Archives For November 30, 1999


For people who are hard-of-hearing, and/or for better understanding audio, here’s a live captions app that provides real-time automatic subtitles on Linux desktop.

The app displays a wide flat window on desktop, showing real-time (may have few hundred milliseconds delay) subtitles for voice come from either speaker or microphone.

It’s free and open-source, and captioning locally without network permission with the power of deep learning. And, there’s no API keys, no proprietary services/libraries, no telemetry, no spying, no data collection.

The only thing you need is a somewhat-decent CPU that can perform real-time captioning. It’s tested and working good in my i5-10400, and following CPUs mentioned in project page:

  • Intel i7-2670QM
  • Intel i7-7820HQ
  • Intel i5-8265U
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • Steam Deck

How to Install the Live Captions app

The Live Captions app is available as Flatpak package that works in most Linux desktop!

Linux Mint 21 and Fedora 38+ (with 3rd party repository enabled) can directly search for and install “Live Captions” from either Software Manager or Gnome Software.

1. For Ubuntu, first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to enable flatpak support:

sudo apt install flatpak

Other Linux can follow this official setup guide to enable Flatpak.

2. Then, run command to install the app through Flatpak package:

flatpak install

As running in sandbox, it may have hundred MB downloads for run-time libraries.

After installation, launch it from start menu or ‘Activities’ overview depends on your desktop environment.

If you’re first time installing an app through Flatpak, then you may need to log out and back in to make app icon visible. Or, run command below to start it from terminal:

flatpak run net.sapples.LiveCaptions

Start Live Captions

The first launch of the app will guide you to perform a short benchmark for your CPU. You need at least 1.0 score for running this app.

As it noticed, the live captions may not be accurate. It may make mistakes, including when it comes to numbers. Please do not rely on the results for anything critical or important.

When done, it starts into a blank window. There click the gear button to open ‘Preferences dialog’ to configure the window width, background opacity, text font, etc.

The built-in model so far support only English. Though, there are few more models available to download, which makes it work for Polish and French language.

To make the window always on top, just right-click on it and click “Always on Top” option.

When done configuration, just start live chat, or play something with voice, the app window should automatically show you the real-time subtitles in few seconds.

For Chinese users or those who have friends or business in China, native QQ app is finally working well in Linux by releasing the 3.0 version!

QQ is one of the top popular instant messaging apps in China. It has an official Linux client since 2019, which was however old, crash often, and not suitable for daily use.

By releasing 3.0, QQ for Linux finally got a modern UI powered by its QQNT framework. Similar to the Windows app, it has the user avatar and a few navigation buttons in far left pane, friends and group chats in center, and messages in right.

QQ for Linux 3.0

Except for voice and video chat, it includes the most common used features, such as emoji picker, Ctrl+Alt+A screen capture, send files/images, chat history, add, remove, and search friends, as well as most group chat functions.

As well, there’s light and dark mode support, and system tray indicator to toggle app UI and online status.

In short, if you rarely do voice/video chat, the new official QQ client for Linux is now really great for daily use! Though, it seems available in Chinese language only.

Download QQ for Linux 3.0

The app is available for both modern 64-bit PC and ARM devices. Just click the link below to go to its website:

Select x64 for modern PC/laptop or arm64 for mobile devices, deb for Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint, or rpm for Fedora, Rocky Linux, openSUSE, etc. And, just double-click on the package should open the installer in today’s Linux.

The universal AppImage package is also available for choice. Grab it, add executable permission (in file ‘Properties’ dialog), and finally click run the package will open the QQ chat app.

That’s all. Enjoy!

The free open-source game chatting app Mumble released new major 1.4 version a day ago with exciting new features!

Mumble is a high quality and low latency voice over IP (VoIP) app designed for gamers. By releasing v1.4.230, the first stable in v1.4, it now uses new versioning scheme of the form The third component of version numbers may now much higher and discontinuous. Because there are snapshot (beta) builds in between stable versions.

Mumber 1.4 introduced a new, general purpose plugin framework. Plugins are no longer restricted to positional data delivery and they can now be installed and updated at any time. See the documentation for more.

The release also added a “Search Dialog“, allows to search users or channels with regular expression support. User may open it either from menu or Ctrl+F keyboard shorcut.

Mumble 1.4 Search Dialog

User may now “listen to” a channel without joining it. Though listener will be visible in the channel’s user-list via an “ear” or a “listener”. In order to speech to people in listened channel, you have to either join the channel or shout to it.

Listen to a channel without joining it

To quickly find out who’s currently talking, “TalkingUI” is introduced in the release. It’s an optional floating window automatically resizes itself to the minimal size needed to display the information. It can be placed in the corner without taking too much of your screen. And, just like the main UI, it supports selection and context menu.

floating window indicates who’s currently talking

Other changes in Mumble 1.4 include:

  • Markdown support for text messages.
  • stereo audio (restricted to playback so far).
  • Set nicknames for users.
  • Join user’s channel” context menu option.
  • Reset all settings at once.
  • Disable text-to-speech for specific user.
  • Echo Cancellation for macOS (experimental).
  • Native PipeWire support.
  • Indicate “access-restricted” channels with a lock icon
  • And much more.

Download / Install Mumble:

Mumble is available to install in Windows, MacOS, Linux, as well as iOS and Android mobiles. Download it at the link below:

For Ubuntu / Linux Mint users, there’s an official PPA though not updated at the moment of writing.

It’s as well available to install in most Linux via universal Flatpak package.

After almost two years of development, the HexChat IRC client finally released new 2.6.0 version with a number of new IRCv3 features and strikethrough formatting support.

HexChat is a free open source Internet Relay Chat client that forked from XChat. It offers both command line and customizable graphical interface, allows to securely join multiple networks and talk to users privately.

The app supports features such as DCC, SASL, proxies, spellcheck, alerts, logging, custom themes, Python/Perl scripts, and even transfer files.

Changes in the latest HexChat 2.16.0 include:

  • Add support for IRCv3 SETNAME, invite-notify, account-tag, standard replies, and UTF8ONLY
  • Add support for strikethrough formatting
  • Update network list (including Libra.Chat as the default)
  • Update to OpenSSL 1.1.1 on Windows
  • Fix text clipping issues by respecting font line height
  • Fix URLs not being escaped when opened
  • Fix misc IRC message parsing issues
  • Remove libnotify and libproxy dependencies on Linux.
  • Print ChanServ notices in the front tab by default
  • Add CBC mode support for fishlim plugin.
  • Rewrite plugin in python with CFFI This lowers memory usage and fixed conflicts with many C Python modules including pygobject.

How to install HexChat 2.16.0 in Ubuntu:

The Windows exe as well as source tarball are available to download at its official website.

For Ubuntu and other Linux, the client so far only available via universal Flatpak package which runs in sandbox. And below is how to install HexChat 2.16.0 flatpak in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10 and their based systems.

1.) Firstly, open terminal by either searching from activities overview screen or press Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard.

2.) Next install the Flatpak daemon if you don’t have it, by running command in terminal:

sudo apt install flatpak

NOTE for Ubuntu 18.04, you have to add THIS PPA to be able to install the package.

3.) Add the flathub repository that hosts the flatpak packages by running command:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

4.) Finally install the HexChat IRC client via command:

flatpak install flathub io.github.Hexchat

NOTE the Flatpak package co-exists with native deb and snap, so you may have more than one app icons in overview search box. If so, you may run the command below in terminal to launch HexChat Flatpak:

flatpak run io.github.Hexchat

How to Remove HexChat:

To remove the HexChat flatpak package, open terminal and run command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data flathub io.github.Hexchat

And run flatpak uninstall --unused command will remove unused runtime libraries to free up your disk space.

You can now install the open-source team chat Zulip desktop client easily via Snap in Ubuntu and receive future updates automatically.

Zulip is a powerful, group chat software with clients for Linux, Windows, mac OS, Android, iOS, and web UI. For Ubuntu Linux, it offers an apt repository with the latest .deb packages and appimage single executable package.

Now Zulip is available as Snap, a containerised software package designed to work securely within most Linux desktop. Snap bundles most required dependencies and auto-updates itself.

To install Zulip via snap, simply open Ubuntu Software, search for and install zulip:

For those familiar with Linux command, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run:

snap install zulip

Once installed, open the client either from software launcher or by running command in terminal and enjoy:


Discord, a free proprietary voice and text chat app for gamers, now offers official Discord stable client for Linux 64-bit.

    Discord runs on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and in a web browser, which all support fundamental chat-based text features. The Discord application for personal computers is designed for use while gaming, including features such as low-latency, free voice chat servers for users and a dedicated server infrastructure. Discord’s developers plan to add video calling and screen sharing. Direct calling was added in an update on July 28, 2016, with support for calls between two or more users. The company introduced its GameBridge API in December 2016 that allows game developers to directly support integration with Discord within games.

The first stable 0.0.1 release of Discord client for Linux is available for download one day ago. Just go to the official download link below, choose download .deb for Debian/Ubuntu or .tar.gz:

Then click install via Ubuntu Software or Gdebi package manager.