Linux

Release Roundup: X11 Gestures, Ventoy 1.0.36, Clight 4.3, Flameshot 0.9, SimpleNote 2.7.0 And Quod Libet 4.4.0


Quite a few applications were updated recently, and this article covers the changes in these new releases. There’s also a brand-new GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11. Read on to find out more!

X11 Gestures (GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11)

X11 Gestures is a brand-new GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11, created by the Touchegg developer. The extension requires having Touchegg installed (this is an application that runs in the background and transforms touchpad or touchscreen gestures into actions for your desktop).

This extension enables 1:1 gestures that are available on GNOME in the Wayland session, to those using the X11 session. It requires GNOME 3.36 or newer but, according to the developer, it’s GNOME 40 where it really shines.

You can see the extension developer using this in the video below:

Also see:

Ventoy 1.0.36 (Create multiboot USB devices with Linux and Windows by simply copying the ISO to the USB)

Ventoy is a tool to create bootable USB drives using Linux or Microsoft Windows ISO files. It’s available for Windows and Linux. 

You install this tool to a USB drive, then simply copy some ISO files to the USB drive, and you can boot from it with no other changes (so without having to reformat the USB drive every time you want to create a bootable USB drive, and without having to extract the ISO file contents). You can also continue using the USB stick for other things, and it will continue to work as a bootable USB.

The latest Ventoy 1.0.36 adds a new experimental web browser-based Linux GUI. To use this, run sudo VentoyWeb.sh in a terminal, then open a web browser and go to http://127.0.0.1:24680 to access it:

Ventoy web interface

Other changes in Ventoy 1.0.36:

  • Align the partitions with 4KB by default when install Ventoy. (improvement for Legacy BIOS compatibility)
  • Add a lock icon to identify secure boot option in Ventoy2Disk.exeFlathubFlathub
  • Add a Show All Devices option in Ventoy2Disk.exe
  • Ventoy2Disk.exe doesn’t check partition active flag anymore
  • Optimization for Ventoy2Disk.sh
  • Add support for nbd device in Ventoy2Disk.sh

For Arch Linux / Manjaro, you can find Ventoy in the AUR. For other Linux distributions, download the .tar.gz from the releases page, extract and run it from a terminal (see link below for more details).

Also see: Create A Bootable USB Drive By Simply Copying The ISO To The USB With Ventoy (Linux And Windows) – includes complete instructions for using Ventoy, including how to create a bootable USB drive with persistence.

Clight 4.3 (Tool that uses the webcam to adjust screen backlight based on ambient brightness)

Clight is a tool that uses your computer’s webcam or ambient light sensors to get the ambient brightness, and then calculates and sets the screen backlight accordingly.

Besides adjusting the screen backlight based on ambient brightness, this program can also adjust the keyboard backlight, and manage the screen temperature (GAMMA support) based on sunset and sunrise times, similar to Redshit. External monitors are also supported. It can also dim your screen after a period of inactivity and manage the screen DPMS.

The tool works on X11, Wayland and tty, although on Wayland, some protocols need to be implemented by your compositor for this to work.

Clight is a daemon, and doesn’t have a GUI, but there’s a third-party GUI tool you can use to configure it.

Changes in Clight 4.3:

  • Backlight: Clamp backlight values between first backlight curve value and last one, ie: never get out of backlight curve’s limitson any
  • Interface:
    • Fixed crash when writing Sunrise/Sunset dayconf properties from dbus
    • Remember that ‘b’ dbus type maps to int when reading from sd_bus_message. This fixes a weird stack-smashing crash.
    • Allow to unset Sunrise/Sunset from dbus api
  • Keyboard:
    • Switch to use new KEYBOARD api offered by Clightd
    • Add support for StopTimeout (keyboard dimming)
    • Keyboard backlight does now follow backlight curve (not ambient brightness!)
  • Gamma:
    • Do not use state.current_bl_pct in ambient_callback() as it may still have old value (it is now updated in dbus match on_bl_changed, async)
    • Only call ambient_callback() on target bl changes, not step ones
    • Dynamically react to ambient gamma value updates
    • When ambient gamma is enabled, properly react to interface gamma temp updates
  • Added a man page
  • Added fish and zsh completion scripts
  • Finally fixed a bug that causes high CPU usage under certain circumstances

To use Clight, you’ll need to build it from source on most Linux distributions. On Arch Linux / Manjaro you can install clight as well as the third-party Clight GUI from AUR.

Also see: Clight Uses Your Webcam To Adjust Screen Backlight Based On Ambient Brightness

Flameshot 0.9.0 (Screenshot tool with annotation capabilities)

Flameshot is a screenshot tool with drawing / annotation capabilities, available for Linux ,Windows, and macOS with this release. On Linux it supports X11, and has experimental Wayland support for Gnome and Plasma.

Changes in Flameshot 0.9:

  • MacOS is now officially supported
  • Digitally signed Windows releases
  • Improved Wayland support on Gnome (with fixes for issues with multimonitor setups and copying to the clipboard)
  • Ability to run flameshot on Sway
  • New option to allow the clipboard image to be a jpeg instead of a png. This may reduce bandwidth when pasting the image into chat or email clients
  • New global shortcut menu. All actions hotkeys are fully customizable
  • Ability to take “symmetric” selections by holding down the Shift key while resizing the selection
  • The rectangle tool will now round the corners of the rectangles based on the current thickness
  • All Imgur uploads are now tracked in the “Upload History” menu. This makes it much easier to delete of images off Imgur or find the upload link later
  • Added “check for new release” feature. This allows users on MacOS / Windows / and AppImages to easily check for updated versions
  • New option for setting a “fixed save path”. When this is enabled a user will no longer need to set the path for images that are saved
  • Bug fixes

For Linux, you’ll find Flameshot binaries for Debian / Ubuntu (DEB) and Linux distributions based on these, Fedora (RPMs specifically built for it), as well as a generic AppImage that you can use on any Linux distribution (make the AppImage executable and double click it to run it).

Flameshot is also available in the repositories of many Linux distributions, but it hasn’t yet been updated to the latest release in most cases (it’s already version 0.9 for Arch Linux).

The application is also available as a snap package, on the Snap Store, and as a flatpak package, on Flathub (not yet updated to version 0.9). You can use these packages on most Linux distributions.

Also see 2 similar screenshot tools:

SimpleNote 2.7.0 (Note-taking application with optional Markdown support)

SimpleNote 2.7.0 Linux

SimpleNote is a note-taking application with optional Markdown support. There are applications for desktops (Linux, Windows and macOS), iOS and Android, and there’s also a web client. The Simplenote applications are free and open source software, but the server is not (though there’s no cost in using it to sync notes).

Originally created by Simperium back in 2008, Simplenote is developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Akismet, etc., since 2013.

Changes in SimpleNote 2.7.0:

  • Added a sort order bar to the note list
  • Added a checklist icon to the note toolbar
  • Updated tag renaming to be more consistent in the app and across platforms
  • Moved the note revision slider to the bottom of the note
  • Added the new note icon to the toolbar when in focus mode
  • Updated the icon set
  • Updated tag editing styles
  • Adjusted note list width and font weights
  • Updated pinner styles in the note list
  • Bug fixes

On Linux, SimpleNote is available as a DEB (Debian / Ubuntu and Linux distributions based on these), RPM (openSUSE / Fedora), as well as a generic AppImage that should work on any Linux distribution (make it executable, then double click to run it). SimpleNote is also available for Arch Linux / Manjaro, via AUR (not yet updated to the latest 2.7.0 though).

The application is also available as a snap package, on the Snap Store, and as a flatpak package, on Flathub. You can use these packages on most Linux distributions.

Quod Libet 4.4.0 (Music player and manager)

Quod Libet music player on Linux

Quod Libet is a music player and manager that offers several ways to view the music FlathubFlathubFlathublibrary. It includes support for Internet radio, audio feeds, as well as a flexible metadata tag editor. It’s available for Linux, Microsoft Windows and macOS.

Changes in Quod Libet 4.4.0 include:

  • Move to Python 3.7
  • Switch to XSPF for Playlists
  • Support moving library folders
  • Support JACK via Gstreamer
  • Restyle the search query
  • Support feedparser 6.0
  • Add listenbrainz scrobbling plugin
  • First version of Musicbrainz Sync plugin that sends ratings
  • Add plugin ‘synchronize to device’ 
  • Add option to inhibit suspend
  • Add Sonos playlist export plugin
  • Prettier sync lyrics
  • MP4: Support description tag
  • Improve plugin window style
  • Improve local cover art detection

There are many more changes in the latest Quod Libre 4.4.0. See the complete changelog for details.

For a somewhat similar music player, also check out gmusicbrowser, which had is first release in more than 5 years back in November 2020. Or, for a cloud-based music player with YouTube support and over 25000 online radio stations, see Olivia.

On Linux, the application is available in the repositories for several Linux distributions, including Debian / Ubuntu, Arch Linux / Manjaro, Fedora, openSUSE, etc. However, these distro-provided packages have not yet been updated to the latest 4.4.0 version (not even on Arch Linux) at the time I’m writing this article. 

Quod Libet is also available on Flathub, making it available for easy installation on most Linux distributions. This package has already been updated to Quod Libet 4.4.0.