A new version of the handy system resource monitor ‘Indicator SysMonitor‘ has been released. The utility makes keeping an eye on CPU load, RAM usage and battery capacity a snap. Although similar to Indicator MultiLoad, a tool we featured in our list of 11 must-have Ubuntu power-ups, SysMonitor eschews fancier graphical touches, like usage graphs and theming options. Instead, the […]
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Arriving with the final stable release of Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet are downloads for a colorful array of official community flavors. And this year there’s an extra spin in motion. Ubuntu MATE (pronounced Maah-tay) was formally welcomed into the official Ubuntu flavors club earlier this year. Ubuntu MATE ships with a fork of the older GNOME […]
It’s here — the official Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet mascot t-shirt is now available to buy from the Canonical store. The long-time fan-favorite merch item has been a staple part of the Ubuntu release cycle since 2008 and its arrival typically coincides with the final stable release of the OS. It’s available in a dusky blue color and comes emblazoned with a vivid orange […]
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A brand new version of the hugely popular racing game SuperTuxKart has zipped past the release line to land on download servers. SuperTuxKart 0.9 is a huge update over earlier versions, running a hot new engine (awesomely named ‘Antarctica’) under the hood that aims to deliver richer graphical environments , shading and depth of field plus better kart […]
Ubuntu ships with a slate of default apps handily pre-installed, including Mozilla’s hugely popular Firefox web browser and Thunderbird e-mail client. While both of these have their fans neither app is — shock — to everyone’s tastes or needs. We often get e-mails or tweets from people asking us how they can change the default browser in […]
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A new update to the meta-streaming desktop music player Tomahawk has washed ashore, with a bunch of bug fixes firmly in tow.
News of the update, the fourth since the first 0.8.x series release last year, also reveals that a new plugin is in the works for musician-owned streaming service TIDAL.
Not that anyone already ponying up the $19.99 subscription fee will be awash in hi-def audio just yet. Tomahawk devs say the TIDAL plugin is not yet ready for prime-time use, and is not included in the compiled builds of the player for desktop users.
It is being made available to those compiling the music player from source, though. Let us know how well it works if you’re a Tidal subscriber and a source assembling ninja.Bug Fixes in Tomahawk 0.8.4
The bulk of Tomahawk 0.8.4 is made up of bug fixes. Always welcome, these help give a boost to performance, improve memory usage and speed up the browsing of collections.
“Mostly it fixes some annoying bugs and continues to improve performance,” project developer ‘mueslix‘ notes.
A crash in the network code has been fixed, as have inconsistencies with the repeat one/all icons.
Drag and drop of files in the sidebar now works as you might expect, and alternative content sources continue to be sought when a perfect match for the track you want isn’t found.
Among the ‘hawk’s minor feature tweaks is a reordering of cloud collections in the sidebar and what is described as ‘more lenient’ handling of JSPF and M3U playlists.
Windows and OS X specific fixes also feature. For users of the latter this will be the final release to be based on Qt4.
So what’s on the road-map for Tomahawk’s next major release? Compilation support and collection management will see some major improvements. You will finally be able to pick which release or version of an album you want to browse and play.Tomahawk 0.9 Will Switch to libVLC
Tomahawk developers hope these fixes will tide fans over until the next major release, version 0.9, tentatively set for release next month.
And it should be an update worth singing about.
Tomahawk 0.9 will feature a change to it audio-engine department. The app, like a lot of Qt-based players, currently relies on Phonon. Its next release will switch to libvlc. In doing so the app will offer better handling of content across multiple platforms and support even more audio and stream formats.Download / Install Tomahawk 0.8.4
Tomahawk 0.8.4 is not yet available to install in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS an up using the official Tomahawk PPA. Which sucks for a lazy dude like me.
In the mean time you can add the PPA to grab v0.8.2.
To do this open a new Terminal window and punch the following letters on your keyboard in sequence, pulled any broken keys out of your fingers with pliers as needed:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install tomahawk
Arch Linux users can install version 0.8.3 from the AUR. SUSE-based users
Standalone installers for other platforms, source downloads and — shock — more information can be had at the official project website.
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While many retailers offer run of the mill plastic boxes or off-the-shelf rebrands of ‘white box’ products from Taiwanese giants, the same can’t be said of German hardware company Cirrus7. Their bespoke Ubuntu-powered Cirrus7 Nimbus won a prestigious Red Dot design award last year.
Today the company is back with its latest offering, the new Cirrus7 Nimbini.
The new NUC measures a mere 150x150x87mm in size, which is veritable Chromebox territory.
Like its bigger sibling the Nimbi is completely fanless for silent running and is assembled from laser-cut aluminum layers that are stacked to form a passive cooling system.
The Nimbini is available as a complete assembled system or in cheaper “kit” form.
The kit (which comes in 90 parts) will allow tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts to assemble the devices themselves to not only save on costs but also tweak the design to suit them, e.g. reducing the height if a mechanical drive slot isn’t required.
The Nimbini is features an Intel NUC board and will offer buyers a choice of fifth-generation Intel Broadwell processor, from an i3 to an i7. An M.2 SSD will ship as standard and there will be space for an additional 2.5-inch drive, so storage for multi-boots, movies and cat photos won’t be an issue.
But the best part: the Cirrus7 Nimbini will be available to buy with either Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or Ubuntu 15.04 pre-installed.When Can I Buy It?
The bespoke, custom design does mean that this device is not going to be cheap as a mass produced Intel NUC offered by other retailers. Pricing for the complete system and kit version will be announced near the end of April, with pre-orders going live at the start of May.
Those of interested in buying can expect to have have the cold, silent box sat on their desk before the start of June.
H/t Fanless Tech
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Kubuntu 15.04, due later this month, will be the first stable release of the distro to ship with the new KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment as default.
Exciting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.
More exciting than that, at least for a KDE newbie like me, is the announcement of Plasma 5.3 Beta, the next major version of the shiny new desktop environment.The Sad Face Preface
Before we go any further I need to preface this article with an apology. If I go on to use the wrong naming conventions for KDE and its software stack, I’m sorry. KDE fans seem to be a passionate brood, but they should understand that there’s nothing intentional about any mis-labelling of KDE, the KDE Software Compilation, the Plasma desktop stack or its components, etc on my part. I am simply not hugely dialled-in (what with having tentacles in so many other pies) to the KDE community.
Therefore I politely ask any KDE fans who plan on commenting to think twice (and logically) if the thrust of that comment is to shout about illogically perceived conspiracies or bias. Instead, try to offer up some civil and constructive pointers. These kind of comments help us learn and will make us feel more comfortable/less scared about covering KDE developments, apps, etc in the future.
That (sadly necessary) ‘fess up out of the way, let’s chew over the meat in this beta flavoured kSandwich.Plasma 5.3 Beta — New Features
The big news of the Plasma 5.3 beta is not that it’s out – development milestones are dropping all the time – it’s that it is out with an absolutely jam-packed roster of features and fixes.
Plasma 5.2, as found in the latest Kubuntu 15.04 Beta, offers a great end-user experience, with welcome updates to core KDE apps, under-the-hood refactoring delivering some much-needed cohesion, and a fresh new theme making things feel light and breezy.
Plasma 5.3 Beta… Well, it looks like it doesn’t just build on those foundations so much as erect an entire freaking house that’s also fully furnished.Better Power Management
I work primarily from a laptop which means battery life and anything that so much as pretends to extend it catches my attention fully.
Which is precisely what this milestone has done.
Some notable new power management features are set to ship in Plasma 5.3 Beta, as highlighted by KDE developer Jonathan Riddell in a blog post, including the following changes:
Power savings are not the only significant change showing up in this release. The return of popular system stats plasmoids will appease power users and resource tracking fans, while the hugely improved bluetooth functionality will make connecting the ever-swelling crop of smartphones, speakers and the like a snap.Other changes arriving in Plasma 5.3:
For more detail on this beta release you should check out this blog post or the following change-log, which details pretty much everything that has changed, in one giant list.
If you’re Interested to get a hands-on then you’ll want to try the live Kubuntu images let’s you take the entire (potentially unstable) software stack for a spin without needing to wipe your current set-up.
Head over to the KDE Snapshots page below to grab an .iso.
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A new stable release of the Linux Kernel has been announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux kernel mailing list.
Linux 4.0, codenamed ‘Hurr durr I’m a sheep’ — no, really — brings with it a small set of new hardware support, driver improvements, performance tweaks, bug fixes and the like.
But remarking on the minor-ness of the update, Torvalds’ writes;
“Feature-wise, 4.0 doesn’t have all that much special. Much have been
made of the new kernel patching infrastructure, but realistically […] we’ve
had much bigger changes in other versions. So this is very much a “solid code progress” release.”
Linus adds that Linux 4.1 is likely to be a ‘bigger release’.New Linux Kernel 4.0 Features Install Kernel Updates Without Rebooting
If you’ve ever been put out by the need to reboot your Linux box to finish installing a kernel update you won’t be alone. It’s a minor inconvenience on the desktop, and a major one for servers.
The ability to install/apply security patches to the Linux kernel “live”, without the need to reboot, has been a long-held want of many Linux enthusiasts for years.
A slew of third-party projects, like Oracle’s KSplice and Red Hat’s Kpatch, have sought to offer live patching functionality for certain distributions.
For servers, enterprise and mission-critical use cases where uptime is priority live kernel patching is a pretty big deal.
The good news is that Linux 4.0 makes having to reboot to complete a kernel update a thing of the past.
The initial groundwork to support reboot-free patching arrives in this latest release, ready for experienced sysadmins to take advantage of in Linux 4.0.
Desktop Linux distributions should also be able to take advantage of the feature too (though given the complexity involved in configuring the reboot-less functionality on the end-user side it may be a little way off).
This infrastructure will continue to be refined and improved on over the course of the 4.x series. As it does so I expect we’ll all start to hear more about it.Other Changes
Although it is considered a small release the latest Linux kernel manages to squeeze in a welcome set of hardware improvements, new drivers and performance tweaks. These include:
Although classed as stable there is, at present, no need for desktop users or new-comers to go upgrade.
The impatient and adept can take a crack at installing Linux 4.0 in Ubuntu 15.04 Beta by grabbing the appropriate set of packages from Canonical’s mainline kernel archive or by risking a third-party PPA hosted on Launchpad.
Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet is due later this month and will ship with Ubuntu Kernel 3.19 (the Ubuntu kernel is the Linux Kernel plus Ubuntu-specific patches that have not been accepted upstream).
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Despite a plethora of fantastic desktop Linux distributions only a select few are available to buy pre-installed on laptops, desktops and other computing devices.
Ubuntu MATE, the most recent member of the Ubuntu family, joins this esteemed club. It has announced a partnership with UK-based computer reseller Entroware.
The deal will see Tux enthusiasts able to purchase Entroware laptops and desktop PCS with Ubuntu MATE pre-installed — and with full support from the company, to boot.
Entroware currently ship a choice of Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10, or no OS at all. From April Ubuntu MATE 15.04 will join the list of operating system options.
It’s not clear if Ubuntu MATE receive any percentage from the sale of devices pre-loaded with the OS, as is the case with similar deals in place for other distributions such as Linux Mint.
Kickback or not, the announcement is yet more positive news for Ubuntu MATE. The community spin has been picking up momentum ever since its first release and was last month formally badged as an official Ubuntu flavor.Hardware on Offer
Founded in 2014, Entroware aim to ‘fulfil the demand for a range of quality Linux computers’. Like other Linux computer companies Entroware rebrand and sell so-called ‘white box’ devices made by a third-party ODMs such as Clevo.
Entroware laptops start from £379.99. This bags an ‘Orion’ laptop powered by an Intel Pentium 3550M (Haswell) processor running at 2.3GHz, 4GB DRR3 RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM HDD and integrated Intel graphics. Desktops begin at £299.
Both Entroware and the team behind Ubuntu MATE say they are “excited” by the partnership.
For more details on Entroware and the devices they offer zip on over to the official website, linked below.
Thanks to Martin Wimpress
I can’t listen to regular music if I plan on being productive. It distracts me. I start singing along or get reminded of a different track, end up poking around my library and… Well, that’s that.
But by the same token I can’t work in silence (living with 6 cats means that’s not a possibility, though) but the inconsistency jars and sudden clatters and meows interrupt.
My solution that is to listen to ambient noise.
I find it helps nullify the misdirection my brain craves, land provide a soundscape that wraps the noise of kitty play time.
Ambient noise is the noise that play out in the background of daily lives; the rain drumming on a window, the intelligible hum of coffee shop chatter, the gossiping of birds on the wind, and so on.
Listening to these sounds can force a racing mind to slow down, rebase and refocus on what matters.Ambient Noise App for Ubuntu
Google Play and Apple app stores are packed full of ambient and white noise apps. Now a similar tool is available natively on Ubuntu.
‘Ambient Noise‘ — as the name might suggest — is an audio player designed specifically for playing these sounds. It even integrates with the Ubuntu Sound Menu for a neat ‘pick, click and relax’ experience.
The app, which is also known as ‘ANoise Player’ and is made by Marcos Costales, comes with a set of 8 high-quality sounds.
These 8 presets cover various ambient atmospheres, ranging from the rhythmic sound of rain, to the tranquil tones of nature at night, and back to the buzz of a bustling coffee shop in the afternoon.Install ANoise Player in Ubuntu
Ambient Noise player for Ubuntu is a free application and is available to install from its own dedicated PPA.
To do this open a new Terminal window and run:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/anoise sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install anoise
Once installed simply open it from the Unity Dash (or your DE’s equivalent), pick your preferred noise using Sound Menu and then …relax! The app even remembers which sound you used last.
Even so, give it a try out and see if it suits your needs. I would say let me know what you think, but I will be too focused to hear — and so might you!
Firefox 37 has been released by Mozilla, the latest stable release.
As one of the world’s most popular pieces of open source software each new version is welcomed, however small the changes within may be.
If you’re an Ubuntu user on a supported release you will automatically receive this update through Software Updater, Ubuntu’s built-in software updating utility. You do not need to download packages or install a PPA to receive it.What’s New in Firefox 37
The headline feature of this stable release is the introduction of a new Heartbeat User Feedback System.
This info bar pop up will show itself to a random number of Firefox users’ browsers each day and ask them to rate the browser (‘getting the pulse’ of users, hence the heartbeat motif).
After rating the browser ‘an engagement page may open in a background tab’, explains the wiki doc for the features. This is used to “increase engagement with high-rating users by offering a set of links that can help make Firefox even more awesome”, such as buttons for sharing on social networking sites, joining a mailing list, etc.
Those rating the browser lowly will be shown links to help them “improve their experience and find support when needed”.
Since this info bar pop-up is not going to find favor with everyone Firefox is making it optional (albeit as an opt-out). To disable the Firefox Heatbeat user rating system:
Other changes include:
An issues that caused mp4-encoded YouTube & Vimeo videos to appear entirely black on Linux machines has also been fixed. Kitties rejoice!
Developers will find host of incremental improvements, including a new security panel in the Network Panel.
For additional details and a link to downloads head over to the official release notes.
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Geary, the popular desktop email client for Linux, has been updated to version 0.10 — and it gains a glut of new features in the process.
Geary 0.100 features some welcome user interface improvements and additional UI options, including:
This update also introduces a brand new full-text search algorithm designed to improve the search experience in Geary, according to Yorba.
This introduction should calm some complaints of the app’s search prowess, which often sees Geary return a slew of search results that are, to quote software outfit themselves, “…seemingly unrelated to the search query.”
‘Yorba recommends that all users of the client upgrade to this release’
“Although not all search problems are fixed in 0.10, Geary should be more conservative about displaying results that match the user’s query,” the team notes.
Last but by no means least on the main feature front is something sure to find favour with power users: support for multiple/alternate e-mail addresses per account.
If your main Gmail account is set-up in Geary to pull in your Yahoo, Outlook and KittyMail messages too then you should now see them all kept neatly together and be given the option of picking which identity you send from when using the composer ‘From’ field. No, it’s not the sexiest feature but it is one that has been requested often.
Rounding out this release of the popular Linux email client is the usual gamut of bug fixes, performance optimisations and miscellaneous improvements.
Yorba recommends that all users of the client upgrade to this release.Install Geary 0.10 in Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10 & 15.04
The latest version of Yorba is available to download as source, ready for compiling from the GNOME Git. But let’s be honest: that’s a bit of a hassle, right?
Ubuntu users wondering how to install Geary 0.10 in 14.04, 14.10 and (for early birds) 15.04 have things easy.
The official Yorba PPA contains the latest versions of Geary as well as those for Shotwell (photo manager) and California (calendar app). Be aware that any existing versions of these apps installed on your computer may/will be upgraded to a more recent version by adding this PPA.
To install Geary in Ubuntu you first need to add the Yorba PPA your Softwares Sources. To do this just open a new Terminal window and carefully enter the following two commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install geary
After hitting return/enter on the last you’ll be prompted to enter your password. Do this, and then let the installation complete.
Once done, open your desktop environment’s app launcher and seek out the ‘Geary’ icon. Click it, add your account(s) and discover what the email mail man has dropped off through the information superhighway and into the easy to use graphical interface.
Don’t forget: you can always tip us with news, app suggestions, and anything else you’d like to see us cover by using the power of electronic mail. Direct your key punches to joey [at] oho [dot] io.
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