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Yesterday — October 21st 2021UbuntuHandbook

How to Install Anbox to Run Android Apps in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10

October 21st 2021 at 18:18
By: Ji m

Want to run Android apps in Linux? Here’s how to do it using the Anbox container in Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.10.

Anbox, Anbox in a box, is a free and open-source software that runs the full Android system in a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU/Linux system.

There’s another solution “Waydroid” to do the similar things in Linux. It’s said to have better performance, though it requires Wayland session. For those stick to Xorg, here’s how to install and use Anbox.

Load Kernel modules:

Anbox requires ashmem_linux and binder_linux kernel modules.

1.) If you have the SecureBoot enabled (check via sudo mokutil --sb-state command), open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard, and run command to sign the kernel module:

sudo kmodsign sha512 /var/lib/shim-signed/mok/MOK.priv /var/lib/shim-signed/mok/MOK.der /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/staging/android/ashmem_linux.ko

2.) Next load the modules one by one via command:

sudo modprobe ashmem_linux
sudo modprobe binder_linux

3.) Finally verify the kernel modules via command:

lsmod | grep -e ashmem_linux -e binder_linux

Install Anbox:

The software is available to install via official Snap and classic DEB packages, though I recommend the snap package this time. Because, the DEB is not well supported. User needs to manually mount binder, download and load Android image, and troubleshoot other issues. And it ultimately failed to run in my case.

To install Anbox snap, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal, and run command:

snap install anbox --beta --devmode

After installation, you may try to launch Anbox via command:

anbox launch --package=org.anbox.appmgr --component=org.anbox.appmgr.AppViewActivity

NOTE: Open Anbox by searching from activities overview does not work in my case until installed the Google Play Store.

Install Google Play Store:

Anbox has a few built-in applications except Google Play Store, because Google will only permit certified devices to ship with their applications. Thankfully, there’s an installer script to automatically install it for you.

1.) Firstly, open terminal and run command to install some required libraries:

sudo apt install wget curl lzip tar unzip squashfs-tools

2.) Next, download the script via wget command:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/geeks-r-us/anbox-playstore-installer/master/install-playstore.sh

3.) Add executable permission:

chmod u+x install-playstore.sh

4.) And run the script will download the package and install Play Store:

./install-playstore.sh

Now, search for and open Anbox from activities overview screen. When it opens, go to settings and grant all permissions to Google Play Store, and finally open the Play Store to install Android apps.

How to Remove Anbox:

To remove the software, simply run command in terminal:

snap remove --purge anbox

You may also remove the “anbox” and “anbox-work” folders in user’s home directory.

GIMP 2.99.8 Released with .jxl File Support, How to Install in Ubuntu

October 21st 2021 at 11:53
By: Ji m

GIMP image editor released new development version 2.99.8 for the next 3.0 series with some great new features.

GIMP 2.99.8 introduced multiple layers support for its Clone, Heal and Perspective Clone tools. There are as well 2 new modes in particular:

When sourcing from multiple selected drawables then cloning into a single drawable, the pixel source is the composited render of source layers.
When cloning while multiple drawables are selected, each drawable clones from itself to itself, i.e. every drawable is both its source and target.

The release added support for loading and exporting JPEG-XL (.jxl) files via the libjxl library. And it supports larger-than-4GiB PSD files and loading up to 99 channels, as well as PSB files with width and height up to 300,000 pixels.

Thanks to Windows Ink support, GIMP now has more more graphics tablets or touch input devices support. Other changes in GIMP 2.99.8 include:

  • Selection cue fixed on Wayland and macOS
  • Clicking anywhere on the toolbox or on Wilber’s drop area now returns the focus to the canvas
  • Dropped the thumbnail icon feature.
  • Memory leak fixes and plug-in improvements.

How to Install GIMP 2.99.8 in Ubuntu Linux:

GIMP rolls out new nightly build of the flatpak package for Linux. After installing flatpak daemon, run the command below will install GIMP nightly build:

flatpak install --user https://nightly.gnome.org/repo/appstream/org.gimp.GIMP.flatpakref

For GIMP 2.99.8 Beta as Flatpak, see this how to install guide.

There are also third-party Ubuntu PPA for those don’t like flatpak. Though it’s not updated at the moment, check HERE.

Before yesterdayUbuntuHandbook

OBS Studio 27.1.1 Adds YouTube Integration, 18-scene Multiview

September 29th 2021 at 17:44
By: Ji m

Free open-source live streaming app, OBS Studio 27.1.1, was released. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Linux Mint 20, and derivatives.

OBS Studio 27.1.1 is a hot-fix release for version 27.1, which was released yesterday. It introduced YouTube integration, so users can connect YouTube account without using a stream key. And, it features a new “Manage Broadcast” button to create and manage YouTube streams, a chat dock for public and unlisted broadcasts, set settings on per stream base, and bandwidth testing support in the Auto-Configuration wizard.

Other features include a 18-scene multiview option, a “Mask Only” option to the stinger track matte, an option to draw safe areas in the preview, and a feature to browser sources to allow limited control over OBS.

OBS Studio 27.1 also features user interface tweaks and performance improvements, such as optimize media source to reduce CPU usage, re-enable drag & drop for scenes & sources on Linux, and more. See the release note for more details.

How to Install OBS Studio 27.1 in Ubuntu:

Universal Snap and Flatpak packages:

The Open Broadcaster Software is available as SNAP package, which can be installed via Ubuntu Software. If you have already installed the package, it will be updated to the new 27.1 automatically once the maintainer published it!

Also, the recording and live streaming app can be installed via universal Flatpak package via this page.

OBS Studio PPA:

The software has an official Ubuntu PPA for those prefer the classic deb package format. It so far supports for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and their based systems, e.g., Linux Mint 20, Elementary OS 6, and Zorin OS 16.

1.) To add the PPA, search for and open terminal from activities overview or press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio

2.) Update the system package cache. For Ubuntu 18.04 and some Ubuntu based distros, users have to manually refresh the system package cache by running command in terminal:

sudo apt update

3.) Finally copy and paste the command below into terminal, and run to install the broadcaster app:

sudo apt install obs-studio

Or, upgrade the app via “Software Updater” (Update Manager) if an old version was already installed on your system.

How to Remove OBS Studio:

To remove the package, also run apt command in terminal with ‘remove’ flag:

sudo apt remove --autoremove obs-studio

And remove the Ubuntu PPA either using Software & Updates utility by removing the relevant line from ‘Other Software’ tab.

Or, run the command below in terminal instead:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:obsproject/obs-studio

Free Vector Drawing App ‘Inkscape’ 1.1.1 Added Numerous Bug-fixes!

September 29th 2021 at 14:56
By: Ji m

The free open-source vector drawing app Inkscape 1.1 got its first maintenance update. Users are recommended to upgrade!

Thanks to the upstream GTK+3 fix, pressure sensitivity works again on Windows ink devices in Inkscape 1.1.1. And, the release includes many other general fixes, such as Stroke to Path works on text again; Saving no longer leaks memory; improve startup time on Windows; Canvas no longer blurred when moving window from HiDPI to a regular display; Click to select objects; Caps lock no longer stops some shortcut keys from working on Windows.

By clicking on a resizing separator (aka three-dots) of a docked dialog will now toggle dock visibility. The the “Font features” tab now load faster so it don’t freeze. And the transparency is now respected when applying the Fast Crop filter.

Other changes in Inkscape 1.1.1 include:

  • All templates generated from the ‘Welcome’ dialog now use a document scale of 1
  • Fix save as optimized SVG in Inkscape Appimage.
  • Fix opening EPS files in Inkscape Snap app.
  • Snap app now remembers user preferences even user home is not accessible.
  • Settings for font size and precision for the Measure tool work again
  • Measurements no longer reset on right click or tool switch.
  • Various crash fixes, and translation updates.

How to Install Inkscape 1.1.1 in Ubuntu:

Inkscape is available to install via universal Snap and Flatpak packages, as well as classic deb via an official Ubuntu PPA. Just choose the one that you prefer.

Snap App:

Inkscape offers official Snap package, which runs in sandbox. Ubuntu users can install it easily from Ubuntu Software:

Snap Flatpak:

The graphics editor also available as the universal Flatpak package. Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, then run following commands one by one to install the package:

Install the Flatpak daemon in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher (ubuntu 18.04 need this PPA):

sudo apt install flatpak

Add the flathub repository which hosts most flatpak packages:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Finally run command to install the Inkscape Flatpak package:

flatpak install flathub org.inkscape.Inkscape

Inkscape PPA:

For those sticking to the classic deb package, the official Ubuntu PPA offers the most recent packages for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10.

1.) Search for and open terminal from the activities overview screen. When it opens, paste the command below into terminal and run to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable

2.) Next either upgrade the vector graphics editor using Software Updater (Update Manager):

Or, run apt command instead in terminal to install/upgrade the package:

sudo apt install inkscape

Uninstall Inkscape:

To remove the Inkscape Snap package, either use Ubuntu Software or run command in terminal:

snap remove --purge inkscape

To remove the Flatpak package, use command:

flatpak uninstall org.inkscape.Inkscape

And remove the editor installed from PPA using apt command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove inkscape

GPU-Viewer – GTK3 tool to Show the 3D Graphics API information

September 28th 2021 at 18:19
By: Ji m

GPU-Viewer is graphical tool to show the detailed information about OpenGL, Vulkan, and/or OpenCL graphics libraries.

Without struggling with glxinfo, vulkaninfo and clinfo command line tools, the GTK+3 tool provides a graphical front-end that shows all the important details.

There is no hard OpenGL Programming involved, until glxinfo, vulkaninfo and clinfo works the GPU-viewer will also work.

GPU-Viewer makes it easy to check the Vulkan or OpenGL version, and detailed GPU information.

How to Install GPU Viewer in Ubuntu Linux:

The software has an official Ubuntu PPA contains the packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10.

1. Add the PPA

Open terminal by either searching from activities overview screen or pressing Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard. When terminal opens, paste the command below and hit Enter:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:arunsivaraman/gpuviewer

2. Refresh system package cache

For Ubuntu 18.04 and some Ubuntu based Linux Distribution, users may need to manually update the system package cache by running command:

sudo apt update

For Ubuntu 20.04 and higher, this is done automatically while adding PPA.

3. Install GPU Viewer:

Finally, run the apt command in terminal window will install the GTK tool as well as its dependencies:

sudo apt install gpu-viewer

Once installed, search for and open it from the overview screen and enjoy!

Uninstall GPU Viewer

To remove the software package, open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove gpu-viewer

And remove the PPA repository either via “Software & Updates” utility under ‘Other Software’ tab, or by running command in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:arunsivaraman/gpuviewer

In addition for Debian .deb package, Arch Linux AUR repository, and Fedora Linux, go to the PROJECT PAGE.

The Fast File Search App ‘FSearch’ Goes Stable via 0.1 Release [Ubuntu PPA]

September 27th 2021 at 14:40
By: Ji m

By releasing version 0.1, the GTK+3 file search tool FSearch finally goes stable after 5 years of development.

FSearch is a free and open-source file search utility, inspired by Everything Search Engine. It’s super fast that you get instant result as you type. The app supports wildcard and RegEx, so users can use * and a series of characters to define filters.

It by default uses traditional UI with menu bar. However, it provides option to enable client-side decorations so to look modern in GNOME desktop (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc). And “dark mode” is supported for those working at night.

Users may specify which directories to be indexed, and certain files/folders to be excluded. And double-clicking a search result will open with the default app. By right-clicking on a result, it allows to open with selected app, open folder, copy / cut, move to trash, and view the file properties.

How to Install FSearch in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 21.10

The app has an official Ubuntu PPA contains the packages for all current Ubuntu releases, including the old Ubuntu 16.04 and upcoming Ubuntu 21.10.

1. Add FSearch PPA

Firstly, either search for and open terminal from the Activities overview screen or press Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard. When terminal opens, paste the command below and hit run to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:christian-boxdoerfer/fsearch-stable

sudo command need authentication, type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Update system package cache:

For old Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04, users need to manually refresh the package cache by running command in terminal. For Ubuntu 20.04 and higher, this is done automatically while adding PPA.

sudo apt update

3. Install FSearch

Finally install the file search utility via command:

sudo apt install fsearch

Once installed, launch it by searching from the overview screen and enjoy!

Uninstall FSearch:

To remove the tool, also open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove fsearch

And remove PPA either via “Software & Updates -> Other Software” or by running command in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:christian-boxdoerfer/fsearch-stable

In addition, FSearch provides official AUR for Arch Linux and Copr repository for Fedora. As well, there are unofficial packages for NixOS and openSUSE. See them in the project page.

How to Install LaTeX Editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10

September 26th 2021 at 18:06
By: Ji m

The open-source LaTeX editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 was released! Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu via PPA repository.

TeXstudio 4.0.0 offers Qt6 support which should improve HiDPI handling. And the official packages for Windows and macOS are now based on Qt6, while Linux build sticks to Qt5.

The final release is out after 8 alpha, 3 beta and 2 release candidate tests, though it’s announced only with following changes:

  • Adapt to Qt6/poppler-qt6
  • OSX/win build provided with Qt6
  • Remodel structure handling in order to avoid (rare) crashes
  • More and updated completion word lists thanks to mbertucci47
  • Handle text (e.g. \text{text}) in mathenv as text with spell checking
  • Performance improvement for large files with large number of labels and/or large number of includes
  • Fix that search options are persistant
  • Automatic structure scrolling can be turned off
  • Some bug fixes

How to Install TeXstudio 4.0.0 in Ubuntu:

The LaTeX editor has an official Ubuntu PPA that contains the latest packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and their derivatives, e.g, Linux Mint 20, Zorin OS 16, and Elementary OS 6.

1.) Add the PPA.

Firstly, open terminal by either searching from upper left corner Activities overview screen, or pressing Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard. When terminal opens, paste the command below and run to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sunderme/texstudio

Type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue

2.) Update system package cache.

For Ubuntu 18.04 and some distributions, e.g., Linux Mint, you need to manually refresh the package cache by running command in terminal (though it’s done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 & higher):

sudo apt update

3.) Install / Upgrade TeXstudio

Finally, either install the LaTeX editor by running apt command in terminal:

sudo apt install texstudio

Or, use “Software Updater” (Update Manager) utility to upgrade the package if an old version was installed.

Uninstall TeXstudio & Remove PPA:

To uninstall the editor package, simply run apt command with remove flag in terminal:

sudo apt remove --autoremove texstudio

And remove the Ubuntu PPA either by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:sunderme/texstudio

or open and navigate to ‘Software & Updates’ -> ‘Other Software’ and remove the relevant repository line.

Choose Audio Devices in Ubuntu System Tray Menu via Extension

September 25th 2021 at 18:23
By: Ji m

For laptop and desktop PC with more than one audio input and output devices, it’s possible to switch between audio devices quickly with upper right corner system tray menu.

It’s a common situation that users have more than one audio devices connected to the computer. GNOME, the default Ubuntu Desktop Environment, provides Sound settings to choose which input and/or output device to use.

To make life easier, a Gnome extension is available to integrate the settings into system tray status menu under volume control slider. So users can quickly choose a speaker, HMDI, microphone or other input device via few clicks.

The extension offers a setting dialog allows to select which device, e.g., HDMI , Speakers, microphone etc, you would like to display or hide in menu. It’s possible to hide the menu when there’s only one choice, or manually toggle visible of either menu, as well as audio profiles.

Install the audio device chooser extension:

The extension supports up to GNOME 40, it works on Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and next Ubuntu 21.10. As well, all recent GNOME based Linux distros, e.g., Debian 11, Fedora 34, CentOS 8, and Manjaro are supported.

1.) Firstly, open terminal by either searching from activities overview or pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

2.) When terminal opens, run command to install the chrome-gnome-shell package which allows to install Gnome extensions using your web browser. Also install gnome-shell-extension-prefs (Gnome Extensions app) package, the tool to manage all installed extensions.

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-prefs

3.) Finally, go to the link button below and turn on the slider icon to install the extension.

Don’t worry if you don’t see the toggle icon, install the browser extension via ‘Click here to install the browser extension’ link and refresh the web page will make it visible.

After installation, search for and open “Gnome Extensions” from the overview screen. Then click on the gear button for this extension to configure the audio device chooser menu.

That’s all. Enjoy!

Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri Final Beta Released

September 24th 2021 at 19:06
By: Ji m

The Ubuntu team announced the release of Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, code name ‘Impish Indri’. The release features Linux Kernel 5.13 and GNOME 40 desktop.

Ubuntu 21.10, codenamed “Impish Indri”, continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Ubuntu 21.10 final will be released on October 14, with support for 9 months until July 2022. It is powered by Linux Kernel 5.13 with most recent hardware support. The Desktop edition include GNOME 40 features a new and improved Activities Overview design.

Workspaces are now arranged horizontally, and the overview and app grid are accessed vertically. And it supports three-finger touchpad gestures to toggle overview and switch workspaces.

The “standard” app layout, dark header-bar along with light window color, has been removed. Now Ubuntu 21.10 includes only “light” and “dark” mode to choose from the ‘Appearance’ settings page.

GNOME 40 by default logs into the overview screen. Gladly, Ubuntu decides to disable this design and revert to blank desktop just as before. However, Firefox web browser in Ubuntu 21.10 defaults a Snap app runs in sandbox.

Though the classic Firefox deb is still available out-of-the-box, clicking the default browser icon on left dock will open the Snap app. For users don’t like Snap may remove the icon from dock and add the native one as favorite.

Ubuntu 21.10 has TWO Firefox packages and defaults to SNAP

Download Ubuntu 21.10

This Beta release includes disc images from Ubuntu Desktop, Server, Cloud products, as well as official Ubuntu flavors including Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.

To download Ubuntu 21.10 desktop and server iso images, go to the link button below:

For Ubuntu flavors and other downloads go to cdimage.ubuntu.com. And the full release notes for Ubuntu 21.10 Beta can be found at HERE.

GNOME 41 Released! New Remote Desktop App, Multitasking & Mobile Network Settings

September 23rd 2021 at 13:21
By: Ji m

After half a year of development, the GNOME project announced version 41 of its popular Linux desktop environment.

GNOME 41 comes with some exciting new features. The upper right corner system tray menu now includes option to make it easy to switch Power Mode between “Balanced” and “Power Saver”. It’s said that “Performance mode” is only visible on hardware that supports this feature, though I don’t understand which hardware required, may be a dedicated graphics card.

The GNOME Settings panel introduced two new items in the left pane: Multitasking and Mobile Network.

The “Multitasking” pane offers options to toggle top-left hot-corner to open Activities overview, app window auto-resizing function when dragging against screen edges; set dynamic or fixed number of workspaces; show workspace on primary only or all displays; super + tab switching for apps on all workspaces or current workspace only.

The “Mobile Network” pane is only visible when a supported modem is present, e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, and GSM/LTE. It allows to set the network type, whether to use mobile data and data roaming. And it supports multiple SIMs and modems, allows to easy switching network modes.

Other changes in Gnome 41 include:

  • New “Connections” remote desktop app with VNC and RDP support.
  • Overhaul Gnome Software.
  • Redesigned Gnome Music.
  • Faster response to keyboard & pointer input on Wayland.
  • New default GL renderer for GTK4.
  • Create encrypted .zip archives in Files.
  • Import events to Calendar from .ics files.
  • Code cleanup in Mutter, and more.

How to Get Gnome 41:

Usually, the newest GNOME desktop will be first made into Fedora and Arch Linux. Users are recommended to wait your Linux distribution to include the desktop environment.

For testing and development purpose, you can try the GNOME OS either in virtual machine or real computer. Or download the iso image from the link button below:

This Extension Always Hide GNOME Top Bar (Except in Overview) in Ubuntu

September 21st 2021 at 18:40
By: Ji m

For PC / notebook has a small display, it’s possible to hide the top panel in GNOME desktop to get more spaces and/or focus on your work.

There’s a ‘Hide Top Bar‘ extension that enables ability to auto-hide the top bar, just like the left dock does. However, in this tutorial I’m going to introduce another extension.

It’s a very light extension that the developer promoted it has no options and no bugs! It will ALWAYS hide the top-bar, except only in overview screen. Just like GNOME shows the dock only in overview without Ubuntu Dock (Dash-to-dock) extension.

The extension will also disable the top-left hot-corner, which is used to trigger the ‘Activities‘ overview. It’s designed for those who are accustomed to start overview screen using the Windows (or Super) key, or three-finger touchpad gestures in GNOME 40 (defaults in Ubuntu 21.10).

As the picture shows though the top-bar is hidden, users can still click on top-right corner to get the system tray & indicator menu, or click on top-center to view the clock menu when there’s NO maximized app window.

Install Hide Panel Extension:

The extension so far works on Gnome 3.36 ~ 41, which means Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and other Linux, e.g., Debian 11 and Fedora 34 are supported.

1.) To install it, firstly open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. And run command to install the required chrome-gnome-shell package if you don’t have it.

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

2.) Next, open the gnome extension web page in browser, and turn on the slider icon to install it.

If you don’t see the slider icon, install browser addon/extension by clicking ‘click here to install browser extension‘ link and then refresh the page.

After installation, it starts working in a few seconds in my case. If not, you may restart Gnome Shell or log out and back in.

Uninstall Hide Panel extension:

To toggle on/off or remove extensions, it’s recommended to use the ‘Gnome Extensions’ app, which can be installed either directly from Ubuntu Software, or by running command in terminal:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-prefs

Launch the tool once you installed it, and click on the little triangle icon after the extension, there you’ll see the button to remove it.

gThumb 3.12.0 Released! How to Install via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04

September 20th 2021 at 17:14
By: Ji m

gThumb image viewer and organizer announced version 3.12.0 as the new stable release series!

gThumb 3.12.0 is the new stable series since the last 3.10.x, while the 3.11.x is the development release.

What’s New in gThumb 3.12.0:

The new release includes many new features compare to the previous stable 3.10.x. They are all introduced in the 3.11 development releases, so you may already enjoy using them for a period of time.

With libheif library, gThumb now opens AVIF, HEIF (include Apple’s HEIC) images, and allows to save images as AVIF. And it supports JPEG XL images using the jpeg-xl library. A template editor is available to edit text values with special codes, for use in script commands, rename templates, print header and footer, etc.

Besides that, it improved file navigation for directory contains thousands of images. The file list now starts more thumbnailers in parallel, status bar has button to show the progress dialog. And the color picker tool shows colors in two more formats: rgb in % and hsl. Others include:

  • Allow to set shortcuts to activate filters.
  • Allow to mount unmounted volumes.
  • Add file actions to the viewer context menu.
  • Read color profiles from png files as well.
  • Option to show/hide the status bar.

For those already running gThumb 3.11.4, there are only bug-fixes and translation updates.

How to Install gThumb 3.12.0 in Ubuntu:

The software does not provide official binary package. Besides building from the source tarball, you may install it via the unofficial Ubuntu PPA.

1. Add the Ubuntu PPA.

The PPA so far provides packages for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and Linux Mint 20. It contains package for Ubuntu 18.04 but lacks JPEG XL support.

Firstly open terminal either from start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, paste the command below into terminal and hit run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

2. Update system package cache.

Adding PPA will automatically refresh the package cache in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher. However old versions and some Ubuntu based systems does not. To do it manually, simply run command in terminal:

sudo apt update

3. Install / Upgrade gThumb.

Finally, either run the apt install command in a terminal window to install the image viewer:

sudo apt install gthumb

Or use the Software Updater (Update Manager) utility to receive package updates. Un-check other packages from the PPA if you don’t want them.

Uninstall / Restore gThumb:

You can restore to the stock version of the image viewer and organizer by purging the PPA repository. To do so, simply run command:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

You may also keep the gThumb package but remove the Ubuntu PPA, since it contains many other software packages that you don’t prefer. To do so, either run command in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

Or remove the repository line under ‘Other Software’ tab via Software & Updates utility.

GIMP 2.10.28 Released! How to Install via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04

September 19th 2021 at 15:52
By: Ji m

GIMP announced the 2.10.28 release of the popular image editor. The release includes mainly bug-fixes and stability improvements.

The source tarball of version 2.10.26 is available to download 2 weeks ago. Due to a build bug, the project team skipped it and announced GIMP 2.10.28 as the latest stable release with fixes.

Changes in GIMP 2.10.28:

For Windows users, the new GIMP released fixed some long standing issues, including:

  • Fixed very slow file dialogs that happen on slow or unavailable network devices, removable devices connection, or even fake floppy drives.
  • Fixed crash when opening files in specific third-party software.
  • GTK outputting the wrong character on some keyboard input using Input Engines.
  • TIFF exporting locks the TIFF files due to bug of Windows thumbnailer.
  • GIMP prevent some apps to open, when they need to watch some specific directory.
  • Apps with invisible windows, e.g., e.g. gesture shortcuts, screen capture, used to interfere and break some mouse interactions.

For macOS Big Sur, GIMP applied performance improvements to the packages since version 2.10.22 as experiments. Now the code has been moved to the main codebase.

The release also features GEGL 0.4.32, which introduced new edge_handling parameter allows to choose whether areas outside the input to be treated as above or below threshold for calculating distance. And the test system gets some nice improvements.

Other changes in GIMP 2.10.28 include:

  • The Dashboard dockable now has memory support in OpenBSD.
  • Fixes to plugins, including C-source, DICOM, GIF, PS, Sunras, BMP, DDS, PSD, TIFF, Gimpressionist, metadata viewer and several script-fu scripts.
  • A new Script-Fu function (dir-make) enables to create directories from scripts.
  • Fixed some accessibility issues in themes.

How to Install GIMP 2.10.28 in Ubuntu:

1. GIMP Flatpak:

The project team recommends the flatpak package, the universal Linux package format runs in sandbox. The package is available at flathub.org. Users need to follow the setup guide and install the flatpak via the command in the bottom of the link page.

2. GIMP Snap:

The image editor is also available as Snap, another universal package format developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

The snap version is so far GIMP 2.10.24. It however will automatically update to the latest (once published) after installed it. And the snap is available in Ubuntu Software:

3. Ubuntu PPA

For those stick to the classic .deb package, GIMP 2.10.28 is available to install via this unofficial PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10.

1.) Firstly, either search for and open terminal from the Activities overview screen, or press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/gimp

Type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2.) Next, install GIMP 2.10.28 either by running apt command in terminal:

sudo apt install gimp gegl

or upgrade the editor using Software Updater (Update Manager):

Remove PPA and restore GIMP:

For any issue, you can purge the Ubuntu PPA which will downgrade the installed packages to the stock versions. To do so, firstly install the ppa-purge utility:

sudo apt install ppa-purge

Next run command to purge the Ubuntu PPA:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/gimp

EasyEffects (Formerly PulseEffects) – Apply Audio Effects to PipeWire Apps

September 18th 2021 at 19:07
By: Ji m

The popular audio manipulation tool, PulseEffects, finally adds supports for PipeWire sound server by re-naming to EasyEffects.

EasyEffects is a GTK4 app designed for only PipeWire sound server. For PulseAudio, default sound service in current Ubuntu releases, PulseEffects is still available.

The UI looks almost same as before, and it may apply effects including Auto gain, Bass enhancer, Bass loudness, Compressor, Convolver, Crossfeed, Crystalizer, De-esser, Echo Canceller, Equalizer, Exciter, Expander, Filter, Gate, Limiter, Loudness, Maximizer, Multiband compressor, Multiband gate, Noise reduction, Pitch, Reverberation, Stereo tools.

Besides manipulating sound output, it may also apply effects to an input device, such as a microphone. This is, for example, useful in audio recording, but it also works well during voice conversations.

The PipeWire tab contains the options to select input & output devices, edit presets, and test signal.

How to Install EasyEffects in Ubuntu Linux:

The tool has been made into official repositories for Arch Linux, Gentoo, openSUSE and NixOS. Since Ubuntu sticks to PulseAudio, you install EasyEffects only when PipeWire is present as sound server (Read this tutorial for more).

1.) EasyEffects so far is only available as Flatpak package. Firstly, search for and open terminal either from the Activities overview screen or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run command to install the flatpak daemon first if you don’t have it:

sudo apt install flatpak

2.) Next add the flathub.org repository, the place hosts a large amount of Flatpak apps by running command in terminal:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

3.) Finally install EasyEffects flatpak package via command:

flatpak install flathub com.github.wwmm.easyeffects

If everything goes well, you may either launch it by searching for and opening from the overview screen, or run flatpak run com.github.wwmm.easyeffects command to start it from terminal.

Uninstall EasyEffects:

To remove the tool, open terminal, copy and paste the single command below and hit run:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data com.github.wwmm.easyeffects

The Six Point Release Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS is Out!

September 17th 2021 at 19:43
By: Ji m

The Ubuntu team announced the six point release for Ubuntu 18.04 today for the Desktop and Server.

Ubuntu 18.04.6 refreshed the disc images for the amd64 and arm64 architecture, re-enabling the usage on Secure Boot enabled systems due to the key revocation related to the BootHole vulnerability.

In August 2020, a set of security vulnerabilities in GRUB2 (the GRand Unified Bootloader version 2) collectively known as BootHole were disclosed. Today, another set of vulnerabilities in GRUB2 were disclosed, with similar implications.

See more in this blog post.

The release also includes many other security updates for additional high-impact bug fixes, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Download Ubuntu 18.04.6:

Ubuntu 18.04 has 5 year standard security support, and additional 5 year Extended Security Maintenance (esm) free for personal use.

To download Ubuntu 18.04.6, go the the link below:

For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, it’s able to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04.6 using the Update Manger. See the documentation for more.

Darktable 3.6.1 Released with New Camera Support & Various Bug-fixes

September 16th 2021 at 18:45
By: Ji m

The free open-source Lightroom alternative, Darktable release version 3.6.1. Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu.

Darktable 3.6.1 comes with stability improvements and bug-fixes. No new features, but has new camera support, including base support for Leica C-Lux (3:2), Sony ILCE-7RM3A, Sony ILCE-7RM4A, Nikon D6 (12bit and 14bit), and Nikon Z fc (12bit- and 14bit-compressed). The release also adds noise profile for Ricoh GR III.

And here are the bug-fixes according to the release note:

  • Fix module expand on quick access panel when enabling/disabling module.
  • Fix a possible crash in color calibration module.
  • Fix an inconsistency between the CPU & GPU path in color calibration module.
  • Fix possible issue in OpenCL Bradford non-linear code in color calibration which leads to wrong color rendering.
  • Fix Windows paths handling and encoding.
  • Fix possible issue in exiv2 when trying to write empty strings.
  • Fix by-scale button in export module.
  • Fix crash when renaming a drawn mask.
  • Minor UI fix in duplicate module.
  • Fix possible wrong rendering of the color picker tooltip.
  • Fix filename variable used when importing new pictures.
  • Fix noise profile for RICOH GR III.
  • Fix some memory leaks.

How to Install Darktable 3.6.1 in Ubuntu:

The raw development tool has official Linux repository with native packages for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE. Darktable is also available to install via the universal Flatpak package.

For choice, I’ve uploaded the package into the unofficial PPA with Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10 support. And 32-bit Ubuntu 18.04 is also supported.

1.) Add the PPA.

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal for running commands. When it opens, paste the command below into it and hit Enter.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable

Type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2.) Install / upgrade Darktable

Next either run command in terminal to install the photography software:

sudo apt install darktable

Or upgrade the package using Software Updater (Update Manager) utility.

Uninstall Darktable:

To remove the software package, you may simply run apt command with remove flag in terminal:

sudo apt remove darktable --autoremove

And remove the PPA via command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable

The Software & Updates also provides option to manage PPAs. Open it and navigate to “Other Software” tab, select the repository and click remove it.

Oracle Java 17 Released as New LTS, Here’s How to Install it in Ubuntu

September 15th 2021 at 19:30
By: Ji m

Oracle announced the release of Java 17 as the new Long-Term Support (LTS) release.

Java 17 LTS comes with thousands of performance, stability, and security updates, as well as 14 JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals). And Oracle will provide 8-year support for the release with security, performance, and bug-fix updates until 2029.

According to the release note, the next LTS will be Java 21 planned for September 2023, which changes the LTS release circle for every three years to two years.

What’s New in Oracle Java 17:

JDK 17 includes new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions. It also offers a language feature preview and incubating APIs to gather feedback from the Java community.

Updates in the release include:

  • Sealed classes and interfaces restrict which other classes or interfaces may extend or implement them.
  • Restore Always-Strict Floating-Point Semantics
  • New interface types and implementations for Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNGs), including jumpable PRNGs and an additional class of splittable PRNG algorithms (LXM).
  • Implement a Java 2D pipeline for macOS using the Apple Metal API.
  • New Arm 64-based Apple Silicon computers support.
  • Deprecate the Applet API for removal
  • Remove the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) Activation mechanism
  • Remove the Experimental AOT and JIT Compiler
  • Deprecate the Security Manager for removal
  • Strongly encapsulate all internal elements of the JDK, except for critical internal APIs such as sun.misc.Unsafe.
  • Pattern matching for switch expressions and statements, along with extensions to the language of patterns.
  • Improves Foreign Function and Memory API and Vector API.

How to Install Oracle Java 17 in Ubuntu:

Thanks to the “Linux Uprising” team ppa, an installer script has been created to automatically downloads and installs Oracle JDK 17 package, and sets Java 17 as the default Java version (setting JAVA_HOME, etc.) on 64-bit PC and arm64 devices, e.g., Rasperry Pi and Microsoft HoloLens 2.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/java

Type user password when it asks (no asterisk feedback) and hit Enter to continue.

2.) Refresh system package cache. The PPA provides packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, as well as two old Ubuntu LTS (14.04 and 16.04). And old Ubuntu releases need to manually update system cache by running the command below in terminal:

sudo apt-get update

3.) Finally install the script package via command:

sudo apt-get install oracle-java17-installer

Once the script starts, it brings you to the screen for the license. Press Tab key on keyboard to select OK and hit Enter.

Then answer “Yes” via arrow keys and hit Enter to start downloading Java 17 package from oracle website.

Terminal will indicate the downloading and installing process for you. When everything’s done successfully, use java --version or javac --version command to verify the installation.

That’s all. Enjoy!

Pika Backup is A Modern New Backup Utility for GNOME Desktop

September 13th 2021 at 19:06
By: Ji m

For personal data backup, Pika Backup is a simple GNOME app with an elegant user interface.

Pika Backup is free open-source tool to save your personal data into either local disk (e.g., an USB stick) or remote server using secure shell or sftp. As modern GTK3 apps, it has an adaptive UI design which is resizable and works great on different screen sizes & devices.

The utility is based on BorgBackup (aka Borg), features data de-duplication technique to save time and disk space since only changes are stored for daily backups. With the power of authenticated encryption technique, it also supports password protect for your data.

The app starts in a clean UI with a “Configure Backup” button to get started creating repositories to store backups. The top-left ‘+‘ icon is also present to do the same job.

You data can be saved to a remote server via ssh remote file transfer by specifying URL, e.g., “ssh://user@server.example.org/~/backup“, however borg need to be installed in the server side. For choice, the “sftp://” prefix can be used without borg.

Data can also be saved in local folder or removable devices, such as an USB drive. It will create a sub-folder in selected directory or device and save backup either encrypted or not. And, it will recognize the USB repository once you plug it in, allows you to either edit or select use the repository.

Pika – create or select a repository to save backup

After creating / choosing the backup repository, it brings you to the file selecting screen. There you can choose any file folders, and exclude any for the backup. When you done data selection, click the green “Back Up Now” button to start. It indicates the process with how many percentage finished and how much time left.

Pika file select and backup process

Backups are stored in unreadable files in repositories. You have to open the Pika Backup tool to mount backups using “Browse saved files” under Archives tab. Then recover files or folder via opened file manager using copy & paste actions. This is not friendly in my opinion since no recover option present.

The utility has limitations. Scheduled backups are not supported so far, and excluding files from a backup via regular expressions and alike is not implemented yet.

Install Pika Backup in Ubuntu Linux:

The Pika Backup software is available for most Linux via the universal Flatpak package.

Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by searching for and opening it from ‘Activities’ overview screen. When it opens, run following commands one by one:

1.) Install flatpak daemon, if you don’t have it, by running command:

sudo apt install flatpak

For Ubuntu 18.04, users have to add the Flatpak PPA first.

2.) Next add the flathub repository, considered as official place hosts flatpak packages:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

3.) Finally install the backup utility via this command:

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.World.PikaBackup

Like normal apps, you can search for and open it from ‘Activities’ overview screen.

Uninstall Pika Backup:

To remove the software, paste the command below into terminal and hit run:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gnome.World.PikaBackup

And you may clear up unused run-time by running command:

flatpak uninstall --unused

Krita Lime PPA Back with Krita 4.4.8 Package for Ubuntu 20.04 & 21.04

September 12th 2021 at 18:26
By: Ji m

For those prefer the classic .deb package, the Krita Lime PPA is finally updated with the latest v4.4.8 package for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20 and Ubuntu 21.04.

Krita Lime PPA:

Krita provides official Linux binaries in a few package formats, e.g., Flatpak and Appimage. The Krita Lime PPA (Personal Package Archive) is one of them maintained by Alexey Samoilov, which provides the classic deb packages of the graphics editor for all current Ubuntu releases (so far Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04) and their based systems, e.g, Linux Mint 20, Elementary OS 6 and Zorin OS 16.

For unknown reason the PPA package stopped at v4.4.3 for almost half an year, missing a few release updates. And finally it’s updated today with the recent Krita 4.4.8 package for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.04, while the Ubuntu 18.04 package is still being working.

Install the Latest Krita from the PPA

For those sticking to the apt package, you can add the PPA and upgrade the digital painting software via following steps.

1.) Add Krita Lime PPA.

Firstly, click the top-left ‘Activities’ button to bring up overview screen, then search for and open terminal. Or search for and open terminal from your system start menu.

When terminal opens, paste the command below into it and hit Enter:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kritalime/ppa

For running sudo command you have to type user password to authenticate, and then hit Enter to continue.

2.) Install or Upgrade Krita.

After adding the PPA repository, you can now open system update manager (Software Updater) app and upgrade this popular digital painting and 2D animation software if an old version was installed.

Or just run this command in a terminal window to install or upgrade it:

sudo apt install krita

Once installed, launch it from your system start menu and enjoy!

Uninstall Krita and Remove the PPA:

It’s always easy to remove the packages from your system. Also open a terminal window and run the command below will do the job:

sudo apt remove --autoremove krita krita-data

To remove the PPA, simply add --remove flag in the command used to add it. So the command will be:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kritalime/ppa

Or open the Software & Updates utility and remove relevant line from ‘Other Software’ tab.

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