Category Archives: Open Source Software

Find Great Ubuntu Applications With Appnr

If you are a Ubuntu fan, you will come to love Appnr. Appnr is a free resource that indexes around 2000 unique applications and software for Ubuntu. You can simply browse through the categories to find a useful application or search by application name.

Each application is rated by users and shows the number of times it has been downloaded by users. If you like something you see, you can install it on your machine with a single click, or simply download it for later installation. You can also sort the applications by name, popularity or ratings. Accompanied with user submitted screen shots and specifications, you are sure to find enough information about each app before downloading it to your computer.

appnr

In addition to finding applications, you can also find useful Firefox Add-ons and Codecs to use with Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta Released [Downloads]

Hot on the heels of the openSUSE milestone 8 release, the Ubuntu community has released the beta version of Ubuntu 9.10, aka Karmic Koala.

Koala_by_DisenchantedPhotos[1]

There are several new exciting features included in the latest beta version of Ubuntu which include:

Upstart – An event based replacement on how tasks and services are started during the boot process.

Boot Experience – Improvements on the overall look and feel of booting the system.

Software Center – Ubuntu 9.10 include the Ubuntu Software center, which replaces the Add/Remove in the applications menu.

GNOME – Ubuntu 9.10 includes GNOME 2.28 desktop environment which replaces Pigdin with Empathy as the default instant message client. In addition to that, the login manager has undergone a complete rewrite to permit a more integrated login experience.

More features include:

  • Application development with Quickly
  • Kubuntu 9.10 which is the first Kubuntu netbook release.
  • Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Images.
  • Ubuntu One file sharing.
  • Linux kernel 2.6.31
  • hal deprecation.
  • New Intel video driver architecture.
  • ext4 by default.
  • GRUB 2 by default.
  • iSCSI installation
  • AppArmor
  • New Profiles
  • Libvirt
  • Uncomplicated Firewall

For the entire list of features read the Karmic Koala release page.

Ubuntu 9.10 Download Mirrors

Upgrading from Ubuntu 9.04

To upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2 and type in “update-manager -d” (without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release ‘9.10’ is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 on a server system: install theupdate-manager-core package if it is not already installed; edit/etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and setPrompt=normal; launch the upgrade tool with the commandsudo do-release-upgrade -d; and follow the on-screen instructions.

openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 8 Released Today

Today happens to be a relatively active day for Linux testers. Earlier in the day, Milestone 8 for Novell’s openSUSE 11.2 was released to the public for testing. The linux variant has got various bug fixes and feature additions, though it’s worth noting that it is a development build and is recommended only for those who can endure a few bugs and glitches here and there.

greenshot_2009-10-01_19-59-17 Milestone 8 for openSUSE 11.2 comes packed with the final artwork and branding of the operating system and fixes some of the most annoying bugs. Several changes have taken place between the last milestone and current one. The linux kernel has been updates to 2.6.31 and GNOME 2.28 RC is preinstalled on this build. Apart from the core, numerous packages have also been updated. OpenOffice, Pulseaudio, Samba and postgresql have been upped to their latest or most stable version. The themeing pack, as mentioned earlier, is now in place and kicking. If you’re feeling really adventurous, download this milestone here.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala’s Beta is also scheduled to be released later today. We’ll keep our eyes open and holler the moment it peeks out of the bushes.

Open Source Alcohol – FREE BEER!

The title is not wrong FREE BEER (it is in all caps) is a beer that is free as in freedom (libre) as opposed to free-of-charge and was conceived in an IT University in Copenhagen by a group of students and Superflex a Copenhagen based artist collective. This project aimed to put Open Source methods to use in the real world, and to educate the freedom that open source gave as opposed to free, closed-source projects (such as freeware). Freebeer

FREE BEER has been derived from the original project called Vores Øl v. 1. The recipe for FREE BEER is published under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike v2.5) license, which means that anyone can earn money from home brewed FREE BEER, and they can also modify the recipe as long as they publish their recipe under the same license and credit the original brewers.

The beer can be brewed at home (giving a new meaning for the reverse-derived homebrew, for tech-addicts), however make sure you know the laws around your country/region. In some places, the ingredients are hard to get and might not be legal. Printable brand logos are also available around the site to brand your alcohol   bottle!

The latest recipe (v 4.0) was last published in September of 08 so you know it’s been quite some time since a revision has come into force. Why not try a hand at it during your holidays?

gMusicBrowser : must have Ubuntu Software

I have tried out almost all music players on Linux, but none could handle all my needs. Most of them have a high initialization time, some are dead slow while some others faster ones seriously lack features.

gMusicBrowser
gMusicBrowser

But gMusicBrowser is possibly the best music player we can have on Linux, particularly Ubuntu in particular. Written in perl, this media player supports mp3, flac, ogg and mpc formats. With a GTK+ fontend, the UI is extremely smooth and lightweight, although not as visually appealing as QT based applications.

Some of the exclusive features of  gMusicBrowser are:

  1. Customizable layout, to arrange the player layout according to your needs.
  2. Support for playing songs from the same album, albums from the same artist and likewise.
  3. Mass tagging and renaming, with support for fetching tags from filename.
  4. Built in plugins for lyricc and last.fm scrobbling.
  5. Support for large libraries, making it more of a jukebox than a simple music player.

For those who use Amarok and Exaile, I recommend you try out gMusicBrowser at least once. [ Via WebUpd8 ]

[ Image via www.fyle.com ]

Ksplice : Boast new System Uptime Records

System uptime on Linux is a thing of glory for me. But being a Ubuntu user, my installation is forced into occasional reboots after applying all the updates and patches, especially the ones for the kernel.

Ksplice

Now all Linux users can boast of higher uptimes with Ksplice. Ksplice allows you to apply all the patches and updates to your system without rebooting the kernel, that is without restarting the computer.

Frequent reboots may be fine for a windows user, but if you are a Linux power user running a web-server, you may probably know the cost of bringing down the whole system for a twenty or thirty second reboot. In addition to that, the system is still vulnerable when the patches are to be applied at the next reboot, paving the way with an easy path to intrusions.

Ksplice takes controls of updates for the kernel from the Update manager and applies them live while the kernel is running. This helps not only web-servers but also regular desktop users who need higher uptimes.

All these features makes Ksplice a must have appplication for your Ubuntu Linux installation.

For download and more information on Ksplice, visit the Ksplice website.

Damn Small Linux – the bite-sized Linux distro

What if there was a Linux Distributable that has an FTP client, Firefox and two more web browsers, a word processor, a multi-platform IM client, a DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE and even a web server and a GUI interface and was about 50 MB in size? Surprised? Amazed? You should be, for this is Damn Small Linux which to my greatest pride was the first ever Linux distro I had ever used. Why? Because it was the first distro I knew that was so tiny that I could download it in minutes, and could also run live. Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux promised me, a Linux newbie at that time, what other distros with their monstrously obscure names such as Ubuntuand Fedoraand Red Hatcould not complete reversibility and NO formatting. Thus, I dove right in and burnt the distro to the CD. Once it launched I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the most usable and simple operating systems that is also very, very fast. Earlier today I stumbled upon DSL’s website and downloaded their latest version, bringing back with it the same usability, simplicity and good old memories of me smuggling in a mini-CD and installing it on one of the school’s computers, much to the chagrin of the teacher.

The main applications of DSL are aimed at being very light on RAM but very high in work efficiency. The window manager that is mostly used (FluxBox) is excellently usable and it makes no difference whether I am on an ancient computer (like my old laptop, for example) or a gaming rig (my desktop PC, for example) it is super-fast. The rest of the applications speak for themselves, and the inclusion of good ol’ Firefox is welcome (since I found working on Dillo to be slightly awkward).

Although I am not going into the details of this distro, because I urge you to try it out. With a 50 MB installation and minimum requirements being an Intel i486 (50 MHz) and 16 MB RAM, you really cannot go wrong with this one.

SubDownloader : Must have Ubuntu Software

SubDownloader is a software to better your movie watching experience on Ubuntu Linux. As the name suggests, with SubDownloader we can download subtitles and also share our existing subtitles with other users. Clearly, this is based on a peer to peer technology.

SubDownloader

SubDownloader can automatically download subtitles for your video files including VOB, DIVX, MPEG, AVI and other popular formats. Following the KISS ( Keep it simple stupid) principle, SubDownloader provides a clean and uncluttered interface which helps us search for subtitles faster than any other subtitle manager software.

Some of the features of SubDownloader as stated by their website are:

  1. Fast hashing, claims of hashing 27 GB of movies in 7 seconds.
  2. Recursively search folders, keeping you hassle free of any problems due to custom folder structures.
  3. Autodetect languages for subtitles.
  4. Upload entire season subtitles in less than a minute.

SubDownloader, is available for Gentoo, Archinux, Debian based distros and also for Windows and Mac.

To download SubDownloader and know more on the project, visit the SubDownloader homepage.

Ubuntu Theme Pack – for a Fresh Blue Look

My last Ubuntu theme had survived too long, and it was time I changed it. So, my new theme is a Blue theme and here are the specifications on how you can easily get it too.

Wallpaper:

Blue Dock
Blue Dock

The wallpaper for this theme  is from Deviantart, and gives a calm and serene look.

Download the wallpaper here : Download Blue Dock

View the Wallpaper Author’s gallery here  : dimage’s gallery

Theme:

Overgloss
Overgloss

Overgloss is the same theme used in Ubuntu Ultimate.

The theme can me downloaded at this location : Download Overglossed Theme

GDM:

Blue Swirl
Blue Swirl

The Blue Swirl GDM theme adds effect to your Ubuntu Login screen.

The Blue Swirl GDM theme can me downloaded at this location : Download Blue Swirl GDM Theme

Icon Pack:

Blue Icon
Blue Icon

The Blue Icon pack is the final step to getting a completely blue look for your Ubuntu installation.
Get the Blue Icon Pack here : Blue Icon pack for Ubuntu

Ubuntu Softwares and Tweaks : The Best List ever

Ubuntu is really the best Linux distro. It is said to be the best thing that happened to Linux. Now, the most frightening thing that occurs to people with the mention of Linux is the absolute lack of any software. Many people consider Linux to be a DIY Operating System.

Ubuntu Rocks
Ubuntu Rocks

Ubuntu, has change all that and here is a quick checklist of softwares which will make you stick to your Ubuntu installation for longer than your last Linux installation.

System Tweaks:

Limit CPU usage of individual processes and not just the complete system

RamDisk For faster  read/write, and data processing

Font smoothing in Ubuntu

Change MAC address

Boot recovery tool

Install fonts on Linux

Customize Ubuntu Startup

Web Browsing:

Opera 10 with Turbo Mode, for Linux

Photos, Video and Music Management and editing:

DigiKam, Photo manager for KDE

Play Youtube in MPlayer

Screencast creation tool

Utilities:

Open source Keystroke launcher Launchy

Create Custom Linux Distro

Manage and check your boot performance

Manage Fonts with ease on Ubuntu

A Partition manager and editor, much better than any windows software

Customizations:

Ubuntu theme pack : Green Theme

This is only a list to get you through using Ubuntu for the first time or in a totally different way. Share your tips and tricks with me to get them featured in the next edition of this list.

Serve Web Pages Faster With Squid

Squid is used to set up a fast web caching server with support for fast rendering and serving web-sites from intermediate servers. This not only speeds up browsing and file access on the client end, it also enhances the server end allowing load to be distributed across many caching servers lessening load on the actual server.

Squid
Squid

With Squid, we can heavily minimize bandwidth usage across networks.  Not only this, Squid allows us to route content requests to servers, and build cache server hierarchies. This allows further balancing of the cache within a network itself by creating content clusters. The cache system is currently available only for Apache servers.

Another good thing about Squid is that it caches only the content that is in frequent demand. This saves the creation of unnecessary caches. This caching works for HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and many other browser protocols.

The software is available for Windows as well as Linux, and is licensed under the GPL. The software will be of special use in places with slow Internet access or places with slow web servers. Another interesting factor is it’s support for FTP caching.

Currently, Squid is being integrated into firewalls and is used extensively by Content Delivery Networks.

To know more about Squid, visit the Squid Homepage .

Lifehacker Ubuntu Wishlist almost comes True

LifeHacker recently published a Ubuntu wish list. The list includes features LifeHacker wanted to see in the next release of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Logo
Ubuntu

[Logo from http://www.tu-harburg.de/]

This wish list includes

  1. A new look for the Software Source, and a better user interaction providing ample details, possibly wikis of all packages and softwares available from the software sources, provided the confusion with so many softwares, and most first timers usually installing the softwares with the highest star ratings.
  2. Support for dual booting Windows and Linux, given most people start their PC journey with a Windows powered PC, and then move to Linux later. This would make them stay on both, will be a strategic move.
  3. Clean user friendly and far from the conventional just another UI look.
  4. A cloud based backup system.
  5. A good Video Editor. There are very few good Video editing softwares, like KDENlive, but better ones are missing.

Very interestingly, the Ubuntu community has responded to this wish list positively.

  1. The Ubuntu software store as discussed earlier, has been the response to the first wish.
  2. As far as the boot-up and virtualization support is concerned, the support can be easily added, but another remarkable development is the betterment of the boot sequence and the boot-up time.
  3. The UI is being reinvigorated with the new Ayatana Project.
  4. The Alpha 5 of Ubuntu 9.1 is shipping with Ubuntu one which adds cloud support to Ubuntu.
  5. PiTiVi is a good video editing software available for Gnome. KDENlive is also developing really fast. We can hope to see them at par with many professional video editing softwares in near future.

Sources for all this information is Jono’s Blog.

You can also check out the LifeHacker wish list.

How to Install Skype in Ubuntu

Skype is the most popular client to make telephone calls over the Internet. Skype lets us make international calls without any limits. With Skype, we can also receive calls, although that service is not free of cost.

Skype

Now, Skype is easily available for windows, but it is not present in the default repositories  for Ubuntu Linux. To add Skype to your Ubuntu installation, here are three easy steps.

  1. Run this command from the command line. This adds support for Mediubuntu repositories.
    sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/feisty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
  2. This compound command adds the GPG key for Mediubuntu repositories.
    wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add - && sudo apt-get update
  3. This third and last command, installs Skype into your Ubuntu system.
    sudo aptitude install skype

If you had already enabled the Mediubuntu repositories,

you can execute this in the terminal to install Skype :

sudo apt-get install skype

This will install Skype into your system, which will be available under the Applications->Internet category.

CpuLimit : Limit Processsor Usage of Applications

Linux has an option of Frequency Scaling which lets us adjust the maximum CPU usage of the whole system instantaneously. But, sometimes we might like to selectively apply CPU resources and speeds to applications.

Beyond Limits

This is possible on Linux with CPU Limit. CPU Limit lets us limit the CPU usage of a particular application or a process by it’s PID ( Process ID )on a Linux system according to a percentage, the current usage being 100%.

Not only this, CPU Limit can automatically adjust itself according to the overall system load, so we can always use CPU limit safely, without the fear of causing any unbalanced activity.

Currently CPU Limit can only be used from the command line. For a detailed overview on how to use CPU Limit, you can check out this page.

CPU Limit has a minimum system requirement of the Linux Kernel 2.2. One notable fact here is that, if you have multi-CPU system, your maximum CPU frequency limit is not 100 % but n times 100, where n is the number of CPUs. Another limitation is that CPU Limit can only allow you to under-clock a process, but not over-clock it. But still, it is the first application of it’s kind for Linux.

To get CPU Limit, go to the SourceForge page on CPU Limit here : Download CPU Limit

DigiKam : Photo manager for KDE

I am not much of a KDE user but sometimes the features on offer from a KDE application are much more appealing than Gnome. One such application I recently came accross is DigiKam. DigiKam is a complete image editor, manager and one of the really good image organizers for Linux, besides Picasa.

With DigiKam, you can easily sort and search through images. DigiKam can organize your images based on tag, category, search result, date and time and a timeline. That makes it a complete photo manager.

Digikam
Digikam

DigiKam has the options of using ratings for individual images as well as to albums. The plugin support extends the use of DigiKam from the desktop to the web. There are numerous plugins to add support for Facebook ,Flickr, Google Earth and for creating web-albums. You also have the option to create easy web-galleries.

DigiKam also supports on the fly editing to images when they are being transferred to the computer from the Digicam.

The image editing features offered by DigiKam are red eye removal, color adjustment and various image effects. The newer version has support for GPS Locator, Metadata editor and iPod Photo Uploader.

The application is written in C++ and uses the QT frontend. It is also planning to use MySQL for the database which will allow the database to be shares and synchronized across a network. The development team behind DigiKam is quite responsive.

You can try DigiKam here: Get DigiKam [ approx. 13.5 MB ]

DigiKam is also available as a windows software: Get DigiKam for Windows