January 29, 2016

AT&T's latest Linux choice may profoundly shape Ubuntu

Like most mobile carriers across the globe, AT&T has embraced Linux — in fact, the Linux kernel powers the Android platform. But AT&T recently surprised a lot of people by turning its back on Microsoft and adopting Ubuntuas its cloud, enterprise, and application solution provider. In addition,Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) will provide support for these platforms/solutions.

The reason why AT&T chose Ubuntu

AT&T is reinventing how it scales, and Ubuntu will be at the heart of this strategy. The reason the carrier chose Ubuntu was simple: innovation and performance in the realm of the cloud. Ubuntu is the leading platform for scale-out workloads and cloud, and this is exactly what AT&T needed in the never-ending war against mobile carriers.
Toby Ford, Assistant Vice President of Cloud Technology, Strategy and Planning at AT&T, said, "We're reinventing how we scale by becoming simpler and modular, similar to how applications have evolved in cloud data centers. Open source and OpenStack innovations represent a unique opportunity to meet these requirements, and Canonical's cloud and open source expertise make them a good choice for AT&T."
This should serve as a clear indicator as to what platform has become the clear winner in the race to the sky: Ubuntu (as it is the number one cloud platform on the market). In fact, 80% of large-scale OpenStack deployments run on top of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is also a large player in the Amazon and Microsoft cloud space. From this point on, when you think cloud, you should think Ubuntu.

More money, more desktop?

This deal will go a very long way to inject Canonical with some much-needed capital as the company pushes forward with its convergent desktop. But beyond that the deal will also, most likely, drive other enterprise companies to select Ubuntu as their cloud-of-choice platform.
Hopefully, this soon-to-be massive influx of business won't turn Ubuntu away from the platform that brought it to this place... Ubuntu Desktop. Yes, the cloud is the thing, but Canonical would be remiss if the company turned its back on the desktop. I don't see that happening, but I do see Canonical following in similar footsteps as Red Hat and SUSE. It would come as no surprise if Canonical spun off desktop development into its own entity so it could focus much of its efforts on the cloud.
It is also not beyond the realm of possibility that this deal could give Canonical a foot in the door to get its Ubuntu Phone on the AT&T network. This would be a major win for a niche mobile platform that has struggled to make serious headway. Having a major US carrier in its pocket could have profound secondary benefits for Canonical and Ubuntu.

An odd addition to the conclusion

Canonical recently made a deal with Oracle to provide enterprises with greater flexibility in deploying large-scale workloads with the help of Oracle Cloud. Certified Ubuntu images are now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace to provide Oracle enterprise customers with a true "grab and go" approach to the cloud.
Although this might seem an odd pairing of a Linux-based company to a company that many have seen as having the "anti-Midas touch" with all things open source, Canonical needs to have its cloud solution available to all markets, including the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
No matter how you look at this deal, it is a major win for Canonical and Ubuntu. The 2016 year is already shaping up to be a massive win for the company that has done the most for Linux on the desktop.

Weigh in

Do you think this deal will have any effect for Ubuntu on the desktop or Ubuntu on the phone? Let us know in the comments.

Source: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/at-ts-latest-linux-choice-may-profoundly-shape-ubuntu/

January 22, 2016

Google Chrome Axes Support for ALL 32-bit Linux Distros

chrome drops linux 32 support

Google Chrome is to drop support for all 32-bit Linux distros from March, 2016. 

The change, which brings the platform in line with that of Mac OS X, will apply to all x86 Linux builds, regardless of distribution or version number. Users affected will still be able to use Chrome after the axe has fallen, but they will no longer receive any updates.
In a double-whammy, March will also see Google Chrome stop supporting Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (which will receive critical and security bug fixes from Canonical until mid 2017). ‘Ubuntu users  are advised to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or later’
From this March only 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (or later) will receive new versions of the browser from Google .

To run a supported version of Google Chrome Precise users are advised to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (or later).

Why Is Google Dropping Support?

The small Google Chrome Linux team can’t support all versions of Ubuntu and other Linux distributions indefinitely. With Linux already a small overall percentile of Chrome’s user base, and 32-bit users amongst that percentage even smaller, something had to give at some point.
The build infrastructure used to package Google Chrome is tasked with making hundreds of binaries each day, and human effort is required to test those binaries for release.
“To provide the best experience for the most-used Linux versions, we will end support for Google Chrome on 32-bit Linux, Ubuntu Precise (12.04), and Debian 7 (wheezy) in early March, 2016,” says Chromium engineer Dirk Pranke.

32-bit ChromiumIs Not Affected

‘Chromium is unaffected by the change. ‘
Many Linux users run Chromium, the open-source basis of Chrome, and so won’t be affected by this change. Google Chrome and Chrome OS builds for 32-bit ARM are similarly unaffected.
For browsers built on Chromium, like Opera, it will be up to them as to whether they continue to offer builds for 32-bit users.
Google says it will ‘keep support for 32-bit build configurations on Linux to support building Chromium’, which  we’re told it will do so for ‘some time to come’.
Do you use Google Chrome on a 32-bit version of Linux? Will you switch to another browser? Perhaps you think this decision is logical. Whatever your view on this decision you can share it in the comments below.
This post, Google Chrome Axes Support for ALL 32-bit Linux Distros, was written by Joey-Elijah Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

January 21, 2016

How to Watch Hulu on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Hulu doesn’t work out-of-the-box on modern Linux distributions. While Netflix “just works” if you’re using Google Chrome, Hulu’s DRM has gotten old and clunky. You can get Hulu to work on Linux, but it’ll take a little tweaking.
It wasn’t always so hard. Back when Netflix was making life hard for Linux users, Hulu even offered a Linux desktop app. But that desktop app is now discontinued. Hulu relies on Adobe Flash, and Adobe Flash’s DRM code is falling apart on Linux.

You’ll Have to Use Firefox

Here’s the problem: Hulu relies on old Adobe Flash DRM code that requires a Linux library known as HAL. However, this old HAL software is fairly outdated and hasn’t been installed by default on modern Linux distributions for years. You’ll need to install compatibility packages that will allow this HAL-based DRM to function.

You’ll also have to use Mozilla Firefox to watch Hulu. The old HAL-based DRM only works in the older version of the Linux Flash plug-in Firefox offers. The newer PPAPI (Pepper API)-based Flash Player included in Google Chrome won’t work with Hulu’s old DRM code.
Yes, this means you’ll have to watch Netflix in Google Chrome and Hulu in Mozilla Firefox. Ain’t life grand?

Step One: Install Flash for Firefox

First, you’ll need to install the Flash Player plug-in for Firefox. If you haven’t installed Flash yet, you’ll see a message saying Hulu needs Flash installed when you try to watch it.
You can generally install Flash from your Linux distribution’s software repositories.  For example, on Ubuntu, open the Ubuntu Software Center and search for “flash”. Install the “Adobe Flash plug-in” software.
Be sure you install the Flash plugin designed “for Mozilla,” “for Firefox,” or the “NPAPI” version of the plug-in. The “PPAPI” or “for Chromium” version of Flash will only work with Chrome and Chromium-based browsers.

Step Two: Install the Old HAL Library

Once you have Firefox and the Flash plug-in for Firefox installed, you can head to Hulu’s website and try playing a video. However, you’ll probably see an error message when you do so. The error message says “There was a problem playing this protected content. (Error Code: 2203)”. Hulu will ask you to ensure the HAL package is installed, clear your flash cache, and reset license files.
Hulu links you to an Adobe page that recommends you install the package named “hal”, but this package is no longer even present for installation on modern versions of Ubuntu and other modern Linux distributions.

Rather than have you install a version of the full HAL package — from the “zombie HAL PPA” as its known in Ubuntu circles — we’ll direct you to a more lightweight solution.

Martin Wimpress, project lead for Ubuntu MATE, provides a “hal-flash” PPA that provides everything you need to play back DRM-protected Flash content without installing the entire HAL layer.

To install this software, you’ll need to add this PPA to your Ubuntu system (this should also work on Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-derived distributions). Open a Terminal from the dash and paste or type the following commands in order, pressing Enter after each. The first command adds the PPA, the second downloads information about the packages in it, and the third installs the HAL library.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flexiondotorg/hal-flash
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libhal1-flash

If you’re using another Linux distribution — that is, something other than Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or something derived from Ubuntu — you’ll need to hunt down a HAL package for Flash provided for your Linux distribution. It may be part of your Linux distribution’s package repositories, or it might be in a third-party repository like it is for Ubuntu.

Once that’s installed, visit Hulu in Firefox, try playing a video again, and it should now work instead of showing you a “protected content” error message.
If you continue seeing an error message, you may need to close Firefox and restart it. If that doesn’t work, try completely restarting your computer before continuing.

This has been a problem for many years now. The Adobe page says HAL needs to be installed on versions 10.x and up of Ubuntu — that refers to versions of Ubuntu released all the way back in 2010.

Adobe no longer wants to develop Flash on Linux. The real solution here won’t come when Adobe fixes its Flash DRM. Instead, Hulu needs to switch to modern HTML5-based video playback, like Netflix uses in Google Chrome. Until they do so, Linux playback will be a bit of a hassle.

Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/239682/how-to-watch-hulu-on-ubuntu-and-other-linux-distributions/

January 2, 2016

11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.
So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.


1. Tweak Tools

By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.
If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.


For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.


For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.


For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.
Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

2. Synaptic Package Manager

Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.


On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.
Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.
How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.


 3. Google Chrome

I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.
But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).


For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.
How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.


4. Geary

There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.
The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.


The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.
How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install geary


5. VLC Media Player

Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.


The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.
There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.
How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.


6. Tomahawk

Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.


Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.
But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.
How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tomahawk


7. Tixati

Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.
Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.


Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.
How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.


8. Sublime Text

One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.


That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.
How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer



A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.


But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.
If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.
How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.


10. Dropbox

Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.
Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.


If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.
How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.


11. Steam

Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.


Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.
For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.
How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.


What Are Your Must-Have Apps?

I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/11-must-apps-ubuntu-right-fresh-install/

December 2, 2015

Docky Launcher Themes

I have tried several dock launchers and I keep coming back to Docky. It works well and has a large library of themes. Below is an article and links where you can dress up and customize your Docky launcher.

Top 10 Docky Themes
After installing Ubuntu 10.10 I installed avant window navigator dock the development version but i had many problems with it, multiple crashes for many applets, and some time slowing down the machine. But AWN still my favorite one any way i installed Go docky lately on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick and it’s totally awesome. a really great dock has many great features similar to avant window navigator dock “AWN”. Support adding multiple docks on desktop, docklets similar to applets for AWN, and helpers for many applications if installed in your machine to easily control some applications through the dock directly.

Install Docky On Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick

It’s available on Maverick repository and Ubuntu software center as well.
Check installation instruction for other distributions Here.
Okay Docky Installed, let’s check a great Docky Themes collections will looks really good with bright or dark themes and wallpapers, most of these themes support 3d background and good looking menus.

How To Install Docky Theme

Extract Themes in this path ” /usr/share/docky/themes ”
you will need administration privilege

1. Tinted Steel V2


support 3d background and recommended for widescreens.
Download Tinted Steel V2 Theme


2. HUDocky 1.1


Download HUDocky Theme


3. Frosty Docky theme


Download Frosty Docky Theme


4. Gaia10


Support 2d, 3d Backgrounds, comes with Gala Icons pack.
Download Gaia10 Theme


5. WindowPane Theme for Docky


Download WindowPane Theme


6. Glassy Docky Theme

Download Glassy Theme


7. Dark Glass Theme for Docky


Download Dark Glass Theme


8. Docky 2 Package


Includes Two Themes Plastic glass theme, and inlaid Theme, included with 3d, 2d, and panel mode. Also Docky Icon pack.

Download Docky 2 package Themes


9. Ambiance & Radiance Docky Themes


These themes will looks really suitable with Ambiance and Radiance themes for Ubuntu 10.10

Download Ambiance & Radiance Docky Themes


10. NeuGlass Docky Theme


Download NeuGlass ThemeSource: http://www.linuxnov.com/top-10-docky-themes-go-docky/

8 Docky Themes:


Mountain Lion Docky Theme:


More Docky Themes at DeviantArt.com


December 1, 2015

December Desktop

One of the great things about the Ubuntu Mate GTK2 distro, is you get to use all the great library of GTK2 themes that have been around forever. I've always liked the brushed metal look. The Tish Brushed Theme fills the bill nicely. See below and where you can get this oldie but goodie MAC like brushed metal theme for Ubuntu Mate GTK2. Enjoy.

You can get the Tish Brushed Metal theme here:


Another nice brushed metal theme is GTBrushed here:


November 29, 2015

Audacious Media Player 3.7 Released

Now back to Audacious. The latest Audacious, which, in case you're not familiar with, is a fast, lightweight audio players, ships with various Qt interface improvements, including plugins which have been ported to Qt, such as the Winamp Classic Interface, the Playlist Manager, Search Tool and Status icon, and more.

GTK2 Interface

Qt interface

Winamp Classic interface

Here's a list of the most important changes in Audacious 3.7:
  • GTK interface only:
    • Internet streams can be recorded while playing via a simple record button;
    • the playlist export window displays supported formats in a drop-down list;
    • a new, unified window has been added for managing equalizer presets;
    • the user interface automatically adjusts to be more usable on high-resolution screens;
    • playlists can be shuffled by whole albums rather than single tracks.
  • Qt interface only:
    • the Qt interface can be customized with several new appearance settings;
    • the following plugins have been ported to Qt: Winamp Classic Interface, Playlist Manager, Search Tool and Status Icon;
    • various small fixes and improvements, such as a visualizer in the info bar, to bring the interface closer to feature-parity with the GTK+ interface;
  • an "Edit Lyrics" option has been added to the LyricWiki plugin, which opens the edit page for the current song;
  • guessing of missing tag fields can be disabled;
  • decoding and playback of standard input is possible with e.g. "cat file.mp3 | audacious -";
  • in dual GTK and Qt builds, incompatible plugins are hidden to avoid confusion;
  • most audtool commands now apply to the playlist which is playing, even if it is in the background;
  • bug fixes.

A complete changelog can be found HERE.

Install Audacious 3.7 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

As usual, the latest Audacious is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA. The PPA provide Audacious build with GTK2 and Qt interfaces (I can't also enable the GTK3 interface because it requires separate builds).

To install Audacious 3.7 in Ubuntu 14.04, 15.04 or 15.10 / Linux Mint 17.x and derivatives, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install audacious

Once installed, select Audacious from the Dash / menu to launch the GTK2 interface or "Audacious Qt Interface" for the Qt interface.

Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2015/11/audacious-37-released-available-in-ppa.html

November 6, 2015

3 Fresh & Lightweight Music Players For Enjoying Your MP3s on Linux

Nearly every article about music players for Linux starts with an observation that there are “so many” of them. And it’s true – if you’re a Linux user, you’ve probably noticed they come in all shapes and sizes, from iTunes alternatives and feature-packed media organizers to simple, lightweight music apps.
Speaking of lightweight, have you heard of Pragha? What about Yarock? Does Qomp sound familiar? Those three names refer to three (relatively) new music players for Linux. We know it can be hard to choose a single app from a myriad of options, so here we’ll help you decide whether any of these apps is worth your time.

Theory: What Is a Lightweight Music Player?

Before we examine the features of our new apps, let us make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to defining a lightweight music player. Fellow MakeUseOf writer Joel provided a sensible explanation in his round-up of music players two years ago:
Let me first define what I mean by lightweight: good performance even on older systems, does not suck up loads of CPU while running, and requires no more than 75 MB of RAM.
I would also include the total installed size of the app on your hard drive, but other than that, this definition is excellent. Many other attempts at defining a lightweight app fall into the trap of being too specific as they reflect personal preferences of their authors. In the case of our definition, all the factors are easily measurable on any system. You can check the CPU load, monitor RAM usage and see how well the app performs, without having someone else try to convince you that the app is “really light” on system resources.

Conflating the terms is another common mistake. “Lightweight” doesn’t have to mean “minimalistic” or “bare-bones”. Music apps that don’t do much more than just play music do have their userbase. However, when an average user searches for a lightweight music player, they’re usually looking for an app that works smoothly yet doesn’t give up on features. If you want the best of both worlds (performance and functionality), music players with a modular approach offer an ideal solution. They rely on plugins for the majority of their features, which means you can turn off anything you don’t need and make the app lighter.


You might wonder why would anyone want a lightweight music player in the first place, since computers these days have all the power you need and then some. Several scenarios are possible; first off, not everyone can afford a high-end computer or an upgrade for their current setup. It’s also a common practice to revive an old computer with Linux, in which case you’ll need all the lightweight apps you can get. Whatever your situation might be, if you’re determined to use such an app, here’s some advice on how to find the right one.

Methodology: How to Choose a Lightweight Music Player?

When we set out to find new software, we often decide which app to install without any special preparations. However, it might be useful to keep a list of desired features that you can quickly consult when comparing and trying out new apps. Use your favorite note-taking app or just a piece of paper and organize your priorities.
What features are essential to you? Which ones can you do without? Establish your own criteria and then simply eliminate the apps that don’t satisfy them. Here are some categorized suggestions on what you should consider.
Pre-Installation Concerns
  • Is the app available in a repository, or do you have to compile it yourself?
  • How many dependencies does it have?
  • Is it based on the default widget toolkit (Qt or GTK) of your DE, or does it require a lot of packages from another DE?
  • Is the app light on system resources?
  • How much RAM does it use while idle, and how much when it’s playing music? What about CPU usage?
  • Where and how does the app store information about your music library?
  • How quickly does it load and scan your music library?
Basic Features
  • Which file formats does the app support?
  • Can it import playlists from other music players?
  • Does it support smart/dynamic playlists?
  • Can you search for music and sort the results?
  • Does the app offer shuffle, randomize, and repeat options in playback mode?
  • Does the app support online services like Last.fm, SoundCloud, and Spotify?
  • Does it have an equalizer?
  • What about ReplayGain and gapless playback?
  • Does it let you listen to Internet radio stations and podcasts?
  • Can the app perform audio conversion, MP3 tagging, or CD ripping?
Interface and User Experience
  • Can the app display album art, song lyrics, and artist info?
  • Is the interface easy to configure and customize?
  • Does it support skins? Can you switch between standard and mini player modes?
  • What about navigation – is it intuitive, traditional, or unconventional?
  • Does the app feel responsive and snappy?
Of course, the most reliable way to get the answers to all these questions is to install the app and try it out yourself. Still, you might not have the time or a particular desire to test every music app that’s out there, which is understandable.
In that case, turn to online sources. Get recommendations from other users and read their experiences. Visit the official websites of different music players and compare their features to the ones on your wishlist. Last but not least, read reviews: if they’re detailed enough, they’ll spare you the trouble, and you’ll grasp the general look & feel of the app from the screenshots.
As an exercise, pick the best app based on the following descriptions of three lightweight music players for Linux.

Practice: Pragha vs Qomp vs Yarock




A descendant of a discontinued music player called Consonance, Pragha looks fairly simple, but offers plenty of features. The interface is traditional, reminiscent of a file manager, with panels which you can toggle and move around to create different layouts.


Pragha can manage your music library, and you don’t have to keep all your music in one folder because it lets you add multiple folders as library sources. It can import M3U, XSPF, PLS and WAX playlists which you can edit, save, search, and crop. There’s an equalizer and a tag editor, as well as statistics about your music library. Pragha can fetch lyrics and artist info, display album art, and manage music on removable devices. You can also define custom keyboard shortcuts and activate Last.fm scrobbling.
Pragha is the only GTK-based app of the three, and most of its functionality is provided by plugins which you can disable at will. This makes it a great choice for users who want a lightweight player with a familiar interface and a personalized set of features.


Qomp stands for Quick Online Music Player. Although still in beta, it already looks promising and works stable enough for everyday use. Sadly, the interface is not visually attractive, and it relies on icons instead of menus, so it might not be immediately clear what the options are.



Still, the basic set of features is present: you can save playlists, create custom keyboard shortcuts, scrobble to Last.fm, and stream music directly from an URL. Like Pragha, Qomp also draws its power from plugins, though the selection here is slightly less impressive. Qomp should be able to stream music from three Russian services, but this doesn’t always work as advertised.


Qomp could be a good choice for undemanding users who don’t want to go beyond the basics. They’ll get a fast and simple Qt music player that delivers the tunes in a retro package.


Yarock is the most modern-looking music player among the apps we’re comparing. It has a bright, spacious interface that you can customize by changing the accent color. There are several different layouts and sorting options for your playlists and music library, and Yarock is clearly focused on album art and other visual goodies.


Navigation, however, is not as crystal-clear. There are icons on the left that lead you to Context (info on what’s currently playing), Dashboard (shows stats about your library and provides quick access to top rated, most played, and favorited music), and File Browser (from which you can access music anywhere on your system). Yarock takes some time to get used to, but if you’ve tried Tomahawk or Atraci, you should be familiar with the look and feel of this “new generation” of music players.


Yarock lets you tweak quite a lot of its settings, and some of the features worth mentioning include an equalizer, gapless playback, ReplayGain, custom lyric sources, Last.fm scrobbling, adding your own radio streams or connecting to TuneIn, Shoutcast and Dirble, downloading missing album art, creating smart playlists, and building a music library from multiple folder sources.
This interesting Qt-based player will appeal to users who like the features that Pragha has, but dislike its conventional interface. Yarock has enough power to manage large music collections, and looks good enough that you’ll want to keep it maximized on your Linux desktop.

Now it’s your turn: which music player do you like the most—Pragha, Yarock, or Qomp? Would you consider using any of them? Can you think of some other tips for choosing a music player that we should have included here? Tell us about your favorite lightweight music apps in the comments, and let’s have a fun discussion!

Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-fresh-lightweight-music-players-enjoying-mp3s-linux/