10 Cool Linux Apps You Maybe Didn’t Know About

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Ubuntu comes pre-installed with a wealth of apps – covering almost every task you need to do, while still managing to fit on a CD. Are you ready to discover some pretty cool Linux apps that don’t get the attention they deserve? Let’s check them out.

You can easily install any of these apps using the ‘Add/Remove Applications’ from the upper panel.

cool ubuntu linux apps

1. Midori

midori - light weight web browser

Midori is a web browser that uses the well-known WebKit rendering engine, providing quite a speed bump from Firefox and standards complying page rendering. Midori is currently packaged into Xubuntu and features include tabs, bookmarks and customizable search engine box. The browser is extensible via Javascript.

2. gDesklets

gDesklets - widgets for linux

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gDesklets is a platform for widgets, tiny applets sitting on your desktop in a symbiotic relationship of eye candy and usefulness. You can populate your desktop with status meters, icon bars, weather sensors and news tickers.

I managed to configure gDesklets to emulate the OS X Dashboard feature in addition to the standard placement on the desktop.

3. AcidRip

acidrip - rip and encode DVDs

AcidRip is a GTK application for ripping and encoding DVD’s. It neatly wraps MPlayer and MEncoder, which I think is pretty handy, seeing as MPlayer is by far the best bit of video playing kit around for Linux.

As well as creating a simple Graphical Interface for those nervous of the MEncoders command line interface, it also automates the entire process.

4. Cheese Webcam Booth

take pics using webcam

Cheese is a Photobooth-inspired GNOME application for taking pictures and videos from a webcam. It also includes fancy graphical effects based on the gstreamer-backend.

5. Gmount-iso


Gmount-iso is a small tool written using PyGTK and Glade. It allows you to easily mount your CD images.

6. KGRUBEditor

GRUB editor

A tool to view and edit the menu.lst file of the GRUB boot manager. It offers many features and it is the perfect solution for those who want to change the way GRUB works, without messing with the menu.lst file.

7. Flickr Uploader

Flick uploader linux

Postr is a small app that lets you upload photographs to Flickr, with tight integration into the GNOME desktop.

8. DOS Emulator

DOS emulator

DOSEMU stands for DOS Emulation, and allows you to run DOS and many DOS programs, including many DPMI applications such as DOOM and Windows 3.1, under Linux.

Features include:

  • word size and addressing modes of the iAPX86 processor family’s “real mode,” while still running within the full protected mode environment
  • simulate a hardware environment over which DOS programs are accustomed to having control.
  • provides DOS services through native Linux services; dosemu can provide a virtual hard disk drive which is actually a Linux directory hierarchy.


9. E-book reader

ebook reader for linux

FBReader is an e-book reader with a lot of great features:

  • supports several open e-book formats: fb2, html, chm, plucker, palmdoc, ztxt, tcr (psion text), rtf, oeb, openreader, non-DRM’ed mobipocket, plain text, epub
  • reads directly from tar, zip, gzip, bzip2 archives (you can have several books in one archive)
  • supports a structured view of your e-book collection
  • automatically determines encodings
  • automatically generates a table of contents
  • keeps the last open book and the last read positions for all open books between runs
  • automatic hyphenation (patterns for several languages are included)

10. HomeBank

homebank for linux

HomeBank is a fast, simple and easy to use program to manage your bank accounts. It differs from gnucash for the better look and feel, and for the faster start-up speed. It has a lot of features such as easy analysis with graphical charts (statistics, budget, overdrawn, car cost), multi-accounts support, budget management, reminders, import from OFX/QFX-CSV files, visual status of operations. It is based on GTK2.

Let’s hear some other interesting, less-known Linux apps in the comments! If you’re new to Linux, don’t forget to check out MUO’s ultimate guide to Linux!

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Comments (18)
  • mothman

    Thanks for Midori, I have a linux box that is old and slow. I striped down ubuntu and run icewm with nautilus, and it ran great with the exception of firefox slowing it down. I knew there was a faster one, but I couldn’t remember its name.

  • nass

    I prefer Screenlets instead of Desklets

  • Mike

    Acidrip is a dead project, the sourceforge and freshmeat pages for it have both been taken down. Ogmrip works better and has more flexibility regarding filetypes and codecs.

  • Hamdani Amin

    Although most of productivity software run under Vista and XP, your post had made an eye opening for those skeptical few. I also had the opportunity to look into possible alternative software available as FREE alternative that come with Intrepid which also features at this post. As a business owner, that enough to make me think to switch into Ubuntu.

  • statmonkey

    Not sure if these have been covered on Muo before but my lesser known essentials list would be:
    Scite – kind of a programmers notepad but good for everyone since it recognizes formats like bash and html inherently

    Thinking Rock – wonderful GTD app running in java that interfaces with Sunbird and Google calendar if you are a GTD fan you will find this the closest thing to the intent of D. Allen out there

    Conky – not unknown but could not live without it. Use it to put gmail/calendar/amarok on desktop

    Zim – Like Thinking Rock never close this app. Great for organizing thoughts, keeping track of changes made to your system, etc. Html wiki that is simpler and more organized than using a word processor or text to track what you do.

    QuickSynergy – move across mutliple machines/monitors etc from one server machine. I can control and access my server/client machine/laptop all from one desktop by simply moving my mouse. Not sure I can even describe how wonderful this simple app is.

    Lots more. Man I love linux/Ubuntu!

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.