The Best Linux Applications: Free for All


OK, it's the end of the week (in fact, it nearly came and went!) and time for our final pseudo category: free for all.

As the name suggests, anything goes. Maybe your favourite application didn't quite fit in the other categories. Or perhaps you just want to give your favourite application another vote just because it's so great. Or even, this would be really cool, you want to delve into more detail telling us how you use or what you use your favourite program for - we're always really interested to hear how people make use of all the amazing tools that Linux makes available.

We'd also like to add that we've really enjoyed this week of posts. Checking in on the blog each day and scanning through all the new comments has been great fun and really enlightening. Quite a few applications have been added to our default installation lists (Jon's even taken the time to learn Vim!), including some things that we'd never even heard of before.

We hope you've also enjoyed it and found it just as enlightening. Do take a look through all the previous comments if you haven't, and then be sure to leave a message on this post and help us round this series off nicely.

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Your comments

gedit. As basic and dull as

gedit. As basic and dull as it is as just a text editor, it really is the bread and butter of notepads/jotters in gnome. Not only that, but it can be turned into a programmer's IDE using the various plugins that are available, with a terminal panel available for any text output of programs.
Probably overlooked by many, but gedit is one of the key components of any gnome-based desktop.


gnu screen and ssh no doubt :)


Colemak. My fingers are feeling much better after the switch (it's a keyboard layout).

Am also trying out ErgoEmacs (Vim navigation keys gets screwed in Colemak so I'm trying out Emacs now. I've never seriously used any of them).

You should do a feature on RSI by the way; it could include the following:

*Keyboard hardware (reviews)
*Keyboard layouts (try out Colemak or Dvorak, could be combined with a "You dare us" TuxRadar challenge.
*Software like ErgoEmacs which places commands according to usage statistics and finger strength. Instead of first letter of the command.


P.S. I've started to care so much about ergonomics I've switched to the ZZ Rubik's Cube method (no cube rotations). I'm 15 for __insert_name__'s sake. Oh well.

P.P.S. Check out and watch a typing test. Notice how much the hand moves on Qwerty compared to Colemak and Dvorak.


cmus! It's a powerful, fully featured, easy to use terminal-based audio player. Does in 15 MB of RAM use what Rhythmbox does in 115.

Something a little different...

Hi goons...

Well I guess my choice won't get a look in...

xoscope, real time very basic sound card LF uncalibrated
audio Oscilloscope.

siggen, real time audio function generator; looks dreadful
on screen but highly useful for my needs.

(My Python function generator signal source, (code). and
my Python noise signal source. (code); both quick and
dirty signal sources, given to LXF.)

E-UAE - running WorkBench 3.1.x.
DOSBox - What a way COOL app'.

gedit - simple, (suits my addled brain), but effective
text editor.
ghex2 - great for hacking.

(Default) Terminal.


Festival text reader

Festival with the Nitech HTS voices


WINE Is a windows codec imulater. PlayOnLinux is A WINE biased program to allow a user to play there windows games on Linux.True it still has some bugs to work out, but I have found it to be fairly stable on most of the older games, and the graphics, and memory requirements on games (even Starcraft2) are as good as they are on windows, without the pesky windows probs. Enjoy all :)

Free and not so free

VMWare Workstation. Other virtual machine applications are available, of course, but I've been using versions of this one for quite a while now and I've not found anything better. It's good for testing anything from the live boot LXF discs to full distros to non-unix OSes, like MikeOS.

KSnapshot provides, for me, just the right amount of options for taking screen captures, not so many that I'm left wondering what I'm doing and not so few that I can't capture just what I want.

And before I forget, GKrellM. I can get just the information I want about my system in something that doesn't take up too much screen real estate. It's tucked away in the bottom right hand corner of all my Linux machines screens.

Freedom loving ASM

i miss my Amiga Devpac..


Gedit really does deserve the love. Enough features without being overwhelming and sensible default behaviours (for once).

I even installed it in windows. Doesn't feel the same, but it's still better than the alternatives.

My essentials

Vim with a custom .vimrc
Ssh server running (super handy)
Gnome-do (the best launcher, I think the window manager should rotate around this tbh)
Chrome/ium -> simply the fastest browser with decent developer tools

Somebody mentioned glabels

Somebody mentioned glabels on the productivity and office thread - massive thumbs up on that one! Great little tool.

But synaptic has to win. Shits all over other OS application management. Install.exe? Don't make me laugh!

Emacs! What other piece of

Emacs! What other piece of software can truthfully claim to be a great text editor, mail client, calculator, media player, religious figure, doctor, personal organiser... You name it, emacs not only can assimilate it, it probably has.

Haters gonna hate!

Some people will probably hate me for this but I think that the Ubuntu Software Center is one of the best apps.

For programming it has to be Geany for me, lightweight, fast and has great features.

Inkscape for graphic design is amazing, ive used it countless times!

I don't use it much but Virtualbox is great and keeps getting better features and performance.

Unity 2D is great for netbooks! More haters will hate me for saying this... I say 2D because the proper Unity is too intensive on netbooks. (judging on my own one)

Openshot is quite nice for video editing but not really good enough to be recommended as a best Linux app.

Re: Freedom loving ASM

To LIPS...

> i miss my Amiga Devpac..

Me too, but with E-UAE and WimUAE you still have the chance to use it, especially DevPac2; it is installed on my E-UAE WorkBench 3.1.x.

AFAIAC MonAm2 is the best monitor of them all as it still lets you get into ENFORCER stuff.


Gedit, Nano, Vim, you name it, they're all great. No more screwing around with fonts or margins or A4 or American Letter size... just the data that's saved in a *.txt and sent out for any machine to read, regardless of device, platform, or installed software. The only time Libre Office Writer gets fired-up is when someone an MS Word doc.

I have to say, though, I love <b>Emacs</b> the best. It's the only spell-check I've ever used that had all my swear-words preloaded without having to add them as exceptions.


Krusader, for when you don't trust rsync (or your command of the commandline), a brilliant tool for aligning two sets of files / directories, general tidying up, poking around the lint.

(not forgetting fdupes and the incredible options in find, like find -executable, or find -perm).


Kstars is pretty cool. Im a pretty competent amateur astronomer and us a lot of different programs, but kstars was a pleasant surprise and pretty good.

EMACS for the win!

I know emacs is already on here, but I'm giving it a second vote. It does EVERYTHING. I don't know why there isn't just an e-macs OS that simply boots up into a full-screen emacs editor, with no other applications - 'cause I don't need any other apps with emacs. Emacs could probably be my shrink if I wanted it to, and also give me dental exams and work out for me.

Applications Galore

Too many to list but I will give it a try :

1. Dropbox : Great offline storage/sync facility.
2. Virtualbox : Awsome VM Manager
3. VSFTP : Great FTP service software
4. My-Sql : Great SQL Database
5. Sqlite : Another great little database app.
6. Guake : Terminal program
7. Digikam : Fantastic photo organiser/editor/viewer
8. Eclipse : Java IDE
9. Skype : Keep in touch ( exor-hbuckley )
10. Crome : Great browser

... and this is just the start.

best s/w

gpodder: simple to use, easy to modify thr settings (eg change the default folder) and does the job it is meant to do.

gedit: nuff said

lucky backup, with the codicil that I cannot get the timed backups working. However it is quick, easy and reliable.

Linux mint 11 (64 bit) as my brand new i3 toshiba with ATI cannot run Unity (an oxymoron if ever there was one). I moved from U 10.10 to 11.04 and it was disastrous. Serves me right as I am a newbie (since Jan)

Cheers from a scouse downunder


Great mind mapping application. A cool way to make notes. Easy to reorganise topics & subtopics. Nice graphics. Rich export capability: HTML; XHTML, Java Applet; Flash; OpenOffice Writer; JPEG; PNG; etc.

Tux Paint

Superb drawing and painting application for kids. Keeps my six year old granddaughter engrossed every time she's here.

A Few of My Favourites

DIGIKAM is a brilliant bit of gear for your Photos - handles my RAW shots and JPG just the same.

KDISKFREE is a ripper little utility showing what space is left on your drives amongst other things.

HARDINFO is one that a lot of people don't seem to notice. Great system info utility.

KAFFEINE is a really good program to use for watching TV with your TV Card. It is KDE program but of course will work in Gnome as well. Only thing that bugs me is I can't resize it to tiny in corner of screen as I would like it at times.

ME-TV - is a Gnome version of TV program that features a really nifty way of looking at the program guide plus I can resize this from fullscreen down to a tiny box anywhere on screen anytime I like.

VLC PLAYER - not only will it play just about any video file you throw at it I found that it will also do a great job viewing TV Channels if you have a TV Card fitted. Talk about dead easy setup, just grab a channels.conf file and put it in your HOME folder and fire up VLC and Play the channels.conf file. Choose your channel and away you go - as clear as crystal and lightning fast (after the very first use when it sets up database for about a minute). If you don't already have a channels.conf file then install dvbtools and use the wscan program or similar to make one for you. Brilliant as the codecs provide a beautiful clear reception.

KRENAME - brilliant app for renaming multiple files - eg photos. I just love this as it is dead easy to use and fast.

GRAMPS - Genealogy application which I am growing to like the more I use it. I still mainly use it as an assist for my Windows based program Legacy Family Tree as so far I have not been able to locate an application in Linux that can replicate all the functions of it or similar. Where Gramps comes in handy is you can use it to verify GED files and the like the garnish entries and put them into your app of choice on the same screen. Gramps still knocks out some good stuff of its own but alas the only reason I load a Virtual copy of XP up is so I can run my Genealogy program.

BACKINTIME - great backup program which works a treat and is similar to Apples TimeMachine.



I am coming from "Windows world",
you can see here what apps I use instead of windows apps

Op system Windows XP Fedora14+Gnome
simple text editor Notepad Leafpad
complex text editor Notepad ++ Geany
Office suite MsOffice Libreoffice
File manager Total Commander Gnome-commander
Telephony Skype Skype
Internet browser Firefox5 Firefox5
Email client TheBat Evolution
Instant messaging Pidgin Pidgin
music player Winamp XMMS
Video/stream player VLC VLC
Antivirus Comodo Symantec Antivirus for Linux
Photo viewer/organizer XNview XNView
Terminal Putty Putty
System backup Norton Ghost CloneZilla
PDF reader Adobe Acrobat reader Adobe Acrobat reader
CD/DVD burner Nero Brasero

Best regards

Ardour and JACK !!!

Thanks to Ardour and the JACK audio connection kit i am able to use GNU/Linux full time. I am a trained sound engineer. These two apps are unmatched by any of the so called "industry standards" that were rammed down my throat at Southern Cross University.

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