During the transition period, when GNOME Shell and Unity were pretty rough around the edges and slow to respond, 3rd party app launchers were a big deal. Overtime the newer desktop environments improved and became fast, reliable and predictable, reducing the need for a alternate app launchers.

As a result, many third-party app launchers have either slowed down development or simply seized to exist. Ulauncher seems to be the only one to have bucked the trend so far. Synpase and Kupfer on the other hand, though old and not as actively developed anymore, still pack a punch. Since Kupfer is too old school, we'll only be discussing Synapse and Ulauncher here.


I still remember the excitement when I first reviewed Synapse more than 8 years ago. Back then, Synapse was something very unique to Linux and Ubuntu, and it still is in many ways. Though Synapse is not an active project that it used to be, the launcher still works great even in brand new Ubuntu 19.04.

synapse ubuntu 19.04
No need to meddle with PPAs and DEBs, Synapse is available in Ubuntu Software Center.

ulauncher ubuntu 19.04 disco
CLICK HERE to directly find and install Synapse from Ubuntu Software Center, or simply search 'Synapse' in USC. Launch the app afterwards. Once launched, you can trigger Synapse with Ctrl+Space keyboard shortcut.


The new kid in the block apparently. But new doesn't mean it is lacking in any way. What makes Ulauncher quite unique are its extensions. And there is plenty to choose from.

ulauncher ubuntu 19.04

From an extension that lets you control your Spotify desktop app, to generic unit converters or simply timers, Ulauncher extesions has got you covered.

Let's install the app first. Download the DEB file for Debian/Ubuntu users and double-click the downloaded file to install it. To complete the installation via Terminal instead, do this:


sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/ulauncher_4.3.2.r8_all.deb

Change filename/location if they are different in your case. And if the command reports dependency errors, make a force install using the command below.

sudo apt-get install -f

Done. Post install, launch the app from your app-list and you're good to go. Once started, Ulauncher will sit in your system tray by default. And just like Synapse, Ctrl+Space will trigger Ulauncher.

Installing extensions in Ulauncher is pretty straight forward too.

Find the extensions you want from Ulauncher Extensions page. Trigger a Ulauncher instance with Ctrl+Space and go to Settings > Extensions > Add extension. Provide the URL from the extension page and let the app do the rest.
Snap apps are a godsend. ElectronPlayer is an Electron based app available on Snapstore that doubles up as a standalone media player for video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, Floatplane etc.

And it works great on Ubuntu 19.04 "disco dingo". From what we've tested, Netflix works like a charm, so does YouTube. ElectronPlayer also has a picture-in-picture mode that let it run above desktop and full screen applications.

netflix player ubuntu 19.04

For me, this is great because I can free-up tabs on my Firefox window which are almost never clutter-free.

Use the command below to install ElectronPlayer directly from Snapstore. Open Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and copy:

sudo snap install electronplayer

Press ENTER and give password when asked.

After the process is complete, search for ElectronPlayer in you App list. Sign in to your favorite video streaming services and you are good to go. Let us know your feedback in the comments.
As most of you should know already, Ubuntu 19.04 "disco dingo" has been released. A lot of things have changed, see our comprehensive list of improvements in Ubuntu 19.04. Though it is not really necessary to make the jump, I'm sure many here would prefer to have the latest and greatest from Ubuntu. Here's how you upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 from Ubuntu 18.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 19.04 from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is tricky. There is no way you can make the jump from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS directly to Ubuntu 19.04. For that, you need to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10 first. Pretty disappointing, I know. But when upgrading an entire OS, you can't be too careful.

And the process itself is not as tedious or time consuming à la Windows. And also unlike Windows, the upgrades are not forced upon you while you're in middle of something.

how to upgrade to ubuntu 19.04

If you wonder how the dock in the above screenshot rest at the bottom of Ubuntu desktop, it's called dash-to-dock GNOME Shell extension. That and more Ubuntu 19.04 tips and tricks here.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 from Ubuntu 18.10

Disclaimer: PLEASE backup your critical data before starting the upgrade process.

Let's start with the assumption that you're on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

After running the upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS from Ubuntu 18.10, the prompt will ask for a full system reboot. Please do that, and make sure everything is running smoothly afterwards. Now you have clean new Ubuntu 18.10 up and running. Let's begin the Ubuntu 19.04 upgrade process.
  • Make sure your laptop is plugged-in, this is going to take time. Stable Internet connection is a must too. 
  • Run your Software Updater app, and install all the updates available. 
how to upgrade to ubuntu 19.04 from ubuntu 18.10

  • Post the update, you should be prompted with an "Ubuntu 19.04 is available" window. It will guide you through the required steps without much hassle. 
  • If not, fire up Software & Updates app and check for updates. 
  • If both these didn't work in your case, there's always the commandline option to make the force upgarde. Open Terminal app (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+ALT+T), and run the command below.
sudo do-release-upgrade -d
  • Type the password when prompted. Don't let the simplicity of the command fool you, this is just the start of a long and complicated process. do-release command will check for available upgrades and then give you an estimated time and bandwidth required to complete the process. 
  • Read the instructions carefully and proceed. The process only takes about an hour or less for me. It entirely depends on your internet speed and system resources.
So, how did it go? Was the upgrade process smooth as it should be? And what do you think about new Ubuntu 19.04 "disco dingo"? Let us know in the comments.
Ubuntu 19.04, codenamed "Disco Dingo", has been released (and upgrading is easier than you think). I've been on Ubuntu 19.04 since its first Alpha, and this has been a rock solid release as far I'm concerned. Changes in Ubuntu 19.04 are more evolutionary though, but availability of the latest Linux Kernel version 5.0 is significant.

ubuntu 19.04 things to do after install

Unity is long gone and Ubuntu 19.04 is indistinguishably GNOME 3.x now, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I know, there are many who still swear by the simplicity of Unity desktop. But I'm an outlier here, I liked both Unity and GNOME 3.x even in their very early avatars. When I wrote this review of GNOME Shell desktop almost 8 years ago, I knew it was destined for greatness. Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" runs GNOME 3.32.0.

We'll discuss more about GNOME 3.x and Ubuntu 19.04 in the official review. Let's get down to brass tacks. A step-by-step guide into things I did after installing Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo". 

1. Make sure your system is up-to-date

Do a full system update. Fire up your Software Updater and check for updates.

how to update ubuntu 19.04

via Terminal, this is my preferred way to update Ubuntu. Just one command.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Enter password when prompted and let the system do the rest.

2. Install GNOME Tweaks

GNOME Tweaks is non-negotiable.

things to do after installing ubuntu 19.04

GNOME Tweaks is an app the lets you tweak little things in GNOME based OSes that are otherwise hidden behind menus. If you are on Ubuntu 19.04, Tweaks is a must. Honestly, I don't remember if it was installed as a default. But here you install it anyway, Apt-URL will prompt you if the app already exists.

Search for Gnome Tweaks in Ubuntu Software Center. OR simply CLICK HERE to go straight to the app in Software Center. OR even better, copy-paste this command in Terminal (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+ALT+T).

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

3. Enable MP3/MP4/AVI Playback, Adobe Flash etc.

You do have an option to install most of the 'restricted-extras' while installing the OS itself now, but if you are not-sure you've ticked all the right boxes, just run the following command in Terminal.

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras


You can install it straight from the Ubuntu Software Center by CLICKING HERE.

4. Display Date/Battery Percentage on Top Panel  

The screenshot, I hope, is self explanatory.

things to do after installing ubuntu 19.04

If you have GNOME Tweaks installed, this is easily done. Open GNOME tweaks, goto 'Top Bar' sidemenu and enable/disable what you need.

5. Enable 'Click to Minimize' on Ubuntu Dock

Honestly, I don't have a clue why this is disabled by default. You intuitively expect the apps shortcuts on Ubuntu dock to 'minimize' when you click on it (at least I do).

In fact, the feature is already there, all you need to do is to switch it ON. Do this is Terminal.

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize'

That's it. Now if you didn't find the 'click to minimize' feature useful, you can always revert Dock settings back to its original state, by copy-pasting the following command in Terminal app.

gsettings reset org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action

6. Pin/Unpin Apps from Launcher

There are a bunch of apps that are pinned to your Ubuntu launcher by default.

things to do after ubuntu 19.04
For example, I almost never use the 'Help' app or the 'Amazon' shortcut preloaded on launcher. But I would prefer a shortcut to Terminal app instead. Right-click on your preferred app on the launcher, and add-to/remove-from favorites as you please.

7. Enable GNOME Shell Exetensions Support

Extensions are an integral part of GNOME desktop.

It's a real shame that one has to go through all these for such a basic yet important feature. From the default Firefox browser, when you visit GNOME Extensions page, you will notice the warning message on top describing the unavailability of Extensions support.
Now for the second part, you need to install the host connector on Ubuntu.
sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
  • Done. Don't mind the "chrome" in 'chrome-gnome-shell', it works with all major browsers, provided you've the correct browser add-on installed. 
  • You can now visit GNOME Extensions page and install extensions as you wish with ease. (if it didn't work immediately, a system restart will clear things up). 
Extensions are such an integral part of GNOME Desktop experience, can't understand why this is not a system default in Ubuntu 19.04. Hope future releases of Ubuntu will have this figured out.

8. My Favourite 5 GNOME Shell Extensions for Ubuntu 19.04

9. Remove Trash Icon from Desktop

Annoyed by the permanent presence of Home and Trash icons in the desktop? You are not alone. Luckily, there's an extension for that!
Done. Now, access the settings and enable/disable icons as you please. 

Extension settings can be accessed directly from the extension home page (notice the small wrench icon near the ON/OFF toggle). OR you can use the Extensions addon like in the screenshot above.

10. Enable/Disable Two Finger Scrolling

As you must've noticed, two-finger scrolling is a system default for sometime now. 

things to do after installing ubuntu cosmic
One of my laptops act strangely when two-finger scrolling is on. You can easily disable two-finger scrolling and enable old school edge-scrolling in 'Settings'.  Settings > Mouse and Touchpad

Quicktip: You can go straight to submenus by simply searching for it in GNOME's universal search bar.

ubuntu 19.04 disco

Take for example the screenshot above, where I triggered the GNOME menu by hitting Super(Windows) key, and simply searched for 'mouse' settings. The first result will take me directly to the 'Settings' submenu for 'Mouse and Touchpad' that we saw earlier. Easy right? More examples will follow.

11. Nightlight Mode ON

When you're glued to your laptop/PC screen for a large amount of time everyday, it is advisable that you enable the automatic nightlight mode for the sake of your eyes. Be it the laptop or my phone, this has become an essential feature. The sight of a LED display without nightlight ON during lowlight conditions immediately gives me a headache these days. Easily one of my favourite in-built features on GNOME.

Settings > Devices > Display > Night Light ON/OFF

things to do after installing ubuntu 19.04

OR as before, Hit superkey > search for 'night light'. It will take you straight to the submenu under Devices > Display. Guess you wouldn't need anymore examples on that.

things to do after installing ubuntu 19.04

12. Privacy on Ubuntu 19.04

Guess I don't need to lecture you on the importance of privacy in the post-PRISM era.

ubuntu 19.04 privacy

Ubuntu remembers your usage & history to recommend you frequently used apps and such. And this is never shared over the network. But if you're not comfortable with this, you can always disable and delete your usage history on Ubuntu. Settings > Privacy > Usage & History 

13. Perhaps a New Look & Feel?

As you might have noticed, I'm not using the default Ubuntu theme here.

themes ubuntu 19.04

Right now I'm using System 76's Pop OS GTK theme and icon sets. They look pretty neat I think. Just three commands to install it in your Ubuntu 19.04.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt install pop-icon-theme pop-gtk-theme pop-gnome-shell-theme 
sudo apt install pop-wallpapers 

Execute last command if you want Pop OS wallpapers as well. To enable the newly installed theme and icon sets, launch GNOME Tweaks > Appearance (see screenshot). I will be making separate posts on themes, icon sets and GNOME shell extensions. So stay subscribed. 

14. Disable Error Reporting

If you find the "application closed unexpectedly" popups annoying, and would like to disable error reporting altogether, this is what you need to do.

Settings > Privacy > Problem Reporting and switch it off. 

15. Liberate vertical space on Firefox by disabling Title Bar

This is not an Ubuntu specific tweak.

Firefox > Settings > Customize. Notice the "Title Bar" at the bottom left? Untick to disable.

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A "Disco Dingo" themed wallpaper was already there. But the latest update bring a bunch of new wallpapers as system defaults on Ubuntu 19.04.

ubuntu 19.04 wallpaper

Pretty right? Here's the older one for comparison.

ubuntu 19.04 updates

The newer wallpaper is definitely cleaner, more professional looking with better colors. I won't bother tinkering with wallpapers anymore, the new default on Ubuntu 19.04 is just perfect.

ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers

Too funky for my taste. But I'm sure there will be many who will prefer this darker, edgier, wallpaper over the others. As we said earlier, the new "disco dingo" mascot calls for infinite wallpaper variations.

Apart from theme and artwork updates, Ubuntu 19.04 has the latest Linux Kernel version 5.0 ( to be precise). You can read more about Ubuntu 19.04 features and updates here.

Ubuntu 19.04 hit beta a few days ago. Though it is a pretty stable release already for a beta, I'd recommend to wait for another 15 days or so until the final release. If all you care are the wallpapers, you can download the new Ubuntu 19.04 wallpapers here. It's a DEB file, just do a double click post download.
UEFI has a pretty bad reputation among many in the Linux community. UEFI unnecessarily complicated Linux installation and distro-hopping in Windows pre-installed machines, for example. Linux Boot project by Linux Foundation aims to replace some firmware functionality like the UEFI DXE phase with Linux components.

What is UEFI?
UEFI is a standard or a specification that replaced legacy BIOS firmware, which was the industry standard for decades. Essentially, UEFI defines the software components between operating system and platform firmware.

UEFI boot has three phases: SEC, PEI and DXE. Driver eXecution Environment or DXE Phase in short: this is where UEFI system loads drivers for configured devices. LinuxBoot will replaces specific firmware functionality like the UEFI DXE phase with a Linux kernel and runtime.

LinuxBoot and the Future of System Startup
"Firmware has always had a simple purpose: to boot the OS. Achieving that has become much more difficult due to increasing complexity of both hardware and deployment. Firmware often must set up many components in the system, interface with more varieties of boot media, including high-speed storage and networking interfaces, and support advanced protocols and security features."  writes Linux Foundation.

linuxboot uefi replacement

LinuxBoot will replace this slow and often error-prone code with a Linux Kernel. This alone should significantly improve system startup performance.

On top of that, LinuxBoot intends to achieve increased boot reliability and boot-time performance by removing unnecessary code and by using reliable Linux drivers instead of lightly tested firmware drivers. LinuxBoot claims that these improvements could potentially help make the system startup process as much as 20 times faster.

In fact, this "Linux to boot Linux" technique has been fairly common place in supercomputers, consumer electronics, and military applications, for decades. LinuxBoot looks to take this proven technique and improve on it so that it can be deployed and used more widely by individual users and companies.

Current Status
LinuxBoot is not as obscure or far-fetched as, say, lowRISC (open-source, Linux capable, SoC) or even OpenPilot. At FOSDEM 2019 summit, Facebook engineers revealed that their company is actively integrating and finetuning LinuxBoot to their needs for freeing hardware down to the lowest levels.

Facebook and Google are deeply involved in LinuxBoot project. Being large data companies, where even small improvements in system startup speed and reliability can bring major advantages, their involvement is not a surprise. To put this in perspective, a large data center run by Google or Facebook can have tens of thousands of servers. Other companies involved include Horizon Computing, Two Sigma and 9elements Cyber Security.
The worldwide phenomenon that is Uber needs no introduction. Uber is an immensely popular ride sharing, ride hailing, company that is valued in billions. Uber is so disruptive and controversial that many cities and even countries are putting up barriers to protect the interests of local taxi drivers.

Enough about Uber as a company. To those among you who regularly use Uber app for booking a cab, Uber CLI could be a useful companion.

Uber CLI can be a great tool for the easily distracted. This unique command line application allows you to look up Uber cab's time and price estimates without ever taking your eyes off the laptop screen.

Install Uber-CLI using NPM

You need to have NPM first to install Uber-CLI on Ubuntu. npm, short for Node.js package manager, is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language. It is the default package manager for the JavaScript runtime environment Node.js. npm has a command line based client and its own repository of packages.

This is how to install npm on Ubuntu 19.04, and Ubuntu 18.10. And thereafter, using npm, install Uber-CLI. Fire up the Terminal and run the following.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nodejs npm
npm install uber-cli -g

And you're done. Uber CLI is a command line based application, here are a few examples of how it works in Terminal. Also, since Uber is not available where I live, I couldn't vouch for its accuracy.

Uber-CLI has just two use cases.
uber time 'pickup address here'
uber price -s 'start address' -e 'end address'
Easy right? I did some testing with places and addresses I'm familiar with, where Uber cabs are fairly common. And I found the results to be fairly accurate. Do test and leave feedback. Uber CLI github page for more info.
Even as someone who bought into the Ubuntu Touch hype very early, I was not expecting much from UBports to be honest. But to my pleasent surprise, UBports Installer turned my 4 year old BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition hardware into a slick, clean, and usable phone again.

ubuntu phone 16.04
UBports Installer and Ubuntu Touch
As many of you know already, Ubuntu Touch was Canonical's failed attempt to deliver a competent mobile operating system based on its desktop version. The first Ubuntu Touch installed smartphone was released in 2015 by BQ, a Spanish smartphone manufacturer. And in April 2016, the world's first Ubuntu Touch based tablet, the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition, was released.

Though initial response was  quite promising, Ubuntu Touch failed to make a significant enough splash in the smartphone space. In fact, Ubuntu Touch was not alone, many other mobile OS projects like Firefox OS or even Samsung owned Tizen OS for that matter failed to capture a sizable market-share from Android/iOS duopoly.

To the disappointment of Ubuntu enthusiasts, Mark Shuttleworth announced the termination of Ubuntu Touch development in April, 2017.

Rise of UBports and revival of Ubuntu Touch Project
ubuntu touch 16.04For all its inadequacies, Ubuntu Touch was one unique OS. It looked and felt different from most other mobile operating systems. And Ubuntu Touch enthusiasts was not ready to give up on it so easily. Enter UBports.

UBports turned Ubuntu Touch into a community-driven project. Passionate people from around the world now contribute to the development of Ubuntu Touch. In August 2018, UBPorts released its OTA-4, upgrading the Ubuntu Touch's base from the Canonical's starting Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) to the nearest, current long-term support version Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

They actively test the OS on a number of legacy smartphone hardware and help people install Ubuntu Touch on their smartphones using an incredibly capable, cross-platform, installer.

Ubuntu Touch Installer on Ubuntu 19.04
Though I knew about UBports project before, I was never motivated enough to try the new OS on my Aquaris E4.5, until yesterday. By sheer stroke of luck, I stumbled upon UBports Installer in Ubuntu Software Center. I was curious to find out if it really worked as it claimed on the page.

ubuntu touch installer on ubuntu 19.04

I fired up the app on my Ubuntu 19.04 and plugged in my Aquaris E4.5. Voila! the installer detected my phone in a jiffy. Since there wasn't much data on my BQ, I proceeded with Ubuntu Touch installation.

ubports ubuntu touch installer

The instructions were pretty straight forward and it took probably 15 minutes to download, restart, and install, 16.04 LTS based Ubuntu Touch on my 4 year old hardware.

ubuntu touch ubports

In my experience, even flashing an Android was never this easy! My Ubuntu phone is usable again without all the unnecessary bloat that made it clunky. This post is a tribute to the UBports community for the amazing work they've been doing with Ubuntu Touch. Here's also a list of smartphone hardware that can run Ubuntu Touch.
We've featured cool-retro-term before. It is a wonderful little terminal emulator app on Ubuntu (and Linux) that adorns this cool retro look of the old CRT displays.

Let the pictures speak for themselves.

retro terminal ubuntu ppa

Pretty cool right? Not only does it look cool, it functions just like a normal Terminal app. You don't lose out on any features normally associated with a regular Terminal emulator. cool-retro-term comes with a bunch of themes and customisations that takes its retro cool appeal a few notches higher.

cool-old-term retro terminal ubuntu linux

Enough now, let's find out how you install this retro looking Terminal emulator on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 18.10. Fire up your Terminal app, and run these commands one after the other.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vantuz/cool-retro-term
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cool-retro-term

Done. The above PPA supports Ubuntu Artful, Bionic and Cosmic releases (Ubuntu 17.10, 18.04 LTS, 18.10). cool-retro-term is now installed and ready to go.

Since I don't have Artful or Bionic installations in any of my computers, I couldn't test the PPA on those releases. Do let me know if you faced any issues while installing the app.

And as some of you might have noticed, I'm running cool-retro-term from an AppImage. This is because I'm on Ubuntu 19.04 "disco dingo", and obviously the app doesn't support an unreleased OS (well, duh!).

retro terminal ubuntu ppa

This is how it looks on fullscreen mode. If you are a non-Ubuntu user, you can find various download options here. If you are on Fedora or distros based on it, cool-retro-term is available in the official repositories.
Unless you live under a rock, you must've been inundated with nonstop news about Google's high-octane launch ceremony yesterday where they unveiled the much hyped game streaming platform called Stadia.

Stadia, or Project Stream as it was earlier called, is a cloud gaming service where the games themselves are hosted on Google's servers, while the visual feedback from the game is streamed to the player's device through Google Chrome. If this technology catches on, and if it works just as good as showed in the demos, Stadia could be what the future of gaming might look like.

Stadia, Powered by Linux

It is a fairly common knowledge that Google data centers use Linux rather extensively. So it is not really surprising that Google would use Linux to power its cloud based Stadia gaming service. 

google stadia runs on linux

Stadia's architecture is built on Google data center network which has extensive presence across the planet. With Google Stadia, Google is offering a virtual platform where processing resources can be scaled up to match your gaming needs without the end user ever spending a dime more on hardware.

And since Google data centers mostly runs on Linux, the games on Stadia will run on Linux too, through the Vulkan API. This is great news for gaming on Linux. Even if Stadia doesn't directly result in more games on Linux, it could potentially make gaming a platform agnostic cloud based service, like Netflix.

With Stadia, "the data center is your platform," claims Majd Bakar, head of engineering at Stadia. Stadia is not constrained by limitations of traditional console systems, he adds. Stadia is a "truly flexible, scalable, and modern platform" that takes into account the future requirements of the gaming ecosystem. When launched later this year, Stadia will be able to stream at 4K HDR and 60fps with surround sound.

Watch the full presentation here. Tell us what you think about Stadia in the comments.
Ubuntu 19.04 is scheduled to arrive in another 30 days has been released. I've been using it for the past week or so, and even as a pre-beta, the OS is pretty stable and not buggy at all. Here are a bunch of things you should know about the yet to be officially released Ubuntu 19.04.

what's new in ubuntu 19.04

1. Codename: "Disco Dingo"

How about that! As most of you know already, Canonical names its semiannual Ubuntu releases using an adjective and an animal with the same first letter (Intrepid Ibex, Feisty Fawn, or Maverick Meerkat, for example, were some of my favourites). And the upcoming Ubuntu 19.04 is codenamed "Disco Dingo", has to be one of the coolest codenames ever for an OS.

2. Ubuntu 19.04 Theme Updates

A new cleaner, crisper looking Ubuntu is coming your way. Can you notice the subtle changes to the default Ubuntu theme in screenshot below? Like the new deep-black top panel and launcher? Very tastefully done.

what's new in ubuntu 19.04

To be sure, this is now looking more and more like vanilla GNOME and less like Unity, which is not a bad thing.

ubuntu 19.04 updates

There are changes to the icons too. That hideous blue Trash icon is gone. Others include a new Update Manager icon, Ubuntu Software Center icon and Settings Icon.

3. Ubuntu 19.04 Official Mascot

GIFs speaks louder that words. Meet the official "Disco Dingo" mascot.

Pretty awesome, right? "Disco Dingo" mascot calls for infinite wallpaper variations.

4. The New Default Wallpaper

The new "Disco Dingo" themed wallpaper is so sweet: very Ubuntu-ish yet unique. A gray scale version of the same wallpaper is a system default too.

ubuntu 19.04 disco dingo features

UPDATE: There's a entire suit of newer and better wallpapers on Ubuntu 19.04!

5. Linux Kernel 5.0 Support

Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" will officially support the recently released Linux Kernel version 5.0. Among other things, Linux Kernel 5.0 comes with AMD FreeSync display support which is awesome news to users of high-end AMD Radeon graphics cards.

ubuntu 19.04 features

Also important to note is the added support for Adiantum Data Encryption and Raspberry Pi touchscreens. Apart from that, Kernel 5.0 has regular CPU performance improvements and improved hardware support.

6. Livepatch is ON

Ubuntu 19.04's 'Software and Updates' app has a new default tab called Livepatch. This new feature should ideally help you to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting.

Livepatch may not mean much to a normal user who regularly powerdowns his or her computer, but can be very useful for enterprise users where any downtime is simply not acceptable.

ubuntu 19.04 updates

Canonical introduced this feature in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but was later removed when Ubuntu 18.10 was released. The Livepatch feature is disabled on my Ubuntu 19.04 installation though, with a "Livepatch is not available for this system" warning. Not exactly sure what that means. Will update.

7. Ubuntu 19.04 Release Schedule

The beta freeze is scheduled to happen on March 28th and final release on April 18th.

ubuntu 19.04 what's new

Normally, post the beta release, it is a safe to install Ubuntu 19.04 for normal everyday use in my opinion, but ONLY if you are inclined to give it a spin before everyone else of course. I'd never recommend a pre-release OS on production machines. Ubuntu 19.04 Daily Build Download.

My biggest disappointment though is the supposed Ubuntu Software Center revamp which is now confirmed to not make it to this release. Subscribe us on Twitter and Facebook for more Ubuntu 19.04 release updates.

ubuntu 19.04 disco dingo

Recommended read: Top things to do after installing Ubuntu 19.04
The hype around "convergence" just won't die it seems. We have heard it from Ubuntu a lot, KDE, even from Google and Apple in fact. But the dream of true convergence, a uniform OS experience across platforms, never really materialised. Even behemoths like Apple and Googled failed to pull it off with their Android/iOS duopoly. Purism's Debian based PureOS wants to change all that for good.
pure os linux

Purism, PureOS, and the future of Convergence

Purism, a computer technology company based out of California, shot to fame for its Librem series of privacy and security focused laptops and smartphones. Purism raised over half a million dollars through a Crowd Supply crowdfunding campaign for its laptop hardware back in 2015. And unlike many crowdfunding megahits which later turned out to be duds, Purism delivered on its promises big time.

Later in 2017, Purism surprised everyone again with their successful crowdfunding campaign for its Linux based opensource smartphone, dubbed Librem 5. The campaign raised over $2.6 million and surpassed its 1.5 million crowdfunding goal in just in two weeks. Purism's Librem 5 smartphones will start shipping late 2019.

Librem, which loosely refers to free and opensource software, was the brand name chosen by Purism for its laptops/smartphones. One of the biggest USPs of Purism devices is the hardware kill switches that it comes loaded with, which physically disconnects phone's camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, and mobile broadband modem.

Meet PureOS, Purism's Debian Based Linux OS

PureOS is a free and opensource, Debian based Linux distribution which runs on all Librem hardware including its smartphones. PureOS is endorsed by Free Software Foundation. 

purism os linux

The term convergence in computer speak, refers to applications that can work seamlessly across platforms, and bring a consistent look and feel and similar functionality on your smartphone and your computer. 
"Purism is beating the duopoly to that dream, with PureOS: we are now announcing that Purism’s PureOS is convergent, and has laid the foundation for all future applications to run on both the Librem 5 phone and Librem laptops, from the same PureOS release", announced Jeremiah Foster, the PureOS director at Purism (by duopoly, he was referring to Android/iOS platforms that dominate smartphone OS ecosystem).
Ideally, convergence should be able to help app developers and users all at the same time. App developers should be able to write their app once, testing it once and running it everywhere. And users should be able to seamlessly use, connect and sync apps across devices and platforms.

Easier said than done though. As Jeremiah Foster himself explains:
"it turns out that this is really hard to do unless you have complete control of software source code and access to hardware itself. Even then, there is a catch; you need to compile software for both the phone’s CPU and the laptop CPU which are usually different architectures. This is a complex process that often reveals assumptions made in software development but it shows that to build a truly convergent device you need to design for convergence from the beginning."

How PureOS is achieving convergence?

PureOS have had a distinct advantage when it comes to convergence. Purism is a hardware maker that also designs its platforms and software. From its inception, Purism has been working on a "universal operating system" that can run on different CPU architectures.

librem opensource phone

"By basing PureOS on a solid, foundational operating system – one that has been solving this performance and run-everywhere problem for years – means there is a large set of packaged software that 'just works' on many different types of CPUs."

The second big factor is "adaptive design", software apps that can adapt for desktop or mobile easily, just like a modern website with responsive deisgn.

"Purism is hard at work on creating adaptive GNOME apps – and the community is joining this effort as well – apps that look great, and work great, both on a phone and on a laptop".

Purism has also developed an adaptive presentation library for GTK+ and GNOME, called libhandy, which the third party app developers can use to contribute to Purism's convergence ecosystem. Still under active development, libhandy is already packaged into PureOS and Debian.