Radu Cotescu's professional blog

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New Toys for Linux

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Two days ago, on December 9th, Google has launched the beta version for its Chrome browser for Linux and Mac machines. For the ones having Chrome already installed in Ubuntu by using the google-chrome-unstable package, they can switch to google-chrome-beta without loosing any of their settings. For the ones wanting to install the browser, you have two solutions:

  • follow my post from here regarding how to add Google’s repos in Ubuntu and then install the beta package;

  • go to Google’s Chrome page and select the corresponding package for your distribution

Another great feature of the new beta is the ability to install extensions, both from Google and third-party developers. Check these pages for that:

Thunderbird 3


Also on December 9th, Thunderbird 3 has been released. There are a lot of differences between the new release and the 2.x series. To mention just a few of them we now have tabbed browsing, message indexing for all of your folders (e.g.: it’s possible to search for a mail that contains certain words, not just by subject / author), it now supports automatic configuration of your mail account by only supplying data about your account (username, password) and your mail servers (incoming and outgoing) - although it failed to discover the Google Apps settings for my domain, trying to set the account according to the mail servers located at my ISP provider (which means that it doesn’t look for MX records when doing this, but for mail servers’ replies).

One another noteworthy addition to Thunderbird 3 is an attachment reminder, a thing for which I cried when I replaced Evolution with Thunderbird on the desktop I used at my workplace where I sent a message or two in which I was talking about reports attached but I would forget to actually attach them.

For a complete list of new features, check the informations from here.

Two extensions that I highly recommend in case you are using Google applications like Contacts and Calendar would be gContactSync and Lightning (Calendar synchronization tool) but which I recommend to be installed by using the Lightning Nightly Updater extension, due to the fact that the official version of Lightning doesn’t yet support the new Thunderbird.

Unfortunately, Thunderbird 3 is not yet in Ubuntu’s repositories, but you can download it from its official site. Extract the archive in /opt and start it first with the profile manager option

/opt/thunderbird/thunderbird-bin -ProfileManager

and guide it to your existing Thunderbird 2 profile (if that’s applicable to you) so that you won’t lose your old emails. Afterwards, create your symbolic links to /usr/bin/thunderbird and you are set to go. If you uninstall the old version, you should recreate your menu entries.

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