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Linux, Ubuntu & Android News


Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Ubuntu 13.10 in few easy steps

Tech Drive-in 19 Apr 2014, 8:11 pm | Tech Drive-in

The latest Ubuntu LTS is here with a lot of minor as well as major changes. When it comes to Ubuntu and most other common Linux flavours, upgrading an entire OS is as easy as upgrading an application. All it takes is a whole lot of extra bandwidth for additional packages needed for the upgrade. And when it comes to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS which was released almost two years ago, you can directly upgrade to the latest LTS, Ubuntu 14.04 ie, skipping all the non-LTS releases in between with no real issues. Here's how its done.

how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS
How to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 from Ubuntu 12.04/Ubuntu 13.10?
  • Before starting with the upgrade process, make sure that your Ubuntu is up-to-date. Check for updates in the Update Manager and install them all.
  • Hit ALT + F2 and run the command "update-manager -d" (without quotes).
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Hit ENTER and the following window will pop up.
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • See the message on top: "New Ubuntu release '14.04' is available". Hit the upgrade button and you're already on your way. (Note: This was done on an Ubuntu 12.04 machine and FYI the upgrade process went super smooth in my case)
upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 from ubuntu 12.04
  • And the best part is, you can cancel and resume the upgrade whenever you want, up until the point where the upgrade process reach the step: "Installing the upgrades". Enjoy the latest and greatest from Ubuntu.
how to upgrade to ubuntu 14.04 LTS from ubuntu 12.04 LTS

15 new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS features that will help you make the final switch

Tech Drive-in 18 Apr 2014, 7:57 am | Tech Drive-in

Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" has just been released. This is the second Ubuntu LTS release which will be based on Unity desktop. I have been using it for more than a month now and my experience with the new Ubuntu 14.04 has been exceptionally good so far. And unlike previous LTS releases, there are a truck load of major as well as minor changes. Meet the 15 new Ubuntu 14.04 features and changes that will help you make the final switch. 
ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
New Lock Screen: Ubuntu finally gets a revamped lock screen. The previous lock screen looked like something out of the 90's to be frank. Thankfully the new updated lock screen not only looks good, but actually loads faster and thus easier to use!
top ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Locally Integrated Menus (LIMs): Time to say good-bye to global menus already? Not yet. But locally integrated menus is provided as an optional feature now which is nice. A lot of people with larger displays have been asking for something like LIMs since the introduction of global menus. More details, screenshots and videos here.
15 new ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Click to Minimize: I have accidentally clicked on apps on Unity launcher expecting the minimize action. I'm sure that many among you must have done the same. Well, our "clicks" has been answered. The latest iteration of Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM) has the Click to Minimize feature in the Launcher settings as an experimental addon. Details & Video.

top 15 ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Click to Spread: In fact, this feature is like an extension of Click to Minimize action. When more than one instances of the same Window/App is opened, you can click on its launcher icon in order to initiate the spread animation.

15 ubuntu 14.04 lts changes
Borderless Windows: Ubuntu's new borderless theme for window decorators look absolutely gorgeous. The default Ambiance and Radiance themes will be borderless in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr". Further details here.
top thing new in ubuntu 14.04 lts
New LIM settings: Locally Integrated Menus are not default yet, but you can easily enable it by going to Settings - Appearance. See screenshot.

15 things new in ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Sound Settings: If you've ever used VLC media player, you know what this means already. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS have the capability to raise volume beyond 100%.
top 15 ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
New Wallpapers: 11 new community contributed wallpapers. Download them here.

whats new in ubuntu 14.04 lts
Keyboard Filtering in Unity Spread: We did mention the arrival of Click to Spread feature before, but there's a small twist to the tale. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has also added keyboard filtering for Unity Spread feature. Video preview
ubuntu 14.04 lts features and changes
Even more Launcher customization: You can now resize the launcher to a miniscule 16px value. Not that it is a very useful feature 'n all, but the more customizing options the better.  
Nautilus Type-Ahead feature: Very recently, a feature that has been an integral part of Nautilus for a long time was dropped unceremoniously. Remember when you could simply start typing a file name in Nautilus and the focus automagically will be on that file/folder with that name within a particular directory? Well the feature was called type-ahead, and it is back on Ubuntu. I can already hear many sighs of relief out there.
Backspace Key in Back in Nautilus: A previous Ubuntu release replaced the Backspace keyboard shortcut with ALT + Backspace in order to 'go back' a directory in Nautilus. I regarded it as one of the most regressive moves ever, and using Nautilus ever since has been a pain. All that is going to change for good now, Backspace key is the shortcut again!
Better Support for Hi-Res Screens: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS codenamed "Trust Tahr" will have support HiDPI/Retina displays. A little bit delayed but still a welcome move. 
Ubuntu One file Service discontinued: Effective from 1st June 2014, Ubuntu One file support will be discontinued. It is no longer possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services apps in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores have been removed. More information regarding the shut down can be found here.
SSD TRIM Support added: "Finally, SSDs are now being trimmed automatically out of the box. Embarrassingly late, but at least in time for 14.04 LTS," posted Martin Pitt, a leading developer at Canonical, on Google+. Basically, TRIM allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) as to which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. More on the subject here.

One of the Largest Online Retailers of Computers in UK has just started shipping Ubuntu Laptops!

Tech Drive-in 2 Apr 2014, 11:51 am | Tech Drive-in

Years have passed since we made this list featuring many of the most prominent retailers of Ubuntu and Linux pre-installed laptops and desktops of the time. But the current state of affairs leaves a lot to be desired. Choice is still meagre when it comes to hardware even though the likes of System76 has made the life of an average Linux user a lot easier. Now, we have a new kid in the block. Ebuyer.com is one of the largest independent online retailers of Computers and electronics in UK. And they have decided to go Ubuntu!
ebuyer sells ubuntu laptop
Ebuyer to start selling Ubuntu Laptops!Ebuyer will join a niche group of retailers who will sell Ubuntu pre-installed laptops and desktops. Ebuyer.com, being one of the largest online retailers in UK, will be able to add significant value to the Linux hardware scene, we hope.
dell ubuntu laptopThe HP 255 G1 will be the frist laptop to come pre-installed with Ubuntu. The laptop is already available for pre-order at a £219.99 price-tag. Delivery will commence starting from 25th of April, 2014. The 15.6 inch laptop is powered by an AMD Dual Core E1 processor, has 4GB of RAM and a 750GB Hard Drive.

Head of Consumer Electronics at Ebuyer, Lee Weymouth, believes offering an open operating system will give consumers some much needed variation in the laptop market. "We’re selling the 'No OS' notebook to give customers a wider choice with what operating system they want to install. Windows or MAC OS may be the most popular on the market but there are still options out there and this Ubuntu OS is a great alternative to the big boys," he adds.

UK readers, how big a change is this? How significant a retailer is Ebuyer.com? Please share your comments below. For more info, see the official blog post.

Blender Foundation's 5th Open Movie "Gooseberry" Teaser Trailer [Video]

Tech Drive-in 27 Mar 2014, 6:46 pm | Tech Drive-in

Blender is perhaps open source's biggest poster child for years now. And in every year or two, Blender foundation showcases the product's 3D graphics capabilities by releasing animated movies created exclusively using Blender software. They are called "open movies" and you're free to download and reuse the movies the way you want, standing true to its open source credentials. We have featured each and every Blender "open" movie ever released here and here. Now its time for the fifth one codenamed "Gooseberry", and unlike its predecessors, the project's goal would be to produce a feature length animated film.
project gooseberry trailer
Support the crowdfunding campaign for "Project Gooseberry" On January 10, 2011, Blender creator Ton Roosendaal announced that the fifth open movie project would be codenamed "Gooseberry" and that its goal would be to produce a feature length animated film. Here's a teaser video on what its going to look like.



Stupendous effort don't you think? I'm really excited to see what its going to look like eventually. Remember, Project Gooseberry is going to be a full length animated movie unlike the others. Here's that caterpillar shot once again.


Can't get enough of it right? Support Blender Foundation's crowdfunding efforts so that "Project Gooseberry" becomes a reality. Thanks to Ilmari Lauhakangas for the tip.

Support "Project Gooseberry"

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Portal is coming to Android through NVIDIA SHIELD

Tech Drive-in 26 Mar 2014, 3:53 pm | Tech Drive-in

Valve's mighty Portal video game is coming to Android. This is huge. In a recent briefing, NVIDIA has announced the imminent arrival of Portal for Android through NVIDIA SHIELD gaming console. The announcement about its new partnership with Valve was done by NVIDIA at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) currently being held at Silicon Valley.
portal for android via NVIDIA SHIELD
Portal coming to Android via NVIDIA SHIELD gaming consoleNVIDIA SHIELD is an handheld gaming console from NVIDIA which boasts of an open gaming platform. It also runs Android operating system and has over 300 well-supported games from Android. At GPU Technology Conference (GTC) currently being held at Silicon Valley, NVIDIA has announced the imminent arrival of highly-acclaimed Portal video game for NVIDIA SHIELD (and Android) through its partnership with Valve.
"NVIDIA has created a very powerful and unique device with SHIELD," said Doug Lombardi at Valve. “Our companies have a strong history working together and we’re looking forward to Portal‘s arrival on SHIELD." 
It is not clear whether Portal will remain an exclusive for NVIDIA SHIELD. Portal will be joining over 300 SHIELD-supported Android games currently available. Recently, Valve had also released Portal on Linux through Steam platform. Purchase SHIELD from NVIDIA Store.

GOG.com will support Linux soon, more than 100 games for Linux are getting readied!

Tech Drive-in 25 Mar 2014, 4:09 am | Tech Drive-in

"After much deliberation, we've decided that one of the next steps for us is to support Linux." GOG.com becomes the latest firm to appreciate the long-term potential of Linux on computers. The arrival of Steam on Linux has to be the most important factor behind a sea change in attitude of major game vendors towards Linux. Testing of games are on and it seems like Ubuntu and Linux Mint will be the ones to get official support initially.
gog.com support for linux games
GOG.com will support Linux officially starting this fall!More than 100 games for Linux through GOG.com by the end of this year, that's what they are promising. Right now, they are performing testing on various configurations, training up their teams on Linux-speak, and generally preparing for the rollout of at least 100 DRM-free titles. 
It will, of course, will include games which already have Linux clients, but they will also be bringing a variety of classics that are, for the first time, officially supported and maintained by GOG.com. Also according to the announcement, Ubuntu and Linux Mint will be the officially supported Linux flavours at the start. 'GOG.com Support for Linux' was a widely demanded feature by GOG.com community it seems.

Click to Minimize feature arrives in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Available through CCSM [Video]

Tech Drive-in 21 Mar 2014, 3:38 pm | Tech Drive-in

Locally Integrated Menus were a hugely anticipated feature since the introduction of universal menu in earlier Unity. 'Click to Minimize' is a similar functionality asked by many in the community. Well, it has been delivered. The latest iteration of Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM) has the Click to Minimize feature in the Launcher settings as an experimental functionality. And it will probably make it as a default Unity Launcher behaviour prior to the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS codenamed "Trusty Tahr".
ubuntu 14.04 features
Click to Minimize feature for Unity Launcher
Though not enabled by default, 'Click to Minimize' functionality for Unity Launcher has arrived on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Currently, you need to have CCSM installed to enable it.



Pretty neat, don't you think? LIMs, new Lock Screen and borderless windows, new Spread animation and now this. Which among these small tweaks do you think will make the maximum impact? Let us know your opinion in the comments below. Thanks for watching.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS gets a new Lock Screen and beautiful border-less App Windows!

Tech Drive-in 16 Mar 2014, 2:40 pm | Tech Drive-in

More fun stuff added to Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr". This time, the lockscreen received a much needed update. To me, the most important aspect about this change is the fact that, lockscreen actually got faster and better-looking at the same time. On the other hand, Ubuntu's new borderless theme for window decorators looks absolutely gorgeous!
ubuntu 14.04 LTS lock screen
Gorgeous Lock Screen and Borderless Windows arrives in Trusty Tahr
I mean, look at that. It's a far cry from what we had earlier. The new Unity lock screen is nimble, fast and great-looking, all the the same time. The overall responsiveness is simply mind-blowing. This is how it should have worked from day one. The new lock screen is designed to look like Ubuntu's default login screen even though it is not LightDM based.

ubuntu 14.04 new lock screen
Now the window decorators. The default Ambiance and Radiance themes will be borderless in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr". It's yet another small change that will make a big difference in the overall visual appeal of upcoming Ubuntu.
borderless windows theme ubuntu 14.04 LTS
First it was that small change to Unity spread that made headlines. Then the LIMs came and now this, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is starting to look like a true blockbuster in the making.

Meet the 11 New Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Default Wallpapers [Download Link]

Tech Drive-in 12 Mar 2014, 9:31 am | Tech Drive-in

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is marching ahead and will be released as previously planned, on April 17, 2014. Many new features has been added including the much-loved Locally Integrated Menus (LIMs). Community contributed wallpapers was the next in line. From a large cache of about 405 submissions, 11 carefully sorted wallpapers has made it to the final list.

community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04
  • Jelly Fish - RaDu GaLaN
default wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.0411 new wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04new wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04 lts11 new community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04ubuntu wallpapersnew community wallpapers for ubuntu 14.04 lts
  • Backyard Mushrooms - Kurt Zitzelman
  • Berries - Tom Kijas
A little bland and gloomy, don't you think? Looks are subjective, but personally, I would have preferred a more "lively" wallpaper collection like you have in elementary OS for example. Also, I couldn't find the original links to Jelly Fish wallpaper, Backyard Mushrooms wallpaper and Berries wallpaper. Please share the relevant links if you can. Click on the icon below to download the entire wallpaper collection. [Sources: 1, 2]download ubuntu 14.04 wallpapers

Google Translate in your Terminal? Oh yes!

Tech Drive-in 11 Mar 2014, 8:35 am | Tech Drive-in

The google-translate-cli is a very simple 100-line AWK program that lets you use Google Translate without a web browser, and right from your Terminal. And it is as simple as it sounds. All you need is the GNU implementation of AWK programming language called Gawk and Git. Here's how you setup Google Translate for your Terminal in Ubuntu. 
google translate terminal ubuntu 14.04
Install Google Translate for Terminal in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • As we said earlier, to install and make google-translate-cli work properly, you need to have the following packages: "gawk" and "git". Either search for them in Ubuntu Software Center or simply copy-paste the following line to your Terminal. 
sudo apt-get install gawk git
  • Now, lets get started with installing google-translate-cli in Ubuntu. Simply run the commands below in your Terminal. 
git clone git://github.com/soimort/google-translate-cli.git
cd google-translate-cli/
make install
  • Done. Google Translate is now ready. Now you could use either "trs" or "translate" commands to call Google Translate API. (see screenshot above for examples)

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