Dec 28, 2013

Now you can dual boot Ubuntu touch and Android

Canonical has provided Ubuntu Dual Boot Installer as a tech preview for developers who intend to run both Android and Ubuntu touch on a single device. As of now only Nexus 4 device is supported. The requirements to dual boot include 2.7 GB of disk space and Android 4.2 or higher. However, as this is a developer release only people who are comfortable in changing the partition layout should use use the dual boot. Also, it is cautioned that the the dual boot will erase the android recovery partition.

Dec 1, 2013

Ubuntu touch emulator released

Canonical has released the experimental version of the Ubuntu touch emulator. This will help developers in developing and testing the apps that will run on Ubuntu smart phones. The user interface of the this emulator is similar to the Android emulator. So people having android background will not have tough time understanding the emulator.

If you'd like to try the emulator, this wiki link has instructions on how to install the emulator. As this is an external release, it's recommended to be cautious because the the system may break due to dependency issues.

Oct 26, 2013

Gnome-shell 3 theme tutorial (part 3)

In this tutorial we'll learn how to make changes to the calender. If you're new to gnome-shell themes please refer the part1 and part2 of this tutorial series.

The default calender looks like:

Lets us start by changing the date heading color. So, first identify the following code in the theme file.

.datemenu-date-label {
padding: .4em 1.75em;
color: #cccccc;
font-weight: bold;

Change the color property to #8B6914.
Save the changes, press Alt+F2, type 'r' and hit enter to reload the theme.

The date color will change as shown below.

Next, we highlight the current day in yellow. For this, look for following piece of code:

.calendar-today {
background-image: url("calendar-today.svg");
text-shadow: black 0px 2px 2px;
color: #ffffff;
font-weight: bold

Change the color property to #FFFF00. Save the changes and reload the theme.

Now, lets do some more tweaks. The default theme has grid in the calander where each day is placed inside a small square box. We'll improve the asthetics by removing the small squares. For this look for the below code in the .css file:

.calendar-day {
border: 1px solid #333333;
color: #888888;
border-top-width: 0;
border-left-width: 0;

The property border border: 1px solid #333333 is will enclose each day in small squares. Remove this property and reload the theme. Now the calender will be as shown below.

Sep 21, 2013

IBM to invest $1 billion on Linux and related open source technologies

Tech giant IBM has announced that it would invest a whopping $1 billion on Linux and other open source technologies to boost it's server systems. IBM has been a long standing proponent of Linux along with Google. Earlier in June this year, IBM has launched the powerLinux server to handle Big data and Analytics.

Moreover, Linux has been certified on all IBM systems.

“We continue to take share in Unix, but it’s just not growing as fast as Linux,” says Brad McCredie, an IBM vice president of Power development.

This move will give a significant boost go the growth of Linux and open source technologies.

Sep 17, 2013

New Bodhi Linux released with new schedule

The new version of Bodhi Linux has been released with a new schedule that will receive three yearly updates starting immediately instead of the previous four and users can expect releases in January, June, and September now.

Bodhi Linux is available for both 32 and 64 bit versions. The direct download is available for download at

This release features the E17.4 desktop, version 0.5.5 of the Midori webrowser and the 3.8 Linux kernel. As always - our default theme selection is shaken up.

Jun 21, 2013

Canonical announces Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) for Ubuntu Mobile

Canonical has announced the Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) for Ubuntu Mobile which will shape the future of the Ubuntu on mobiles. CAG members will have early access to information about Ubuntu and device manufacturer plans to support the OS, as well as the opportunity to be a launch partner for Ubuntu on smartphones.

The founders members of the CAG are as follows:
Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier. CAG is chaired by David wood who has 25 years of experience in mobile industry.

Commenting on this move, Wood said, “The mobile industry remains on the lookout for an independent platform that enables innovation and differentiation. Ubuntu brings a time-tested operating system and an attractive user experience, as well as a community of developers ready to apply enterprise-grade skills in the creation of applications. The Carrier Advisory Group will have ample opportunity to influence the Ubuntu roadmap, and take full advantage of the potential in this emerging platform."

Apr 26, 2013

Swype keyboard is now out of beta, available on playstore for $0.99

Swype a keyboard app for mobiles, developed by Naunce, the company which as earlier developed the t9 dictionary for mobiles is finally out of the beta tag and is available for download from the playstore for $0.99

The beta version was released way back in March 2010. Nearly 3 years later, the app is out of beta stage.
Swype allows users to use swipe across the keyboard to type out words, instead of individually pressing each letter. Swype technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods at over 40 words per minute.

Swype supports about 60 languages and 20 dialects. The SWYPE Living Language crowd-sources and updates your dictionary with the latest trending words. Basically all the words and phrases that are ‘in’ will be stored in your phone’s dictionary. It also has an additional dialect supplement for your preferred language.
Dragon dictation lets users to convert voice to text so that user can be hands free.
Swype is available for android, Symbian, MeeGo and windows 7

to know more about Swype and to download, visit

Mar 29, 2013

Enterprises increase Linux adoption

The adoption of Linux in enterprises will witness a significant growth says a report by The Linux Foundation. 2013 Enterprise End User Report produced by The Linux Foundation in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group reveals that the growth of enterprise Linux will outpace windows.

Enterprise organizations identify Linux as the dominant platform for cloud computing with nearly 76 percent using Linux servers for cloud and 74 percent planning to maintain or increase Linux use for future cloud initiatives. In the area of new applications, services and greenfield deployments, more than 75 percent of organizations report deploying Linux in the last two years.

The findings are a result of a global survey conducted with members of The Linux Foundation’s End User Council as well as other companies and organizations with sales of more than $500 million and/or 500+ employees. The survey is intended to provide important guidance for Linux users, vendors and developers rather than provide an assessment of the overall penetration of Linux in the market.

more information available at:

Feb 7, 2013

Gnome-shell theme tutorial (part2)

In the previous tutorial we have learned about the basics of the gnome-shell theme. In this tutorial lets us learn some more tweaks. First we'll start by changing the popup background color.

change the popup background color

The popup in a gnome-shell is the box you get when you click on calendar, sound icon, network icon and user name in panel. To change the background color of the the popup items, look for this section of the code in the mytheme css file that we have worked on in our previous tutorial.

/* PopupMenu */

.popup-menu-boxpointer {
-arrow-border-radius: 8px;
-arrow-background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.9)
-arrow-border-width: 2px;
-arrow-border-color: #a5a5a5;
-arrow-base: 24px;
-arrow-rise: 11px;

Now to change the background color of the popup change -arrow-background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.9); to #f5f3f0; and save the file. press Alt+F2 and in the run dialog type r and hit enter to restart the theme.

click on the calender, username, sound, network icon to see the new background color.

change the user menu items/popup menu items

Lets tweak further and make some changes to the default user menu items . The first pic shows the default user menu that appears when you click on the user name at the top right of the panel. First lets starts with the user name. In the default theme the user name is in white. To change this to look like the color in the second pic, look for this section of code.

.status-chooser-user-name {
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 1.3em;
min-width: 120pt;

add the line color: #ba1a81; to make it look it like this

.status-chooser-user-name {
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 1.3em;
min-width: 120pt;
color: #ba1a81;

This will turn the color of the user name to the color shown in pic 2

Restart the gnome-shell by pressing Alt+F2 and typing 'r' without quotes in the dialog box and hit enter. Remember to restart the gnome-shell every time you make changes to the theme.

popup menu color

The default color is white and let us change this to the color like in second pic.

for this look for this section of code in the mytheme css file.

.popup-menu {
min-width: 200px;

add the line color: #3a3f77; to make this look like this:

.popup-menu {
min-width: 200px;
color: #3a3f77;

and restart the gnome-shell. and click on the username to the changes

Change the background color of the active menu item.

Now lets us change the background color of the active menu item. In the default theme, the background color of the active menu item is gray. we'll change this to the color in the pic 2.

To do this look for this piece of code:

.popup-menu-item:active {
background-color: #c5ac87;

and add the line background-color: #c5ac87; and if you want to the current item to be in bold add this statement font-weight: bold; to make it look like this:

.popup-menu-item:active {
background-color: #c5ac87;
font-weight: bold;

Now restart the gnome-shell and click on the user name and hove the mouse of the user menu item to see the changes.

Catch you in the next tutorial with more hacks.. :) :)

Feb 4, 2013

Gnome-shell theme tutorial (part1)

Previously I wrote a small article on getting started with cinnamon theme. Cinnamon is a desktop environment used in Linux mint OS. Cinnamon desktop is a fork of gnome 3. Linux mint people have tweaked gnome 3 shell and made cinnamon desktop environment. Since cinnamon is based on gnome 3, if you know how to create a gnome shell theme you can easily create a cinnamon theme and vice-versa.

As gnome 3 is widely used desktop environment and very popular, I decided to write an article on Gnome 3 shell theme so that it can be useful to both cinnamon and gnome 3 shell theme designers.

To find the version of Gnome-shell on your Linux box type the following command in a terminal:
gnome-shell --version
This will print the version as follows depending on the version
GNOME Shell 3.4.1

The gnome 3 comes with a default shell theme activated. This theme can be found at the location /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme 

As you can see in the pic above the theme comprises some svg, png images and the gnome-shell.css file. We can create a good looking themes by just editing these svg, png images and gnome-shell.css file. As the theme is mainly made up of images and the css file. These tools may be help you to speed up the design.

GIMP---image manipulation program
cssd---advanced CSS editor
inkspace-- advanced scaled vector graphics editor to create and edit svg images
geany-- A light weight Integrated development environment (IDE)

These packages are available for all  major Linux distributions

If we want to add and load our own themes, we must first install the gnome-tweak tool. check your distribution's package manager for gnome-tweak tool and install gnome-tweak tool.

After this we need to install the gnome user theme extension that allows to install the themes from the user directory. For this just visit the website on firefox browser  and slide the button to on position  This will show you a dialog to install. click on install.

Now open the advanced settings applet from the settings menu and enable the user themes extension.

Now we are ready to make our own theme. First we'll copy the default theme and tweak it to create our own theme.

The user themes are installed in /home/USERNAME/.themes directory. The .themes directory is hidden by default in the home directory. Press Ctrl+H to view the .themes directory.
Now open the .themes directory and:
1) create a new directory with the name mytheme. This my is the unique identifier for your theme.
2) open the mytheme directory and create another directory and name it as gnome-shell
3) copy the contents of the default theme from /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme to the gnome-shell directory created in step 2

Now the default theme is copied which will serve as a template. Now the mytheme directory structure look like this:
/home/USERNAME/.themes/mytheme/gnome-shell where USERNAME is the user directory on the system.

The gnome-shell directory will contain all the png,svg and css which form the gnome-shell theme. Now open the advanced settings applet select the the shell theme as mytheme

In case if the advanced settings applet didn't open and freezes as happned on my Ubuntu 12.04, refer this post

Now navigate to /home/USERNAME/.themes/mytheme/gnome-shell and open the gnome-shell.css file with your favorite text editor. The file is neatly coded and well documented.

First we'll edit the top panel background color. To do this search for this block of code

/* Panel */

#panel {

background-color: black;
font-weight: bold;
height: 1.86em;

 To change the panel's background color, replace the background-color: black with background-color: #a52a2a and save the file.

Press Alt+F2 and in the dialog that opens type 'r' without quotes and hit enter to restart the shell. The shell will restart with the new panel background.

Hope you enjoyed this hack. :) :)

Jan 25, 2013

Canonical invites designers for creating default Ubuntu Phone Apps

Canonical which recently announced the Ubuntu phone is inviting the community to build default core set of apps for the Ubuntu phone. Interested Designers and developers can visit and click on the default apps to get started. Canonical has taken Ubuntu Phone as the most important project which can compete with Apple and Android. Though a late entrant into the mobile sector, the Ubuntu community is optimistic about the success of Ubuntu phone. 

The most important feature of Ubuntu phone is that it works on native apps and HTML5.  HTML5 is going to define the future of the web so ubuntu phone has chose HTML5 for web. The apps development is done using the native coding, which is c and c++ because the native apps directly run on the hardware unlike the android apps or java programs which run on a virtual machine. Android apps and java apps which run on virtual machines cannot make better utilization of the underlying hardware resources. Native apps have the upper hand when it comes to the efficient utilization of the hardware resources like graphics. 

Another important feature is the convergence  The apps can run of desktop, laptop, Ubuntu phone. So where ever you go or what ever device you may be using, you always have your data, apps with you. 

For more information on ubuntu phone visit or watch the below video by the founder of canonical.