My Favorite Linux Apps

As my earlier posts have indicated, I have moved to Ubuntu Linux as my default desktop. Many of you have been asking me if I have all the equivalent applications (as compared to Microsoft Vista) that I may require to do my work smoothly. The answer is yes and here are some of the must have and essential applications for Linux.

All these applications are in the open source domain and can be obtained easily and installed on your system. In fact, quite a few of them might come as standard applications when you install your new Linux Desktop. There are literally hundreds of other products out there, but the following are some of my favorite.

Web Browser
This comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. Firefox is now a far more popular surfing browser than Microsoft Internet Explorer

Mail Client
This comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. The application is quite similar to MS-Outlook. It includes Calendar, Address book, To Do list, Sharing of Vcards etc.

Instant Messaging

This software supports all major IM clients including, MSN, Yahoo IM, Google Talk, AOL, ICQ, MySpaceIM etc. It also comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.


Skype is not supported by Pidgin. However, Skype itself offers a linux version. I downloaded it from their website.

Office Application Suite
Open Office
This is a great Office Product in the open source domain. It not only imports all MS-Word/Excel/Powerpoint documents but is even able to read their new docX extensions. It even lets you save files in MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint formats to share with your friends and colleagues who are still stuck with MS-Office. It came pre-installed with my Ubuntu Linux.

Music Application
Inspired by iTunes, it is one of the best music management application that I have come across on Linux platform. It will let you rip, burn audio CDs; import music from any device including USB and even supports internet radio. It comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.

Movie Player
We all want to watch our favorite movie on our computer or hook it up through S-video to our TV. Totem Movie Player is the right tool for you. It also came pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux

Photo Manager
There are a bunch of open source applications for photo management, but I prefer my Picasa. I downloaded it from Google’s website and it works great for photo sharing, management and organizing them.

Firestarter is probably the easiest firewall configuration tool that I have found on Linux platform. It works well for desktops as well as servers and it will take you less than 5 minutes to configure it and get the basic services going. You can dowload it from the website and follow the procedure to configure it.

Money Management
GNU Cash
For all those MS-Money or Quicken fans out there, here is an open source implementation of the money management application. It has all the great freatures of any major accounting package (for home as well as small business). A must have addition.

Notes tool
Tomboy Notes
Tomboy is a simple desktop note-taking application. It came with my copy of Ubuntu linux.

Maps and Satellite Images
Google Earth
If you are a fan of finding things on earth using google earth, then download its linux implementation from their website.


About Atif Mumtaz
A serial entrepreneur who loves to travel, discuss politics and hikes on weekends.

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