Category Archives: Linux Stuff

Linux Stuff

Introducing Antimony, free graph-based 3D CAD system

It seems that boxes and noodles are slowly taking over the world. Matt Keeter uses acyclic graphs in Antimony, a free/libre 3D CAD system streamlined for personal manufacturing.

With QCAD, LibreCAD, FreeCAD, BRL-CAD, and less known projects like ZCAD you’d think we are more or less settled with free/libre software for 2D/3D drafting and modeling. But most existing apps are built around concepts that we know from DXF: layers, blocks etc.

Antimony takes a different approach and relies on graph composition where nodes represent 2D/3D shapes and primitives, boolean and math operations, various transformations etc. That will certainly please a lot of people who are already used to node-based compositing in VFX software.

The project was launched by Matt Keeter who currently works as engineer at Formlabs, a popular 3D printer/accessories vendor.

Editing (or should we say compositing?) in Antimony doesn’t rely on just using noodles to connect boxes. The 3D view window also provides basic editing features. You can move an object along an axis or scale it, and corresponding nodes will be automatically updated in the graph composition window. So far Antimony only exports heightmaps for 2.5D processes and STL files.

Matt demonstrated the basics of using Antimony in this great video:

He also kindly agreed to answer a few questions about design specifics of Antimony and his future plans.

What was your main problem with existing CAD tools? I gather it has something to do with “drafting tables”, lack of innovation etc. 🙂

First of all, a brief disclaimer: though I’m competent with Solidworks and Blender, I’m not a practicing mechanical engineer, so take my thought with a grain of salt.

That being said, most sketch-based CAD tools are based on manipulating a big blob of global state (in the form of sketches or solid models); there’s more emphasis on stacking machining operations than encoding user design decisions and intent.

There’s also a discontinuity between the modeling system (in the form of constraint solving and geometry kernels) and user interaction.

Antimony pushes that discontinuity a bit farther from view: instead of “extrude” being an opaque operation that does something in the geometry kernel, it’s a script that you can open up and change.

How much pluggable is everything? I see that nodes definitely are. What about file loaders / savers?

Nodes are very pluggable — Antimony looks into a particular directory on startup and builds up menus from “.node” files that it finds there. Loading and saving of Antimony files is all hard-coded in C++; not much room for modification there.

Exporting is somewhere in between: Python scripts can declare that they want to export something, which calls back into C++ and sets up the UI for an export process, but defining new export formats requires changing the application core (rather than scripts).

Is this something you think might/should change in the future, for both importing and exporting?

Maybe, but the cost / benefit ratio is too high at the moment — it would require some architecture changes, and there isn’t enough demand for custom import/export pipelines to warrant it.

So far Antimony looks like a tool best suited for 3D manufacturing. Do you think it could grow into more directions like mechanical engineering (which means FEM and assembly among other things), architecture and BIM workflows, etc.? Would the app’s architecture allow for that? Would it even be a good idea?

I’m definitely focused on personal-scale manufacturing at the moment, making tools for individuals and small teams that work with laser cutters, 3D printers, small mills, etc. This is mostly because of my background — when I was at CBA [MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms — LGW], I did a bunch of work with these smaller-scale tools.

Working with assemblies is a natural extension: once I add graph nesting, it will be very simple to create a top-level file that combines a bunch of parts. For bigger systems and architecture workflows, I’d start getting more concerned with evaluation and rendering speed. On the rendering side, there’s an interesting optimization of creating / caching meshes to save on f-rep re-evaluation when the camera angle changes.

The case of assemblies is particularly interesting, because it might mean huge graphs, and that might impact navigation (among other things). Have you tried creating really large graphs (how large?) and seeing how it works in terms of performance, usability etc.?

The largest stuff that I’ve seen is about ~100 nodes. If those graphs are building a small number of parts (rather than multi-part assemblies), rendering isn’t a huge concern. The bigger challenge is in editing the graph — it’s still responsive if you’re editing things downstream, but making a change to a far-upstream parameter causes a noticeable pause as every script re-evaluates itself.

I think that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit for speeding up big graphs. For example, I’m not even taking the obvious step of saving compiled Python byte-code; every node is being evaluated as a string (even if the text hasn’t changed).

What’s your current development focus?

Right now, I’m doing a bunch of polishing for the 0.8.0 tagged release. One of the big changes is to the library of nodes: a few different people have written nodes, all with different styles and using different ways to define shapes; I’m doing a pass over the library to make it consistent and to make sure that all of the shapes are available in the fab.shapes module.

There are also a bunch of small bug-fixes and polishing going into 0.8.0.

Beyond that point, an unordered list of bigger tasks that I’m considering:

  • Switching to a QML-based UI
  • Optimizing graph evaluation speed (caching, delayed parsing, etc)
  • Computing gradients exactly rather than approximately (for better shaded rendering)
  • GPU-accelerated rendering
  • Using meshes to make rotation in the 3D viewport faster
  • Nested / hierarchical graphs
  • Reviving and extending the (bit-rotted) test suite
  • Figuring out how to build / package for Windows (help appreciated!)
  • Rethinking drawing planes (right now, 2D shapes are always in the XY plane).

Currently Antimony is available in source code and DMG builds for OS X users.

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Nemo 2.6 Gets A Plugin Manager, More [`Nemo With Unity Patches` PPA Updated]

While Nemo 2.6 wasn’t officially released yet (Cinnamon 2.6 is currently undergoing testing in the Linux Mint Romeo repository), its source has been available for some time on GitHub. 
I’ve been using Nemo 2.6 (2.6.5) for about a week and it works great, so I’ve decided upload it to the WebUpd8 Nemo (with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies) PPA.

Nemo 2.6

There’s no official changelog yet but from what I can tell, Nemo 2.6 includes the following changes (I may have missed some improvements though):
  • added a plugin manager which allows easily enabling and disabling Nemo actions, extensions and scripts;
  • all toolbar buttons now use symbolic icons (except pathbar icons);
  • simplified context menus (with an option to show all available actions);
  • improved thumbnail generation;
  • bookmarks are now sortable;
  • improved Preferences dialog;
  • fixed support for org.freedesktop.FileManager1 dbus interface – this should allow apps that support opening a folder and highlighting a file in that folder to work properly (like Firefox – clicking on the folder icon from Downloads);
  • added a simple transition when toggling the location bar/pathbar;
  • show icons for templates in the “create new document” menu;
  • show location entry when “/” is entered;
  • file operations (such as ‘copy’) now use a queue system (paused until the previous job completes however, you can manually start new jobs).

The official Nemo extensions haven’t been updated to fully support the new Nemo plugin manager, that’s why you’ll see “No information available” for each extension in the plugin manager. However, all v2.4. extensions should work with Nemo 2.6.
Also, the unpatched Nemo 2.6 can detect if the app generates thumbnails while running as root and prompts to fix this issue however, this depends on libcinnamon-desktop4 and since the purpose of the Nemo version I maintain is to be Cinnamon-free, I’ve removed this functionality for the PPA packages.
Even so, this is an issue that shouldn’t happen if you use Nemo properly: running it via pkexec (or via the Nemo contect menu > Run as Root, which uses pkexec) doesn’t cause this issue. As an alternative way of fixing such issues, you can simply run “sudo rm ~/.cache/thumbnails”.

Two more notes regarding the patched Nemo from the WebUpd8 PPA:

  • in the Plugin Manager, you’ll notice two “Change Desktop Background” Nemo actions – that’s because one is for Unity and one for GNOME (Shell) and it’s only used if you enable Nemo to draw the desktop;
  • the “Create a new launcher here…” Nemo action only shows up in the Nemo context menu on the desktop and it requires gnome-panel to be installed or else it won’t work.

Install Nemo 2.6 (with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies) in Ubuntu

To install the latest Nemo 2.6 with Unity patches and without Cinnamon dependencies, see THIS article. 
Important: don’t install this Nemo version in Linux Mint or if you’re using Cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu, because it has all it’s Cinnamon-specific features removed.

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Anatomy of SourceForge/GIMP controversy

SourceForge, once the most popular and respected hosting for free/libre projects, is taking another self-inflicted reputation hit. The recent controversy involving GIMP is all about ethics, while on the SourceForge’s side it appears to be about money.

If you follow tech industry at all, you couldn’t have missed a slew of reports yesterday that SourceForge took control over abandoned gimp-win account where GIMP installers for Windows used to be distributed from, and started providing their own offer-enabled installers instead. Ars Technica did a nice coverage of that, but there is oh so much more to the story.

Offer screen

Screenshot of the installer, courtesy by Ars Technica

Obligatory disclaimer: being affiliated with the GIMP team, I’m naturally under suspicion of being biased, so if you find any of the claims below subpar to expected journalism standards, by all means, do use the comments section to point out mistakes.

How this became even possible

A fair question one might ask is how builds of GIMP for Windows ended up on SourceForge in the first place.

Historically the GIMP team has been somewhat relaxed in how 3rd party efforts were organized. E.g. the official user manual is still a semi-separate project, with its own Git repository, its own team, and its own release schedule. Similarly, both Windows and OS X builds used to be 3rd party contributions, both hosted at SourceForge, one built by Jernej Simončič, the other — by Simone Karin Lehmann.

Jernej recalls:

I started building the installers for GIMP in 2002, and I initially hosted them on the space provided by my then-ISP, Arnes. I moved away from them a few years later, and while I could probably have arranged with them to keep hosting the installers, I already had a SourceForge account, so using that seemed simpler. For a long time SF was the place for hosting binaries for open-source projects — nobody else had comparable infrastructure, when they offered file hosting at all.

This started changing in the recent years. The team began working with contributors more closely, e.g. pulling Mac-specific fixes from builds by Simone. The other related change, which is at the heart of this topic, was moving Windows installers from SourceForge over to gimp.org.

Why GIMP-Win left SourceForge in 2013

First of all, problems with SourceForge are older than some people might expect. At some point in mid-2000s, SourceForge stopped evolving as fast as it used to and focused on advertising-based revenue. This allowed them to go from $6mln in 2006 to $23mln revenue in 2009. But it also alienated free software developers due to poorer service quality. Various projects started moving away.

<!–

Among high-profile projects who began leaving SourceForge was Audacity, one of the most well-known free/libre audio editors. In 2009, Audacity team moved downloads over to Google Code and set up their own bugs tracker, then in 2010 they moved their source code repository to code.google.com. Today, like GIMP-Win, their account is officially controlled by SourceForge Editorial Team.

The primary reason for moving downloads? Context ads fine-tuned by scammers to pose as download buttons and trick users into downloading the wrong installer, typically containing malware. SourceForge had been long aware of Audacity team’s concerns, but did nothing to address this in a timely manner and only tried to make amends a year later when it was already too late.

The user experience was pretty much the same for GIMP users who went to SourceForge for downloads and ended up with something entirely different.

–>

Among the reasons — context ads on SourceForge download pages, fine-tuned by scammers to pose as download buttons and trick users into downloading the wrong installer, typically containing adware. GIMP users who went to SourceForge for downloads ended up with something entirely different.

Exhibit A:

My girlfriend downloaded the GIMP windows build referenced off the GIMP.org website and it seems to have a Malware/Adware package called “Sweetpacks” bundled with it. I realize that the Windows version of GIMP is linked with a “hey, this isn’t us” kind of disclaimer but the fact that GIMP.org links to it gives the sense that its contents are trustworthy or, at least, not hostile. If there is really no validation of that distribution and it contains these kinds of softwares then it may not be such a good idea to have GIMP.org linking to it.

Exhibit B:

When I downloaded this recommended free banner software from the help section, I also got a virus downloaded along with it called CLARO search engine. It will infect all your browsers and you will not be able to search on anything except this stupid Claro search. I had to uninstall all my browsers and switch back to IE instead of Chrome, because reinstalling Chrome still came with this insidious malware. DO NOT download GIMP.

Exhibit C:

I want to recommend GIMP to Windows using friends, but it is not supported officially for Windows. Even worse, the download link for the Windows build goes to an ad-driven filesharing site with ads masquerading as download buttons. A friend on mine clicked on one of these and her antivirus software went nuts! This is a serious problem! Is there anything we can do to help? Does anyone know the dev for the Windows build? I will not be able to recommend GIMP to Windows using friends until that problem is solved! :gaah

The stream of complaints kept on growing, and eventually it became impossible to figure out if users were talking about false positives (Kaspersky antivirus software used to be particularly bad at handling GIMP installers) or fake installers full of actual malware.

Where’s the money?

Over time the ads-based monetization strategy at SourceForge became increasingly aggressive. Seeing up to four 320×240 AdSense banners on a downloads page became the new norm for users. Despite introducing a reporting feature, SourceForge couldn’t prevent all malicious banners from displaying on their web pages.

Ads on SourceForge

Google AdSensense’s Ad placement policy: “Currently, on each page AdSense publishers may place […] up to three AdSense for content units”. There are four units here.

Nevertheless they continued with this strategy, and in 2013, SourceForge introduced a program of sharing revenue from ads with actual developers, to which the GIMP team initially agreed. Michael Schumacher, GIMP’s treasurer, explains:

The summary of their proposal is like this: “Hey, you are an active and popular project, if you link to your SourceForge downloads from your site, you will get money depending on the number of downloads”.

At some point the issue of those ads deceiving users just got unbearable, and we cancelled that, when we abandonded SF in 2013. Since GNOME handles our financial account, Karen Sandler, GNOME’s executive director at the time, was involved with this too. I told Karen that we’d return any of the money, if this was deemed appropriate. She didn’t tell me to do so.

On November 5, 2013, GIMP team issued an official announcement that they stopped hosting official downloads of Windows installers at SourceForge:

In the past few months, we have received some complaints about the site where the GIMP installers for the Microsoft Windows platforms are hosted.

SourceForge, once a useful and trustworthy place to develop and host FLOSS applications, has faced a problem with the ads they allow on their sites – the green “Download here” buttons that appear on many, many adds leading to all kinds of unwanted utilities have been spotted there as well.

But that was only the first reason. Here’s the other one.

The tipping point was the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge.

The team insists that this was intended as criticism on this approach, and that they explicitly stated that in their communication with SourceForge. This news was also duly noted in The Register’s coverage of the events, as well as at Slashdot which, like SourceForge, is also owned by Dice Holdings. In other words, the lack of team’s interest in providing offer-enabled installers was communicated both directly and publicly.

In their rebuttal, posted on November 14, 2013, SourceForge representatives stated this about the offer-populated installers:

This is a 100% opt-in program for the developer, and we want to reassure you that we will NEVER bundle offers with any project without the developers consent.

However various members of the GIMP team state that they explicitly opted out. In recent a Reddit thread Jernej Simončič, under the handle of ‘ender’, claims:

They offered us to bundle “offers”, which we specifically declined shortly before moving the installer to GIMP’s own servers.

Nevertheless, some time between November 2013 and now, SourceForge ignored that the GIMP team opted out of the offers program, took over the gimp-win account, and started distributing offer-enabled installer of GIMP, which at least one team member explicitly forbid them to do, and then they allegedly took all the revenue.

Exhibit D, from November 2014:

I went to SourceForge and tried to download GIMP twice and chrome would not allow the download because of MALWARE.

On May 16, 2015, Jernej Simončič sent the following request to SourceForge:

Please remove the gimp-win project from SourceForge. I do not want any kind of “offers” forced on the users of my installer, and if I knew this was going to happen, I would have shut down the project myself.

As of May 28, 2015, he reports he hasn’t heard back from them yet.

The best part comes now. First of all, the offensive installer has already been silently pulled off SourceForge, without any apologies. Secondly, in another official rebuttal posted on May 27, 2015, SourceForge says that they didn’t hijack the ‘gimp-win’ account, instead they “stepped-in to keep this project current” and “established a mirror of releases that are hosted elsewhere”. The mirrors were supposed to only store verbatim copies of all installers provided by the upstream projects.

They also made this very claim:

Since our change to mirror GIMP-Win, we have received no requests by the original author to resume use of this project. We welcome further discussion about how SourceForge can best serve the GIMP-Win author.

What it effectively means is:

  1. SourceForge had 11 days to reply Mr. Simončič’s request prior to their post in their blog on the controversy, and they allegedly haven’t done it so far.
  2. SourceForge claims to welcome further discussion, but doesn’t not participate in ongoing discussion, and comments on their blog appear to not get approved.
  3. The only way to get SourceForge to talk at all is raising public awareness at Reddit, HackerNews, followed by coverage in popular media like Ars Technica.
  4. Even then, SourceForge would talk to the media (see updates to Ars coverage), but would not talk to actual team members.

LGW ended up emailing these three questions to SourceForge:

  1. Could you please quote the part of the program’s conditions that allows bundling offers for software projects that opted out?
  2. How, in particular, was the decision made to bundle offers for gimp-win project without developers’ consent?
  3. Is it correct that in case of projects that opted out, any revenue from bundled offers goes to SourceForge/Dice only?

So far SourceForge’s team have been unable to come up with any reply at all.

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Yet Another Network Speed Ubuntu AppIndicator

Indicator Netspeed Unity is an Ubuntu AppIndicator which displays the current network upload / download speed on the panel. Despite its name, it should work with any panel that supports AppIndicators.

Indicator Netspeed Unity

Indicator Netspeed Unity is a heavily modified Indicator Netspeed, which adds the following extra features:

  • four panel display modes: download, upload or total (either merged or separated) network speed;
  • configurable bit rate prefix;
  • shows total downloaded and uploaded data for the current session in the indicator menu (“All” item);
  • enable/disable padding – when enabled, it preserves the indentation of indicator text (I recommend disabling this or else you’ll end up with a gap between the icons and text);
  • supports using custom icons (available via Dconf);
  • added a settings menu which allows changing the upload/download prefix, change the theme to dark/light or current (system) theme and run nethogs for a more detailed analysis.

Just like the original Netspeed indicator, the fork allows choosing the network interface for which it displays the data and it’s position on the panel can be changed via Dconf (by default, the indicator is placed as the first on the left so if its width changes, it doesn’t affect other indicators).

Indicator Netspeed Unity

Not all the settings are available in the indicator menu – to be able to change the display mode (state), position on the panel (ordering-index), use custom icons or enable/disable displaying the settings menu, install Dconf Editor:
sudo apt-get install dconf-editor
Then navigate to apps > indicators > netspeed-unity and change the settings to suit your needs. Note that changing some of the settings that are only available via Dconf Editor requires restarting the indicator to apply them.

Install Indicator Netspeed Unity in Ubuntu

To add the official Indicator Netspeed Unity and install the app in Ubuntu and derivatives (which support AppIndicators), use the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fixnix/netspeed
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-netspeed-unity

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE.

Once installed, run the indicator from the Dash/menu (there’s no need to add it to startup because it’s added automatically).
To report bugs or download the source code, see the Indicator Netspeed Unity GitHub page.

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Fedora 22 Released, See What`s New [Workstation]

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 Workstation was released today and it ships with the latest stable GNOME 3.16, a new default package manager and other interesting changes. Let’s take a look at what’s new!

GNOME 3.16

Fedora 22 Workstation ships with GNOME 3.16 by default and the most important change in this release is probably the new notification system, which has replaced the old Message Tray.
In GNOME 3.16, the notification history can now be accessed from the date/time menu (the calendar widget from the Top Bar):

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

… while legacy “tray” icons are displayed in an expandable “drawer” that uses autohide and it’s available in the bottom left corner of the screen:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Furthermore, the notification popups, called “banners”, are now displayed at the top of the screen:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

In the screenshot above you should notice a dot next to the date/time indicator – this indicates unread notifications.

Other changes in GNOME 3.16 include:

  • refreshed GNOME Shell theme (including monochrome icons for the applications menu);
  • scrollbars are displayed only when needed (see screenshot below);
  • GTK+ 3.16:
    • OpenGL support;
    • themes can now simultaneously support multiple GTK+ versions, by including version-specific CSS;
    • a new widget called GtkPopoverMenu was added and it can be used for creating menus contained with popovers;
    • many GTK+ Inspector changes including a much improved user interface;
  • GNOME apps:
    • GNOME’s Image Viewer has been redesigned and it now uses header bars;
    • Files (Nautilus) 3.16 comes with bigger icons/thumbnails by default, reorganized menus, improved grid and list views as well as a new popover for changing between views, zoom level and sort order. Also, with the latest Files app, users can now move files and folders to the trash using the Delete key instead of Ctrl + Delete, like in previous versions;
    • Installation of GStreamer codecs, fonts, and certain document types is now handled by Software;
    • Maps can now display information bubbles which show the address, wheelchair accessibility along with links to Wikipedia articles. Also, the latest GNOME Maps comes with built-in Foursquare support, which allows you to check-in;
    • Calculator now displays previous calculations so you can easily copy previous figures;
    • Boxes comes with an updated properties interface, a new menu makes it possible to send keyboard shortcuts that cannot be entered directly into a box and more;
    • smart playlists have been added to Music, so you can view frequently played and recently added tracks. It is now also possible to star your favorite tracks;
    • two new games were added: a sliding blocks game called Taquin and 2048;
    • three new preview applications were added: Calendar (which already comes with Google Calendar sync), Characters (character map application) and Books (e-book viewer) – these are not installed by default in Fedora 22 but are available in the repositories;
    • a new IDE for GNOME, called “Builder”, is now available as an early preview (it’s not installed by default but it’s available in the repositories).

See our GNOME 3.16 article for more information (including a video).
Here are a few screenshots with some of the changes mentioned above, taken under Fedora 22 Workstation:

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Other changes

Fedora 22 Workstation includes quite a few under the hood changes, including a new default package manager: DNF (under the hood, it uses an improved dependency solver, called hawkey, along with librepo for repository operations and libcomps for package groups), which has replaced Yum.

DNF provides better performance and memory footprint along with a “strict API definition for plugins and extending projects”, notes the Fedora 22 release announcement.

Most DNF commands are similar to Yum (and /usr/bin/yum now redirects to /usr/bin/dnf, with a deprecation notice) and the same RPM package repositories are used however, there are some differences:
  • updates that don’t work are skipped – this is similar to Yum’s “–skip-broken” (which isn’t available for DNF), but it evaluates the impact of the problem against the entire transaction;
  • repositories that don’t work are skipped;
  • dependencies are not upgraded on package installation;
  • when removing a package, DNF will automatically remove any dependent packages that were not explicitly installed by the user;
  • by default, DNF will check for updates in configured repositories hourly, starting ten minutes after the system boots;
  • unlike with Yum, DNF allows removing all kernel packages, including running package.

Even more changes:

  • the Software tool and PackageKit now support searching for packages in disabled repositories;
  • Fedora 22 introduces the Preupgrade Assistant (not installed by default), a diagnostics utility which assesses the system for possible in-place upgrade limitations and provides a report with the analysis results;
  • GDM uses Wayland by default, instead of Xorg, bringing the transition to Wayland one step closer. The default GNOME session continues to use X;
  • input devices use a new driver: “libinput”, which replaces other drivers such as synaptics, and provides improved support for multi-touch devices and software emulated buttons (this is only installed by default on new Fedora 22 installations);
  • The default console font has been changed to eurlatgr in Fedora 22. The new font has the same typeface as the previously used latarcyrheb-sun16 font, but supports a broader range of characters from the Latin and Greek alphabets as well as some commonly used symbol;
  • The Terminal now notifies you when a long running job completes (this is a Fedora-specific feature, that’s why I didn’t include it in the GNOME 3.16 changes above).

Default packages

Fedora 22 workstation screenshots

Fedora 22 Workstation ships with Firefox 38.0.1, LibreOffice 4.4.3.2, Shotwell 0.22.0, Rhythmbox 3.2.1, Transmission 2.84, Empathy 3.12.10 along with version 3.16.x of the core GNOME applications (Nautilus, Gedit, Terminal and so on), on top of GNOME Shell 3.16.2 and GTK+ 3.16.3.
Under the hood, Fedora 22 Workstation uses the Linux Kernel 4.0.4, systemd 209, Mesa 10.5.4 and Xorg Server 1.17.1.

Download Fedora 22

Before installing Fedora 22, make sure you check out the common bugs list and the official release notes.

Download Fedora

It’s also important to mention that three new websites were released along with Fedora 22 today:

To easily install codecs, Java and various popular apps that aren’t available in the Fedora repositories, along with tweaks such as improved font rendering, you can use Fedy, a Fedora post-install utility which was updated to version 4.0 recently and it already supports Fedora 22.

info via

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Animated Wallpaper Adds Live Backgrounds To Linux Distros

animated-wallpaper-ubuntuWe know a lot of you love having a stylish Ubuntu desktop to show off. And as Linux makes it so easy to create a stunning workspace with a minimal effort, that’s understandable! Today, we’re highlighting — re-highlighting for those of you with long memories — a free, open-source tool that can add extra bling your OS screenshots and screencasts. It’s called Live Wallpaper […]

The post Animated Wallpaper Adds Live Backgrounds To Linux Distros was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Grive2: Grive Fork With Google Drive REST API And Partial Sync Support [PPA]

Grive was an unofficial, open source command line Linux client for Google Drive. I say “was” because the tool no longer works due to Google changing it’s API recently and Grive not being maintained any more (there are no commits on its GitHub page since May, 2013).
Grive2
To get Grive up and running again, Vitaliy Filippov forked it and named his fork “Grive2”. The fork supports the new Google Drive REST API and it also includes a new feature: partial (directory) sync, along with bug fixes.

Compared to the original “Grive”, Grive2 comes with the following changes:
  • supports the new Drive REST API
  • added partial sync
  • major code refractoring: a lot of dead code removed, JSON-C is not used any more, API-specific code is split from non-API-specific
  • some stability fixes
  • slightly reduce number of syscalls when reading local files
  • bug fixes

Also, just like the old app, Grive2 does NOT support:

  • continuously waiting for changes in file system or in Google Drive to occur and upload. A sync is only performed when you run Grive, and it calculates checksums for all files every time;
  • symbolic links;
  • Google documents.

Install Grive2 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA

Since there are quite a tools that rely on Grive, the Grive2 binary and package continue to be called “grive”, so installing Grive2 from the main WebUpd8 PPA will overwrite any old Grive versions it may find on the system (just as if it was a newer Grive1 version).
To install Grive2 in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives by using the main WebUpd8 PPA, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grive

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE (for Ubuntu 12.04, you’ll also need yajl2 – get it from HERE) but installing the debs manually means you won’t receive automatic updates.

Arch Linux users can install Grive2 via AUR (it’s actually the old “grive” package, updated with the new Grive2 fork).

For other Linux distributions, see the Grive2 GitHub page.

Using Grive2

Grive2

1. Grive2 will download / upload new or changed files from the directory you run it. So firstly, let’s create a new folder – we’ll call it “grive” -, in your home directory:
mkdir -p ~/grive

2. Next, navigate using the terminal into the newly created “grive” folder:

cd ~/grive

3. The first time you run Grive2, you must use the “-a” argument to grant it permission to access your Google Drive:
grive -a
After running the command above, an URL should be displayed in the terminal – copy this URL and paste it in a web browser. In the newly loaded page, you’ll be asked to give Grive permission to access your Google Drive and after clicking “Allow access”, an authentication code will be displayed – copy this code and paste it in the terminal where you ran Grive2.

That’s it. Now each time you want to sync Google Drive with your local “grive” folder, navigate to the “grive” folder (step 2) and run “grive” (this time without “-a” since you’ve already authenticated Grive with Google Drive).

Grive2 comes with some advanced features as well. For instance, compared to the original Grive, the new Grive2 fork supports partial sync. To only synchronize one subfolder (a folder from your ~/grive directory) with Google Drive, use:
grive -s SUBFOLDER

(replacing “SUBFOLDER” with the name of the subfolder you want to sync)

To see all the available options, type:

grive --help

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Fedora Post Install Tool `Fedy` Updated With New UI, Fedora 22 Support

Fedy 4.0 was released recently, bringing a completely rewritten, fully native GTK3 user interface as well as Fedora 22 (to be released tomorrow) support.

Fedy 1.4

Fedy (previously called Fedora Utils) is a tool which lets you install various packages which are not available in the official Fedora repositories, such as Adobe Flash, Oracle Java, Atom, Brackets and many others, as well as a few tweaks, like better font rendering or junk cleanup.

Changes in Fedy 4.0:

  • fully native GTK3 UI;
  • rich plugins list with icon and description;
  • ability to search the plugins list;
  • easy overview of what’s installed and what’s not;
  • easy way to undo tasks;
  • tasks continue to run when the window is closed;
  • revamped plugin system to make it easier to write plugins (with a JSON formatted metadata file);
  • for plugins downloaded from third-party sources, Fedy now tries to detect and prevent malicions commands from running.

Fedy Tweaks

If you want to add your own custom plugins, simply add them to ~/.local/share/fedy/plugins (you may want to check out some existing plugins HERE).

There are also two features that are no longer available in the latest Fedy: the CLI version was removed and tasks cannot be cancelled once started. Fedy developer +Satyajit Sahoo says that he may add the command line interface back if there’s enough demand.
Also, with this release, Fedy (which as you might know, will be available by default in Ozon OS), has been moved from OBS (openSUSE Build System) to Ozon’s repository.
Thanks to this move, many things which were previously done manually are now packaged and available via this repository. Another upside to this is the fact that Fedy can support new Fedora versions before OBS (OBS is usually available for new Fedora releases after the stable version is released).
That’s why the latest Fedy 4.0 already supports Fedora 22, even though OBS doesn’t yet support it. 
Unfortunately, not all the packages the app can install are available from the Ozon OS repository, that’s why there are a couple of things that don’t yet work on Fedora 22: the Brackets and livna (which provides the libdvdcss packages) repositories – that’s because Fedora 22 is not stable yet and these repositories weren’t updated to support Fedora 22 for now.

Install Fedy

To install the latest Fedy in Fedora, you can use the following command which will download the Fedy installer script and run it:
su -c "curl https://satya164.github.io/fedy/fedy-installer -o fedy-installer && chmod +x fedy-installer && ./fedy-installer"

To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the Fedy GitHub page.

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