Blog Archives

Tool To Create Bootable Windows USB Stick From Linux `WinUSB` (Fork) Renamed To `WoeUSB`, Sees New Release

The WinUSB fork we covered a while back was renamed to WoeUSB recently, while also seeing quite a few releases for the past few days.

WoeUSB

WoeUSB / WinUSB is a tool that can be used to create a bootable Windows installer USB stick from an ISO or DVD. The application supports Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, as well Windows 10, and can be used either with a GUI or from the command line.

As for supported bootmodes, WoeUSB / WinUSB can create a bootable Windows USB installation stick using the following:
  • Legacy / MBR-style / IBM PC compatible bootmode;
  • Native UEFI booting is supported for Windows 7 and later images (with a limitation: only FAT filesystem can be used as the target filesystem).

Since it was forked from Colin Gille’s WinUSB, the application has seen a major code refactoring, bug fixes as well as some minor new features. The changes include:
  • support for both wxWidgets 2 and 3;
  • use pkexec instead of gksudo for privilege escalation;
  • UEFI boot support;
  • numerous bug fixes.

Some newer WoeUSB changes include:

  • support customizing the –label of the newly created filesystem in –format mode;
  • implement checking on target filesystem in –install mode;
  • command line: check if target media is busy before continuing and bail out when the target partition is mounted;
  • support Linux distributions that uses “grub2” as prefix name, such as Fedora;
  • –install and –format installation options are deprecated in favor of –partition and –device, to be more clear what both options will do. The old options will still be available until WoeUSB v3.0;
  • from now on, GRUB will pause when the ENTER key is used before starting to load Windows. This is useful if you want to see if there are errors in the GRUB loading stage.

Also, since the application name has changed, the executables have changed as well: “woeusbgui” for the GUI and “woeusb” for the command line tool.

You can see what’s new in each new WoeUSB release (there were 13 new releases for the past 2 days) on GitHub.

Despite the major code refactoring and numerous bug fixes, I still encountered an error using the WoeUSB GUI, which I also found in the original WinUSB. When the Windows USB stick is completed, WoeUSB displayed the following message: “Installation failed ! Exit code: 256”. This bug was closed on GitHub and it looks like it doesn’t affect the actual Windows USB stick in any way.

In my test, I was able to install Windows 10 64bit in VirtualBox (on an Ubuntu 17.04 host) despite this error.

Install WoeUSB in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA

WoeUSB is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 or 14.04 / Linux Mint 18.x or 17.x. To add the PPA and install WoeUSB, use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can grab the latest WoeUSB deb from HERE (you’ll only need the “woeusb” deb; the “winusb” deb is there as a transitional dummy package, so those that had the old fork installed will receive the new WoeUSB package as an update).

For how to build WoeUSB from source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

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MATE Dock Applet Sees New Release

MATE Dock Applet is a MATE panel applet that displays open windows / applications as icons. The latest 0.78 version includes 5 new types of indicators, a new option to add space between dock icons, and more.

MATE Dock Applet

Among the MATE Dock Applet features are pinning applications to the dock, display an indicator for running applications, supports activating applications using keyboard shortcuts, and more. The applet can even change the color of MATE panels to the dominant desktop wallpaper color.

Changes in MATE Dock Applet 0.78 include:

  • 5 new types of running application indicators: circle, square, triangle, diamond and subway. For the GTK3 version of the applet (Ubuntu 16.10 and newer), the indicator color will use the current theme highlight color. Since that’s not possible for GTK2, you can use the fallback color option to set this (see the MATE Dock Applet preferences, in the Misc tab);
  • you can now set the spacing between dock icons. Supported values are 0-7 (Dock Preferences > Panel Options > App spacing);
  • for windows requiring attention, you can now configure if a badge (exclamation mark) should be displayed on top of the icon instead of a blinking icon (Dock Preferences > Misc > Action when apps need attention).

Here are a few screenshots with some of these changes:

MATE Dock Applet
window requiring attention showing a badge (image via MATE Dock Applet release notes)

MATE Dock Applet
“0” app spacing

MATE Dock Applet
“7” app spacing

MATE Dock Applet
New “Subway” running window indicator

You can find more screenshots in the MATE Dock Applet 0.78 release notes.

Install MATE Dock Applet

MATE Dock Applet is available in the Ubuntu (MATE) repositories, but it’s not the latest version. You can see the version available for each Ubuntu release HERE. To install the version from the official Ubuntu MATE repositories, simply use the following command:
sudo apt install mate-dock-applet

Ubuntu MATE 17.04, 16.10, 16.04 or 14.04 users can install the latest MATE Dock Applet by using the WebUpd8 MATE PPA. Add the PPA and install the applet using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/mate
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mate-dock-applet

Once installed, right click the MATE panel, select “Add to panel” and add the “Dock” applet.
To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the MATE Dock Applet GitHub page.

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Why Oracle Java 7 And 6 Installers No Longer Work

Oracle Java
Because I’ve received more than 50 emails about this, I though I’d make a post about it, to clear things up for everybody.
While Oracle Java 6 and 7 are not supported for quite a while, they were still available for download on Oracle’s website until recently.

However, the binaries were removed about 10 days ago (?), so the Oracle Java (JDK) 6 and 7 installers available in the WebUpd8 Oracle Java PPA no longer work.

Oracle Java 6 and 7 are now only available for those with an Oracle Support account (which is not free), so I can’t support this for the PPA packages.

From the Oracle Java downloads page:

“Updates for Java SE 7 released after April 2015, and updates for Java SE 6 released after April 2013 are only available to Oracle Customers through My Oracle Support (requires support login).

Java SE Advanced offers users commercial features, access to critical bug fixes, security fixes, and general maintenance”.

It’s highly recommended you update to Oracle Java 8. Check out the following articles for how to install Oracle Java 8 in Ubuntu (or Linux Mint and derivatives) or Debian via PPA.
If you have an Oracle Support account and you really need Oracle JDK 6 or 7, you can get the installers from the WebUpd8 PPA to work by downloading the binaries and placing them in the following folder:
  • /var/cache/oracle-jdk6-installer/ for JDK 6 (you’ll need version 6u45)
  • /var/cache/oracle-jdk7-installer/ for JDK 7 (you’ll need version 7u80 for 32bit and 64bit or 7u60 for arm)

… and then install the oracle-java6-installer or oracle-java7-installer package.

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Tilix (Previously Terminix) 1.5.8 And Guake 0.8.9 Available In PPA

Tilix (previously called Terminix) and Guake terminal emulators have had new releases recently, and are both available in PPA for Ubuntu / Linux Mint.

Tilix 1.5.8

Tilix

Tilix is a GTK3 terminal emulator. The application allows splitting terminals both horizontally and vertically, which can easily be re-arranged using drag and drop.
Other features include a Quake-like mode (the terminal appears at the top of the screen, and can be toggled on or off with a key), saving and loading groupped terminals, synchronized input and more.

Changes in Tilix 1.5.8 include:

  • window state is now saved and restored between sessions (e.g. if a window is maximized when closed, it will be maximized when you launch Tilix again);
  • sessions can be detached using drag and drop. They can also be re-attached to another Tilix window;
  • sessions can now be reordered using drag and drop or by using Ctrl + Pg Up / Ctrl + Pg Dn;
  • if Ctrl + C is assigned to copy shortcut, tilix is smart enough to only copy when text is selected otherwise normal interrupt is passed;
  • added new variable for titles at session scope for active terminal title;
  • added support for GTK active CSS style. This sould enable better styling of terminal titlebars;
  • added support for VTE hyperlink functionality;
  • bug fixes.

It’s also important to mention that with this release, Tilix now uses PCRE2 for regular expressions when the VTE version indicates it is supported. This feature was removed from VTE in Ubuntu 17.10, and as a result, Tilix won’t work properly in this Ubuntu version unless Tilix or VTE is patched.
I’ll look into this in the future. Right now, the WebUpd8 Tilix PPA doesn’t support Ubuntu 17.10.
To install Tilix in Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10 or 17.04 / Linux Mint 18.x, you can use the WebUpd8 Tilix PPA. To add the PPA and install Tilix, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminix
sudo apt update
sudo apt install tilix

I didn’t link directly to the Tilix deb because you’ll need some extra dependencies from the PPA.
For how to install Tilix in other Linux distributions, bug reports, etc., see its webpage.

Guake 0.8.9

Guake terminal

Guake is a drop-down terminal emulator. While a GTK3 version is in development (currently in alpha), the stable Guake version is currently using GTK2.
The application slides down from the top of the key when a key is pressed and slides back up when using the same key. This functionality is inspired from consoles using in games such as Quake.
Quake features multi-monitor support, tabs, transparency, and is higly configurable.

Changes in Guake 0.8.9 include:

  • a new option was added which allows running a script when the Guake window becomes visible (this is available on the “Hooks” tab);
  • added an option for toggling ‘resizer’ visibility;
  • tabs now share the full screen width;
  • the ‘Quick open’ feature now also matches /home path;
  • added “-l” command line option to get the tab label;
  • fixed quick open not working with dash;
  • Unity screen size fixes.

Guake 0.8.9 is available in the WebUpd8 Unstable / Backports PPA for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10, 16.04, and 14.04 / Linux Mint 18.x and 17.x. 
I used this PPA so it’s easy to go back to the Guake version available in the official repositories in case you don’t like the new version or it’s buggy. The packages in this PPA are usually pretty stable, though some unstable packages may be added at times.
To add the PPA and install the latest Guake, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install guake

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can download the Guake deb from HERE (scroll down for the latest version).

To download the Guake source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

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New KDE Connect Indicator Ubuntu / Linux Mint PPA

The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) PPA maintainer is not available any more, and I was asked to create a new PPA. 

KDE Connect Indicator

Since I’m a KDE Connect Indicator user myself, I couldn’t say no, so I created a new KDE Connect Indicator PPA, which provides packages for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 and 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x.

I didn’t upload packages for Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x because I couldn’t build the latest KDE Connect for this Ubuntu version due to newer dependencies, and Ubuntu 14.04 has a pretty old KDE Connect version.
The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) developer is also looking for someone that can create and maintain Flatpack and Snap packages too. If you can help, see THIS bug report.
In case you’re not familiar with KDE Connect Indicator, this is an indicator / tray for KDE Connect. Using KDE Connect, you can mirror Android notifications on the desktop, easily send and receive files from an Android device to your desktop (and the other way around), control desktop media players from Android, share the clipboard between your Android device and desktop, and more.
Check out our KDE Connect Indicator fork article for more information.

Install KDE Connect Indicator fork in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via new PPA

As a reminder, KDE Connect depends on quite a few KDE packages. You may want to save the KDE package list that’s installed to make it easier to remove in the future, in case you want to remove them (“apt autoremove” won’t remove all of them, at least in Ubuntu).
To add the new KDE Connect Indicator fork PPA and install the app in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 or 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect

You can also download the latest KDE Connect Indicator deb from GitHub, but you won’t receive updates through your system’s update manager. For Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10 / Linux Mint 18, you’ll also need a newer KDE Connect version for the indicator to work. KDE Connect 1.0.3 is available for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18 and Ubuntu 16.10 in the PPA.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

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