Get lucky with Luckybackup

Linux Mint Serena (18.1) comes with a default backup tool called – ‘Backup Tool’. However, when I tried to backup my Home directory using the same, it was getting struck at the ‘Calculating .. ‘ step and refusing to go further.

screenshot-from-2017-01-08-18-17-42screenshot-from-2017-01-08-18-18-12

Screenshot from 2017-01-08 18-40-41.png

Hence, I was forced to look for an alternative. Easy option was to search for backup tool in Software Manager. The first result and the ne with highest score (87) in Software Manager was ‘Luckybackup’, which is what I ended up installing.

It presents us with a simple UI. You need to add a task e.g., ‘Backup-Serena-2017-01-8’ after which there is option to choose Source and Destination (could be external hard disk). You may select the task from the task list, proceed to validate and then select the ‘Okay’ button.

screenshot-from-2017-01-08-18-29-16

screenshot-from-2017-01-08-18-24-39

Once the backup is done, you will be shown the result and the path where log file is saved. You may run through the log file to see if there are any errors and take appropriate steps.

Although, I have not explored the tool completely overall, Luckybackup seems to be a useful and simple tool for backing up your precious data.

 

Lost and found – Free data recovery tool called PhotoRec

It was a beautiful Friday morning in Bangalore a couple of weeks ago. The previous night I had a great idea to upgrade my Macbook Pro to the latest OS X Sierra. I wanted to take a backup of my entire Macbook Pro including the Linux Mint and eOS installed as Desktop Parallels to an external hard drive.

I just had one external hard disk (Seagate 1 TB) with me with some 550 GB personal data including documents, books, pictures, movies and music on it.

I wanted to take a backup of Mac and attempted to resize the external hard disk and partition it into two partitions using GParted. I started this task without complete knowledge of partitioning. Resizing seemed to have happened correctly but I failed to achieve the 2nd step ie., creating additional partition.

It was here, I made a  crucial and unforgivable mistake. With over confidence,  connected external hard disk to Macbook and then used a back up software called Time Machine. Time Machine application which then formatted the entire external hard disk to HFS+ format. I made a stupid mistake without thinking. It all was all over in a matter of 2 seconds. The damage was done. I did not know how to recover the data. I connected to Linux Mint and could not find any data. All the 550 GB data was lost in two seconds.

At this point of time, I did not know what to do. I quickly downloaded couple of trail software apps on Macbook to try and recover the lost data. There was no luck. I therefore approached a professional data recovery services company and gave my external hard disk. The person told me it will take lot of time to recover lost data. The recovery process is also expensive he needs to test in lab whether it is possible to recover or not.

I was following up with him for a couple of days and this is when the recovery services person told me that it is possible to recover. I had a hope. However couple of days later he informed me that there is a problem and he is unable to read the data from hard disk. Hence I had to take back the hard disk . Whatever hope I had was lost.

After a weak gone, I wanted to give a try myself. Hence I posted a question on Linux Mint Google plus forum for free or open source recovery software. Nine out of 10 people suggested me to try TestDisk software.

TestDisk (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk) comes with a companion tool called PhotoRec. At once, I installed TestDisk from Linux Mint Software Manager.

After installing TestDisk, i attempted reading from the external hard disk but it could not discover anything. There was a deep search option available but I was not sure. Hence I resorted to  companion software PhotoRec (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec)

Both TestDisk and PhotoRec are command line tools. I went through the Step By Step wiki page of PhotoRec (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step) and ran the tool from Command Line as root. After selecting the hard drive  (source) to retrieve data from and write to (destination), the tool was displaying 10 hours remaining as the time required to recover the data from entire hard disk.

su

photorec

The step by step instructions with screen shots are given in the above link. Hence, I won’t be repeating it here.

At this point, I went through the instruction once again and understood that we can choose the file types we wish to recover from the various file types supported (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/File_Formats_Recovered_By_PhotoRec). There are more than 300 file formats’ recovery is supported by PhotoRec.

To me, it took roughly 10 hours to recover various document type, pictures, audio and video files totaling 770000 file in 1500+ folders that PhotoRec created in the process.

After this, I had to manually delete unwanted files/file types from the terminal by running delete command from the folders and sub folders.

Finally, I was happy to see my lost data (especially the Photos that are dear to me).

I want to thank the cgsecurity team for such a wonderful software and the Linux Miont Google Plus community friends who suggested me TestDisk/PhotoRec.

Elementary OS Loki

This week Elementary OS team has launched their latest stable release of eOS 0.4 code named Loki.

Elementary OS names its releases after Gods and Creatures of Norse Mythology (0.3 was known as Freya – symbolizing beauty, fondness of love).

The name Loki is unusual because it is described as wily trickster God in Norse Mythology http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-aesir-gods-and-goddesses/loki/.

Anyway, I am a big fan of Elementary OS (http://elementary.io/) since Freya was released. I liked it mainly because of its simplicity and beauty.

Similar to Freya (and other Elementary OS releases), Loki is based on Ubuntu – Ubuntu 16.04 stable release to be precise.

Ever since beta is released, I am waiting eagerly for the stable candidate and at last it was available near to the same day as apple released announced iOS and OS X Sierra (What a coincidence) After all, Elementary OS describes itself as – “A fast and open replacement for Windows and macOS”

I downloaded Loki ISO from torrent:

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:535c241c5b14fdfe47bec6cbaac4a39cd41c719e&dn=elementaryos-0.4-stable-amd64.20160909.iso&tr=https%3A%2F%2Fashrise.com%3A443%2Fphoenix%2Fannounce&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337%2Fannounce&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.ccc.de%3A80%2Fannounce&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80%2Fannounce&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A80%2Fannounce&ws=http://sgp1.dl.elementary.io/download/MTQ3Mzk1NjMyNA==/elementaryos-0.4-stable-amd64.20160909.iso

It is about 1.3 GB. The installation was simple.

Major differences compared to Freya are:

  • UI or the desktop environment – Pantheon looks even more polished
  • Ubuntu 16.04 is built on the 4.4 series of Linux Kernels. Hence Loki is taking advantage of latest Linux Kernel
  • Noticed python 3.5.2 was also installed by default
  • Notification center is redesigned with DND (do not disturb) option
  • Epiphany is default browser (I had to quickly install Chromium as I was not able to login to WordPress or Google account on Epiphany browser)
  • There is a lightweight email client
  • Most of the apps are looking improved and fresh

Here are some of the screenshots of my Elementary Loki:

Desktop

Screenshot from 2016-09-15 21:15:27.png

AppCenter

Screenshot from 2016-09-15 22:09:58.png

Screenshot from 2016-09-15 22:10:10.png

Epiphany browser

screenshot-from-2016-09-15-221522

Mail Client

screenshot-from-2016-09-15-221649

Calendar

Screenshot from 2016-09-15 22:17:53.png

Music Player, Video Player

Screenshot from 2016-09-15 22:18:17.png

Overall, there is a great improvement over Freya in terms of look and feel design. Hope to see Loki improving further.

Installing Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon (Sarah) on Macbook Pro

At last, the wait is over. Baby Sarah has kicked it way out. Linux Mint 18 stable version was released on 30th Jun 2016. Like many other hardcore Linux fans, I have been waiting for this moment ever since Mint 18 was announced . There is an excellent feedback given on internet about Mint 18.

I am using Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon as regular use OS on my Macbook Pro installed as a VM Parallels Desktop ever since it (Rosa) was available (Dec 2015). I am very pleased with the performance and usability of Linux Mint. It is also highly customisable. Perhaps that is the reason for Linux Mint to be the top ranked Linux distribution in Distrowatch website (http://distrowatch.com/)

In the below screenshot, you can see Mint Linux on top right corner. I also have Elementary OS installed as a VM.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.06.47 AM.png

In the last 6 months, I have installed several apps (such as WordPress, Vivaldi browser, Nylas N1 email PyCharm community edition, Google Earth, Comodo AV, My Weather, PlayOnLinux etc) and settled down on Paper Icon theme and ended up with a custom menu icon, startup/shutdown image. I installed Xubuntu, Kubuntu packages as well so that I can login optionally to XFCE or KDE or Cinnamon sessions (All part of my learning).

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.55.03 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.31.54 PM.png

Mint 17.x was based on Ubuntu 14.04 stable and Mint 18 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 packages.

Normally, a major release (e.g., from Mint 17.3 to Mint 18) needs to be a freshly installed and upgrade option is provided only for minor releases (e.g., from Mint 17.2 to Mint 17.3).

However, as an exception, I am seeing a message on the official blog that upgrade instructions would be made available in future (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3051 – “It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3. Upgrade instructions will be published next month.”)

This is an excellent option. However, I am exited to try to the Mint 18 sooner and can’t wait any longer.

Hence I downloaded torrent file from Linux Mint site – (https://torrents.linuxmint.com/torrents/linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso.torrent) and downloaded linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso using µTorrent.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.03.05 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.03.47 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.04.46 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.17.38 PM.png

Below screenshot is post installation and just after first login:

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.19.14 PM.png

First thing I do after any installation is to install Parallels tools for my Linux. I do this from terminal and follow instructions given in the site – http://kb.parallels.com/en/121370

Reproducing the steps below just in case:

1. Open Linux Terminal window and login as root 
su
eject /dev/cdrom

2. Go to Parallels Desktop menubar > Devices > CD/DVD > Connect image…
Navigate to /Applications/Parallels Desktop/Contents/Resources/Tools
Click on prl-tools-lin.iso and click Open

3. Mount the Parallels Tools image to Linux virtual machine and verify:
mkdir /media/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

 4. run the installation package:
cd /media/cdrom
./install

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.30.40 PM.png

I have selected the recommended update policy. I wish to keep my daily OS stable and optimized. Once this is done, I chose to update the packages.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.44.48 PM.png

185 kB/s is the best internet speed I am experiencing in recent times. Today, I am lucky. There are occasions when internet gives me 2 kB/s and I find it difficult to even open the google page.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 1.46.03 PM.png

This completes basic installation of Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon desktop on Macbook Pro.

However, to bring to my current environment, I need to install multiple things.

  1. Set up my current favorite desktop background (Evolution) and move Panel from bottom of the screen to top of the screen
  2. Change the menu image from mint image to RMS (Richard M Stallman) image
    • Right click on the Menu (Mint Image)
    • Select ‘Configure’
    • Select option ‘Use a custom Icon’
    • Browse for RMS.jpg Image and select
  3. Installing Plank dock
    • From the Synaptic Package Manager, select ‘plank (Simple, elegant, clean dock) ‘
    • Mark for installation and apply changes
    • Select plank as startup application
  4. Adding Conky Manager
    sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install conky-manager
    • Select ~/.conky/Gotham/Gotham
  5. Installing my-weather-indicator
  • Add my-weather-indicator a as startup application
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install my-weather-indicator

6. Installing wordpress desktop application

7. Installed Nylas N1 mail client

  • Download N1.deb from Nylas N1 website (https://nylas.com/)
  • Install using GDebi package manager

8. Change the start and shutdown logo (mint-logo.png) to custom logo

  • copy custom logo (rename as mint-logo.png) to the folder:
  • usr/share/plymouth/themes/mint-logo
  • backup original mint-logo.png as OLD_mint-logo.png
  • On terminal, run
    • sudo update-initramfs -u

9. Installing google earth

  • Followed instructions in the site https://itsfoss.com/install-google-earth-ubunu/
  • cd /tmp
    mkdir google-earth && cd google-earth
    wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/l/lsb/lsb-invalid-mta_4.1+Debian11ubuntu8_all.deb
    wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/l/lsb/lsb-security_4.1+Debian11ubuntu8_amd64.deb
    wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/l/lsb/lsb-core_4.1+Debian11ubuntu8_amd64.deb
    sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    sudo apt -f install
    wget https://dl.google.com/dl/earth/client/current/google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb
    sudo dpkg -i google-earth-stable*.deb
  • Dependancy issue in installing package  lsb-core_4.1+Debian11ubuntu8_amd64.deb
  • This was resolved by running
  • apt-get install -f

10. Installing Paper Icon theme

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install paper-gtk-theme paper-icon-theme

11. I want to learn Python programming. Pycharm is useful IDE for Python programming.

I have downloaded pycharm community edision (which is free and opensource) from https://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/download/#section=linux and followed the installation instructions given in the site

  • Copy the pycharm-2016.1.4.tar.gz to the desired installation location
    (make sure you have rw permissions for that directory)
  • Unpack the pycharm-2016.1.4.tar.gz using the following command:
    tar xfz pycharm-2016.1.4.tar.gz
  • Remove the pycharm-2016.1.4.tar.gz to save disk space (optional)
  • Run pycharm.sh from the bin subdirectory

12. Installing additional desktop environment/sessions. To install KDE, XFCE over existing Cinnamon DE, using synaptic package manager, search for the desired desktop and mark the same for installation

  • XFCE session -> xubuntu-desktop. This will install the associated packages along with main package. I selected light DM.

Screenshot from 2016-07-07 20-42-55

  • KDE session -> kubuntu-desktop.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.52.28 AM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.54.05 AM.png

I ran below to upgrade to latest version of plasma.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Last command is redundant (and says kubuntu is already installed)

Screenshot from 2016-07-07 20-45-42.png

13. Comodo Antivirus –> Some Linux users may feel antivirus software is NOT required. However to be on safer side I installed Comodo AV.

Screenshot from 2016-07-06 10-40-19.png

14. MS Office with PlayOnLinux. Although, Libre Office is an excellent product, it does not help opening some macro enabled MS office file (e..g, xlsm file) and sometime, you need to work on MS Office 🙂 Therefor, you can use PlayOnLinux (front end for Wine) to intall MS office.

  • Install playonlinux (POL) from Software Manager

Screenshot from 2016-07-06 10-51-51.png

  • Install MS Office
  • Encountered the below error:

Screenshot from 2016-07-06 12-48-52.png

  • sudo apt-get install winbind
  • After this, once again try installing Office. POL will automatically download Wine and other associated packages
  • Once installation is successful, register the license using change product key option in any one of the office products (this is under file->help) as POL does not support the product registration at this point of time.

15. Installing timeshift for backup of Linux Mint (as this is a regular used OS, it is better to take frequent snapshots)

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install timeshift

 

SeaMonkey – All in one application suite

Today, I installed Seamonkey internet application suite (Browser, Mail Client, IRC Client and Composor) on my Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon desktop

It can be downloaded from http://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/

I downloaded the Linux/x86_64 .tar.bz2 and followed installation instrctions specified in the Seamonkey site:

  1. Create a directory named “seamonkey2” (mkdir seamonkey2) and change to that directory (cd seamonkey2).
  2. Click the link on the site you’re downloading SeaMonkey from to download the package (seamonkey-2.*.tar.bz2) file into the seamonkey2 directory.
  3. Decompress the file with the following command:tar jxvf seamonkey-2.*.tar.bz2This creates a “seamonkey” directory under your seamonkey2 directory.
  4. Change to the seamonkey directory (cd seamonkey).
  5. Run SeaMonkey with the following command:./seamonkey

Step 5 above is to launch from the terminal, If you need to launch from menu,

  1. Navigate to /usr/share/applications folder as root user (right click in this folder ans select – ‘Open as Root’ option. Enter root password)
  2. Create a new file called Seamonkey.desktop
  3. Edit the file with a Text Editor and the following entries. Save and exit.
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Name=SeaMonkey
Exec=/home/<username>/seamonkey2/seamonkey/seamonkey
Icon=/home/<username>/seamonkey2/seamonkey/chrome/icons/default/seamonkey.png
Terminal=false
Categories=Internet;

Now, you can see the SeaMonkey shortcut from Menu.

You can also see it added to my dock at the bottom

Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:04:24.png

Below is a screenshot of browser: In the bottom of the browser window bar, you can see launch options for – browser, mail, composer, address book and IRC chat

Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:07:52.png

Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:14:58Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:15:57Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:16:27Screenshot from 2016-06-12 17:17:21

Overall SeaMonkey is an interesting suite of apps. It is also opensource and free to install.

 

 

Simple and Elegant Budgie

Recently, I noticed that Budgie DE is ranked as one of the amazing DEs available to Linux users.

Budgie (https://solus-project.com/budgie/) is a desktop of Solus Linux, built from scratch.

I downloaded Manjaro Budgie torrent from https://sourceforge.net/projects/manjarotorrents/files/community/Budgie/ and installed on my Parallels desktop.

Just like its description, the DE is simple and elegant.

It looks like some familiar and light DE with good number of Applications and Accessories installed.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.06.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.06.17 PM.png I downloaded the OS a day ago and was surprised to see just when I finished installation, the update manager came up with huge number updates (554) with total download size of 900+ MB.

The original download was some 1.3 GB.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.07.04 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.08.11 PM.png

I like the fresh icon design and plank that appears from left side of screen similar Ubuntu.

Overall, it looks good but personally, I like the Elementary DS Pantheon DE compared to this one.

A Mag!cal D!stro called Mage!a

Ever since I got hooked on to Linux, I have noticed that Mageia Linux distribution (https://www.mageia.org/en/) was always listed among the top 10 distros on the Distrowatch website (http://distrowatch.com/).

However, I never got opportunity to try out the same as due to the size of ISO image file. In India, I always faced serious issues with internet connectivity and bandwidth. An ISO image file of size 3.6 GB would take almost a day to download with intermittent loss of internet connectivity.

After a many years of temptation and curiosity, finally over this weekend, I dared to download the ISO image. I downloaded the torrent file first (64bit classic installation from https://www.mageia.org/en/downloads/) and then the ISO image file.

Using the Parallels tools on my Macbook Pro, I quickly installed the Mageia Linux with XFCE desktop environment.

Mageia 5 supports multiple DEs – KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, XFCE and Mate.

I am not great fan of XFCE but went ahead and installed as I wanted to try something different. I have Mint, Fedora with Cinnamon DE and Elementary OS with Pantheon DE already on my Macbook.

I tried out KDE couple of times with OpenSUSE Leap and Manjaro Linux. I had a feeling that KDE worked best on Manjaro Linux.

Anyways, the XFCE installation of Mageia Linux happened very smoothly without a glitch. Once this is done, I installed Parallels tools on Mageia manually.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 9.22.19 AM

After struggling a little bit with the package manager, I realized that I need to un-check the CD-ROM Core Release option in the control center. After this, I ran the ‘update your system’ and updated to latest available packages (300+ packages were downloaded for more than 5 hour although I downloaded 3.6 GB of ISO image the previous day 😦

This shows the care taken by the community to keep the OS up to date.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.55.09 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.55.37 PM.png

Once this is done, I have noticed the OS is very stable. It has by default the following applications installed and many more –

  • Ristretto Image viewer, GIMP
  • Claws Mail, Firefox browser
  • LibreOffice, Audacity, Gnome MPlayer, Parole Media Player
  • Engrampa Archieve manager, Tunar File Manager and Screenshot

I have installed the XFCE weather plugin and added the same to XFCE panel. Also Installed the Cairo Dock.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 9.23.36 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 5.04.06 PM

Overall, Mageia looks like a stable and easy to use OS and worth trying it.

I am already liking it and joined the google plus community and plan to stick to it for the time being.

 

 

PlayOnLinux to run popular Windows apps

Recently, I was  trying to edit a rental agreement document on Mac OS X. The agreement document was shared with me was Microsoft Word document and it was opening using ‘Pages’ app.

However as some of the textual properities of the original word document were not supported in OS X Pages, the app recommended few changes (e.g., Font). I accepted the suggestions and was able to make the required changes but struggled to save the modified document back in MS Word format.

When I finally shared the modified document with my tenant, I got a response that he was unable to open the document in MS Word.

I quickly looked for a solution and realized that one alternative is Open Office / Libre Office. Although Libre Office is free and excellent app, the challenges editing MS Office files continue to be there. E.g., Most of the MS Excel documents with heavy used formulae / VBA code do not even show up correctly on OS X Numbers or Libre Office.

The fact is that MS Office is a very popular suite and I felt that there is a dependancy on the same for most of us.

I am a regular Linux user and there is a working solution from a long time. Some of the popular MS apps and games can be installed on Linux using a package called Wine. Wine is mostly terminal based and hence PlayOnLinux.

PlayOnLinux (https://www.playonlinux.com/en/) is simple UI based app which internally uses Wine and other dependant packages.

Advantages are:

  • You don’t need MS Windows license to install
  • Its Free and has simple UI

Disadvantages:

  • Not all popular MS software can run but, MS Office can be installed
  • There are few bugs (which are hopefully being fixed continuoulsly)

Here is what you need to install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu / Mint / Elementary OS from Terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/apps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

I installed Office 2010 using PlayOnLinux. Here are some of the screen shots:

Play 2Play 3Play 4

You need to browse and select the setup.exe, complete the installation.

Play 1

Once installed, you need to use ‘change product key’ option from Help within MS Office (from either Word or Excel etc) to enter your license details.

Although there is an option called ‘Microsoft Office 2010 Activation’ under the ‘Install’ tab of PlayOnLinux, only volume activation is available and you get a warning that this activation feature is currently under testing.

 

 

 

 

Plank – A simple dock

Plank is a simple dock. There are other popular docks like Cairo, Avant Windows Manager gDesklets, KXDocker available.

I have installed Plank on Mint Cinnamon Desktop by running the below commands on terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/docky
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install plank

Screenshot from 2016-02-06 12:10:33.png
on my eOS (Elementary OS) Desktop

Screenshot from 2016-02-06 12:14:06.png
on my Mint Cinnamon Desktop
It is very easy to use and as seen in about pic, I have added some of my favorite and frequently used apps to Dock

 

 

Firefox Hello – An Opensource alternative Video Conversation App

In the year 2o11, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 Billion.

I used to very rarely video chat with friends / relatives during those days primarly due to the low internet speeds. First step was to make a phone call and inform the other party that I am logging to internet and requesting them to login to internet as well.

I used to connect the USB based externel camera to the laptop and set up the correct camera position, conect to internet, bring everyone at house together to sit in front of the camera, make video call, get going.

Logining onto Skype, establishing a connection, seeing each other and exchanging hello message was considered a big success as most often we used to face speed fluctuations in internet connection and get a ‘poor network connection’ error message. We used to loose the picture and continue chatting with the audio mode.

Situation improved slightly over last few years with logistics as we have a Laptop with integrated camera, cell phones with high megapixel Front cameras and apps like Facetime on my iPhone. Because of this reason, my frequency of making/receiving video calls have increased.

Ever since I moved over to Linux, I was looking for alternatives to much needed applications like Web Browser, Mail Client, Text Editor, Image/Picture Viewer, Music Player, Video Player etc. Among these, I was looking for Free and Open Source (FOSS) alternative to Skype and Facetime. I stumbled upon Firefox Hello.

Firefox Hello need not be installed separately as it already part of recent versions of Firefox browser. As the Mozilla website says – ‘If you have the latest version of Firefox, you already have Hello. There’s no account or sign-in required and nothing extra to download. Just send a conversation link to a friend and ask them to click it’.

I really liked it. Try and share your experiences with the same.

Screenshot from 2016-01-16 13:03:29Screenshot from 2016-01-16 13:04:26