Category Archives: Ubuntu

GNOME Sudoku : A desktop Sudoku puzzle game app for Ubuntu

I guess, you’ve heard of sudoku before or have solved any sudoku puzzle at some point of time in your life. Sudoku is one of the most popular number-puzzle game, which was originated in Japan. Probably, it’s the best tool to overcome boredom, specially, when you have nothing much around to do in your home, office or school. You can find Sudoku puzzles in your newspapers, magazines, websites (just Google it) and mobile app stores.

In sudoku puzzle, you are provided with incomplete 9×9 grid (9 rows & 9 columns). Your goal is to fill the empty grids with digits keeping in mind that each row, column and 3×3 section contains numbers only from 1 to 9 with each number used only once in each section.

GNOME Sudoku

For Ubuntu (Linux Mint) users like us, who wants to play sudoku puzzle on desktop can install an app called Gnome Sudoku. Gnome Sudoku is an open-source program and was written in Python.

Features

It’s lightweight, handy and has very simple interface. It comes with easy, medium, hard and very-hard difficulty levels which makes the Sudoku solving even more challenging. While solving the puzzle, the games are automatically saved so you don’t have to worry about saving them. It reloads the last unfinished game when you restart the application. Beside that, you can also create your own 9×9 sudoku puzzle and save the board into PDF file formats for printing.

sudoku

To install Gnome-Sudoku in Ubuntu system, open the terminal and run the following command :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-sudoku

 
When you’re done installation, go ahead and launch the app. Next, just select the difficulty level and start solving the puzzle. It’s not going to be easy every-time, just keep trying.

Note : It’s a guest post by Mr. Ambuj Kumar. You should also checkout his recent website http://anysudokusolver.com. It’s an online sudoku solver, And very handy when you are stuck.

Monitor your bandwidth usage with vnstat [Ubuntu/Linux]

vnstat is a simple command line utility for monitoring bandwidth usage in Ubuntu or any other Linux based distributions and BSD. It’s a very handy tool for keeping an eye on overall bandwidth usage on your system, especially if you’re accessing web over mobile network or you’re using ISP that reduces speed after a certain limit e.g 50 GB (FUP).

vnstat

Features

  • very lightweight and efficient (low cpu usage regardless of traffic)
  • simple and easy to use (no configuration required)
  • it can monitor multiple interfaces simultaneously
  • multiple output options (daily, monthly etc)

Installing vnstat in Ubuntu/Linux

It’s already there in official package repository, all you need to do is open a terminal and type :

sudo apt-get install vnstat

As you install vnstat, it will start monitoring your internet traffic (default interface : eth0). Simply type vnstat to get an overview of actual bandwidth usage and the estimated usage for next day or month. It will also display the interface(s) it’s monitoring.

vnstat

For all available options, type :

vnstat --help

Few commands you should know

  • vnstat -d : for daily stats
  • vnstat -w : for weekly stats
  • vnstat -m : for monthly stats
  • vnstat -l : for analyzing live traffic
  • vnstat -t : shows usage statistics for top 10 days

Getting started with Android Studio on Ubuntu/Linux (14.04 LTS)

Android Studio is the new development environment for Android (officially recommended). It’s based on IntelliJ IDEA (Integrated Development Environment from JetBRAINS).

android studio

You can still use Eclipse IDE though (however, it may not be supported once the Android Studio comes out of beta) but Android Studio brings lots of new features and improvements (Advanced Android code completion and refactoring, multiple APK generation, Maven based build dependencies etc), so lets set up Android Studio on Ubuntu/Linux. (tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (64 bit Intel Machine))

1. Install JDK 6 or later

First, install Oracle JDK 8 (although you could also choose OpenJDK but it has some UI/performance issues) using WebUpd8 PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-set-default

To make sure, it’s installed successfully, open a terminal and type (you should get the version number of the jdk you’ve installed e.g javac 1.8.0_11)

javac -version

2. Download and install Android Studio

Download the Android Studio package for Linux and extract it somewhere (e.g home directory).
Then type :

cd android-studio/bin
./studio.sh

3. Install SDK Platforms

You need to install some SDK before you jump into building android apps. Click on Configure -> SDK Manager to open Android SDK Manager. Select the latest API (to test against target build, e.g API 19 (Android 4.4.2)) and some packages in Extras (Android Support Library and Android Support Repository). Then install the selected packages.

That’s all. Now, the development environment is ready :-)
If you need some help then learn Android development at TreeHouse or checkout official docs.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Ubuntu 14.04 “Trust Tahr” is released and It’s time to upgrade.

Step 1. Backup

Backup all the important files/configs/ etc. The upgrades usually go smooth but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have backup ready, in case anything goes wrong.

Step 2. Disable proprietary drivers

Remove proprietary binary drivers for graphic cards (Nvidia/AMD) etc as the linux kernel version will change in 14.04, the older graphic drivers may not work. So, it’s better to uninstall them before upgrade and reinstall after upgrade. And reboot the system.

Step 3. Start Update manager

From Ubuntu 13.10, it should be available in update manager. Just type

sudo update-manager

and follow the upgrade instructions.

From Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, you need to provide -d option for force upgrade (until, it’s officially available in next few months (until 14.04.1), by July/Aug 2014) :

sudo update-manager -d

And you should see 14.04 available in update manager.

update manage ubuntu 14.04

Click on “upgrade” and follow the instruction. And of course, you should reinstall any proprietary drivers if removed earlier.

Note : If you don’t see the message “New Ubuntu Release ‘14.04’ is available”, then you may need to check settings and enable the option that says : notify me about new ubuntu version for long term support version.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is released!

Ubuntu 14.04 (code named as Trusty Tahr) is released.  It’s a LTS release, so, it will be supported for next 5 years (the earlier LTS edition (12.04) was released two years ago). If you move from LTS to LTS (as I do, for primary development environment), then it’s time to upgrade.

Download Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

What’s new in Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr” ?

In the latest Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop edition, the default desktop environment Unity has improved a lot. Now, you can easily change menu bar settings to windows title bar instead of top menu bar, It also supports  high DPI screens and text scaling as well, Improved screensaver and locked screen etc.

So, before switching to alternate desktop environment like Mate/Cinnamon or GNOME, you should give it another try. You may like it. Although, new version of GNOME (3.12) will also be available soon.

Here are some other changes/improvements in this new release.

  • Ships with Python 3 by default, although you can easily install python 2 from the package
  • Linux Kernel 3.13
  • Updates and new features for AppArmor
  • Newer version of Upstart (1.12.1)
  • Latest version of LibreOffice (4.2.3) with lots of new features
  • New Xorg display driver (15.0)

Read official release notes for more details and if you also want to know about the new features for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server edition.

Parallelly, other flavors of Ubuntu 14.04 are also available. So, if you don’t like the default desktop environment (Unity) in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, then check out these editions :