Your distro’s package manager will allow you to download basically any app that you can think of
If you’re a Linux user, then you’re already familiar with the wide variety of distros that you can choose from in order to run your machine. However, did you also know that you have access to thousands of applications – many of which are free – that you can use to help perform the many tasks you need to undertake? Your distro’s package manager will allow you to download basically any app that you can think of, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choice. Here’s our guide on the best and most useful Linux apps of 2018.
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is one of the best apps out there, and I would suggest it to anyone regardless of what operating system they are using! VLC is incredibly versatile, and comes with virtually all codecs imaginable, so it can play any kind of media file you throw at it. But VLC is so much more than a media player. Should you want to convert a file from one media format to another, VLC Media Player can handle that for you. You can even stream to other devices, such as your smart TV or Xbox One (https://www.techradar.com/how-to/software/how-to-stream-videos-using-vlc-1308474).
GIMP is Linux’s image editing solution. If you’re an Adobe Photoshop aficionado, you might be surprised to learn that GIMP is capable of achieving many of the same tasks. It comes with full layering capability, and allows you to process, color, resize, edit or convert any sort of image. In fact, it was made with Photoshop users in mind, because you can even import some of the same Photoshop plugins and effect add-ons. The most interesting aspect of GIMP, though, is that it’s free – which definitely comes as a shock when you realize how much you’ve been paying for commercial image editing solutions.
Every good operating system needs a document editing package, and LibreOffice is the Linux solution for this task. Based around the Open Document Format, LibreOffice can handle any type of file compatibility, including any Microsoft Office format. This means that you don’t have to convert any of your files if you’re finding yourself considering the change from another operating system to Linux. Like GIMP, LibreOffice is completely free, and actually comes with a whole stack of additional useful programs so you can complete your tasks completely and quickly.
The Linux operating system, like other platforms, comes with its own set of security vulnerabilities, so it’s best to use your operating system with security in mind. Just like you’d get with a Windows PC or a Mac, Linux also has a range of anti-virus applications to choose from. ClamAV will provide you with the knowledge that you’re protecting yourself completely from outside attacks, and can scan and detect malware and check your incoming and outgoing emails for any unwanted nastiness. ClamAV can integrate with an accessory program called clamtk that will enable you to scan your computer using full GUI access.
Browsing the web is something you’ll be doing near constantly on your new Linux computer, so you’ll be happy to know that your favorite web browser is available to use on Linux. Google Chrome allows you to sync your settings, history and caches between devices, as well as install browser extensions in order to improve your browsing experience. You can control all aspects of your Google accounts with the seamless integration that Google Chrome offers.
As one of the largest cloud storage platforms, Dropbox offers you 2GB of storage for free, so that you can keep all your important documents, backups and pictures all in one place. One of the main draws of Dropbox is the fact that it fully integrates into your file explorer, showing itself as another storage drive on your computer so you can drag and drop files easily. The auto-sync feature means you don’t have to do anything to share files between all your devices. Dropbox is fully available for Linux with a very simple to use Linux client application.
If your online communications are spread across multiple platforms, then Pidgin might be the perfect application for you. It supports a ton of different instant messaging programs, like Google Talk, Yahoo chat and even IRC (do you remember IRC?). As it’s available as a Linux application, it means that you can access each of these online messaging systems using just one app rather than cluttering your desktop by downloading several.
One of the most popular video chatting programs is Skype. It’s an extremely robust service that allows you to not only share your video stream with others, but also lets you use text chat if you’re a little webcam-shy. Skype has been around for a long time, but has recently released a shiny new Linux application so you can keep using the video chat program you love.
If you’re a programmer or otherwise utilize a text editor on a regular basis, then Atom is great product for you. It was created by GitHub, so it has all of the modern project organization applications in mind. Stylish and customizable, Atom comes with a number of themes so you can make it look however you want, and there are loads of extensions available from the GitHub community. Atom is the perfect choice if you want to get away from command line text editing on Linux. If Atom isn’t your thing, there are many other Linux based text editors to choose from.
Linux is a truly robust operating system with a lot to offer, and the choices are only increasing more and more over time. No matter what your goal is, whether it be image or text editing, streaming media or connecting with your friends and family, there’s more than one Linux application that will meet your needs. Not every application will have the same functionality, but with a little bit of time and effort, your Linux set up will be perfectly tailored to your requirements.