Archives For Howtos

Curlew Multimedia Converter

Free and open-source multimedia converter Curlew 0.2.5 was released today with great new features and enhancements.

Curlew is a GTK3 software written in Python and uses ffmpeg/avconv for media encoding. The latest Curlew 0.2.5 features:

  • Add option to include all audio tracks of file.
  • Add support for merging files.
  • Add Fade In/Out filter feature.
  • Add paste “from the Clipboard” feature.
  • Use Home directory as default converting destination.
  • Hide unused page/widget.
  • Add xplayer to players list.
  • Colored buttons (Convert/Close).
  • Removed CSD option.
  • Deleted stdeb config files and use native debian packaging system.
  • Fix disabled convert button issue.
  • Bug fixes, code enhancements, and translation updates.

How to install Curlew 0.2.5 in Ubuntu:

The software offers pre-compiled .deb package available for download at the link below:

Download Curlew (.deb)

To install the .deb package in Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 18.04, either use Gdebi package manager or run command in terminal:

sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/curlew_0.2.5-1_all.deb; sudo apt-get -f install


To remove the software, simply run command in terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --autoremove curlew

notification history

This quick tip shows you how to change the position of on screen notifications in Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome desktop.

I’ve written about how to customize on screen notifications in Ubuntu Unity by installing a patched version of Notify OSD daemon.

Ubuntu 18.04 ships with Gnome 3 desktop by default. Desktop appearances can be tweaked by installing Gnome Shell extensions.

1. For those never installed a Gnome Shell extension, click the link below to install some required packages:

Preparation for installing Gnome extensions

2. Panel OSD is a Gnome extensions that allows to move screen notification position, and change time-out delay.

Go to the link below in your web browser and turn on the switch to install the extension:

Install “Panel OSD” extension

3. Once installed the extension, install Gnome Tweaks in Ubuntu Software, and configure it in Gnome Tweaks -> Extensions tab.

HP Linux Imaging and Printing


HPLIP 3.18.5, HP developed Linux drivers for HP inkjet and laser based printers, was released a few hours ago.

HPLIP 3.18.5 brings a large list of new printers support:

  • HP DesignJet T1700 / T1700dr PostScript
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro M253a, M254dn, M254n, M254dne, M254nw, M254dw, M254cnw, M253nw, M253cnw, M254cdw.
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M180nw, M181fw, M179fw, M179cfw, M181fnw, M181cfw, M180n, M178cn, M178n, M180cn
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw, M279fdw, M281cdw, M281fdn, M281dne, M278dn, M280nw, M278nw, M278cw, M280cnw, M280c2
  • HP Color LaserJet Pro M154a
  • HP Color LaserJet M153a, M153b, M153nw, M153cnw, M153c1, M154b, M154nw, M153c1, M154cnw, M154c1
  • HP PageWide Managed Color MFP P77440dn, P77440dn, P77940dns, P77940dn, P77940dn+, P77950dns, P77950dn, P77950dn+, P77960dns, P77960dn, P77960dn+

Download / Install HPLIP 3.18.5:

To install the software, download the package “” from the link below:

HPLIP Download Page

Then open terminal via Ctrl+Alt+T or search for “terminal” from app launcher. When it opens, run command:

cd ~/Downloads/ && chmod +x && ./

Input your password (no visual feedback while typing) when it prompts and hit Enter.

Then follow the terminal outputs, answer some questions to build and install HPLIP on your system. When everything is done, plug/re-plug your printers and enjoy!


SMPlayer media player 18.5.0 was released earlier today with enhancements and a few bug-fixes. Here’s how to install it in all current Ubuntu releases via PPA.

SMPlayer 18.5.0 release highlights:

  • Now the YouTube live streams work on Windows as well.
  • A problem which might prevent SMPlayer to open filenames with unicode characters in Windows has been fixed.
  • Fix: the cursor keys should now work in the playlist.
  • Now it’s possible to select which multimedia keys should be used as global shortcuts (Preferences -> Keyboard and mouse).
  • The multimedia key events are sent twice on some systems, making some keys (like volume mute or play/pause) almost unusable. This version tries to detect it and prevent it.
  • “opus” has been added to to the list of audio extensions.

SMPlayer with Mac skin

How to Install SMPlayer 18.5 in Ubuntu:

For Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu 18.04, and derivatives, do following steps to install or upgrade SMPlayer via its PPA repository.

1. Search for and launch “terminal” from application launcher. When it opens, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer

Input your password (no visual feedback while typing) when it asks and hit Enter.

Smplayer PPA

2. Then upgrade SMPlayer using Software Updater (or Update Manager):

upgrade smplayer

or run commands in terminal to install (or upgrade) the media player:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install smplayer smtube smplayer-themes


To remove SMPlayer, run command in terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --autoremove smplayer smtube smplayer-*

And remove the PPA via “Software & Updates” utility under Other Software tab.

GIMP extra color palettes

GIMP 2.10.2, the first bug-fix release for the GIMP 2.10 series, was released 2 days ago. And now you can easily install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 17.10, and derivatives.

GIMP 2.10.2 release highlights:

  • Add HEIF image format support both for loading and export
  • Spherize filter to wrap an image around a spherical cap
  • Recursive Transform filter to create a Droste effect
  • Single-window screenshots improvement for Windows.
  • Histogram computation improvement which eliminates some UI freezes
  • Document update and a total of 44 bug-fixes.

How to Install GIMP 2.10.2 via PPA in Ubuntu:

The new release has been made into PPA repository for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 17.10.

Ubuntu 16.04 is not supported at the moment due to inextricably Glib dependencies.

1. Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcuts, or by searching for ‘Terminal’ from app launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

Type your password (no visual feedback) when it prompts and hit Enter to continue.

2. After added the PPA, you can upgrade to GIMP 2.10.2 from an existing release using Software Updater (Update Manager):

or run commands one by one in terminal to install or upgrade GIMP:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gimp

Tip: apt update command is not required for Ubuntu 18.04 since it automatically refresh repository caches after adding PPA.

How to Restore:

For any reason, you can restore to the old GIMP 2.8.22 by running following command in terminal to purge the PPA:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp