Category Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu Unveils Web Music Streaming Service

It’s official, Ubuntu has rolled out a Web Music addition to their Ubuntu One service.

An addition to the Ubuntu One “cloud service” now allows all users with a paid subscription to save, store and stream music directly from a web browser. After logging into your  UbuntuOne  control panel, there is a new tab showing off the features, which include offline listening, access to the vast Ubuntu One Music Store and 20GB of storage, with a monthly subscription. Of course there is also a 30 day free trial for the service should you want to try before you buy.

Previous to today, the service was only available from a mobile device running iOS or Android. A free app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, provided mobile users with a way to stream and access all the content stored in their cloud. Although users have access to the iTunes Cloud and Google Music on their respective handsets, many use alternatives that provide “personalized  radio” based on recommendations, tag matching and “crowdsourced” content such as Spotify and Pandora. Unfortunately UbuntuOne Web Music does not include this, but playlist creation, queue management and shuffle might be enough for you.


It really does seem as if Ubuntu is laying the framework and infrastructure for eventually providing a mobile operating system or partnering with an OEM for shipping U1 services directly on devices. They have a niche market with Ubuntu installations on many personal computers, they have cross-platform sync through a proven cloud service that allows file storage, contact and note sync, and now completely cross-platform music streaming.

Ubuntu says they will continue building out their One service and 2012 will be a big year. The mobile space has been heating up for a long time, and although there might not be any room for a new platform, providing tightly integrated services could be a real differentiating factor for many OEMs. Hopefully Canonical sees this opportunity and can seize it, truly bringing Ubuntu to the masses.

Ubuntu 12.04 Named, The Countdown Begins

The very popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, has received its new name. With every public frozen release of Ubuntu, a code-name is chosen which traces its roots back to when Canonical took the reigns and pushed out ‘Warty Warthog’ in 2004. Since then, each 6 month release has received a name made up of a carefully selected adjective paired to the name of an animal. From 8.10 ‘Intrepid Ibex’ to 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’,  we have now arrived at the latest iteration of Ubuntu nearing release – 12.04.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd, explains the thought process for coming up with the newly named release, Precise Pangolin.

We’re looking for something phonetic, something plausible and something peaceful too. We’ll avoid the petulant, the pestilent, the phlegmy (phooey!), the parochial, the palliative and the psychotic. We’re aiming for mildly prophetic, and somewhat potent, without wanting to be all pedantic and particular. Phew.

Let’s ask the question differently what are we trying to convey? 12.04 is an LTS. So we want it to be tough and long-lasting, reliable, solid as a rock and well defended. It’s also going to be the face of Ubuntu for large deployments for a long time, so we want it to have no loose ends, we want it to be coherent, neat.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the  Precise Pangolin.

So, what on earth is a pangolin and why is it precise?

It’s very similar to an ant-eater. It has armor to protect itself, it’s versatile and can adapt to the environment. Fitting name for an operating system that needs to be robust and reliable, yet friendly and approachable by a new user.

To anticipate the launch, the Ubuntu team has put up an online countdown timer. It’s vague and they’re purposely skimping on details to create a stir. The timer runs in real-time and will end in just over 24 hours, when everything will, hopefully, be revealed.

TeamViewer – Best Desktop Sharing App for Linux

Have you ever had to help someone with their computer over the phone or using text chat? It’s not easy. You can’t be sure that they are in the right place, doing what you want them to do. That’s why remote desktop (screen) sharing applications are so great.

These applications are called by a variety of names such as, remote access, remote support, remote desktop, screen sharing, and desktop sharing. The main idea behind them is that they allow one computer to see another computer’s screen over a network or the internet.

My wife and I have many friends and relatives that come to us for PC help and advice. We’ve used a number of desktop sharing apps over the years and discovered that TeamViewer is one of the best, and it’s free!

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time using Linux lately, I was happy to find that TeamViewer is also available for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac and Smartphones. It’s almost as good as being there, because I can control the remote computer as if I were sitting directly in front of it. When I need to, I can change the direction to show my PC’s screen to the other person. It even makes it easy to share files with the person on the other end.

This image below shows how simple it is to set up. (click image to enlarge it)

How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

Earlier today, we reported that Firefox 4 has just been released. Why do you need instructions to install the newest Firefox in Ubuntu? If you go into your Ubuntu Software Center, you’ll see that you more than likely have Firefox 3.6 installed, and it’s “up to date”. Naturally, they don’t add programs to the Software Center as soon as they are released. That would be foolish if there was something wrong with the new version. I don’t blame them for waiting at least a few days for the adventure seekers to provide some feedback.

There are three ways that I know of to add the newest Firefox to Ubuntu.

firefox 4 Continue reading How to Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux Gets a Manga Fan Magazine – Ubunchu!

How many Ubuntu fans also like Japanese Manga comics? My guess would be that it’s a pretty high percentage. The author of this comic series, Hiroshi Seo, is apparently a big fan of Ubuntu, the Linux operating system that many of us have come to love.

ubuchu1

The love for a great free operating system plays the main role in this Ubuntu Romantic School Comedyseries. I leafed through the first two of the six episodes available. The graphics are well done and the plot is typically adolescent, as I had expected. There’s no need to worry about this series though, I’d rate it as safe for kids to read.

If you are a Linux fan, and you also like Manga, you may want to waste a little time reading Ubunchu.

animals-penguinVisit this site to read Ubunchu! in English and several other languages.

[Via HowToGeek]


Install The Ubuntu Font On Windows Or Mac [Free Font Download]

greenshot_2010-10-11_22-03-15

This is gonna be a quickie. If you’ve installed the latest Ubuntu 10.10, loved the new default Ubuntu font and want to have the same font available on your other systems running Windows or Mac, you may look no further. The Ubuntu font, which is actually a family of fonts, is not only royalty free and open source, but also gratis. It is an open-type ttf based font family, designed by renowned font foundry Dalton Maag, which is based in London.

If you’ve come to believe that Ubuntu is bad at typography, this is the moment where you should give it another chance.

Download the Ubuntu Font [Take the link for the zip file, in the second β line]

Ubuntu One Music Store is Official

The Ubuntu One Music Store will be available by default with Rythmbox music player in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The music store will have awesome plugin support as well.

[ Image via: http://www.insidesocal.com/ ]
One shortcoming here is that very few of us actually use Rythmbox. I have spent a larger part of my life looking for alternative music players and have settled for Amarok. So, the Music Store will probably be a widely known but less used feature.

The Music Store will be powered by 7Digital which offers a large selection of songs without DRM protection. This makes them an instant hit with many people who hate DRM. The songs purchased through the music store will be available in a 256 Kbps bitrate and will be of high quality. The store has a variety of payment option and buying music is a lot easier. The user can search for a particular track by artist, genre, album and track.

The service requires us to have a Ubuntu One account and all purchases are made through the account. The account is available for free and offers a cloud backup of 2 GB. This can synchronize all our data across computers. Another interesting fact is that each song can be downloaded three times on different computers.

As more and more users are getting interested in this, they are questioning the lack of flac and ogg formats. I guess, MP3 is the way of the world and the rightful choice.

Simple Scan :for simple scanning in Ubuntu Lucid

Canonicals is working hard on it’s Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The next release of the Ubuntu distro will bring new and exciting features and some new software. The latest in this list, is software which makes scanning of documents simple and easy. The application is simply named “Simple Scan”.

Robert Ancell is the lead developer behind Simple Scan and the application has recently been accepted to be included in Ubuntu 10.04. Not only does it allow scanning of images, you can also attach them to your favorite email client in a few clicks.

Simple scan is the simplest and easiest alternative to other software ,which allows you to scan and doing an array of other things. The application has been written in C. The development page gives more information on download, release dates and bug fixes.

Besides scanning, Simple Scan has some intelligent features, like saving files as image sequences and pdf files. You can also crop images before saving them. These features come in very handy when scanning books and multi-page documents.

Though utterly simple,Simple Scan is not the best scanning software. If you are interested in some advanced options, you might find Simple Scan extremely restrained. In that case, you can go for XSane as an excellent alternative.

[ Via: Starry Hope ]

No more Humanity theme by default in Ubuntu

Ubuntu has been using the Humanity theme right from the first version. The theme blended in as an integral part of the default OS. This time though, Mark Shuttleworth has some better plans for the default Ubuntu theme. In an interview on February 19 2010, Shuttleworth suggested that the Humanity theme will possibly be replaced by a new “light theme”, from Ubuntu 10.04 onwards. The exact quote as appeared on the blogspot of MadsRH, was given as:

…we’ll have some new styling which is going to be the starting point of another five year view. We’ve been Human for the last five years and now we’re gonna be light oriented.

From this quote, it might be inferred, that Mark Shuttleworth is referring to the Elementary theme for Ubuntu. The Elementary Theme is popular for its set of breadcrumbs, which are much better than in any other theme available for Ubuntu.

Clearly, nothing has been explicitly mentioned in this speech. Further, at the AskMark session at Ubuntu OpenWeek, Mark Shuttleworth talked about changes in the boot process and the login process but nothing about any new GTK theme.

If this change gets through, it will be a remarkable change in the UI and will mark the end of an era.

Animated wallpaper pack for Ubuntu

I was stumbling through the Ubuntu customization websites yesterday and found this awesome wallpaper which changes with the time of the day.
animated_wallpaper The wallpaper pack can be downloaded from this location. It is from Gnome-Look and is totally safe to use.

Using the wallpaper is as simple as it can get.

  1. Unzip the file named AllDayLong.tar.gz to a convenient location on your hard drive.
  2. Navigate to the folder created as “AllDayLong” or a custom folder, in case you created one.
  3. Open a terminal window in that location. If the option is not available, navigate to the location from your terminal.
  4. Execute the command
    sudo sh install

    This will generate an XML file in your folder( the present working directory in the terminal) and will generate the output as shown.
    terminal

  5. Now, go to your desktop, right click on an empty space and select Change Desktop Background.
  6. In the window that opens, select add and from the file selection dialogue, select the XML file we just generated.
    change_desktop_background

From now on, your wallpaper is animated with the color and the wallpaper changing with the time of the day.

If you liked this customization, you might want to check our previous tweaks and software compilations at this post.

Yahoo! will be Firefox’s Default Search engine on Ubuntu

Rick Spencer is Engineering Manager at canonical. This recent email from Rick Spencer says that there are two new improvements in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx and the developers have been asked to arm Lucid with these changes as it nears its release date.

Although these changes are sure to appear by default, the user will also have an option to switch back to the previous option in case they liked them better. The reason for this change, as told by Rick Spencer is,

I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. This change will help provide these resources as well as continuing to respect our user’s default search across Firefox.

The two changes mentioned in this letter are:

  • The default search homepage will change to the Yahoo! search homepage if we change the default search engine preference to Yahoo!. If we do not change the default search preference to Yahoo!, the current Google search page will remain intact as the homepage. This change currently applies to Yahoo! and Google only.
  • The default search provider in Firefox will be changed to Yahoo!. This setting can be changed by the above mentioned method.

This change brings up many questions like “Why Yahoo!?”, “Did Google disagree to continue with the deal with Mozilla?” and “Did Yahoo! promise better revenues than Google, so well known for its love of Open Source”?

How To Restore Grub in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

A common problem many users face after installing either Linux or Windows on a system when the other is already present is an override of the default boootloader. Without a bootloader, the system is clueless about where to get boot data from. In such a case, you can try these simple steps to restore your grub menu with all the Operating Systems present in the list.


  • Boot from Ubuntu 9.10 or any Ubuntu 9.10 derivative live CD ( the CD from which you installed Ubuntu).

  • After the boot is complete, press alt+F2 to open a terminal.

  • Enter the command fdisk as
    sudo fdisk -l
    This lists all the partitions as shown.

  • Mount the drive marked as Linux under System ( the last column) using the command
    sudo mount “device” /mnt
    fdisk
    Replace “path” with the corresponding device ID under the Device Boot section. So, for the given screen-shot,
    my command will be
    sudo mount /dev/sda12 /mnt

  • After the mount is successful,  install grub with the command
    sudo grub-install –root-directory=/mnt “path”

  • Unmount the drive with
    sudo unmount /mnt


Now, restart your system. Your grub will be restored with both Windows and Linux in the menu.

Photoshop, iTunes and Evernote to appear on Ubuntu?

A recent post at ubuntufurums has posted a survey which asks users to vote on a survey. The survey asks for choices of software which should be available in Ubuntu by default. Surprisingly, this survey includes closed source and paid software like iTunes and Photoshop respectively. The survey was started by the admin at ubuntuforums and is the first time that users are allowed to have a choice in including software.

But, the question here is, how are those applications going to be available? Is it through Wine or through the repositories or are there Debian packages being manufactured for these softwares? That would be a point of interest for those who use these softwares for windows. Also, if they are available as paid software and third-party apps anyway, do we have to pay for them or are they available for free? If free will they have all the features or they will be some stripped down versions? Too many questions, no answers at the moment.
Also, this survey seems a bit contradictory as the application Gimp had plans of removal owing to its huge size. So now, if they include Photoshop wont it face the same questions? Or are they choosing it over Gimp, and still trying to make it look good? Time will tell.

Ubuntu Tweaks: Version 0.5.0 Release

Ubuntu Tweaks has released the version 0.5.0 of the software. Ubuntu tweaks is a revolutionary software which takes customizing Ubuntu to totally new heights. This betters our experience of using Ubuntu. It has got many new features like syncing data from the web, a better UI and lots more.

The new version supports only the latest full release of Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala. Given that, it also supports other Ubuntu based distros like Linux Mint 8, but has no support for older versions of Ubuntu.

The version 0.5.0 has made many major changes like:

  • Dropped support for any Ubuntu version before 9.10
  • Used native system icons in UI
  • A redesigned sidebar and title bar
  • Improved third party source, with data sync enabled.
  • Improved update manager
  • A show desktop button

The new version of Ubuntu tweaks will also allow automatic updates of the software list and this will keep the software list up-to-date, always. Also, the add-remove software which has been replaced by the  application center is much better in usability and updates the data from UTCOM, that is, the ubuntu-tweaks.com website.

Download Ubuntu tweaks at this page.

Lucid Lynx includes manual for Beginners

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx has plans of including a user manual for beginners. This will attract more migration from existing users of other OS like Windows and other Linux distributions. It will also help Ubuntu compete against Linux Mint, which is a Ubuntu derivative and has pushed through the distro list to come up to position #2, just after Ubuntu at #1.

The Ubuntu manual is a project with a complete guide on using Ubuntu from scratch, HowTo articles and comprehensive guides. The manual is written and maintained by the Ubuntu Manual Team. This project aims at providing a professional help system to advanced users and at the same time, keep it easy to use for beginners.

The manual is first expected to appear on the 10th of February, with the Alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The Final release will be ready on the 29th of April. The manual will be released and revised every six months and will be available as a pdf file.

This will not only attract more users to the OS, it will also give it a better share in the OS market. Ubuntu Lucid Lynx might include many revolutionary features compared to earlier Linux versions like 32 bit graphics, even better boot times and now a user manual. With a strict six months release cycle, it simply keeps getting better.