Archives For App Review

For those don’t like Electron apps, ‘Psst’ is a new GTK client for the Spotify music service.

Since the official Spotify app for Linux is a web app running via Chromium engine, native Linux apps may be preferred. And ‘Psst’ is a free open-source app written in Rust programming language with GTK framework for user interface. Besides Linux, it also works on Windows and macOS.

The software is in very early development stage. It lacks features and defaults to GTK and pure X11, with Wayland backend in the works. So far, it features:

  • Dark / Light mode.
  • Vorbis track playback
  • Browsing saved albums and tracks
  • Save / unsave albums and tracks
  • Browsing followed playlists
  • Search for artist, albums, and tracks
  • Audio volume control
  • Audio loudness normalization
  • Media keys control
  • Open Spotify links
  • Genre playlists and “For You” content

Like ‘Spot’, another GTK client for Spotify, it only works with premium accounts!! Though there’s a hack to make it work with free accounts.

How to Install Psst in Ubuntu:

The app so far provides pre-build binary packages, available to download at the link below:

For Ubuntu based systems, grab the ‘psst-deb.zip‘, extract and install the .deb package, either by double-clicking or using Gdebi package installer (install Gdebi from Ubuntu Software).

NOTE: The app so far even don’t have a logo icon. When launching from the start menu (‘Show Applications’), it will show a gear icon instead.

See Psst in github

Want to cut a clip out of a video and share with your friends? Try Video Trimmer, a stupid easy way for those working on Linux.

In Linux there are quite a few ways to cut clips or trim videos either in graphical or using command line tools. While video editors are heavy to do the job, FFmpeg is the most efficient choice. And Video Trimmer offers an intuitive user interface for those hate Linux commands.

It’s a free and open-source GTK app based on FFmpeg. By importing video via top-left “Open” button, you can preview the video and write down the start and end timestamps. And the top-left button turns to ‘Trim‘ for cutting the clip out.

It outputs the clip as a new video file. And the process is super fast and does not reduce the video quality, because it just cuts the data steam but never re-code.

Install Video Trimmer in Linux:

The source code of the project is hosted on gitlab. Besides building from the source, you can install it on most Linux via the Flatpak package.

For beginners, you can open terminal from start menu and run following commands one by one in Ubuntu to get the software.

1.) Install the flatpak daemon for running the app via command:

sudo apt install flatpak

2.) Add the flathub repository which hosts the software package by running command:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

3.) You can finally install the app via command:

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.gitlab.YaLTeR.VideoTrimmer

After that, open it from start menu and enjoy!

Uninstall Video Trimmer:

To remove the app as well as its data, open terminal and run command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gnome.gitlab.YaLTeR.VideoTrimmer

For command line users want to search on DuckDuckGo, ddgr is the free open-source tool to search from Linux terminal.

It’s a tiny tool written mostly in Python3. And it’s quite easy to use. For instance, run the command below will search ‘Windows 11’ and output 10 results per page.

ddgr Windows 11

You can then type n / p / f and hit Enter to go next page, previous page, or to the first page.

By typing o 1 will open the first result, and c 1 will copy the first URL into clipboard. And you can type ? to get more actions in the search output.

Result number per page can be set via --num. And you can specified website to search via --site flag.

For example, search Ubuntu 21.10 on Ubuntu.com with 3 results per page, run:

ddgr --num 3 --site ubuntu.com ubuntu 21.10

To automatic open the first result in web browser, use -j or --ducky flag. For example:

ddgr --ducky Windows 11

For Ubuntu Server without desktop UI, you can firstly specify text-based web browser, w3m in the case, easily via:

export BROWSER=w3m

Other features include:

  • DuckDuckGo Bangs
  • Search and option completion scripts (Bash, Fish, Zsh)
  • Search file type: filetype:mime
  • HTTPS proxy support
  • Do Not Track set by default

How to Install ddgr in Ubuntu:

The nifty tool is available in Ubuntu repositories. You can install it simply by running command in terminal:

sudo apt install ddgr

As Ubuntu does not provide the software updates, you can always get the latest .deb package from the link below:

Looking for a lightweight photo editor and management app for Linux? Try Fotoxx, a free and open-source software which is super fast.

Fotoxx is a GTK application to organize and manage a large image collection, edit and optimize photos, and perform batch operations.

Unlike other image editor, Fotoxx has app menus in the left pane with ability to toggle file view, and edit photos. While providing many functions to meet the needs of serious photographers, it remains fast and easy to use.

The software can view and edit most image formats including RAW files. It works internally with 24-bits/color, and outputs 8 or 16 bits/color JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

The image editing functions include:

  • Select object or area, select hairy or irregular edge, find gap.
  • Rotate, crop, retouch, resize, and paint.
  • Blur, sharpen denoise, adjust color.
  • Apply effects, e.g., sketch, cartoon, line drawing and more.
  • image warp, unwarp, transform.
  • Composite image: HDR, HDF, panorama, etc.
  • Batch convert, RAW conversion.
  • View and edit meta data.
  • Zoom in/out, redo/undo, and more.
  • Use GIMP, Rawtherapee, etc as plugins

See video about Fotoxx:

How to Install The Latest Fotoxx in Ubuntu via PPA:

The software offers only source tarball available to download at the link below:

Ubuntu has the photo manager in the Software App, however it’s always old.
To install the latest Fotoxx, use the Ubuntu PPA which so far supports for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, and Ubuntu 21.04.

1.) First open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xtradeb/apps

Type user password, no asterisk feedback, for sudo prompt and hit Enter to continue

2.) Next run command to install the photo management software:

sudo apt install fotoxx

Once installed, open it from system app launcher and enjoy!

Remove Fotoxx as well as the PPA:

To remove the Ubuntu PPA, simply open Software & Updates utility and navigate to Other Software tab. There highlight the relevant line and remove it.

To remove Fotoxx, run command:

sudo apt remove --auto-remove fotoxx

Working with PDF files regularly in Ubuntu Linux? QPDF Tools is a nifty tool to manage your PDF documents.

It’s a free and open-source software, easy to use Qt based user interface for Ghostscript and Stapler, with ability to compress, split, merge and rotate your pdf documents.

The main window is simple and works with 4 buttons. Click the action you want to do for the PDF documents. Then select the PDF along with a few options and click the button to go.

The Compress a PDF file option will change the resolution for printing, Ebooks, or screen optimized. It also reduce the file size depends on the option you choose.

It however may stuck a few seconds when you clicking ‘Save‘ button on exporting file dialog.

While ‘Merge PDF files‘ option allows to add multiple PDF files, arrange them, and convert them into single, the ‘Spile a PDF file‘ option allows to extract all PDF pages or export from one page to another. And ‘Rotate a PDF file‘ can rotate left or right with live preview.

How to Install QPDF Tools:

The DEB package for Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, as well as the source tarball are available to download at the link below:

The software developer also maintains an Ubuntu PPA that support all current releases, e.g., Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and Ubuntu 21.04. The packages for old releases, e.g., Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 14.04, and Ubuntu 16.04 are also available.

1.) Open terminal from system app launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:silash35/qpdftools

2.) Then refresh package cache (optional for Ubuntu 20.04 & higher) and install the tool via commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install qpdftools

Once installed, open the tool from your system application launcher and enjoy!

Uninstall QPDF Tools

While the Ubuntu PPA is used to install or upgrade the software package, you can safely remove it either by running command in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:silash35/qpdftools

Or by going to ‘Software & Updates’ -> ‘Other Software’, and remove the relevant line.

To remove the software, either use Synaptic Package Manager or run command:

sudo apt remove --purge qpdftools