Kodi 19.1, the first update for the “Matrix” series, was released with various bug-fixes.

The new release of the media player and entertainment hub contains mainly bug-fixes. It fixed HDR metadata detection issue, playback of optical DVDs in Linux, and BD-J Blu-ray chapter skipping via remotes/keyboard.

System fonts and use fonts detection for ASS subtitles, as well as rendering of semi-transparent ASS subtitles on Wayland are now fixed in the release.

Kodi 19.1 also enabled filecaching by default for network filesystems, improved reliability for HTTP and NFS network filesystems, and added support for WS-Discovery protocol to locate SMB servers and browse shared folders via SMBv3.

Other changes in the release include:

  • Fixed media flagging for DVD/BluRay
  • Fixed incorrect HDR metadata
  • Fixed green screen when playing the menu of some DVDs
  • See the release note for more.

How to Install Kodi 19.1 in Ubuntu:

The official Kodi PPA has made the packages for all current Ubuntu releases including Ubuntu 21.04.

Open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, do following steps one by one.

1. Add Kodi PPA.

To add the official Kodi PPA, run command in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

Type user password when it asks, with no asterisk feedback, and hit Enter to continue.

2. Install / Update Kodi.

If you’re now running the stock version of Kodi package in Ubuntu, the Software Updater will refused to update it. So it’s recommended to use the command below to install or update the media player.

Firstly refresh system package cache, if you’re on Ubuntu 18.04, via command:

sudo apt update

Then install Kodi via command:

sudo apt install kodi

Once installed Kodi, either launch it from system app launcher or log out and select “Kodi” session to login.

How to Downgrade:

You can purge the Ubuntu PPA as well as downgrade Kodi to the stock version available in Ubuntu main repositories. To do so, run command:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

HP Linux Imaging and Printing

HP printer drivers for Linux, HPLIP, released version 3.21.4 today with new devices and Linux distros support.

HPLIP 3.21.4 is a small release adds HP Envy 6400 series printers support, and adds new systems LinuxMint 20.1, Debian 10.8 support. Ubuntu 21.04 is not yet supported though it has been released for a few weeks.

And it does not install in Ubuntu 20.04 in my case, though it works in Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.

Download & Install HPLIP 3.21.4:

HPLIP packages are hosted on sourceforge.net, go to link below and download the “hplip-3.21.4.run” package:

Then open Downloads folder in file manager, right-click on blank area and select “Open in Terminal”.

When terminal opens, firstly run command to add executable permission to the file:

chown +x hplip-3.21.4.run

Then run it to start installing the driver:

./hplip-3.21.4.run

Answer some questions in terminal outputs and done.

FFMPEG

FFmpeg 4.4 “Rao” now can be installed in all current Ubuntu releases easily via an Ubuntu PPA.

FFmpeg is a free and open-source solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. The major 4.4 version was released almost a months ago with PGX decoder, AV1 encoding support SVT-AV1, AV1 decoder with hardware acceleration used only, AV1 VAAPI decoder, and so many other new features.

Thanks to Rob Savoury, an Ubuntu PPA is available contains the packages for all current Ubuntu releases.

Upgrading FFmpeg is not recommended for beginners unless you know what you’re going to do. It may cause dependency issue for some multi-media apps that depends on specified version of a media library.

1.) Add the PPA:

Firstly open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run the command below to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/ffmpeg4

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

2.) (Optional) Add optional PPAs:

For newest versions of graphics and multimedia dependencies, you can also add the following PPAs by running commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/graphics
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/multimedia

3.) Finally install / update FFmpeg:

As a widely used media library, it’s mostly installed on your system. So you can run command to upgrade it in terminal:

sudo apt full-upgrade

NOTE: using Software Updater is not recommended in the case. It may keep back FFmpeg since old libraries may be required for some apps, Pitivi in the case.

4.) Check FFmpeg version:

Once installed, run command to check software version:

ffmpeg -version

How to Restore Stock FFmpeg version:

You can purge the Ubuntu PPA which will also downgrade FFmpeg libraries to the stock version in Ubuntu. Also purging the FFmpeg PPA may also remove some apps for unknown reasons :(.

Firstly install ppa-purge tool via command:

sudo apt install ppa-purge

Then purge the PPAs one by one:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:savoury1/graphics
sudo ppa-purge ppa:savoury1/multimedia
sudo ppa-purge ppa:savoury1/ffmpeg4

Want to try out the Pipewire sound server? It’s easy to do this in Ubuntu 21.04, and here’s how!

PipeWire is a server for handling multimedia on Linux. Its most common use is for Wayland and Flatpak apps to implement audio and video playback and capture with minimal latency. And it offers seamless support for PulseAudio, JACK, ALSA, and GStreamer based applications.

Replace PulseAudio with Pipewire in Ubuntu 21.04:

Ubuntu 21.04 has enabled support for pipewire officially. And here’s how I enabled it in my laptop:

Don’t do this in production machine! Replacing existing audio service in Ubuntu is possible but the experience is currently not guaranteed to be perfect or free of issues and bugs.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system application launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

When it opens, run command to install the pipewire-audio-client-libraries package:

sudo apt install pipewire-audio-client-libraries 

If you installed Pipewire from this Ubuntu PPA, SKIP step 2.) and 3.) as they are already there! As well daemon-reload is not required.

2.) Then create an empty file by running command:

sudo touch /etc/pipewire/media-session.d/with-pulseaudio

3.) Create pipewire-pulse service files by copying the example files:

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/pipewire/examples/systemd/user/pipewire-pulse.* /etc/systemd/user/

4.) You don’t have to remove the PulseAudio, just disable it and enable Pipewire:

  • Run command to reload the new service files:
    systemctl --user daemon-reload
  • Disable PulseAudio service via command:
    systemctl --user --now disable pulseaudio.service pulseaudio.socket
  • And finally enable the Pipewire services:
    systemctl --user --now enable pipewire pipewire-pulse

5.) I followed the previous steps via Debian Wiki, but it didn’t work. The system tray sound icon’s gone, and pactl info outputs “Connection failure: Connection refused”.

To workaround the issue, enable pipewire-media-session service may work by running command:

systemctl --user --now enable pipewire-media-session.service

If you’re trying to get it work in Ubuntu 20.04, try “mask” the PulseAudio service before reboot, by running command:

systemctl --user mask pulseaudio

Finally reboot your machine.

And check if Pipewire is working, run pactl info command. And it’s working if you see “PulseAudio (on PipeWire 0.3.24)” in output.

KeePass2

KeePass password manager released version 2.48 a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04 via PPA.

KeePass 2.48 introduces version 4.1 of the KDBX file format, which supports various new features, including:

  • group tags support,
  • ability to disable password quality estimation
  • remember the previous parent group when moving an entry/group into a different group
  • custom icons now have names and last modification or deletion times
  • save last modification time for custom date items.

Other changes include:

  • Add command ‘Move to Previous Parent Group’
  • Add support for loading images with Exif orientation tags.
  • Enhanced the LastPass import module to support CSV files created by the latest versions.
  • Enhanced the nPassword import module to import group tags.
  • Various user interface improvements.

How to Install KeePass 2.48 in Ubuntu via PPA:

KeePass2 is still available to install via an Ubuntu PPA. So far, the PPA supports for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and Ubuntu 21.04.

1.) Open terminal and run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/keepass2

2.) Then refresh system package cache via command:

sudo apt update

3.) Finally install the mono based password safe package:

sudo apt install keepass2

Uninstall KeePass2:

To remove the software package, run command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --autoremove keepass2

And remove the Ubuntu PPA via command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/keepass2