Confirmed: Canonical Is Forking GNOME Control Center And GNOME Settings Daemon For Ubuntu 14.04

GNOME Control Center

A couple of days ago I was telling you about the possibility of Canonical forking GNOME Control Center and GNOME Settings Daemon for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. Well, this was confirmed by Robert Ancell, Technical Lead at Canonical, on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list.

The forks will have a limited lifespan and there won’t be any significant changes (only stability and security fixes) because once Ubuntu achieves convergence, it will move to the new Ubuntu System Settings.
The main reason for forking GNOME Control Center and GNOME Settings Daemon is that both are heavily patched for Unity 7 and it would require a lot of work to update them to the latest version. Because of this, Ubuntu GNOME was blocked on the version used in Ubuntu but since Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr will use forks of these packages, Ubuntu GNOME will be able to ship with updated GNOME Control Center and GNOME Settings Daemon.

For those who want to test the GNOME Control Center fork called Unity Control Center can use a PPA. If you encounter bugs, report them HERE.

For more information, see the original message on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list.


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Manipulate Images In Nautilus Or Nemo With `Image Tools` Extension

`Image Tools` is a handy extension for Nautilus or Nemo created by Lorenzo @ atareao.es, that lets you manipulate images from the Nautilus or Nemo context menu.
The extension lets you perform the following actions:
  • resize, rotate or flip images;
  • convert images from/to bmp, gif, jpg, png and more;
  • enhance images: change the brightness, color, contrast and sharpness;
  • apply effects such as: black and white, blur, border, contour, greyscale, negative, shadow, vintage or watermark.

While I for one don’t need the effects available with this extension (there’s GIMP for that or, if you only want predefined effects, there’s XnRetro), I find the convert / resize features very useful, especially for Nemo since there’s no other extension like Image Tools for it. But I’m sure some of you will find the effects / image enhancement features included with this extension useful.
To use the extension, all you have to do is select an image or multiple images in Nautilus / Nemo, right click and from the Image tools submenu select the desired action:

Nautilus Image Tools
Nemo Image Tools

Here are screenshots with the options available for some of the image manipulation features included in this Nemo / Nautilus extension:

Enhance, vintage and watermark come with a dialog that lets you adjust various settings and there’s also a preview which shows the original image and the image after applying the selected effect. However, the preview only works for one image so if you want to apply an effect to multiple images, you’ll have to do it without a preview. The other effects available with this extension don’t have previews, at least in the current version.

Install Nautilus / Nemo Image Tools in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

To install Nautilus Image Tools in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/nautilus-extensions
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nautilus-image-tools

Then, restart Nautilus:

nautilus -q

If you use Nemo, install Nemo Image Tools in Ubuntu or Linux Mint using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/nemo-extensions
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo-image-tools

And restart Nemo:

nemo -q

via atareao.es: nautilus | nemo


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Pinguy OS 13.10 Released [Screenshots, Video]

Pinguy OS 13.10 (based on Ubuntu 13.10) has been released with GNOME 3.10 by default, along with some new tweaks.

Pinguy OS is a remastered Ubuntu with a lot of useful default applications – great for those who don’t like to do a lot of tweaking and want an OS that “just works”.
This is the final 13.10 release but it’s called beta because only LTS releases are considered stable

Non-LTS Pinguy OS releases use bleeding edge software – for instance, the latest 13.10 ships with XBMC 13 alpha as well as GNOME 13.10 which isn’t included by default in Ubuntu 13.10 so it’s not considered fully stable.
The latest Pinguy OS 13.10 ships with the GNOME 3.10 desktop with GNOME Shell as the default “shell”, customized with various extensions. Since GNOME 3.10 is used, it means you’ll get all the goodies available in the latest stable GNOME, which aren’t available in Ubuntu 13.10 by default: client side decorations for applications such as GNOME Tweak Tool, GNOME Documents and so on, the new GNOME Shell System Menu, pagination in the GNOME Shell app picker, all the System Settings improvements included in GNOME 3.10 and more. You can read more about what’s new in GNOME 3.10, HERE (also see: How to install GNOME 3.10 in Ubuntu 13.10).

Pinguy OS 13.10 video

Below you can watch a quick Pinguy OS 13.10 overview:


(direct video link)

GNOME Shell customizations

Pinguy OS 13.10 continues to use Docky, like in the previous releases: a bottom dock used as a taskbar / app launcher and a second dock at the left with auto-hide enabled by default, which lets you quickly access the folders in your home directory.

For the menu, Pinguy OS 13.10 uses Gno-menu, a traditional styled GNOME Shell menu “that aims to offer all the essentials in a simple uncluttered intuitive interface“. The Activities hot corner is disabled by default but you can enable it from the Gno-menu preferences or you can access the Activities Overview by using the Super (Windows) key:

Other GNOME Shell extensions enabled by default in Pinguy OS 13.10:

  • Frippery move clock: moves the clock on the right;
  • Media player indicator: Ubuntu Unity-like sound indicator;
  • Messaging Menu: Unity-like messaging menu;
  • TopIcons: shows legacy tray icons on the GNOME Shell Top Bar;
  • User Themes: lets you change the GNOME Shell theme;
  • Workspace indicator: displays an indicator on the GNOME Shell Top Bar that indicates the current workspace and lets you switch between workspaces;
  • Appsearch: searches the software repository and provides results in the GNOME Shell overview.
  • Ignore request hide titlebar: makes GNOME Shell ignore requests to hide the titlebar for maximized windows.

Important: there’s a bug and all GNOME Shell extensions are turned off after a reboot. See THIS Pinguy OS Forums post for a fix.
For the GTK theme, Pinguy OS 13.10 uses Zukitwo, with elementary window borders and Zukitwo as the default GNOME Shell theme. The default icon theme is the beautiful Faience Azur, but more are available, like elementary, all the Faience and Faenza icon themes and more.

Tweaks available by default

Pinguy OS 13.10 ships with various tweaks that contribute to a great default experience:
  • Pipelight is installed by default so you can watch Netflix and other video streaming services that require Silverlight in Pinguy OS, without having to configure anything;
  • TLP, a tool that applies various tweaks to your laptop to save battery power, is installed by default in the latest Pinguy OS 13.10;
  • zram-config, an upstart script that enables Zram, is used by default for better performance. With this tweak, a RAM based block device is created which acts as a swap disk, but is compressed and stored in memory instead of swap disk (which is slow), allowing very fast I/O and increasing the amount of memory available before the system starts swapping to disk;
  • preload is installed by default – this is a daemon that stores the frequently used files in memory for faster startup times;
  • Profile Sync Daemon, a tool that moves the web browser profile to RAM, reducing disk writes and providing increased speed and responsiveness, is installed by default but not enabled. For how to enable/configure it, see THIS article.

Default applications

In Pinguy OS 13.10, Nemo is the default file manager, replacing Nautilus. Along with Nemo, there are also two nice plugins installed by default: IMDB Thumbnailer (sets movie covers fetched from IMDB as thumbnails in Nemo / Nautilus) and Cover Thumbnailer (displays images as folder thumbnails, useful for image folders or music folders that include cover art):

IMDB Thumbnailer with Nemo file manager – screenshot via PinguyOS Forum
Another interesting change in the latest Pinguy OS 13.10 is the addition of the Windows version of Adobe Flash, used instead of the native Linux Flash (which only receives bugfixes) thanks to Pipelight. And also, as I mentioned above, Silverlight has been added and enabled by default with the help of Pipelight:

Native Firefox with Adobe Flash Player 11.9 and Microsoft Silverlight plugins, both running under Wine with Pipelight
Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots
Netflix under Pinguy OS 13.10 (screenshot via PinguyOS forum)

A new default application has been added: Variety, a cool wallpaper changer that can automatically download wallpapers from sources such as Wallbase, Flickr, Wallpapers.net and more.

Among the applications included by default with the latest Pinguy OS 13.10 are: Firefox 25, Thunderbird 24.1.1, LibreOffice 4.1.3, Nemo 2.0.8, Clementine 1.2.0 (but 1.2.1 is available as an update) Steam 1.0.0.45, Skype 4.2.0.11 VLC 2.0.8, GNOME Documents 3.10, Empathy 3.10.2, Deluge 3.6, Calibre 1.13.0, Cheese 3.10, XBMC 13 alpha, Spotify 0.9.4.183, GNOME Tweak Tool 3.10.1 and Ubuntu Software Center 13.10, among others, on top of GTK 3.10.5 and GNOME Shell 3.10.2.1.
Like Ubuntu 13.10, the latest PinguyOS includes the 3.11.0 Ubuntu Linux Kernel, Xorg server 1.14.3 and Mesa 9.2.1.
And as usual, codecs, Java (icedtea and OpenJRE), G-talk plugin and so on are all installed by default.

Download Pinguy OS 13.10 (beta 2 – final)

For support visit the Pinguy OS Forum.


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Oracle Java PPA Updated With ARM Support

Java ARM

Starting today, both Oracle Java 7 and Java 8 (JDK) installers available in the WebUpd8 Java PPA support ARM.

Oracle Java 7 supports ARM v6/v7 Hard Float and Soft Float ABI while Oracle Java 8 only supports ARM v6/v7 Hard Float ABI (there’s no JDK 8 ARM Soft Float ABI archive available for download on Oracle’s website).
Currently, the Oracle installer ARM support should be considered experimental because I’ve tested it on a single device (ARM v7 v7 Hard Float). If you encounter bugs, report them here or via email (see the Contact page above).
Please note that the browser plugin, javaws and jvisualvm are not available in Oracle JDK7 and JDK8 so obviously, they won’t be installed by the WebUpd8 Oracle Java installer.

Install Oracle Java 7 or Java 8 in Ubuntu / Linux Mint / Debian via PPA

Oracle Java 8 is available as an early access release so it’s recommended you use Oracle Java 7 instead. Furthermore, the Oracle servers for JDK 8 are usually very slow and the download may not be successful, causing the package installation to fail – if that occurs, you can try to manually download the .tar.gz and place it under /var/cache/oracle-jdk8-installer, then the installer should use the local file instead of downloading it.

To add the WebUpd8 Oracle Java (JDK) PPA in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update

Then, to install Oracle Java 7 (JDK7) in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

Or, to install Oracle Java 8 (JDK8), run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

If you use Debian, use the commands below to add the WebUpd8 Oracle Java repository (PPA):
su -
echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu precise main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
echo "deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu precise main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys EEA14886
apt-get update

(Debian) And then, install Oracle Java 7:

apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

(Debian) Or Oracle Java 8:

apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Also see:

image via


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