Monthly Archives: December 2015

Install MATE 1.12.1 In Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Or 16.04 Via PPA

The Ubuntu 15.10 and 16.04 MATE PPAs were updated recently with the latest MATE 1.12.1.

MATE 1.12.1 Ubuntu Wily

According to Martin Wimpress, Project Lead for Ubuntu MATE, the PPAs use the same source packages that he’s done for Debian, which are currently being reviewed by the FTP masters and should land in Debian Unstable in a couple of weeks, so they should be safe to use.

Among the changes in MATE 1.12 (released about a month ago) are various fixes (for example: panel applets are no longer reordered when changing screen resolutions) and improvements for GTK3, including GTK 3.18 support, better touchpad and multi-monitor support and more. Check out THIS article for a complete MATE 1.12 changelog.
In other Ubuntu MATE news:
  • you you shouldn’t need the Ubuntu Xenial PPA for long because as soon as the MATE 1.12 packages are accepted into Debian Unstable, they should be automatically imported into Ubuntu 16.04.
  • the small MATE Dock applet I wrote about a while back was added to Debian Git recently by Martin Wimpress, and until Ubuntu and Debian reinstate the gir1.2-wnck-1.0 package (which was dropped a while back and is required by this applet), you can install this applet by using the Wily/Xenial Ubuntu MATE PPAs.

Upgrade to MATE 1.12.1 in Ubuntu MATE 15.10 or 16.04

To upgrade to the latest MATE 1.12.1 in Ubuntu 15.10 using the MATE Wily PPA, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/wily-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

For Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus, use the following commands to upgrade to the latest MATE 1.12.1:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

For both Wily and Xenial, to install the MATE Dock Applet I mentioned above, use the following command (after upgrading to MATE 1.12.1):
sudo apt-get install mate-dock-applet

How to revert the changes

If for whatever reason you want to downgrade MATE back to the version available in Ubuntu MATE by default, use the following commands:

– for Wily:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/wily-mate

– for Xenial:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
The first command installs PPA purge and the second command purges the PPA (disables the PPA and downgrades all the packages installed from that PPA).

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Dash Online Search To Be Disabled By Default In Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)

With Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the Dash online search feature will be disabled by default.

The online search feature won’t be removed and users will be able to re-enable it via System Settings > Security & Privacy.
This isn’t the only change though. Even after enabling the Dash online search feature, the Amazon and Skimlinks results will remain off by default and there will be an extra option to enable them.
Yet another change is the removal of the following scopes from the default installation (they will still be available for install from the repositories): Audacious, Clementine, GMusicBrowser, Guayadeque and Musique.
And finally, the Music Store will also be removed starting with Ubuntu 16.04.

Why change this? According to Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Manager:

On Unity 8 the Scopes concept has evolved into something which gives the user finer control over what is searched and provides more targeted results. This functionality cannot be added into Unity 7 and so we’ve taken the decision to gracefully retire some aspects of the Unity 7 online search features.

He then adds:

By making these changes now we can better manage our development priorities, servers, network bandwidth etc throughout the LTS period.

It’s important to mention that the only change that will affect previous Ubuntu releases is the removal of the Music Store, while all the other changes will only affect new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS installations.

What do you think?

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How To Change The Mouse Scroll Wheel Speed In Linux Using imwheel [Quick Tip]


I’ve never actually needed to modify the mouse scroll wheel speed until recently, when I got a new mouse and I wanted to change the scroll wheel settings. That’s when I noticed there’s no such option in Unity / GNOME Control Center.
I searched for ways to change this under Linux and the easiest to use seems to be “imwheel”, a command line tool that can be used to tweak the mouse wheel behavior and which, among others, can change the scroll speed of the mouse wheel, and I decided to share the information with you.

Here’s what you need to do to change the scroll speed of the mouse wheel if your desktop environment doesn’t have an option for this:

1. Install imwheel. Since the app is available in the official Ubuntu repositories, you can install using Synaptic, Ubuntu Software Center, etc. or use the following command to install it:
sudo apt-get install imwheel

2. Next, create a file called “.imwheelrc” in your home directory – I’ll use Gedit in the command below to open this file:
gedit ~/.imwheelrc

And in this file, paste the following:

None, Up, Button4, 3
None, Down, Button5, 3
Control_L, Up, Control_L|Button4
Control_L, Down, Control_L|Button5
Shift_L, Up, Shift_L|Button4
Shift_L, Down, Shift_L|Button5

“3” at the end of lines two and three represent the number of lines to scroll (“3” should be default)  – modify this number to suit your needs. Once you’re done, save the file.
The first (“.*”) line from the code used above represents is used to specify in which applications to use those settings. “.*” means everywhere, but you can also apply application-specific settings by changing “.*” to the window name (and add multiple application-dependent settings). Run “man imwheel” for more information.

And finally, the last 4 lines in the code above are there to allow Ctrl / Shift with mouse scroll wheel up / down to work (for instance, to allow zooming in on a webpage in the web browser, etc.), which is the default behaviour.

3. Start “imwheel” (type “imwheel” in a terminal). Important note: make sure you don’t run multiple imwheel instances (if you want to stop any previous instances, run the following command: “killall imwheel”)!

4. Since these settings are only applied when imwheel is running, you should add imwheel to startup (if you use Unity, to do this, open Startup Applications, click “Add” and under both “Name” and “Command” fields, add “imwheel”).

It’s important to mention that imwheel applies the settings available in ~/.imwheelrc when the application starts and it doesn’t update when changing the configuration file. So if you modify the configuration file, you’ll need to close imwheel and start it again to apply / test the changes (you can close/kill it using the following command: “killall imwheel”).
  • this will most probably not fix issues such as very fast scrolling, if you encounter such an issue, you can try unplugging and then plugging the mouse back;
  • if you only want to change the scroll wheel speed in Firefox and Chrome, you can do this from within the app or using an extension: Firefox | Chrome, etc.

via AskUbuntu; image via Wikipedia.

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`Take A Break` Helps You To Actually… Take A Break From Your Computer

`Take a Break` is a small application which can be used to (more or less) force users to take a break after a configurable work time, useful if something like a popup reminder is not effective for you.

Take a Break

The application was created based on a question on AskUbuntu, in which an user asked for an application that could force him to take a break. With Take a Break, you can do just that – you can set it to force you to take a break – , or just notify you (a popup that stays on top of other windows but which you can easily close), all depending on the “effect” you choose in the Take a Break settings and of course, if you know how / are willingly to manually bypass those “effects” (like the “screen upside down” option).
Take a Break works like this: you set the work time, break time and the effect. The application will then perform the action (effect) you’ve selected to take a break, after the work time expires.
Among the Take a Break “effects” (actions performed when the break begins) are: dim screen, rotate screen upside down, lock screen or just display a countdown message.

Other Take a Break features include:

  • notifications for start/stop, restart and upcoming break;
  • smart resume: after a break, the application will start counting the time only when the machine is no longer idle (when the user actually starts working again);
  • Unity quicklist which allows you to toggle Take a Break on/off.
  • option to start Take a Break at login.

For the screensaver / lock features, “gnome-screensaver” needs to be installed on your system (it should be automatically installed if you’re using Unity) so make sure you install it if you want to use those features!
I should also note that in my test, the “screen upside down” option didn’t work because, according to xrandr, my laptop’s screen can’t be rotated.
While there are other more or less similar applications out there (like Workrave – which sadly hasn’t been updated since 2013 and seems abandoned), Take a Break is simple, lightweight (you only need the GUI to configure it, there’s another process which uses about 4 MiB of RAM that runs in the background and triggers the breaks) and quite effective I’d say :).

Install Take a Break in Ubuntu

Take a Break can be installed in Ubuntu by using a PPA. To add the PPA and install the application, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vlijm/takeabreak
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install takeabreak

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can grab the deb from HERE.

Report any bugs you may encounter @ Launchpad.

Thanks to Jacob for the tip!

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