Some of us will have spent the past week gorging on mince pies and chocolates, making out under mistletoe, and suffering the seasonable indignity of Christmas-themed Hallmark films on Channel 5.

But not everyone.

If you’re of the developer variety you might have used your Christmas downtime to work on your own personal projects — just like the developers of the following apps did.

It’s time for our first Linux Release Roundup of 2018.

LibreOffice 5.4.4

libreoffice hero

LibreOffice 5.4.4 popped out just before Christmas to deliver more than 80 bug fixes in one fell swoop.

Among them a band-aid for an issue that affected color dropdrown lists in LibreOffice apps when using the Ambiance and Radiance GTK themes.

More of a stocking filler than a main present. Thankfully LibreOffice 6.0 is due soon with a more impressive set of changes to unwrap.

The latest version of LibreOffice 5.4 is available to download from the LibreOffice website.

Tilix 1.7.3

The Tilix Terminal Emulator running on Ubuntu Linux

Tabbed terminal emulator Tilix (formerly known as Terminix) has a new release — albeit an incredibly minor one. The update introduces the ability to copy terminal output as HTML.

With no official Tilix PPA available you’ll need to download the latest version of Tilix from Github as a zip file, move it to your home folder, and run the following terminal commands to install it on your system:

sudo unzip -d /
sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

Once installed, launch the app from the Unity Dash, Applications Overview, etc.

MKChromecast 0.3.8

linux chromecast

MKChromecast is an open-source tool that lets you send sound and video from your computer to a Chromecast on the same network.

The latest update, v0.3.8, adds a stack of stability improvements, plus new features and enhanced capabilities:

  • Screencast using Mkchromecast
  • Improved ffmpeg commands for pulseaudio.
  • Opus codec support.
  • The --youtube flag works with more websites
  • Allow custom server port with ffmpeg or avconv

Mkchromecast isn’t the easiest app to use, so you’ll want to give the Github page a good read through. We’ve also written about the app before, showing you how to cast video from the Ubuntu to a Chromecast.

You can download MKChromecats with Alsa, PulseAudio and Gstreamer backends from the project’s Github page.

YaRock 1.3.0

yarock music player

The Qt-based YaRock music player has released a new album version. The update has some interesting highlights, including:

  • Various streaming music improvements
  • Option to enable/disable playing history
  • Minor UI Tweaks
  • Save/restore bottom bar state
  • Improved visibility of playing track
  • Code updates

If you want to install YaRock on Ubuntu 17.04 or later you can, just add the following unofficial YaRock PPA to your software sources:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps
sudo apt update && sudo apt install yarock

Dash to Dock 62

A new version of Dash to Dock is available to download — but those of you running Ubuntu 17.10 will already be familiar with most of the changes the update brings.

Dash to Dock v62 adds support for GNOME Shell 3.26, and compatibility with the Ubuntu Unity launcher API. The latter feature means Dash to Dock is can display unread counts and progress bars on app launchers in the dock.

The dock extension also improves dynamic transparency, another feature inherited from the Ubuntu Dock.

Four specific modes are available: default look (no changes); fixed opacity; dynamic opacity; and adaptive, which adheres to the transparency of the top bar when a window touches or overlaps the dock.

Dash to Dock v62 is currently pending review on the GNOME Extensions website, but should be available soon. If you’re impatient you can download a .zip from the project website to install the update manually.

Cumulonimbus 1.8.0

browsing pocasts

Cumulonimbus is a terrific podcast app despite the unwieldy name! Sadly, many overlook it because of the technology it is built with, namely Electron.

I, however, don’t.

Over the past xmas period the app received a couple of updates, but with no formal change-log for them it’s a little hard to know precisely what is new. But looking at Git commits suggest the following features are present:

  • Initial chapter support
  • Improved podcast view
  • ‘Download podcast’ button
  • Ability to see only episodes that have been downloaded
  • Better first-run experience

Cumulonimbus is a cross-platform app available on Windows, macOS and Linux. You will find a stack of installer options, including an App Image, over on the project Github page, which is linked below:

Download Cumulonimbus from Github

Other Updates

Updated versions of media player SMPlayer and Qt-based web browser QupZilla also popped out this week, but beside a couple of bug fixes there’s not an awful lot to say about them.

Apps List LibreOffice LRR tilix yarock