Luminance HDR 2.5.0 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu

a screenshot of luminance HDR on UbuntuLuminance HDR 2.5.0 is the latest release of this popular HDR editing app, and it adds a pair of brand new tone mapping operators and an optional dark mode.

This post, Luminance HDR 2.5.0 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Newest Solus ISO Snapshot Includes GNOME

Last week, the grand leader of the Solus Project released a new snapshot of his rolling release distro. There were a good number of changes. The most notable was a GNOME ISO.

GNOME Rides Again

If you have been following Solus news, you might be scratching your head over the addition of a GNOME ISO. After all, Solus’ own Budgie desktop environment uses all kinds of GNOME libraries and tooling. So, this release might seem like a conflict of interest, especially since the next version of Budgie will be based on Qt.

However, the guys at Solus are still big fans of GNOME. According to the release announcement, they created this GNOME ISO in order “to make GNOME a first class experience, instead of a hybrid Budgie / GNOME setup, and introduce a near-stock GNOME experience with sane defaults and some shipped extensions.”

The new GNOME edition is powered by GNOME 3.24 and uses the Arc theme. They also included the following GNOME extensions: Dash to Dock, Impatience, and TopIcons. They include chrome-gnome-shell package so you can easily install GNOME extensions from Chrome. If you prefer to use Firefox, all you have to do is install an extension from Mozilla.

Solus-GNOME screenshot

Other Changes

GNOME is not the only big change in this new snapshot. clr-boot-manager is now supported out of the box. This package is from the Clear Linux Project, Ikey’s day job. It creates a “more bulletproof update experience” for the kernel by “handling the maintenance and garbage collection of kernels, as well as configuration of the bootloader itself”. It also keeps a previous version of the kernel, in case the updated kernel fails to boot. It also provides support for multiple kernels. (Solus currently uses the LTS kernel, which in this case is 4.9.22.)

The MATE edition of Solus has also seen some love. MATE has been updated to version 1.18. A new version of the Brisk menu was included.

Even though the Solus team is planning to move Budgie over to Qt for version 11, version 10.3 still received some nice new features. One big problem I’ve had with Solus was the inability to know what window was going to pop up next when I used Alt+Tab. For me, this was a deal breaker because when I was in a groove switching between Firefox and Visual Studio Code, sometimes VLC would pop up. Because of the lack of an Alt+Tab dialog box, I switch to MATE for a while. Now Budgie has a new Alt+Tabinterface that is faster and I can tell which program is next. This is thanks to a 500 EUR bounty that Ikey put on the problem

Budgie also contains several fixes for GTK 3.22. The Budgie menu and the pop-ups no longer act strangely when you have the panel on the bottom of the screen. The previous display issue with the Run Dialog is fixed as well.

You Can Try GNOME on Solus Now

If you already have Solus installed, you don’t have to reinstall it to try out the GNOME goodness. Just open the terminal and enter the following commands:

sudo eopkg rm lightdm

sudo eopkg install gdm gnome-shell gnome-desktop-branding

Once you reboot, you’ll see the LightDM login screen. If you haven’t used LightDM before, there is a slight trick to select which desktop environment to log into. You need to click on your username and then click on the little gear next to the “Sign In” button. A menu should pop open with a list of desktop environments to choose from.

Final Thoughts

I think that the announcement of a GNOME edition is a sign of the maturity of the Solus Project. It shows that they are attempting to fulfill their users’ needs with three desktop environments. Ikey told me before that he doesn’t want Solus to be associated with one desktop environment. That’s why he focuses on “distro agnostic solutions and technology”. For example, he didn’t like the MATE menu, so he created the Brisk menu and is working with the Ubuntu MATE team to improve it.

What’s interesting is that they didn’t have to do much to create the GNOME edition. In fact, Ikey said on Late Night Linux that it would only take about 20 minutes to spin up a GNOME ISO. The entire GNOME stack is in place because they use it for Budgie. Ikey also said that they would continue to maintain the GNOME edition after they release the Qt version of Budgie.

I also really excited about the clr-boot-manager. It sounds like it will keep kernel errors down. The other day, my battery died during the update process and the new kernel didn’t install properly. I was able to boot using the previous version of the kernel and complete the update process. Everything was fine after that.

Do you plan to give the new GNOME edition a spin? Have you tried Solus in the past? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoy the new GNOME edition, drop a thank you to Joshua Strobl, Solus Project’s Communications Manager.

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Budgie 10.3 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu

budgie desktopA new version of the Budgie desktop is available to install on Ubuntu. Budgie 10.3 adds a new Alt+Tab switcher, and brings a stack of bug fixes to the table.

This post, Budgie 10.3 Released, Here’s How to Install it on Ubuntu, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Ubuntu 12.04 Reaching End of Life This Week

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is reaching the end of life on 28th April 2017. If you or your organization is using Ubuntu 12.04, it is time to plan your upgrade.

You might already be aware that there are two types of release with Ubuntu: long-term support (LTS) and regular release. A regular release is supported for nine months while an LTS release is supported for five years.

Once a release reaches the end of life, it stops getting security updates from Ubuntu. The only exception to this rule is if you are a paying customer to Ubuntu, you can delay the mandatory upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 by purchasing Ubuntu 12.04 Extended Security Maintenance (ESM).

Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end of life

Can’t upgrade now? Buy Ubuntu 12.04 ESM!

While Canonical (Ubuntu’s parent company) encourages you to upgrade to 14.04 and you’ll have to sooner or later, you get some additional time with the purchase of ESM. If you are already using the paid service from Canonical called Ubuntu Advantage, ESM is already included in your package.

In ESM, Ubuntu delivers security and maintenance upgrade via a secure, private archive on a per-node or per hour basis.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 12.04

If you cannot purchase ESM, then you have no option other than upgrading your system(s). You cannot upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 directly. You must upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04.

Ubuntu 14.04 will be supported until April 2019 so you’ll get two additional years with this upgrade.

If you are unsure of which Ubuntu version you are using, you can use the command below to find out:
lsb_release -a

1. Upgrade instructions for Ubuntu 12.04 server edition

Once you know that you are using Ubuntu 12.04, it is time to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04. For Ubuntu Server edition, you need to use the following commands:
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade

Follow the on-screen instructions afterward.

2. Upgrade instructions for Ubuntu 12.04  desktop edition

Desktop users can upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 the graphical way. It is simple. Just make sure that you have correct settings in Software and Updates. Under the Updates tab, make sure that you have set Notify me of a new Ubuntu version to For long-term support versions.

Ubuntu 16.04 software settings

You’ll be notified about the newer version and upgrade is just a few easy click away. You’ll need to have an active and good internet connection for this.

What’s your plan?

Ubuntu 12.04 was released on April 26, 2012. It’s FOSS wasn’t even born then. And now we have Ubuntu 12.04 reaching the end of life. Time flies indeed.

What are your plans? Do you still use Ubuntu 12.04? And if yes, have you planned your upgrade yet?

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These Projects Are Trying To Keep Memories of Ubuntu Unity Alive

Ubuntu Unity is going to be dead soon. Starting Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu will switch to GNOME as default desktop environment.

A lot has happened at Ubuntu after the announcement of Unity’s departure. But I am not going to dwell on it again. What we know for a fact that Unity desktop environment is going away after more than 6 years of development.

While a number of people have a strong dislike for Unity, there are many who consider it as one of the best desktop environments. I am one of them. Honestly, I am sad to see Unity go like this. I have always liked the Unity interface, don’t judge me for that 🙂

And I am surely not alone in it. There are a few people who have started to work on projects around Unity desktop environment. I am going to list three of such projects that are trying to keep Unity alive in our memories.

These projects are trying to keep Ubuntu Unity alive

1. United GNOME Theme

It all started as a concept. Someone shared a mockup of Ubuntu Unity style GNOME desktop.

Ubuntu GNOME concept

Ubuntu GNOME concept

The concept was visually so stunning that some people even suggested that Ubuntu uses similar looks in 18.04. But why wait for a complete year when you can do something today?

A developer worked on a GTK theme that looks similar to the above mockup, all within 48 hours.

So, we now have a GTK theme called United GNOME that you can use in GNOME to resemble it with Unity.

Here is a screenshot of the theme:

Unity like theme for GNOME Shell

Unity look alike GNOME Theme

The theme is under heavy development so don’t be surprised if you encounter issues here and there. You can get the theme from the link below:

United GNOME Theme

2. Enjade Desktop: Unity looks on top of KDE Plasma

When Canonical announced that they will be replacing Unity with GNOME, there were some opinions about opting KDE instead of GNOME.

Seems like someone liked the idea and decided to replicate Unity desktop’s looks in KDE Plasma. And hence we have a new project called Enjade Desktop.

Enjade Desktop

Enjade Desktop concept: Looks Unity, based on KDE Plasma

Enjade Desktop will be a Unity lookalike desktop environment based on KDE Plasma instead of GNOME. Development has not started yet but the website and the GitHub repository is up and inviting contributors.

If you would like to contribute in any way possible, do visit the project website:

Enjade Desktop

3. Yunit: A fork of Unity 8

Unity 8 logo

Unity 8 forked into Yunit

When it comes to Ubuntu Touch, UBports is a known name. It is responsible for porting Ubuntu Touch on devices like OnePlus, Fairphone and some Nexus devices.

With such experience with Ubuntu Touch, UBports could just not let Unity 8 die. Beauty of open source is that with access to the source code, anyone can make the changes and continue the project.

UBports is going to do the same with Unity 8. They have forked it into a new project called Yunit. They will be working independently on this project without any contribution from Canonical.

You can get more details on the project on its website:


What do you think?

There is another project that has forked Unity 7 and is planning to continue as Unit Desktop. But since there is hardly any details available about it, I decided to not include it in the main list here.

What do you think of these projects? Do you think it is worth trying to keep Unity alive somehow or should we move on for good? Do share your views in the comment section below. And please do share the article on social media to help us reach more people 🙂

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This is the Ubuntu 17.10 Release Date

The Ubuntu 17.10 release date is set for October 19, 2017. Ubuntu 17.10 will use the GNOME desktop instead of Unity, the first release to do so since 2011.

This post, This is the Ubuntu 17.10 Release Date, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Is Code-named Artful Aardvark

Stop wondering! Ubuntu 17.10 codename is indirectly revealed. It will be called Artful Aardvark.

Most Ubuntu users, if not all, know the logic behind the codename and versioning of Ubuntu releases. All Ubuntu releases are codenamed with two words, both starting with the same letter.

The first word of the codename is an adjective and the second word is usually an endangered species and sometimes mythical characters.

One more interesting fact is that these code names are in incremental order. So if Ubuntu 16.04 was called Xenial Xerus, the next releases 16.10 was codenamed Yakkety Yak (Y after X).

Last release Ubuntu 17.04 had the codename Zesty Zapus. This left people wondering about the next release’s codename. Quite obviously it had to be something with starting with A as we go back to the beginning of the alphabet.

Artful Aardvark

Unlike previous times, there has been no official announcement of the codename on Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth’s blog. However, the new codename has been spotted on this launchpad page.

Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark

A new repository has been created in the same name to begin the development process. So it is safe to say that the codename of Ubuntu 17.10 is Artful Aardvark.

Now let’s take a deeper look at codename. I guess you already know that artful means full of art or skill. However, there are greater chances that you don’t know what Aardvark is. At least I didn’t know it.

As per Wikipedia, Aardvark is a “medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa”. Colloquially, it is called African Ant Eater.

Aardvark: African Ant Eater

Aardvark: African Ant Eater

A fun fact about Aardvark. Did you know that it is one of the species that survived the ice age? You might have noticed it in the animated movie series Ice Age.

Aardvark survived Ice Age

Aardvark survived Ice Age

I’ll be updating this page with more details about Ubuntu 17.10 release date, features and other development news as they occur. Keep watching this page.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Is Named ‘Artful Aardvark’

otis the aardvark from CBBC in front of an Ubuntu logoStill wondering what the Ubuntu 17.10 codename will be? Well, it seems we have our answer courtesy of Launchpad, home of Ubuntu development.

This post, Ubuntu 17.10 Is Named ‘Artful Aardvark’, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Ubuntu Is Switching to Wayland by Default

wayland logoUbuntu is to ship Wayland by default in place of X.Org Server. Word of the display server switch won’t surprise many. Mir, Canonical’s home-spun alternative to Wayland, had been billed as the future of Ubuntu’s convergence play. But both Unity 8 the convergence dream was recently put out to pasture, meaning this decision was widely expected. It’s probable […]

This post, Ubuntu Is Switching to Wayland by Default, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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5 Developments After Ubuntu Unity Fiasco

Canonical has shut down Ubuntu Phone project and is also stopping the development of Unity 8. It will go back to GNOME as its primary desktop. It also means that other developments around it, especially Ubuntu’s own Mir display server, will also be abandoned.

This news shocked the entire Linux world last week and we can still feel the aftereffects. Now in case you are wondering what’s next for Ubuntu now and where will it be headed, let me throw some lights on it.

There have been a few developments, some of them might change the direction of Ubuntu and its future. Let’s see what has happened after Canonical announced departure from its convergence plan.

CEO Jane Silber resigns as founder Mark Shuttleworth takes the helm again

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth

Ubuntu’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth, returns as the CEO of Canonical. Present CEO Jane Silber has resigned.

Jane Silber took charge as CEO of Canonical in 2010 and was crucial in the growth of Canonical as Ubuntu collaborated with giants like Netflix, eBay, Walmart and Microsoft. Under her wings, Ubuntu became a dominant choice on cloud systems.

On the downside, the part of bringing Ubuntu to mobile OS didn’t go that well.

While it may not sound like but this change at the top of the company was done amicably. There were no bitter moments if you were hoping for that. At least not what it seems like from her farewell note.

Massive layoffs at Canonical

Layoff at Canonical

Canonical had put hefty resources on the development front of Unity, Mir and other projects around it.

As these projects are being discontinued, it clearly resulted in massive layoffs at Ubuntu. Though the numbers are not certain, it is estimated that of the 700 employees of Canonical, over 30% of the staff will be laid off.

People who could be accommodated in other projects were lucky but many people had to leave. This move was sudden as many employees were not expecting this at all.

Departing employees were compensated by sort of severance packages depending on the region they belonged to.

External investors as Canonical faces financial trouble

External investors at Ubuntu

The entire trouble actually started with the idea of external investors.

Shuttleworth decided to seek potential external investors and these investors determined that Canonical was overstaffed and some projects lacked focus, noted The Resgister.

That ‘some projects’ obviously meant everything around the Canonical dream of convergence: Unity8, Ubuntu Phone, Mir display etc. And that’s how the chain of events started. In Shuttleworth’s own words:

“We can’t go through that market process and ask for outside investor money when there’s something that big that doesn’t have a revenue story. That’s the pinch we got into.”

I wonder who are these external investors at Canonical. I hope it’s not Microsoft thought it could be possible considering the recent closeness between Canonical and Microsoft.

Unity 8 might be continued unofficially

ubports team

UBports team has forked Unity 8

The power of open source is that any project can be revived by anyone. Remember the GNOME 2 desktop environment? When it was discontinued, it was forked and successfully revived as MATE desktop environment.

Good news is that Unity 8 has been forked. UBports, the team that works on bringing Ubuntu Touch to various mobile devices, has forked the Unity 8 and renamed it to Yunit.

Considering that Canonical has pulled resources off this project, the road of development for these forked Unity versions won’t be easy. I wish them luck though and wish that they become another shining example of success like MATE.

Ubuntu GNOME to be merged with Ubuntu

Ubuntu GNOME concept

Ubuntu GNOME concept

When Canonical announced that it will use GNOME as its default desktop starting Ubuntu 17.04, it was only natural to raise questions about the future of Ubuntu GNOME.

Ubuntu GNOME is (was) an official flavor of Ubuntu and brought GNOME desktop to Ubuntu. Ubuntu GNOME announced in their blog post:

“…there will no longer be a separate GNOME flavor of Ubuntu. The development teams from both Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu Desktop will be merging resources and focusing on a single combined release, that provides the best of both GNOME and Ubuntu. We are currently liaising with the Canonical teams on how this will work out and more details will be announced in due course as we work out the specifics.”

What do you think of Ubuntu’s future?

I wonder if all of this was done for the sake of bringing external investors and was it really worth it? Shuttleworth did not go for IPO, perhaps that could have helped? But I am not an expert in these things and I believe that Mark Shuttleworth and other upper management people at Canonical have thought it through.

What is your feel about all this? Do you think Ubuntu is headed in the right direction? Or it should have tried to make Ubuntu Phone work a little longer?

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