The New “Extras” Repository is now live in Maverick

The new Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat “Extras” repository is now live ( This repository will be holding new post-release applications.

This repository will not hold updated versions of the applications already in the Ubuntu repositories. It was built to hold completely new applications so users don’t have to wait for a new Ubuntu version to install an application which just came out (application, not new application version!).
That means the Ubuntu Extras repository doesn’t have any purpose until after the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat final release.
Ubuntu Software Center
The new “” repository was planned to be added to the default sources.list starting with Ubuntu Maverick Alpha 3 along with a prototype UI in the Ubuntu Software Center – so the new apps could are easily discoverable. The Ubuntu Software Center got the “What’s new” section, but the repository hasn’t yet been added to the default Ubuntu 10.10 sources, which means that the apps under “What’s new in the USC are not the ones in the Extras repo.
Besides the obvious advantage this brings to the end user: they get to install new applications without upgrading to newer Ubuntu versions and without using a PPA (and instead use an official, 100% safe repository), there’s also one other big advantage: the developers don’t have to release their applications in time for the Ubuntu development which could mean less bugs, more attention to details.
All the applications in the new Extras repository will be synced from a PPA (which you can add if you want to have these applications a bit sooner than the Extras repository).



Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta Has Been Released

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta has been released seconds ago.

There have been many changes and updates in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat since Alpha 3, so let’s take a look at what’s new – in both Desktop and Netbook editions. We’ve already posted most of these changes when the packages were updated in Maverick, but as always, we’ll take a closer look at what’s new with each alpha/beta release. Watch out, huge post ahead!

Ubuntu (Desktop edition) 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta


The Light Themes were updated and use more orange now. Also, Radiance has been modified to look more like Ambiance. The developers say these themes should not be seen as different themes but different flavours.
Here are screenshots with Ambiance and Radiance:


Ambiance Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat


Radiance Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat


In case you’re using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and want to install the new themes from Maverick, see the instructions at the bottom of THIS post.

Impression Ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat


The Community Themes package was also updated. Nothing big in the new version except the updated Impression and Night Impression (which you can see in the screenshot above) themes.
The Community Themes package is not installed by default but you can install it by searching for it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

The Humanity icons got an update but the changes are not very noticeable, the most significant changes being a new “home” icon and new back/forward/up icons:


Humanity icon theme ubuntu 10.10 screenshot
(New home, back/forward/up Humanity icons)

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta also comes with a new default wallpaper. This has been quite a controversial subject in the past week because a lot of users felt Ubuntu could do better:


Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper
(The new Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper)


However, it appears this will not be the final wallpaper for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. We’ll see…

With the new wallpaper also came beautiful new community wallpapers:

Ubuntu 10.10 community wallpapers


If you’re not using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat yet, you can download both the new default wallpaper and the community wallpapers from HERE.

Ubuntu 10.10 installer screenshot
(The new Ubuntu installer – main screen)


The Ubuntu Installer got a completely new design. But not only that – it can now install mp3 playback support so you can have that from your first Ubuntu login. Of course, you’ll be needing a working Internet connection for that. Here’s a screenshot:


ubuntu 10.10 screenshot installer

Another major change to the Ubuntu installer is that once you select the partition where you want to install Ubuntu, the formating and installation begins. So the installation takes place while you complete the rest of the process like selecting your location or entering your password thus the time required to install Ubuntu has decreased by simply changing the order installer steps order:


ubuntu 10.10 installer

The Sound menu, which will make its debut with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat was also updated:

– With the Ambiance theme:

Ubuntu 10.10 sound menu screenshot

– With the Radiance theme:

Ubuntu 10.10 sound menu screenshot

For comparison, here’s how it used to look:

old ubuntu 10.10 sound menu

For now, only Rhythmbox is working with the sound menu, but soon, Banshee and Amarok should also be supported.

Ubuntu Software Center got many changes to both the looks (a new background, colors and border for “Featured” and “What’s New”) and functionality:


Ubuntu Software Center 10.10

A new feature called “Where is it?” tells you where to find an application you’ve just installed (in the menu):


Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center Where Is It

Another new feature in Ubuntu Software Center called “Choose addons” displays the addons (if available) for an application when you try to install that application:


Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center addons

Starting with Ubuntu 10.10, there will also be an item you can purchase via Ubuntu Software Center, for testing purposes only:


USC purchase item

However, the buying process does not work for now.

And since users may want to reinstall the items they purchase, a a “Reinstall purchases” menu item has been added:


USC reinstall purchases menu item

(Shotwell photo manager)


F-Spot has been replaced as the default photo manager in Ubuntu 10.10 with Shotwell. Initially this change was planned for Ubuntu Netbook Edition only, but the feedback was encouraging so the Ubuntu devs decided to make it default for the Desktop too. The final decision for this was taken recently, on August 25.
Throughout all of these screenshots you can also spot the new Ubuntu font. The font is still available only in a private PPA so it’s not available in Maverick and the date for when it will be made available for everyone is not yet known. The font has got both the italics and bold versions recently so there are probably only bugs to be fixed.

Ubuntu multi touch

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat will also come with an amazing new feature: it will support Multi-Touch, even for the applications which do not support this by default. Check out these videos for a live demo.

And now something more technical: there will be no BTRFS support in Maverick – this has been postponed for Natty as there’s not enough time to complete all the remaining work for Maverick. BTRFS is a new copy on write file system for Linux aimed at implementing advanced features while focusing on fault tolerance, repair and easy administration.


Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta (the Unity interface)


Although this was pretty much known, Banshee has been confirmed as a default application in UNE only last week.
Unity got many visual changes as usual, such as a new home screen – this is the first thing you see when you click the Ubuntu logo:


Unity home screen screenshot ubuntu 10.10

The trash, applications and files items in the “dock” got pretty new icons:

unity une 10.10

Another change brings your USB keys/Cameras/CD-Drives to the Unity launcher (dock) so you can easily launch a file manager with their location or eject them:


Unity Ubuntu 10.10 eject drive screenshot

Maximized windows no longer have window decorations but once you unmaximize the applications, they get the window decorations back. Also, the buttons on the top panel have been updated to use the new Ambiance theme:


Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition


Note: if you’ve installed any of the alphas, you already have all the changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta.

Should I upgrade already?

And now some info on how stable Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Desktop / Netbook editions are.
I’ve been running Maverick Desktop for about 2 weeks now and even though there were some more serious bugs at first, they have been fixed. There is still a bug with the PPAs (see a fix HERE), you can’t manually install .debs (you must install them via command line) and some occasional GNOME panel applets crashes but that’s mostly all so Maverick (Desktop) is usable.
Now, about the Netbook Edition: well, here there’s a different story: a memory leak in the Appmenu is one of the nasty bugs – and even if you remove it, Unity is not usable at the moment: when switching between the Applications and Files, the computer freezes every ~30 seconds – at least for me. Also, I’ve experienced a lot of crashes using the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 so far. But please note that I’ve tested it using my Desktop computer and not a netbook. And a weird fact: Unity only worked for me after installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers.
This being said, the decision to start using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat beta is yours!

Download Ubuntu 10.10 Beta Desktop / Netbook edition (direct download links for the Desktop: 32bit | 64bit) or upgrade from an older version by pressing ALT + F2 and entering: “update-manager -d”.

Bittorrent files are also available:

Up next:

  • RC: 30 September
  • Ubuntu 10.10 final: October 10 (10.10.10).



Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3 Has Been Released

A few minutes ago, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the third and last Alpha release of the upcoming Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system, due for release in October 10th, 2010. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 10.10 development.

There aren’t too many changes since alpha 2 – at least visually. Most of the development – just like it was with alpha 2 – focused on Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Ubuntu Desktop got some improvements to the Sound Indicator, Ubuntu Software Center and that’s about it while Unity in Ubuntu Netbook Edition got some major changes, there’s a new Indicator DateTime and so on.

Une ubuntu 10.10

What’s new in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3? Well, you should know that the first version of long-awaited OneConf has been released and it is available in the default software repositories. OneConf can be easily installed via the Synaptic Package Manager and it will allow users to synchronize the applications installed on all of their Ubuntu desktop or laptop/netbook machines, via the Ubuntu One service. After the installation, OneConf can be found in the File menu of the Ubuntu Software Center application and it is entitled “Inventory on Ubuntu One.” Below you can see some screenshots of OneConf in action …

Review image
Review image
Review image

Moreover, the “What’s New” and “Featured” sections of the Ubuntu Software Center, introduced in the Alpha 2 release, were improved. Also introduced in the second Alpha version, there’s a History plugin that will keep an evidence of what packages you have installed, removed or updated…

Review image
Ubuntu Software Center 2.1.7 in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3

GNOME 2.31.6 is now the default desktop environment, and most of its components were updated to the latest development version. Mozilla Firefox was updated to version 3.6.8 and the Transmission BitTorrent client to version 2.03.

The kernel packages were updated to version 2.6.35-14.19, based on the final release of Linux kernel 2.6.35.

Last but not least, the highly anticipated Btrfs filesystem can now be safely used on new installations, via manual partitioning. Remember that you MUST create an EXT3 or EXT4 /boot partition first.

Shotwell is now the default photo management application in Ubuntu Netbook Edition.
On October 10th, 2010, Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) will become the thirteenth release of the Ubuntu operating system. See you again in exactly one month (September 2nd), for the first Beta version of the upcoming Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system.

The Maverick Meerkat Release Schedule:

June 3rd, 2010 – Alpha 1 release;

July 1st, 2010 – Alpha 2 release;

August 5th, 2010 – Alpha 3 release;

September 2nd, 2010 – Beta release;

September 30th, 2010 – Release Candidate;

October 10th, 2010 – Final release of Ubuntu 10.10.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2 Released

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2 Released

There are no changes to the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat artwork: no new Light Themes version, wallpaper, no new icons or anything like that – those usually come very late in the development cycle. But there are still some changes since Alpha 1 in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 worth mentioning. Read on!

So what’s new in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2?

Ubuntu Software Center

One of the most important changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 is a revamped design for the Ubuntu Software Center. Here is how the main USC pane now looks:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

As you can see in the above screenshot, the “Featured” category is now at the bottom and the applications are scrolled automatically. There’s also a “What’s new” category – empty for now -, which will hold the new applications which will be added to (a new repository which should be created soon).

The categories which include subcategories no longer have two panes:

ubuntu software center category ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshotsUbuntu Software Center also got microblogging sharing for applications:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

The History tab which Ubuntu Software Center got in Maverick Alpha 1 now also displays upgrades, not just installed applications:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

And finally, Ubuntu Software Center also got Launchpad Login integration which was initially enabled by default and later on has been removed and can only be accessed by running “software-center –enable-lp“:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshots

This feature does not work for now and is most probably for the applications review system as well as for the new software store which should arrive later in the Maverick development cycle.

The Sound Indicator

The sound indicator applet has finally started to take shape and it now looks like this:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshotsIt’s not finished, but it’s getting closer to how it’s supposed to look:

ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat sound indicator mockup

Aptitude removed from Desktop

aptitude removed ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat

Aptitude has been removed from Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat (Desktop only!) but you can install it via the official repositories. There’s been a great debate over this and it seems the main reason is the space Aptitude requires (it comes with a lot of dependencies) and also that it serves the same purpose as apt-get.

BTRFS testing

No screenshots here but this is definetly worth mentioning: BTRFS support has been added to the installed (using the alternate CD). In case you don’t know, BTRFS is a new filesystem which supports compression, snapshots and subvolumes (so you can install multiple operating systems on the same partition) among others.

You can’t boot from a BTRFS filesystem in Ubuntu 10.10 for now so you’ll need to create a separate /boot partition, but this should be solved soon.

EXT4 is still the default filesystem in Ubuntu 10.10 so far and it will probably stay this way as it’s still experimental.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat won’t run on processors below 686

As a bug on Launchpad points out, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat won’t run on processors below 686. But there’s no need to panic! Basically all processors now are 686, even netbooks!


Unclutter has been added to the ubuntu-meta package which means it will be installed by default. It’s an small application which makes the mouse disappear when using the keyboard and the mouse is inactive (I’m not sure but I think it’s 5 seconds by default) which is useful when typing and so on. This solves a 5 year old bug submitted by MPT.

However there are still a lot of issues with Unclutter such as when playing games, Unclutter causes the mouse to jump to the top left of the screen every second or two rendering menus unusable. But it’s just Alpha 2 so it will probably be tweaked.That’s all for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2. But there are some interesting changes in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat!

What’s new in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

All the development fun seems to have moved to the UNE which got important changes.

Application Menu

application menu ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat screenshot

The Application Menu comes by default in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 – integrated into the panel (which won’t support any kind of customization according to Mark Shuttleworth so you’ll only be able to use the default applets – nothing will happen when you’ll right click the Unity panel)

Alpha 2 but the default applications menu has not been removed since the Application Menu still has lots of bugs and is sometimes unusable.

Unity launcher / file browser

une unity launcher 10.10 maverick meerkat

Ubuntu Netbook Edition also got an update which brings a new launcher / file browser to Unity. The launcher is triggered by the Ubuntu logo in the top left corner which up until now was used for an Expose effect.

The Unity file browser uses Zeitgeist to group the files by the time they were last accessed and by file type:

unity une 10.10 filebrowser zeitgeist

As for the Windicators, there’s no news for now but hopefully we’ll be able to see them in action until Ubuntu 10.10 MM Alpha 3.Up next:

  • Alpha 3: August 5
  • Beta: September 2
  • RC: 30 September
  • Ubuntu 10.10: October 10

Download Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2

UbuntuTools – Common Ubuntu System Operations Made Easy

Ubuntu Tools was initially a script (more or less like our Ubuntu Start) which evolved into an application and can be used to perform a lot of operations which would require lots of clicks or the use of a terminal – all within the same application.

You can use Ubuntu Tools for very basic operations such as upgrade or clean the system:

ubuntu tools

to more advanced onces like editing the GRUB:

ubuntu tools advanced
The application also allows you to install some Nautilus scrips – of which some look really interesting such as a script to add repositories via right click in Nautilus (either by hand or right clicking a file):

The application can do a lot more – you can discover everything by installing it: simply download Ubuntu Tools via Gnome-Look, extract it, then right click on the “Installer”, select “Properties” and on the “Permissions” tab, check the “Allow executing file as program” box. Then double click the “Installer” file and select “Run”.

If you want to uninstall it, simply double click the “Installer” again, select “Run”, when it asks for an upgrade select “No” and the script will then ask you if you want to remove it.
And an advice: the Installer downloads and installs the application via a Dropbox account which is not exactly safe so make sure you check the Installer code and the code of any files it downloads before using it. Always do this before using a script!
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