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GIMP image editor got a new update for its 2.99 development release this Friday. Here’s the new features as well as how to install guide for Ubuntu users.

GIMP 2.99.14 is the 7th development release for the next major 3.0 release. It reworked the Align and Distribute tool to make it easy to use. Target items to align or distribute are now the selected layers and/or paths. For layers in particular, a new option “Use extents of layer contents” is available to align or distribute target layers based on their pixel contents.

The Text tool now has new “outline” and “fill” options, to insert text in different styles. For me, it’s no longer required to use ‘Grow…’ and then ‘Stroke Selection’ to do similar job.

This release also introduced a new ‘Gray‘ theme, as well as “Override icon sizes set by the theme” option to resize icons among small, medium, large and huge.

XCF file support is greatly improved with multi-threading support. Saving with default RLE and zlib is now much faster! And, this release introduced initial Apple Silicon package support for macOS users.

Other changes in GIMP 2.99.14 include:

  • Transform tools activated automatically
  • New “Paste as Single Layer” and “Paste as Single Layer in Place” options in the Edit > Paste as submenu.
  • Moving to GApplication and GtkApplication
  • Add ‘Root layers only’ option on PDF export.
  • export PSD images as CMYK(A) support.
  • Metadata import and export for JPEG-XL support.
  • Initial support for Apple’s ICNS files.
  • Add “Show reduced images” option when importing TIFF.

How to Install GIMP 2.99.14:

The image editor has an official download page for the development releases. It offers the official package for Linux as Flatpak, though there’s also an unofficial PPA for Ubuntu users.

Option 1: Install GIMP 2.99.14 as Flatpak

Ubuntu and most other Linux can install the editor as Flatpak that runs in sandbox. For Ubuntu users, they are generally 3 commands for installing it:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. Run command to install the daemon package in case you don’t have it.
    sudo apt install flatpak
  2. Then, add the flathub beta repository by running command:flatpak remote-add –user flathub-beta https://flathub.org/beta-repo/flathub-beta.flatpakrepo
  3. Finally, install GIMP beta release via command:
    flatpak install --user flathub-beta org.gimp.GIMP

If you already installed the previous GIMP 2.99.12, use flatpak update --user org.gimp.GIMP beta command to update it.

And, if you also have GIMP 2.10 stable release installed as Flatpak, only one of them can be visible in system app launcher. Use either command below to switch between them:

flatpak make-current --user org.gimp.GIMP beta
flatpak make-current --user org.gimp.GIMP stable

NOTE: skip --user flag if you installed the package system wide without this parameter.

Option 2: install GIMP 2.99.14 from PPA

For those who prefer the classic .deb package format, there’s an unofficial PPA contains the package for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 22.10.

Simply, open terminal from start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard, then run the commands below one by one to add the PPA, update, and install GIMP 2.99.x:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mati75/gimp30
sudo apt update
sudo apt install gimp

NOTE: If you have GIMP 2.10 stable installed as .deb package, the commands above will upgrade it to the latest development release.

To restore the stock GIMP package in system repository, run command to purge the Ubuntu PPA which also downgrade all installed packages:

sudo apt install ppa-purge & sudo ppa-purge ppa:mati75/gimp30

Want to display digital clock, system memory and CPU load in your Desktop? There’s new circular widget for Ubuntu 22.10, Fedora 37, and other Linux with GNOME 43.

There are quite a few tools to display system load widget in desktop. Here I’m going to introduce the one that has a Conky look alike circular widget for GNOME desktop.

It displays local time, RAM usage and CPU load in 3 separated circular widget. Meaning you can drag moving any one of them to anywhere in your screen. And, it allows to resize the circle, change its color, line width, as well as text color and background, etc to get different look and feel.

Cool, isn’t it? Let me show you how to install it.

Step 1: Install Extension Manager

First, search for and install the “Extension Manager” app from Ubuntu Software, for installing Gnome extensions.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

Once installed, search for and launch the tool from ‘Activities’ overview screen.

Step 2: Install the Circular Widgets via Extension Manager

When Extension Manager opens, navigate to ‘Browse’ tab, then search for and install the Circular Widgets extension.

For Fedora 37 user, simply go to this web page and use ON/OFF switch to install it.

Step 3: Configure the widget

After installed the extension, go back to ‘Installed‘ tab in Extension Manager, or install and open ‘Gnome Extensions’ app from GNOME Software for Fedora. There you can open the configuration dialog for each circle widget.

NOTE: For Ubuntu & other Linux using “Desktop Icons NG (DING)” extension, you have to disable it temporarily until being able to drag moving the system load widget.

This simple tutorial shows how to add world clock in top panel, so you can have a glance at what time is it now for different countries and locations.

Say you have business world-wide or family members or good friends live in different countries, a world clock can be quite useful to know the time in their locations.

If you’re working on Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, or other Linux with GNOME desktop, then there’s an extension to display the time for your specified locations in top panel to make life easier.

As you see in the screenshot above, it also shows the sunrise and sunset time for the selected location.

Step 1: Install GNOME Clock

The extension uses GNOME Clock for the date and time information. You need to first install it either from Ubuntu Software:

Install GNOME Clock

Pay attention that you need to install the package in native .deb format, meaning from ‘ubuntu-xxx-universe’. Check the source drop-down box in header bar of Ubuntu Software. Or, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal and run command to install it:

sudo apt install gnome-clocks

Step 2: Add different locations

After installing the app, press Super (Windows logo) key, then search for and open it from ‘Activities’ overview screen.

When it opens, click on the top-left corner ‘+’ button to add locations for your business partners or family members.

Step 3: Install Extension to make World Clock display on Panel

For Ubuntu 22.04 & Ubuntu 22.10, do the steps below one by one to install the extension:

  1. Search for and install ‘Extension Manager’ from Ubuntu Software.
  2. Click top-left edge ‘Activities’ to open overview, then search for and launch ‘Extension Manager’.
  3. Finally, use the tool to search and install ‘Panel World Clock (Lite)’ extension under ‘Browse’ tab.

For Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04, use web browser instead to install it:

  1. First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal windows. When it opens, run command to install the agent package and manager app:
    sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-manager
  2. Next, go to the extension web page by clicking the link button below:
  3. Click install browser extension if prompted via the link in that page. Finally, refresh and use the ON/OFF switch to install it.

After installing the extension, it should display world clock in top panel alongside local date and time. If not, try log out and back in to reload it.

In case you don’t like the default display location, you can open the configuration page in either Extension Manager or Gnome Extensions app. Then configure to:

  • show world clock in center or right.
  • Set number of clocks.
  • Show/hide local clock.
  • Display city/country name.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is building the popular Steam game platform as Snap package!

The Ubuntu developer team is going to improve gaming experience on this popular Linux distribution. The first step is to simplify the process of setting up gaming environment. As the number 1 game platform, Steam to be first one they focus on.

Meaning Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 22.10 can easily search for and install Steam as snap package from Ubuntu Software:

Steam in Ubuntu Software as Snap package

Or, user can press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal and run the single command to get it:

snap install steam --beta

The command also work in Ubuntu 18.04, though --beta flag is required at the moment, because the package so far is in earlier stage for testing purpose.

After installed the package, just search for and launch it from ‘Activities’ overview screen:

It automatically install updates and setup runtime, and finally launch the client app for you.

Other Choices

As some users do not like Snap package, there are a few other ways to install Steam app in Ubuntu.

Option 1: Steam Installer

By searching in Ubuntu Software, you’ll see a “Steam Installer” package. Which is an empty package that automatically download steam package from its server and set it up in Ubuntu.

Steam Installer in Ubuntu Software

The package however is a 32-bit package which will also install a list of 32-bit libraries as dependencies.

Option 2: Steam’s official .deb package

Steam website offers official .deb package available for Debian/Ubuntu based systems.

User can download and then double-click on the package in file manager to install it.

Option 3: Flatpak package

The game platform is also available as the universal Flatpak package that runs in sandbox.

Just for choice, you may first run command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) to install the Flatpak daemon:

sudo apt install flatpak

Then, install steam as flatpak package by running command:

flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/com.valvesoftware.Steam.flatpakref

Summary:

Ubuntu starts working on its official Steam package as Snap. Meaning user can now directly search for and install the game platform from Ubuntu Software. Besides that, there are also an installer script in Ubuntu Software, official .deb package from steam website, and Flatpak package available for choices.

Ubuntu finally added support for disabling automatic updates for snap applications, though it’s currently considered experimental at the moment of writing.

As you may know, Snap is an universal package format runs in sandbox. It’s developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, as a competitor to Flatpak.

The pre-installed Firefox in Ubuntu 22.04+, and Ubuntu Software in Ubuntu 20.04+ are Snap applications. And there are lots of apps in Ubuntu Software available as Snap, including Chromium browser, Skype, and more.

By default, Snap apps automatically update to the newest version. Though, user can delay or specify when to perform updates. It was impossible to completely disable automatic updates due to security issue.

But as the snap update mechanism has been continuously refined, and to give IT teams more control they expect for Linux systems, this long-awaited feature is finally released for preview.

Hold or completely disable Snap updates

The function is done via a new --hold parameter using snap refresh command.

  • For example, completely disable automatic updates for Firefox via command:
    snap refresh --hold firefox
  • Or, hold automatic updates for 24 hours for both firefox and snap-store via command:
    snap refresh --hold=24h firefox snap-store
  • For all the Snap apps, just skip package name in the command. So, disable automatic updates for all apps by running command:
    snap refresh --hold

Oppositely, re-enable automatically updates via --unhold parameter.

  • To re-enable updates for all apps, use command:
    snap refresh --unhold
  • To re-enable center apps, such as Firefox, use command:
    snap refresh --unhold firefox

Switch Snapd to edge channel

As mentioned, the feature is not in edge channel for preview. If you found the commands above do not work, but you really want to try it out, switch Snapd daemon to edge channel via command:

snap refresh snapd --edge

And verify by running snap list |grep snapd command.

To switch back the daemon package to stable channel, use command:

snap refresh snapd --stable

via: this post.