Feb 26, 2015

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet Beta 1 Released, Gets Official Ubuntu Flavor Status

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet Beta 1 was released today. Let's take a look at what's new since alpha 2.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to test the other flavors (and for most of them, there's not much to say anyway), so I'll only cover Ubuntu MATE for this first beta release. However, I'll add links to the other flavors' release notes (download links included), below:

You may also want to read:

I should also mention that as usual, Ubuntu (w/ Unity) doesn't take part in alpha and first beta releases.

Now back to Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1. The most important news is that Ubuntu MATE is now an official member of the Ubuntu family.

The first Ubuntu MATE release was 14.10, followed by 14.04 (that's not a typo, the 14.04 release was after 14.10 because the Ubuntu MATE devs wanted to provide a LTS, since non-LTS versions are only supported for 9 months), but both versions were unofficial and used PPAs to provide the latest MATE Desktop 1.8, which is no longer the case with Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1.

Since Ubuntu MATE is now an official Ubuntu flavor, all the packages it ships with are now available in the Ubuntu repositories - that include MATE Menu, MATE Tweak, its default GTK theme(s) and so on.

Speaking of MATE Tweak, the tool has received a pretty important new feature, which allows switching between different panel layouts, including: Ubuntu MATE (default), Eleven (with a top panel for the menu, systray, etc. and Plank at the bottom, as the app switcher/launcher) and more:

This also means that Plank, the default elementary OS application launcher, is now installed by default in Ubuntu MATE (but it's not used by default).

Martin Wimpress posted a video which demonstrates this new MATE Tweak feature so check it out HERE. Note that in the video there are more panel layouts than there are available in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1 by default, because it depends on the packages installed on the system and for instance, the Ubuntu Indicators that were available in previous Ubuntu MATE releases are no longer available in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 2.

The reason for this is that the default Ubuntu indicators / Indicator Applet don't support GTK2 by default. For the previous Ubuntu MATE releases, the Indicator Applet was patched to support MATE and it was available in a PPA, but since Ubuntu MATE 15.04 is now an official Ubuntu flavor, it can't ship with PPAs enabled by default and thus, it can't use Ubuntu Indicators out of the box.

However, you can manually install the Ubuntu Indicator Applet along with the Sound Indicator package (patched for MATE) in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 by following THESE instructions.

Another change in the latest Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1 is the addition of Folder Color by default:

Folder Color is a tool which allows changing individual folder colors (useful to organize your folders, make some important folder stand out, etc.) and besides Caja, it supports Nautilus and Nemo.

Other changes include:

  • added menu categories to System > Preferences;

  • LightDM GTK Greeter Settings was updated to version 1.10;

  • updated the default GTK theme (Yuko) with better GTK 3.14 support;

  • thanks to a GTK2 bugfix, MATE should have better multi-monitor support;

  • MATE Tweak allows switching between Marco and Compiz without requiring a logout/login;

  • added PowerPC as an officially supported architecture;

  • updated LightDM GTK Greeter to 2.0.0 which now includes a MATE logo in the session switcher;

  • merged MATE Compatibility integration into upstream Compiz .

Here are a few more Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1 screenshots:

This being a beta, there are a few known issues, most importantly: MATE 1.8x is not fully compatible with glibc>=2.43.1 and while this was fixed upstream, it's not available in 15.04 yet so for now, you'll have to use a PPA to get the fixes.

Other known issues include: the notification tray crashes on first start and randomly from time to time (32bit only), live switching between Compiz and Marco is experimental and may result in missing window decorations on some old GPUs (and in VirtualBox, at least that was the case in my test) and more.

Default applications/packages

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1 ships with the following applications installed by default: Caja 1.8.2, Pluma 1.8.1, Firefox 34, Thunderbird 31.4.0, LibreOffice 4.4.0, VLC 2.2.0, Rhythmbox 3.1, Shotwell 0.20.2, Pidgin 2.10.9, HexChat 2.10.1, Transmission 2.84, Cheese 3.14.1, two terminals - MATE Terminal 1.8.1 and Tilda 1.2.2 (which can be triggered via the F12 key), and Eye of Mate 1.8.0, on top of MATE Desktop 1.8.1.

Under the hood, the first Ubuntu MATE Vivid beta ships with the Ubuntu Linux Kernel 3.18.0-13, based on the upstream 3.18.5 Linux Kernel, Xorg server and Mesa 10.5.0 RC1 (with RC2 available in the Proposed repository).

Download Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta 1

The link above includes the official release notes so make sure you read them before testing the latest Ubuntu MATE 15.04 beta 1!

Up next: Ubuntu MATE (and flavors) 15.04 Vivid Vervet final beta, which should be released on March 26th. All the Ubuntu flavors as well as Ubuntu (w/ Unity) will take part in the final beta release.

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog http://ift.tt/1E0KSs0

Feb 25, 2015

Install Oracle Java 9 In Ubuntu, Linux Mint Or Debian Via PPA Repository [JDK9]

Because I've received quite a few requests for this, you can now install the latest Oracle Java 9 (early access release) in all supported Ubuntu / Linux Mint versions, by using the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA.

For now, you should continue to use Java 8 because Oracle Java 9 is available as an early access release (it should be released in 2016)! You should only use Oracle Java 9 if you explicitly need it, because it may contain bugs and it might not include the latest security patches! Also, some Java options were removed in JDK9, so you may encounter issues with various Java apps.

Reminder: the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA doesn't include any Oracle Java binaries because that's not allowed by the Oracle Java license, that's why the PPA provides an installer that automatically downloads the latest Oracle Java 9 (JDK9 and the Java 9 browser plugin) and sets up everything for you. Also, the Oracle Java 9 Installer is considered to be alpha quality and is offered without any guarantees, so use it at your own risk!

It's also important to mention that the Oracle Java 9 download servers are pretty slow, so even with a fast Internet connection, the download may take a while or it may fail (so you'll have try again) and there's nothing I can do about that.

If you want to install Oracle Java 8 instead (which is considered stable), see these articles: Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Debian.

Install Oracle Java 9 (JDK9) in Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Debian via PPA

To add the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA and install Oracle Java 9 in all supported Ubuntu / Linux Mint versions (note: ARM is not yet supported), use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java9-installer

To install Oracle Java 9 in Debian, you can setup "add-apt-repository" as we've explained a while back and use the Ubuntu installation instructions above. You can also manually add the repository and key and install Oracle Java 9 in Debian using the following commands:

su -
echo "deb http://ift.tt/1b1mM2W trusty main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
echo "deb-src http://ift.tt/1b1mM2W trusty main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/webupd8team-java.list
apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys EEA14886
apt-get update
apt-get install oracle-java9-installer

Tip: if you're behind a firewall / router that blocks some of the redirects required to download the Oracle Java archive, you can download the JDK tar.gz archive manually and place it under /var/cache/oracle-jdk9-installer - then, installing the "oracle-java9-installer" package will use the local archive instead of trying it to download it itself.

After installing the package, you can check the Java version by running "java -version" in a terminal, which should display an output similar to this:

andrei@andrei-desktop:~$ java -version
java version "1.9.0-ea"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.9.0-ea-b50)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 1.9.0-ea-b50, mixed mode)

Or, "javac -version":

andrei@andrei-desktop:~$ javac -version
javac 1.9.0-ea

And so on.

Automated installation (auto accept license)

The Oracle Java 9 Installer prompts you to accept the Oracle license before proceeding with the installation and it's only required once, so you don't have to accept the license with each update. If you want to automate the installation process, you can use the command below to automatically accept the Oracle Java 9 license:

echo oracle-java9-installer shared/accepted-oracle-license-v1-1 select true | sudo /usr/bin/debconf-set-selections

Setting Java environment variables

To automatically set up the Java 9 environment variables, you can install the following package:

sudo apt-get install oracle-java9-set-default

If you've already installed oracle-java7-set-default or oracle-java8-set-default, they will be automatically removed when installing oracle-java9-set-default (and the environment variables will be set for Oracle Java 9 instead).

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog http://ift.tt/17WXG4w

Feb 20, 2015

Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) Set As Default In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

After getting an option to always show the menus as well as global menu (Appmenu) support for Java Swing applications, yet another menu-related change has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet: locally integrated menu (LIM) is now the default menu.

Locally integrated menus are displayed in the window's titlebar for unmaximized windows, instead of the previous default Unity approach, which was to always display the menu on the top panel.

If you prefer the old default global menu (Appmenu), you can easily switch back to it, by going to System Settings > Appearance and on the Behavior tab, under "Show the menus for a window", enable "In the menu bar".

Even though the Unity changelog doesn't mention this change, LIM being set as default in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet is confirmed by Marco Marco Trevisan's "lim-everywhere" Unity branch that was merged into Unity yesterday (check out the merge request description HERE). This update has already landed in Vivid so if you install the latest Unity update, LIM should be used by default.

To accompany this change, Marco has tweaked locally integrated menus (which use autohide by default) to allow accessing the menus of unfocused windows as well, a feature that wasn't available until now:

For now, LIM continues to use autohide and there's no option in the System Settings to enable the recently introduced "always show menus" option so if you want to enable that option, you'll have to use Dconf Editor (com > canonical > unity and enable "always-show-menus").

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog http://ift.tt/1Arxv04

Feb 19, 2015

Whisker Menu 1.5.0 Released, Install It In Xubuntu Or Linux Mint Xfce

Whisker Menu 1.5.0 was released yesterday, bringing new options for setting the background opacity and displaying your profile picture, customizable recently used limit and more, as well as quite a few bug fixes.

Whisker Menu is an application menu / launcher for Xfce that features a search function so you can easily find the application you want to launch. The menu supports browsing apps by category, you can add applications to favorites and more.

The app is used as the default Xubuntu application menu starting with Xubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) and in Linux Mint Xfce starting with version 15 (Olivia).

Most important changes in the latest Whisker Menu 1.5.0:

  • added option to set background opacity;

  • added profile picture and a command which allows editing the profile picture (via Mugshot);

  • added customizable limit for recently used;

  • added support for non-square panel button icon;

  • added items of Xfce settings manager to allow searching;

  • rearranged options in configuration dialog and renamed some options;

  • expand subcategories when activated;

  • load default settings from XDG location;

  • make launchers executable when they are added to desktop;

  • refactored list page code;

  • use a single instance of the garcon menu;

  • fixed search activation to allow input methods;

  • fixed broken menu when closed by window manager;

  • various other bug fixes and translation updates.

Install Whisker Menu 1.5.0 In Xubuntu Or Linux Mint Xfce

1. To add the official Whisker Menu PPA and install the application in in Xubuntu 15.04, 14.10, 14.04 or 12.04 / Linux Mint 17.1, 17 or 13, use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gottcode/gcppa
sudo apt-get update

2. Then, to install/update Whisker Menu in Xubuntu (any version) or Linux Mint 13, use the command below:

sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin

The Whisker Menu package is pinned in Linux Mint 17 and 17.1 so a simple update/install won't install the latest version from the PPA, but the latest version available in the Linux Mint repositories (1.4.0). So to install/update to the latest Whisker Menu in Linux Mint 17 or 17.1, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin/trusty

If for some reason you want to downgrade to the version available in the official Linux Mint repositories, use "sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin/rebecca" (or "qiana", depending on your Linux Mint version).

3. And finally, if Whisker Menu was already installed on your system, you'll need to restart the Xfce Panel (or log out and log back in), which can be done by using the following command:

xfce4-panel --restart

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog http://ift.tt/1CNr48x