Snaps Everywhere! Snaps to Become the De-facto Package Manager For all Linux Systems!

Snaps are Godsend now that i think about it, given how they’ve taken the Linux industry very well by surprise! Canonical had only recently made public the package format and that was merely some two months ago and now, the package management will be going universal like nobody’s business!

Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth made the point that Linux fragmentation has always been a thing …“Linux fragmentation has always been an issue,” and further commented that,

“Snaps bring those apps to every Linux desktop, server, device or cloud machine, giving users freedom to choose any Linux distribution while retaining access to the best apps.”

If you aren’t well versed with the new packaging format, Snaps are very much the package management system for the future of Ubuntu desktop and that is seemingly plausible for other platforms like Fedora, Arch, Gentoo and even those outside Linux like Microsoft Windows and potentially Android; this, of course, does come with a few caveats which might now necessarily equate to an issue for a standard end user.

Basically, the initial packaging can be somewhat larger than usual as developers will have to include all the libraries (that an application depends on to run) in the Snap package itself.

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Secondly, the apps can only be updated via a single channel which is the Ubuntu Store. While this is mostly an advantage, (as the store becomes a centralized point for Snap packages) it is mostly in the favor of Canonical.

The vision of Shuttleworth was, however, to further reduce the fragmentation of Linux as this presents a great opportunity for a more unified industry where a single package management is all you need to get just about any applicaiton running on just about any Linux system irrespective of the distribution.

Quite a few ISVs and hardware giants including DELL and HP, will be hoping on the Snap-wagon to support the growth of the Snap package system to further enhance the adoption of other Linux distributions that aren’t quite as popular as Ubuntu – as Mark’s statement clarify;

“Most vendors target Ubuntu because of its popularity. […] Snaps bring those apps to every Linux desktop, server, device or cloud machine, giving users freedom to choose any Linux distribution while retaining access to the best apps”.

Snaps packages are downright easy to create and there are quite a few major softwares that have already adopted the package management with a lot more others like Mozilla Firefox  in tow.

Currently, Krita which is a popular image manipulation tool is now available in a Snap package via the Ubuntu software center and  LibreOffice 5.0.2  which is now available as a Snap.

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I couldn’t possibly say enough about Snaps on here but you can always learn more from the official Snapcraft page .

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Genymotion: Boost Your Android App Development on Debian/Ubuntu

With Android owning more than 70% of the mobile/tablet operating system market share, developing applications on the Android platform has become a lucrative business for developers around the world. Developing quality and usable applications always moves hand in hand with using the best and right tools with good features and performance and having these tools available for use is the dream of every developer out there.

The default Android emulator is known to have several performance issues especially for those who have used it very extensively, from simply starting it to running apps, it tends to be slow and time wasting. Of course, there are always alternatives in the software industry, and in this overview, we shall look Genymotion an important alternative to the default Android emulator.

Genymotion is possibly the best and fastest cross-platform Android emulator you can think of, it speeds your app development lifecycle with an easy to use testing, automation and collaboration tool.
It has 3000+ Android configurations you can choose from, allowing you to test at anytime, test often and also automate the testing process by integrating it with continuous integration servers such as Gradle and Jenkins .
It boots 3x faster than an actual device and also enables quicker APK deployment than on any actual device. Users also have the luxury of managing app development lifecycle on-demand and at scale using Genymotion cloud automation, you can find out more by reading the features of the free and full versions that we shall look at in the next sections.

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Features of Freemuim Genymotion

The features listed below are those you can find in the free version of Genymotion:

  • 100% compliant with Android APIs
  • enables for users to vary GPS location, network quality or battery level from one point of location
  • simulate phone calls and text messages to analyze app reaction
  • enables emulation of 40+ devices
  • unlimited app installations
  • support for all android version installations
  • use of laptop webcam as video source for Android camera
  • compatible with Android SDK tools, Android studio and Eclipse
  • test websites with multiple browsers including Firefox for Android, Webkit for Android plus many more

Features of Premium Genymotion

The full version has the following premium features:

  • automated testing process
  • take control from command line
  • compatible with continuous integration servers
  • full device management
  • brings the physical to a virtual environment
  • easy communication
  • design friendly
  • full support from a team of experts

To download the free version of Genymotion, simply visit the official website and create an account, then a confirmation link will be sent to your email account and activate your new account by clicking on the link and boom! you should be able to see a download link and get a free version for trials with the features listed above.

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Below are the system requirements for Debian 8 (Jessie)/Ubuntu (Wily Werewolf or above) Linux provided on the download page:

  • 64-bit CPU with VT-x OR AMD-v capability enabled in BIOS settings
  • A recent and dedicated GPU(Graphics Processing Unit)
  • Atleast 400 MB of disk space
  • Atleast 2GB of RAM

Are you ready to start making better apps using the best and fastest Android emulator ever with 3000+ Android APK configurations, then, Genymotion is your ultimate choice. Download it today and enjoy application development on the Android platform.

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Tomb is an Alternative to Truecrypt Tailored Especially for Linux Systems

File encryption softwares are more of a necessity nowadays than just another luxury application on your Linux PC, given the importance of how safeguarding our most delicate documents have become and the risk of system theft and hack has grown exponentially over the years.

Truecrypt has proven itself as an extremely secure means of protecting your files offline with the varying options of military-grade encryption standards that it features. The program has, however, been discontinued for a while now but one of its last released version which is 7.1a has been proven to be secure enough for everyday usage.

But that doesn’t guarantee it to be continually functional in years to come which is why the devs behind Veracrypt took it upon themselves to continue with the development of the software but under another project and it has seen major improvements over the years to the extent where it’s now become a standalone project that has matured very well with its three years of existence now.

Veracrypt, however, is certainly not the only alternative to Truecrypt and there are a few others worth the try and Tomb is one such software that aims to replace former on your Linux system.

What does it bring to the table?

Tomb is an entirely open source software especially meant for GNU/Linux systems and developed by Dyne . The software is quite mainstream and follows a similar concept as earlier mentioned alternatives. Encrypted “Tomb folders” (as they are so called) are protected with specific keyfiles that are further protected by a password as chosen by a user.

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Also according to Dyne’s website, “TrueCrypt makes use of statically linked libraries so that its code is hard to audit, plus is not considered free by operating system distributors because of liability reasons, see Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Gentoo, and Fedora“.

Which is basically stating a legit reason why you may want to switch from Truecrypt (or its immediate cousin which is Veracrypt) to their software.

How it works

Tomb is  basically a shell script and it’s especially meant to be used in the Linux terminal. The minimalistic software merely requires dependencies that are mostly bundled with the majority of Linux systems by default.

Given that it’s a script (with very few GUI components) meant to be used exclusively with the terminal, it comes to us as no surprise that it also bundles an extensive manpage documentation that will help guide you with the usage of the little program.

Tomb’s Manpage

Furthermore, Tomb does feature more than a few benefits that include varying use cases as well the ability to store your keyfiles in different locations including a different system, by means of steganography (hiding your gpg key in a jpg), your smartphone, on a remote server, as elaborated here .

Tomb does require root privileges and the following terminal entries (as seen on their website) shows a typical example of how you can create a “Tomb” in your Linux system.

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“To create a 100MB tomb called “secret” do:

$ tomb dig -s 100 secret.tomb$ tomb forge secret.tomb.key$ tomb lock secret.tomb -k secret.tomb.key

To open it, do

$ tomb open secret.tomb -k secret.tomb.key

and after you are done

$ tomb close

or if you are in a hurry

$ tomb slam all

Linux Action Show also offers an in-depth review of the software that covers its use and application if you have approx. 22mins to spare.

Installing Tomb

Tomb is pretty basic and easy to setup. Simply download the Tomb tar.gz archive here  after which you’d proceed with decompression. Once done, and you’re sure you’ve satisfied the following dependencies, “cd” into the directory where you extracted the comtents on the compressed Tomb archive;

  • zsh
  • sudo
  • gnupg
  • cryptsetup
  • pinentry-curses (and/or -gtk-2, -x11, -qt)
$ cd Tomb(insert version number)$ sudo make install

Once you’re done with the installation, you can refer to the following below on how to proceed with the program or just visit this GitHub link for more usage and installation instruction.

$ tomb -h (print a short help on the commandline)$ man tomb (show the full usage manual)

In conclusion, you can always learn more from their official website and even have a look at Tomber which is a wrapper for Tomb.

Thanks to Nanohard for the tip.

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Ubuntu Bash on Windows 10 overview (setup, shortcomings, making it better and verdict)

In an effort to make Windows a great platform for developers to build impressive applications, websites and services for all platforms and devices, Microsoft teamed up up with Canonical to build a Windows Subsystem for Linux(WSL), to enable Windows users run a genuine Ubuntu user-mode image on Windows, and this has come with the running of native Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.
Many Windows developers welcomed the idea by making several requests for open-source tools to be availed for use on Windows, therefore several improvements were made to Windows cmd, multiple command-line tools, PowerShell and other developer scenarios.

But the one improvement that took the Technology world by surprise was the execution of native Bash on Ubuntu on Windows without the need of the Linux kernel, this means that Windows users running the latest version of Windows can now execute Linux command-line utilities such as apt-get, grep, awk, sed plus many more, run Bash scripts, and also try out Linux-first tools such as Python, Git, Ruby and many more.

A lot has been talked about Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, but here we shall have a shift of focus, and importantly starting with how to setup Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, then proceed to looking at some shortcomings of the whole project, how it can be improved for better developer experience and also look at a final verdict and future expectations.

How To Setup Bash on Ubuntu on Window 10

Having looked at how Bash on Ubuntu on Windows really came about, let us dive into how you can setup Ubuntu bash on Windows in these simple steps below:


  • 64-bit version of Windows 10
  • At least Windows 10 build 14316
  • Enroll for Windows Insider program from here
Step 1

If your system meets all the requirements above, you should be good to go, open system Settings and go to Update & Security->For Developers. Then activate “Developers Mode”

Activate Developer Mode

Step 2

Open your system Control Panel, then click on Programs, under Programs and Features, click Turn Windows features on or off, you should be able to see the interface below. Then enable “Windows Subsystem for Linux(Beta)” option by checking the small box and finally click “OK”

Enable Windows Subsystem For Linux

You will be prompted to restart your machine, simply click on “Restart Now” to restart so that the new feature will be installed.

Restart Machine

Step 3

Next, after your machine has restarted, login and in the search bar, simply type “bash” and hit the [Enter] button. This will execute the bash.exe file, to download and install “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows”, you will be prompted to accept Terms of Service as in the interface below:

Seach For Bash.exe

Download and Install Bash On Ubuntu On Windows

That is it, you should be able to have complete Bash on Ubuntu on Windows and run common Linux tools natively on Windows.

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When you open it, you will drop direct to a root shell therefore you do not need to use sudo utility to run root user commands.

Shortcomings of Ubuntu Bash On Windows

For experienced bash users, there are a lot of expectations with the coming of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, not all the features and functionalities will be the same as in Ubuntu Linux. There have already been several demands for functionalities that users would expect to be available in Bash on Ubuntu on Windows. We shall take a look at a few of the most important, you can view a full list from here .

One of the main shortcomings of the Windows Subsystem for Linux is that it is not open-source as of now, but probably in future releases, making it open-source may be a possibility. Another problem is that users can not control the Windows side system in conjunction with launching Windows processes directly from Bash, which could be a major set back for users who prefer to control system processes from the command-line.
Further more, accessing USB devices directly from bash is also not possible as requested by many users, these are few problems users are bound to face, but since the technology is new, we expect many future changes and improvements. So keep your fingers crossed and watch what happens as it advances on the Windows platform.

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How It Could Be Better

With Bash on Ubuntu on Windows being a new idea on the Windows platform, there are several expectations from developers, and also a lot of developers are anticipated to shift to coding on Windows since the amazing features of Bash are now on Windows.

But how can the whole project be made better and interesting for developers? One important thing for Microsoft to do is to highly consider user suggestions as in this wants, requests and ideas provided by different users and developers. Since the whole idea is to boost and improve developer experience, then putting all those views into consideration would make the project a lot more awesome.


There has already been a lot of argument about whether this is good for Linux especially on Desktop Linux, but it is obviously going to bring a lot of open-source users and developers to Windows. The use of Linux on desktop has been lagging behind Windows and Mac OSX, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux project could yet be another big blow for the “year of Desktop Linux”.

But above all, it will help in promoting the open-source world to Windows users, may be this will mean a positive shift in use open-source tools specifically among new users under the Windows umbrella, which by the way is already is happening and is foreseen to grow in the future.
As a last thought, many developers will definitely move to Windows to try out this new project which could act as a savior for Windows since of late there has been a turn of event, with many users seeking open-source development solutions.

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Flatpak, Appimage And Snap – How Do They Stack?

For many of us who actually started our Linux journey by using Ubuntu Linux, which by statistics is the most popular and most used Linux distribution at the moment, got familiar with downloading, installing and using .deb package format for Debian Linux, on which Ubuntu is based plus many other Linux distributions such as popular penetration testing operating system Kali Linux , gaming focused SteamOS , desktop-oriented distribution developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation for a family of low-power single-board small computers among others.
As a new Linux user, one will realize the vast number of distributions available with multiple versions and more so the pain of working with different software packaging formats and handling dependencies at the same time.

But in the latest release of Ubuntu Linux, Xenial Xerus LTS, Canonical introduced a new software packing format and tools called Snap, which will be used along side .deb packing format. In an announcement early this year, made by Canonical’s Olli Ries, he elaborated how the technology behind Snaps actually came about, how it will exist and work alongside the old Debian software packing system, its significance and general functionality plus so much more.

There are also other new software packing systems already working to battle Snap in the game, and these are Flatpak and AppImage , we are going to get a clear understanding of what these technologies are, how they work and where they literally stack in the Linux ecosystem.

What is Snap and How does it work?

This is a software packing format that bundles software including its dependencies into a single package, it is installed in a separate directory from other system directories unlike other old software packing formats such as .deb, .rpm plus many others. In this way, a package does not cause a clutter on your system reducing the risk of breaking the rest of your Linux system.

You can take a look at how Debian Packaging System and RMP Packing System work to understand how they distinctively work in comparison to Snap.
One advantageous property of Snap to users is that it works on multiple Linux distributions including Debian, Fedora, Arch of course Ubuntu and many of its derivatives such as Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE plus many others in that family. Users of REHL, CentOS, Elemetay OS, Linux Mint, Gentoo, OpenSUSE will have to wait as validation is on going and once approved, they will be able to use it.
It also offers a secure package management mechanism as the installed packages will work in an isolated system on Linux, this limits the security risks that come with other software packing systems.

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While on the developers’ side, the whole idea of Snaps is also complemented by the use of Snapcraft , which enables developers to easily work on software for different platforms that is mobile, PC, server and IoT devices by helping them bundle software and dependencies into a single package. This will do away with difficulties in the packing process plus handling of the updates by users as compared to the past methods.

What is AppImage and How does it work?

This is also a software packing format that works in its own fashion as compared to the traditional software packing systems. It works in a comparable analogy to Snap, under it, an application is bundled together with all its dependencies in a single file, hence the idea of one app equals to one file.

It is so simple and fast to use AppImage format applications, there is no need to install applications as before, all you need to do is download the application, make it executable and run it, as simply as that. As is with Snap, the rest of your system remains unchanged and this also offers a great security enforcement mechanism on a user’s system.
AppImages can fundamentally and importantly run on any desktop Linux distribution there is and it therefore works closely in relation to how applications are used on Windows and Mac OS, one can think of AppImgaes as portable Linux apps.

Also read: OrbitalApps’ Portable Linux Apps for Ubuntu 16.04

One limitation of this software packing system is that it works efficiently on desktop Linux, but System Administrators using desktop environments on their servers may take advantage of it as well.
Checkout how to bundle your applications into AppImages from this Wiki

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What is Flatpak and How does it work?

Flatpak is also a relatively new technology built from scratch, to enable users to install and run the same desktop application on multiple Linux distribution and with different versions. Designed and built to isolate applications from each other and the rest of the system, it also puts a lot of emphasis on security implementation in a host system.

It also functions in a related approach to two previous software packing formats, the application is packaged together with all its dependencies into a single bundle, underneath a Flatpak application is a collection of runtimes, a collection of shared libraries which are shared by multiple apps on the Linux system. This means that users do not need to worry about updates in relation to distribution version changes.
You can learn how to create, install and run Flatpak apps from here .

After a critical analysis and understanding the above technologies, you will come to a realization of the following important points:

  • The main goal is to develop distribution independent applications formats.
  • They all focus on isolation of the working of applications from each other and from the rest of the system.
  • Their implementation focuses greatly on providing mechanism to improve security of a users system in relation to how traditional systems actually alter the system upon installation.
  • These technologies are all about making it easy for users to install and update applications.
  • And lastly, they help reduce the workload on developers in terms of developing applications for different distributions.

In conclusion,

With Ubuntu’s Snap software packing format already being used on many Linux distributions, one may say it is bound to be embraced as an efficient and relevant alternative to the old packaging formats, as many Linux software developers and user anticipating it to become the dominant technology in the future on the Linux ecosystem. One limitation for AppImage and Flatpak will be their significance on only desktop Linux distributions.

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The Long Awaited Fedora 24 has been released!

After postponing its release for several times just to fix bugs plus many other issues of concern, today, developers of Fedora Linux distribution have finally released  Fedora 24. As announced by Matthew Miller, the Fedora project leader on the Fedora magazine website, he had this to say:

The Fedora Project has embarked on a great journey… redefining what an operating system should be for users and developers. Such innovation does not come overnight, and Fedora 24 is one big step on the road to the next generation of Linux distributions. But that does not mean that Fedora 24 is some “interim” release; there are great new features for Fedora users to deploy in their production environments right now!

As anticipated, there are several changes and improvements in Fedora 24 under workstation, server, cloud, spins and labs and ARM. More information is provided in the announcement, therefore read it for details about the new features and improvements plus so much more.

But this being a general release, many users are expected to get bugs or even missing features but to download it, i will provide some download links for workstation, server and cloud below:

Workstation: Download Fedora 24 Linux Workstation
Server: Download Fedora 24 Linux Server
Cloud: Download Fedora 24 Linux Cloud

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Are you a Fedora fan, then it is time for you to download now and try the latest edition of Fedora, and share your experience with other users and the Fedora developers in case you encounter any bugs or missing features.

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Support UBports’s Ongoing Work in Porting Ubuntu Touch to Android Flagships on Patreon

The arrival of Ubuntu Touch has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing for the obvious reasons of the fact that you can now own a single smart device for all your basic computing needs especially given that Convergence is the biggest deal about Ubuntu’s mobile operating system.

I otherwise see it as a curse due to it’s limited availability on devices of today which is entirely understandable given that it’s still very new and of course in its early stages.

However, this “limited availabilty” may not necessarily be a big deal in the foreseable future given that a developer by the name Marius Gripsgard is actively working on porting the open source operating system to a number of flagship Android devices – that date as far back as the original LG-made Google Nexus 5 with the latest on his list being the recently released OnePlus 3.

Marius’s work on porting the operating system has been ongoing for some months now and has shown trememdous progress – and well, this is so much of a feat for a single developer to achieve all by himself.

UBports however, needs to be encouraged in order to effectively continue their work on porting Ubuntu Touch on this range of dev-friendly Android devices that include the Nexus 5, 5x, 6, 9, Fairphone 2, OnePlus 1, 2, X and 3.

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Marius is asking all Ubuntu enthusiasts and Linux lovers alike to open warm hands towards the project and support him on Patreon so he may work on porting the operating system to the range of devices listed above.

As at the time of this writng, UBports has received a total of 11 Patrons who have pledged $42; – we admonish you to join the band of Patrons to support Marius’s effort so that Ubuntu Touch won’t just be limited to devices that run it officially.

Marius also promises ongoing software support for the aforementioned smartphones (should he received the requested support) – and (hopefully) also grow the list of supported devices.

Conclusively, you can watch the video below to hear from Marius Gripsgard himself and if you’ve got some development skills, UBports can sure use more hands to speed up development; so please, do not hesitate to join!

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GoSync is a Nifty GUI Google Drive Client Written in Python For Linux Systems

It is no longer a thing of news that Google is yet to release an official drive client for Linux as they’ve done with competing platforms. This, however, hasn’t stopped the Linux community from creating both open source and proprietary softwares that would allow you access Google Drive from your Linux system.

The options available are however somewhat cumbersome and incomplete (if i was to put it that) and mostly have a steep learning curve.

Insync which is a paid software has managed to close this gap by providing a much more user-friendly software that works right out of the box but comes at a rather hefty price of $25 which is its biggest giveaway.

While there are a number of other free options like Google-drive-ocamlfuse, Reclone and Drive, they sadly still have their shortcomings.

GoSync is a rather new GUI-enabled Google Drive client for Linux written in Python and released under the GNU General Public License 2. The application is pretty much still in beta and with the most recent release at version 0.4 .

GoSync is singularly developed by Himanshu Chauhan and he has closely worked with me in writing this article.

GoSync UI

GoSync UI 2

GoSync UI 3

Installing GoSync

GoSync is quite as easy as you might have imagined given that it solely depends on Python and a few others as listed below with the hardest being getting your “client_secrets.json” file.

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Installation instructions are only provided for Ubuntu and derivatives and CentOS; other distributions will have to clone the repo or download the zip archive.

  • python (version >= 2.7. Version 3 not tested yet)
  • wxPython (version >= 2.8)
  • python-googleapi
  • pip
  • watchdog (to be installed from pip)
  • PyDrive (to be installed from pip)

Install in Ubuntu and derivatives

You can basically “sudo apt” your way through via the terminal for the first three dependencies while the rest will be installed alongside GoSync via pip – all of which should be available in your standard repo.

$ sudo apt install python$ sudo apt install python-wxgtk2.8$ sudo apt install python-googleapi$ sudo apt install python-pip

Installing GoSync and the remaining dependencies

$ sudo pip install GoSync

Install in CentOS

$ yum install -y python2.7$ yum install -y python-wxgtk2.8$ yum install -y python-googleapi$ yum install -y pip

Once installed, you’ll need to get your specific “client_secrets.json” and the steps are elaborated in pdf attached to the link below.

Authentication Token Generation for Google API

Having downloaded your “client_secrets.json” file, you’ll then copy it to your <your home directory>/.gosync, after which you may now run the program from the terminal by entering “gosync”.

There is still quite a few core features missing – like file modification and inability to sync files in the local directory to Google Drive – in GoSync as Himanshu only works on it in his free time.

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However, there are plans on implementing these aforementioned features in future updates. Also, the dev encourages third party contributions as well as bug reports, so if you’ve got coding skills or you’d like to report issues, you can look up his GitHub to inspect his work on GoSync.

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Ubuntu’s convergence and Microsoft’s continuum… How do they differ?

Computers are very powerful machines and they have become part of our everyday life in one way or the other, we use them to accomplish different tasks. In recent years, there has been amazing advancements in computer technology, many sophisticated computing devices such as smart phones, and tablets have come up and they work with great computing and processing power to match some desktop computers and laptops.

This has made it much easier for users to accomplish certain day to day tasks that would require a laptop or desktop computer with just these small, easy to carry mobile devices. One of the main problems with using multiple computing devices is that users’ data is always disbanded many times due to lack of proper organization or uniformity in processing formats and many more.

And this is where the ideas of device convergence comes in, most times, users prefer to carry mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets or touch pads, but one factor limiting their use is display.

Therefore companies such as Canonical and Microsoft, plus many others in the industry have taken burden of developing operating systems that can work on both PCs and mobile devices to achieve device convergence. In order to understand the idea broadly, let us look at Ubuntu’s convergence and Microsoft’s continuum in terms of how they work.

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What is Ubuntu’s convergence

The concept of Ubuntu convergence started with Unity 8, which is the the user interface and display scheme for Ubuntu Linux. It enables apps to run on all Ubuntu devices using the same underlying codebase to support a standard framework for developing apps and services.

With Ubuntu phones already in the market, many Ubuntu users can now get a desktop interface of the popular Linux distribution on their smart phones, users can now have smartphones which works as a PC with a mobile-optimized version of Ubuntu desktop.

The main idea is to bring Ubuntu PC experience on a smartphone, meaning that everything on PC is made available to a smartphone user and these include effortless multitasking, windows management, full version of desktop apps and thin clients support to enable mobility and productivity, file browsing, integrated services with desktop notifications, absolute system control plus many more desktop features and functionalities.

You can read this overview , to get a detailed explanation from the Ubuntu website.

Ubuntu Phone Connected To A Monitor

What is Microsoft’s continuum

When Microsoft released Windows 10 with an aim of to bring alive the dream of devices convergence, as with Ubuntu’s Unity 8, Microsoft introduced what is know as Universal Windows Platform(UWP), here is an overview of UWP.

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UWP is a requirement for device convergence infrastructure on the Windows platform, and under it, programmers can develop apps once, which work on both mobile devices and PCs. When mobile Windows devices are connected to a larger display like a monitor through a docker or bluetooth, the interface of apps scales to fit the situation.

The main concept in Windows 10 is that, it adjusts your user experience to fit the activity, device and display you are using, with such simple design, users can achieve device convergence similar to Ubuntu’s convergence, there can find more from Microsoft website and also from here .

Microsoft Lumia 950 Connected To A Monitor

In conclusion,

As many people today use up to three common types of devices to connect to the Internet, process data and handle information, that is PCs, smartphones and tablets or touch pads, the whole idea of multiple devices convergence makes working easy and straight forward. There are other major companies also investing in device convergence solutions including Motorola, though Canonical and Microsoft are known to be spear heading bringing to light this technology.

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Arc-Theme-Red is a Variation of the Popular Arc Theme For Linux Desktops

Customization options for Linux in regards the looks and feel of the GUI of your system do very well come in an extensive variety for the several desktop environments available to the platform. Most of these DE’s are however based on GNOME which in essence means that whatever works for the parent DE should mostly work for its derivatives.

You’re probably well accustomed with the popular GNOME Arc theme by  Horst3180  – which is a flat theme for GTK 2 and 3 based DE’s available in three variants.

Arc-Theme-Red is essentially a Red variation forked from Horst3180’s Arc theme and specially tailored for Lenovo Thinkpads – to suit their black/gray and red exterior – however, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it with whatever system you own.

The theme basically features the same characteristics of the Arc theme it’s based on with transparent elements and support for the most common desktop environments like Gnome, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, XFCE, and Mate.

The theme is also available in variants of Arc-Red, Arc-Red-Dark, and Arc-Red-Darker. The main requirements of the theme are as listed below followed by the main distributions that already have them preinstalled (as seen on their GitHub page ).




  • Gnome/GTK 3.14, 3.16, 3.18 or 3.20
  • The gnome-themes-standard package
  • The murrine engine. This has different names depending on your distro.
  • gtk-engine-murrine (Arch Linux)
  • gtk2-engines-murrine (Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS)
  • gtk-murrine-engine (Fedora)
  • gtk2-engine-murrine (openSUSE)
  • gtk-engines-murrine (Gentoo)
  Vimix – A Flat Material Design GTK Theme for Linux

Compatible and tested distros

  • Arch Linux and Arch Linux based distros
  • Ubuntu 15.04, 15.10 and 16.04 (Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 are not supported)
  • elementary OS Freya
  • Debian 8, Testing or Unstable
  • Gentoo
  • Fedora 21 – 24
  • openSUSE 13.2, Leap 42.1 and Tumbleweed

Installing Arc-theme-Red

You can basiccally clone the latest version from git after which you’d subsequenly enter the follow up commands for installation.

$ git clone --depth 1 && cd arc-theme$ ./ --prefix=/usr$ sudo make install

Once installed, you’d need the GNOME Tweak Tool (which should be available in the standard repo of your system) or any other tweak tool of your choice (so far it works with GNOME) to make the necessary theme change.

In case you need to uninstall the theme, you can use the following commands down below.

$ sudo make uninstall%%content%%nbsp;sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}

There’s even more configuration options some of which are specific to some applications like the Ubuntu Software Center, Chromium, Plank, and Firefox  of which you can find instructions and more info on the theme  here .


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