Archives For Howtos


After more than one year of development, the Audacity audio editor has reached the 2.1.3 release. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 16.10, and their derivatives.

Thanks to an upgrade of the PortAudio library, Audacity 2.1.3 now properly supports Windows 10. It also features:

  • Added support for Magic Mouse/Trackpad on mac OS.
  • New Distortion effect, Rhythm Track (was called Click Track) and Sample Data Import. Also effects are no longer grayed-out when in pause.
  • New scrub ruler and ‘pinned’ option so the waveform moves and the recording/playing head stays still.
  • New features in Timer Record.
  • On Mac, is now added to /Applications/ directly rather than adding a folder there.
  • Over 60 bugs fixed, including five longstanding bugs.

Audacity 2.1.3

How to Install Audacity 2.1.3 in Ubuntu via PPA:

The Audacity Team does not offer official builds of DEB packages. Besides building from source, you can install Audacity 2.1.3 from my PPA (unofficial). Ubuntu 14.04 is excluded due to requirement of GCC >= 4.9.

1. Open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for “Terminal” from Unity Dash. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/audacity

Type in your password (no visual feedback due to security reason) when it asks and hit Enter.

audacity ppa

2. After that, upgrade Audacity via the Software Updater (Update Manager) utility:

upgrade audacity

Or you can run the commands below one by one to install or upgrade the audio editor:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install audacity


For any reason, you can easily remove the PPA and downgrade Audacity to the stock version in Ubuntu via the ppa-purge tool:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/audacity

onscreen keyboard

After first time launching the onscreen keyboard in the login screen, the ‘onboard’ onscreen keyboard automatically starts up every time when I login, or backup from suspend.

launch onscreen keyboard in login

The software does not offer an option to enable / disable the auto startup feature. So here’s how to stop Onboard onscreen keyboard from auto-launching using the Startup Applications utility.


1. Open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for “Terminal” in Unity Dash. When it launches, run command:

sudo sed -i "s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g" /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

Type in your password (no visual feedback due to security reason) when it asks. The command will show hidden startup applications in the Startup Applications utility including Onboard.


2. Launch Startup Applications utility, find out “Onboard” and un-check or remove it:


3. (Optional) You may re-hide these hidden startup applications by running the command below in terminal:

sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=false/NoDisplay=true/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

That’s it. Enjoy!


A new maintenance release, VirtualBox 5.1.18, was released last night just one week after the last release.

VirtualBox 5.1.18 is a small release with following bug-fixes:

  • For Windows guests, fixed following issues:
    • Shared folders with long path are not mounted properly
    • Shared folder became case sensitive in 5.1.16
  • API: fixed snapshot handling of medium attachments and PCI device attachments
  • API: make 32-bit Windows guests in raw mode boot again if the ICH9 chipset is used
  • VBoxBugReport: fixed VM log collection issue
  • Linux hosts: fixed autostart service script
  • Windows Additions: fixed automatic logins for Windows Vista and newer

Oracle Virtualbox

Download / Install VirtualBox 5.1.18 in Ubuntu:

For Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 16.10, and their derivatives, the DEB packages are available for download at the link below:

VirtualBox Linux Download Page

You can also add Virtualbox Linux repository, and receive updates via Software Updater (Update Manager) by following the steps below one by one:

1. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T keys. When it opens, run command:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -cs) contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list'

The $(lsb_release -cs) section in the code returns your Ubuntu code-name.


2. Then download & install the GPG key:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

3. Finally you’re able to upgrade VirtualBox using Software Updater:

upgrade virtualbox

Or simply run commands in terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install virtualbox-5.1


The most popular network protocol analyzer, Wireshark 2.2.5, was finally made into PPA repository more than a week after its release date.

Wireshark 2.2.5 is mainly a bug-fix release. The changes include updated protocol support and the following bug-fixes:

  • Infinite loop: RTMTP dissector, WSP dissector, STANAG 4607 file parser, NetScaler file parser, IAX2 dissector, and NetScaler file parser.
  • Crashes: LDSS dissector, NetScaler file parser, and K12 file parser.
  • Display filter textbox loses focus during live capturing.
  • crashes when saving pcaps, opening pcaps, and exporting specified packets.
  • Dumpcap crashes during rpcap setup.
  • Crash on closing SNMP capture file if snmp credentials are present.
  • And see the release note for more.

How to Install Wireshark 2.2.5 via PPA:

The official stable PPA has built the new release for Ubuntu 16.10, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 and their derivatives.

1. To add the PPA, open terminal from Unity Dash / App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut keys, and then run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wireshark-dev/stable

Type in your password (no visual feedback due to security reason) when it asks and hit Enter.


2. For those who have a previous release installed, launch Software Updater (or Update Manager) to upgrade it to the latest:

upgrade wireshark

Or run the commands below in terminal to install / upgrade wireshark:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install wireshark

How to restore:

To restore to the stock version of Wireshark in Ubuntu main repositories, purge the PPA via ppa-purge tool:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:wireshark-dev/stable

Pidgin internet messenger

The Pidgin internet messenger 2.12 was released a few days ago on last Thursday. Here’s how to install it via PPA in Ubuntu 16.04.

After 9 months of development, Pidgin 2.12 brings following changes:

  • Fix an out of bounds memory read in purple_markup_unescape_entity
  • Fix use of uninitialised memory if running non-debug-enabled versions of glib
  • Updated AIM dev and dist ID’s to new ones that were assigned by AOL.
  • TLS certificate verification now uses SHA-256 checksums.
  • Fixed SASL external auth for Freenode.
  • Removed the protocol plugin: MSN, Mxit, MySpaceIM, Yahoo!, Facebook (XMPP)
  • Fixed gnutls certificate validation errors that mainly affected google (Dequis)
  • Replaced instances of with and updated the urls to use https.
  • Fixed issue of messages being silently cut off at 500 characters.

Pidgin  IM 2.12

How to Install Pidgin 2.12 in Ubuntu 16.04, Linux Mint 18

The official Pidgin PPA was dropped years ago. Besides building the new release from source, you can use this third-party PPA

1. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/backports


2. Then launch Software Updater and you’ll see Pidgin 2.12 available for upgrade:


Or you can run command to install / upgrade the messenger:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install pidgin

Finally restart your computer to apply changes.

How to Restore:

To restore Pidgin to the stock version (2.10.12) in Ubuntu 16.04, run command to purge the PPA via ppa-pure tool:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:jonathonf/backports

If you want to keep the Pidgin 2.12 in your system, you may also remove the PPA since it contains various other (low impact) packages, either via Software & Updates -> Other Software tab or by running command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:jonathonf/backports