Virtualbox

Oracle virtualbox 6.0.14 was released a few days ago with stability fixes. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.

Virtualbox 6.0.14 release highlights:

  • Fixed an invalid-guest state guru meditation on Intel hosts.
  • Some fixes for systems with lots of processors
  • More compatibility for guests running ALSA setups with the AC’97 emulation
  • Fixed flicker, redraw issues. app crashes when using VBoxSVGA or VMSVGA graphics adapter
  • Support Linux hosts with kernel 5.3
  • Fixes to share folder in Linux guests.

How to Install Virtualbox 6.0.14 in Ubuntu:

For all current Ubuntu releases, you can either download the official .deb binary from the link below:

Download Virtualbox for Linux

or install VBox from its official apt repository by running following steps:

1. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), paste below command and run to add the repository:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -sc) contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list'

For Linux Mint, you HAVE to replace $(lsb_release -sc) in the command with bionic for Mint 19.x, or xenial for Mint 18.x.

2. Then download and install the repository key via command:

wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

3. Refresh system package cache via command:

sudo apt update

4. Finally install Virtualbox 6.0.14:

sudo apt install virtualbox-6.0

Uninstall:

To remove it, simply run command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --autoremove virtualbox-6.0

And go to Software & Updates -> Other Software to remove apt repositories.

KDE Plasma 5.16

KDE Plasma desktop 5.17 was released yesterday. Now you can install it in (K)Ubuntu 19.10 via KUbuntu Backports PPA.

Plasma 5.17 release highlights:

  • Night Color for X11.
  • Fractional scaling support on Wayland.
  • Faster startup performance.
  • New panel in System Settings for configuring Thunderbolt devices
  • Improved widget resizing, settings panels, and many other small feature additions.
  • For more details, see the release note.

How to Install Plasma 5.17 in (K)Ubuntu 19.10:

Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by searching for ‘terminal’ from application menu. When it opens, do:

1. Add Kubuntu Backports PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it prompts and hit Enter to continue.

2. Install Plasma 5.17 in Kubuntu 19.10:

Either install all system update via Update Manager, or run command in terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

3. For non-Kubuntu user:

Run command to install Plasma desktop:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install plasma-desktop

or install full KDE desktop environment via command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop

Uninstall:

You can purge the Kubuntu Backports PPA, which also downgrade Plasma desktop to the stock version (5.16.5) in Ubuntu 19.10 repository.

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

gnome shell

This quick tutorial shows how to enable the fractional scaling in Ubuntu 19.10 for both default X and wayland sessions.

The Display settings only offer two scaling values (100% and 200%) by default. For HiDPI displays, you may want fractional scaling values, like 125% or 150%, and here’s how to do the job.

1.) Open Ubuntu Software, search for and install dconf editor.

2.) Launch dconf editor and navigate to org -> gnome -> mutter.

There find out and click to go to settings for ‘experimental-features‘. Then do:

  • Turn off ‘Use default value‘.
  • Set Custom value to [‘x11-randr-fractional-scaling’] for default X session.
  • For wayland session, set the value to [‘scale-monitor-framebuffer’]

NOTE: Fractional scaling is an experimental feature, it may have bugs. And It might reduce performance on X11.

For those familiar with Linux commands, do the job via single command:

For default X11 session, open terminal and run command:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter experimental-features "['x11-randr-fractional-scaling']"

For wayland session, run command:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter experimental-features "['scale-monitor-framebuffer']"

To undo the change, run command:

gsettings reset org.gnome.mutter experimental-features

gnome shell

This quick tutorial shows how to install Gnome Shell themes in Ubuntu 19.10 / Ubuntu 18.04, which change the appearance of Gnome panel, system tray menu, notification pops, etc.

In the default Gnome desktop, you can easily change the themes of application window, mouse cursor, and icons using Gnome Tweaks tool.

Gnome Tweaks (install it via Ubuntu Software) also offers option for Shell theme, which is not enabled by default. And here’s how to enable the functionality.

Enable Shell Theme Option in Gnome Tweaks:

Shell Themes select-box is greyed out by default in Gnome Tweaks.

To enable it, simply open Ubuntu Software, search for and install user themes extension.

Install Gnome Shell Themes:

1.) Download the theme tarball from the web. There are many Gnome Shell themes available on gnome-look.org and deviantart.com.

2.) Open Files (Nautilus file browser) and press Ctrl+H to view all hidden file folders.

Check if .themes folder exist in user home directory, if not create one.

3.) Extract the previous downloaded themes, and put the theme folders into .themes directory.

4.) Finally open or re-open Gnome Tweaks and apply an user theme from Appearance tab.

Gscan2pdf 2.5.7, GTK tool to produce PDF / DjVu from scanned document, was released today. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

Changes in Gscan2pdf 2.5.7 include:

  • Recognise “Document Table” as flatbed for imagescan backend.
  • Use option name as label for those options with no title.
  • Extended edit profile functionality in scan dialog to frontend options.
  • Close device when switching frontends so as not to block SANE for the new frontend.
  • Allow tool processes to immediately continue working on subsequent pages despite errors on previous ones.
  • Fix infinite loop scanning reverse pages
  • Updated translations.

How to Install gscan2pdf 2.5.7 in Ubuntu:

The official Ubuntu PPA has made the new release packages for all current Ubuntu releases, and their derivatives.

1. Open terminal either by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard or by searching for ‘terminal’ from application menu. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jeffreyratcliffe/ppa

Type user password (no asterisk feedback due to security reason) when it prompts and hit Enter.

2. For those who have a previous release installed, upgrade it through Software Updater:

upgrade gscan2pdf

For the first time, you can either install it via Synaptic Package Manager or by running following commands in terminal:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gscan2pdf

How to Remove:

To remove gscan2pdf, either use your system package manager or run command:

sudo apt-get remove --autoremove gscan2pdf

And the PPA can be removed via Software & Updates utility, under Other Software tab.