Archives For Howtos

KDE’s Kdenlive Video editor 21.08 was released. The official PPA added Ubuntu 21.10 “Impish Indri” support.

Kdenlive, stands for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor, is a free and open-source video editor for KDE though it also works on other desktop environment. And version 21.08 was finally released a few days later than other KDE Gear 21.08 apps.

The new release based on MLT 7 framework which has removed the Automask effect, along with many other legacy and buggy modules. The region module is also removed and replaced with new Effect Masking feature. As well, the old and unmaintained tools like the DVD Wizard and the Preview Compositing mode has been removed.

Kdenlive 21.08 got an improved performance, so users will have a smoother experience when importing hundreds of files and gigabytes and panning through the timeline.

Other features in the release include:

  • The new Time Remap feature allows to keyframe the speed of a clip.
  • Apply effects to only affect specific regions of a clip using masks.
  • Easily moves Guides along with clips using the Spacer Tool via the new Guides Locked option.
  • Ability to assign shortcuts to raise dock widgets.
  • Ability to assign shortcuts to 3 keyframe functions: Add/Remove Keyframe, Go to next keyframe and Go to previous keyframe.
  • Additional options to the same track transitions: Duration, Reverse and Alignment.
  • The command bar (toggle via Ctrl+Alt+i) to easily search for any action in Kdenlive, such as changing themes, adding effects, opening files and more.
  • New Copy value at cursor position to clipboard option
  • New mapping modes and options when importing tracked data
  • Option to go to start if playback started on timeline end

How to Install Kdenlive 21.08 in Ubuntu via PPA:

The Kdenlive official PPA has been updated with the latest packages for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and their derivatives, e.g, Linux Mint 20, Elementary OS 6, and Zorin OS 16.

1.) Add Ubuntu PPA:

Open ‘terminal’ from your system application menu, then run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable

Type your password when it asks (no asterisk feedback) and hit Enter to continue.

2. ) Install or Upgrade Kdenlive:

If an old version of kdenlive was installed, you can upgrade it via Update Manager:

Or simply run command in terminal to install the video editor:

sudo apt install kdenlive

NOTE for Linux Mint or may be other Ubuntu based systems, you need to update the package cache manually by running sudo apt update command before installing the software.

Uninstall:

To purge the PPA as well as downgrade Kdenlive package, run command in terminal:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable

To remove the PPA only, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable

And to remove Kdenlive, run command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove kdenlive kdenlive-data

This tutorial shows how to enable hardware video acceleration (VA-API) for Firefox, so it uses the video card to decode/encode video to save power.

Hardware video acceleration is a computer technology to make the graphics card to encode and decode video, thus offloading the CPU to save power. And compared to CPU, GPU are normally more efficient at the job.

There are a few ways to achieve this on Ubuntu Linux, including:

  • Video Acceleration API (VA-API) – an open source API developed by Intel.
  • Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) – open source API developed by NVIDIA.
  • NVENC/NVDEC – NVIDIA’s proprietary API.

The VA-API supports Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA (via open-source Nouveau drivers) GPUs. And it is widely supported by software, such as MPV uses va-api hardware acceleration for video playback by default if available.

The VDPAU API supports both AMD and NVIDIA, but has no support in Firefox or Chromium. And while NVENC/NVDEC is used for NVIDIA GPU only, we usually use VA-API for hardware video acceleration.

Firefox pop-up video encoding/decoding via Intel GPU

Verify VA-API:

NOTE: VA-API does not work on NVIDIA via proprietary drivers as mentioned above. If you installed NVIDIA proprietary driver via ‘Additional Drivers’ utility, this will only work when you choose ‘Intel (Power Saving)’ mode in NVIDIA Prime settings.

The VA-API may work out-of-the-box in Ubuntu. You can firstly open terminal from start menu (click ‘Activities’ and search terminal).

Next install vainfo package via command:

sudo apt install vainfo

And run it to check VA-API info:

vainfo

It outputs the driver as well as supported profile. VAEntrypointVLD means decoding support for this format, VAEntrypointEncSlice means encoding support.

If the command outputs an error, you can try to install drivers via command:

  • For NVIDIA nouveau and AMD, run command:
    sudo apt install mesa-va-drivers
  • For Gen 8+ Intel hardware, install via command:
    sudo apt install intel-media-va-driver

    And for old Intel hardware, install i965-va-driver instead via apt install command.

By setting the environment variable, you can choose which driver to use. For example, set “export LIBVA_DRIVER_NAME=i965” to use i965 driver. The value can also set to “nouveau” for NVIDIA, or “radeonsi” for AMDGPU.

Enable VA-API in Firefox:

Firefox added VA-API support since version 80, though it’s not enabled by default. You can enabled it manually by doing following steps one by one.

Firstly, open Firefox and go to about:config in url bar. Click on “Accept the Risk and Continue”. Then search for following keys, enable or disable them one by one:

  • media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled set to true
  • media.ffvpx.enabled set to false.
  • media.rdd-vpx.enabled set to false.
  • media.navigator.mediadatadecoder_vpx_enabled set to true.
  • If you experience page crashes, try setting security.sandbox.content.level to 0.

Secondly, set environment variable (for current user only). Open terminal and run command to edit profile file:

gedit ~/.profile

When file opens, add following lines to the end:

  • (Optional) Specify va-api driver as mentioned above (replace iHD accordingly):
    export LIBVA_DRIVER_NAME=iHD

    You can SKIP this if vainfo outputs without error!

  • Diable RDD sandbox:
    export MOZ_DISABLE_RDD_SANDBOX=1
  • For Xorg session, default in Ubuntu 18.04/Ubuntu 20.04:
    export MOZ_X11_EGL=1
  • For Wayland session, default in Ubuntu 21.04 & higher:
    export MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1

Finally, log out and back in. Open Firefox and play a video and see result!

Check if Hardware Video Acceleration working:

During video playback, you can use top command to see CPU usage before and after enable VA-API. For Intel GPU, there’s intel_gpu_top command that monitor it continuously.

Open terminal and run command to install the tool first:

sudo apt install intel-gpu-tools

Next, run command:

sudo intel_gpu_top

Start playing video in Firefox and you’ll see the video bar is busy (above 0%) if VA-API starts working.

For AMD GPU, there’s another command line tool “radeontop” available to monitor GPU activity.

NOTE for YouTube videos, the video codec may sometimes not supported by your hardware. To workaround, try h264ify or enhanced-h264ify extension to make YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9.

That’s all. Enjoy!

The official PPA for Shutter screenshot tool is back! So far contains packages for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.04.

Shutter is one of the most popular screenshot tool for Linux. Other than basic screen capturing feature, it supports plugins, profiles, uploading to Imgur, Dropbox, etc., and has a built-in editor.

Shutter PPA was abandoned

The founder of Shutter has abandoned the project as well as the official PPA for many years. Due to the old Gtk2 dependency libraries, it has finally been removed from Ubuntu and Fedora repositories.

Luckily, a third-party PPA by linuxuprising is maintaining the Shutter package for over two years.

The development is back recently and moved to in Github. It now ported to GTK3. And the official PPA finally revived and maintained by the creator of linuxuprising.

Install Shutter via Official PPA:

For Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, and Ubuntu 21.04, open terminal from start menu, and run following commands one by one.

1.) To add the official PPA, paste the command below into terminal and hit Enter:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppa

Type user password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue

2.) Next install the tool via command:

sudo apt install shutter

For Linux Mint, you need to run sudo apt update to manually refresh package cache.

Remove Shutter & Its PPA

You can remove Shutter PPA as well as other PPAs via “Software & Updates” utility under “Other Software” tab.

And remove Shutter if you want, by running command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --autoremove shutter

Missing the old Ubuntu Unity style login screen? It’s easy to get it back in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04 and higher.

LightDM, stands for Light Display Manager, is a free open-source project by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Ubuntu up to version 16.04 LTS uses it as the default display manager. And it’s present in Linux Mint 20 and some Ubuntu flavors.

For those prefer the LightDM style login screen, it’s available in Ubuntu universe repositories:

How to Install LightDM in Ubuntu 20.04 & Higher:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal window. When it opens, paste the command below and hit enter:

sudo apt install lightdm unity-greeter

While the installing process, it will prompt to configure the display manager. Just hit Enter on the screen.

At the next screen, use up/down arrow key to choose “lightdm” and hit Enter to apply.

Once installed, restart your computer and you’ll see the new login screen!

Configure LightDM login screen:

Uses are mostly want to remove the white dots and change the login background wallpaper.

To do so, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to install dconf-editor if you don’t have it:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Next, run command to grant lightdm user privilege to access control list:

xhost +SI:localuser:lightdm

Finally launch dconf editor via lightdm:

sudo -u lightdm dconf-editor

When it opens, navigate to “com/canonical/unity-greeter“. Then turn off ‘draw-grid’, and change background image as you want.

For more settings, see the Ubuntu Wiki.

How to Restore Gnome Login Screen:

To revert back the original GDM display manager. Firstly, open terminal and run command to disable LightDM:

sudo systemctl disable lightdm.service

Then launch the configure screen by running the command below:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

This time choose ‘gdm3’ to handle the login screen and hit Enter.

Finally, remove lightdm as well as its dependency packages via command:

sudo apt remove --autoremove lightdm unity-greeter

That’s all. Enjoy!

This simple tutorial shows how to install and setup Gerbera home media server in all current Ubuntu and Debian releases.

Gerbera is a free and open-source UPnP media server for Linux, BSD, and Mac OS. With it, you can stream audio and/or video files over home network, and play on any device with a media player with UPnP support, e.g., VLC.

How to Gerbera in Ubuntu / Debian via its official repository

Gerbera is available in Ubuntu repositories but always old. It’s however quite easy to install the latest version since it offers an official apt repository. And so far, it supports for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Debian Buster & Bullseye.

1.) Firstly open terminal from start menu. Then paste the command below and hit run to install the key:

curl -fsSL https://gerbera.jfrog.io/artifactory/api/gpg/key/public | sudo apt-key add -

Install curl via sudo apt install curl if you don’t have it. Type user password when it asks (no asterisk feedback) and hit Enter.

2.) Next add the apt repository by running command in terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository https://gerbera.jfrog.io/artifactory/debian

3.) Adding repository should automatically update the package information. If not, run it manually via command:

sudo apt update

4.) You can finally install the latest Gerbera package via command:

sudo apt install gerbera

Set up Gerbera Media Server:

The media server is now simple to use since user and permission are well configured during installing process.

1.) Set user and password for Web UI.

You can skip this step, so anyone in home network can access the server configuration page via Web UI without authentication.

Firstly, open terminal and run command to edit the config file:

sudo gedit /etc/gerbera/config.xml

When files opens, go to UI section. Enable account login and set username and password as you prefer.

2.) Run Gerbera service:

Next, run command to start the media server service:

systemctl start gerbera

And check the server status via command:

systemctl status gerbera

If it’s running successfully, it will output the IP address and listening port for the web UI page.

NOTE: to make the service start automatically at login, run systemctl enable gerbera.

3.) Paste the address in web browser, http://192.168.0.108:49152 in my case, and hit Enter. Then login with the user and password you set in step 1.).

You can finally, click “Add some files” to steam your media files, and manage them as well as clients via next two buttons.

OK, you can now enjoy the music or movie in any device with UPnP client, for example VLC on iOS: