Darktable, the free open-source raw image processing software, released new 4.8.0 version this Friday!

Darktable 4.8.0 introduced a few new modules. They include the color equalizer module, allowing to control hue, lightness, and/or saturation based on colors.

There are as well new Enlarge Canvas module, allowing to add areas on top, bottom, left, and/or right of the image, and fill with different colors, or some other part of the image by using Retouch module.

By drag-and-dropping from the filmstrip to the new Overlay module, it can now add overlay on top of current image. And, the overlay can be scaled, rotated and shifted horizontally or vertically.

Darktable 4.8.0 Enlarge Canvas and Color Equalizer

Continue Reading…

KeePassXC, the popular free open-source KeePass and KeePassX based password manager, released version 2.7.9 few days ago.

The new KeePassXC 2.7.9 installed as Snap finally uses new desktop portal for native messaging integration. Meaning without using an external script, it now has out-of-the-box browser integration support. However, KeePassXC seems no longer provides official support for Snap package.

So far, Firefox (native + Snap), Chromium Snap, Google Chrome native, Brave native are tested and work with KeePassXC installed as Snap. Though, user may need to grant permission by running the command below in terminal:

sudo snap connect keepassxc:browser-native-messaging

Since version 2.7.7, the password manager added basic Passkeys/WebAuthn support, and added a context menu option to import passkeys. In the new release, it improved the feature by adding a new “Remove Passkey from Entry” context menu option.

Continue Reading…

This tutorial shows how to enable .jxl file support for system image viewer, GIMP, and some other apps in Ubuntu 24.04, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and even Ubuntu 18.04.

JPEG-XL is a new image format by JPEG committee. It supports both lossy and lossless compression, and includes features such as animation, alpha channels, layers, thumbnails, and has better compression efficiency (60% improvement) comparing to JPEG.

For encoding and decoding JPEG-XL images, there’s a free open-source libjxl library available. Ubuntu has included the library in system repository since 24.04, however lacks GdkPixbuf loader plugin until Ubuntu 24.10 (still in development so far).

Meaning system default image viewer, and many other apps do not work with .jxl file in current 3 Ubuntu LTS releases out-of-the-box.

Continue Reading…

For those who are sticking to KeePass2 password manager, here’s an Ubuntu PPA contains most recent .deb package for Ubuntu 24.04, Ubuntu 23.10, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 18.04.

Linux has a native KeepassXC password manager, though KeePass2 is still available for choice, which runs in Linux through Microsoft’s mono software framework.

Ubuntu includes KeePass2 package in system repository, but always old!

For the most recent versions, 3rd PPAs so far are the only choices besides building from the source tarball.

Continue Reading…

HPLIP, the free open-source HP developed Linux driver for HP inkjet and laser based printers, released version 3.24.4 today!

The development of HPLIP seems lagging behind. Rather than supporting for current Ubuntu 24.04, the new release adds installer support for Ubuntu 23.10, which will reach end of life next month.

It also added support for Debian 12 and Fedora 39, both of which were released in last year.

Besides new Linux Distributions support, HPLIP 3.24.4 also added new printers support! They include:

  • HP OfficeJet 8120 All-in-One series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8120 All-in-One series
  • HP OfficeJet 8130 All-in-One series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8130 All-in-One series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9720 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9730 Series

Continue Reading…

By releasing version 2.0 preview, DevToys is finally a cross-platform app that also works on Linux and macOS!

DevToys is a free and open-source tools for developers. It features a set of offline tools all in one app window. They include:

  • JSON <> YAML, Date, Number bases converters.
  • Encoders/Decoders for HTML, URLs, Base64, GZip, JWT, QR Code.
  • JSON, SQL, XML formatters.
  • Hash & Checksum, Lorem Ipsum, Password generators
  • Color Blindness Simulator, PNG/JPEG Compressor…
  • JSONPath, RegEx, XML testers
  • And text Utilities such as Markdown Preview, Text Comparer, Analyzer & Utilities…

Continue Reading…

Audacious, the popular lightweight audio player, released new 4.4 version this Wednesday!

The new release of this free open-source music player restores Lyrics plugin for GTK interface, and adds new provider chartlyrics.com. Thanks to Michel Fleur, there’s now “Background Music” plugin, under “Effect” tab in the Plugin page, allows to make the sound equally loud within and between tracks.

The Scrobbler (Last.fm) plugin now also works on macOS and Windows. And, the Song Change plugin now allows to run custom command when a song is stopped.

Audacious 4.4 now defaults to GTK3 + Qt6, though Qt5 and GTK2 are still supported. It improved Wayland support for GTK interface, but the classic Winamp interface does NOT work properly on Wayland, thus users are recommended to run Audacious via XWayland (default behavior if available) therefore.

Other changes in Audacious 4.4 include:

  • Add Disc Number support
  • Read ReplayGain values in Opus files from R128 tags
  • Allow to disable column header sorting
  • Middle-click on volume button to mute/un-mute.
  • Add Shift+Enter shortcut to Jump-to-Song dialog
  • Improve PipeWire support.
  • HTTPS support and X86_64 build for Windows
  • Various bug-fixes, see release note for details.

How to Install Audacious 4.4 in Ubuntu

The software website provides official .exe files for Microsoft Windows users:

For Ubuntu users, it’s available to install via Ubuntu PPA (native .deb package), Snap package, or Flatpak package (runs in sandbox environment).

Method 1: Audacious Snap package

If you’re OK running the audio player in sandbox environment, then Audacious is easy to install through Ubuntu Software (or App Center) as Snap package.

Method 2. Install Audacious via Flatpak

Most Linux can install the audio player as Flatpak package, that runs in sandbox. So far, it supports amd64 and arm64 platforms.

All current Ubuntu user can press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal and run the 2 commands below one by one to get it.

  • Enable Flatpak support:
    sudo apt install flatpak
  • Install Audacious as Flatpak:
    flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/org.atheme.audacious.flatpakref

After installation, search for and launch it from start menu or Gnome overview. Log out and back in if app icon not visible.

Method 3. Install Audacious from Ubuntu PPA

For Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 23.10, and Ubuntu 24.04 users, I’ve uploaded the new release package into PPA for amd64 and arm64/armhf machines.

Changes in the PPA package:

  • Packages for Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 are built with Qt5 + GTK3, since Qt6 is NOT available.
  • Qt6 + GTK3 for Ubuntu 22.04 and higher.
  • The dependency library name changes that follow upstream policy in Ubuntu 24.04:
    • libaudcore5 -> libaudcore5t64
    • libaudgui5 -> libaudgui5t64
    • libaudqt2 -> libaudqt2t64
    • libaudtag3 -> libaudtag3t64

1. First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

Type user password (no visual feedback, just type in mind) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Then, update system package cache:

sudo apt update

3. If you have an old version of the music player installed, you can now update the package to the latest using “Software Updater” utility.

Or, run the command below in terminal to install or upgrade the package:

sudo apt install audacious audacious-plugins

NOTE: For Ubuntu 22.04 runs into “Error opening output stream” issue, open “Settings” and set audio output plugin to “PulseAudio” output.

Uninstall Audacious

To remove the audio player installed as Flatpak, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.atheme.audacious

Also clean up runtime library via flatpak uninstall --unused.

If you want to restore the music player to the stock version available in system repository. Run command below to purge PPA as well as downgrade installed packages:

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

Or, simply remove the software packages by running command:

sudo apt remove audacious audacious-plugins-data

And remove the PPA either via “Software & Updates” under ‘Other Software’ tab or use command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

That’s all. Enjoy!

This is a step by step beginner’s guide shows how to install and set up a lightweight Socks5 proxy server in Ubuntu or Debian.

Due to poor network connection, I decided to set up a proxy server on my remote VPS for playing an online game. However, the tutorials on the web are mostly using Dante, which consumes too much RAM, and makes my cheap VPS server frequently run out of memory.

After digging around, I found a lightweight socks5 proxy server called Microsocks. And, here’s how to install & use it in Debian & Ubuntu.

Continue Reading…

Looking for lightweight Linux Distributions that play smoothly on old PC or laptop with low end specs? Here are some of them for you!

Advanced users can always install and set up a lightweight desktop environment manually on top of current OS. However, for beginners and those who don’t want to take time customizing the desktop, then a ready to use distribution is a better choice.

In Linux world, XFCE, MATE, LXQt/LXDE are commonly used desktop environments for lightweight distributions, though there are also many others for choice. And, here are 9 of them for beginners.

Continue Reading…

GNOME, the default desktop for Ubuntu, expects to replace its core Totem video player with ‘Showtime’, which is still in development stage.

Due to switch to GTK4, GNOME has replaced some of the core apps, including image viewer, text editor, camera app, and terminal emulator. And, Decibels is proposed as core app for playing audio files.

As the current Totem video player has not been maintained for nearly a year and sticks to GTK3, Showtime is submitted and accepted into the GNOME Incubator, which will be the core app if it reaches the required maturity.

Continue Reading…