For Ubuntu 20.04+ and other Linux with GNOME desktop (e.g., Fedora workstation, Debian and Arch Linux), there’s an extension lets you quickly locate mouse pointer.

The extension is called “Jiggle“. It highlights the mouse pointer position when it moved rapidly by applying 3 cool animation effects: Cursor Scaling, Spotlight, and Fireworks.

Cursor Scaling animation. Original pointer can be turned off

Fireworks effect

spotlight animation

User may choose one of the three effects to function. And each has options to configure the shake threshold, speed, and other settings.

Choose effect & change the “Shake Threshold”, etc.

Install Jiggle extension:

The extension at the moments supports for Gnome 3.36, 3.38 and 40. Though it works on GNOME 41 as reported.

1. Install Gnome Extensions App:

Before installing the extension, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to install the ‘chrome-gnome-shell’ and ‘gnome-shell-extensions-prefs’ packages:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extensions-prefs

The first package is required for installing Gnome Extensions from web browser in Ubuntu based system. The latter installs the app for managing extensions.

2. Install Jiggle:

Next, go to the extension web page via your web browser. And then turn on the toggle icon to install it:

https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/3438/jiggle/

If you don’t see the slider icon, install the browser add-on and refresh the page.

After installed the extension, search for and open ‘Gnome Extensions‘ from Activities overview screen.

Manage Gnome Extensions

Finally, open settings for ‘Jiggle’ and apply your favorite animation and enjoy!

Mozilla Firefox 96.0 was released today. The new release focuses on performance and security improvements.

Firefox 96.0 significantly reduced the main-thread load, improved noise suppression and automatic gain control for better overall experience.

It now enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax by default which helps defend against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.

The release also fixed some issues, including video quality degradation issues on certain sites, issue where WebRTC downgrades screen sharing resolution, and video intermittently drops SSRC. As well, there are various security fixes.

And for developers, Firefox 96 adds WebP image encoder support for canvas.

Firefox Dark

How to Install Firefox 96 in Ubuntu Linux:

For Ubuntu 21.10+ using the pre-installed Firefox as Snap, it updates automatically and user should now have v96.0.

For those using the native .deb version, the best choice is wait! The official Ubuntu build will be available in next few days. At that time, open “Software Updater” to upgrade the Firefox package.

Firefox website also provides Linux package via portable tarball. Extract and run the executable file within the source will launch the web browser:

As you may know, Gnome control center (aka settings) has “Fractional Scaling” option since Ubuntu 20.04, allows to change scaling level for HiDPI displays.

By default, user may scale up to 125%, 150%, 175% and 200% to make Ubuntu (or other GNOME based Linux, such as Fedora) to be read easily. In this tutorial, I’m going to introduce “BetterScale”, a command line tool gives more scaling levels.

GNOME by default has 125%, 150%, 175%, 200% scaling levels

BetterScale:

BetterScale is a group of bash scripts that helps Gnome & Budgie x11 users perfectly scale their desktop. With it, user may scaling via 110%, 120%, 130%, 140%, 150%, 160%200% levels.

BetterScale uses a similar concept for scaling as macs do by enabling Gnomes experimental scaling support & increasing the graphics framebuffer. It makes your system easily readable while remaining fully clear, crisp and sharp.

BetterScale with more scaling levels

The tool uses xrandr to scale the framebuffer. Which means, it only works for GNOME / Budgie on Xorg. Ubuntu 21.10+ needs to switch to Xorg session at Login Screen for using the tool.

Install & Use BetterScale:

The tool is hosted on Github page. Ubuntu user may press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run command to grab the source:

git clone https://github.com/rbreaves/betterScale.git

Install git via sudo apt install git for those don’t have it.

Next, run cd command to navigate to the source folder:

cd betterScale

Finally, start the script via command:

./setup.sh

Grab and start BetterScale

When it starts, read the description and warning before hitting Enter.

And, it will ask if to install the fix for tearing & mouse flickering for intel GPU. Type “n” to skip it if you don’t have this issue, or answer “Y” and type user password to install the fix.

If you answered ‘Y’ to fix tearing and flicker, log out and back in. Then, re-run the script to get the scaling level selection screen and type number to choose your favorite scaling factor.

BetterScale with more scaling levels

How to Restore:

The tool is in quite earlier stage. It might not work sometimes. I tested it in Ubuntu 21.10 with normal HD display without system’s ‘Fractional Scaling’ enabled. It works mostly but NOT occasionally.

To restore the changes, simply re-run the script and select 10 to set scaling to 100%. Do it twice if it does not work properly!

And remove the “20-intel.conf” file via the command below if you’ve installed the fix for tearing and mouse flickering:

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

That’s all. Enjoy!

The popular free open-source Handbrake video transcoder released version 1.5.0 a day ago and then 1.5.1 with quick fix. Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu / Linux Mint.

Handbrake 1.5 contains mainly bug-fixes, libraries and video engine updates. Changes in the release include:

  • Update video engine to preserve chroma sample location information.
  • Update Intel Quick Sync to use the Intel oneAPI Video Processing Library (oneVPL)
  • Update FFmpeg 4.4.1, FreeType 2.11.1, libass 0.15.2, libdav1d 0.9.2, and third-party libraries.
  • Update Intel QSV Flatpak plugin to use Intel MediaSDK 21.3.5
  • Build with GNOME 41 and Freedesktop Platform 21.08
  • Requires macOS 10.13+, Windows 10+ with .NET 6.0
  • Add “Move to top/bottom” to the queue context menu for Windows, and MacOS.
  • Translations updates, and more.

How to Install Handbrake 1.5.1 in Ubuntu & other Linux:

The video transcoder now provides Linux package through the universal Flatpak. For those sticking to the native .deb package, keep an eye on this third-party Ubuntu PPA.

1. Install Flatpak daemon

The Flatpak daemon is pre-installed in some Linux systems, such as Fedora Workstation, CentOS, Linux Mint, and Pop! OS.

For Ubuntu 20.04+, simply press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal and run the command below to install it:

sudo apt install flatpak

Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04 user may install the daemon using the stable PPA.

2. Install Handbrake as Flatpak

After setup the daemon, most Linux user may install Handbrake as Flatpak using command:

flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/fr.handbrake.ghb.flatpakref

As mentioned, the packages requires GNOME 41 and Freedesktop Platforms that takes hundreds of MB disk space.

Once installed, search for and open Handbrake from ‘Activities’ overview screen and enjoy!

Uninstall Handbrake Flatpak package:

To remove the app package, also open terminal and run command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data fr.handbrake.ghb

And remove the useless dependency runtimes via: flatpak uninstall --unused.

For choice, you may also remove the Flatpak daemon if no other app packages installed:

sudo apt remove --autoremove flatpak

That’s all. Enjoy!

After more than half a year of development, the qBitTorrent app released version 4.4.0 with many new features and various bug-fixes.

qBitTorrent 4.4.0 added Qt6 support. It offers better HiDPI compatibility for Windows 10+ and Linux using AppImage package. Though, it has known issue about text display on the progress bar. The Qt5 build is still the primary packages, though the next major release will probably drop Qt5 support.

The new release also supports BitTorrent v2 protocol and libtorrent 2.0.x, that use SHA-256 to provide a safer cryptographic hash function.

There are also some other new features, including announce to all trackers if IP changed, “Checking” filter in side pane, “Forced metadata downloading” state, “Skip hash check” option, double-click to show torrent options, temp folder per torrent/category, folder based UI themes, and more.

Other changes in qBitTorrent 4.4.0 include:

  • Remember last viewed page in options.
  • Add ‘Notification timeout’ option.
  • Add context menu to toggle content tab columns.
  • Add windows-clang support and update python installer URL for Windows.
  • Prolong wait time for shutdown for qbittorrent-nox for Linux.
  • Install vector program icon for Linux.
  • Add detection for OpenBSD, Haiku in configure script
  • Update Mac icons for Big Sur
  • Stick Unread row to top in RSS feed list
  • Setting to store/load fastresume/torrent files in an SQLite database
  • More tool-tips, web UI updates, and bug-fixes.

How to Install qBitTorrent 4.4.0:

For Windows, MacOS, Linux AppImage, and source tarball, go to the official download page:

For Linux, the AppImage package is the only way to get the Qt6 build. Just grab it from the link above, make executable in file “Properties” dialog under ‘Permissions’ tab. Finally, click run the package to launch the torrent client.

qBitTorrent is also available as native .deb package for Ubuntu based system via its official Ubuntu PPA. The package will be available in next few days. However, Ubuntu 20.04 is no longer supported because its system Qt5 library does not meet the minimum requirement.

It’s also available to install as universal Flatpak package. Though it takes more disk space due to run-time libraries, the Flatpak was built with GUI lock support.