November 12, 2016

Top 10 Most Popular Linux Distributions in Late 2016 - Early 2017

3 Great Linux Apps I Never Knew Existed

I’ve written about a lot of desktop Linux software in the nearly 8 years this site has been running. 
Apps, utilities, tools and clients for almost everything, from bling-laden music players to java monstrosities via photo editors and command line Twitter clients.
And yet even I have not heard of every app that’s out there.
Below, I share 3 Linux apps that I had not heard of until very, very recently (thanks, in large part, to our goad for stuff to write about).
I don’t claim that these are the greatest, most excellent, most indispensable apps you’ll ever see, but they all impressed me. None of them are brand-spankin’ new, but they’re are new to me. And who knows, maybe to you, too.

Ocenaudio – Audio Editor



Whether you’re recording your own bedroom podcast or fine-tuning some sound recordings for a video project, a decent audio editor is a must.
And when it comes to audio editing there is one open-source app that rises above the noise: Audacity.
But Ocenaduio, a cross-platform app, is lighter than Audacity, and arguably more approachable for casual use. It’s not as powerful as Audacity or Audour or any other editors of that ilk, but it’s still a capable tool with some great features.
So good that it’s used by YouTuber The Linux Gamer who uses the app to record and edit voice overs for his Linux gaming channel.
Ocenaudio lets you add and edit multiple audio files. It shows a large waveform which you can interact and edit directly.
Effects like compression, delay, and reverb, as well as plenty of others, are easy to use and configure. This helps you add a little more post production polish to your recordings.
Hit the link below to learn more about the app or give it a try yourself
Thanks Gardiner

Open DVD Producer



Burning DVDs — I remember when this was an essential task to ask of any desktop OS, Linux or otherwise. These days? Not so much (Ubuntu ditched disc-burning utility Brasero a few years back).
Open DVD Producer lets you create custom DVDs with interactive menus, chapters and sound.
The simple UI helps you assemble a simple DVD with menus. You can have a static or video background; you can add sound, buttons and tailor navigation.
It has a built-in encoder (no need to use an external app). This can convert a wide range of popular formats, including mp4. An interactive chapter tool lets you quickly add skippable marktwers to your videos.
You can learn more (and download a version for Ubuntu) from the project’s official website. Note that the installer doesn’t pull in all dependencies. To use the chapter marker you’ll need to install phonon-backend-vlc.
Thanks Robert S.

Soundnode — Soundcloud Desktop App


Alongside Spotify SoundCloud is one of the streaming music services I use to discover new artists and listen to new  tracks.
Soundnode is the SoundCloud desktop app I’ve been itching for. It moulds the uniqueness of SoundCloud’s content into a more digestible desktop format.
Soundnode is built with NW.js, Angular.js and (naturally) the Soundcloud API. But don’t let that put you off. It’s more than a ‘web wrapper’.  It feels like a native application thanks to a keyboard shortcuts and a clean, navigable UI. It’s not perfect though. There’s no Ubuntu sound menu integration, and no way to upload to come
Better yet Soundnode is totally open source. If you want to help improve it, you can.
To learn more, and to try the app yourself, head over to the official project website, linked below.
Thanks dalekanium87

November 10, 2016

FunYahoo++: New Yahoo Messenger Plugin For Pidgin / libpurple [PPA]

Yahoo retired its old Messenger protocol in favor of a new one, breaking compatibility with third-party applications, such as Pidgin, Empathy, and so on.

Eion Robb, the SkypeWeb and Hangouts developer, has created a replacement Yahoo prpl plugin, called FunYahoo++, that works with the new Yahoo Messenger protocol.

Note that I tested the plugin with Pidgin, but it should work with other instant messaging applications that support libpurple, like BitlBee or Empathy.

According to the plugin GitHub page, the new Yahoo Messenger protocol lacks quite a few features that were available with the old one, such as typing notifications, away / idle statuses, and bold / italic / underline formatting. Also, if you're previously used Yahoo Messenger, your old buddy list is no longer available. Since these are missing in the protocol itself, they cannot be added to FunYahoo++.

Furthermore, FunYahoo++ is pretty new and still needs work. For now it only supports basic features like sending/receiving messages and adding buddies. Two Factor Authentication is not yet supported.

Also, since both the plugin and the protocol are new, you'll encounter bugs. But if you want to use Yahoo Messenger in a desktop application on Linux, this seems to be the only way for now. The alternative is to use the web version.

If you cannot log in using the new FunYahoo++ plugin, you should try using the web version of Yahoo Messenger once, as that seems to initialize your account. Logging in using FunYahoo++ should then work.

You can report any bug you may find @ GitHub.

Install FunYahoo++ in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

To make it easier to install I uploaded FunYahoo++ to the main WebUpd8 PPA. To add the PPA in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives, and install the plugin, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install purple-funyahoo-plusplus

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

For how to build the plugin from source or download Windows binaries, see the FunYahoo++ GitHub page.

After installing the plugin, select "Yahoo (2016)" from the "Add Account" protocol drop-down, as shown in the screenshot at the top of the article.

November 9, 2016

How to (Easily) Make a Bootable Ubuntu 16.10 USB

etcher image writer
If you want to do a clean install of Ubuntu 16.10 when it lands next week, or install it on a different computer, then a bootable flash drive is the way to go.
That’s in my opinion of course, but computers are increasingly being sold without an optical disc drive, and besides: USB drives are re-writeable and reusable. It’s the green option, y’all!
We wrote a similar guide to this one back in April though, in that guide, we covered different solutions for each operating systems, Windows, macOS and Linux in turn.
This guide is more universal and, we think, much simpler. It shows how to make a bootable Ubuntu USB drive using an open-source, cross-platform image writer called Etcher.

Create a USB Installer On Any OS Using Etcher

Etcher is a free, open-source image writing tool created by
It is available for all major desktop operating systems: Windows, macOS and Linux. This makes it an ideal tool to recommend as the following steps will, more or less, be the same no-matter which operating system you are reading from!
And although plenty of other apps exist that do a similar job, we find Etcher the easiest tool to use to create a USB installer for Ubuntu.
1. Download the latest Etcher release from and install it (if required).
If you’re using Ubuntu (or another Linux distribution) you do not need to install the app. Once you’ve given it the relevant permissions you can double-click on the AppImage to run it.
2. Download the latest Ubuntu 16.10 image from the daily-live website.
Although this guide is written for Ubuntu 16.10 you can use any compatible .iso or .img file for any operating system, e.g., Android x86, Linux Mint, Fedora or Hannah Montana Linux.
3. Attach a 2GB (or larger) flash drive to your computer
Important: If you have any data on the flash drive be sure to back it up right now. Etcher will scrub the drive clean as part of the installer-making processor.
4. Launch/run Etcher on your desktop and click on the “Select image” button.
Locate your Linux .iso installer file. If you downloaded this through a website (e.g., then it should be located in your ~/Downloads folder.
5. Click “Select Drive” and choose the your flash drive you connected earlier.
Etcher will automatically select an external drive with ample free space. If it doesn’t, click the ‘Connect a drive’ button to select a device.
If you have more than one external drive, SD card or USB stick attached make sure that you have selected the correct drive before proceeding.
6. Click “Flash image”
That’s it! Etcher takes care of the rest of the process. It will inform you when it’s done and tell you whether it succeeded or encountered an error.
To use the installer on a computer just remove it from your current PC and insert it in to the one you wish to install Ubuntu on. Then, reboot the device, remembering to select the USB as the boot drive if it’s required (usually set via the BIOS).


November 4, 2016

Desktop Gmail Client `WMail` 2.0.0 Stable Released

WMail Gmail desktop client

The application is a wrapper for Gmail / Google Inbox with unlimited account support, on top of which it adds features such as native desktop notifications (notification bubble and sound), unread email counter in the tray, and more.

Compared to other such applications, like Franz or Rambox, which support many other services, WMail provides a lot more customization, including per-account settings, and it integrates more tightly with the desktop. For instance, both Franz and Rambox notify you about new emails, but they don't display the most recent emails in the indicator / tray menu, like WMail. 

Also, WMail provides native desktop notifications (Franz and Rambox suppose to support this as well, but at least for me, the notifications don't work for Gmail), and an unread email counter on the Unity launcher (which Rambox supports but Franz doesn't).

Therefore, WMail is more useful if you only need Gmail, especially if you use multiple Gmail accounts, however, alternatives like Franz or Rambox might be a better option if you use multiple services.

WMail Gmail desktop client
WMail settings and the Unity Launcher unread email badge counter

The latest WMail 2.0.0 stable includes quite a few interesting changes. For instance, on Linux, there's a new option to ignore GPU blacklist (Settings > Advanced), which should solve rendering issues, another new option for displaying the unread email count in the Unity launcher icon, and more.

Here's a list of the most interesting changes in WMail 2.0.0 (stable):
  • Tray / AppIndicator changes:
    • tray icon designer in the settings screen;
    • option to change the background color of the tray icon;
    • auto-theming of tray depending on OS theme;
    • DPI Multiplier for tray icon for users with 4K monitors;
    • changed tray menu to have submenus for each mailbox (see the first screenshot in this article);
    • focus the WMail window when clicking on emails in the tray;
  • User interface:
    • unread count over app icon for Ubuntu users using Unity (General > Show app unread badge);
    • removed excess top space from side-menu on Linux, Windows and when the toolbar is enabled;
    • add option to set your own CSS and JavaScript on a per mailbox basis;
    • detecting when you launch WMail in an offline state and showing a splash screen rather than a broken WMail;
    • changed the layout of the settings screen to use the available screen space;
  • support for 38+ dictionary languages;
  • added Primary Inbox support for Gmail;
  • added ignore-gpu-blacklist flag under advanced for Linux users having rendering issues;
  • updated to Chrome 53, Electron 1.4.4 and React 15.3.2.

There are quite a few other changes and various bug fixes. For a complete list, see the application GitHub page.

Note that some of these changes were already available in WMail if you were using a prerelease, and not the stable version.

Download WMail

Download WMail (binaries available for Linux - deb and generic, Windows and Mac)

If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

September 27, 2016

New Version of Audacious Music Player 3.8 Released

A new version of Audacious, a popular lightweight audio player, is now available for download.

Audacious 3.8 introduces a small set of features, including the ability to run more than one instance of the app at the same time. Quite why… no idea.
New audtool commands have been added, including stream recording toggles, and cue sheet support is said to be “more seamless”.
A plugin that lets you browse music on an Ampache server has been added, and music folders can be added to the app from various URL protocols, including ftp and mtp.
More of the player’s existing feature set has been ported over to Qt, including scrobbling set-up and playlist context (right-click) menus.
There are plenty of other new features too, so check out the full Audacious 3.8 changelog for further information.

Install Audacious 3.8 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you’ve never tried the app, but have long looked for something with the layout, power-user features and resource usage of something like XMMS, Audacious is well worth checking out. It’s fully open-source, and runs on Windows, BSD and Linux.
An older version of Audacious is available to install from Ubuntu Software. You can install Audacious 3.8 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS by adding PandaJim’s PPA to your Software Sources:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps
nd then installing both the app and its plugins package:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install audacious audacious-plugins

If you’re an Audacious user/fan do feel free to share some screenshots of the app in the comments section below. 


September 20, 2016

Choose Linux Mint Mate or Cinnamon or XFCE or KDE ?

If you have to choose one, which one do you prefer.. .Should you Choose Linux Mint Mate or Cinnamon or XFCE or KDE ? Find the answer and comparison here!

Choose Linux Mint Mate or Cinnamon or XFCE or KDE ?

Todays Linux Mint distributed under the 32 bit and 64 bit version with different desktop environment version such as Cinnamon, Mate, KDE, and XFCE. When you need to install the Linux Mint which one you should choose?

Linux Mint Cinnamon vs MATE vs XFCE vs KDE

From their official website, we got some comparison point like this :
  1. MATE: Stable, robust, traditional
  2. XFCE: Light, simple, efficient
  3. Cinnamon : Sleek, modern, innovative
  4. KDE: Solid, full-featured, polished

1. Linux Mint MATE

Linux Mint MATE linux mint cinnamon mate xfce kde linux mint 17 cinnamon mate xfce linux mint cinnamon vs mate vs xfce linux mint cinnamon vs mate vs xfce vs kde linux mint 17 cinnamon mate kde xfce difference between linux mint cinnamon mate kde xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs xfce linux mint 17.3 mate vs cinnamon vs xfce linux mint 17.3 mate vs cinnamon vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon vs mate vs kde vs xfce linux mint 17.3 cinnamon mate xfce linux mint cinnamon ou mate ou kde ou xfce

Linux Mint MATE is consuming a very low usage of memory. This is the best choice for programmer who run heavy program such as Android Studio, Eclipse, and soon which need to debug the developed apps.

2. Linux Mint XFCE

Linux Mint XFCE

XFCE version is suitable for old computer. This version using Panel and Start Menu looks like Windows XP in classic mode.

3. Linux Mint Cinnamon

Linux Mint Cinnamon

Cinnamon version offers animation, effect and thumbnail view looks like Windows 7/8, This is the best choice for daily usage for home and office because its interface similar to Windows 7 or 8. If you want an interface similar to Windows 10 then you have to choose the KDE version but it consuming much memory.

4. Linux Mint KDE

Linux Mint KDE

Linux Mint with KDE plasma is the best choice for computer or laptop with the high specification. We can say that this desktop environment looks like Windows 10, and for daily use we recommend you to use Cinnamon version for modern computer. Your Linux will run perfectly!

Linux Mint MATE, XFCE, Cinnaomn, KDE Memory Usage

We have some physical test with Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa with several version of desktop environment. We use a Samsung NP355V4X laptop for this quick testing. The result for Linux Mint 17.3 as follow :
linux mint cinnamon memory usage linux mint check memory usage linux mint high memory usage memory usage in linux mint linux mint kde memory usage linux mint mate memory usage linux mint 17 mate memory usage linux mint reduce memory usage linux mint show memory usage linux mint see memory usage linux mint view memory usage linux mint xfce memory usage linux mint 17 xfce memory usage linux mint 17.3 xfce memory usage


Linux Mint Mate is suitable for programmer who run big and heavy application. XFCE is suitable for old computer. The Cinnamon is suitable for daily use for todays computer. To use KDE please make sure you are using the high specification device!


September 16, 2016

5 More of the Best GTK Themes for Linux

The default look of many Linux desktop environments is often less than satisfactory. Thankfully, the Linux world is blessed with a plethora of custom themes you can download and install within seconds to make your desktop really shine.
Before we go further, here is a quick tutorial on how to install custom GTK themes. (You can skip this part if you know how to do it already.)
First install the “gnome-tweak-tool” by running this command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Or if you run Ubuntu Unity, install the “unity-tweak-tool” instead.

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Elementary OS users can install “elementary-tweaks.”

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

Grab the zip file of your desired GTK theme (from gnome-look or deviant art) and extract. Then move the extracted folder to “/usr/share/themes.”

Note: for your convenience, we have included the link to each shell theme described below so you can get the zip file from there.
Once the theme has been downloaded and extracted to your “/usr/share/themes” directory, open gnome-tweak-tool, unity-tweak-tool or elementary-tweaks to select the theme.
Here are five of the best themes for GTK-based desktop environments.

Arc is a flat GTK theme with subtle transparency effects in some parts of the application window such as those with header bars and the sidebar in Nautilus. It comes in three variants – light, dark and darker (header bar only) – for you to choose from, and it supports GTK3- and GTK2-based environments. I tested this theme on Gnome 3.18 and Pantheon (Elementary OS Freya), and it looked great on both!

Paper is developed with GTK3 (Gnome-based) desktop environments in mind, meaning you can only get the best experience on Gnome 3 and other Gnome Shell-based DEs. Paper theme is inspired by Google’s material design philosophy and makes use of a flat design with minimal shadows for depth. If you want to mimic the look of Android L and M on your desktop, Paper would be a great choice for you.

If you don’t like totally flat themes, you can give Vertex a try. Just like Arc, it has three variants: dark, light and dark headerbars. It supports GTK3 and GTK2 desktop environments such as Budgie, Gnome 3, MATE, Pantheon, Cinnamon and more.

Ultra Flat theme is a modified version of Numix with no border, flat rounded window buttons and grey selection colour. It was tested in Ubuntu Unity but will work on GTK3 desktop environments.

If you want to bring a Mac OS X look and feel to your Linux desktop, this theme is ideal for you! You get the familiar light theming and the trademark OS X window buttons. It’s made for Cinnamon but works on all GTK3 desktops.
With these five themes, you can make your desktop really shine! Even if you don’t like any of the ones listed above, there are plenty more for you to discover at Let us know your favourite GTK themes in the comments below.


9 Great Mate Themes

This can be a good thing when it comes to usability. It’s tried and true. On the other hand, the MATE desktop doesn’t look very modern. The default themes it ships with aren’t very attractive, and overall it seems like it needs a face-lift.
Check out these nine themes that look great in the MATE desktop environment!
Note: the instructions to install each one of these themes are located on the page in which you downloaded them from.

If you didn’t notice from the picture above, Color UI was designed with the XFCE desktop in mind. That being said, it still looks awesome in MATE. Everything is very modern-looking and colorful. I know some people aren’t huge fans of using themes designed for other desktops. I get that. Still, if using a theme designed for another desktop doesn’t bother you, consider checking out this theme.

Absolute is a simple, grey theme. It’s not the most advanced and stylish theme ever created, but it certainly is fairly modern looking. The window manager style is top notch, and overall it’s just pleasant to look it. Do you like simple? Check out this theme.

When it comes to GTK 2.x themes, they seem to all run together. A good chunk of them seem to fall into three categories: black/dark, transparent, or grey/white styled themes. Ubuntu Dust doesn’t fit that criteria. It’s a sort of shiny brown/dark sort of thing with some really neat user interface choices. It’s certainly different. If you like different, you might like this theme.

Flat is the latest design trend that everyone has been going crazy over. I can’t blame them as I think flat is cool too. To satisfy your craving for flat themes on MATE, Ambiance & Radiance Flat Colors exists. It’s a flatter take on the classic Ubuntu themes Ambiance and Radiance. It comes with several different color choices too. If you want a flat theme, this should be your first stop.

Orta is a theme that has been around for quite a while. It’s one of the most famous ones too. There’s a good reason as to why everyone loves this particular theme: it’s beautiful. Even today it feels really modern. The window manager style is reminiscent of Mac OS X’s, and it has a nice metallic thing going on.

BSM Simple is a pack of simple GTK 2.x themes. The pack comes with Dark and Classic themes.

Are you interested in making MATE elegant? Check out the Elegant Gnome Pack. It’s specifically designed to make GTK 2.x look beautiful. Many different themes are included so there’s most certainly something for everyone to choose from!

Zuki is a fairly solid theme. It has sort of a glass/transparent look to it, but it does it right. That’s not something I can say about all the glass themes I’ve seen. They always seem to look tacky. If you’re in need of a transparent-esque theme for your MATE setup, look no further.

I’ll be frank. Elegant Brit is at the bottom because it’s not the most professionally-designed theme. That being said, it does manage to look cool and modern for what it is. I especially like the way this theme handles the task bar. If you’ve checked all the themes out above and still haven’t settled on one, try this one!
The MATE desktop is great, but it’s built on aging technology and is in dire need of a new look. These GTK 2.x MATE themes in this list can help with that. With this list I hope that you, too, will be able to make your desktop environment great.
Do you have a favorite theme you use in MATE? Tell us in the comments below!


9 Awesome Conky Themes

Conky users: Looking to spice up your config with something a little more stylish? We’ve scoured the Internet to find some of the coolest, best-looking setups around! Check these themes out!
Note: the instructions to install each one of these Conky themes are located on the page you downloaded them from.

Conky Colors is an oldie but a goodie. This setup is really hard to describe, other than the fact that it just looks incredibly awesome. The theme is about four years old, but the styling remains incredibly refreshing. If you want your Conky setup to be refreshing, consider giving this one a go.

Harmattan: A twenty-two-theme pack of Conky goodness with four form factors to choose from. There’s not one distinct design style, but many – lots of different styles. The Google Now-esque card style, a Windows 8 Metro style, an unofficial Numix theme and a whole lot more! If you’ve ever had trouble finding a Conky theme that suited you, Harmattan might have just what you want.

Vision. A setup for fans of minimalism. This theme proves that a lack of information can be just as good. It doesn’t tell you your CPU speed, your download/upload, or anything like that. Just the date, the time and the weather. Fans of simplicity are sure to love this Conky theme.

Spectro is a Conky theme heavily inspired by the July Flat Ish Rainmeter theme. This particular theme is just a weather widget, but it’s still awesome! What’s even better is that Spectro has a few different styles, so if you’re not a fan of the default, you can always change it up. If you’re looking for a neat weather-like Conky setup, check this one out.

I’ll be honest; I’m fairly biased. I absolutely love the style that Google has been using in their applications as of late. That’s why I think this Google Now theme is so great. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to having an actual Google Now application right on my Linux desktop. If you’re also interested in turning Conky into Google Now, look no further than this theme!

Helix certainly isn’t the only minimalist theme on this list, but I think it belongs on this list. Why? What if all you want out of your Conky is to tell you the day and the time in a stylish, simple way? If so, Helix might be the theme you’ve been looking for.

eOS is the perfect Conky setup for Elementary OS users. It’s styled to look exactly how you’d except an official Elementary OS skin to look. Color, fonts, everything. If you’ve found yourself comfy on Elementary OS, and you’re trying to find a Conky theme to match, download and install eOS.

I’ve always said that Android is beautiful. The creator of this theme seems to agree with me. Everything in Jelly looks really nice, clean and simple. If your idea of a Conky setup involves Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, you may want to give this theme a shot.

Have you ever wanted to have the date, time and everything in between told to you in the form of a Cloud? Well, look no further. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Conky theme quite like this one. It’s unique, and frankly, incredibly good-looking. If you’ve gone through all the themes in this list and still find yourself looking for something different, give Cloud a try.
Conky is a simple tool, but it’s an awesome one. Sure, in the end it’s just a way to print useful information on your desktop, but there’s more to it. With the help of this small application, you can make the Linux desktop truly your own.


9 Great XFCE Themes

Since the XFCE Desktop is in dire need of a facelift, we decided to go out and find nine really great themes for XFCE4. Check them out below!
Note: the instructions to install each one of these themes are located on the page in which you downloaded them from.

Not all of the themes on this list are full themes. The XFCE4 desktop is an interesting one. You can theme the window manager and the panel independently. Axe is one of the many window manager themes in this list.
Axe is a clean and really minimal window manager theme. When it’s not in focus, the entire window is transparent which is a really cool effect. Want a clean, simple Xfce window manager theme? Check out this one.

A lot of XFCE4’s window managers that come pre-installed are unimpressive. They’re all old-looking and frankly just not something visually appealing on any level. Tango is an XFCE WM theme pack that hopes to change that.
It’s an elegant, colorful and minimalist approach to window themes. It also sort of reminds me of the Windows 8 window manager. Are you in search of a decent-looking XFCE window manager theme? Tango might be for you.

Numix Holo is a pleasant re-spin of the Numix GTK theme. The creator of this theme has substituted the famous “Numix Orange” color scheme for a light blue Android Jelly Bean-inspired setup. If you love Numix, but also prefer blue over orange, definitely check out this theme.

Some people love the default look of Ubuntu. Others don’t. Ambiance for the XFCE desktop is a theme for those looking to make their XFCE session more like Ubuntu. If you think the Ambiance style suits you, this should be your first stop.

Glare is a simple theme for the XFCE4 desktop environment. It doesn’t have a whole lot going for it in terms of eye candy, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. Sometimes its hard to find a very simple theme with no frills, shadows or anything like that. If you’re in search of a simple look for XFCE4, you might want to check out this theme.

Macbuntu is a suitable XFCE4 theme for those who want to turn their desktop into something very close to OS X. This theme isn’t 100% similar to the way the Mac looks, but it most certainly is very reminiscent of it. Searching for an Apple-like theme for your XFCE desktop? Try out Macbuntu.

There certainly isn’t a shortage of dark themes. It’s hard to browse and not run into more than twenty-five dark themes. Still, if dark is what you want, Rele is one of the best out there. The theme uses the darker colors in a really nice way and everything is really easy to read (which I can’t say about some other black/dark themes out there). Are black themes your thing? If so, you might want to install Rele.

It’s hard to deny that the KDE desktop environment has it right when it comes to their Oxygen theme. Honestly, it’s one of the better default themes out there for Linux. Are you a fan of the Oxygen theme like me? If so, install XFWM KDE4.8 Oxygen.

Some Linux users love the way Windows 8/8.1 looks. No this isn’t a joke! There are dozens of Windows themes for Linux desktops. For those on XFCE, the Win8-FirstTry theme is a good place to start out. Be warned, the creator of this theme said it’s his first shot at a theme, so there might be a few discrepancies here or there. Still, if you want your desktop environment to look like Windows 8.1, you should give this theme a go.
XFCE4 is a great desktop environment. Overwhelmingly, it’s the most popular lightweight desktop out there. That being said, it’s not exactly the best-looking. The overall design of XFCE4 seems to be stuck in the mid-90s/early 2000s. I hope that with the help of this list you’ll be able to take your existing XFCE desktop and make it a little better looking.
Got a favorite theme for XFCE4? Let us know below in the comments!


August 26, 2016

25 Awesome (And Some Unexpected) Things Powered By Linux

25 Awesome (And Some Unexpected) Things Powered By Linux
From your kitchen to the reaches of outer space, Linux really does manage to get everywhere…

    25 things linux

    ‘Linux has gone far beyond what anyone could have expected’
    With Linux turning the ripe old age of 25 today — halfway to its midlife crisis  — I figured: why not make one of those kooky tie-in listicles that are popular on other websites?
    So I did. I took to t’internet to find 25 awesome (and in some cases unexpected) things, companies and services that are made possible thanks to Linux.




    1. Super Computers

    super computers titan

    I couldn’t start with anything else, could I? When running down a list of impressive Linux-powered ‘things’ the ultimate in powered ‘things’, super-expensive super computers, have to feature!
    What’s more impressive than some of the most impressive machines in the world running Linux is how many of them run it: 497 of the top 500 fastest peta-flop crunching machine beasts use Linux.




    2. NASA


    NASA’s use of Linux and open-source software is testament to the versatility and adaptability of it.
    From storing data sent down from satellites and telescopes, to crunching and serving up that data to research institutions and the greater public — NASA use Linux.
    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory also uses Linux to, quote, “help with projects relating to the construction of unmanned space flight and deep space exploration”.




    3. Space Robots


    Sticking with the space theme, did you know that the first humanoid robot — Robonaut 2 — sent into space (and floating above your head right now in the International Space Station) runs on Linux? You betcha!
    NASA’s experience with R2 on the station will, it says, help them understand the capabilities and possibilities for robots in future space missions.
    Not that you’ll get to meet this pioneer as NASA say there are ‘no plans’ to bring R2 back to earth!




    4. Games Consoles


    One word is all that’s needed here: Steam. SteamOS and Steam Machines are leading the charge for Linux gaming in the living room, though Android-based set-top boxes that allow gaming could, in theory, also count.
    Certain gamers among you may even remember some of the (not hugely successful) Linux-based handhelds like the Pandora and the Neo Geo X.
    Trivia: Sony once released a Linux for Playstation 2 kit that could turn the (then new) games console into a proper Linux desktop.




    5. The Large Hadron Collider


    It’s one of the most important scientific research facilities in the world, not to mention the most expensive at $10 billion. The Large Hadron Collider relies on Linux to handle, process, store and distribute the petabytes of data it accrues.




    6. Roku

    roku tv logo

    Beating even Google’s (Linux powered) Chromecast and Amazon’s (Linux powered) FireTV, Roku is the most popular media streaming box (or dongle, depending on which you own) in the US.
    All Roku hardware runs a custom, heavily modified version of Linux called ‘Roku OS’.
    The NowTV box in the UK is a rebranded Roku device, fact fans.




    7. TiVo


    Personal digital video recorders (colloquially known as ‘DVRs’) such as TiVo — arguably the best selling DVR in the world — feature an embedded Linux-based OS.
    It’s this OS that handles the recording, playback and management of your fave movies and TV shows and runs your fave TV apps.




    8. Smart TVs


    Linux doesn’t just power a plethora of set-top boxes. A number of leading TV manufacturers offer a built-in ‘smart TV’ experience using, you guessed it, Linux.
    From LG (who use WebOS) to Samsung (who use Tizen, Orsay OS) to Sharp, HiSense, Philips and Panasonic (who use FirefoxOS).




    9. Smartwatches


    From the marketing you’d think Apple was the only smart watch seller whose device has an embedded operating system — but it’s not.
    As far back as 2000 IBM was demoing a smartwatch that runs Linux. Some 16 years on from that and you can’t move for smartwatches that run it, with Samsung’s Tizen watches and a sleeve full of Android Wear devices leading the field.




    10. The Amazon Kindle

    kindle logo

    The Kindle is almost a byword for digital e-readers, but few give much thought to the embedded operating system it runs, but it is Linux. Some hackers even managed to install Ubuntu on the early-gen Kindles!
    The very first version of the Kindle OS used Linux kernel v2.6.26, while the most recent, the Kindle Oasis, uses v3.0.35.




    11. Instagram (And Basically The Entire Internet)


    When you’re scrolling down through selfies, food snaps and insane promotions on Instagram you probably don’t give much thought to what powers the experience.
    With over 1 billion app installs on Android, serious power is needed behind the scenes to handle, process and serve millions of 1:1 pictures and videos, comments and accounts every day.
    And when you need power and adaptability you use Linux — which is what powers Instagram (and a host of other social networks) behind the scenes.
    Instagram is not alone. Many market-disrupting companies like AirbnbUber and Netflix also run on Linux and open-source software.



    12. In-Car Entertainment


    From the Tesla Model S to the 2013 Cadillac XTS — many cars are turning to Linux to power their in-car infotainment systems.



    13. In-Flight Entertainment


    Oh yeah, it’s not just cars that get to have all the nerdy fun. Plenty of in-flight entertainment systems aboard airplanes run Linux, including that used by Delta Air Lines.
    Next time you’re whizzing across the planet in a metal tube pay extra attention to the screen in front of you: it could be powered by open-source.



    14. Digital Signage


    From advertising screens to train station terminals: Linux is used in a variety of kiosk and signage situations around the world — far too many to list individually!
    There’s (naturally — this is the internet!) an entire Tumblr dedicated to Linux in public. 



    15. Self Driving Cars


    Google’s autonomous car computers run Linux, as do prototype self-driving vehicles from General Motors (GM) and Volkswagen.



    16. Smart Electric Motorbike


    The Mavizen TTX02 was more than the first electric-powered racing bike to come on the scene. Keeping the electro-bike firmly up to speed was an on-board computer running Linux. This has a USB port and Wi-Fi to allow real-time system feedback, manual tuning and other monitoring to take place.




    17. Smart Refrigerators


    ChillHub is a smart fridge that runs on Ubuntu – but it’s not the only cool kitchen appliance kitted out with Tux. The Electrolux fridge released in early 2010 also uses Linux to keep things nice and chilled.




    18. Washing Machines


    Newer washing machines come with all sorts of fancy features, from load-sensitive scales that adjust the amount of water needed, to programmable washes that kick in at a certain time. And powering much of those on-board brains is Linux.
    Samsung is a big user of Linux in its range of modern washing machines.




    19. Advanced Air Traffic Control


    The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States switched to Linux back in 2006. It runs custom-built software to manage and display air traffic flow – software that runs on Linux.




    20. Chromebooks


    You’d be surprised how many people think Chromebooks run Android — they don’t. Chromebooks run Chrome OS, a Linux distribution based on (but heavily modified from) Gentoo.




    21. Japanese High Speed Train


    The Shinkansen “Bullet Train” is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan that hit pretty breathtaking speeds of 240–320 km/h.
    To keep things running smoothly the Shinkansen employs a centralized traffic control to keep all train operations – and all tasks relating to train movement, track, station, schedule, etc. – networked and computerized.
    And what do these system run on? Yup, Linux.




    22. The New York Stock Exchange


    The world’s financial exchanges have long been fans of open-source software and Linux thanks to its ability to perform, transact and analyse calculations, quotes, prices and messages at lightning fast speed.




    23. U.S. Department of Defense


    The United States Department of Defense is the single biggest customer of Red Hat Linux. The military (!) are enthusiastic about open source software, with one military bigwig calling it a vital part “of the integrated network fabric which connects and enables our command and control system to work effectively, as people’s lives depend on it.”




    24 Nuclear submarines


    Way back in 2004, Lockheed Martin gave the US government a nuclear submarine powered by Red Hat Linux. Linux is used to power the submarine’s on-board sonar systems.
    If it was running Windows I don’t think I’d be able to sleep as soundly!



    And Finally…

    25. Your Computer

    You’ve made it this far reading an article about Linux, written on Linux, hosted on Linux and, importantly, there’s a chances you’re reading it on Linux too.