May 29, 2015

Nemo 2.6 Gets A Plugin Manager, More [`Nemo With Unity Patches` PPA Updated]

While Nemo 2.6 wasn't officially released yet (Cinnamon 2.6 is currently undergoing testing in the Linux Mint Romeo repository), its source has been available for some time on GitHub. 

I've been using Nemo 2.6 (2.6.5) for about a week and it works great, so I've decided upload it to the WebUpd8 Nemo (with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies) PPA.

Nemo 2.6

There's no official changelog yet but from what I can tell, Nemo 2.6 includes the following changes (I may have missed some improvements though):
  • added a plugin manager which allows easily enabling and disabling Nemo actions, extensions and scripts;
  • all toolbar buttons now use symbolic icons (except pathbar icons);
  • simplified context menus (with an option to show all available actions);
  • improved thumbnail generation;
  • bookmarks are now sortable;
  • improved Preferences dialog;
  • fixed support for org.freedesktop.FileManager1 dbus interface - this should allow apps that support opening a folder and highlighting a file in that folder to work properly (like Firefox - clicking on the folder icon from Downloads);
  • added a simple transition when toggling the location bar/pathbar;
  • show icons for templates in the "create new document" menu;
  • show location entry when "/" is entered;
  • file operations (such as 'copy') now use a queue system (paused until the previous job completes however, you can manually start new jobs).

The official Nemo extensions haven't been updated to fully support the new Nemo plugin manager, that's why you'll see "No information available" for each extension in the plugin manager. However, all v2.4. extensions should work with Nemo 2.6.

Also, the unpatched Nemo 2.6 can detect if the app generates thumbnails while running as root and prompts to fix this issue however, this depends on libcinnamon-desktop4 and since the purpose of the Nemo version I maintain is to be Cinnamon-free, I've removed this functionality for the PPA packages.

Even so, this is an issue that shouldn't happen if you use Nemo properly: running it via pkexec (or via the Nemo contect menu > Run as Root, which uses pkexec) doesn't cause this issue. As an alternative way of fixing such issues, you can simply run "sudo rm ~/.cache/thumbnails".

Two more notes regarding the patched Nemo from the WebUpd8 PPA:
  • in the Plugin Manager, you'll notice two "Change Desktop Background" Nemo actions - that's because one is for Unity and one for GNOME (Shell) and it's only used if you enable Nemo to draw the desktop;
  • the "Create a new launcher here..." Nemo action only shows up in the Nemo context menu on the desktop and it requires gnome-panel to be installed or else it won't work.


Install Nemo 2.6 (with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies) in Ubuntu


To install the latest Nemo 2.6 with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies, see THIS article. 

Important: don't install this Nemo version in Linux Mint or if you're using Cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu, because it has all it's Cinnamon-specific features removed.


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May 27, 2015

5 System Rescue Boot Disc based on Windows PE

A boot disc is very useful because it can be used to perform troubleshooting tasks on an unbootable computer. Most of the time software that belongs in the category of data recovery, antivirus and hard drive backup/restore provides the option to create a boot disc which is sometimes known as rescue disc. Although these software can run from Windows, they are actually most efficient when run offline from a bootable disc.

An example scenario is you’ve accidentally deleted an important file. You can of course install a free data recovery software such as Recuva and attempt to recover the deleted file. However installing it on the computer will face a potential risk of the installed program overwriting the deleted file. To increase the chance of recovering the file, immediately shut down the computer, boot it up with a bootable WinPE disc and run Recuva from the Windows PE environment.

A boot disc is normally based on either Linux or Windows PE. Linux is commonly being used because the operating system and most third party tools are free, the generated boot disc is more compact in size and can run on slower computers. As for Windows PE, it has the best hardware support and most users would be familiar with it such as the hard drive naming convention (C:\) in Windows compared to Linux (/dev/sda). However, Windows PE may have a higher system requirement because the latest Windows PE 5.1 already need at least 512MB just for the base and adding more drivers, packages, or apps will obviously require more memory.

Here we have a list of free boot discs based on Windows PE that come with a collection of useful tools which we think that every computer technician or even a normal user should have to hand.

1. Paragon Rescue Kit 14 Free Edition

Paragon Software is well known for their hard drive management software. Other than shareware, one of the freeware applications they offer is the Paragon Rescue Kit 14. It comes with a bunch of useful tools such as backup/restore to virtual disk, postmortem backup/restore, boot corrector to fix MBR/boot.ini/BCD/EFI boot parameters, undelete partition to restore partition that has been accidentally deleted, and file transfer. Unfortunately the registry editor and password cleaner to reset the local Windows user account is only available in Linux but not in Windows PE.

paragon rescue kit features

Paragon Rescue Kit 14 does not require Windows Automated Installation Kit nor Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to build the recovery media if you’re creating from a Windows 7 or newer operating system. The builder will simply use the WIM image of the current operating system. However do take note that you will need to install WAIK or ADK if you want the builder to create the ISO image file.

paragon rescue kit

During the building process, you have the option to enable the advanced mode that allows to add storage and network device drivers, network configuration such as detecting the network interface automatically, and mounting a network share automatically after boot. You will also need to provide the product key and serial number which can be obtained for free at their official website.

Download Paragon Rescue Kit 14 Free Edition


2. Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition

Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition is free for non-commercial use only. It is able to create a Windows PE boot disc containing a few modules to help in recovering a crashed Windows by repairing boot errors, recover files after accidental deletion, cloning and creating disk image, recovering Windows serial number and resetting user account password.

lazesoft recovery suite

Building a Windows PE with Lazesoft is as easy as clicking on the “Burn CD/USB Disk” button. You can choose to build a specific WinPE version ranging from Windows 7 to 8.1 for both 32-bit and 64-bit by clicking the Options button. The builder will automatically download the necessary components to build the WinPE if your computer does not have the files.

lazesoft burn cd usb disk

The Windows File Manager button found on the Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition disc is not really a fully featured file manager like Windows Explorer where you have two tree view panes to easily manage files. You can however launch a third party file manager from the Windows Recovery button, go to the RepairTools tab and click on Lazesoft File Manager.

lazesoft file manager

Download Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition


3. AOMEI PE Builder

AOMEI Technology, the company that is well known for their PC backup software called Backupper, released a freeware program called PE Builder late last year to help users easily build a WinPE-based bootable media with just a few clicks. AOMEI PE Builder is able to build a Windows PE by using the Windows Recovery Environment that is found on newer version of the Windows operating system such as 7 and 8, so there is no need to download and install WAIK or ADK.

aomei pe builder

The Windows PE built by AOMEI PE Builder looks more like a normal Windows desktop because it comes with Windows desktop and Explorer which is not found in the Windows PE built by Paragon Rescue Kit or Lazesoft Recovery Suite. Other than that, AOMEI Backupper, AOMEI Partition Assistant and Windows Recovery Environment is included by default. You can also embed 3rd party portable tools such as 7-Zip, Everything, IrfanView, Notepad++, Q-Dir, Recuva, SumatraPDF, FileZilla, PENetwork, QTWeb, BOOTICE, NTPWEdit and OSFMount to the Windows PE by ticking the checkboxes. Custom drivers and files can also be added.

aomei windows pe

Do take note that the current version 1.4 and all older versions might not build a working Windows PE and this is caused by some compatibility issues with the recent Windows updates released by Microsoft. If you urgently need to build a working Windows PE using AOMEI PE Builder, you can do it from a Windows 7 computer with the 2 Windows updates KB3022345 and KB3045999 uninstalled. This workaround only works in Windows 7 but not in Windows 8.1. AOMEI is aware of this issue and is currently working on a newer version to fix this problem.

Download AOMEI PE Builder


4. Gandalf’s Windows 8.1 PE

If you’re looking for a pre-built Windows 8.1 PE, look no further and just use Gandalf’s Windows 8.1 PE because it is packed with useful programs. It has a desktop, explorer, start menu replacement with StartIsBack, compression tools, image viewer, hard drive tools, video player, OpenOffice, remote access tools (Ammyy Admin, Remote Desktop, TeamViewer), anti malware such as ClamWin and MalwareBytes, and many more!

gandalf windows 8.1 pe

Gandalf’s Windows 8.1 PE is 1.8GB in size and in an ISO image format. You can burn it to a DVD or install it to a USB flash drive using Rufus. Both X86 and X64 versions of the 8.1 PE are available to download. All the tools embedded to Gandalf’s Windows 8.1 PE are either free or trial versions which means it’s free from pirated programs.

Download Gandalf’s Windows 8.1 PE


5. WinBuilder 2015

WinBuilder 2015 is the new and completely rewritten tool of WinBuilder 082 which has not been updated since 2011. The old WinBuilder 082 comes in a nice graphical user interface with buttons and graphs while the latest WinBuilder 2015 runs in a simple window that accepts commands, similar to a command prompt. This new version of WinBuilder runs on Java which means it can also run on operating system other than Windows such as Linux and Mac OSX.

winbuilder 2015

The old WinBuilder 082 is supposedly easy enough to use involving only two steps but may be difficult to troubleshoot the problem if there are errors during the Windows PE building process. The new WinBuilder is even easier by typing a single command “AUTO” into the window, and the whole process of building a Windows PE bootable disc is fully automated including the downloading of the Windows ISO image file.

Currently there are 18 portable software tools that can be added to the Windows PE automatically through WinBuilder 2015 by typing the command “install appname” in the program. The plugins available to install can be listed by typing “install list” in the program window. For example, to install Recuva, simply type “install recuva” in the window. Do note that there is no need to type the complete plugin name because the program accepts partial filenames.

windowspe winbuilder

Download WinBuilder 2015

Additional Notes: You can build a WinPE 5.1 which is based on Windows 8.1 using the old WinBuilder 082 through Win8.1SE. You will need to download the Windows 8.1 enterprise evaluation ISO, extract it to your hard drive or mount the ISO to a drive letter, point the source directory to the extracted/mounted Windows 8.1 files, and click the Play button. Optionally, you can also change the configuration settings by enabling/disabling the scripts found at left hand navigation tree.

win8.1se



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Yet Another Network Speed Ubuntu AppIndicator

Indicator Netspeed Unity is an Ubuntu AppIndicator which displays the current network upload / download speed on the panel. Despite its name, it should work with any panel that supports AppIndicators.

Indicator Netspeed Unity

Indicator Netspeed Unity is a heavily modified Indicator Netspeed, which adds the following extra features:
  • four panel display modes: download, upload or total (either merged or separated) network speed;
  • configurable bit rate prefix;
  • shows total downloaded and uploaded data for the current session in the indicator menu ("All" item);
  • enable/disable padding - when enabled, it preserves the indentation of indicator text (I recommend disabling this or else you'll end up with a gap between the icons and text);
  • added a settings menu which allows changing the upload/download prefix, change the theme to dark/light or current (system) theme and run nethogs for a more detailed analysis.

Just like the original Netspeed indicator, the fork allows choosing the network interface for which it displays the data and it's position on the panel can be changed via Dconf (by default, the indicator is placed as the first on the left so if its width changes, it doesn't affect other indicators).

Indicator Netspeed Unity

Not all the settings are available in the indicator menu - to be able to change the display mode (state), position on the panel (ordering-index), use custom icons or enable/disable displaying the settings menu, install Dconf Editor:
sudo apt-get install dconf-editor
Then navigate to apps > indicators > netspeed-unity and change the settings to suit your needs. Note that changing some of the settings that are only available via Dconf Editor requires restarting the indicator to apply them.


Install Indicator Netspeed Unity in Ubuntu


To add the official Indicator Netspeed Unity and install the app in Ubuntu and derivatives (which support AppIndicators), use the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fixnix/netspeed
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-netspeed-unity
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE.

Once installed, run the indicator from the Dash/menu (there's no need to add it to startup because it's added automatically).

To report bugs or download the source code, see the Indicator Netspeed Unity GitHub page.



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May 26, 2015

Fedora 22 Released, See What`s New [Workstation]

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 Workstation was released today and it ships with the latest stable GNOME 3.16, a new default package manager and other interesting changes. Let's take a look at what's new!


GNOME 3.16


Fedora 22 Workstation ships with GNOME 3.16 by default and the most important change in this release is probably the new notification system, which has replaced the old Message Tray.

In GNOME 3.16, the notification history can now be accessed from the date/time menu (the calendar widget from the Top Bar):

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

... while legacy "tray" icons are displayed in an expandable "drawer" that uses autohide and it's available in the bottom left corner of the screen:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Furthermore, the notification popups, called "banners", are now displayed at the top of the screen:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

In the screenshot above you should notice a dot next to the date/time indicator - this indicates unread notifications.

Other changes in GNOME 3.16 include:
  • refreshed GNOME Shell theme (including monochrome icons for the applications menu);
  • scrollbars are displayed only when needed (see screenshot below);
  • GTK+ 3.16:
    • OpenGL support;
    • themes can now simultaneously support multiple GTK+ versions, by including version-specific CSS;
    • a new widget called GtkPopoverMenu was added and it can be used for creating menus contained with popovers;
    • many GTK+ Inspector changes including a much improved user interface;
  • GNOME apps:
    • GNOME's Image Viewer has been redesigned and it now uses header bars;
    • Files (Nautilus) 3.16 comes with bigger icons/thumbnails by default, reorganized menus, improved grid and list views as well as a new popover for changing between views, zoom level and sort order. Also, with the latest Files app, users can now move files and folders to the trash using the Delete key instead of Ctrl + Delete, like in previous versions;
    • Installation of GStreamer codecs, fonts, and certain document types is now handled by Software;
    • Maps can now display information bubbles which show the address, wheelchair accessibility along with links to Wikipedia articles. Also, the latest GNOME Maps comes with built-in Foursquare support, which allows you to check-in;
    • Calculator now displays previous calculations so you can easily copy previous figures;
    • Boxes comes with an updated properties interface, a new menu makes it possible to send keyboard shortcuts that cannot be entered directly into a box and more;
    • smart playlists have been added to Music, so you can view frequently played and recently added tracks. It is now also possible to star your favorite tracks;
    • two new games were added: a sliding blocks game called Taquin and 2048;
    • three new preview applications were added: Calendar (which already comes with Google Calendar sync), Characters (character map application) and Books (e-book viewer) - these are not installed by default in Fedora 22 but are available in the repositories;
    • a new IDE for GNOME, called "Builder", is now available as an early preview (it's not installed by default but it's available in the repositories).

See our GNOME 3.16 article for more information (including a video).

Here are a few screenshots with some of the changes mentioned above, taken under Fedora 22 Workstation:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots


Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots


Other changes


Fedora 22 Workstation includes quite a few under the hood changes, including a new default package manager: dnf (under the hood, it uses an improved dependency solver, called hawkey, along with librepo for repository operations and libcomps for package groups), which has replaced yum.

dnf provides better performance and memory footprint along with a "strict API definition for plugins and extending projects", notes the Fedora 22 release announcement.

Most dnf commands are similar to yum (and /usr/bin/yum now redirects to /usr/bin/dnf, with a deprecation notice) and the same RPM package repositories are used however, there are some differences:
  • updates that don't work are skipped - this is similar to yum's "--skip-broken" (which isn't available for dnf), but it evaluates the impact of the problem against the entire transaction;
  • repositories that don't work are skipped;
  • dependencies are not upgraded on package installation;
  • when removing a package, dnf will automatically remove any dependent packages that were not explicitly installed by the user;
  • by default, dnf will check for updates in configured repositories hourly, starting ten minutes after the system boots;
  • unlike with yum, dnf allows removing all kernel packages, including running package.

Even more changes:
  • the Software tool and PackageKit now support searching for packages in disabled repositories;
  • Fedora 22 introduces the Preupgrade Assistant (not installed by default), a diagnostics utility which assesses the system for possible in-place upgrade limitations and provides a report with the analysis results;
  • GDM uses Wayland by default, instead of Xorg, bringing the transition to Wayland one step closer. The default GNOME session continues to use X;
  • input devices use a new driver: "libinput", which replaces other drivers such as synaptics, and provides improved support for multi-touch devices and software emulated buttons (this is only installed by default on new Fedora 22 installations);
  • The default console font has been changed to eurlatgr in Fedora 22. The new font has the same typeface as the previously used latarcyrheb-sun16 font, but supports a broader range of characters from the Latin and Greek alphabets as well as some commonly used symbol;
  • The Terminal now notifies you when a long running job completes (this is a Fedora-specific feature, that's why I didn't include it in the GNOME 3.16 changes above).


Default packages


Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 Workstation ships with Firefox 38.0.1, LibreOffice 4.4.3.2, Shotwell 0.22.0, Rhythmbox 3.2.1, Transmission 2.84, Empathy 3.12.10 along with version 3.16.x of the core GNOME applications (Nautilus, Gedit, Terminal and so on), on top of GNOME Shell 3.16.2 and GTK+ 3.16.3.

Under the hood, Fedora 22 Workstation uses the Linux Kernel 4.0.4, systemd 209, Mesa 10.5.4 and Xorg Server 1.17.1.


Download Fedora 22


Before installing Fedora 22, make sure you check out the common bugs list and the official release notes.

Download Fedora

It's also important to mention that three new websites were released along with Fedora 22 today:

To easily install codecs, Java and various popular apps that aren't available in the Fedora repositories, along with various tweaks such as improved font rendering, you can use Fedy, a Fedora post-install utility which was updated to version 4.0 recently and it already supports Fedora 22.

info via


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