Introducing Betty, the Siri for the Linux Terminal

Betty is like Siri or Google Now for the command line. Well, sort of. The tool translates plain English into commands: it displays the command it runs and obviously, the command output, in the terminal. It can even speak the command output.

Screenshot from 2014-05-16 14:31:26

Betty’s mission is, according to its GitHub page, to “provide a way to use computers through natural language input“:

“Specifically, the benefit is being able to do things on your computer without leaving the command line or screwing around on the internet trying to find the right command. Betty just works“.

For example, if you can’t remember the exact compress and uncompress commands, you can simply ask Betty to do it:

betty uncompress archive.tar.gz

Of course, the commands supported by Betty at this time is pretty limited since the tool is under two weeks old, but it should improve quite fast since it’s not that hard to add new commands (and there are 17 contributors already).

Betty 0.1.5 supports a wide variety of commands, such as:

count (number of characters in a file, number of words in a directory, etc.);

config (change your name);

datetime (current time, date, etc.);

Find (find in files);

Internet / web queries (download some file, find out what’s the weather like, etc.);

file / directory operations (compress/uncompress files, show file size, change permissions, etc.);

processes;

user commands (what’s my username, real name, ip address, who else is logged in, etc.);

control iTunes and Spotify;

and much more.

A complete list of supported commands is available @ GitHub (under Documentation).

How to install Betty:

1. Install Ruby. In Ubuntu, install it using the following command:

sudo apt-get install ruby

2. Install git and download the latest Betty using the following commands:

sudo apt-get install git

3. And finally, you’ll have to add the path to the “betty/main.rb” file as an alias for “betty” in your ~/.bashrc file. Do this automatically (assuming you’ve downloaded Betty in your home folder!) by using the following commands:

echo “alias betty=\”~/betty/main.rb\”” >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

 

via Betty Is Like Siri Or Google Now For The Command Line (Translates Plain English Into Commands) | Best of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Flavours (The Ubuntu Desktop Environment List)

Unity (Installed by default)

Screenshot from 2014-05-09 13:02:49

Founded in 2010, the Unity project started by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Putting great design at the heart of the project, Unity and its technologies such as Application indicators, System indicators, and Notify OSD, have strived to solve common problems in the Free Software desktop while optimizing the experience for touch, consistency and collaboration.

Features

  • Unity is powered by Compiz.
  • The top-right portion of the panel is very similar to GNOME 2, offering support for various menus and indicators.
  • A launcher on the left side keeps track of currently-running applications, and also allows the user to pin favorite applications. Applications demanding attention will glow blue. Badges and progress bars on the launcher icons are also supported by some applications, as are quicklists revealed by right-clicking.
  • By either clicking the button in the upper-left corner or pressing the Super key, the user can open the Dash, which allows searching for applications, files, and more via the use of “lenses”.
  • Four workspaces are provided that the user can use for organizing windows.
  • A global menu enable by Default, similar to that used in Mac OS X, is used for windows by default. You can reveal the menu by mousing over the left portion of the top panel, or by holding Alt. Alternatively, in Ubuntu 14.04 onward, a locally integrated menus (LIM) inside of the windows titlebar is enableable, instead of the global menu.
  • Alternatively, in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onward, you can tap the Alt key to reveal the HUD, which allows you to find menu commands by entering search terms, similar to the Dash.
  • Maximized windows have their window controls also integrated into the top panel. This and the global menu are intended to provide more vertical screen space as compared to other DEs / shells, which is useful for machines like netbooks where screen space is limited.

Continue reading

Install Nemo 2.2.1 (With Unity Patches) In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Update for Ubuntu 14.04 users: I’ve updated Nemo (with Unity patches) as well as the Nemo extensions from the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA to the latest 2.2.0 version.

Screenshot from 2014-05-09 07:54:45

Nemo is the default Cinnamon file manager and normally, it needs Cinnamon to be installed, even if you want to use it in a desktop environment such as Unity or GNOME (Shell). The Nemo version in the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA uses some patches that make it work properly under Unity, without Cinnamon dependencies (the only dependency used is Cinnamon Translations). It should also work on other desktop environments, but some patches add extra Unity functionality and also I’ve only tested it under Unity.

Nemo 2.2.0 has received improvements such as: HiDPI support, a recent place sidebar item, tab switching using ctrl+(shift+)+tab, a new folder button was added to the toolbar and various bug fixes.

Install Nemo 2.2.0 in Ubuntu 14.04

Unfortunately, the latest Nemo 2.2.0 can’t be compiled successfully on Ubuntu versions older than 14.04, that’s why our PPA has Nemo 2.0.8 for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 and 13.10.

Important: if you’re using any Cinnamon PPA, you must purge it before using the PPA before. Also, don’t install this in Linux Mint!

To install Nemo 2.2.0 in Ubuntu 14.04, use the Nemo WebUpd8 PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo nemo-fileroller

If you already had an older Nemo version installed from our Nemo PPA, upgrade to the latest Nemo 2.2.0 using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
kill all
nemo

Then start Nemo from the Dash / menu (note that it shows up as “Files”, like Nautilus, but if you search for “Nemo”, the “Files” app that shows up should be Nemo).

The PPA also has some Nemo extensions, to install them, search for “nemo” in Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic.

A lot more about Nemo: various tweaks, extensions, how to set Nemo as the default file manager in Ubuntu, etc., in our previous article: Install Nemo With Unity Patches (And Without Cinnamon Dependencies) In Ubuntu (I strongly suggest you read that article before installing Nemo!)

via Install Nemo 2.2.0 (With Unity Patches) In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog.

Get the Most from Your Terminal with Tabs and Other Customizations

Modern Linux distributions try to shield users from the complexities of the command-line, but there are times when using a terminal is absolutely necessary. On Ubuntu, the default terminal is the GNOME terminal (“gnome-terminal“). To start it, tap the “Super” key (which is probably the Windows key on your keyboard), type “terminal” and then click on the Terminal icon.

The word terminal comes from a previous era in computing when the connection from a computer ended (terminated) at a character-based workstation. This concept itself comes from the field of electronics where a terminal is the the end of a line where signals are either transmitted or received. Today, the terminal program is a software equivalent of those character-based workstations.

For quick one-line commands, or a quick bit of system configuration, the default terminal settings are more than adequate; however, if you spend any length of time using the terminal, you may find that you want to customize it to better fit your needs.

The simplest customization is to change the dimensions of the terminal window. By default, the terminal window has twenty-four rows with each being eighty characters wide. You can change the size by dragging any of the edges or corners. This can be a bit haphazard, so the terminal program also offers some presets. Click Terminal on the menu bar and choose between 80×24 (the default), 80×43 (a long version of the default), 132×24 (wide) and 132×43 (wide and long).

If you need another terminal session, you can start one from the launcher, or you can right-click inside the terminal window and click “Open Terminal”. If you use the second method, then the current working directory is preserved. If you have several terminal windows open then you may find that your screen is getting a little cluttered. The solution is to open terminal tabs. To open a tab, right-click inside the terminal window and click “Open Tab”. The tabs appear at the top of the window, and the title of the tabs shows the current prompt: A combination of the username, the machine name and the current directory. Tabs can be closed by clicking on the X, by using “Close Tab” from the context menu or by exiting the shell with CTRL-D.

The terminal program also has the concept of a profile. This allows you to set different preferences and remember them in a profile. Each terminal session can use a different profile. To create a profile, select “New Profile …” under the ”’File” menu. To edit a profile’s preferences use ”Profile Preferences” under the Edit menu or right-click and select “Profile Preferences” under the Profiles sub-menu.

Among the preferences are the ability to change the default font and alter the amount of scroll history that is retained. You can also set the background color and make the background semi-transparent!

If you like the tabs on the Ubuntu terminal, then you might also be interested in another terminal program called Terminator. Like the default terminal program, it allows you to open multiple sessions, but rather than using tabs, it allows the terminal windows to be split horizontally or vertically. By splitting the window multiple times, several different terminal sessions can be started.

To install it, use the Ubuntu Software Center or type the following command in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install terminator

To start the program, tap the “Super” key, type “terminator” and click the Terminator icon. To start another session, right-click inside the terminator window and click “Split Horizontally” or “Split Vertically”. Repeat the process to split another pane and so on.

via Get the Most from Your Terminal with Tabs and Other Customizations.

PPA-Purge: How to Roll Back Major Installations in Ubuntu

Screenshot from 2014-05-11 15:02:54If your helping with testing new features in the development version of ubuntu, or trying out a new Desktop Environment, you will likely encounter installing new packages from a ppa. But what happens when you want to roll back those changes?

Thankfully there is a tool to help called ppa-purge. PPA-purge will uninstall all packages from a specified ppa and downgrade you back to the archive versions. In addition it will disable the ppa so you can’t install packages from it.

Installation

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

How to use

Simply execute the following line, replace the ppa:NAMEOFPPA with the ppa you wish to purge.

sudo ppa-purge ppa:NAMEOFPPA

I’ll show you a quick example of me removing the HUD ppa:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:unity-team/hudUpdating packages lists

PPA to be removed: unity-team hud

comm: file 2 is not in sorted order

Package revert list generated:

gir1.2-dbusmenu-glib-0.4/precise gir1.2-dbusmenu-gtk-0.4/precise

indicator-appmenu/precise libdbusmenu-glib4/precise libdbusmenu-gtk3-4/precise

libdbusmenu-gtk4/precise libunity-core-5.0-5/precise unity/precise

unity-common/precise unity-services/precise

Disabling unity-team PPA from

/etc/apt/sources.list.d/unity-team-hud-precise.list

The following packages will be DOWNGRADED:

gir1.2-dbusmenu-glib-0.4 gir1.2-dbusmenu-gtk-0.4 libdbusmenu-glib4

libdbusmenu-gtk3-4 libdbusmenu-gtk4 indicator-appmenu

Note that it found the packages I had installed and offered to downgrade them. Say yes and ppa-purge will put you back to archive state. Neat!

via PPA-Purge: the magic undo buttton | The Orange Notebook.

Next-Gen Linux Desktop LXQt Makes First Public Release

The first public release of LXQt, the next generation of popular lightweight Linux desktop environment LXDE, has been made available to download.

628dd__lxqt

Its arrives almost a year after the teams behind the LXDE Qt initiative and Razor-Qt desktop projects decided to merge. By pooling resources to focus on a single desktop environment, instead of two, the team say they “hope offer the best possible experience while reusing as much code as possible.”

Ten months on and number of core improvements have been made, both in the way the desktop works and in the feature set it offers. Today’s beta release, intended for early testers and developers, is already said to be ‘stable and usable’.

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

The unified development team behind the project are continuing to focus on offering a lightweight and user-friendly alternative to the heavier, increasingly complex shells. LXQt will remain well suited to lower speed computers using a leaner, faster and modular code base than that currently offered by the GTK+ based LXDE.

Several significant changes have bridged the previous formal release of RazorQt (0.5.2) and today’s debut, including a Qt port of the PCManFM file manager, improvements to system settings, new modular components, and on-going progress in supporting both Qt5 and the Wayland display protocol.

Development of the GTK+ version of the shell will, the team say, continue for the foreseeable future. Those running Lubuntu 14.04 LTS certainly have no need to panic, with Lubuntu devs committed to providing three years of ongoing fixes.

The team behind the Ubuntu spin have previously stated their intention is to transition to Qt-based desktop as early as Lubuntu 14.10. Whether this happens will be decided in the coming months.

Trying it Out

LXQt is in active development and so it is not recommended for use on any device you hold dear.

The Lubuntu Daily PPA plays host to the required packages for LXQt, including a meta-package to simplify installation.

A number of Qt dependencies will be pulled in as part of the installation process. Those wrestling with a particularly pathetic internet connection should plan accordingly.

Source tarballs, install details for Arch and Debian users, and links to more information can be found on the newly launched website for the project.

You can install it using the following commands:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lubuntu-dev/lubuntu-daily
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gilir/q-project
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install lxqt-metapackage

Once installed, log out current session and select log in with LXQt Desktop:

LXQt-session

Visit the Official LXQt Project Website: LXQT.org

via Next-Gen Linux Desktop LXQt Makes First Public Release | Best of Ubuntu.