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We know that there are numerous open source programs that find their home in both Windows and Linux. Many of these turn out to be among the apps that we use daily. However, did you know that you can get certain plugins only for Linux? Plus if a plugin exists for Windows, Linux lets you easily install them. Let’s find out what they are.

FX-Foundry For GIMP

FX-Foundry is a great set of plugins for GIMP to make image manipulation a lot easier with cool effects. It’s more than likely that everything an active graphics or image editor will need is included in this pack, because the menu dedicated to FX-Foundry is pretty extensive.

The plugins can be installed from their website by downloading the .tar file and extracting all the individual files into the correct directories. In this way Windows users can use the same plugins. However, compared to the Linux way this is a difficult procedure. Fedora, for example, has these plugins packaged up, so it’s simply a matter of selecting the checkbox while you’re installing GIMP. You should check your distribution for whether they have the plugins packaged or not because availability varies from distro to distro.

Thunderbird Plugin For Libnotify

Many GNOME-based distributions often have libnotify as a common way to show notifications from multiple programs. The programs that come with the distribution by default will all probably have support for this notification system, but once you start installing other programs, things start to look a bit different. If the program doesn’t have native support for libnotify, then your only hope is for a plugin that will do the job.

Thunderbird has its own notification system and looks out of place when it appears. However, there’s a plugin to fix that! Simply get the plugin from here, install it, go over the settings, and you’re done! All the notifications should go over libnotify now. Don’t forget to turn off Thunderbird’s default notifications, otherwise you’ll see your messages twice.


GnuCash Finance::Quote Plugin

In case you’ve played around with the Windows version of GnuCash, you’ll maybe have noticed that a few select features do not work without the specific Finance::Quote plugin. Written in Perl, this plugin allows the program to download quotes about stocks, currencies, and whatever else the world offers. Since the developers can’t force you to install Perl on Windows (which isn’t exactly easy), they leave that plugin out and let you install it if you really need it. However, in Linux, that won’t be an issue. For all distros that I’ve ever used, the plugin came automatically with the installation of GnuCash. How cool is that?

Banshee Plugins

Unless you closely follow a handful of Linux programs, it’ll come as a surprise to you that there are currently Windows builds for Banshee, a great music player. I haven’t tried out the Windows app myself, but I’m pretty sure that they have added a couple of plugins. Though once you get to the Linux side, you’ll notice that there are a lot of plugins for this app. Just search for Banshee in your repository and handfuls of plugins will start showing up along with it, ready to install. Just look at the screenshot for some of the many that I have installed!


The highly customizable nature of Linux is demonstrated by these easy to install plugins that can definitely make your user experience better. The great thing about plugins that are installed via package management systems is that they automatically update when there’s a new release pushed to the repositories. New versions let you enjoy more features and tighter security.

Are there any plugins that you really enjoy in Linux? Share them with us in the comments!

Image Credit: Flickr

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  1. Philharmania
    April 29, 2011 at 7:14 am
  2. Andrew Niklas
    April 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    does someone know of a way to run linux apps/desktop features in windows

  3. Kevin Scott Schlanger
    April 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I know of something even better. PlayOnLinux ( ) allows you to run your Windows apps easily on Linux!

  4. Kevin Schlanger
    April 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I know of something even better. PlayOnLinux ( ) allows you to run your Windows apps easily on Linux!