Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 Released based on Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

A new version of Bodhi Linux is available to download based on the recent Ubuntu 18.04.4 point release.

While Bodhi Linux isn’t a so-called headline distro it has gained a solid following over the years thanks to its combination of low system resource requirements and solid performance with the quirky Moksha desktop environment and popular lightweight desktop apps.

And truth be told I have a bit of a soft spot for it, too. I like distros that ‘do things differently’ and, amidst a a sea of pale Ubuntu spins sporting minor cosmetic changes, Bodhi Linux does just that.

Bodhi Linux Screenshot

Bodhi 5.1.0

Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 is the first major update to the distro in almost two years, and succeeds the Bodhi 5.0 release back in 2018.

The update, aside from being based on the recent Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS release and HWE, makes some software substitutions. The ePad text editor is replaced with the lightweight Leafpad. Likewise, the Midori web browser is supplanted by Epiphany (aka GNOME Web).

To help promote the new release Bodhi devs have put together the following video ‘trailer’, which you can view below if your browser supports video embeds:

[embedded content]

Bodhi Linux runs well on low-end machines (though not exclusively; it’s perfectly usable for gaming rigs too). If you’re minded to give an old Celeron-powered netbook a new purpose then a Bodhi install wouldn’t be a bad way to go about it.

Fair warning though: the Moksha desktop environment, which is based on Enlightenment libraries, is not for everyone. The modular nature of Moksha means it works rather differently to vertically-integrated DEs like GNOME Shell and KDE Plasma.

But different isn’t necessarily bad.

You can learn more about the Bodhi Linux 5.1 release on the distro’s official blog. To download the very latest release as a 64-bit .iSO hit the button below, or grab the official torrent:

Download Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 (64-bit .iso)

If you have a 32-bit only machine you can download and use the Bodhi Linux 5.1 legacy release. This features Linux kernel 4.9 and no PAE extension:

Download Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 (32-bit .iso)

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Collabora Office Brings Power of LibreOffice to Android & iOS

If you’ve dreamed of using LibreOffice on Android or iOS the release of Collabora Office will be of particular interest.

Collabora Office is a free and open source office suite for Android and iOS. It is powered by LibreOffice and developed (in part) by open-source consultancy firm Collabora.

But unlike previous ‘LibreOffice for Android’ style apps you may have seen this is a fully featured editing tool, not merely a document viewer.

It also features a bespoke UI crafted specifically for editing documents on mobile devices, via fingers. The UI is said to be based on the successful Collabora Online interface.

These features, along with other mobile-minded enhancements and power ups, make Collabora Office super useable on small screen sizes, and easy to use singlehandedly.

The app also works entirely offline. No cloud or online service features come enabled by default or are required to use any of the included features (though naturally there’s support for integrations with cloud storage services, including NextCloud, should you want it).

Collabora say Collabora Office for Android and iOS lets you “…edit documents directly on your phone or tablet, guaranteeing your privacy and putting you in full control of your data and documents.”

The app can open and save to the exact same formats that the regular desktop version of LibreOffice does, including the ubiquitous .doc, .docx and .odt text document formats.

In summary, Collabora Office is a feature rich way to edit office documents on mobile devices. It boasts a crop of mobile-focused tweaks, like pinch to zoom gesture controls, a floating mobile tool palette, rich text copy/paste, and smooth inertial scrolling.

Download Collabora Office for Free

Interested in trying the pocket-friendly productivity tool out first hand? Well, you can. Just point your phone or tablet in the direction of the appropriate app store below to download Collabora Office to your device:

Collabora Office on the App Store

Collabora Office on Google Play

Source for Collabora Office is presumably available somewhere, but I haven’t been able to locate it yet, so if you find a link do let me know in the comments below!

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GNOME 3.36’s New Default Background is Seriously Cool

Have you seen the default background for the upcoming GNOME 3.36 release yet? If not, glance above!

Admittedly the new GNOME 3.36 wallpaper is not exactly a break with tradition: it’s once again predominately blue, and once again features a variety of geometric shapes, fractal lighting, and abstract arrangement.

But the steel blue used in the new Adwaita background has a much colder vibe than the purple and pink hues mixed in with the GNOME 3.34 wallpaper.

GNOME’s Jakub Steiner is the hands behind the latest creation which, as always, is provided in three flavoured variants.

The blue one above is the default wallpaper (the ‘day’ image) and there’s a morning version (very pink) and a (deeply dark) night version too.

You should be able to view all three variants (which change during the course of the day when the slideshow option is set) in the embed that is hopefully not malrendered below:

Now, as always, bear in mind that the wallpapers you see embedded in this post are resized and compressed because hey: I don’t want to go over my bandwidth quota for the month.

So if you’re interesting in sporting the full nigh-on-8K 10MB image in all of its pixel-popping glory as your new desktop drape be sure to snag the full-resolution versions, which you can download from Gitlab directly.

Alternatively, wait until GNOME 3.36 is released and use it then!

Download Wallpaper

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elementary OS 5.1 Pushes Out Its First Point Release

An updated install image of the latest elementary OS release is now available to download.

Anyone currently running elementary OS 5.1 won’t need to do anything upon hearing this news as all of the updates within the re-spun .iso have been pushed out as regular system updates.

This updated ISO includes a major security fix, app updates, and Linux Kernel 5.3

But anyone looking to install elementary 5.1 fresh should use this image. Why? Because it features a stack of security fixes, app updates, and — rather excitingly — the latest hardware enablement (HWE) stack courtesy of Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS.

Yes, that means Linux kernel 5.3 is available out of the box, bringing some notable hardware improvements with it, including support for newer MacBook modes ,and AMD Navi GPUs.

elementary OS 5.1.2 “…comes pre-built with all of the latest goodies from the January updates, as well as a few important hardware and security updates. These include the latest 18.04.3 hardware enablement (HWE) stack provided by Ubuntu, plus a security fix for sudo, ” writes Keli Grubb, a developer with the elementary OS project.

Get elementary OS 5.1.2

As mentioned, if you already run elementary OS you should be up-to-date already (if not, run a system update via the App Center to get all of the goodies featured here).

Folks can download the fresh elementary OS 5.1.2 .iso direct from the elementary website. It’s provided on a “pay what you want” basis but you can get a free download just by entering ‘0’ as the cost amount.

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Regolith Desktop 1.3 Released with New Theme, Notifications + More

The Regolith desktop softens the edges around the i3 window manager — and in its latest release it goes even further.

Regolith Linux softens the edges of i3, making the tiling window manager easier to use

For those unfamiliar with it, the Regolith desktop combines GNOME-based system management with a keyboard driven user interface built around i3-gaps, Rofi, and other shortcut-centric tools.

Although still very shortcut dependent — you primarily open, close, move and switch windows and workspaces using keyboard shortcuts — Regolith remoulds i3 into a less intimidating shape.

The Regolith desktop can be installed on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and above) by adding a PPA. Alternatively, users can download Regolith Linux, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that ships the Regolith desktop experience by default.

Regolith 1.3 Released

While a lot of readers really love the Regolith experience as-is, there were a few paint points that could be improved on — which this release certainly does.

Regolith 1.3 features a brand new GTK theme called Cahuella. This is more closely related to the Adwaita theme (don’t worry, it’s still dark by default) to help ensure that all the included GNOME apps and utilities look as intended.

Also benefiting from a slick new look is the rofi app launcher, which sports a “less distracting” appearance as of this update.

To better help orientate uses less familiar with i3, a brand new “shortcuts” cheat-sheet called Remontoire. This displays on first login and is accessible at any time through a smush of ctrl + ? buttons. Of all the improvements this update brings it’s this one I will appreciate the most (sorry but I have the memory of a …Dammit, I can’t remember).

Clicking on blocks in the bottom bar now launches the relevant configuration app, e.g., clicking on the battery block opens the power settings control panel, etc.

A big change to the way notifications work debuts in Regolith 1.3. Rather than showing on-screen toasts the system will update the ‘unread’ count on a notification indicator on the panel.

Other features, changes and improvements include:

  • Improved Network, notifications and other blocks
  • Selection of different compositors
  • New i3-snapshot tool to save/restore window layouts
  • Support for “looks”

To learn more about the desktop and many of the new features included in its latest release visit the brand spankin’ new Regolith website:

Visit the Regolith Website

Upgrade to Regolith 1.3 on Ubuntu

If you currently use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (or above) you can install the Regolith desktop on top of your existing installation. How? By adding the project’s official PPA to your software sources list.

To do this, open a new terminal window and run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:regolith-linux/release

Note: If you have Regolith installed already you must remove the old Regolith PPA from your system before adding the new one to upgrade.

Followed by:

sudo apt install regolith-desktop

Log out of your current session and, from the greeter, select the Regolith session and login using your existing username and password.

To stop using Regolith first log out and, at the greeter, select the Ubuntu (or other) session.

To remove/uninstall Regolith desktop run:

sudo apt purge regolith-desktop

If you’d rather install Regolith Linux (an Ubuntu-based distro with the Regolith desktop already installed) you’ll find new .iso images over on the Regolith Linux Sourceforge page.

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How to Make Linux Mint Look Like Windows 7

The screenshot you see above might look like it’s of Windows 7 but it’s actually just a Windows 7 theme for Linux Mint.

Pretty impressive, right?

We’ve shown you how to make Linux Mint look like a Mac before so aping the appearance of a different system (while not to everyone’s tastes) is something you already know is possible.

But we’ve never really touched on how to make your desktop look like Windows — and Linux Mint is the ideal starting point if you want to do that as it looks and behaves more like Windows than regular Ubuntu does.

With Windows 7 support at an end, and lots of users debating a switch to Linux Mint, it feels like a good time to share this!

Windows 7 Linux Mint Theme

For an accurate looking Linux Mint Windows 7 theme we can turn to the fab design team at the B00merang Project.

They’ve crafted a competent copy of the Windows 7 UI for the Cinnamon desktop (the theme will also work on other desktops too, with varying results).

Download Windows 7 GTK Theme

Assuming you’re running a recent-ish version of Linux Mint (or a different distro with the Cinnamon desktop installed) your first step is to download the following Windows 7 theme pack:

Download Windows 7 Theme Pack

Let the archive fully download and then, using your file manager, locate the .zip file you just got and extract it in to a new folder.

Next, in another file manager window, open the .themes directory in your Home folder. Remember: to see (or hide) hidden “dot files” you need to press ctrl + h.

Don’t see a .themes folder? Go ahead and create one, just remember to include the . in the folder name, and stick to lowercase!

Copy the extracted folder in to here to install the Windows 7 theme pack.

Linux Mint makes it very super easy to change theme: open the Mint Menu to search for and open “Themes”. Set the Windows 7 GTK theme for Window borders, Controls, and Desktop.

Download Windows 7 Icon Set

That’s the theme done, but we can go further. To help round out the Windows 7 look you should use an Windows 7 icon set — which, hurrah, the B00merang project also provide:

Download Windows 7 Icon Set

Download and extract the .zip file above and move the extracted directory (not the zip file) to the hidden .icons folder in Home.

Don’t see a .icons folder? Go ahead and create one, just remember to include the . in the folder name, and stick to lowercase!

Once done, pop open the “Themes” tool again set ‘icons’ to the Windows 7 pack you just added.

Finishing touches

By now your desktop will look a lot like the ‘real deal’ you see above — but there are a few other tweaks you can make to round off the experience.

First is adding a Start Menu clone. Now, I personally prefer the default Mint Menu over anything else but I accept that it doesn’t “look the part”.

So, to replace the Mint Menu with a Windows 7 Start Menu clone:

  • Right-click on the panel and select “Add Applets”
  • Select the “Download” tab
  • Search for and install “Start Menu”
  • Click the install icon for “CinnVIIStarkMenu”
  • Switch back to the Manage section and add the applet

Use “Panel Edit” mode to reposition the Start Menu clone where you want it (i.e. on the far left) — just remember to turn panel edit mode off after as it’s not automatic. If you don’t, you’ll be frustrated that nothing on the panel seems to respond!

Finally, to seal the deal, you’ll want to download a nice high quality version of the Windows 7 wallpaper to set as your desktop background (shortcut: right-click on the image file in the file manager and select ‘Set as Background’).

Download Windows 7 Wallpaper (HD)

There you have it; a safe and secure Linux Mint system that looks a lot like Windows 7 but, mercifully, isn’t Windows 7!

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JetBrains’ New Font (Apparently) Makes Reading Code Easier

A new free and open source monospace font has been released by software development powerhouse JetBrains.

Their typographic creation is called (surprise) JetBrains Mono and, they claim, it makes reading code much kinder on the eyes.

Admittedly it feels a bit like everyone has their own monospace font these days: IBM released ‘Plex’ in 2017; Microsoft has launched ‘Casacida; and even Ubuntu has its own one for when you need to get up close with the command line.

But with JetBrains being — apologies in advance, you knew this obvious pun was coming — the brains behind some of the world’s best-loved development and code creation tools, it kinda makes sense for them to have their own one too, doesn’t it?

And lo: the creation of JetBrains Mono.

JetBrains Mono Font

Because we read code in a different way to standard text in a box (i.e. with code our eyes move vertically as well as horizontally, and irregularly) JetBrains Mono was crafted with reading speed, comprehension, legibility and, yes, eye fatigue in mind.

“We have considered things like the size and shape of letters; the amount of space between them, a balance naturally engineered in monospace fonts; unnecessary details and unclear distinctions between symbols, such as I’s and l’s for example; and programming ligatures when developing our font,” they say.

Their font certainly looks taller than Consolas at 13px — and dare I say less fuzzy too (compression excepted in the image above).

13px is the recommended font size, while line spacing is suggested at 1.2.

This technical finesse is thread throughout the entire construction of the JetBrains Mono, with attention being given to the needs, issues, and impressions of people writing and reading code daily above ‘ooh, that looks good’.

The font comes in a variety of weights (including italic, medium, bold and extra bold) and supports (as of writing) code ligatures, diacritics, and cyrillic across 143 languages.

Pretty nice, eh?

You can download JetBrains Mono from its dedicated website or by gapingly lovingly at the following button:

Download JetBrains Mono (515KB)

The font is supplied as .tff you can be installed pretty much everywhere and anywhere (including Ubuntu; tenuous link unlocked).

Do note that if you’re running the most recent version of the JetBrains IDE (many available via the Snapcraft store) then you should (in theory) already the new font.

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Peppermint 10 ‘Respin’ Released with Updated Theme and New Utilities

An updated version of Peppermint 10 is now available to download.

The latest refresh of the lightweight Linux distro comes based on top of the Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS point release and, somewhat notably, provides both 32-bit and 64-bit install images.

Newer versions of Xorg, the Linux kernel, and various security fixes are included in the Peppermint 10 Respin (20191210). It also features the following key changes:

  • New ‘Cursor Resizer’ setting
  • New ‘Web Browser Manager’ tool to install/remove common browsers
  • Reverts to an early build of the pulseadio-equalizer tool
  • Arc Colour Themes added, and Arc-Red-Dark set as system default.
  • Various new icons
  • p7zip-full installed by default
  • Various new single-site browsers

You can learn more about these improvements, as well as more details behind the release, in the Peppermint respin announcement on the project’s official website.

Download Peppermint 10 Respin

Download

Want to try this distro out? You can download Peppermint 10 Respin as 32-bit and 64-bit .iso images directly from the project website:

Download Peppermint 10 Respin (32-bit .iso)

Download Peppermint 10 Respin (64-bit .iso)

Flash these bootable images to a USB stick and you can “try” the OS out on your hardware without installing anything. If you like what you see, you can use the same image to install the complete system.

Upgrade

Already running Peppermint 10? You don’t need to panic. This “resin” is about providing up-to-date install (.iso) images to new users, to ease the number of post-install updates that are required.

So if you already run Peppermint 10 OS and you have installed all updates issued since you installed it, you’re good to go!

Is Peppermint 11 planned?

Peppermint 11 will be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and is anticipated for release in early summer of 2020.

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