The free open-source Lightroom alternative, Darktable release version 3.6.1. Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu.

Darktable 3.6.1 comes with stability improvements and bug-fixes. No new features, but has new camera support, including base support for Leica C-Lux (3:2), Sony ILCE-7RM3A, Sony ILCE-7RM4A, Nikon D6 (12bit and 14bit), and Nikon Z fc (12bit- and 14bit-compressed). The release also adds noise profile for Ricoh GR III.

And here are the bug-fixes according to the release note:

  • Fix module expand on quick access panel when enabling/disabling module.
  • Fix a possible crash in color calibration module.
  • Fix an inconsistency between the CPU & GPU path in color calibration module.
  • Fix possible issue in OpenCL Bradford non-linear code in color calibration which leads to wrong color rendering.
  • Fix Windows paths handling and encoding.
  • Fix possible issue in exiv2 when trying to write empty strings.
  • Fix by-scale button in export module.
  • Fix crash when renaming a drawn mask.
  • Minor UI fix in duplicate module.
  • Fix possible wrong rendering of the color picker tooltip.
  • Fix filename variable used when importing new pictures.
  • Fix noise profile for RICOH GR III.
  • Fix some memory leaks.

How to Install Darktable 3.6.1 in Ubuntu:

The raw development tool has official Linux repository with native packages for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE. Darktable is also available to install via the universal Flatpak package.

For choice, I’ve uploaded the package into the unofficial PPA with Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10 support. And 32-bit Ubuntu 18.04 is also supported.

1.) Add the PPA.

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal for running commands. When it opens, paste the command below into it and hit Enter.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable

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

2.) Install / upgrade Darktable

Next either run command in terminal to install the photography software:

sudo apt install darktable

Or upgrade the package using Software Updater (Update Manager) utility.

Uninstall Darktable:

To remove the software package, you may simply run apt command with remove flag in terminal:

sudo apt remove darktable --autoremove

And remove the PPA via command:

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

The Software & Updates also provides option to manage PPAs. Open it and navigate to “Other Software” tab, select the repository and click remove it.

Oracle announced the release of Java 17 as the new Long-Term Support (LTS) release.

Java 17 LTS comes with thousands of performance, stability, and security updates, as well as 14 JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals). And Oracle will provide 8-year support for the release with security, performance, and bug-fix updates until 2029.

According to the release note, the next LTS will be Java 21 planned for September 2023, which changes the LTS release circle for every three years to two years.

What’s New in Oracle Java 17:

JDK 17 includes new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions. It also offers a language feature preview and incubating APIs to gather feedback from the Java community.

Updates in the release include:

  • Sealed classes and interfaces restrict which other classes or interfaces may extend or implement them.
  • Restore Always-Strict Floating-Point Semantics
  • New interface types and implementations for Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNGs), including jumpable PRNGs and an additional class of splittable PRNG algorithms (LXM).
  • Implement a Java 2D pipeline for macOS using the Apple Metal API.
  • New Arm 64-based Apple Silicon computers support.
  • Deprecate the Applet API for removal
  • Remove the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) Activation mechanism
  • Remove the Experimental AOT and JIT Compiler
  • Deprecate the Security Manager for removal
  • Strongly encapsulate all internal elements of the JDK, except for critical internal APIs such as sun.misc.Unsafe.
  • Pattern matching for switch expressions and statements, along with extensions to the language of patterns.
  • Improves Foreign Function and Memory API and Vector API.

How to Install Oracle Java 17 in Ubuntu:

Thanks to the “Linux Uprising” team ppa, an installer script has been created to automatically downloads and installs Oracle JDK 17 package, and sets Java 17 as the default Java version (setting JAVA_HOME, etc.) on 64-bit PC and arm64 devices, e.g., Rasperry Pi and Microsoft HoloLens 2.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/java

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

2.) Refresh system package cache. The PPA provides packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, as well as two old Ubuntu LTS (14.04 and 16.04). And old Ubuntu releases need to manually update system cache by running the command below in terminal:

sudo apt-get update

3.) Finally install the script package via command:

sudo apt-get install oracle-java17-installer

Once the script starts, it brings you to the screen for the license. Press Tab key on keyboard to select OK and hit Enter.

Then answer “Yes” via arrow keys and hit Enter to start downloading Java 17 package from oracle website.

Terminal will indicate the downloading and installing process for you. When everything’s done successfully, use java --version or javac --version command to verify the installation.

That’s all. Enjoy!

For personal data backup, Pika Backup is a simple GNOME app with an elegant user interface.

Pika Backup is free open-source tool to save your personal data into either local disk (e.g., an USB stick) or remote server using secure shell or sftp. As modern GTK3 apps, it has an adaptive UI design which is resizable and works great on different screen sizes & devices.

The utility is based on BorgBackup (aka Borg), features data de-duplication technique to save time and disk space since only changes are stored for daily backups. With the power of authenticated encryption technique, it also supports password protect for your data.

The app starts in a clean UI with a “Configure Backup” button to get started creating repositories to store backups. The top-left ‘+‘ icon is also present to do the same job.

You data can be saved to a remote server via ssh remote file transfer by specifying URL, e.g., “ssh://[email protected]/~/backup“, however borg need to be installed in the server side. For choice, the “sftp://” prefix can be used without borg.

Data can also be saved in local folder or removable devices, such as an USB drive. It will create a sub-folder in selected directory or device and save backup either encrypted or not. And, it will recognize the USB repository once you plug it in, allows you to either edit or select use the repository.

Pika – create or select a repository to save backup

After creating / choosing the backup repository, it brings you to the file selecting screen. There you can choose any file folders, and exclude any for the backup. When you done data selection, click the green “Back Up Now” button to start. It indicates the process with how many percentage finished and how much time left.

Pika file select and backup process

Backups are stored in unreadable files in repositories. You have to open the Pika Backup tool to mount backups using “Browse saved files” under Archives tab. Then recover files or folder via opened file manager using copy & paste actions. This is not friendly in my opinion since no recover option present.

The utility has limitations. Scheduled backups are not supported so far, and excluding files from a backup via regular expressions and alike is not implemented yet.

Install Pika Backup in Ubuntu Linux:

The Pika Backup software is available for most Linux via the universal Flatpak package.

Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by searching for and opening it from ‘Activities’ overview screen. When it opens, run following commands one by one:

1.) Install flatpak daemon, if you don’t have it, by running command:

sudo apt install flatpak

For Ubuntu 18.04, users have to add the Flatpak PPA first.

2.) Next add the flathub repository, considered as official place hosts flatpak packages:

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

3.) Finally install the backup utility via this command:

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.World.PikaBackup

Like normal apps, you can search for and open it from ‘Activities’ overview screen.

Uninstall Pika Backup:

To remove the software, paste the command below into terminal and hit run:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gnome.World.PikaBackup

And you may clear up unused run-time by running command:

flatpak uninstall --unused

For those prefer the classic .deb package, the Krita Lime PPA is finally updated with the latest v4.4.8 package for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20 and Ubuntu 21.04.

Krita Lime PPA:

Krita provides official Linux binaries in a few package formats, e.g., Flatpak and Appimage. The Krita Lime PPA (Personal Package Archive) is one of them maintained by Alexey Samoilov, which provides the classic deb packages of the graphics editor for all current Ubuntu releases (so far Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04) and their based systems, e.g, Linux Mint 20, Elementary OS 6 and Zorin OS 16.

For unknown reason the PPA package stopped at v4.4.3 for almost half an year, missing a few release updates. And finally it’s updated today with the recent Krita 4.4.8 package for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.04, while the Ubuntu 18.04 package is still being working.

Install the Latest Krita from the PPA

For those sticking to the apt package, you can add the PPA and upgrade the digital painting software via following steps.

1.) Add Krita Lime PPA.

Firstly, click the top-left ‘Activities’ button to bring up overview screen, then search for and open terminal. Or search for and open terminal from your system start menu.

When terminal opens, paste the command below into it and hit Enter:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kritalime/ppa

For running sudo command you have to type user password to authenticate, and then hit Enter to continue.

2.) Install or Upgrade Krita.

After adding the PPA repository, you can now open system update manager (Software Updater) app and upgrade this popular digital painting and 2D animation software if an old version was installed.

Or just run this command in a terminal window to install or upgrade it:

sudo apt install krita

Once installed, launch it from your system start menu and enjoy!

Uninstall Krita and Remove the PPA:

It’s always easy to remove the packages from your system. Also open a terminal window and run the command below will do the job:

sudo apt remove --autoremove krita krita-data

To remove the PPA, simply add --remove flag in the command used to add it. So the command will be:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kritalime/ppa

Or open the Software & Updates utility and remove relevant line from ‘Other Software’ tab.

KeePass Password Safe 2.49 released with user interface improvements and minor new features. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu via PPA.

According to the release note, the new release added new dedicated context menus for custom string fields and auto-type associations in the entry dialog. Allows to copy names, values, target windows and sequences, copy and paste items, and do select all and move to actions. The button “More” is present to the right of the custom string fields and auto-type associations list to show the context menu.

The release also added optional “Auto-Type – Enabled” and “Auto-Type – Sequences” main entry list column. They are disabled by default and can be turned on via menu “View -> Configure Columns”.

KeePass 2.49 added support for importing Keeper 16.0.0 JSON files, and automatic screen reader detection based on the operating system’s screen reader parameter. Other changes include:

  • New ‘Show confirmation dialog when opening a database file whose minor format version is unknown’ option.
  • Dialog banners can now be read by screen readers
  • Added accessibility names for some controls
  • Controls in the accessibility/automation control tree are now ordered by their visual locations
  • Various accessibility enhancements and other improvements.

How to Install KeePass 2.49 in Ubuntu:

KeePass 2.x runs on Linux through Mono, the open-source .NET Framework-compatible software framework. The UI looks old. If you don’t like it, try KeePassX the native Linux password manager.

The software does not provide Linux binary package so far. Besides building from the source, you can use the unofficial Ubuntu PPA.

NOTE: I offer no warranty for any package in the PPA. Build rules and patches borrowed from the Julian Taylor’s PPA. Use it at your own risk.

1.) Firstly, open terminal from start menu and run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/keepass2

Type user password when it asks since sudo command need user authentication and hit Enter to continue

2.) Then run command to update package cache, though it’s done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 & higher while adding PPA:

sudo apt update

3.) Finally install this mono based password manager package by running command:

sudo apt install keepass2

By keeping the Ubuntu PPA, next time a new release is published you’ll be able to upgrade it using system’s Software Updater (Update Manager) utility.

Uninstall KeePass2:

To remove the software package, run command in terminal:

sudo apt remove --autoremove keepass2

And remove the Ubuntu PPA either via command in temrinal:

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

or by launching “Software & Updates” utility and removing the relevant line under “Other Software” tab.