How to make updating Ubuntu simpler

Ubuntu can be updated from the command line, and from the GUI. If you decide to update Ubuntu via the command line, you’ll find there are quite a few steps to the process. To make things simple, you can create a script that will handle the entire update process. Creating the script will take a little time but once you have it set up, you will be able to use it to update Ubuntu whenever a new update is available. Here’s what you need to do.

Easy update script

Making Ubuntu much easier to update starts with creating an “easy update script.” This script will take care of everything from updating package sources, installing Ubuntu upgrades, cleaning packages that need to be removed, and even refreshing things like Snaps and Flatpaks!

To start the process of creating the easy update script, open up a terminal window on your computer. A terminal window can be opened by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Once the terminal is open, follow the step-by-step instructions below to create the script.

Step 1: Using the touch command, create a new blank file called “update.” The “update” file will hold all of the upgrade operations on your Ubuntu PC.

touch update

Step 2: After creating the new update file with the touch command, it is time to access it for editing purposes. Open up the “update” file in the Nano text editor.

nano -w update

Step 3: Inside of the Nano text editor, write the code below. Be sure that this code is on the very first line, or it will not work correctly!

#!/bin/bash

The code above you’ve just added to the “update” file is called a shebang. It tells the interpreter what to do with your script.

Step 4: Following the shebang code, we must add in the “update” line. This line will check for any new software updates on Ubuntu. Press Enter in Nano to create a new line. Then, paste in the code below with Ctrl + Shift + V.

sudo apt update

Step 5: After adding the “update” line, it’s time to add in the “upgrade” line. ”
Upgrade” will install any pending software patches on your Ubuntu PC. Press Enter to create a new line. Then, paste in the code with Ctrl + Shift + V.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Step 6: Now that the “upgrade” line of code is in the easy update script, it is time to add the “autoremove” line. “Autoremove” will automatically uninstall and clean up any unwanted packages from the system.

To add the “autoremove” line to the script, press Enter, then paste the code below into the file with Ctrl + Shift + V.

sudo apt autoremove -y

Step 7: With “update,” “upgrade,” and “autoremove” added to the script, it is time to write a line of code that will automatically refresh and update all Snap packages on the system.

To add the Snap update line, press Enter. After that, paste the code below into the file with Ctrl + Shift + V.

sudo snap refresh

Step 8: After adding in the Snap update line, we must add in the Flatpak update line. To add it, press Enter on the keyboard to make a new line. Then, with Ctrl + Shift + V, paste the code below into the file.

Note: if you do not use Flatpaks on Ubuntu, feel free to skip this step.

sudo flatpak update -y

Step 9: With the Flatpak line added to the script, no more coding is required. Now we must save the “update” file to reflect the changes made. To save, press Ctrl + O.

After saving the “update” file, exit Nano with Ctrl + X.

Installing the easy update script

The easy update script is now written and ready to install. To install the script, we must place the file in the “/usr/bin/” directory. To place the file there, start by elevating your terminal session from a regular user to root using the sudo -s command.

sudo -s

Now that your terminal window has root access, you can place the easy update script inside of your “/usr/bin/” directory. To put the file there, use the mv command below.

mv update /usr/bin/

Now that the script is in the “/usr/bin/” directory, it is time to change the permissions of the file so that it can be run as a program on your Linux computer. To update the permissions of the file, use the chmod command.

chmod +x /usr/bin/update

Assuming the permissions of the “update” file have been changed, the script is ready to be used as a program in the command-line.

Using the easy update script

When the easy update script was written, it included many system operations to make updating much easier. Now that the script is ready to use, we can call all of those operations simply by running the update command in a terminal window.

update

Once the update command is run inside of a terminal window, you will be prompted to enter your user’s password. Do so. Soon after your Ubuntu packages will be upgraded, unwanted packages will be removed, and Snaps and Flatpaks will be upgraded automatically!

Making updates easier on Ubuntu with Software Center

Another way to make updating the Ubuntu operating system much easier is to use the Software Center, rather than the built-in update tool. Why? Not only can it take care of your Ubuntu package updates, but it also will upgrade Snap packages and other items as well.

To update with Ubuntu Software Center, do the following.

Step 1: Launch Ubuntu Software Center on your Ubuntu Linux desktop.

Step 2: Locate the “Updates” tab, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 3: Click the refresh button on the top left to check for software updates.

Step 4: Click the install button to get available updates.

 

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How to set up Bluemail on Linux

Bluemail is a free, universal email app for Windows, Linux, and Android. It allows users to manage multiple email accounts in the same app, from numerous mail providers. It’s an excellent email app, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to get started with it on Linux.

Install Bluemail on Linux

Bluemail is an application that does not come pre-installed on any modern Linux operating system. As a result, before we can show you how to set up email accounts on the app, we must demonstrate how to install it on Linux.

The Bluemail application can be installed on Linux in three different ways: via the Arch Linux AUR, the Snap app store, or via Wine. To get the app working on your system, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and follow along with the command-line instructions below.

Arch Linux AUR

The Bluemail application is available for installation via the Arch Linux AUR. So, if you’re using Arch, you will have an easy time getting it working. The first step in the AUR installation for Bluemail is to install the “Base-devel” and “Git” packages. Using the Pacman command, get them installed.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of “Git” and “Base-devel,” use the git clone command to download the latest version of the Trizen AUR helper.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Move into the “trizen” folder and install it with makepkg.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

Once the Trizen AUR helper is set up on your Linux PC, you can use it to install the Bluemail program on your Arch system with ease.

trizen -S bluemail

Snap app

The developers behind the Bluemail application have brought their software to the Snap app store and think this is the best way for users to get the app up and running on their Linux system. Currently, the Snap store is the only place you can officially install it. Everywhere else is not officially supported.

Since Bluemail is available as a Snap, installing it is very simple. However, you must have the Snapd runtime enabled before attempting to install anything. To get Snapd working, follow this guide here.

When you’ve got the Snapd runtime working on your Linux system, you can easily install the Bluemail app from the Snap store with the following snap install command.

sudo snap install bluemail

Windows version via Wine

The Snap version of Bluemail is excellent, and it’s nice to see the app have a native Linux release. However, some Linux users cannot run Snap packages, as their distribution does not have support for Snapd. In this case, the only way to use Bluemail it through Wine.

To get Bluemail working in Wine, start out by following this guide here to install and set up the Wine runtime on your Linux PC. Then, when you’ve finished installing Wine, use a terminal window to download the latest Windows version of Bluemail.

wget https://download.bluemail.me/BlueMail-Desktop-Installer.exe

When the Windows installer is done downloading, start it up inside of Wine with the wine command in a terminal.

wine BlueMail-Desktop-Installer.exe

Use the Windows Bluemail installer to get the app set up. Once the installation is finished, you will be able to access Bluemail via Wine in your app menu.

Set up Bluemail

Setting up Bluemail on Linux is refreshingly simple, thanks to the app’s user interface. To get started, launch the app on the Linux desktop. You can launch it by finding “Bluemail” in the app menu. Or by pressing Alt + F2, opening the quick launcher, and entering the command below.

bluemail

With the Bluemail application open on your Linux PC, the set up can begin. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: When Bluemail opens, you will see a message on the screen. This message welcomes you to the app and instructs you to “add your account.” Click the blue button to do so.

Step 2: In the “Add your account” section of Bluemail, you will see a box that says “Email Address,” followed by several different “@” types.

Enter your email address in the box, and select the “@” address that matches your account. Then, click the “submit” button.

Step 3: After “submitting” your email address, a login screen will appear that corresponds with your email account. Enter your login information and click the login button to proceed.

Step 4: Once your account is logged into Bluemail, you will see a “You’re almost done” window. In this window, you’ll see a name for your account, followed by a description (usually Gmail, or whatever provider you choose).

At this point, select “Done” to continue with just this email account. Or, if you have another email account to add, select the “Add another account” button.

Read How to set up Bluemail on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Linux

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the first release of the Halo franchise on the PC since 2004. It’s a big deal. If you’d like to experience one of the best shooter franchises ever on Linux, you need to purchase it on Steam.

To get Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam for Linux, ensure that the Steam app is set up on your PC. Then, log in to the app, click “Store,” search for “Halo,” and purchase “The Master Chief Collection.” Or, click on this link here to buy it via Steam in the web browser.

Enable Steam Play

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a Microsoft Windows video game, and Xbox Game Studios doesn’t have any plans to release it on Mac OS or Linux natively. So, for this game to work on Linux, you must enable Steam Play, which will make it possible to play the game.

Setting up Steam Play on Linux is pretty simple. To enable it, open up “Settings” in Steam. Then, find “Steam Play” and check the box next to “Enable Steam Play for all other titles.” Or, if you’re having issues setting up Steam Play on Linux, follow our in-depth guide here.

Installing custom Proton

The default version of Proton that is included with Steam Play will run the Master Chief Collection on Linux fine. However, it will not allow the user to connect to Xbox Live, which is required to play online. Instead, we must install a modified version of Proton into Steam. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

Step 2: Using the mkdir command, create a new directory called “compatibilitytools.d/.”

Steam Linux

mkdir -p ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

Steam Flatpak for Linux

mkdir -p ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Step 3: Download the modified Proton from Github using wget.

cd /tmp
wget https://github.com/GloriousEggroll/proton-ge-custom/releases/download/4.21-GE-1-MCC-2/Proton-4.21-GE-1.tar.gz

Step 4: Install the runtime into the directory using tar.

tar xvf Proton-4.21-GE-1.tar.gz -C ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/

Or, for Flatpak.

tar xvf Proton-4.21-GE-1.tar.gz -C ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/

Step 5: Go back to Steam and find the side-bar on the right. Then, right-click on Halo, and select the “Properties” button in the right-click menu.

Step 6: Inside of “Properties,” locate “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool,” and check the box next to it.

Click the drop-down menu next to “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool,” and select the option “Proton-4.21-GE-1”.

Step 7: Click the “Close” button to close the properties window.

Once Halo: The Master Chief Collection is using the custom version of Proton, the Xbox Live login window will work perfectly!

Installing Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Linux

Now that you’ve purchased the game via Steam and have the Steam Play runtime up and running on your Linux PC, it is time to install it. To install Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam via Linux, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Look in Steam for “Library” and click on it with the mouse to access your video game library.

Step 2: Inside of the “Library” section where your Steam games are, find “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” and click on it with the mouse to open up the game page for it.

Step 3: Find the blue “Install” button, and click it to start the installation of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Alternatively, right-click on it and select the “Install” button to initiate the installation process.

Step 4: Follow the on-screen prompts in Steam to set up the game on your hard drive. Once that is done, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will begin installing.

When the installation process is done, Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s blue “Install” button will turn into a green “Play” button.

Creating an Xbox Live account

Playing Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Linux requires an Xbox Live account. If you do not have an account, you must create one. To create a new account, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Note: you do not need an Xbox Live GOLD account to play, as this game is not on Xbox.

Step 1: Head over to the official Xbox website and locate the “Create an account” button. Then, click it with the mouse. Selecting this button will take you to the new account creation page.

Step 2: In the “Create account” box, write in an email address. It does not have to be a Microsoft email address to work.

Step 3: Enter a secure password in the “Create a password” box.

Step 4: Follow the rest of the on-screen prompts to get your new Xbox Live account up and running.

Playing Halo: The Master Chief Collection

All of the difficult setup to get the game running on Linux is done. Now, if you’d like to enjoy Halo, do the following.

First, click the green “Play” button in Steam to launch The Master Chief Collection on your Linux PC. Sit back and wait a couple of minutes, as the game may take a bit to start up for the first time.

Once The Master Chief Collection is running on your Linux PC, you will see a pop-up window that says, “Let’s get you signed in.” At this point, sign in to your newly created Xbox Live account.

Upon signing into your Xbox Live account in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, everything is ready to go. From here, find “Halo: Reach” and select it (as it is the only Halo title out yet for the game) to start playing!

Read How to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install the Photoflow photo editor on Linux

Photoflow is a non-destructive RAW photo editor for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It is an excellent app that photographers can use to modify and touch up images quickly and efficiently. In this guide, we’ll go over how to install the app on Linux.

Ubuntu  installation instructions

The Photoflow photo editor supports Ubuntu Linux via a PPA. It makes it very easy to install the software with little effort. However, in this guide, we will show you how to install it without a PPA, as the developer has not updated it for newer Ubuntu releases.

To get started with the installation of the Photoflow photo editor on your Ubuntu Linux PC, open up a terminal window. Using a terminal window is required, as it is the quickest way to install the packages. Launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T.

Now that the terminal window is open, use the wget downloader command to grab the Photoflow DEB package directly from the developer’s PPA.

wget https://launchpad.net/~dhor/+archive/ubuntu/myway/+files/photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

Note: this version of Photoflow is for Ubuntu 18.04. However, do not worry! It will also work on Ubuntu 19.10 and future releases.

Once the file is done downloading, it is time to install the DEB package on your system. Since we are using Ubuntu, the primary package manager is Apt. So, install the file with the apt install command below.

sudo apt install ./photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

Since you’ve installed the Photoflow DEB package with the Apt package manager, all dependencies should be taken care of automatically. However, if you run into issues, please follow this guide on how to correct Ubuntu dependencies.

Debian installation instructions

The Photoflow photo editor supports Debian, but not officially. If you check the developer’s website, they only point users towards the Ubuntu PPA or an Arch Linux AUR package. Thankfully, Debian and Ubuntu are very similar, so we can download a DEB package to get it working on most new releases.

To get your hands on the Photoflow DEB package for Debian, launch a terminal window. To launch a terminal window, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the wget download command to grab the latest release of Photoflow for Ubuntu 18.04 via the PPA.

wget https://launchpad.net/~dhor/+archive/ubuntu/myway/+files/photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

With the file done downloading on your Debian PC, it is time to install Photoflow. Using the dpkg command, set up the software.

sudo dpkg -i photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

Following the installation of the package, you will see errors on the screen. These are dependency issues. To solve them, run the command below.

sudo apt-get install -f

The apt-get install -f command should take care of the dependencies on the system, and Photoflow will be ready to use on Debian. However, if you are still having issues, follow this guide here.

Arch Linux installation instructions

The developer of Photoflow supports Arch Linux very well via an AUR package. They also have a pre-compiled package that you can install as well. In this guide, we will go over how to install both.

Pre-compiled

To install the pre-compiled release of Photoflow on Arch Linux, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the wget command to download the package file.

wget https://github.com/aferrero2707/PhotoFlow/releases/download/v0.2.3/photoflow-git-0.2.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

With the file done downloading, use the Pacman package manager to install the software on your Arch Linux PC.

sudo pacman -U photoflow-git-0.2.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

AUR

Prefer to compile Photoflow yourself for Arch? Do the following in a terminal.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

makepkg -sri 

trizen -S photoflow-git

Fedora installation instructions

The developers of Photoflow do not officially support Fedora Linux in any way. Instead, users are directed to compile the software from scratch.

Thankfully, there is an easier way to get the software working without dealing with confusing source code: converting the Ubuntu DEB package to an easy to install RPM package.

Note: if converting the DEB to an RPM package doesn’t work out, try installing the OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 package instead.

To start the installation process, you must download the Photoflow DEB package to your computer. Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, using the wget tool to grab Photoflow.

wget https://launchpad.net/~dhor/+archive/ubuntu/myway/+files/photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

After downloading the package, follow this guide here to learn how to install the Alien package conversion tool for Fedora. Then, once Alien is installed, convert Photoflow from DEB to RPM.

sudo alien -rvc photoflow-git_2.9+git20191208-1608~ubuntu18.04.1_amd64.deb

Assuming the Alien package conversion process is successful, it will output an RPM package with the name of “photoflow-git-2.9+git20191208-1609.x86_64.rpm”.

Now that Photoflow is an RPM package file, it is time to install the various dependencies to run the app on Fedora.

sudo dnf install https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/Factory/standard/x86_64/libjpeg8-8.2.2-57.1.x86_64.rpm
sudo dnf install vips pugixml lensfun gtkmm24

Finally, after installing the dependencies, you can install Photoflow with the rpm command.

sudo rpm -Uvh --nodeps photoflow-git-2.9+git20191208-1609.x86_64.rpm --force

OpenSUSE Linux installation instructions

Thanks to the OpenSUSE Build Service, Photoflow is very easy to get going on OpenSUSE Linux. To install the software, click here to go to the OBS. Then, once there, select the “1 Click Install” button to get Photoflow working.

Read How to install the Photoflow photo editor on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to set up an Android X86 virtual machine on Linux

Sometimes an Android emulator isn’t enough if you want to use Android apps on a Linux PC. Sometimes, you need the real thing. The best way to get real Android on a Linux PC is with an Android X86 virtual machine. In this guide, we’ll go over how to set one up.

Install VirtualBox on Linux

To virtualize the Android operating system on a Linux OS, you must install the VirtualBox virtualization software. Thankfully, VirtualBox supports nearly every Linux operating system without issue, and as a result, it is straightforward to set up.

To start the installation of VirtualBox on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, follow along with the installation instructions that correspond with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, install the VirtualBox app with the following Apt command.

sudo apt install virtualbox

Debian

On Debian, you must manually enable a VirtualBox repo. To enable it, enter the commands below.

wget https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc
sudo apt-key add oracle_vbox_2016.asc
rm oracle_vbox_2016.asc
sudo apt-add-repository 'deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian bionic contrib'

Finally, install VirtualBox on Debian.

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

Arch Linux

To install VirtualBox in Arch Linux, use the following Pacman command.

sudo pacman -S VirtualBox

Fedora

If you’d like to use VirtualBox on Fedora Linux, first head over to this guide to learn how to enable RPMFusion (both non-free and free) on the system. Then, when you’ve set up RPMFusion, use the Dnf command to set up VirtualBox.

sudo dnf install VirtualBox

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE Linux, install VirtualBox with the Zypper command.

sudo zypper install virtualbox

Generic Linux

Oracle makes a “.run” binary release of VirtualBox available to install on every Linux operating system. If your OS does not carry VBox, and you need to install it, head over to the site here to download and install it.

Download Android X86

Now that Oracle VM VirtualBox is set up on your Linux PC, it is time to download the Android X86 release so that we can use it to set up the virtual machine.

To download a copy of Android X86, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Head over to the Android X86 webpage where the latest OS images are located.

Step 2: On the Android X86 webpage, locate the blue “Download” button, and click on it with the mouse to move to the “Download” page.

Step 3: On the “Download” page for Android X86, you will be asked to choose a download mirror. Pick the “OSDN” mirror with the mouse.

Step 4: On the OSDN mirror page, locate the version of Android X86 you would like to use. It must be an ISO file!

In this guide, we will be using Android X86 8.1 release 3, as it is much more stable than 9.0. Download 8.1 here.

Setting up Android X86 in VirtualBox

Setting up the Android X86 virtual machine in VirtualBox can be confusing if you’re not familiar with virtualization. To make it less confusing, we’ll break down the set up into a step-by-step process. Follow along below to get your VM working.

Step 1: Launch VirtualBox on your Linux PC. Then, find the “New” button, and click on it with the mouse to create a new VM.

Step 2: Find “Name” and write “Android X86” in the box.

Step 3: Locate “Type” and change it from “Microsoft Windows” to “Linux.”

Step 4: Locate “Version” and change it from “Oracle (64-bit)” to “Other Linux (64-bit)”.

Step 5: Find the “Next” button and click on it with the mouse to move on to the next page.

Step 6: Set “memory” to “2048 MB”. Or, go higher if you’re feeling brave.

Step 7: In “Hard Disk,” select the box that says, “Create a virtual hard disk now.” Then, click the “Create” button.

Step 8: On “Hard disk file type,” select the “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” box with the mouse. Then, click “Next.”

Step 9: For “Storage on physical hard disk,” select the option “Dynamically allocated.” Click “Next” to continue.

Step 10: In “File location and size,” leave the drive size at 8 GB. Or, set it to 32 GB if you need more space. Then, click “Create” to make the new drive.

Step 11: Find “Android X86” on the sidebar in VirtualBox, and select it with the mouse. Then, right-click on the VM, and select “Settings.”

Step 12: Inside of “Settings,” find “Display” and click on it to access the “Display” settings. Then,  find “Enable 3d Acceleration” and check the box next to it. Click “OK” to apply the settings.

Step 13: After exiting the VM settings, find Android X86 in the sidebar. Then, click the “Start” button to start up the VM.

Step 14: In the “Select start-up disk” window, find the folder icon with the green icon, and click it with the mouse. Then, go to “Downloads” and select the Android X86 ISO file to load it into the VM. Then, click “Start” to start the VM.

Using your VM

When Android X86 starts up in VirtualBox, find the “use without installation” button, and press Enter to gain access to Android instantly.

Or, if you prefer to have a permanent installation, select the “Installation” option to start installing Android.

Read How to set up an Android X86 virtual machine on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter