Monday, August 31, 2015

Audio Players for Ubuntu

Clementine is a cross-platform free and open source music player and library organizer. It is available for Unix-like, Windows and Mac OS X. 

Some of the main features are :

  • Search and play your local music library.
  • Listen to internet radio from Spotify, Grooveshark, SomaFM, Magnatune,Jamendo,, Digitally Imported,, Soundcloud, Icecastand Subsonic servers.
  • Search and play songs you've uploaded to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive
  • Create dynamic playlists.
  • Tabbed playlists, import and export M3U, XSPF, PLS and ASX.
  • CUE sheet support.
  • Play audio CDs.
  • Visualisations from projectM.
  • Lyrics and artist biographies and photos.
  • Transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC or AAC.
  • Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organise your music.
  • Fetch missing tags from MusicBrainz.
  • Discover and download Podcasts.
  • Download missing album cover art from and Amazon.
  • Cross-platform - works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl).
  • Remote control using an Android device, a Wii Remote, MPRIS or the command-line.
  • Copy music to your iPod, iPhone, MTP or mass-storage USB player.
  • Queue manager.

To install Clementine opan a terminal and type in the following commands :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:me-davidsansome/clementine
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clementine

DeaDBeeF  is an audio player for GNU/Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris, Mac OS X, and other UNIX-like systems. There's also the DeaDBeeF For Android, which is a very different product. There are no Windows or iOS versions though. 

This is one the lightest music players out there and some of the main features are listed below :

  • mp3, ogg vorbis, flac, ape, wv/iso.wv, wav, m4a/mp3 (aac and alac), mpc, tta, cd audio, and many more
  • nsf, ay, vtx, vgm/vgz, spc and many other popular chiptune formats
  • SID with HVSC song length database support for sid
  • tracker modules - mod, s3m, it, xm, etc
  • ID3v1, ID3v2.2, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, APEv2, Xing/Info, VorbisComments tag reading and writing, as well as reading many other tag/metadata formats in most supported formats
  • automatic character set detection for non-unicode id3 tags - supports cp1251, iso8859-1, and now chinese cp936 (optional), as well as SHIFT-JIS and MS-DOS CP866 for selected formats
  • unicode tags are fully supported as well (both utf8 and ucs2)
  • cuesheet (.cue files) support, including charset detection/conversion
  • clean fast GUI using GTK2 and GTK3, you pick what you like more!
  • no GNOME or KDE dependencies
  • minimization to system tray, with scrollwheel volume control, etc
  • drag and drop, both in playlist, and from other apps
  • control playback from command line
  • global hotkeys
  • multiple playlists using tabbed interface
  • album cover display
  • OSD notifications about current playing songs
  • 18-band graphical equalizer and other DSP plugins
  • built-in high quality tag editor, with custom fields support
  • customizable groups in playlists
  • customizable columns with flexible title formatting
  • streaming radio support for ogg vorbis, mp3 and aac streams
  • gapless playback for correctly encoded files
  • lots of plugin, such as global hotkeys, scrobbler, converter, and many more, sdk is included
  • comes with advanced Converter plugin, which allows to transcode files to other formats
  • was tested on x86, x86_64, powerpc, arm, mips architectures, should work on most modern platforms
  • new features are being added all the time -- check for updates frequently!

In Ubuntu we can install DeaDBeaf via ppa . Open a terminal (ctlr+alt+t) and use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:starws-box/deadbeef-player
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deadbeef

Nightingale is a free, open source audio player and web browser based on the Songbird media player source code. As such, Nightingale's engine is based on the Mozilla XULRunner with libraries such as the GStreamer media framework and libtag providing media tagging and playback support. It has a beautiful interface with a wide range of supported audio formats, all with multi-platform support.

Some of the features and improvements of the latest version are listed below :

  • Fix crash on Ubuntu 13.04 Issue
  • Improved localization in every locales
  • Splash screen updated
  • “songbird” protocol is replaced by “ngale” Issue
  • Remove newsletter from firstrun dialog
  • Play count increment fixed Issue
  • Remove duplicate preferences menu entry on Linux Issue
  • Allow add-ons to have localized display panes titles Issue
  • Update add-ons locales (mashTape,, SHOUTcast) Issue
  • Disable metrics everywhere
  • Removed misleading warning in Watch Folder settings Issue
  • Fixed a extension issue Issue
  • Don’t use GPU on Mac OS X Issue
  • Fixed importing wma files on Linux Issue
  • Added a firstrun and upgrade page
  • Migrate to new update host Issue
  • Fix updating on Linux Issue
  • Fix mashTape video tab

Known Bugs:

  • Concerts is no more working since September 2012 → API needs to be updated
  • New Releases add-on is not working either since a long time
  • mashTape can cause crashes

Nightingale can be installed using the following ppa :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nightingaleteam/nightingale-release 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nightingale

Note: Ubuntu comes installed with a default player called Rhythmbox while some Distros use Banshee as default player .

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Conky - System Monitor for Ubuntu

Conky is a free software monitor , available for Linux , OpenBSD and FreeBSD.
In order to configure and add extra themes we will be using Conky Manager which can be installed
via ppa . To begin open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and type in the following commands :

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install conky-manager

After the installation is complete you can launch Conky Manager from Unity Dash:

Conky Manager  only comes with a few themes installed . We can download more theme packs from here :
          Deluxe Pack_3.cmtp.7z in order to be able to import the theme pack )
After the downloads are complete you can import the theme packs to conky-manager :

To launch conky at startup make sure to enable this setting :

Need some inspiration for a conky configuration ? Look no further , the right place to start is here .

Next Generation Conky

Conky Cubes

Conky Seamod

Friday, August 21, 2015

Webcam applications for pictures and video recording + effects

Cheese is a webcam application that allows the user to capture images and videos and apply various effects to them . More info and a quick tour of the application can be found here.

  • Mauve
  • Noir/Blanc
  • Saturation
  • Hulk
  • Vertical Flip
  • Horizontal Flip
  • Shagadelic
  • Vertigo
  • Edge
  • Dice
  • Warp
Cheese is available in the repositories and can be installed via terminal using the following command :

sudo apt-get install cheese 

Guvcview is a free webcam application for the Linux desktop . Iis compatible with all V412 camera devices, using the Linux UVC driver and based on luvcview for video rendering. Audio support employs the PortAudio open source library.

Features :
  • mirror
  • invert
  • negative
  • mono
  • pieces and particles 
Multiple effects can be combined by selecting more then one .

Installing guvcview from repositories can cause issues and there is no webcam feed
when using kernel 3.16. There is an unofficial ppa available that will allow the application to work properly. Open a terminal and copy paste these commands :

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:pj-assis/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install guvcview

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Photo Managing Software

Gthumb is a lightweight image viewer and organizer that also has a few limited options of
editing photos and it comes with a very simple user-friendly interface . It offers a certain range of image editing operations suited for digital photographs, such as the change of image hue, saturation, lightness, contrast or the adjustment of colors. It can also crop, scale and rotate images and it features a red eye removal functionality. Manipulated images can be saved in the formats JPEG, PNG, TIFF and TGA.

This application is in the Ubuntu repositories and can be installed by opening a terminal and using this command :

sudo apt-get install gthumb

Shotwell is a very popular image organizer and viewer that comes installed by default in Ubuntu and other Linux Distro's. 
With this software users can import photos and videos from a digital camera directly. Shotwell automatically groups photos and videos by date, and supports tagging. Its image editing features allow users to straighten, crop, eliminate red eye, and adjust levels and color balance. It also features an auto "enhance" option that will attempt to guess appropriate levels for the image.
Shotwell allows users to publish their images and videos to Facebook, Flickr and Youtube. 

If the Distro you are using doesn't come with Shotwell by default you can install  via terminal by typing :

sudo apt-get install shotwell

Software for mounting and burning image files (ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG)

Furius ISO Mount is a free Linux program to mount and burn disk image files (ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG).

Furius ISO Mount is available in the Ubuntu repositories . To install it open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and type the following command :

sudo apt-get install furiusisomount

AcetoneISO is very similar to Furius ISO Mount and it aims to be simple , intuitive and stable .

The software is also available in the repositories and can be install with this command :

sudo apt-get install acetoneiso

Monday, August 17, 2015

Listen to your favorite Radio Stations

Great Little Radio Player is a robust internet radio station streamer for various Linux distributions. It connects to web sites offering radio streaming and lets you play radio stations directly from that locations.
With Great Little Radio Player, you will have collection of more then 500 radio stations worldwide. Best part, it's free of charge. Current version: 1.4.7  

The .deb file for the application can be found here .

Once installed , it can be launched from Dash :

The application comes with a variety of themes also known as "coats" that can be changed by clicking on  "Settings" > Look > Coats (30 coats are available) :

Great Little Radio Player is a basic application with a stylish look that comes with native song notification  and a tray icon  . 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Image editing on Ubuntu

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.
Features and Capabilities :
  • Painting
    • Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
    • Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
    • Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
    • Supports custom brushes and patterns
  • System
    • Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
    • Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
  • Advanced Manipulation
    • Full alpha channel support
    • Layers and channels
    • Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
    • Editable text layers
    • Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
    • Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
    • Foreground extraction tool
    • Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
    • Transformable paths, transformable selections.
    • Quickmask to paint a selection.
  • Extensible
    • A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
    • Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
    • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
    • Over 100 plug-ins already available
  • Animation
    • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
    • MNG support
    • Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
    • Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
    • Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
  • File Handling
    • File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
    • Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
    • SVG path import/export
  • Much, much more!

Gimp can be installed on Ubuntu via +Thorsten Stettin's ppa.  Using the ppa will install the latest version of gimp and it also includes a collection of 400 filters and effects :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How to install WoW & Diablo III on Ubuntu + tips for better fps

Before installing WoW we need to install wine . What is wine you ask ?

Wine (recursive acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator) is a free and open source compatibility layer software application that aims to allow applications designed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems .
To install the latest stable version (1.8 as of December 19th 2015) open a terminal and and type in the following commands :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine1.8 winetricks

To install the latest development verision (1.9 as of December 25th 2015) use these commands instead :

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386  (If your system is 64 bit, enable 32 bit architecture)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel

After Wine has completed installing head on to the page to download the latest windows version of the installer . When the download is complete navigate to the folder where the installer is located and right click it > Wine Windows Program Loader . There will be messages on the screen prompting you to install additional files :

1. Wine Gecko Installer
2. Wine Mono Installer

Wait for the game installation to finish . does not exist, run the game and log into a character, then exit WoW .

For a better gaming experience we need to edit the  file located in WoW folder . You can navigate to it by browsing wine C: Drive  where WoW is installed or by opening a terminal and using the following command:

gedit ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/World\ of\ Warcraft/WTF/

For improved performance add the following to your config file :

SET M2UseShaders “0”
SET UseVertexShaders “0”
SET useWeatherShaders “0”
SET ffxGlow “0”
SET ffxDeath “0”
SET ffxSpecial “0”
SET weatherDensity “0”
SET reflectionMode “0”
SET maxFPS “60”
SET ffx “0”
SET maxFPSbk “5”
SET mapShadows “0”

and make sure to set SET gxApi "OpenGL"  instead of "D3D9" or "D3D11" .

Save the file and exit . 

1. Open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and type in regedit and hit enter
2. Open the tree on the left to the section where you need to add it , in this case HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine
3. Create a key with the name Direct3D
4. Now go to the Direct3D key you have just made and make string values by right clicking and doing New > String Value (ex. create a string named, ‘VideoMemorySize’ and then double click on it and enter the amount of memory your video card contains with integers only, do not enter MB) :  

DirectDrawRenderer = opengl
UseGLSL = disabled (when using Nvidia card , enabled when using AMD video card)
VideoMemorySize = 2048

Enter the command winecfg in terminal and  follow the steps below : 

Add Application > Launcher.exe  > Windows Version > Windows XP

Adjust audio devices

Apply the new settings and click OK and launch the client from Dash or using the following command :

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program*/" Launcher.exe" 

Recommend add-ons  :
Optional :
If you are planning on raiding installing VoIP applications like Mumble , TeamSpeak or Ventrilo is a must. 

Once World of Warcraft is installed you can continue by adding the "Diablo III Launcher.exe" and setting the Windows version to "Windows XP".

Apply the new configuration and launch client via Dash or with the following command in a terminal :

 wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program*/" Launcher.exe" 

Use these settings at your own risk ! I am not responsible for any damages that occur during this process . This tutorial is meant for educational purposes only ! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Telegram - instant messaging chat for all platforms

Telegram is an instant messaging system focusing on privacy and multi-platform availability.
The messages which are sent using telegram are highly encrypted and self-destructive.

Telegram clients exist for both mobile (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) and desktop systems (Windows, OS X, Linux).Telegram users can exchange messages encrypted end-to-end, self-destructing messages, along with photos, videos and files of any type up to 1.5GB in size.

Secret chats :

A "secret chat" confirmation notice. 
Telegram claims it is more secure than some other messengers such as WhatsApp . Conversations are encrypted with AES-256 using the MTProto protocol developed by Telegram. Only two devices may use the secret chat simultaneously.
(An active phone number is required in order for Telgegram
to work on your desktop)


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/telegram
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install telegram



Cutegram is a free and opensource telegram client for Linux, Windows, OS X and OpenBSD, focusing on user friendly, compatibility with desktop environments. Cutegram using Qt5, QML, libqtelegram, libappindication, AsemanQtTools technologies and Faenza icons and Twitter emojies graphic sets.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:aseman/desktop-apps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cutegram

.deb files can be found here .

After the installation is complete Telegram/Cutegram can be launched from Unity Dash .
It is recommended to enable the two step verification (located in the settings option) when configuring Telegram on your smartphone .

For increased privacy Telegram can be used with an openvpn client . The tutorial can be found here