2.0 has been released. As the version change suggests there are some important changes under the hood.

Wine 1.9.21 Update Improves Adobe Illustrator CS6 and The Longest Journey Demo

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Software

Today, October 14, 2016, the Wine development team announced the release of a new unstable snapshot towards the major Wine 2.0 milestone of the open-source software project that allows you to run Windows apps and games on Linux.

Read more

Also: Wine 1.9.21 Released With HID Minidriver, System Tray Improvements

Chrome 54 for GNU/Linux and Android

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Google
Software

Leftovers: Software

Filed under
Software
  • ​IRC 3: The original online chat program gets updated

    Internet Relay Chat (IRC) was born in 1988 to help people message each over over the pre-web internet. While many other programs have become more popular since then, such as Whatsapp, Google Allo, and Slack, IRC lives on primarily in developer communities. Now, IRC developers are updating the venerable protocol to revitalize it for the 21st century.

  • 3 command line conversion tools for Linux

    Recently, a friend innocently asked me how many file formats there are. My semi-serious response was "Think of a soup bowl filled with beach sand."

    OK, there aren't quite that many file formats. That said, you've probably never heard of many of the formats that are commonly-used enough to warrant listing on Wikipedia. Chances are, you'll never see and never use most of them. If, however, you want or need to convert between file formats then there are a quite a few applications for the job.

    Let's take a look at three solid file conversion tools for the Linux command line.

  • axdigi resurrected

    Seems funny to talk about 20 year old code that was a stop-gap measure to provide a bridging function the kernel had not (as yet) got, but here it is, my old bridge code.

    When I first started getting involved in Free Software, I was also involved with hamradio. In 1994 I release my first Free Software, or Open Source program called axdigi. This program allowed you to “digipeat”. This was effectively source route bridging across hamradio packet networks. The code I used for this was originally network sniffer code to debug my PackeTwin kernel driver but got frustrated at there being no digipeating function within Linux, so I wrote axdigi which is about 200 lines.

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7 Linux predictions for 2017

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GTK Graphics

  • GTK Lands A Big Refactoring Of OpenGL Code
    In addition to Red Hat's Benjamin Otte working on a Vulkan renderer for GTK4's GSK, he's also been working on a big refactoring of the OpenGL code that's now been merged to master. OpenGL is very important for GTK4 as it will play a big role in rendering with GSK. With this "large GL refactoring", a big clean-up was done of the OpenGL GDK code, affecting the X11, Win32, Wayland, and Mir code too. Some of the specific work includes no longer using buffer-age information, passing the actual OpenGL context, and simplifying the code. More details via this Git commit.
  • A Vulkan Renderer For GNOME's GTK+ GSK Is In Development
    A Vulkan back-end is in development for GNOME's GTK's tool-kit new GTK Scene Kit (GSK) code. Benjamin Otte has begun experimenting with a Vulkan back-end for GTK's GSK code with GTK Scene Kit being one of the big additions in development for the major GTK+ 4.0 milestone. GSK implements a scene graph to allow for more complex graphical control of widgets and other improvements to its graphics pipeline. GSK was merged back in October and currently uses OpenGL for rendering while there is now a branched Vulkan renderer.