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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Google Desktop on Ubuntu Linux 7.04

Google Desktop on Ubuntu Linux 7.04

Google Recently released their popular search tool Google Desktop on the Linux platform , till now it was only available on Windows and Mac OS X . Now Google Desktop allows one to full text search of a user's e-mail, computer files, music, photos, chat, and Web pages viewed,OpenOffice documents , PDF files and more .
Now similar tools already existed on Linux like beagle (supported by novell ) , meta tracker etc . However Google Desktop search is not based on any of these tools and uses its proprietary algorithms to search for files on the computer ,also being 1.0 release and more stable then these products it could be preferred over tools like beagle .

Here is text taken from Google Desktop site on how it works : -

You have lots of information on your computer, and you see a lot more on the web. With Google Desktop, whenever you look at a web page, read an email or edit a file, Desktop indexes that item and copies its contents into your local cache, so you can quickly and easily find all this stuff right when you need it.
Now once installation of Google Desktop is complete, it automatically starts searching for files and information on your computer and stores it in it's database , the indexing take advantage of free CPU resources during time computer is idle and once entire indexing is over the Google Desktop only adds new information to its database as you use your computer .

Installing Google Desktop on Ubuntu 7.04

To install Google Desktop on Ubuntu 7.04 Follow these steps : -

Open Terminal from (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal ) now type the following command in the terminal window : -



sudo bash

Now after completing above steps to install Google Desktop Search type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install google-desktop-linux

After completing above step logout of gnome session and relogin you would find the following dialog window
select the appropriate option : -

Now after chosing appropriate option you would find Google Desktop icon in the bar at the top of the screen , now it would automatically scan and index files on computer and store it in local database which could be searched using web browser .

Now to search for files Right Click on the Google Desktop icon and click on "Show Home Page"

now this would launch Web Browser from which you could easily search for information indexed in the database .

Alternatively you could open in Web Browser and select Desktop to search for local files .

Another easy way for searching files is by pressing "Ctrl" twice this would bring the following window from which you could search for information easily.

You can also change various options like type of files Google Desktop should index, files it should not index and stuff by clicking on Preferences in the Quick Search box .
This would open the following web based configuration screen : -

Overall Google Desktop is a very powerful search tool that makes Linux desktop experience much better for new Linux users . It has distinct advantage over tools like Beagle being bit faster and more stable 1.0 release, also it integrates well with their search engine making it even more user friendly . A Highly Recommended product for Desktop Linux users .

Usefull Links : -

Article written by :
Ambuj Varshney , blogambuj(at)
For Linux on Desktop blog ,
(C) 2007 , Ambuj Varshney

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Software Download of the Week : GIMPshop

GIMPShop : - An Alternative to Adobe Photoshop on Linux

If you are Graphics Designer and moving from Windows to Linux and want to use Linux for Graphics editing there are basically two options available to you : -
  • You can use Codeweaver Crossover Office to run Adobe Photoshop on Linux
  • Use free Linux native application GIMP/GIMPShop instead
Now while most people would prefer the first option since learning new application takes a significant amount of time , however this option has disadvantages first of all both Crossover Office and Adobe Photoshop are commercial product and would require you to purchase licenses and secondly Windows applications running on Linux are not very stable , yes people claim they work flawlessly but i have found that they are somewhat unstable especially when it involves a lot of computation , and photoshop is very resource hungry application .

Now for second option ,
Gimp or GNU Image Manipulation Program-GIMP is a raster graphic application with support for vector graphics . GIMP can be used for creating logos , animated gif , powerful image manipulation ,removing unwanted image features , altering colors ,converting between different image formats and numerous other purposes . Now it is very powerful and an ideal replacement for commercial Adobe Photoshop . However many people while switching from Adobe Photoshop to Gimp face problem of adjusting to different user interface and this is precisely the problem GIMPshop tries to solve .

GIMPshop is a modification of the free/open source graphics program GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.

This is what developer had to say : -
"My original purpose for GIMPshop was to make the Gimp accessible to the many Adobe Photoshop users out there. I hope I’ve done that. And maybe along the way, I can convert a Photoshop pirate into a Gimp user."
GIMPShop tries to replicate Photoshop's interface as close as possible , hence many tutorials designed for Adobe Photoshop could be followed for GIMPshop !! . Now besides all the interface change it adds naming convection similar to photoshop to Gimp . Other than this all the features of GIMP are preserved .

Like GIMP which is crossplatform and runs on Windows , Linux , OS X ,Solaris GIMPshop too is crossplatform .

Since GIMPshop is based on GIMP so it has all the features of GIMP .

Some of the features similar with Photoshop and Gimp are : -

Features Similar or identical to features in Adobe Photoshop include:

  • Intelligent Scissors are similar to the Magnetic Lasso
  • rectangular, elliptical and lasso features are identical
  • dropper, fill, gradient, pencil, paintbrush, eraser, airbrush, clone stamper, blur or sharpen, smudge, and dodge or burn features are identical
  • flip, rotate, scale, crop, zoom, move, foreground+background color swatch, layers, history, gradients, and drop shadow features are identical

File Format supported by GIMP are : -

GIMP can open and save the following file formats: [2]

GIMP can import (open but not save) the following formats:

GIMP can also export to (save, but not open) the following formats:

GIMP can also be extended to support various other features by using plugins . GIMP has approximately 150 standard effects and filters, including Drop Shadow, Blur, Motion blur and Noise. and has advanced features like Layers , Transparency and channels .

Now there is no need to install GIMP as most linux distributions comes preinstalled with GIMP however GIMPshop is not installed by default . Now since i am running Ubuntu Linux so am giving instructions on installing GIMPshop in ubuntu .

sudo wget


sudo dpkg -i gimpshop_2.2.11-1_i386.deb

After completing the above steps launch GIMPshop by typing

in the terminal window.

Splash Screen of GIMPshop
GIMPshop in Action (Note this screen shot was taken from GIMPshop website and running on Mac OS X)

In short GIMPshop is a good alternative/addon package to GIMP providing new user migrating from Photoshop to GIMP easy transition .

Article Written by Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj(at)
For Linux on Desktop blog ,
(C) 2007 , Ambuj Varshney

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution , it is especially popular among Linux newbies and windows refuges . Now Ubuntu Linux does come with a descent set of applications , still there is a scope for including some more quality applications and especially games . Now in this tutorial i will show you how to install a large number of small , easy and less resource hungry games on Ubuntu Linux with screen-shots of games .

1. Rocks 'n' Diamonds

Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a Boulderd*sh game for X11 with more than just the falling rocks and diamonds of its namesake. The object is still to collect all the diamonds (and emeralds), then get to the exit before time runs out. But your character must make use of bombs, spaceships, and many other elements in order to fill his quota of jewels.

Installation : -

Type the following command in the terminal window



tar -xvzf rocksndiamonds-3.2.0.tar.gz

Now go to rocksndiamonds-3.2.0 directory and type

" ./rocksndiamonds "

To launch rocksndiamonds game.

2. Globulation 2
Globulation 2 is an innovative Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game which reduces micro-management by automatically assigning tasks to units. Globulation 2 brings a new type of gameplay to RTS games. The player chooses the number of units to assign to various tasks, and the units do their best to satisfy the requests. This allows players to manage more units and focus on strategy rather than individual unit's jobs. Globulation 2 also features AI allowing single-player games or any possible combination of human-computer teams.

To install globulation type the following command in the terminal window : -



sudo dpkg -i glob2_alpha23_i386.deb

After completing above step launch Globulation 2 by typing glob2 in the terminal window .

3. Pysol

PySol is an exciting collection of more than 200 solitaire card games. Its features include very nice look and feel, multiple cardsets and table tiles, samples and background music, unlimited undo/redo, load/save games, player statistics and log files, hint system, demo games, support for user-written plugins, integrated HTML help browser and lots of documentation

To install type the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install pysol

after completing above step launch pysol from (Applications -> Games -> Pysol )

Pysol in action

4. Super Tux
SuperTux is a jump'n run like game, with strong inspiration from the Super Mario Bros games for Nintendo. Run and jump through multiple worlds, fighting off enemies by jumping on them or bumping them from below. Grabbing power-ups and other stuff on the way.

To install Super Tux type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install supertux

after completing above step run supertux from (Applications -> Games -> Super Tux )

5. Pingus
Pingus has started at the end of 1998 with the simple goal to create a Free (as in freedom, not as in free beer) Lemmingstm clone.if you don't know Lemmingstm, here comes a short introduction. Its a puzzle game developed in 1991 by DMA Design. The player takes command in the game of a bunch of small animals and has to guide them around in levels. Since the animals walk on their own, the player can only influence them by giving them commands, like build a bridge, dig a hole or redirect all lemmings in the other direction. The goal of each level is to reach the exit, for fix multiple combination of commands are necessary. The game is presented in a 2D site view.

To install type following in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install pingus

then to launch pingus go to (Applications -> Games ->Pingus )

6. Crack-Attack
Crack Attack! is a fast-paced puzzle game inspired by the classic Super NES title Tetris Attack! To install type the following in Terminal Window : -

sudo apt-get install crack-attack

and to launch go to (Applications -> Games -> Crack Attack )
Crack Attack Configuration Screen

Crack-Attack in Action

7. Xmoto
X-Moto is a challenging 2D motocross platform game, where physics plays an all important role in the gameplay. You need to control your bike to its limits, if you want to have a chance to finish the most difficult challenges.

To Install XMoto type the following command in terminal window :-

sudo apt-get install xmoto
And to launch Xmoto go to (Applications -> Games -> XMoto )

8. Playing Classic Dos Games under Dosbox

DOSBOX allows you to run your old dos programs under Linux , DOSBOX provides a full featured dos environment inside your ubuntu box . DOSBOX allows running of DOS programs in Linux and Windows.

To install DOSBOX type the following command in the Console Window (Applications -> Accesories -> Terminal)

sudo apt-get install dosbox

Alternatively you can use the Synaptic package manager located in (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager) for installing the DOSBOX emulator. Launch the synaptic package manager and click on Search button and type dosbox in the text field mark th checkbox of dosbox and click on install, for installation to start.

After completing installation, create a directory say (/home/user/games) where you would like to store your games,
now after copying your games to the directory launch dosbox by typing dosbox in terminal window.
Opening Screen of dosbox

In DOSBOX type the following command to make your games directory visible inside the dosbox emulator

mount d /home/user/games

Now go to d drive , then go to the directory of the game and launch the executable file of the game to start the game.
Alleycat game running under DOSBox

Some of the popular DOS games can be obtained at the following internet address : -

Bio Menace (This game and all it's three series were released as Freeware and can be downloaded from ) ,Commander Keen , Wolfeinstein 3D , Duke Nukem , Hocus Pocus , Crystal Caves and other can be downloaded at the following address some of the games are shareware and some freeware but trust me even shareware games would give you hours if not days of entertainment : -

Alley Cat ( This game released in 1984 is one of my all time favorite i have spent a lot of time playing this on my 386 computer ) this can be downloaded from the following : -

Dangerous Dave ( Well this game released in 1988 is a very simple game which is quite popular here in India even today in school labs you could find people playing this game !!!!!) :-

Mario Brother VGA ( Well this is also a nice game it even has a boss mode to fool your boss that you are working and to top it all it is only few kilobytes in size !!) :-

Get more old dos games here at :

Wikipedia page on list of all dos games :

Wikipedia page on commercial games released as freeware (most of them dos) :

9. Frozen Bubble
Get rid of all the bubbles by matching colors as quick as you can!

To install type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install frozen-bubble

After completing above step launch frozen-bubble from (Applications -> Games -> Frozen Bubble )

10. Lincity

Lincity is a city simulation game. You are required to build and maintain a city. You must feed, house, provide jobs and goods for your residents. You can build a sustainable economy with the help of renewable energy and recycling, or you can go for broke and build rockets to escape from a pollution ridden and resource starved planet, it's up to you.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lincity
and launch from (Applications -> Games -> Lincity ) .

11. Bomberman Clone

This is a Bomberman like game. You have to drop bombs which will be explode after a while. With this bombs you have to try to kill the other players. If you are the last player in the game you have won.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install bomberclone

After completing above step launch it by typing

"bomberclone" at the terminal window

12. Wormux

Have the mascots of your favorite free softwares battle in the Wormux arena. Using dynamite, grenades, baseball bat and others bazookas,... exterminate your opponent in a 2D toon style scenery and a funny environment.

Each player (2 minimum on the same PC or network game with 0.8 version) controls the team of his choice (penguin, gnu, firefox, wilber,...) and must destroy his adversary using more or less casual weapons.

Although a minimum of strategy is required to vanquish, Wormux is pre-eminently a "convivial mass murder" game where, turn by turn, each member of each team attempts to produce a maximum of damage to his opponents.

To install type the following command in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install wormux
and then go to (Applications -> Games -> Wormux ) to launch the game .

13. Power Manga

After a peace treaty about free interplanetary traffic was concluded 150 years ago, the whole space has been turned into a giant floating trash infested with litter; meteorites deviated from their trajectories and with wild pirates, each of them representing a deadly danger for the peaceful navigators. That is the reason why the Governors of the Sidereal Spaces have created this Special Fast Intervention Patrol with the mission to clear the sidereal ways of these nuisances and to improve the safety of the voyagers. This elite unit has been named POWERMANGA. You have been selected to patrol a Spaceship of this unit and you are going to fly along the Milky Way in a fine Space vessel. But be careful to keep away from the streams of meteorites that will charge you periodically. Also avoid the Wardens, those pirates who try to racket you and steal your energy and your food or even try to disintegrate your Spaceship. The energy that you collect allows you to repair the damages caused by these fights. If by chance, you load energy to the limits of your Spaceship, you will start a thermonuclear process that will turn to ashes and dust any enemy.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install powermanga
and after completing installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> Power Manga )

14. Super Tux Kart

SuperTuxKart is an enhanced version of TuxKart, a kart racing game, originaly done by Steve Baker, featuring Tux and a bunch of his friends.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install supertuxkart
After installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> SuperTuxKart )

15. Chromium

You are captain of the cargo ship Chromium B.S.U., responsible for delivering supplies to our troops on the front line. Your ship has a small fleet of robotic fighters which you control from the relative safety of the Chromium vessel.

To install type the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install chromium

and after completing above step launch chromium from (Application -> Games -> Chrmoum)

16. LBreakout2
The polished successor to LBreakout offers you a new challenge in more than 50 levels with loads of new bonuses (goldshower, joker, explosive balls, bonus magnet ...), maluses (chaos, darkness, weak balls, malus magnet ...) and special bricks (growing bricks, explosive bricks, regenerative bricks, indestructible bricks, chaotic bricks). And if you're through with all the levels you can create complete new levelsets with the integrated easy-to-use level editor or challenge other humans via LAN or internet iin either deathmatch or normal levelsets. Fun!

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lbreakout2
After completing above step launch lbreakout2 from (Applications -> Games -> Lbreakout2)

Article written by Ambuj Varshney , blogambuj(at)
For Linux on Desktop Blog ,(C) 2007 Ambuj Varshney