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Google Chrome Axes Support for ALL 32-bit Linux Distros

Pá, 01/22/2016 - 15:20

Support for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is Also Being Retired

Google Chrome is to drop support for all 32-bit Linux distros from March, 2016. 

The change, which brings the platform in line with that of Mac OS X, will apply to all x86 Linux builds, regardless of distribution or version number.

Users affected will still be able to use Chrome after the axe has fallen, but they will no longer receive any updates.

In a double-whammy, March will also see Google Chrome stop supporting Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (which will receive critical and security bug fixes from Canonical until mid 2017).

‘Ubuntu users  are advised to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or later’

From this March only 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (or later) will receive new versions of the browser from Google .

To run a supported version of Google Chrome Precise users are advised to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (or later).

Why Is Google Dropping Support?

The small Google Chrome Linux team can’t support all versions of Ubuntu and other Linux distributions indefinitely. With Linux already a small overall percentile of Chrome’s user base, and 32-bit users amongst that percentage even smaller, something had to give at some point.

The build infrastructure used to package Google Chrome is tasked with making hundreds of binaries each day, and human effort is required to test those binaries for release.

“To provide the best experience for the most-used Linux versions, we will end support for Google Chrome on 32-bit Linux, Ubuntu Precise (12.04), and Debian 7 (wheezy) in early March, 2016,” says Chromium engineer Dirk Pranke.

32-bit ChromiumIs Not Affected

‘Chromium is unaffected by the change. ‘

Many Linux users run Chromium, the open-source basis of Chrome, and so won’t be affected by this change. Google Chrome and Chrome OS builds for 32-bit ARM are similarly unaffected.

For browsers built on Chromium, like Opera, it will be up to them as to whether they continue to offer builds for 32-bit users.

Google says it will ‘keep support for 32-bit build configurations on Linux to support building Chromium’, which  we’re told it will do so for ‘some time to come’.

Do you use Google Chrome on a 32-bit version of Linux? Will you switch to another browser? Perhaps you think this decision is logical. Whatever your view on this decision you can share it in the comments below. 

This post, Google Chrome Axes Support for ALL 32-bit Linux Distros, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

The Xiaomi ‘Linux Laptop’ Will Run, Err, Windows 10

Pá, 01/22/2016 - 14:01

The long-rumoured Xiaomi Linux laptop is to go on sale in China this spring, a new leak claims.

‘The latest rumor says the notebook will run Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Xiaomi’s MIUI software’

But the supposed MacBook Air-alike won’t be running a custom desktop Linux operating system like original rumours suggested.

*sad trombone.ogg*

New information surfaced on one China’s biggest online news portals claims the 12.9-inch convertible notebook will dual-boot Microsoft’s Windows 10 software and Xiaomi’s MIUI OS when it launches in April.

Industry insider blog DigiTimes relays the news from the NetEase, whom it cites as saying:

 “Xiaomi Technology will launch a notebook with a 12.9-inch display and a dual-operating system (OS) design using Windows 10 and MIUI”.

MIUI is Xiaomi’s custom (and beautiful) Android fork, as used on its successful line of smartphones and tablets.

Windows 10 is… Well, you can finish that sentence in your own head.

The Price of Rumours

Rumours about rumours about rumours

Disappointed to learn that Xiaomi’s Linux laptop won’t be quite what you were hoping it would?

Don’t be.

Both of the earlier rumours lacked specifics, and Digitimes’ is famed for having a somewhat scatter-shot, shaky hit-rate with rumours.

The claim that Xiaomi would load its 2-in-1 laptop with a “‘custom Linux operating system” never precluded MUIU from being a potential OS choice, though. MIUI is Android after all, and Android is Linux.

Bloomberg Korea added weight to the story, with its own industry sources confirming a Xiaomi notebook is in the pipeline. Bloomberg did, however, stop short of mentioning the software expected to power it.

It is a little surprising to hear it may dual-boot with Windows 10. It’ll be interesting to see how that is implemented

Xiaomi enters the traditional PC space as it loses market share in China to Huawei — and with news that Huawei is also to launch a 2-in-1 Windows 10 notebook in China this April the competition is only set to get fiercer.

This post, The Xiaomi ‘Linux Laptop’ Will Run, Err, Windows 10, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Yosembiance GTK Theme Gives Ubuntu a Flatter, Sleeker Look

Čt, 01/21/2016 - 15:50

Ubuntu’s default ‘Ambiance’ theme is almost as synonymous with the OS as the color orange, alliterative release names and Mark Shuttleworth’s tour around space. 

‘The theme is perfect for fans of Ambiance, but who want proper support for GTK3 apps’

But there’s no denying that Ambiance is starting to show it’s age. Only a few incremental tweaks have been kicked its way over the past few years.

And while it still looks okay considering, there’s a whiff of staleness about it. A staleness emphasised further by a shift in software design tastes over past few years.

Trend du jour eschews subtle gradient effects in favour of flat slabs of colour, but no-one’s told Ambrance is unaware.

‘The Perfect Balance of Old & New’

Enter ‘Yosembiance‘, a GTK theme created by Canadian Linux user Brian Sundman.

‘A theme that […] updates Ambiance to a modern aesthetic’

First released in 2014, Yosembiance recently received an update to support new versions of Ubuntu and new GTK3 elements.

The end result is a theme that strikes the perfect middle ground. It updates Ambiance to a modern aesthetic, but retains the feel of Ubuntu through its color scheme, padding and widget styling.

The name is, as you’ve likely already guessed, a portmanteau combining Yosemite and Ambiance — but don’t let that put you off. Despite being “loosely inspired” by the look of Mac OS X Yosemite, the theme actually has precious little in common with Apple’s desktop OS aesthetic.

Because of this, the theme is perfect for fans of Ambiance and the identity it gives Ubuntu, but wrestle with the stock theme’s awkward handling of GTK3 apps and interface widgets.

Brian’s says his aim in crafting the theme was to “create something less tacky than the default Ubuntu Ambiance but still feel like Ubuntu.”

And on that note I think he succeeds.

Yosembiance won’t suit everyone’s tastes, naturally. But for those who like the Ubuntu identity Ambiance creates, it is well worth checking out.

Download Yosembiance GTK Theme

Yosembiance is a free download, available direct from Github:

Download ‘Yosembiance’ (.zip)

To install the theme on Ubuntu 15.10 or 16.04:

Extract the .zip archive using File Roller (or your preferred archive utility).

From the extracted files cut, copy or move the ‘Yosembiance‘ directory to ~/.themes in your home folder.

If you can’t find it, create it — but remember to a) press CTRL+H to view hidden files first and b) make sure there’s a period preceding the folder name.

Finally, you’ll need use an app like Unity Tweak Tool to actually set Yosembiance theme as the default theme.

Don’t have Unity Tweak Tool? Install it from the Ubuntu Software Center:

Unity Tweak Tool on Ubuntu Software Center

This post, Yosembiance GTK Theme Gives Ubuntu a Flatter, Sleeker Look, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

The Essential Guide To Corebird, The Best Linux Twitter App for Linux

St, 01/20/2016 - 19:20

We’ve shown you how to install the fantastic Corebird Twitter app on Ubuntu — now we’ll show you how to use it like a pro. 

Also See: How to Install Corebird on Ubuntu 15.10 & 16.04 LTS

Although the app is well designed and relatively straight forward to use it also has some hidden features and cool tricks. In this post we’ll walk you through everything — from how to add your account(s) to how to block people who still use Windows XP (just kidding).

If you’re coming from Tweetdeck or the Twitter website you will find a few things work differently in Corebird, plus  plus there are some hidden settings and tweaks that you’ll really want to take advantage of.

In this post I show you how to add your account(s) and how to send a tweet, through to power user features, like hiding any tweet mentioning Windows XP.

Ready to begin?

How to Use Corebird Twitter Client First run account wizard

The very first time you open Corebird you’ll be asked to add your Twitter account.

This is simple enough and you won’t need to give the app your password. You ‘authorise’ access with a one-time PIN number generated on the official Twitter website. This confirms you wish to allow the app to use your account.

  1. Click the “Request PIN” button
  2. Your default browser will open a secure authentication page on the Twitter website
  3. Sign in to Twitter using the account you wish to add
  4. Click the ‘Authorise app’  button
  5. Copy the PIN number that’s display to your clipboard
  6. Paste the PIN number into Corebird
  7. Click the “Confirm” button

Once your account is added Corebird will automatically fetch the latest tweets for you to read, as well as from your notifications, direct messages, block list, and account bio.

Adding More Than One Account

Do you have more than one Twitter account? I do. Corebird supports multiple Twitter accounts within the same app. You can switch between them, get notifications for them, and so very easily. You don’t need to logout with one to sign in with another.

To add another account to the app:

  1. Click the Account Switcher (i.e. your user avatar in the header bar)
  2. Click the ‘Add New Account’ button
  3. Request & authorise

That’s it.

Just remember to sign in with the account you’re wanting to add, not one you already have. To switch between accounts use the application switcher.

Main Interface

Corebird is deliciously simple to use — but there’s no harm is being super familiar with it anyway.

The top toolbar houses buttons for the account switcher (1), compose a new tweet (2), and, when paging through a Twitter profile or conversation thread, a back button (3) to move back to the previous page.

In the left-hand sidebar you’ll find tabs to view your main timeline, mentions, favourites, direct messages, lists, block & filter lists and search.

You’ll sometimes see a blue dot on the sidebar icons. This is to tell you there are new unread tweets waiting.

Blue dots are used to say there are unread tweets

You may also sometimes see a small conversation icon near the timestamp on some statuses.  This signals that you can read replies from other tweeters by clicking through.

Retweet, Like, Reply & Quote

Interactivity and engagement is the what fuels Twitter, and Corebird is primed ready in two main ways:

Left-click on a tweet to view it in detail, e.g., how many retweets and favourites it has, date stamp, replies, etc. Use the back button (3) to go back to the timeline.

Right-click on a tweet to quickly access retweet, favourite/like, reply and other options.

The other menu offers a choice of quoting a tweet (if the status isn’t yours) or deleting it (it the status is yours).

Composing a New Tweet

Click on the compose new tweet button to open the tweet dialog box. It’s here that you can write your status and share it to the world.

Like other Twitter apps you can type @mentions and #hashtags, and for some of these you’ll see autocomplete suggestions. You can also enter URLs. These are shortened using Twitter’s shortener service after you hit ‘Send‘.

When your 140 character statement is simply click the ‘Send‘ button to share your thought with the world.

Add Photos to a Tweet

Click the over-sized ‘+‘ button to open a file picker. Select your image to attach it. Simple enough!

If the image is to hand you can also drag and drop images on to the ‘+’ button. 

To remove an image from a tweet simply mouse over the preview and click the ‘x‘ icon.

Edit Your Twitter Bio, Avatar and Banner

To edit your twitter bio, change your avatar or set a new banner image.

Click the Account menu button followed by the cog wheel icon beside the account you want to edit.

Here you can:

  • Edit your profile name
  • Upload a new profile picture
  • Upload a new profile banner
  • Edit website link
  • Edit bio

You can also set profile to ‘autostart’ with Corebird (i.e. the profile that opens by default). Although the warning dialog is worded scarily hitting the ‘Delete’ button will only remove the account from Corebird, not from Twitter.

When you’re done making changes hit ‘Save’ to, err, save them.

View Profiles (and Follow/Unfollow)

Click on any user name or user avatar in a timeline to see the account in more detail. You can:

  • Follow, Unfollow and/or Block
  • See their latest tweets
  • See their followers
  • See the profiles they follow
  • See their public Twitter lists
  • View their profile image & banner in more detail
Block People & Filter Noise

Use the Filter pane (8) to manage account you don’t wish to see tweets from, and prevent them from contacting you.


Use the search section to find  users and tweets related to a term.

How to Switch Between Accounts (or view both at the same time)

Click the account switcher to see a list of your active accounts. To switch between them just select the account you want to switch to from the list.

Want to see both at the same time? You can; click the open icon in the account switcher to open the account in a separate window. Each instance runs separate from the other.

You can have your personal DMs in one, and replies to your OMG! YouTubers! account in the other!

Global Preferences

The Preferences dialog can be access from the main app menu. From there you can adjust the timeline behaviour, notifications settings, tweet stylings for all accounts, and access the handy Snippets feature (scroll down for more on that).

Interface Settings

Here you can set the maximum size for inline media (useful if you have a data cap or use 3G internet), set auto-scroll behaviour and choose set a double-click as the action reveal.


Corebird doesn’t use Notify-OSD, Ubuntu’s default notification system to alert you to new tweets. Instead you get toasts.

In the Notification section you can choose how often notifications of new tweets, mentions and DMs appear. If you don’t want any notifications select ‘none’ from the ‘on new tweets’ dropdown menu.

Blue dots in the sidebar denote new unread tweets.


Want to see square user avatars, fewer hashtags and no media links? This section lets you choose what you see, and has a handy live preview to preview changes.

Snippets Can Speed Up Tweeting

Snippets is one of Corebird’s niftiest features. It allows you to quickly insert common phrases, ASCII, hashtags, links or even emoji into your tweets just by writing a keyword.


For example, let’s say I use the phrase ”I laugh audibly at that!” super often (and, for the record, I don’t).

Instead of manually typing out the whole sentence I can set up the keyword ‘ilaat’ using Snippets. When I next want to use it in to a tweet I can type ‘ilaat’, press the TAB key and the full phrase insta-magically appears

You can assign keywords to almost anything: ASCII, whole sentences, hashtags or even emoji. Just type the set keyword in the compose window and press TAB to replace the keyword with the snippets you set.

Improve The Appearance

As a GTK3 application Corebird looks best with GTK3 themes.

Under Ambiance, Ubuntu’s default theme, the app looks okay, but the sidebar buttons appear truncated and general tweet styling looks a little ‘off’.

Use a modern GTK theme like Arc, Numix, Adwaita, etc, for the best possible look.

Hide The Sidebar

New Features In Development

New layout in development

Development on the next version is already underway. You can look forward to some of the following changes in the next release:

  • Horizontal toolbar
  • See trending topics
  • ‘Star’ icon replaced with ‘heart’ emblem
  • Avatar refreshing
  • Multi-image uploading & tweet gallery support
  • Option to ‘cancel’ tweet while it’s sending

As this is a list of changes in development they are subject to change or postponement.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Found this post useful? Think someone else might? Share it on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, or pop it in your Pocket. 

Images To Do:

  1. Blue dots
  2. Tweet details view
  3. Autocomplete
  4. Adding images
  5. User profile – editing
  6. User profile – viewing
  7. Filters & Blocking
  8. Two windows open
  9. Notifications
  10. Snippets
  11. Theming
  12. Shortcuts

This post, The Essential Guide To Corebird, The Best Linux Twitter App for Linux, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

How to Install Corebird Twitter Client on Ubuntu

St, 01/20/2016 - 14:50

It’s just gotten much easier to install Linux Twitter app Corebird on Ubuntu — and you won’t need to add a PPA.

A modern, lightweight and open-source desktop client, Corebird has all the features you’d expect a Twitter app to have, plus a few you might not.

‘Corebird is one of the best twitter apps available on any OS.’

It has inline image and video previews, a comprehensive tweet filter, and supports multiple accounts. Corebird is easily one of the best twitter apps available on any platform. 

In this article I show you how you how to install Corebird on Ubuntu quickly without needing to add a PPA.

But before we get to the juicy stuff, let’s have a recap of how this is (finally) possible.

Corebird — No Longer A Flap To Install

Corebird might just be the best Twitter client for the Linux desktop, but it’s not always been the easiest to install — not on Ubuntu, anyhow.

Would-be users who visit the official project website are told to check their Linux distribution’s package archive to install it, and, if unavailable from there, to try installing it from source.

While the community has stepped in to handle the packaging and maintenance duties Fedora, SUSE and Arch, those of a Debian persuasion were left at a dead-end.

Ubuntu users looking to try the app have two choices: either compile the software by hand, or hunt down an unofficial third-party PPA.

But not anymore.

Corebird Lands in Debian

‘Corebird is now available in the Debian and Ubuntu archives’

As of this month Corebird is available in the Debian testing archives thanks to the work of Debian champ Phillip Rinn.

Because Debian Stretch serves as the base of Ubuntu 16.04, currently in development, Corebird is also available through the Ubuntu archives.

After what feels like forever — we first wrote about Corebird back in 2013 — the best desktop Twitter app for Linux is now available to install on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

I know what you’re thinking at this point: “I’m not running 16.04 because it’s not stable yet!“.

Fair point.

But don’t fret! The Corebird package built for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ‘Xenial Xerus’ also works on Ubuntu 15.10 ‘Wily Werewolf’.

Older versions of Ubuntu can not install using this specific package as it requires GTK 3.16+.

This article shows you how to install Corebird on Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) and Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) using a Debian (.deb) installer packaged for and downloaded from the Ubuntu archives.

Install Corebird on Ubuntu 15.10

If you’re running Ubuntu 15.10 you can click the button below to download Corebird 1.1 deb (which is packaged for Ubuntu 16.04, but will install in 15.10):

Download Corebird 1.1 for Ubuntu 15.10+ (64-bit Deb)

Download Corebird 1.1 for Ubuntu  15.10+ (32-bit Deb)

When the download completes you can install the package using your preferred method:

Those of you who like to do things by pushing on-screen buttons need only double-click the deb package to install the app through the Ubuntu Software Centre (or Gdebi, if you use that it as default).

Those of you who are terrifically talented at terminal fu can coerce Corebird to install through the command line:

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/corebird-1.1.deb

If you experience any errors after installing the app open a Terminal and run:

sudo apt-get -f install

This should resolve any missing dependencies resulting in a ‘broken package’.

Regardless of how you install it, once you have you can open it through the Unity Dash (or equivalent app launcher) — look for the bizarre bird with bulging eyes and its brain on show…

Install Corebird on Ubuntu 16.04

If you’re running an alpha build of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS you can install Corebird directly through the Ubuntu Software Centre (or whatever the store that replacing it).

Hit the button below or run ‘sudo apt-get install corebird’ to install it.

Install Corebird on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

When the install has completed you will be able to launch the app from the Unity Dash (or equivalent).

A Brief Overview of Corebird

Prettier than the web interface (and free of the dire ‘Moments’ section), Corebird supports most of Twitter’s core features and manages to keep steady pace with changes introduced, e.g.,10,000 character direct messages, ‘Quote Retweet’, Gif support, etc.

Corebird supports multiple accounts

This feature set lets you do pretty much everything you can do on in other Twitter apps:

  • Retweet, reply, ‘quote retweet’ and favouriting
  • Multiple account support
  • Edit Twitter bio, avatar and banner image
  • Follow/unfollow and block/unblock accounts
  • Secure authentication
  • Block accounts & filter tweets
  • In-line image & video previews (can be disabled)
  • Support for Gifs and Vines
  • Uses Twitter’s link shortener

Other Corebird specific features include:

  • Snippets — insert  used phrases, emoji or emoticons using keywords
  • Option to hide media links and trailing hashtags in tweets
  • Choose between round or square avatars
  • Easy-to-use block list & tweet filter management

One newish feature you won’t find: Twitter Polls. Twitter is yet to offer a Twitter Poll API.

Learn More

We cover this application’s feature set in greater detail in ‘The Essential Guide to Corebird, The Best Twitter App for Linux. Check it out (and pass it on)!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter! We’re don’t only posts links from an RSS feed. We like to survey your opinion, run competitions, retweet your tips , share development tidbits and rumours, reply to questions, and a whole lot more. 

Quick #TwitterPoll (you need to use website/mobile app to see it) — Do you use WINE on #Ubuntu?

— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) January 19, 2016

This post, How to Install Corebird Twitter Client on Ubuntu, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Bq Confirms Ubuntu Tablet with Convergence is Coming

Út, 01/19/2016 - 19:27

A couple of days ago we exclusively revealed that Bq is to demo the world’s first Ubuntu Tablet with convergence next month at Mobile World Congress 2016.

Some people — or should that read ‘some sites’ — didn’t want to take our word for it.

And hey, that’s fine.

It’s not like we have form in this area, right? (That’s sarcasm: we were the first to reveal the release date and manufacturer of the first Ubuntu Phone, the only site to insist that Meizu was priming its MX4 with Ubuntu Touch as the second, and so on …and on.).

Well, those people will be mightly relieved today. They don’t have to take our word for it anymore because…

Bq Confirms Ubuntu Tablet With Convergence

Yup, that’s right: Bq has confirmed it’s working on an Ubuntu Tablet.

As reported by the (excellent) Spanish-language technology website XatakaBq confirm that an Ubuntu Tablet will be demoed next month at Mobile World Congress 2016, and that it will feature convergence.

That’s just about the sum total of info the tech company teases in their press gambit — but we can tell you an incy bit more.

Bq Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is the model being readied behind the scenes. It’s a powerful 10-inch tablet with 64-bit ARM CPU, 2GB RAM and a high-resolution screen.

It work not only as a great little (or not so little, given the size) Ubuntu tablet. but will ‘converge’ into a desktop PC when a keyboard, mouse or external monitor is attached.

Recent developments in Unity 8 and its Mir display server will allow it to run traditional desktop software like The GIMP and LibreOffice, as well as apps designed specifically for the Ubuntu Phone.

Bq M10 Ubuntu Edition – On Sale in April

With a demo date now firmly set for February you’re likely itching to know when you you’ll be able to buy it.

And on that note you might be slightly disappointed — but emphasis falls solely on slightly as Xataka say Bq is targeting an April release date for the world’s first official Ubuntu tablet.

Further details on price, full specs and all sorts of other official niceties are all certain to dribble out from the MWC spout over the coming weeks.

Will you be buying one?

H/t: Marcos Costales

This post, Bq Confirms Ubuntu Tablet with Convergence is Coming, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Ubuntu Scope Showdown Is Back, And The Prizes Are Better Than Ever

Po, 01/18/2016 - 13:00

The second “Ubuntu Scope Showdown” contest has opened for entry — and there are some brilliant prizes up for grabs!

‘You don’t need to own an Ubuntu Phone to take part in this great contest.’

The competition, which runs from today and closes February 29, 2016, gives participants just six weeks to create an all-new original Scope for the Ubuntu Phone and publish it to the store.

Winners will be picked by a judging panel made up of Canonical employees and community members (disclaimer ahoy: I am on the judging panel) and should be announced publicly by mid-March, 2016.

Developers can build Scopes for the 2016 Showdown using the Ubuntu SDK and Scopes API, which has bindings for JavaScript, Go and C++.

Some top-tier swag, including a shiny new System76 desktop PC, Steam controllers and pair of BQ Ubuntu Phones are among the prizes being offered.

Cinema, 2014’s Winning Scope

similar Scope Showdown was held back in 2014 and won by Daniele Laudani’s carefully crafted ‘Cinema Scope’.

“We are excited to bring you yet another engaging developer competition, where the Ubuntu app developer community brings innovative and interesting new experiences for Ubuntu on mobile devices,” Canonical say of the event.

The contest is open to virtually everyone — you don’t even need to own an Ubuntu Phone to take part. The Ubuntu SDK, Scopes API and emulator tool provide all you need.

Ubuntu Scope Showdown: The Prizes

The first place winner will receive a System 76 Meerkat desktop PC worth over $600!

This ‘diminutive and unassuming’ PC is a veritable TARDIS, hiding a powerful 5th generation Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a super-speedy 120GB SSD in a tiny 4.5-inch x 4.4-inch case.

The developer of the best Scope also gets a “convergence pack” comprising a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and a slim-port adapter that — wink, wink — could come in very handy very soon.

1st Place Prizes:

The overall winner snags the following bounty:

  • System76 Meerkat Desktop PC
  • Convergence Pack
  • Slimport adapter
2nd Place Prizes:

Second place shouldn’t feel like runner with this goody bag:

  • BQ Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition
  • Steam Controller
  • Steam Link
  • Convergence Pack
3rd Place Prizes:

Third place walks away with standout prize booty, too:

  • BQ Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition
  • Steam Controller
  • Convergence Pack

‘Innovation’ Prize:

The Innovation prize is special award to be given to the Scope considered ‘most innovative and creative‘, regardless of its final ranking.

Push the envelope of what Scopes can do and the following loot could be heading to you:

  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • Valve’s Steam Controller
  • Convergence Pack

Scopes, not apps, are central to the Ubuntu phone

Ubuntu Scope Showdown: The Rules

So you plan on participating in the Showdown — excellent! There are a few (fairly obvious) rules and (understandable) caveats to note before getting started.

1. First up, you need to use the Ubuntu SDK IDE to publish your Scope to the Ubuntu Store.

2. Your Scope also needs to be created using one of the following bindings: Javascript, Go or C++. 

3. You must use original code (code from the Scope templates, external libraries, calls to APIs, etc are fine).

4. Your Scope should be family friendly (i.e., don’t make a pr0nTube Scope), and it should only search/surface content that is legal (i.e., no PirateBay Scope).

5. Your Scope will need to comply with any copyright, trademark, usage restrictions and/or T&Cs resulting from your use of services, APIs and/or the remote servers you pull data from.

6. By entering you agree to give Canonical the right to redistribute, incorporate and/or modify your code.

See the list of rules for the Scope Showdown contest for further details, and consult the full terms of entry for details on code licensing and entry exclusions.

Tips for Getting Started

A Scope is a piece of software that aggregates data from either local sources, a remote server, or a mixture of both, to provide at-a-glance information to the Ubuntu Phone Dash (aka ‘the home screen’).

See the Scopes section of Ubuntu’s online developer documentation for a technical overview of how Scopes work and how to build them. The Tutorials section also offers some pre-made Scope templates to help you get started.

Don’t neglect design. Check through the Ubuntu design guidelines for advice on creating a UI that will keep users coming back for more.

Install the Ubuntu SDK

To install the latest Ubuntu SDK (in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS +) you can add the Ubuntu SDK Team PPA. This PPA provides the most up-to-date version of the Ubuntu developer tools, libraries and APIs.

Open a new Terminal window and run the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt install ubuntu-sdk Tips for Slick Scope Ideas

So you want to take part, but you don’t know what to make? Excuses! Ideas are easy to find.

Some top tips for finding inspiration

  • Think about your own needs: what sort of content/info do you check for often on your smartphone?
  • Would some of the top apps on the Google Play/ iTunes App Store work as a Scope?
  • Think about the people who use Ubuntu Phone: what are they likely to be interested in?
  • 35% of people use social networks on their phone — is there a free API you could use?
  • Take a look at the Gmail, Telegram, eBay, Imgur and Twitter scopes for layout ideas

For example, I’m currently playing Pokémon Silver, and a ‘Pokedex Scope’ would help me find info on Pokemon I find that little bit faster — speed is of the essence when your MagiKarp is being pummelled by a Snubbull!

Got a great idea for a Scope but don’t know how to make it? Feel free to share it in the comments section below — who knows, it may even get made! 

Starting pistol fired, it’s time to get coding.

This post, Ubuntu Scope Showdown Is Back, And The Prizes Are Better Than Ever, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

GNOME Settings To Get a Major Design Overhaul

So, 01/16/2016 - 09:15

One of the proposed redesigns of GNOME Settings

The GNOME settings app is to get a major design overhaul, GNOME designers and developers have revealed. 

The new design proposals will see the utility switch from a grid layout with fixed window size to one using a sidebar list and resizeable window frame.

As Ubuntu’s own setting utility is a fork of GNOME System Settings any made upstream could have a knock-on effect in it.

Ubuntu System Settings also uses  a grid layout

But why the change?

GNOME designer Alan Day feels a grid layout is just too limiting, with each icon in the grid ‘competing for attention’.

“There are [also] other issues with the icon grid approach”, Alan Day explains, noting that it’s difficult for developers to add new settings and options to the app, and that some settings don’t work well with a fixed size window frame.

Switching to a sidebar list and using a resizable window will, Day reasons, give desktops user a ‘more guided experience’ with panels that feel more cohesive together and less like a “collection of separate parts.”

Redesigning the shell that houses settings also means redesigned the settings’ panes (some of which, as WHO points out, desperately need some TLC).

The ultimate aim is to “eliminate […] the overcomplexity of the settings for simple, common, cases” and make “more advanced settings […] easier to use, also.”

There’s no fixed timeline for the work, and much of it will remain subject to feedback and fine-tuning over the coming months.

But the first fruits of the redesign, a new Mouse and Touchpad settings panel, will be on show in GNOME 3.20 due for release in the Spring.

This post, GNOME Settings To Get a Major Design Overhaul, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

How You Can Help Test the New Ubuntu Software Center

Pá, 01/15/2016 - 16:15

A new app store is coming to Ubuntu

Testing of the app store set to replace the Ubuntu Software Center in 16.04 LTS is getting underway.

Last November we shared the news that developers plan to drop the current Ubuntu Software Center from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and replace it with GNOME Software, an upstream alternative.

But anyone taking the Xenial Xerus for a pre-emptive spin since that news broke could be forgiven for thinking Canonical had changed their mind!

Not only is the “old” app store still installed by default, but its upstream replacement isn’t even available to install from the Xenial archive.

That changes today, as migration to and testing of GNOME Software and its package-kit backend begins.

Test GNOME Software in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you’re a bug-hungry beta tester or just a plain ol’ nosey so-and-so, you can help test the Ubuntu software Center replacement on your own machine.

You need to a) be using Ubuntu 16.04 and b) be willing to add a PPA that has buggy, incomplete software.

Up for it?

Testing PPA for Xenial Users

Add the GNOME Software PPA to Software Sources, install the required packages, and then watch as the creaky old Ubuntu Software Center gets kicked in to the long grass by a leaner upstream replacement.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/gnome-software sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-software

This testing PPA holds PackageKit 1.0 and a patched version of GNOME Software that is able to pull in app reviews from the Ubuntu app servers.

(Once installed may want to run this script as root to fetch, populate and update the appstream data app.)

Keep In Mind That This Is Still Work In Progress

Ubuntu One support for leaving reviews is a work-in-progress. You should expect missing features, application crashes and random bugs along the way.

Any kernel-crunching, hair-pulling errors you meet should get filed against the gnome-software package on Launchpad.

GNOME-Software on Launchpad

This post, How You Can Help Test the New Ubuntu Software Center, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Opera Browser Gets First Updates of The Year, Has Linux Fixes Galore

Pá, 01/15/2016 - 13:40

Opera users running Ubuntu should keep an eye on Software Updater, as the oft-overlooked web browser rolls out its first updates of the year.

A new year bump to both the Opera stable and developer channels sees some much-needed bug fixes and improvements land, including support for Netflix playback on Linux.

For a slightly closer look at what you can expect, scroll on down.

Opera Stable 34 Update

Opera’s stable build arrives with Chromium 47.0.2526.106 under the hood, meaning there’ll be plenty of core speed, bug and security fixes under the hood.

Opera Turbo shows a new icon in the URL bar when pages load through the software’s built-in byte-crushing compression technology. A minor change, but one needed as the previous Turbo icon looked a little  ‘too similar’ to the History page favicon.

Also of note to Linux users is a fix for a renderer crash that occurs when playing H264 video in the browser.

  • New Opera Turbo icon
  • “Mute tab” option removed from the tab context menu
  • Fixes data deletion bug
  • Correct aspect ratio used during Netflix playback

If you’re super-duper interested in what else has changed you can check the entire Opera 34 series change-log for more details.

Download Opera (Stable) for Linux

Opera Developer 36 Update

Opera 36, the browser’s developer channel, bumps its internal Chromium engine to v49.0.2593.0.

It bakes a number of new features into the build including an extension expander button to help tame  over-stuffed toolbars, and sees a redesigned start page that merges the previously separate ‘News’ and ‘Speed Dial’ pages into one.


The update also fixes a range of issues afflicting Linux, including

  • Pinned Tab icon incorrectly displayed
  • Opera says it “maybe” can play ‘audio/mp4’ and ‘video/mp4’ when it clearly can’t
  • Extension Expander crashing under Linux
  • Add ‘Activate’ button to desktop notifications

Fancy using new features that are rough around the edges? You do? Well, you grab the latest Opera Developer release for Ubuntu by politely conversing with the download links positioned nether.

Download Opera (Developer) for Linux (32bit Deb)

Download Opera (Developer) for Linux (64bit Deb)

This post, Opera Browser Gets First Updates of The Year, Has Linux Fixes Galore, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

New Ubuntu Convergence Device To Be Announced Next Month?

Čt, 01/14/2016 - 13:29

Canonical will demo at least one new Ubuntu convergence device at next month’s Mobile World Congress next month, we’ve learned.

Details we’ve seen suggest the company is to use the four-day expo to showcase the progress it has made in creating a software environment that transforms from mobile to desktop PC when a monitor, mouse or keyboard is attached.

‘Canonical has been testing Ubuntu Touch on a 10-inch tablet with 64-bit ARM processor.

Among hardware Canonical being used to test and tailor convergence capabilities is a high-definition 10-inch tablet with 64-bit ARM processor made by Spanish OEM Bq.

What Is Mobile World Congress?

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest trade show for mobile technology, and now covers wearables, tablets and IoT devices.

Held annually, the event plays host to major product launches from top manufacturers. The likes of HTC, Huawei, Blackberry and Lenovo are all expected to show off new flagship smartphones at this year’s show.

Device demos happen on the show floor but many product announcements and press launches are held in the days before the show doors open.

Bq Readers, who produced the first commercially available Ubuntu Phone, will join Canonical in attendance.

Mobile World Congress 2016 takes place 22 – 25 February, in Barcelona, Spain.

Canonical at MWC 2016: More Than an Ubuntu Tablet?

‘Canonical announced the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone at last year’s MWC

Canonical used its presence at last year’s expo to unveil the second Ubuntu phone, the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition. The device went on sale in Europe a month later.

This year we can expect even more goodies, with phone, pocket desktop and IoT all sure to snag some time in the spotlight.

Among hardware Canonical engineers are using to test Ubuntu’s convergence features is a device with the codename ‘Frieza’.

Like the code names of the previous three Ubuntu phones, ‘Krillin’ (aka Aquaris E4.5), ‘Arale’ (aka MX4) and ‘Vegeta’  (aka Aquaris E5 HD), ‘Frieza’ is named after a character from DragonBall Z.

Canonical engineers are also making use of a Bq M10 tablet to test the convergent code base.

The Bq M10 is a 10-inch HD tablet powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT8163 quad-core processor (1.3GHz) and MediaTek Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB of eMMC flash storage. The Android version retails in Europe from €239.

Could the mysterious ‘Frieza‘ be the codename of a Bq M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet?

Possibly,  or it could be the name of a separate device. Maybe the convergent phone Canonical teased back in June of last year?

‘New technologies allow desktop software to run alongside mobile apps’ 

Exciting Months Ahead

Whatever shape for form-factor Frieza turns out to be it will be, we’re led to believe, be running a new version of Ubuntu Touch¹ that integrates support for convergence, pocket desktop features and the Snappy Ubuntu Personal framework with the standard Ubuntu Touch experience.

This environment is being developed under the project name ‘Avila’ and will support traditional .Deb-based & Xorg dependant applications (e.g., Firefox, LibreOffice, Gedit, Xchat, etc) as well as software  developed and packaged for the Ubuntu Phone.

Deb-packaged, X11-based software that run in an Ubuntu Personal environment is sandboxed for safety using two new technologies:

Libertine “provides a snap package that lets a user create and maintain isolated sand boxes that can contain and run DEB-packaged X11-based legacy application software” in an Ubuntu Personal environment.

Puritin is a “bespoke Libertine container” that adds basic convergence functionality to Libertine apps. An accompanying ‘Puritin Scope’ will surface launchers for legacy apps in the Unity 8 UI.

‘Canonical say to expect ‘several exciting announcements’ at MWC 2016′

The same Ubuntu Personal code base will eventually be used on the Ubuntu desktop.

‘Showcasing The Next Stage of Ubuntu Phone’

Software convergence — using the same core OS to power both a full Ubuntu desktop experience and a content-centric smartphone one — has been the grand aim of Canonical’s mobile efforts since 2012.

With Unity 8, Mir and the Snappy package management framework maturing nicely, the pieces to get there are almost ready to clink in place.

Canonical declined to comment on the information we’ve seen, but they did tell us they will be at MWC 2016 to “showcase the next stage of the Ubuntu Phone live”, adding that attendees can expect “several (pretty exciting) announcements across both Internet of Things and devices”.

¹Apologies to Will Cooke ²’Avila’ also happens to be a small town in Spain and Bq is a Spanish company.

This post, New Ubuntu Convergence Device To Be Announced Next Month?, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.