Tag Archives: Apps

Simplenote Finally Has an Official Linux App

simplenote for linux official app

One of the most popular note-taking apps on iOS is now available for Linux desktops.

Simplenote, developed by WordPress makers Automattic, lands on Linux and Windows 10 through the flexible combo of React and Electron.

If you know the name ‘Electron’ but can’t quite place it, it might be  because we’ve recently featured a bunch of other awesome Linux apps that use it.

Someone should give us a kickback!

Why Is Simplenote So Popular?

Simplenote first started on iOS and has expanded to include Android, Mac OS X, and now Windows and Linux.

But this isn’t the first time the backend for the stand-out note-taking service has been supported on Linux.

Over the years there has been various ways to leverage the service to sync, manage and edit nots, from third-party apps like NvPY to command-line tools like sncli.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 22.12.52

You can skim back through earlier copies of your notes

The core feature set is available across all of Simplenote’s various guises, from the iOS app to the hosted web-app. It’s this consistent experience that makes the service so appealing.

All your notes, to-dos and tags are kept in sync no matter the device you use to create or edit them.

  • History — slide back to view and restore previous versions of your note
  • Collaborate— share your note with others and allow them to edit it
  • Publish — Make your note public with its own URL
  • Tag — organize your notes effectively with tags.
  • Pin —  pin notes right from the note list so they’re easy to find

Collaborate is especially neat because the person you’re sending the note to won’t need to create a Simplenote account to edit it. Instead, collaborative notes get posted on the Simplenote website (don’t worry, it’s a private URL) and your collaboration buddy can view and edit away. All changes are saved automatically and synced back to the desktop app.

If OMG! had a copy editor it’d be a fast way for me to get all my typos and grammatical run-ins tweaked before publish! 😏

The Linux (and Windows) apps also support the above features, plus the following:

  • Offline support
  • Markdown support (has to be enabled)
  • Optional dark mode
  • Choice of list views (cosy, condensed, expanded)
  • Sorting options (last modified, alphabetical, etc)
simplenote dark mode

simplenote dark mode

Download Simplenote for Linux

You can grab a 64-bit .deb installer of Simplenote 1.0.0 that works on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and later by clicking through to the Simplenote Github page.

There you’ll also find the source-code available to browse and an issue section to report bugs.

Download Simplenote 1.0.0 for Linux

H/t to Carlos and kmf

Screenshots show Simplenote on Ubuntu 16.04 w/Numix GTK theme and Kylin 16.04 icon set

This post, Simplenote Finally Has an Official Linux App, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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OpenShot 2.0 Beta 4 Is Now Available to Download

openshot 2.0.6 beta

A new beta of the crowd-funded open-source non-linear video editor OpenShot is now available for testing. 

“Lots of great progress has been made since the previous beta,” informs project lead Jonathan Thomas in a blog post to announce the new snapshot.

Among the improvements that can be found in this latest snapshot:

  • Support for image sequences (e.g., file01.jpg, file02.jpg, filed.jpg) as single clip
  • New file properties dialog, including frame rate adjustment
  • New cross-platform daily builds server @ openshot.org/download
  • Initial support for opening OpenShot 1.x projects
  • Faster Timeline Performance
  • Better handling of project save
  • Bug fixes
  • Linux AppImage (similar to Mac DMG)

These come on top the huge foundational rejig that the OpenShot 2.0 series has seen.

If you tried the beta release launched back in February and, like us, found it to be …a little crash-prone and resource-hungry then I do recommend giving this latest beta a roll.

It’s not perfect and there’s plenty of room for improvement, but in terms of overall stability it is far more reliable.

OpenShot 2.0 Beta 4 is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Linux builds are available as source and as a universal AppImage that can be downloaded from the Openshot daily builds server.

The AppImage image does not need to be installed and comes with all its dependencies neatly packaged up inside (it’s 1 150MB+ download). You just download, set permissions and run.

If you prefer to get your apps through a more familiar method you can, of course, add the official Openshot PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install openshot-qt

When installed you will be able to launch the app from the Unity Dash.

This post, OpenShot 2.0 Beta 4 Is Now Available to Download, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Vineyard – The Easy Way to Configure Wine on Ubuntu

wine windows logo

Want to make Wine apps feel at home on Ubuntu?

Do you use the Wine compatibility tool to run Windows apps on your Ubuntu desktop? 

If you do then you might have noticed that the ‘not-an-emulator‘ rarely scores a mention on this site.

This is because I have no need to use it. The apps and games I need are either available natively on Linux or better native alternatives exist.

This isn’t the case for everybody.

Back when I did use the app, back in the ol’ dusty pre-Spotify for Linux day, I used it alongside a great power-up tool called ‘Vineyard’.

Never heard of it?

Vineyard — A Power Up for WINE


Edit preferences for installed apps

Vineyard is a small utility¹ that provides Ubuntu (and other distro) users with an easy way to configure Wine-based applications, both before installation and after.

To quote the official project description Vineyard is “…a collection of tools and libraries designed to make managing Windows programs on Linux easier.

“More specifically, it aims to improve the integration of Wine and the Free Desktop and to make it easier to create programs and tools that integrate with Wine.”

Think of it as ‘PlayOnLinux’ …but for more than just games.

The app simplifies the process of customizing, fine-tuning and optimising Wine software on Ubuntu (e.g., adding start-up prefixes, setting compatibility mode, applying a Windows theme, etc).

Freshly Bottled

wine prefix editing.png

Prefix editor – newly improved

A brand new update to Vineyard, fresh out the barrel, is now available.

The app’s author, Christian Dannie Storgaard, better known to many as ‘Cybolic’, got in touch with us to tell us about it, writing:

“There’s a new release of Vineyard out which fixes a number of bugs and introduces handling of 32-bit/64-bit prefixes as well as well as multiple installed versions of Wine.

The official Vineyard blog offers a more detailed overview of the changes. It lists:

  • Improved Prefix creation (see image above):
    • You can now choose between creating a 64-bit or 32-bit prefix.
    • A specific version of Wine can be selected to be used for the prefix.
    • Installed versions of Wine are auto-detected (looks through $PATH, /opt and PlayOnLinux folders).
    • Progress indication works (finally).
  • 64-bit support is now auto-detected from the Wine version.
  • The main tab now shows which Wine binaries/version and arch (64/32-bit) is used.
  • The “Run executable” tool works again for .exe files in modern distros.
  • Added newer versions of MS Visual C++ to install list.
  • Launching a terminal in a prefix now works correctly again.
  • The menu icon has been changed to the modern GTK menu icon.

Install Vineyard on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS+

Palette whetted? You can uncork the latest version by adding the official Vineyard PPA to your software sources.

Despite the name the PPA offers the latest stable builds of Vineyard for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 15.10 and 16.04 LTS (there’s even a package for those still running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS!).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cybolic/vineyard-testing
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install vineyard

When install is complete simply launch Vineyard from the Unity Dash.

It should go without saying that to get the most from this app you will also need to install Wine, which is available to install from the Ubuntu Software Center. 

This post, Vineyard – The Easy Way to Configure Wine on Ubuntu, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Blender 2.77 Is Now Available to Download

blender v277.jpg

A new version of popular open-source 3D animation software Blender is now available to download.

Blender 2.77 — the first update to the client of the year — brings a bunch of welcome improvements to the fore. Among the changes:

  • OpenGL rendering and better anti-aliasing in the UI
  • Customizable motion blur position with support for rolling shutter
  • You can now drag & drop files into the Blender file browser
  • Word wrap support for tool-tips, render-stamp, frame-node
  • New and updated add-ons
  • GPU support for Smoke/Fire and Point Density
  • Edit-mode boolean tool lets you perform quick edits on models
  • Misc. sequencer improvements, including faster gaussian blur effect and white balance modifier
  • Grease pencil stroke sculpting and other improvements
  • OpenVDB caching
  • Updated Python library

For a full look at everything new in Blender 2.77 you can check out the official official Blender website‘s feature guide or the release note’s Wiki page.

Download Blender 2.77

To try the new version out on Ubuntu grab a relevant source tarball package from the Blender website’s downloads page.

Several third-party PPAs also provide the latest Blender releases for Ubuntu 14.04 and up, including this one maintained by Thomas Schiex.

via BlenderNation

This post, Blender 2.77 Is Now Available to Download, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Virtualbox 5.0.16 Is Now Available to Download

Indicator virtualbox for Ubuntu

Virtualbox is a popular app

With a new Ubuntu release looming now is a great time to check out the release in a virtual machine.

And the best virtual machine client for Linux is, arguably, the hugely popular Oracle’s Virtualbox.

Oracle describes the app as ‘a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop and embedded use.’

Or, in regular user speak, an easy-to-use way to run and trial other opening systems safely, without replacing your current one.

Virtualbox is a mainstay of Linux developer desktops the world over, thanks to a wealth of features, host and guest integration and active development.

A new maintenance release of cross-platform virtual machine is now ready for you to tinker around in.

The Virtualbox 5.0.16 change-log includes the following fixes and improvements on Linux builds:

  • VMM: fixed a problem which could lead to a wrong guest behavior on AMD CPUs (#14831#15186)
  • GUI: prevent a crash during startup under rare conditions
  • GUI: position off-screen windows to be fully visible again on relaunch
  • PC speaker passthrough: new experimental feature, available on Linux host only
  • USB: several fixes for the xHCI controller (e.g. for webcam passthrough)
  • Shared folders: fixed a failure to load the saved state under certain circumstances (#6314)
  • Added support for (cached) Active Directory authentication in case the domain controller is not reachable (anymore)
  • Make the Python web service API SDK binding work again (5.0 regression)
  • Linux hosts: fixed the /sbin/rcvboxdrv script as well as the missing shebang in two scripts (#15055#15057)
  • Linux hosts: properly uninstall Python files installed by the .run installer

Deb installers for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 15.10 are available to download from the Virtualbox website:

Download Virtualbox for Ubuntu 14.04 +

An official repository maintained by Oracle provides the latest builds through the Ubuntu Update Manager. Instructions on how to add this repo to Ubuntu’s Software Sources can be found on the Virtualbox downloads page linked to above.

This post, Virtualbox 5.0.16 Is Now Available to Download, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Firefox 45 Now Available To Download, This Is What’s New

firefox link sharing hello

You can now share tabs with contacts

Whatever press you’re near you better tell it to stop: Firefox 45 is now available to download.

The world’s most popular open-source web-browser rolls out a modest set of changes in this update, including new developer options and stability fixes.

If you’re using a supported version of Ubuntu you can update to Firefox 45 using Update Manager. Assuming you’ve not disabled automatic updates you should be notified of the update in the next few hours.

If you don’t see it available be patient: it can take up to 24 hours to be synced across mirrors and servers.


new tab sync button

New Features in Firefox 45

Among the new features in Mozilla Firefox 45:

  • Instant browser tab sharing through Firefox Hello
  • Tabs synced via Firefox Accounts from your other devices show in Awesome Bar dropdown when searching
  • Tab Sync button added to the button bar
  • New preference allows blocking .onion at the DNS level

It’s not all new features. Tab Groups (aka Panorama) is retired with this release. Mozilla say existing tab groups will be backed up and turned into bookmarks. It also suggests installing the free Tab Groups add-on.

Firefox GTK3 support is still not enabled by default but is tentatively scheduled to ship by default in Firefox 46.

Firefox 45 is a free download and is available to download directly from Mozilla.

Download The Latest Firefox Release

This post, Firefox 45 Now Available To Download, This Is What’s New, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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GNOME Photos Adds Instagram-style Filters, Editing Tools

gnome photos editing

GNOME Photos adds Instagram-Style image filters in its upcoming v3.20 release. 

The app, which will feature as part of the GNOME 3.20 release later this month, also benefits from color palette improvements, new icons in the selection bar and manual exporting.

But it is  the addition of simple features that takes the spotlight.

Photos dev Debarshi Ray says that “while Photos will never be a fully featured professional image editor like Darktable or GIMP, [these new editing features plug] an important gap for those looking for a simpler option.

And he’s right.

Shotwell is the default Photo management app on Ubuntu. It has a basic set of photo editing capabilities. When you want to crop a photo, quickly bring up the brightness or adjust its size, you can do so quickly, without needing to open  more powerful app.

Editing in GNOME Photos 3.20

gnome photos' instagram filters

Filters in GNOME Photos 3.20

GNOME Photos fans can look forward to the following editing features in the new release:

  • Cropping (including aspect ratio lock and presets)
  • Enhance tools (sharpen, denoise)
  • Color adjustments (brightness, contrast & saturation)
  • One-click filters (think “Instagram”)

Talking of which, GNOME Photos’ new editing capabilities uses GEGL, the graph based image processing framework set to be the new image processing core of GIMP.

“For [GNOME], it means that we benefit from the plethora of operations that are built into GEGL and the many more that are being ported over from GIMP; and we get things like non-destructive editing, higher bit-depths, handling larger than RAM images, multiple pixel formats and many more advanced features for free,” Ray notes.

Editing is non-destructive. The original image is unaffected by changes you make. Instead, you export your edit as a new image.

Sharing to social media accounts configured through GNOME Online Accounts is planned, as is exporting of ‘entire albums or a selection of multiple images’.

In line with other GNOME applications, Photos 3.20 gets a help overlay to show our keyboard shortcuts. To reveal it you just press Ctrl + ?.

Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS, due April, will ship with GNOME Photos 3.18.

This post, GNOME Photos Adds Instagram-style Filters, Editing Tools, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Try This Mac-Inspired ‘Notes’ Clone For Linux


Note taking apps for Linux are not hard to find.

The shelves of Ubuntu Software Center hosts ample stock, from basic on-screen sticky notes to complex, tag-based command-line clients.

But if you can’t find the lean, clean and easy to use note taking app of you dreams amongst them do take a look at Notes. 

“Notes is designed for whatever’s on your mind. Jot down your thoughts.”

Notes is a new open-source and cross-platform note taking app that has a simple, straight-forward appearance.

UI inspiration (obviously) comes from the Mac OS X Notes app, with the layout, button arrangement and faux-paper background all clearly borrowed from Cupertino’s client — heck, even the app icons are pretty similar!

But don’t let the Mac-ness of this app put you off trying it. Behind the unsightly traffic light window controls is an app that is actually pretty robust and very easy to use.


  • Clean design
  • Auto-saves notes
  • Fast search
  • Cross-platform & open-source
  • Supports keyboard shortcuts

Notes Versus Other Apps

First things first: Notes is not an Evernote alternative. It’s more of a jot-pad; a simple way to get ideas down without being compelled to categorise, tag and arrange them in to folders first.

FromScratch, an app that we covered recently, also excels as a jot pad but only lets you focus on one note at a time. Notes takes things to the next level, letting you store, read, edit and search multiple saved notes.

A powerful search feature lets you sift through the contents of saved notes ‘instantaneously’ and a range of keyboard shortcuts are available:

notes keyboard shortcuts

Against rival apps like GNOME Notes (aka Bijiben), Tomboy and Springseed, Notes holds up okay in its raw note taking but it does lacks some of its rivals more advanced features.

Notes falls short on its design (the Mac-esque window looks out of place on Linux and Windows) and on its super-basic text editing (it lacks support for bold, italic, bullet lists, etc).

The app also lacks sync support of any kind. Notes are stored locally rather than on a remote server (which is a plus for many) and you could always use Dropbox to back-up the local folder cache, but some kind of sync support would be easier to use through the app.

Download ‘Notes’ App for Ubuntu

To install Notes on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and later simply downloaded the pre-compiled .deb package from the official website (where you’ll also find RPM, source and binary packages for Windows and Mac OS X).

Download Notes on the Official Website

This post, Try This Mac-Inspired ‘Notes’ Clone For Linux, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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