Personal Favorite Linux Applications
I decided that I should probably list some of my favorite Linux applications. I will try and include ones that you don’t by default, but some of them will be in many Linux distributions no matter what.
Web Browser – Firefox
I love Firefox. As soon as I found it I immediately switched from Internet Explorer, but those were back when I used Windows. I love how it has themes and many of the plug-ins are very useful. The newer Firefox Personas feature is very nice. It may not always be the fastest browser, but it renders things nicely and has many usable features. You can also find plenty of help for it when you need it. It is cross-platform and runs most operating systems.
IM Client – Pidgin
Pidgin is the client I switched to after using Trillian in Windows. It serves me well most of the time, though it can throw fits every now and again. Again it has plug-ins, which is nice though I don’t use them as much. It supports more IM services than I know to use. Some of them I have never heard of. If you have aspell installed then it will also let you correct your spelling. It is cross-platform and will run on most operating systems.
Music & Video – VLC
I love VLC, and I don’t plan to use anything else for a very long time. It plays tons of formats, it is light-weight, and doesn’t have much extra junk to hold you down. VLC also runs on most operating systems. Oh and apparently VLC is also skinnable, but I don’t bother with that.
Music Editing – Audacity
I don’t do a lot of music editing, but when I do it I love audacity. I still don’t have a handle on the whole thing but I know it well enough to cut and splice clips together. It is fairly simple and again, available for many operating systems, though I don’t think this one has themes or skins.
Image Editing – GIMP
GIMP takes a little getting used to when you come from Photoshop or Painshop Pro, but once you get used to it you don’t mind so much. And I don’t suggest complaining that it isn’t like Photoshop to the people that make it. They know it isn’t and that is on purpose. To be honest it is nice to see something that isn’t a Photoshop clone. There are a few things that are done differently, but you can do just about anything you can in Photoshop with GIMP. GIMP will open just about any image type you find, so it is very useful for converting. And again, it runs on multiple operating systems.
Office Suite – OpenOffice
OpenOffice is a very nice set of programs. It runs well, especially once you get to OpenOffice 3. It is basically a Microsoft Office clone, with enough changed to avoid copyright problems. Oh and you don’t have that annoying Office 2007 look. OpenOffice opens TONS of formats. Some of which I have never heard of before. OpenOffice will also run on most operating systems and is in many languages.
Text Editors & Programming
General Text Editing – gEdit
If I just need to quickly edit a file, I will use gEdit. It comes with Ubutnu, it has syntax highlighting and is easy to use. Nothing more than that to say. It works, and doesn’t have too much excess. I think I even saw a link for gEdit to run under windows.
Text Editing & Programming – Vim
There was a time when I hated vim and used emacs, but I recently switched and have been wondering why I was using emacs at all. Vim is fairly simple, but has plenty of advanced features to use. There is also a graphical front-end call gVim if you don’t want to use it in a terminal window. It has fantastic syntax highlighting, and you can even download more files to let it highlight more. It can even be used on multiple operating systems.
Programming – Geany
I just found Geany the other day, but I can tell it will be sticking around. When you want something to write a program in that is more than gEdit but not something like Eclipse then Geany is for you. It has syntax highlighting, command completion. The whole deal. and the interface isn’t crowded at all. I am 90% this is what I will use to write my senior project, which is going to be in PHP. I think this one runs on multiple operating systems as well.
Java Programming – Eclipse
Eclipse is great for Java! I don’t think I will ever use anything else. Though I will admit getting it to play along can be a real pain. Apparently it can do C++ and other stuff as well, but I have only ever used it for Java. It also runs on multiple operating systems.
irtualization – VirtualBox
I love VirtualBox, it is so much better than VMWare, though I will admit it was years ago that I used VMWare. VirtualBox provides a lot of features you don’t get with the free version of VMWare and it is great. It runs on multiple operating systems and it gives you operating systems. I bet if you really wanted you could run VirtualBox inside on operating system that is running as a guest of VirtualBox… though I would not suggest it. Anyway, VirtualBox lets you use your USB devices if you use the version that has proprietary code, which is very nice for me since my printer isn’t supported by Linux. I will admit that the printer cost me only $20, so I don’t expect it to be great. I keep an installation of Windows around in VirtualBox to print and if I need to get something from MS Office that just won’t work right in OpenOffice. It is a great tool and I wouldn’t be without it.