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      KTorrent: An Incredibly Useful BitTorrent Application by KDE

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Monday, 21 June, 2021 - 09:54 · 2 minutes

    There are a variety of BitTorrent applications available for Linux. But finding a good application that offers many features should save you some time.

    KTorrent by KDE is one such BitTorrent app built for Linux.

    While there are several torrent clients for Linux , I recently found KTorrent interesting for my use-case.

    KTorrent: Open Source BitTorrent Client for Linux

    ktorrent download

    KTorrent is a full-fledged torrent client primarily tailored for KDE desktop. It should work simply fine no matter what desktop environment you use.

    Of course, with KDE desktop, you may get a seamless user experience.

    Let us look at the all the features offered.

    Features of KTorrent

    ktorrent configure

    For regular torrent users, having an extensive set of features makes things easy. And KTorrent is no exception. Here, I’ll highlight the key highlights of KTorrent:

    • Adding torrent downloads in a queue
    • Ability to control the speed limits per download (or overall)
    • Video and audio file preview option
    • Supports importing of downloaded files (partial/full)
    • Ability to prioritize torrent downloads when downloading multiple files
    • Selection of specific files to download for multi-file torrents
    • IP filter with the option of kicking/banning peers
    • UDP tracker support
    • µTorrent peer support
    • Support for protocol encryption
    • Ability to create trackerless torrent
    • Scripting support
    • System tray integration
    • Connection through a proxy
    • Added plugin support
    • Supports IPv6

    KTorrent sounds something useful as a torrent client that you can use daily with control to manage all your torrent downloads at one place.

    ktorrent speed limit

    In addition to the features mentioned above, it offers great control over the behavior of the client as well. For instance, tweaking the color that indicates downloads/pause/trackers.

    You also get the ability to set the notification if you want to disable the sound of completing a torrent download or getting notified of the activity.

    ktorrent plugins

    While features like protocol encryption support may not be able to replace some of the best VPN services, it is an important addition for desktop clients.

    Installing KTorrent in Linux

    KTorrent should be available through your package managers like Synaptic or the default repositories. You can also find it listed in your software center for easy installation.

    In addition to this, it also offers a Flatpak official package on Flathub for any Linux distribution. If you need help with that, we have a Flatpak guide for reference.

    You can also try the snap package available if you prefer that.

    To explore more about it and the source code, head to its official KDE app page .

    Closing Thoughts

    KTorrent is a phenomenal torrent client for Linux. I tried it on my Linux Mint system on top of Cinnamon desktop, and it worked great.

    I like how simple, yet configurable it is. Even though I don’t use a torrent client every day, I did not see anything weird with KTorrent in my brief testing.

    What do you think about KTorrent as a torrent client for Linux? What do you prefer to use it instead?

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      Top 10 Terminal Emulators for Linux (With Extra Features or Amazing Looks)

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Thursday, 18 March, 2021 - 09:13 · 8 minutes

    By default, all Linux distributions already come pre-installed with a terminal application or terminal emulator (correct technical term). Of course, depending on the desktop environment, it will look and feel different.

    Here’s the thing about Linux. You are not restricted to what your distribution provides. You can opt for an alternative application of your choice. Terminal is no different. There are several impressive terminal emulators that offer unique features for a better user experience or for better looks.

    Here, I will be compiling a list of such interesting terminal applications that you can try on your Linux distribution.

    Awesome Terminal Emulators for Linux

    The list is in no particular order of ranking. I’ve tried to list the interesting ones first followed by some of the most popular terminal emulators. Also, I have highlighted the key features for every terminal emulator mentioned, choose what you prefer.

    1. Terminator

    terminator terminal

    Key Highlights:

    • Multiple GNOME terminals in one window

    Terminator is decently popular terminal emulator which is still being maintained (moved from Launchpad to GitHub).

    It basically provides you multiple GNOME terminals in one window. You can easily group and re-group terminal windows with the help of it. You may feel like using a tiling window manager but with some restrictions.

    How to install Terminator?

    For Ubuntu-based distros, all you have to do is type in the following command in the terminal:

    sudo apt install terminator

    You should find it in most of Linux distributions through the default repositories. But, if you need help installing, go through the GitHub page .

    2. Guake Terminal

    guake terminal 2

    Key Highlights:

    • Tailored for quick access to terminal on GNOME
    • Works fast and does not need a lot of system resource
    • Shortcut key to access

    Guake terminal was originally inspired by an FPS game Quake. Unlike some other terminal emulators, it works as an overlay on every other active window.

    All you have to do is summon the emulator using a shortcut key (F12) and it will appear from the top. You get customize the width or position of the emulator, but most of the users should be fine with the default setting.

    Not just as a handy terminal emulator, it offers a ton of features like ability to restore tabs, having multiple tabs, color-coding each tab, and more. You can check out my separate article on Guake to learn more.

    How to install Guake Terminal?

    Guake is available in the default repositories for most of the Linux distributions. You can refer to its official installation instructions .

    Or if you’re using Debian-based distro, just type in the following command:

    sudo apt install guake

    3. Tilix Terminal

    tilix screenshot

    Key Highlights:

    • Tiling feature
    • Drag and drop support
    • Drop down Quake mode

    Tilix Terminal offers a similar drop-down experience that you find with Guake – but it also lets you have multiple terminal windows in tiling mode.

    This is particularly useful if you do not have tiling windows by default in your Linux distribution and have a big screen to work on multiple terminal windows without needing to switching between workspaces.

    We’ve already covered it before separately if you’re curious to learn more about it.

    How to install Tilix?

    Tilix is available in the default repositories for most of the distributions. If you’re using Ubuntu-based distro, simply type in:

    sudo apt install tilix

    Recommended Read:

    5 Tweaks to Customize the Look of Your Linux Terminal

    5 Tweaks to Customize the Look of Your Linux Terminal

    Want to beautify your Linux terminal and give it a different look? Here are a few ways you can customize your terminal.

    4. Hyper

    hyper screenshot

    Key Highlights:

    • Terminal built on HTML/CSS/JS
    • Electron-based
    • Cross-platform
    • Extensive configuration options

    Hyper is yet another interesting terminal emulator that is built on web technologies. It doesn’t provide a unique user experience, but looks quite different and offers a ton of customization options.

    It also supports installing themes and plugins to easily customize the appearance of the terminal. You can explore more about it in their GitHub page .

    How to install Hyper?

    Hyper is not available in the default repositories. However, you can find both .deb and .rpm packages available to install through their official website .

    If you’re new, read through the articles to get help using deb files and using RPM files .

    5. Tilda

    tilda terminal

    Key Highlights:

    • Drop down terminal
    • Search bar integrated

    Tilda is another drop-down GTK-based terminal emulator. Unlike some others, it focuses on providing an integrated search bar which you can toggle and also lets you customize many things.

    You can also set hotkeys for quick access or a certain action. Functionally, it is quite impressive. However, visually, I don’t like how the overlay behaves and does not support drag and drop as well. You might give it a try though.

    How to install Tilda?

    For Ubuntu-based distros, you can simply type in:

    sudo apt install tilda

    You can refer to its GitHub page for installation instructions on other distributions.

    6. eDEX-UI

    Edex Ui Matrix Terminal

    Key Highlights:

    • Sci-Fi Look
    • Cross-platform
    • Theme options to customize
    • Supports Multiple terminal tabs

    If you’re not looking particularly for a terminal emulator to help you get your work done faster, eDEX-UI is something that you must try.

    It is absolutely a beautiful terminal emulator for sci-fi fans and for users who just want their terminal to look unique. In case you didn’t know, it is heavily inspired from the TRON legacy movie.

    Not just the design or the interface, overall, it offers you a unique user experience that you will enjoy. It also lets you customize the terminal . It does require a significant amount of system resource if you’re planning to try it.

    You might want to check our dedicated article on eDEX-UI to know more about it and the steps to install it.

    How to install eDEX-UI?

    You can find it in some of the repositories that include AUR . In either case, you can grab a package available for your Linux distribution (or an AppImage file) from its GitHub releases section .

    Recommended Read:

    5 Tweaks to Customize the Look of Your Linux Terminal

    5 Tweaks to Customize the Look of Your Linux Terminal

    Want to beautify your Linux terminal and give it a different look? Here are a few ways you can customize your terminal.

    7. Cool Retro Terminal

    Cool Retro Term is a Vintage terminal emulator for Linux

    Key Highlights:

    • Retro Theme
    • Animation/Effects to tweak

    Cool Retro Terminal is a unique terminal emulator that provides you with a look of a vintage cathode ray tube monitor.

    If you’re looking for some extra-functionality terminal emulator, this may disappoint you. However, it is impressive to note that it is decently light on resources and allows you to customize the color, effects, and fonts.

    How to install Cool Retro Terminal?

    You can find all the installation instructions for major Linux distributions in its GitHub page . For Ubuntu-based distros, you can type in the following in the terminal:

    sudo apt install cool-retro-term

    8. Alacritty

    alacritty screenshot

    Key Highlights:

    • Cross-platform
    • Extension options and focuses on integration

    Alacritty is an interesting open-source cross-platform terminal emulator. Even though it is considered as something in “beta” phase, it still works.

    It aims to provide you extensive configuration options while keeping the performance in mind. For instance, the ability to click through a URL using a keyboard, copying text to a clipboard, and performing a search using “Vi” mode may intrigue you to try it.

    You can explore its GitHub page for more information.

    How to install Alacritty?

    Alacritty can be installed using package managers says the official GitHub page, but I couldn’t find it in the default repository or synaptic package manager on Linux Mint 20.1.

    You can follow the installation instructions to set it up manually if you want to try it.

    9. Konsole

    konsole screenshot

    Key Highlights:

    • KDE’s terminal
    • Lightweight and customizable

    If you’re not a newbie, this probably needs no introduction. Konsole is the default terminal emulator for KDE desktop environments.

    Not just limited to that, it also comes integrated with a lot of KDE apps as well. Even if you’re using some other desktop environment, you can still try Konsole. It is a lightweight terminal emulator with a host of features.

    You can have multiple tabs and multiple grouped windows as well. Lot of customization options to change the look and feel of the terminal emulator as well.

    How to install Konsole?

    For Ubuntu-based distros and most other distributions, you can install it using the default repository. With Debian-based distros, you just need to type this in the terminal:

    sudo apt install konsole

    10. GNOME Terminal

    Default Terminal

    Key Highlights:

    • GNOME’s terminal
    • Simple yet customizable

    If you’re utilizing any Ubuntu-based GNOME distribution, it already comes baked in. It may not be as customizable as Konsole (depends on what you’re doing) but it lets you configure most of the important aspects of the terminal easily.

    Overall, it offers a good user experience and an easy-to-use interface with essential functions.

    I’ve also covered a tutorial to customize your GNOME terminal if you’re curious.

    How to install GNOME Terminal?

    If you’re not using GNOME desktop but want to try it out, you can easily install it through the default repositories.

    For Debian-based distros, here’s what you need to type in the terminal:

    sudo apt install gnome-terminal

    Wrapping Up

    There are several terminal emulators available out there. You can try anything you like if you’re looking for a different user experience. However, if you’re aiming for a stable and productive experience, you need to test the terminal emulators before you can rely on them.

    For most of the users, the default terminal emulators should be good enough. But, if you’re looking for quick access (Quake Mode) or Tiling feature or multiple windows in a terminal, feel free to try out the options mentioned above.

    What’s your favorite terminal emulator on Linux? Did I miss listing your favorite? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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      Use gdu for a Faster Disk Usage Checking in Linux Terminal

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 - 09:22 · 2 minutes

    There are two popular ways to check disk usage in Linux terminal : du command and df command. The du command is more for checking the space used by a directory and the df command gives you the disk utilization on filesystem level.

    There are more friendly ways to see the disk usage in Linux with graphical tools like GNOME Disks . If you are confined to the terminal, you can use a TUI tool like ncdu to get the disk usage information with a sort of graphical touch.

    Gdu: Disk usage checking in Linux terminal

    Gdu is such a tool written in Go (hence the ‘g’ in gdu). Gdu developer has benchmark tests to show that it is quite fast for disk usage checking, specifically on SSDs. In fact, gdu is intended primarily for SSDs though it can work for HDD as well.

    If you use the gdu command without any options, it shows the disk usage for the current directory you are in.

    gdu disk utilization

    Since it has terminal user interface (TUI), you can navigate through directories and disk using arrows. You can also sort the result by file names or size.

    Here’s how to do that:

    • Up arrow or k to move cursor up
    • Down arrow or j to move cursor down
    • Enter to select directory / device
    • Left arrow or h to go to parent directory
    • Use d to delete the selected file or directory
    • Use n to sort by name
    • Use s to sort by size
    • Use c to sort by items

    You’ll notice some symbols before some file entries. Those have specific meaning.

    gdu entry symbols
    • ! means an error occurred while reading the directory.
    • . means an error occurred while reading a subdirectory, size may not be correct.
    • @ means file is a symlink or socket.
    • H means the file was already counted (hard link).
    • e means directory is empty.

    To see the disk utilization and free space for all mounted disks, use the option d :

    gdu -d

    It shows all the details in one screen:

    gdu disk utilization for all drives

    Sounds like a handy tool, right? Let’s see how to get it on your Linux system.

    Installing gdu on Linux

    Gdu is available for Arch and Manjaro users through the AUR . I presume that as an Arch user, you know how to use AUR.

    It is included in the universe repository of the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 but chances are that you are not using it at present. In that case, you may install it using Snap through it may seem like a lot of snap commands:

    snap install gdu-disk-usage-analyzer
    snap connect gdu-disk-usage-analyzer:mount-observe :mount-observe
    snap connect gdu-disk-usage-analyzer:system-backup :system-backup
    snap alias gdu-disk-usage-analyzer.gdu gdu

    You may also find the source code on its release page:

    I am more used to of using du and df commands but I can see some Linux users might like gdu. Are you one of them?

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      Kooha is a Nascent Screen Recorder for GNOME With Wayland Support

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Monday, 15 March, 2021 - 11:50 · 2 minutes

    There is not a single decent screen recording software for Linux that supports Wayland display server.

    GNOME’s built-in screen recorder is probably the rare (and lone) one that works if you are using Wayland. But that screen recorder has no visible interface and features you expect in a standard screen recording software.

    Thankfully, there is a new application in development that provides a bit more feature than GNOME screen recorder and works okay-ish on Wayland.

    Meet Kooha: a new screen recorder for GNOME desktop

    kooha screen recorder

    Kooha is an application in the nascent stage of development. It can be used in GNOME and it is built with GTK and PyGObject. In fact, it utilizes the same backend as the GNOME’s built-in screen recorder.

    Here are the features Kooha has:

    • Record the entire screen or a selected area
    • Works on both Wayland and Xorg display servers
    • Records audio from microphone along with the video
    • Option to include or omit mouse pointer
    • Can add a delay of 5 or 10 seconds before start the recording
    • Supports recording in WebM and MKV formats
    • Allows to change the default saving location
    • Supports a few keyboard shortcuts

    My experience with Kooha


    I was contacted by its developer, Dave Patrick and since I desperately want a good screen recorder, I immediately went on to try it.

    At present, Kooha is only available to install via Flatpak . I installed Flatpak and when I tried to use it, nothing was recorded. I had a quick email discussion with Dave and he told me that it was due to a bug with GNOME screen recorder in Ubuntu 20.10 .

    You can imagine my desperation for a screen recorder with Wayland support that I upgraded my Ubuntu to the beta version of 21.04.

    The screen recording worked in 21.04 but it could still not record the audio from the microphone.

    There are a few more things that I noticed and didn’t work smoothly to my liking.

    For example, while recording the counter remains visible on the screen and is included in the recording. I wouldn’t want that in a video tutorial. You wouldn’t like to see that either I guess.

    kooha recording

    Another thing is about multi-monitor support. There is no option to exclusively select a particular screen. I connect with two external monitors and by default it recorded all three of them. Setting a capture region could be used but dragging it to exact pixels of a screen is a time-consuming task.

    There is no option to set the frame rate or encoding that comes with Kazam or other legacy screen recorders.

    Installing Kooha on Linux (if you are using GNOME)

    Please make sure to enable Flatpak support on your Linux distribution. It only works with GNOME for now so please check which desktop environment you are using.

    Use this command to add Flathub to your Flatpak repositories list:

    flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

    And then use this command to install it:

    flatpak install flathub io.github.seadve.Kooha

    You may run it from the menu or by using this command:

    flatpak run io.github.seadve.Kooha


    Kooha is not perfect but considering the huge void in the Wayland domain, I hope that the developers work on fixing the issues and adding more features. This is important considering Ubuntu 21.04 is switching to Wayland by default and some other popular distros like Fedora and openSUSE already use Wayland by default.

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      Dual Booting Ubuntu and Windows With a SSD and a HDD

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Thursday, 11 March, 2021 - 11:22 · 7 minutes

    Dual booting Ubuntu and Windows is not that complicated and I have covered it in detailed tutorial in the past. Recently, I also wrote about dual booting on a Bitlocker encrypted Windows system .

    And yet here I am talking about it again. Why? Because the scenario is slightly different and several It’s FOSS readers have asked questions about this particular scenario.

    Here’s the scenario: you got a new computer. It comes with a SSD with limited disk space like 120 GB and an additional HDD with 500 GB or 1 TB disk space. This is usually the scene with gaming laptops where large disk space matters for storing game files but SSD is required for faster boot and computing experience. 1 TB SSD would increase the system price a lot and hence this particular combination of SSD and HDD.

    Now, if you want to dual boot on a system with two disks, you may get confused about where should you be installing Linux.

    You have three options:

    1. Install Linux completely on the SSD. You’ll get full advantage of SSD speed, but then you will have only a limited disk space.
    2. Install Linux completely on the HDD. You’ll have plenty of disk space, but Linux will boot slower, and you won’t get the SSD advantage.
    3. A compromise between SSD and HDD. You keep the root (and thus swap and boot) on SSD and you put your Home directory on HDD. This way, you boot faster into Linux and you have plenty of disk space for your personal documents and downloads.

    There is also a fourth option here. You keep root as well as home on SSD. And you make a partition on the HDD and then soft link it to your Music, Videos and Downloads folder. This way, application-specific files like browser caching utilize the SSD and other big files stay on HDD. But this could be complicated to set specially with fast boot enabled on Windows which would mean special efforts to auto-mount the partitions.

    I recommend going with the third option for dual booting on separate hard drives and this is what I am going to show you in this tutorial.

    Dual boot Ubuntu and Windows on a system with SSD and HDD

    dual booting system hdd ssd

    I have used an Acer Predator gaming laptop in this tutorial to install Ubuntu alongside Windows. The tutorial should work for other hardware manufacturers and Linux distributions.

    I advise reading through all the steps first and then follow the tutorial on your system.


    Here are the things you need in this tutorial:

    • A computer that comes preinstalled with Windows 10 and has both an SSD and an HDD.
    • A USB key (pen drive or USB drive) of at least 4 GB in size and no data on it.
    • Internet connection (for downloading Ubuntu ISO image and live USB creating tool).
    • Optional: External USB disk for making back up of your data.
    • Optional: Windows recovery disk (if you encounter any major boot issues, it could be fixed).

    Step 1: Make backup of your data

    Since you’ll be dealing with disk partitions, it will be wise to make a copy of your important files on an external disk. This is optional but having a backup is always a good idea.

    You can use an external HDD (slower but cheaper) or SSD (faster but expensive) and copy the important files and folders on it.

    Step 2: Make disk partition for Ubuntu installation

    In the Windows menu, search for disk and go to ‘Create and format hard disk partitions’.

    disc management windows

    You’ll see both SSD and HDD here. You have to shrink both SSD and HDD one by one and make some free space that will be utilized later for installing Ubuntu Linux.

    Right click on the SSD and choose Shrink Volume option.

    shrink volume for ubuntu install ssd

    It will give you the largest possible disk partition you can make here. Don’t use it all. Leave some extra space for Windows. I have given it 30 GB which is a decent disk space for the root partition. Anything between 20 and 40 GB is a fair choice.

    shrink volume for ubuntu install ssd 1

    Repeat the process with the HDD as well . I made around 200 GB of free space for Linux. You are free to decide how much space you want to allocate to Ubuntu.

    Here’s what the final disk scenario looks like for my system. 29.3 GB free space on SSD and 195.3 GB free space on HDD.

    shrink volume for ubuntu install ssd 2

    Step 3: Download Ubuntu

    Download Ubuntu Desktop

    Go to Ubuntu’s website and download the ISO file. If you need torrents, you can find it under the ‘alternative downloads’.

    Step 4: Create bootable Ubuntu USB

    You can easily create bootable Ubuntu USB in Windows , Linux and macOS. Since the focus here is on Windows, you can use a Windows specific tool like Rufus. Etcher is also a good tool in this regard.

    Download Rufus from its website.

    Plug in your USB. Make sure it doesn’t have any important data because it will be formatted.

    Run the Rufus tool. It automatically identifies the plugged in USB but double check it anyway. Then browse to the location of the downloaded ISO image and ensure that it uses GPT partitioning scheme and UEFI target system.

    Make Live Usb With Rufus

    Hit the start button and wait for the process to complete. Once you have the live Ubuntu USB ready, the next step is to boot from it.

    Step 5: Boot from the live USB

    You may choose to access the boot settings when the system starts by pressing F2/F10/F12 button but a more robust way is go through Windows.

    In the Windows menu, search for UEFI and then click on ‘Change advanced startup options’:

    Accessing Uefi Settings Windows

    Under the Advanced startup option, click on Restart now button.

    Access Uefi Settings Windows

    On the next screen, click on ‘Use a device’:

    Access Uefi Settings Windows 1

    Recognize the USB disk with its name and size. It may also be displayed as EFI USB Device .

    Access Uefi Settings Windows 2

    Now it will power off your system and reboot into the disk you chose which should be the live USB disk. You should see a screen like this:

    Ubuntu Live Install Screen

    Step 6: Installing Ubuntu Linux

    Now that you have booted from the live USB, you may start the installation procedure. The first few steps are simple. You choose the language and keyboard.

    On the next screen, choose Normal installation. No need to download updates or install third-party software just yet. You may do it after installation completes.

    Installing Ubuntu in dual boot

    After some time you’ll see the Installation type screen. Here, opt for ‘ Something else ‘ option:

    choose something else installing ubuntu

    You should see the free space you had created earlier on the next screen. Select the free space created on SSD (you can guess by its size if nothing else) and click on the + sign to use this free space.

    using free space while installing ubuntu

    By default, it will take the entire free space which is a good thing. Keep the partition type primary.

    What you need to change is the file system type to Ext4 and mount point to / (/ means root in Linux).

    creating root while installing ubuntu

    Now, select the other free space on the HDD and click the + sign .

    using free space while installing ubuntu 1

    This time choose Home as the mount point. Partition remains primary and file type ext4.

    creating home while installing ubuntu

    You don’t need to worry about ‘Device for boot loader installation’. You have a pre-installed Windows UEFI system. You should have an EFI partitioning (ESP) already (for me it’s 100 MB partitioning with type efi). The Ubuntu installer is intelligent and can automatically detect this partition and use it for Grub bootloader .

    This is the final partitioning scheme for my system. If everything looks good, hit the Install Now button.

    disk partition dual boot dual disk

    Things are pretty straightforward from here. Select a timezone.

    Installing Ubuntu Timezone Selection

    Enter a username, computer’s name, i.e. hostname and an easy to remember password.

    Installing Ubuntu Account Setup

    Now wait for like 7-8 minutes for the installation to finish.

    Installing Ubuntu

    Restart the system when the installation finishes.

    Restart After Installing Ubuntu Restart after installation completes

    You’ll be asked to remove the USB disk. Remove the disk and press enter.

    Ubuntu Finished Installation Remove USB and press enter

    If things go right, you should see the black or purple grub screen with option to boot into Ubuntu and Windows.

    Dual Boot Grub Screen You can choose the operating system from the grub screen

    That’s it. You can now enjoy both Windows and Linux on the same system with SSD and HDD. Nice, isn’t it?

    I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If you still have questions or facing any issues, let me know in the comment section, and I’ll try to help you out.

    • It chevron_right

      Linux Mint Cinnamon vs MATE vs Xfce: Which One Should You Use?

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 - 04:53 · 5 minutes

    Linux Mint is undoubtedly one of the best Linux distributions for beginners . This is especially true for Windows users that walking their first steps to Linux world.

    Since 2006, the year that Linux Mint made its first release, a selection of tools has been developed to enhance user experience. Furthermore, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so you have a large community of users to seek help.

    I am not going to discuss how good Linux Mint is. If you have already made your mind to install Linux Mint , you probably get a little confused on the download section on its website.

    It gives you three options to choose from: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. Confused? I’ll help you with that in this article.

    linux mint version options

    If you are absolutely new to Linux and have no idea about what the above things are, I recommend you to understand a bit on what is a desktop environment in Linux . And if you could spare some more minutes, read this excellent explanation on what is Linux and why there are so many of Linux operating systems that look similar to each other .

    With that information, you are ready to understand the difference between the various Linux Mint editions. If you are unsure which to choose, with this article I will help you to make a conscious choice.

    Which Linux Mint version should you choose?

    linux mint variants

    Briefly, the available choices are the following:

    • Cinnamon desktop: A modern touch on traditional desktop
    • MATE desktop: A traditional looking desktop resembling the GNOME 2 era.
    • Xfce desktop: A popular lightweight desktop environment.

    Let’s have a look at the Mint variants one by one.

    Linux Mint Cinnamon edition

    Cinnamon desktop is developed by Linux Mint team and clearly it is the flagship edition of Linux Mint.

    Almost a decade back when the GNOME desktop opted for the unconventional UI with GNOME 3, Cinnamon development was started to keep the traditional looks of the desktop by forking some components of GNOME 2.

    Many Linux users like Cinnamon for its similarity with Windows 7 like interface.

    linux mint 20.1 cinnamon Linux Mint Cinnamon desktop

    Performance and responsiveness

    The cinnamon desktop performance has improved from the past releases but without an SSD you can feel a bit sluggish. The last time I used cinnamon desktop was in version 4.4.8, the RAM consumption right after boot was around 750mb. There is a huge improvement in the current version 4.8.6, reduced by 100mb after boot.

    To get the best user experience, a dual-core CPU with 4 GB of RAM as a minimum should be considered.

    linux mint 20 cinnamon ram usage Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon idle system stats


    • Seamless switch from Windows
    • Pleasing aesthetics
    • Highly customizable


    • May still not be ideal if you have a system with 2 GB RAM

    Bonus Tip : If you prefer Debian instead of Ubuntu you have the option of Linux Mint Debian Edition . The main difference between LMDE and Debian with Cinnamon desktop is that LMDE ships the latest desktop environment to its repositories.

    Linux Mint Mate edition

    MATE desktop environment shares a similar story as it aims to maintain and support the GNOME 2 code base and applications. The Look and feel is very similar to GNOME 2.

    In my opinion, the best implementation of MATE desktop is by far Ubuntu MATE . In Linux Mint you get a customized version of MATE desktop, which is in line with Cinnamon aesthetics and not to the traditional GNOME 2 set out.

    Linux Mint Mate Screenshot of Linux Mint MATE desktop

    Performance and responsiveness

    MATE desktop has a reputation of its lightweight nature and there is no doubt about that. Compared to Cinnamon desktop, the CPU usage always remains a bit lower, and this can be translated to a better battery life on a laptop.

    Although it doesn’t feel as snappy as Xfce (in my opinion), but not to an extent to compromise user experience. RAM consumption starts under 500mb which is impressive for a feature rich desktop environment.

    linux mint 20 mate ram usage Linux Mint 20 MATE idle system stats



    • Traditional looks may give you a dated feel

    Linux Mint Xfce edition

    XFCE project started in 1996 inspired by the Common Desktop Environment of UNIX. XFCE” stands for “ XForms Common Environment”, but since it no longer uses the XForms toolkit, the name is spelled as “Xfce”.

    It aims to be fast, lightweight and easy to use. Xfce is the flagship desktop of many popular Linux distributions like Manjaro and MX Linux .

    Linux Mint offers a polished Xfce desktop but can’t match the beauty of Cinnamon desktop even in a Dark theme.

    Linux Mint Xfce Linux Mint 20 Xfce desktop

    Performance and responsiveness

    Xfce is the leanest desktop environment Linux Mint has to offer. By clicking the start menu, the settings control panel or exploring the bottom panel you will notice that this is a simple yet a flexible desktop environment.

    Despite I find minimalism a positive attribute, Xfce is not an eye candy, leaving a more traditional taste. For some users a classic desktop environment is the one to go for.

    At the first boot the ram usage is similar to MATE desktop but not quite as good. If your computer isn’t equipped with an SSD, Xfce desktop environment can resurrect your system.

    linux mint 20 xfce ram usage Linux Mint 20 Xfce idle system stats


    • Simple to use
    • Very lightweight – suitable for older hardware
    • Rock-solid stable


    • Outdated look
    • May not have as much customization to offer in comparison to Cinnamon


    Since all these three desktop environments are based on GTK toolkit, the choice is purely a matter of taste. All of them are easy on system resources and perform well for a modest system with 4 GB RAM. Xfce and MATE can go a bit lower by supporting systems with as low as 2 GB RAM.

    Linux Mint is not the only distribution that provides multiple choices. Distros like Manjaro, Fedora and Ubuntu have various flavors to choose from as well.

    If you still cannot make your mind, I’ll say go with the default Cinnamon edition first and try to use Linux Mint in a virtual box . See if you like the look and feel. If not, you can test other variants in the same fashion. If you decide on the version, you can go on and install it on your main system .

    I hope I was able to help you with this article. If you still have questions or suggestions on this topic, please leave a comment below.

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      How to Update openSUSE Linux System

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 9 March, 2021 - 08:45 · 2 minutes

    I have been an Ubuntu user for as long as I remember. I distrohopped a little but keep on coming back to Ubuntu. But recently, I have started using openSUSE to try something non-Debian.

    As I keep exploring openSUSE , I keep on stumbling upon things that are slightly different in SUSE-worse and I plan to cover them in tutorials on It’s FOSS.

    As a first, I am writing about updating openSUSE system. There are two ways you can do that:

    • Using terminal (valid for openSUSE desktops and servers)
    • Using a graphical tool (valid for openSUSE desktops)

    Update openSUSE via command line

    The simplest way to update openSUSE is by using the zypper command. It provides full functionality of patches and updates management. It takes care of the file conflicts and dependency problems. The updates also include Linux kernel.

    If you are using openSUSE Leap, use this command:

    sudo zypper update

    You may also use up instead of update but I find it easier to remember.

    If you are using openSUSE Tumbleweed, use the dist-upgrade or dup (in short). Tumbleweed is rolling release distribution and hence it is advised to use dist-upgrade option.

    sudo zypper dist-upgrade

    It will show you the list of the packages to be upgraded, removed or installed.

    Update openSUSE with Zypper Command

    You’ll be notified if your system requires reboots.

    If you just want to refresh the repositories (like sudo apt update), you may use this command:

    sudo zypper refresh

    If you want to list the available updates, you can also do that:

    sudo zypper list-updates

    Graphical way to update openSUSE

    If you are using openSUSE as a desktop, you’ll have the additional option of using the GUI tools for installing the updates. This tool may change depending on which desktop environment you are using .

    For example, KDE has its own Software center called Discover. You can use it to search and install new applications. You can also use it to install system updates.

    opensuse update gui

    In fact, KDE notifies you of available system updates in the notification area. You’ll have to open Discover explicitly because clicking on the notification doesn’t automatically take you to Discover.

    update notification opensuse

    If you find that annoying, you may disable it using these commands:

    sudo zypper remove plasma5-pk-updates
    sudo zypper addlock plasma5-pk-updates

    I wouldn’t recommend it though. It’s better to get notified of available updates.

    There is also the YAST Software Management GUI tool which you can use for more granular control on package managements.

    yast software management suse

    That’s it. It was a short one. In the next SUSE tutorial, I’ll show you some common zypper commands with examples. Stay tuned.

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      Use gImageReader to Extract Text From Images and PDFs on Linux

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Monday, 8 March, 2021 - 15:05 · 2 minutes

    Brief: gImageReader is a GUI tool to utilize tesseract OCR engine for extracting texts from images and PDF files in Linux.

    gImageReader is a front-end for Tesseract Open Source OCR Engine . Tesseract was originally developed at HP and then was open-sourced in 2006.

    Basically, the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine lets you scan texts from a picture or a file (PDF). It can detect several languages by default and also supports scanning through Unicode characters.

    However, the Tesseract by itself is a command-line tool without any GUI. So, here, gImageReader comes to the rescue to let any user utilize it to extract text from images and files.

    Let me highlight a few things about it while mentioning my experience with it for the time I tested it out.

    gImageReader: A Cross-Platform Front-End to Tesseract OCR


    To simplify things, gImageReader comes in handy to extract text from a PDF file or an image that contains any kind of text.

    Whether you need it for spellcheck or translation, it should be useful for a specific group of users.

    To sum up the features in a list, here’s what you can do with it:

    • Add PDF documents and images from disk, scanning devices, clipboard and screenshots
    • Ability to rotate images
    • Common image controls to adjust brightness, contrast, and resolution
    • Scan images directly through the app
    • Ability to process multiple images or files in one go
    • Manual or automatic recognition area definition
    • Recognize to plain text or to hOCR documents
    • Editor to display the recognized text
    • Can spellcheck the text extracted
    • Convert/Export to PDF documents from hOCR document
    • Export extracted text as a .txt file
    • Cross-platform (Windows)

    Installing gImageReader on Linux

    Note : You need to explicitly install Tesseract language packs to detect from images/files from your software manager.

    tesseract language pack

    You can find gImageReader in the default repositories for some Linux distributions like Fedora and Debian.

    For Ubuntu, you need to add a PPA and then install it. To do that, here’s what you need to type in the terminal:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sandromani/gimagereader
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install gimagereader

    You can also find it for openSUSE from its build service and AUR will be the place for Arch Linux users.

    All the links to the repositories and the packages can be found in their GitHub page .

    Experience with gImageReader

    gImageReader is a quite useful tool for extracting texts from images when you need them. It works great when you try from a PDF file.

    For extracting images from a picture shot on a smartphone, the detection was close but a bit inaccurate. Maybe when you scan something, recognition of characters from the file could be better.

    So, you’ll have to try it for yourself to see how well it works for your use-case. I tried it on Linux Mint 20.1 (based on Ubuntu 20.04).

    I just had an issue to manage languages from the settings and I didn’t get a quick solution for that. If you encounter the issue, you might want to troubleshoot it and explore more about it how to fix it.

    gimagereader 1

    Other than that, it worked just fine.

    Do give it a try and let me know how it worked for you! If you know of something similar (and better), do let me know about it in the comments below.

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      How to Turn Off Automatic Brightness on Ubuntu [Quick Tip]

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / ItsFoss · Thursday, 4 March, 2021 - 04:38 · 1 minute

    Some new laptops come with built-in integrated light sensor. Operating systems use this sensor to measure the ambient light conditions and change the screen brightness automatically. This helps in reducing eye strain .

    You can see that this is a useful feature. But not everyone might like it all the time. For example, while watching Netflix on Linux at night, it reduces the screen brightness at the lowest for me. This makes the movie scene quite dull.

    This is one of the many cases when you probably would not want automatic brightness. Turning off automatic brightness on Ubuntu is quite simple. I’ll show that to you in this quick article.

    This tutorial is valid for GNOME desktop environment . The command line method should work for MATE desktop as well. If you are not certain, check which desktop environment you are using .

    Turning off automatic brightness on Ubuntu

    You can find the option to toggle automatic brightness under Power settings.

    Press the Windows (also known as Super or Meta key in Linux world) key. This will bring the Activities area and you can search for Settings here.

    settings ubuntu

    In the Settings application, go to the Power settings from the left sidebar. Under the Power Saving option, you can see the Automatic Brightness option.

    Toggle the button to turn it off or on.

    automatic brightness ubuntu

    It’s super easy with the GUI, right? Now let’s take a look at the command line method as well.

    Alternate method: Turning off automatic brightness in Ubuntu using terminal

    GNOME based desktop environments can also access the brightness settings via command line.

    Open a terminal in Ubuntu and use the following command to turn off the automatic brightness:

    gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power ambient-enabled false

    Similarly, you can set the value to true to enable the automatic brightness again:

    gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power ambient-enabled true

    Automatic brightness helps in saving the battery life but it could also become an annoyance, as I had mentioned earlier. I so wish that there was a way to make the automatic brightness not go beyond a certain level.

    How about you? Do you prefer using automatic brightness on Ubuntu or other Linux distributions or on your smartphone?