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Software: KDE, DocKnot and More

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  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 10

    Today’s Usability & Productivity status is jam-packed with awesome stuff that I think you’re all really gonna love.

  • DocKnot 1.03

    This is the software that I use to generate documentation for my software. Currently, it just handles README,, and the top-level web page for the package.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Amarok Sees First Release in 3 Years

    The past 7 days have been pretty dang busy in Linux release land. We’ve taken a look at the best GNOME 3.28 features, recapped the latest Firefox 59 changes, and made ourselves comfortable with the latest changes to Linux audiobook player Cozy.


Software: 5 Online Backup Solutions, Lector, Roundcube

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  • 5 Online Backup Solutions for Ubuntu Linux

    As the digital age progresses, the amount of data we produce each year is snowballing. There was a time when we could fit all of our personal digital data on a few floppy disks, but many of us now have hundreds of gigabytes, or even terabytes, of photos, videos, music, and documents that we need to backup and protect. Backing up our data locally is essential, but any good backup plan should also include off-site backups. “The Cloud” has promised us unlimited, cheap storage where we can save our ever-growing data. Online cloud backups should be a part of your overall backup plan, but it’s crucial that your data is secure, encrypted, and backed up automatically. Here are a few online backup tools that aim to make cloud backups easy for desktop Linux users.

  • This Qt eBook App for Linux is a Real Page Turner

    Lector a new open-source Qt-based ebook app for Linux desktops.

    It supports most common DRM-free ebook files, including EPUB, MOBI, and AZW, as well as comic book files in the CBZ or CBR format.

    In both visuals and in features Lector is something of a page-turner; a desktop ebook reader you can absolutely judge by its cover.

    So join me as I take a closer look at its features.

  • Roundcube fr_FEM locale 1.3.5

    Roundcube 1.3.5 was released today and with it, I've released version 1.3.5 of my fr_FEM (French gender-neutral) locale.

    This latest version is actually the first one that can be used with a production version of Roundcube: the first versions I released were based on the latest commit in the master branch at the time instead of an actual release. Not sure why I did that.

Wine 3.4

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  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 3.4 is now available.

  • Wine 3.4 Release Continues With Vulkan Upbringing, Some Wine-Staging Patches

    The latest bi-weekly release of Wine is now available for running your favorite or necessary Windows programs/games on Linux and macOS.

    Wine 3.4 is this latest release and it's significant for continuing to land the "WineVulkan" code. This does include the latest Wine Vulkan patches as of yesterday including the first bits of apps/games working and integration with the X11 driver.

Software: AMP, GCompris, Terminus, PyCharm, Rcpp, Curl

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  • AMP – A Vi/Vim Inspired Text Editor for Linux Terminal

    Amp is a lightweight, fully-featured Vi/Vim inspired text editor for your Linux terminal, written in Rust. It provides the core interaction model of Vi/Vim in a simplified way, and puts together the fundamental features required for a modern text editor.

    It is a zero-configuration, no-plugins and terminal-based user interface that combines extremely well with terminal emulators such as tmux and Alacritty. Amp also supports a modal, keyboard-driven interface inspired by Vim that makes navigating and editing text fast.

  • GCompris Qt 0.90
  • Terminus – A Web Technology Based Modern Terminal

    Terminus is a cross-platform, open source, web technology based Terminal for modern age. It is heavily inspired from Hyper, a beautiful terminal built on web technologies. Unlike the traditional terminals, Terminus ships with some cool features by default. It is fully customizable with multiple app themes and color schemes for the terminal. We can spawn or hide Terminus using a global hotkey. It keeps the current directory in all newly opened tabs. You can also extend the functionality of Terminus by installing plugins.

  • PyCharm - Python IDE Full Review

    Pycharm is a Python Integrated Development Environment for Professional Developers and also anyone who can code in python or even learning how to code in python. There are two versions, a paid professional version or a community edition which is free for use. Though not all features in the professional version are included in the community edition. Alright, let’s dig into it.

  • Rcpp 0.12.16: A small update
  • Here’s curl 7.59.0

    We ship curl 7.59.0 exactly 49 days since the previous release (a week shorter than planned because of reasons).


Software: VoIP, MAAS, Cozy, Calibre, KDE and GNOME

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  • Best Skype Alternatives for Linux

    When it comes to VoIP (voice over IP) calling, Skype is a popular choice. But Skype for Linux has some limitations, its not their premier platform, it comes with a cost and most importantly Skype isn’t open-source. So today we are going to have a look at the best Skype alternatives you can use on Linux. These alternatives will have lesser traffic compared to Skype and could prove to be very useful.

  • MAAS 2.4.0 Alpha 2 released!

    I’m happy to announce that MAAS 2.4.0 alpha 2 has now been released and is available for Ubuntu Bionic.

  • Cozy Audiobook Player for Linux adds HiDPI Support & Dark Mode

    A new version of Cozy, the GTK-based audiobook player for Linux desktops, is available to download. Cozy 0.5.6 isn’t a major update, but it does improve some welcome new features, including a new audiobook overview headed by tabs to switch switch between ‘recent’ listens, ‘author’ and ‘reader’ views.

  • Calibre 3.19 Supports PocketBook 740 Ereader

    Calibre is a free and open source EBook manager for Linux, MAC OS X and Microsoft Windows. Calibre team has announced the new release Calibre 3.19. The New release brought a quick support for the recently released PocketBook 740 Ereader.

    Calibre is a well managed EBook manager allows you to organize your EBook collections, edit EBooks with various types of formats, connecting to Ereader devices using wired and wireless connection, sharing and backing up your entire library, check the latest news and magazines from several news sources, and more.

  • Initial Plasma Mobile enablement on Librem 5 i.MX 6 test boards

    As many of you know, the Librem 5 phone will work with two options for your desktop environment, a GNOME based phone shell and Plasma Mobile. Working closely with the KDE community, we were able to install, run, and even see mobile network provider service on Plasma Mobile! The purpose of this article is to show the progress that has been made with Plasma Mobile on the current Librem 5 development board. Here, the setup steps and overcome challenges are highlighted.

  • Qt Creator 4.5.2 released

    We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.5.2!

    This release includes a workaround for an issue in Qt which makes Qt Creator’s summary progress bar and some other controls disappear (QTCREATORBUG-19716).

  • Network Stats Makes Its Way to Libgtop

    Hey there if you are reading this then probably network stats might be of some interest to you , but still if it doesn’t, just recall that while requesting this page you had your share of packets being transferred over the vast network and delivered to your system. I guess now you’d like to check out the work which has been going on in Libgtop and exploit the network stats details to your personal use.

  • Librsvg and Gnome-class accepting interns

    I would like to mentor people for librsvg and gnome-class this Summer, both for Outreachy and Summer of Code.

  • Slack's bait and switch

    We all know the real reason Slack has closed off their gateways. Their business model dictates that they should.

    Slack's business model is to record everything said in a workspace and then to sell you access to their record of your conversations.

Software: IG:dm, GRV, Home Assistant, KEXI, Karton, GNOME 3.28 Imminent

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  • IG:dm – A Desktop Client for Sending Instagram Direct Messages

    Not too long ago we released an article on an unofficial Instagram desktop app for Linux, Ramme. Awesome app; except that you are still limited to sending direct messages with your phone’s Instagramm app. Today, we bring good news to you in the form of IG:dm.

    IG:dm is a free, unofficial Instagram desktop client with which you can send direct Instagram messages from your desktop.

  • GRV – A Tool for Viewing Git Repositories in Linux Terminal

    GRV (Git Repository Viewer) is a free open-source and simple terminal-based interface for viewing git repositories. It provides a way to view and search refs, commits, branches and diffs using Vi/Vim like key bindings. It’s behavior and style can be easily customized through a configuration file.

  • Home Assistant 0.65: Rename entities, new filter sensor, UpCloud and Channels

    Release 0.65 has arrived and oh boy, is it awesome. First off, in case you have missed the previous release notes and announcements: Starting with this release, Home Assistant has dropped support for Python 3.4. The minimum supported version is now Python 3.5.3. If you are on or Docker, you’ll automatically be running the latest and greatest. If you’re on an older Hassbian installation or did your own Linux setup you’ll need to upgrade to at least Python 3.5.3.


  • KEXI 3.1 Released As Open-Source/Free Alternative To Microsoft Access

    ...over 200 bug fixes and more comprising this new KDE software package release.

  • Karton 1.0 Released For Running Linux Programs on macOS & Other Distros/Architectures

    Karton is a Docker-based solution for running Linux programs on macOS or other Linux distributions as well as different architectures.

    Karton makes use of Docker in making it easy to deploy a Linux distribution and then what package(s) to install and then what directories to make available to the host operating system. Karton makes the containers semi-persistent and easy to handle for a smooth experience short of configuring Docker yourself.

  • Karton 1.0

    By using Docker, Karton manages semi-persistent containers with easy to use automatic folder sharing and lots of small details which make the experience smooth. You shouldn’t notice you are using command line programs from a different OS or distro.

  • GNOME 3.28 Is Being Released This Next Week With Many Features & Improvements

    Assuming no last minute snafu, the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment will see its official release happen on 14 March, incorporating the past six months worth of improvements to this open-source desktop stack.

    There have been many improvements to GNOME 3.28, many of the changes we find most exciting have been outlined below.

    - Improvements to the Wayland support have continued with the Mutter compositor becoming quite solid with its Wayland support with additions this cycle like the GTK text input protocol and XWayland keyboard grabbing. When Mutter is acting as a Wayland compositor, among other changes, it now supports GBM with modifiers to support tiling and compression of scanout surfaces.

Rejecting Proprietary Slack

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  • Say No to Slack, Say Yes to Matrix

    Of all proprietary chatting systems, Slack has always seemed one of the worst to me. Not only it’s a closed proprietary system with no sane clients, open source or not, but it not just one walled garden, as Facebook or WhatsApp are, but a constellation of walled gardens, isolated from each other. To be able to participate in multiple Slack communities, the user has to create multiple accounts and keep multiple chat windows open all the time. Federation? Self-hosting? Owning your data? All of those are not a thing in Slack. Until recently, it was possible to at least keep the logs of all conversations locally by connecting to the chat using IRC or XMPP if the gateway was enabled.

    Now, with Slack shutting down gateways not only you cannot keep the logs on your computer, you also cannot use a client of your choice to connect to Slack. They also began changing the bots API which was likely the reason the Matrix-to-Slack gateway didn’t work properly at times. The issue has since resolved itself, but Slack doesn’t give any guarantees the gateway will continue working, and obviously they aren’t really interested in keeping it working.

  • On the demise of Slack's IRC / XMPP gateways

    I have grudgingly joined three Slack workspaces , due to me being part of proejects that use it as a communications center for their participants. Why grudgingly? Because there is very little that it adds to well-established communications standards that we have had for long years decades.

    On this topic, I must refer you to the talk and article presented by Megan Squire, one of the clear highlights of my participation last year at the 13th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS2017): «Considering the Use of Walled Gardens for FLOSS Project Communication». Please do have a good read of this article.

A Comparison of Three Linux 'App Stores'

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I remember, long, long ago, when installing apps in Linux required downloading and compiling source packages. If you were really lucky, some developer might have packaged the source code into a form that was more easily installable. Without those developers, installing packages could become a dependency nightmare.

But then, package managers like rpm and dpkg began to rise in popularity, followed quickly by the likes of yum and apt. This was an absolute boon to anyone looking to make Linux their operating system of choice. Although dependencies could still be an issue, they weren’t nearly as bad as they once were. In fact, many of these package managers made short shrift of picking up all the dependencies required for installation.

And the Linux world rejoiced! Hooray!

But, with those package managers came a continued requirement of the command line. That, of course, is all fine and good for old hat Linux users. However, there’s a new breed of Linux users who don’t necessarily want to work with the command line. For that user-base, the Linux “app store” was created.

Read more

Also: Foxit Launches PDF Compressor for Linux

Applications: Notepadqq, Best Editor, Museeks

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  • Notepadqq, a Notepad++-Like Editor for Linux, Now Available as a Snap on Ubuntu

    More and more apps are getting ported as Snaps for Ubuntu and any other Snap-powered GNU/Linux distribution, and Notepadqq is one of the most recent examples.

    If you never heard of Notepadqq, it's an open-source and free Notepad++-like general purpose editor for Linux systems, designed by developers for developers. It's written by Daniele Di Sarli in Qt and features syntax highlighting for over 100 different languages, code folding, multiple selection, file monitoring, color schemes, and much more.

  • Best Editor

    Readers' Choice winner Vim is an extremely powerful editor with a user interface based on Bill Joy's 40-plus-year-old vi, but with many improved-upon features including extensive customization with key mappings and plugins. Linux Journal reader David Harrison points out another great thing about Vim "is that it's basically everywhere. It's available on every major platform."

    The very features that make Vim so versatile also have been known to intimidate beginners. Perhaps that's why Linux Journal has featured nearly 100 articles on Vim so far. Readers generally agree though, any learning curve is worth the effort, and again this year, they award Vim the Best Editor title.

  • Museeks, the open source music player, has a new release out

    But like the sophomore follow-up to a platinum best-seller (Museeks has been downloaded over 20,000 times), the app is back, hoping to impress.

    If you’ve not head of Museeks before then you’re in for a treat. The app is open source, it’s classy and well design, it’s cross-platform, and …Oh, okay. I’ll stop stalling: it’s built with Electron.

    For some, Museek’s use of Electron will be a deal breaker. Others (myself among them) care less about the codebase and more about whether the app is any good at what is does.

    And, I’m pleased to say, Museeks is very good at what it does (which is playing music, incase that bit passed you by).

    Did the world “need” another music player? No, just as I didn’t really “need” another pair of Vans shoes. And yet here I am, writing a post about yet-another-music-player while rocking some comfy size 7s

Software: Keybase, FreeTube, Cockpit, Foxit

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  • Keybase – A Fully Encrypted Slack-like Messenger for Geeks

    Keybase is a brand new open-source chatting application for computers and mobile phones and it is powered by public-key encryption.

  • FreeTube – An Open Source Desktop YouTube Player For Privacy-minded People

    You already know that we need Google account to subscribe channels and download videos from YouTube. If you don’t want Google track what you’re doing on YouTube, well, there is an open source YouTube player named “FreeTube”. It allows you to watch, search and download Youtube videos and subscribe your favorite channels without an account, which prevents Google from having your information. It gives you complete ad-free experience and allows you to watch videos in your default HTML5 player, like VLC or MPlayer. It is also another advantage, because we’re not using the built-in YouTube player. Hence Google can’t track the “views” and the video analytics from us. FreeTube only sends your IP details, but this also can be overcome by using a VPN. It is completely free, open source and available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

  • Cockpit 163

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 163.

  • Foxit Launches PDF Compressor for Linux

    Foxit's PDF Compressor is designed to apply advanced image compression to scanned documents, reducing file size so they are easier to share and transmit, more accessible, searchable, and easier to process on a large-scale basis. With best in class optical character recognition (OCR) and dramatic file compression, the solution not only integrates with existing workflows, but also improves them by producing significantly more manageable files. This allows organizations to spend less time managing their digital files and more time on value-producing tasks.

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More in Tux Machines

Android/Google: Pixel 2, Xiaomi Kernel Source, David Kleidermacher on Security

  • Google Pixel 2 Portrait Mode Tech Is Now Open Source
    The tech behind the portrait mode on Google Pixel 2  has been made open source by the company. For those who not familiar with it, one of the main draw to the algorithm in the Pixel 2’s camera app is excellent subject isolation without needing additional apparatus such as specialized lens or second camera.
  • Xiaomi releases Oreo kernel source code for the Mi A1
    Xiaomi promised that the Mi A1 would receive Oreo by the end of 2017, and the company hit a buzzer-beater by rolling out Android 8.0 to the Android One device on December 30th. But the kernel source code was nowhere to be found, a violation of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), and an affront to the development and enthusiast community. It's about two-and-a-half months late, but Xiaomi has finally released the Android 8.0 Oreo source code for the Mi A1.
  • Google Says Android Is as Secure as Apple's iOS and Wants You to Know That
    Google's Android security chief David Kleidermacher told CNET today that the Linux-based Android mobile operating system the company develops for a wide range of devices is now as secure as Apple's iOS. Google recently published its "Android Security 2017 Year In Review" report where the company talks about how Android security has matured in the last few years and how it fights to find new ways to protect Android users from malware and all the other nasty stuff you obviously don't want to have on your mobile phone or tablet.

If you owned a 'fat' PlayStation 3 you could be entitled to $65 from Sony because of Linux option

Cast your mind back to when Sony released the original PlayStation 3, and you may well remember claims that the console was also a "computer". The claims were such that Sony suggested that owners could install Linux -- which, technically speaking, they could. However, installing Linux on a PS3 also posed something of a security issue, and Sony backtracked on the "Other OS" feature, killing it will a firmware update. Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit followed, and the result of this is that you could in line for a pay-out. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Zorin OS 12.3 Linux Distro Released: Download The Perfect Windows Replacement
    While listing out the best distros for a Linux beginner, the ease of use and installation are the most critical factors. Such qualities make distros like Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Zorin OS the most recommended options. In case you’re also concerned about your privacy and security, a shift to the world of Linux becomes a more obvious option. Calling itself a replacement for Windows and macOS, Zorin OS has been established as a beginner-friendly option that offers a smooth ride while making the transition. The latest Zorin OS 12.3 release works to strengthen the basics of the operating system and polishes the whole experience.
  • Ramblings about long ago and far away
    I had originally run MCC (Manchester Computer Center Interim Linux) in college but when I moved it was easier to find a box of floppies with SLS so I had installed that on the 486. I would then download software source code from the internet and rebuild it for my own use using all the extra flags I could find in GCC to make my 20Mhz system seem faster. I instead learned that most of the options didn't do anything on i386 Linux at the time and most of my reports about it were probably met by eye-rolls with the people at Cygnus. My supposed goal was to try and set up a MUD so I could code up a text based virtual reality. Or to get a war game called Conquer working on Linux. Or maybe get xTrek working on my system. [I think I mostly was trying to become a game developer by just building stuff versus actually coding stuff. I cave-man debugged a lot of things using stuff I had learned in FORTRAN but it wasn't actually making new things.]
  • EzeeLinux Show 18.13 | Running Linux On Junk
    A talk about the advantages of running Linux on junk hardware.
  • Best 50 HD Wallpapers for Ubuntu
    Wallpapers are useful in many ways depending on the visual it contains for example if there is a motivational quote on it, it helps to motivate you. The images are the best type of wallpaper because they have an impact on the mind of a human being. So if you are a working professional and have to work continuously on a computer then your desktop cab be a source of inspiration and happiness. So today we are going to share 50 best HD Wallpapers for your Ubuntu which will keep your desktop fresh.
  • Ubuntu Tried Adding Synaptics Support Back To GNOME's Mutter
    GNOME developers previously dropped support for Synaptics and other input drivers from Mutter in favor of the universal libinput stack that is also Wayland-friendly. Canonical developers tried to get Synaptics support on X11 added back into Mutter but it looks clear now that was rejected. Canonical's Will Cooke reported in this week's Ubuntu happenings that they were trying to add upstream support for Synaptics to Mutter, complementing the libinput support. While it's great Canonical trying to contribute upstream to GNOME, Synaptics support was previously dropped as being a maintenance burden and with libinput support getting into rather good shape.
  • Long live Release Engineering
    y involvement in Fedora goes back to late 2003 early 2004 somewhere as a packager for I started by getting a few packages in to scratch some of my itches and I saw it as a way to give back to the greater open source community. Around FC3 somewhere I stepped up to help in infrastructure to rebuild the builders in plague, the build system we used before koji and that we used for EPEL(Something that I helped form) for awhile until we got external repo support in koji. I was involved in the implementation of koji in Fedora, I joined OLPC as a build and release engineer, where I oversaw a move of the OS they shipped from FC6 to F8, and laid a foundation for the move to F9. I left OLPC when Red Hat opensourced RHN Satellite as “spacewalk project” I joined Red Hat as the release engineer for both, after a brief period there was some reorganisation in engineering that resulted in me handing off the release engineering tasks to someone closer the the engineers working on the code. As a result I worked on Fedora full time helping Jesse Keating. When he decided to work on the internal migration from CVS to git I took over as the lead. [...] Recently I have accepted a Job offer to become the manager of a different team inside of Red Hat.

Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures and Recent Torvalds Interview

  • Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures
    Longtime Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is working to drop a number of old and obsolete CPU architectures from the next kernel cycle, Linux 4.17. The obsolete CPU architectures set to be removed include Blackfin, CRIS, FR-V, M32R, MN10300, META (Metag), and TILE. Managing to escape its death sentence is the Unicore32 architecture with its port maintainer claiming it's still actively being used and maintained.
  • [Older] Linus Torvalds Interview by Kristaps

    Interviewer: we all know who Linus is, but not many people know he’s also a proficient diver. Why don’t we start at the beginning: where you first started diving, and when you started to take diving seriously.  

    Actually, it was related to open source, in some way. [...]