The Linux landscape exists in a state of constant flux, with new distro releases, kernels, apps and other updates appearing all the time.

In our Linux Release Roundup series we try to collate the notable new app, software and distro releases and other key software updates released during the past 7 days.

This week’s highlights include a perennially popular video player, a perfectly-pitched podcast client for the Linux desktop, and plenty more besides.

VLC 3.0.4 Released

VLC video effects

The VLC video player needs little introduction, what with it being the most popular media player across all major desktop operating systems.

VLC media player 3.0.4 is the latest bug-fix update. The release solves a number of minor issues, improves usability under the Wayland display server, and adds support for decoding AV1 streams:

  • Decode AV1 streams
  • Support 44.1kHz DTS passthrough
  • Low-fps files should now playback without issue
  • Improved DVD subtitles rendering on OpenGL
  • Tooltip display under Wayland corrected
  • Chromecast now compatible with VLC web interface
  • Fix for ‘seeking’ on streams containing WebVTT subtitles
  • Fix MediaCodec rotation handling
  • Fix colorspace of JPEG, PNG and screen inputs
  • Fixes for playback of incomplete RAR files, MKV, AVI, MP4, etc
  • Various Direct3D11 and DirectSound fixes

You can view the full change-log on the Videolan website.

What’s great about this update is that most of us won’t need to do anything to get it as Ubuntu 18.04 will automatically receive this update via Software Updater — provided VLC is installed from the archive and not a PPA, or a Snap etc.

Install VLC from Ubuntu Software

That said, you might not be on Ubuntu and/or prefer to use the VLC Snap maintained by Videolan themselves. The VLC Snap app will be updated to the latest release automatically and silently at some point in the new few weeks.

Don’t forget you can manually check for Snap updates by running:

snap refresh

Check our list of essential Snap commands for more CLI know-how on how to grapple with this new-fangled app format.

Podcasts 0.4.5 Released

GTK podcasts client

We put GTK Podcast client ‘Podcasts’ in the spotlight a few weeks back.

Since then the developers behind this desktop podcast player and manager have been hard at work on a new version, which arrives just ahead of its roll out as part of GNOME 3.30 (due September 5).

Podcasts 0.4.5 features a smattering of bug fixes, performance tweaks and translation updates, including:

  • Views adapt more cleanly during window resizing
  • Update indicator is now an in-app notifications
  • Performance improvements when loading Podcast show cover art
  • Improved handling of HTTP Redirects

Podcasts 0.4.5 is available to install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and above (as well as other Flatpak-supported Linux distributions like Fedora, Arch, et al) through the Flathub app store:

Install Podcasts from Flathub

Geary 0.12.4

Geary 0.11 on Ubuntu 16.04

A minor bug fix release of Geary, the terrific e-mail client for the Linux desktop, is now available.

Geary 0.12.4 fixes the handling of folder names with IMAP reserved characters (e.g., backslashes); solves dialog windows not being focused after they are first shown; and ensures that the “Move to folder” action works as intended.

Geary 0.12.4 is available to install via Flathub though, if you’re an Ubuntu user, you can also score this update by adding the official Geary PPA to your software sources:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geary-team/releases

The Geary stable PPA provides packages for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and above.

Tidal Cli 2.0.0

Remember the command line app for the Tidal music streaming service we featured at the start of the year? If so, you may pleased to hear that a major new release is now available.

Tidal CLI 2.0.0 has been rewritten from scratch, improving the code and the performance of the tool in general. The update also adds support for more features, including:

  • Playback queue control
  • Configurable shortcuts
  • Improved error handling
  • Api request caching

You can learn more about the Tidal CLI over on the project GitHub page, which provides rich documentation on each of feature the app supports (including its newly configurable shortcuts).

Tidal CLI 2.0.0 is available to install via NPM:

Tidal CLI on NPM

Wireshark 2.6.3 Released

Wireshark, the popular open-source network packet analyzer, has new bug fix release available for download.

Wireshark 2.6.3 solves a number of small issues related to bluetooth dissection, and features updated protocol support:

  • Wireshark can now decrypt SSL/TLS session proxied over HTTP tunnel
  • TLS records in a HTTP tunnel now displayed as “Encrypted Handshake Message”
  • Crash fixes in Bluetooth AVDTP and Attribute Protocol dissector
  • Solves a segmentation fault when clicking the Filter Association button twice
  • Presentation of dissected data item (NETMASK) in ISAKMP dissector fixes
  • ISDN – LAPD dissector fixed

The official Wireshark PPA offers the latest release for easy install on all supported versions of Ubuntu. To add the Wireshark PPA to your software sources simply run the following pair of commands in a new Terminal window, entering your password when prompted:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wireshark-dev/stable
sudo apt update && sudo apt install wireshark

Wireshark is also available on Windows and macOS.

Authenticator 0.2.2

Authenticator is a neat 2-factor authentication code generator built in Python and GTK+.

A really handy app, it saves having to pull out your phone each time you need to generate a 2FA code.

It also has a built in QR code scanner, clean UI, and supports almost 300 different websites and applications.

The latest version of Authenticator was released this weekend. The v2.2.0 update fixes issues with selection (as well as various other bugs) and adds an entry field for adding an account username. The built-in QRScanner is now only used on GNOME Shell, with related dependencies made optional.

Authenticator is available to install exclusively from Flathub.

Install Authenticator from Flathub

Beta builds bullet list:

Looking your software with a side-serving of bugs?

Apps List 2fa authenticator LRR podcasts tidal vlc wireshark