Nov 29, 2016

Nemo 3.2.0 With Unity Patches And Without Cinnamon Dependencies Available In New PPA For Ubuntu 16.04 And 16.10

Nemo 3.2.0 with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies is available for Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10. To make it easy to go back to Nemo 2.8.0 for Ubuntu 16.04 users in case something doesn't work properly (because there were quite a few under the hood changes in Nemo), I decided to upload the latest Nemo 3.2.0 to a new PPA.

Nemo 3.2.0 Unity

For those not familiar with Nemo, this is the default Cinnamon file manager, forked from the old Nautilus 3.4. Nemo features include:
  • dual pane (can be enabled from the View menu or using the F3 key)
  • unified, configurable toolbar (you can show or hide the up, next, home, open in terminal, new folder, search button and more);
  • built-in actions, scripts and extensions manager;
  • treeview sidebar option;
  • re-worked statusbar with zoom controls, free space info, as well as options to toggle displaying the places sidebar, treeview or completely hide the sidebar;
  • the main toolbar, menubar, and statusbar can be hidden;
  • built-in "Open as root" and "Open in terminal" context menu items;
  • "Set as Wallpaper" context menu for images;
  • sidebar: indicators under each drive, displaying the free/used space;
  • improved the Open With dialog;
  • option to resize individual desktop icons;
  • much more.

Nemo 3.2.0 with two panes and plugin manager

Nemo has received quite a few improvements since version 2.8.x (which is available in the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA), such as:
  • option to choose on which monitor to show the desktop folder (icons). This can be changed via Dconf Editor (org > nemo > desktop > desktop-layout), and can be set to show desktop icons on primary monitor, on remaining monitors, or on all monitors (default is primary only).
  • fixed wrong desktop size with GTK 3.20;
  • re-enabled desktop type-to-select feature;
  • option to double-click empty area to go to parent directory (can be enabled in the Nemo Preferences, under Behavior);
  • only append .desktop to desktop files when they actually need it. Trusted desktop files (ones that typically get made and placed on the desktop) don't show their extension, so when you try to rename them, the new name needs .desktop appended to it;
  • many other improvements and bug fixes.

For a complete Nemo changelog, see THIS page.

This PPA provides Nemo without Cinnamon dependencies (well, one is needed for translations: cinnamon-l10n, and is provided by the PPA) and with Unity patches, such as Unity Launcher quicklists and progress bar support, GNOME / Unity Control Center support, patch to draw the desktop background (wallpaper), and various other minor tweaks / fixes for Unity.

While Nemo from this PPA is patched for Unity, it should work with other desktop environments as well, like GNOME (Shell) or Xfce, although I didn't test it.

Note that for Ubuntu 16.10, I disabled the "Recent" sidebar item, because it doesn't work. It does work, and is enabled by default, in Ubuntu 16.04.



Install Nemo with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies in Ubuntu 16.10 or 16.04


Important: do not use this PPA if you use Linux Mint or if you use the Cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu! Also, if you've added any Cinnamon PPAs, you'll have to purge them before using this Nemo PPA.

To add the Nemo 3 PPA (new PPA; the old WebUpd8 Nemo PPA still has Nemo 2.8.x!) and install Nemo with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo3
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nemo

To install Nemo extensions, you can either search for "nemo" in Synaptic, or install them via command line - you can find the available extensions HERE.


Optional: set Nemo as the default file manager


To set Nemo as the default file manager (including setting Nemo to manage the desktop), use the following commands:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false
xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search
(the first command above disables Nautilus from handling the desktop, and the second command sets Nemo as the default app to open directories)


How to revert the changes


To revert the changes, use Nautilus to draw the desktop instead of Nemo:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

And set Nautilus back as the default file manager:
xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

To remove the PPA and all the Nemo packages (including the Nemo extensions), use:
sudo apt remove nemo nemo-*
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-nemo-*.list


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Nov 22, 2016

Vivaldi Browser Sees New Stable Release

Vivaldi browser

Vivaldi, the browser aimed at power users, was updated to version 1.5 today, bringing support for bulk tab commands, smart-home lighting integration, and more.

As a reminder, Vivaldi browser is built using open source technologies, like the Blink engine, Node.js, and React.js, but is not open source software. It includes features such as tab stacks, Opera-like Speed dial which supports multiple folders, as well as built-in notes, and a tool called Quick Commands, that can be used to search through the Vivaldi history, open tabs, settings, bookmarks and more.

Vivaldi browser
Vivaldi 1.5 reader view

Changes in Vivaldi 1.5 include:
  • Vivaldi now integrates with Hue color lights from Philips, which allows the browser to "synchronize your physical surroundings with the color of the web";
  • you can now apply bulk commands to tabs, including dragging them into stacks or to a new window (hold Ctrl to select multiple tabs);
  • the build-in notes can now automatically attach a screenshot of a web page;
  • a reader mode button is now available in the address bar, and a configurable keyboard shortcut for it was added;
  • built-in Chromecast support;
  • support for delta updates on Windows

For more information and a complete changelog, see THIS page.


Download Vivaldi


Download Vivaldi (available for Linux: 32bit and 64bit deb and rpm, Windows and Mac)


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Nov 18, 2016

Recent Notifications Indicator Lets You Access Missed Desktop Notifications

Recent Notifications is an Ubuntu Indicator that collects desktop notifications, displaying them in its menu. This is useful if you missed some important notification for various reasons, like being away from the computer, etc.

Ubuntu recent notifications

I've covered Recent Notifications before, however, the last article on WebUpd8 dates back to 2011, so I decided to post another article about it (and redirect the old ones to this one), especially since the indicator changed / improved since then.

Recent Notifications indicator collects notifications sent with libnotify to a notification daemon, such as NotifyOSD, and supports Unity, Xfce, MATE and GNOME Flashback session.

Features:
  • collect notifications and display the 5 (this is configurable) most recent notifications. Older notifications can be accessed by clearing some of the most recent notifications;
  • clear individual or all notifications;
  • option to ignore notifications by application name;
  • GTK3 version only: links in notifications are clickable;
  • keyboard support: you can dismiss notifications using your keyboard. Press space to dismiss the notification but leave the indicator open, or press enter to dismiss the notification and close the indicator menu.

The Recent Notifications indicator menu allows removing individual notifications or clearing all notifications, without any other options. However, the indicator does support some customization via Dconf Editor. If you don't have Dconf Editor, you can install it using the following command:
sudo apt install dconf-editor

Using Dconf Editor, navigate to net > launchpad > indicator > notifications (or notifications-gtk2), and you'll find 3 configurable options for Recent Notifications: blacklist, hide-indicator, and max-items:

Ubuntu Recent Notifications dconf

Note that if you had to install the GTK2 version (if you're using Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10), both "notifications" and "notifications-gtk2" will show up - you'll need to change the options for "notifications-gtk2".

The last two options are self-explanatory, so I'll only explain the blacklist option. This allows blacklisting applications so their notifications are not collected by Recent Notifications.

The blacklist feature can be used to filter out less important notifications, like those sent by a music player, or the Sound Indicator (which displays notifications when changing the volume, something that's not really useful to have in Recent Notifications).

For example to blacklist Sound Indicator notifications from showing up in Recent Notifications, set the "blacklist" value using Dconf Editor to:
['indicator-sound']
Blacklisting the Sound Indicator worked in my test under Unity, but it didn't under Xfce (Xubuntu).

For applications, simply enter the application name. Note that the app name is case sensitive. For instance, to blacklist Rhythmbox, use:
['Rhythmbox']

To blacklist multiple items, separate them with a comma, then a space. For instance, to blacklist both the Sound Indicator and Rhythmbox, use:
['indicator-sound', 'Rhythmbox']


Install Recent Notifications


For MATE and Xfce, the Indicator Applet / Indicator Plugin is required for this to work (it must be added to the panel). Also, for Ubuntu MATE versions older than 16.10, you'll need to install the GTK2 version of Recent Notifications.


To install Recent Notifications in Ubuntu, Xubuntu, or Ubuntu MATE, you can use its official PPA. To add the PPA and update the software sources, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
sudo apt update

Then, to install the Recent Notifications GTK3 indicator, use the command below:
sudo apt-get install indicator-notifications

If you use Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10, you'll need the GTK2 version, which you can install using the following command:
sudo apt install indicator-notifications-gtk2

Once installed, restart the session (logout/login) and Recent Notifications should start automatically.

Report any bugs you may encounter @ Launchpad.


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Nov 17, 2016

Bypass ISP Website Censorship With Alkasir 2.0

Alkasir is a free, open source website censorship circumvention tool, available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Android and iOS versions are "main objectives for 2016". For now it only works with Google Chrome.

alkasir website censorship circumvention tool

Besides allowing users to access censored websites, the application also keeps you informed about URLs that are still blocked and those which have been unblocked.

Alkasir was launched in 2009 as a Windows-only closed source application however, with version 2.0, released in 2016, the application became free, open source software, and it gained support for Linux and Mac.

It's important to mention from the start that Alkasir was created to bypass restrictions imposed by ISPs, "to allow users to access information about their countries and regions that are concealed by the states mainly because of political reasons. An example would be news websites that cover protests, expose corruption, promote open online discussions and debates on political, social and cultural issues, etc.".

Its goal is not to unblock websites / services that exclude certain countries on purpose, like Pandora, Netflix, Spotify and so on, and it will not work with such websites. Its developers can't afford to support bandwidth-hungry websites and keep the service free.

Alkasir features:
  • to unblock restricted websites, Alkasir uses its own proxy servers (and the data is encrypted), which it activates only for blocked websites;
  • keeps you informed about which URLs are still blocked and which have been unblocked;
  • optimized for speed: since Alkasir does not support bandwidth-intensive websites, the strain on the proxy servers is reduced considerably, resulting in fast access to blocked websites;
  • it does not save IP addresses or any personal data that could directly identify a particular device or user on the Internet;
  • automatic updates.

Since the Alkasir website lacks some information that's provided in its web interface, here are some useful links from its GitHub page:

Note that while I like to test everything I post on WebUpd8, I couldn't test Alkasir because my ISP doesn't censor / block any websites.

I decided to write an article about Alkasir because Lantern, a somewhat similar tool which I covered on WebUpd8 a while back, which was initially free to use, requires a paid subscription for unlimited usage for some time.


Download and usage


Alkasir is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. The GUI (tray / AppIndicator) is available on Mac and Linux for 64bit only. For Linux 32bit (without a GUI) there are separate instructions for how to setup Alkasir.

Setting up Alkasir (with a GUI) is fairly easy. Download Alkasir (in case the website is blocked by your ISP, here's a direct link to its GitHub download page - you'll need the "-gui" binary), extract it and simply double click the "alkasir" executable to run it. You'll also need to install the Alkasir Chrome extension.

Next, from the Alkasir tray / AppIndicator menu, select "Open in browser". This will open the Alkasir web UI in your default browser. For the first step, you'll simply have to select the language and location.

In the next (and final) step, called "Browser integration", click the "Copy to clipboard" button:

alkasir website censorship circumvention tool

... then right click the Alkasir Chrome extension icon, select "Options", and on the extension options page, paste the code copied in the step above:

alkasir website censorship circumvention tool


That's it!

The language/location settings as well as the browser integration code can be accessed later, from the Alkasir settings, which can be accessed both via the Chrome extension or by selecting "Open in web browser" from the Alkasir tray / AppIndicator menu.


If you're running a 32bit Linux distribution, there's no GUI binary available, but you can use the Alkasir Client binary, which is available for 32bit.

To set up the Alkasir Client (without a GUI), firstly install the Chrome extension, then download the 32bit alkasir-client binary from GitHub, extract it and run it.

E.g. if you've extracted it in your home folder, open a terminal and run Alkasir by using the following command:
~/alkasir-client-linux-386/alkasir-client_linux_386

Next, you'll need the Alkasir client authentication key. You can find this in the settings.json file from the ~/.alkasir folder. To open this file in Gedit so you can copy the key, simply use the following command:
gedit ~/.alkasir/settings.json

The code you're looking for should be on line 6 ("ClientAuthKey") - copy this code, then right click the Alkasir Chrome extension, select "Options" and under "browser code", paste this key and right after it, add "::8899" (without the quotes).

Now you should be able to complete the Alkasir setup process by clicking on the Chrome extension icon and following the instructions.


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