10 Must Have Linux Applications

In the wild wild west world of Linux applications, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of applications that are available. Sometimes it comes down to simple trial and error. Through my own process of trying out different applications I have come up with a list of 10 that I believe are a must have for any Linux user. Some are fairly obvious, some are just for fun, and some are very robust and useful.

1. Firefox
Probably the most obvious and well known of all Open Source software, so let’s go ahead and get it out of the way first. Firefox is a free open source browser that is extremely flexible and user friendly. I’m a big fan of software that can be customized to run and look exactly how a user wants it to, and with extensions and themes Firefox has done just that.

2. Open Office
Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Oh My! Open Office is an entire office suite that is completely free and performs like a champ. Something that I didn’t realize when I first started using OO was that it can open MS Office documents. So switching to OO doesn’t require you to start over with all of your existing documents, you can pick up right where you left off.

3. Neverball
Now that we have talked about Office software and we have done some work, let’s have some fun. Neverball is clone of the game “Super Monkey Ball”. You use your mouse to tilt the floor to roll a ball through an obstacle course, while grabbing coins before time runs out. Neverball is a little bit of stategy mixed with a little bit of action and a lot of patience.

4. Amarok
Organize your music. Amarok is a full feature music management system. Create play lists, find songs, access devices (such as an iPod), view album information via the contextual menus, and much much more. Amarok has it all.


GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a piece of software for photo retouching, image composition, and image resizing. Although similar to Photoshop, GIMP is not quite up to Photoshop’s level quite yet. For being open source and completely free, GIMP does have some pretty impressive features.

6. Azureus
Although this may not be a “must have” application, I believe it will be in the future. BitTorrent is becoming a more and more popular means of distributing files throughout the Internet. In fact, many Linux distributions are spread via BitTorrent. Azureus is a powerful Java based client that has a multitude of features (most of which I will never use) that put the user in command of torrents.

7. Celestia
Probably the best description of Celestia that I can come up with is “Universe Simulator”. With this program you can literally fly around to thousands and thousands of locations throughout the known universe. Explore plants, stars, galaxies. The sky is not the limit. There are also a large variety of add-on packs for Celestia that allow you to add textures new features and fantasy objects such as the Death Star from Star Wars.

8. VLC
VLC is a wicked cool media player. It will play a wide variety of formats such as MPEG, AVI, WMV, ASF, MP4, OGG, DVD’s, VCD’s, and many many more. It can also be used as a server to stream video. It also comes with all the bells and whistles of a good media player such as visualization, a variety of outputs and a plethora of configuration options.

9. Tomboy
Tomboy is a simple desktop note taking application for Linux. Easy to use, but with potential to help you organize and track ideas and information so it doesn’t become lost in the shuffle.

10. F-Spot
Need a full featured photo-management system for the gnome desktop? F-Spot is your man. F-Spot is easy to use, can read a number of different formats, and can be used to do some minor editing. One of the best features of F-Spot is it’s ability to export to sites such as a Flickr, 23, or Picasa Web.


~ by evelynpheng on April 19, 2007.

One Response to “10 Must Have Linux Applications”

  1. I really hoped that you would mention Mplayer instead of VLC.

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