10 Must-Have Ubuntu Apps Right After a Fresh Install
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Is it your first time using Ubuntu? After you’ve learned the essential Linux tricks for newbies, you may be wondering what the best Ubuntu apps are. Which Ubuntu software should you install?

If you’re coming from Windows, there are plenty of free Ubuntu programs that can replicate your day-to-day needs. Here are the must-have Ubuntu apps you should install on a fresh Linux installation.

1. Tweak Tools

By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a ton of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The right one to choose will depend on your Linux desktop environment.

For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows:

ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

For GNOME desktops: You should install GNOME Tweaks (formerly GNOME Tweak Tool), which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls:

ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center:

ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

Learn more about Ubuntu basics with this excellent Udemy course.

2. Synaptic Package Manager

ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage on Linux. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

3. Google Chrome

ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

I don’t want to get into a war over the best web browser for Linux. There are reasons to stop using Google Chrome, but unfortunately you may not have a choice.

There are many things Google Chrome can do that no other browser can do, even ones that are based on Chromium. Certain sites may have workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re usually a headache to get working. You don’t have to use it as your primary browser, but it’s important to have Google Chrome on hand. Whether you like it or not, it’s one of the more important Ubuntu essentials.

How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .DEB file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

4. Geary

ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

The basic-but-functional interface makes it a good “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

How to install: Geary is available in GNOME Software, but you can also install it from the command line. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt install geary

5. VLC Media Player

ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

There are several great media players on Linux. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks the competition: VLC Media Player.

The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to being open-source software. Obviously, there are other open-source media players out there, but when you consider just how feature-complete, polished, and useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare to VLC.

There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. At the very least, you should install it as a backup video player because it always works. It really is one of the top Ubuntu apps.

How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

6. Tixati

ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone software or media piracy. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate reasons to download torrents, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

Fortunately, there are many awesome Linux torrent clients. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best Linux torrent client available right now.

Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .DEB file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

7. Visual Studio Code

10 Must-Have Ubuntu Apps Right After a Fresh Install python software visual studio code

If you’re on Ubuntu and you’re going to be programming, then you owe it to yourself to install Visual Studio Code. Linux is great for programmers, and the availability of open-source VS Code makes it that much better.

Visual Studio Code is seriously the best text editor for programmers and scripters, beating out previous champions like Sublime Text. You’ll want to learn these productivity tips for Visual Studio Code and check out these programming extensions for Visual Studio Code.

How to install: To install Visual Studio Code on Ubuntu, head to the VS Code download page, download the appropriate .DEB file, and double-click it to install.

8. GIMP

ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Adobe Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Adobe Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

Even though GIMP may not be at the same level as Adobe Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. Plus, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? No thanks.

How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

9. Dropbox

ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

Of all the cloud storage services, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. Dropbox is excellent for syncing and backing up files.

Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page and grabbing the .DEB file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

10. Steam

ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

Yes, it’s possible to play video games on Linux. It hasn’t caught up to Windows yet, but it’s well on its way and may be on par in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones on the road is the availability of Steam for Linux.

Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good.

Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day. For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games—such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux—will have to be played outside of Steam.

How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

What Are Your Must-Have Ubuntu Apps?

I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick the absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

Keep going with our mega-list of best Ubuntu software The Best Linux Software and Apps The Best Linux Software and Apps Whether you're new to Linux or you're a seasoned user, here are the best Linux software and apps you should be using today. Read More !

Image Credit: tanuha2001/Shutterstock

Explore more about: Install Software, Linux Apps, Ubuntu.

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  1. help
    November 21, 2016 at 1:51 am

    i want to install steam but i cannot find software center i just transferred from chrome os to linux today please help

    • Gabe Newell
      May 26, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Go and download from their website.

  2. DominicAngel
    September 21, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Well, having not run 16 yet, I know that for Ubuntu 14.04 i had to install wine and winetricks to play any games i wanted to play and was still very limited. The rest of the list looks good.

    • Joel Lee
      September 27, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Wine has been such a god-send for both Linux and OS X. I wonder where Linux would even be without it! Thanks for sharing Dominic.

  3. Elpa37
    September 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Sublime Text sucks. Try Atom.

    • Joel Lee
      September 27, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Atom is okay, I still like Sublime Text better, but lately I've converted to Visual Studio Code over both of them. :)

  4. Elpa37
    September 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I disagree with Sublime Text. Atom, found at atom.io is waaay more powerful and card damn good looking than Sublime. Check it out.

  5. John
    August 29, 2016 at 12:04 am

    How about Atom? Similar to Sublime, built by the people at Github and has a nifty Git-timeline plugin as well as thousands of others. Customization wise, I really feel it's much more user friendly than Sublime.

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Hey John, I still prefer Sublime because it's faster but Atom has really improved a lot lately. Lots of great themes and packages out there now, so it's definitely a strong contender (much stronger than Brackets, anyway).

  6. Chris Lane Jones
    August 22, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Please add Redshift to the list, its a simple one that changes the screen temp when typing at night. Kind of works like night shift on the iPhone.

  7. Anonymous
    August 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

    The only app I installed straight away that isn't on this list is GitKracken. It's a visual interface for Git. Git is a must have for programmers, GitKracken is just my preference.

    • Joel Lee
      August 19, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Cool, I do use Git but I wasn't aware of GitKracken. It actually looks really nice! Thanks for the tip, Tyson.

  8. asdfs
    March 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Menu Linux
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

    Written by Joel Lee
    December 28, 2015
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
    Ads by Google

    Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

    Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

    So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

    1. Tweak Tools
    By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

    If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

    ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

    Ads by Google

    For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

    ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

    For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

    ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

    For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

    Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

    2. Synaptic Package Manager
    Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

    ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

    On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

    Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

    How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

    3. Google Chrome
    I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

    But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

    ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

    For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

    How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

    4. Geary
    There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

    The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

    ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

    The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

    How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install geary

    5. VLC Media Player
    Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

    ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

    The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

    There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

    How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

    6. Tomahawk
    Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

    ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

    Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

    But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

    How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install tomahawk

    7. Tixati
    Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

    Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

    ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

    Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

    How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

    8. Sublime Text
    One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

    ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

    That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

    How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

    9. GIMP
    A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

    ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

    But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

    If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

    How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

    10. Dropbox
    Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

    Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

    ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

    If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

    11. Steam
    Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

    ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

    Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

    For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

    How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

    What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
    I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

    Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

    Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
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    Comments (15)
    Write a Comment
    Bruce
    11 January, 2016
    I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

    Joel Lee
    14 January, 2016
    Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

    Paul Figueiredo
    8 January, 2016
    Scribus – Desktop publishing
    MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
    Brackets – HTML Editor
    OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
    Openshot – Video Editing
    Gparted – Disk control

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er

    Menu Linux
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

    Written by Joel Lee
    December 28, 2015
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
    Ads by Google

    Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

    Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

    So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

    1. Tweak Tools
    By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

    If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

    ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

    Ads by Google

    For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

    ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

    For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

    ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

    For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

    Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

    2. Synaptic Package Manager
    Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

    ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

    On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

    Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

    How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

    3. Google Chrome
    I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

    But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

    ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

    For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

    How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

    4. Geary
    There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

    The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

    ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

    The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

    How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install geary

    5. VLC Media Player
    Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

    ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

    The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

    There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

    How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

    6. Tomahawk
    Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

    ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

    Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

    But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

    How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install tomahawk

    7. Tixati
    Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

    Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

    ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

    Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

    How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

    8. Sublime Text
    One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

    ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

    That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

    How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

    9. GIMP
    A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

    ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

    But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

    If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

    How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

    10. Dropbox
    Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

    Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

    ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

    If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

    11. Steam
    Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

    ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

    Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

    For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

    How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

    What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
    I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

    Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

    Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
    Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

    Comments (15)
    Write a Comment
    Bruce
    11 January, 2016
    I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

    Joel Lee
    14 January, 2016
    Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

    Paul Figueiredo
    8 January, 2016
    Scribus – Desktop publishing
    MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
    Brackets – HTML Editor
    OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
    Openshot – Video Editing
    Gparted – Disk control

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

    sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er
    Post comment
    JAMES M VANDAMME
    7 January, 2016
    Gramps – genealogy database.
    XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
    Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
    TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

    Ghis
    5 January, 2016
    Some of my contenders
    Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
    XnView MP
    Inkscape for vector drawing
    Scribus for desktop publishing
    Calibre for e-book management

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

    James Van Damme
    5 January, 2016
    Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
    DigiKam, to edit photos.
    Trransmission, torrent client.
    Variety wallpaper changer
    OpenShot video editor
    OcenAudio audio editor

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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    Reply

    Post comment
    JAMES M VANDAMME
    7 January, 2016
    Gramps – genealogy database.
    XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
    Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
    TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

    Ghis
    5 January, 2016
    Some of my contenders
    Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
    XnView MP
    Inkscape for vector drawing
    Scribus for desktop publishing
    Calibre for e-book management

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

    James Van Damme
    5 January, 2016
    Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
    DigiKam, to edit photos.
    Trransmission, torrent client.
    Variety wallpaper changer
    OpenShot video editor
    OcenAudio audio editor

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

    Load 10 more

    Post comment

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    E-mail
    Get

    LiDi L6F Hexacopter Drone Review and Giveaway
    Win a Lidi L6F Hexacopter in Our Latest Giveaway!

    5 Golden Rules to Live By as a New Linux User
    You have ignored persistent Linux myths and decided to give Linux a try. How do you ensure that your transition to the new OS is smooth? Stick to the following five rules and you should …

    7 Neat Linux Tricks That Newbies Need to Know
    As a Linux newbie, it's normal to struggle. Everything just feels so different from Windows and you find yourself scratching your head at the simplest of tasks. And while the command line makes Linux life much …

    7 Key Differences Between Windows & Linux You Should Know About Before Switching
    Linux has made some serious headway over the past decade, elevating itself from “that open source operating system” to “wow, this thing is actually usable!” There’s been a gentle but definite trickle of users away …

    It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments
    Don't know which Linux desktop environment is for you? From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Windows and Mac both basically offer one desktop …

    How to Instantly Free Up Spare Disk Space on Linux
    So you decided to dive into the not-so-scary world of Linux and, as it turns out, you’re actually having a blast. That’s usually how it goes, and many people find that Linux is much easier …

    What Are The Best Linux Web Browsers?
    Linux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best browsers you can use …
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    Menu Linux
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

    Written by Joel Lee
    December 28, 2015
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
    Ads by Google

    Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

    Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

    So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

    1. Tweak Tools
    By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

    If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

    ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

    Ads by Google

    For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

    ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

    For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

    ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

    For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

    Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

    2. Synaptic Package Manager
    Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

    ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

    On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

    Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

    How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

    3. Google Chrome
    I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

    But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

    ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

    For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

    How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

    4. Geary
    There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

    The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

    ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

    The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

    How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install geary

    5. VLC Media Player
    Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

    ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

    The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

    There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

    How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

    6. Tomahawk
    Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

    ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

    Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

    But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

    How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install tomahawk

    7. Tixati
    Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

    Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

    ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

    Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

    How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

    8. Sublime Text
    One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

    ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

    That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

    How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

    9. GIMP
    A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

    ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

    But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

    If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

    How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

    10. Dropbox
    Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

    Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

    ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

    If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

    11. Steam
    Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

    ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

    Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

    For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

    How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

    What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
    I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

    Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

    Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
    Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

    Comments (15)
    Write a Comment
    Bruce
    11 January, 2016
    I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

    Joel Lee
    14 January, 2016
    Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

    Paul Figueiredo
    8 January, 2016
    Scribus – Desktop publishing
    MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
    Brackets – HTML Editor
    OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
    Openshot – Video Editing
    Gparted – Disk control

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er

    Menu Linux
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

    Written by Joel Lee
    December 28, 2015
    11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
    Ads by Google

    Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

    Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

    So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

    1. Tweak Tools
    By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

    If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

    ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

    Ads by Google

    For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

    ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

    For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

    ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

    For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

    Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

    2. Synaptic Package Manager
    Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

    ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

    On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

    Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

    How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

    3. Google Chrome
    I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

    But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

    ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

    For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

    How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

    4. Geary
    There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

    The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

    ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

    The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

    How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install geary

    5. VLC Media Player
    Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

    ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

    The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

    There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

    How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

    6. Tomahawk
    Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

    ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

    Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

    But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

    How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install tomahawk

    7. Tixati
    Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

    Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

    ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

    Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

    How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

    8. Sublime Text
    One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

    ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

    That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

    How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

    9. GIMP
    A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

    ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

    But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

    If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

    How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

    10. Dropbox
    Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

    Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

    ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

    If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

    11. Steam
    Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

    ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

    Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

    For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

    How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

    What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
    I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

    Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

    Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
    Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

    Comments (15)
    Write a Comment
    Bruce
    11 January, 2016
    I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

    Joel Lee
    14 January, 2016
    Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

    Paul Figueiredo
    8 January, 2016
    Scribus – Desktop publishing
    MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
    Brackets – HTML Editor
    OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
    Openshot – Video Editing
    Gparted – Disk control

    asdfs
    18 March, 2016
    efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

    sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er
    Post comment
    JAMES M VANDAMME
    7 January, 2016
    Gramps – genealogy database.
    XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
    Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
    TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

    Ghis
    5 January, 2016
    Some of my contenders
    Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
    XnView MP
    Inkscape for vector drawing
    Scribus for desktop publishing
    Calibre for e-book management

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

    James Van Damme
    5 January, 2016
    Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
    DigiKam, to edit photos.
    Trransmission, torrent client.
    Variety wallpaper changer
    OpenShot video editor
    OcenAudio audio editor

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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    Linux has made some serious headway over the past decade, elevating itself from “that open source operating system” to “wow, this thing is actually usable!” There’s been a gentle but definite trickle of users away …

    It’s Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments
    Don’t know which Linux desktop environment is for you? From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there’s a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Windows and Mac both basically offer one desktop …

    How to Instantly Free Up Spare Disk Space on Linux
    So you decided to dive into the not-so-scary world of Linux and, as it turns out, you’re actually having a blast. That’s usually how it goes, and many people find that Linux is much easier …

    What Are The Best Linux Web Browsers?
    Linux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best browsers you can use …
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    Post comment
    JAMES M VANDAMME
    7 January, 2016
    Gramps – genealogy database.
    XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
    Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
    TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

    Ghis
    5 January, 2016
    Some of my contenders
    Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
    XnView MP
    Inkscape for vector drawing
    Scribus for desktop publishing
    Calibre for e-book management

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

    James Van Damme
    5 January, 2016
    Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
    DigiKam, to edit photos.
    Trransmission, torrent client.
    Variety wallpaper changer
    OpenShot video editor
    OcenAudio audio editor

    Joel Lee
    6 January, 2016
    Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

    Load 10 more

    Post comment

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    E-mail
    Get

    LiDi L6F Hexacopter Drone Review and Giveaway
    Win a Lidi L6F Hexacopter in Our Latest Giveaway!

    5 Golden Rules to Live By as a New Linux User
    You have ignored persistent Linux myths and decided to give Linux a try. How do you ensure that your transition to the new OS is smooth? Stick to the following five rules and you should …

    7 Neat Linux Tricks That Newbies Need to Know
    As a Linux newbie, it's normal to struggle. Everything just feels so different from Windows and you find yourself scratching your head at the simplest of tasks. And while the command line makes Linux life much …

    7 Key Differences Between Windows & Linux You Should Know About Before Switching
    Linux has made some serious headway over the past decade, elevating itself from “that open source operating system” to “wow, this thing is actually usable!” There’s been a gentle but definite trickle of users away …

    It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments
    Don't know which Linux desktop environment is for you? From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Windows and Mac both basically offer one desktop …

    How to Instantly Free Up Spare Disk Space on Linux
    So you decided to dive into the not-so-scary world of Linux and, as it turns out, you’re actually having a blast. That’s usually how it goes, and many people find that Linux is much easier …

    What Are The Best Linux Web Browsers?
    Linux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best browsers you can u

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Can this commenter (er, article copier-paster) be banned from Earth forever?

      • Priswell
        October 4, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        I agree.

  9. Bruce
    January 11, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

    • Joel Lee
      January 14, 2016 at 1:05 am

      Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

  10. Paul Figueiredo
    January 8, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Scribus - Desktop publishing
    MyPaint - Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
    Brackets - HTML Editor
    OBS - Screen recording and live streaming software
    Openshot - Video Editing
    Gparted - Disk control

    • asdfs
      March 18, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

      • asdfs
        March 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er

        Menu Linux
        11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

        Written by Joel Lee
        December 28, 2015
        11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
        Ads by Google

        Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

        Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

        So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

        1. Tweak Tools
        By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

        If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

        ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

        Ads by Google

        For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

        ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

        For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

        ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

        For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

        Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

        2. Synaptic Package Manager
        Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

        ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

        On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

        Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

        How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

        3. Google Chrome
        I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

        But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

        ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

        For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

        How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

        4. Geary
        There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

        The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

        ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

        The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

        How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

        sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

        sudo apt-get update

        sudo apt-get install geary

        5. VLC Media Player
        Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

        ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

        The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

        There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

        How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

        6. Tomahawk
        Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

        ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

        Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

        But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

        How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

        sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

        sudo apt-get update

        sudo apt-get install tomahawk

        7. Tixati
        Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

        Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

        ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

        Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

        How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

        8. Sublime Text
        One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

        ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

        That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

        How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

        sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

        sudo apt-get update

        sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

        9. GIMP
        A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

        ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

        But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

        If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

        How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

        10. Dropbox
        Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

        Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

        ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

        If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

        How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

        11. Steam
        Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

        ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

        Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

        For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

        How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

        What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
        I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

        Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

        Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
        Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

        Comments (15)
        Write a Comment
        Bruce
        11 January, 2016
        I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

        Joel Lee
        14 January, 2016
        Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

        Paul Figueiredo
        8 January, 2016
        Scribus – Desktop publishing
        MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
        Brackets – HTML Editor
        OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
        Openshot – Video Editing
        Gparted – Disk control

        asdfs
        18 March, 2016
        efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

        sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er
        Post comment
        JAMES M VANDAMME
        7 January, 2016
        Gramps – genealogy database.
        XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
        Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
        TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

        Ghis
        5 January, 2016
        Some of my contenders
        Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
        XnView MP
        Inkscape for vector drawing
        Scribus for desktop publishing
        Calibre for e-book management

        Joel Lee
        6 January, 2016
        DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

        James Van Damme
        5 January, 2016
        Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
        DigiKam, to edit photos.
        Trransmission, torrent client.
        Variety wallpaper changer
        OpenShot video editor
        OcenAudio audio editor

        Joel Lee
        6 January, 2016
        Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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        • asdfs
          March 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

          Menu Linux
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

          Written by Joel Lee
          December 28, 2015
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
          Ads by Google

          Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

          Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

          So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

          1. Tweak Tools
          By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

          If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

          ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

          Ads by Google

          For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

          ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

          For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

          ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

          For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

          Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

          2. Synaptic Package Manager
          Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

          ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

          On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

          Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

          How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

          3. Google Chrome
          I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

          But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

          ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

          For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

          How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

          4. Geary
          There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

          The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

          ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

          The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

          How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install geary

          5. VLC Media Player
          Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

          ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

          The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

          There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

          How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

          6. Tomahawk
          Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

          ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

          Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

          But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

          How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install tomahawk

          7. Tixati
          Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

          Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

          ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

          Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

          How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

          8. Sublime Text
          One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

          ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

          That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

          How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

          9. GIMP
          A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

          ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

          But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

          If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

          How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

          10. Dropbox
          Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

          Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

          ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

          If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

          How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

          11. Steam
          Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

          ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

          Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

          For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

          How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

          What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
          I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

          Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

          Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
          Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

          Comments (15)
          Write a Comment
          Bruce
          11 January, 2016
          I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

          Joel Lee
          14 January, 2016
          Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

          Paul Figueiredo
          8 January, 2016
          Scribus – Desktop publishing
          MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
          Brackets – HTML Editor
          OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
          Openshot – Video Editing
          Gparted – Disk control

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er

          Menu Linux
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

          Written by Joel Lee
          December 28, 2015
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
          Ads by Google

          Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

          Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

          So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

          1. Tweak Tools
          By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

          If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

          ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

          Ads by Google

          For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

          ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

          For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

          ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

          For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

          Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

          2. Synaptic Package Manager
          Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

          ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

          On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

          Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

          How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

          3. Google Chrome
          I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

          But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

          ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

          For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

          How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

          4. Geary
          There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

          The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

          ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

          The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

          How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install geary

          5. VLC Media Player
          Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

          ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

          The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

          There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

          How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

          6. Tomahawk
          Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

          ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

          Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

          But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

          How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install tomahawk

          7. Tixati
          Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

          Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

          ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

          Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

          How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

          8. Sublime Text
          One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

          ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

          That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

          How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

          9. GIMP
          A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

          ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

          But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

          If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

          How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

          10. Dropbox
          Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

          Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

          ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

          If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

          How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

          11. Steam
          Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

          ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

          Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

          For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

          How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

          What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
          I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

          Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

          Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
          Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

          Comments (15)
          Write a Comment
          Bruce
          11 January, 2016
          I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

          Joel Lee
          14 January, 2016
          Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

          Paul Figueiredo
          8 January, 2016
          Scribus – Desktop publishing
          MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
          Brackets – HTML Editor
          OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
          Openshot – Video Editing
          Gparted – Disk control

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

          sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er
          Post comment
          JAMES M VANDAMME
          7 January, 2016
          Gramps – genealogy database.
          XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
          Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
          TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

          Ghis
          5 January, 2016
          Some of my contenders
          Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
          XnView MP
          Inkscape for vector drawing
          Scribus for desktop publishing
          Calibre for e-book management

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

          James Van Damme
          5 January, 2016
          Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
          DigiKam, to edit photos.
          Trransmission, torrent client.
          Variety wallpaper changer
          OpenShot video editor
          OcenAudio audio editor

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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          So you decided to dive into the not-so-scary world of Linux and, as it turns out, you’re actually having a blast. That’s usually how it goes, and many people find that Linux is much easier …

          What Are The Best Linux Web Browsers?
          Linux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best browsers you can use …
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          JAMES M VANDAMME
          7 January, 2016
          Gramps – genealogy database.
          XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
          Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
          TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

          Ghis
          5 January, 2016
          Some of my contenders
          Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
          XnView MP
          Inkscape for vector drawing
          Scribus for desktop publishing
          Calibre for e-book management

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

          James Van Damme
          5 January, 2016
          Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
          DigiKam, to edit photos.
          Trransmission, torrent client.
          Variety wallpaper changer
          OpenShot video editor
          OcenAudio audio editor

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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          Menu Linux
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

          Written by Joel Lee
          December 28, 2015
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
          Ads by Google

          Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

          Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

          So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

          1. Tweak Tools
          By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

          If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

          ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

          Ads by Google

          For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

          ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

          For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

          ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

          For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

          Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

          2. Synaptic Package Manager
          Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

          ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

          On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

          Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

          How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

          3. Google Chrome
          I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

          But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

          ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

          For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

          How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

          4. Geary
          There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

          The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

          ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

          The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

          How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install geary

          5. VLC Media Player
          Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

          ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

          The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

          There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

          How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

          6. Tomahawk
          Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

          ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

          Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

          But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

          How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install tomahawk

          7. Tixati
          Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

          Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

          ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

          Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

          How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

          8. Sublime Text
          One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

          ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

          That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

          How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

          9. GIMP
          A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

          ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

          But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

          If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

          How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

          10. Dropbox
          Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

          Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

          ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

          If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

          How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

          11. Steam
          Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

          ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

          Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

          For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

          How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

          What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
          I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

          Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

          Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
          Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

          Comments (15)
          Write a Comment
          Bruce
          11 January, 2016
          I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

          Joel Lee
          14 January, 2016
          Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

          Paul Figueiredo
          8 January, 2016
          Scribus – Desktop publishing
          MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
          Brackets – HTML Editor
          OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
          Openshot – Video Editing
          Gparted – Disk control

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er

          Menu Linux
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install

          Written by Joel Lee
          December 28, 2015
          11 Must-Have Apps on Ubuntu Right After a Fresh Install
          Ads by Google

          Here’s the situation: it’s your first time using Ubuntu, you’ve gone through as many newbie Linux tricks as you could find, but you’re still wondering what kind of software is out there for you to install. Maybe you’re even starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

          Don’t worry. Relax. Compared to Windows, Linux is a vast new world full of exciting possibilities — but there’s a lot of familiarity as well. Using free software, you can replicate many of the everyday tasks that you just can’t go without.

          So if you’re looking at a fresh installation of Ubuntu and feeling a bit lost, here are the first few applications you should install. These will cover most of your needs, guaranteed.

          1. Tweak Tools
          By default, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing your desktop experience. You can do things like change your wallpaper, use different fonts for your system, and install different window themes, but not much more than that.

          If you want nitty-gritty access to some of the more advanced settings hidden beneath the hood of your system, you’ll want to install a tweak tool. The one you choose will depend on your desktop environment.

          ubuntu-app-unity-tweak-tool

          Ads by Google

          For Unity desktops: You should install Unity Tweak Tool, which is available in the Software Center. This will let you change the behavior of windows and settings beyond what Unity normally allows.

          ubuntu-app-gnome-tweak-tool

          For Gnome desktops: You should install Gnome Tweak Tool, which can also be found in the Software Center. Advanced tweaks include custom keyboard shortcuts, altered window behaviors, and fine-grain theme controls.

          ubuntu-app-compiz-settings-manager

          For Compiz desktops: Compiz isn’t a desktop environment per se, but rather a window manager that allows for 3D effects and animations. If you decide to use Compiz for window management, you should install Compiz Config Settings Manager from the Software Center.

          Compiz is far more advanced than the other tweak tools above, which means it might be overwhelming at first. Be careful not to change things unless you know what they are, otherwise you may break something.

          2. Synaptic Package Manager
          Except for the tweak tools above, I’m convinced that there’s no tool more important for Ubuntu users than Synaptic Package Manager. Sure, the built-in Ubuntu Software Center is good enough to get the job done, but it has a few quirks and missing features.

          ubuntu-app-synaptic-package-manager

          On the other hand, Synaptic is objectively better. For starters, it isn’t as laggy when browsing through packages, and it’s way faster at returning search results. It can repair broken package dependencies, perform smart system upgrades, and has a friendlier interface.

          Plus, it has a setting for automatically deleting packages after installation, which helps alleviate unnecessary disk space usage. Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t have this feature.

          How to install: Synaptic Package Manager can be found in the Software Center.

          3. Google Chrome
          I don’t want to get into a war over which browser is best on Linux. Chrome has its strong points, but there are also a lot of reasons to hate Chrome. And if I’m being honest, if I absolutely had a choice, I would break up with Chrome in an instant.

          But on Linux, you need to have Chrome installed. Not that you have to use it as your primary browser — Opera is my browser of choice at the moment — but there are things Chrome can do that no other browser can (without a lot of tinkering and tweaking, at least).

          ubuntu-app-chrome-web-browser

          For example, if you want to watch Netflix on Linux, you pretty much have to use Chrome now. There are potential workarounds for other browsers like Firefox and Opera, but they’re a real headache to get working. Up-to-date Flash support is also only available in Chrome.

          How to install: Chrome isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Chrome homepage, click Download, make sure you select the relevant .deb file, and double-click it after it’s downloaded to install. Once installed, it will auto-update when new versions are available.

          4. Geary
          There are several Linux desktop email clients to choose from, and the best one for you is the one you find most comfortable to use, but Geary gets my vote. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing.

          The basic-but-functional interface makes it a “lowest common denominator” email client. You’ll understand how to use it as soon as you open it. As such, it’s the one I most recommend for Linux newbies and casual users.

          ubuntu-app-geary-email-client

          The only downside to Geary is that it lacks a lot of customization options. If you want to change the hotkeys, you can’t. If you want to disable “Mark as Read after X seconds”, you can’t. Little things that are completely subjective but might be frustrating all the same, so I don’t recommend Geary for power users.

          How to install: Geary is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install geary

          5. VLC Media Player
          Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of great media players on Linux: Bomi, SMPlayer, Miro, and the list goes on. But while it’s nice to have such a wide variety of options, there’s one player that consistently outranks its competition, and that player is VLC.

          ubuntu-app-vlc-media-player

          The biggest selling point of VLC is its commitment to the open source philosophy. Obviously it isn’t the only open source media player out there, but when you also consider just how feature-complete, polished, and downright useful it is, you’ll see that few others can compare.

          There are so many hidden VLC features that you probably don’t know about. (Seriously, so many features.) At the very least, you should install it as a backup player because it always works.

          How to install: VLC can be found in the Software Center.

          6. Tomahawk
          Fewer and fewer people are buying music these days. With the prevalence of services like Spotify and YouTube, we’re entering an age where streaming is preferable to ownership — and that’s most true for music. However, for those of us who still have MP3s, a proper music player is crucial.

          ubuntu-app-tomahawk-music-player

          Linux music players aren’t hard to come by, which means picking one is harder than you might think. Having given many of them a try over the years, I’m convinced that Tomahawk is the best. It’s clean, modern, and packed with features.

          But the most killer feature comes by way of plugins: the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, LastFM, and more. Tomahawk makes it so you can manage all of your music — owned or streamed — in one place.

          How to install: Tomahawk is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install tomahawk

          7. Tixati
          Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t condone the pirating of software or media. However, we do recognize that there are legitimate uses for torrenting, and when you find yourself needing to download one of those legal torrents, it’s best if you do so with a proper client.

          Fortunately, the selection of modern torrent clients for Linux is wide and ever-improving. You’ve probably heard of Transmission, Deluge, and qBittorrent, but I really want to stress that Tixati is the absolute best client available right now.

          ubuntu-app-tixati-torrent-client

          Reasons to prefer Tixati over other torrenting clients include: tiny resource comsumption, fast downloads, simple and straightforward interface, and dozens of features like priorities, bandwidth sizing, and real-time bandwidth graphs. It even has a portable version.

          How to install: Tixati isn’t available in the Software Center, but installation is easy. Just go to the Tixati homepage, click Download, navigate to the Linux section, and make sure you select the relevant .deb file. Double-click the downloaded file to install.

          8. Sublime Text
          One of the worst Linux myths is that only programmers should care about Linux. This myth does a disservice to the operating system because there’s a lot to like about Linux even if you’ve never seen or written a line of code in your life.

          ubuntu-app-sublime-text-editor

          That being said, it’s undeniable that Linux is great for programmers, and if you’re going to be doing any kind of programming or scripting at all, then you should really consider installing Sublime Text. It’s the best text editor out there and almost as good as an IDE.

          How to install: Sublime Text is not available in the Software Center. To install, open the Terminal and type in the following three commands:

          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3

          sudo apt-get update

          sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

          9. GIMP
          A lot of programs have tried to replicate the power and flexibility of Photoshop, and while a lot of these programs can pass as viable alternatives to Photoshop on Linux, they all fall short in one way or another. The closest thing you’ll find is GIMP.

          ubuntu-app-gimp-image-editor

          But here’s the thing: GIMP may not be at the same level as Photoshop, it can still do a lot of the same things. If GIMP is missing a feature you need, you might even be able to extend its functionality with plugins. And best of all, GIMP is 100% free. Would you rather pay a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud? Likely not.

          If you think GIMP is overkill or too hard to learn, don’t worry. Just check out these websites with GIMP tutorials and these video tutorials for GIMP beginners to get started. It’s easier than you think.

          How to install: GIMP can be found in the Software Center.

          10. Dropbox
          Of the cloud storage services available today, Dropbox is the easiest to set up on Linux. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, then you really should — it’s excellent for backing up files, not to mention the creative uses for Dropbox that you haven’t considered.

          Dropbox integrates well into Linux, and once it’s set up, you never have to fiddle with it again if you don’t want to. Everything just works, and that kind of comfort is great for Linux newbies.

          ubuntu-app-dropbox-cloud-storage

          If you’re going to use Dropbox, take advantage of these ways to unlock more space as well as these time-saving Dropbox shortcuts. If security bothers you, take these steps towards safer cloud storage and avoid these bad security habits. Then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

          How to install: Dropbox is available in the Software Center, but I’ve run into installation issues before, so I recommend going to the Dropbox download page instead and grabbing the .deb file relevant to your system. Double-click it to install once downloaded.

          11. Steam
          Linux is becoming a serious platform for gaming. It hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s well on its way, and there’s a lot of evidence to show that Linux may catch up to Windows in just a few more years. One of the biggest milestones? The release of Steam for Linux.

          ubuntu-app-steam-linux-gaming

          Steam is one of the best ways to download games on Linux. The library of games is expansive, the community is massive, and the games themselves are pretty darn good. Not all of the games on Steam can be played just yet, but the number that can be played is growing day by day, and Steam itself is always improving too.

          For now, you’ll have to deal with the fact that many games — such as these free MMORPGs that are native to Linux — will have to be played outside of Steam.

          How to install: Steam can be found in the Software Center. However, you may run into problems after installation, in which case you should consult this troubleshooting page.

          What Are Your Must-Have Apps?
          I know we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s available on Linux, but if I had to pick 11 absolute essentials, these would be my pick. Linux newbies should instantly feel more comfortable with these apps installed on their systems.

          Now it’s your turn. If you could only live with 11 applications on your system, which would they be? Share them with us in the comments below!

          Image Credit: Dropbox by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock
          Share Tweet Pin Stumble Bookmark Mail

          Comments (15)
          Write a Comment
          Bruce
          11 January, 2016
          I love GIMP, from modifiing photos to animation work its splendid and lets not forget audacity, a wonderful audio tool for creaty persons

          Joel Lee
          14 January, 2016
          Agreed! I hated both GIMP and Audacity the first time I used them but they grew on me eventually. :)

          Paul Figueiredo
          8 January, 2016
          Scribus – Desktop publishing
          MyPaint – Easy to use paint program without extra muss or fuss
          Brackets – HTML Editor
          OBS – Screen recording and live streaming software
          Openshot – Video Editing
          Gparted – Disk control

          asdfs
          18 March, 2016
          efwgetahsyj5e7yrshtdgrzfv2bt3 e5rf6tgbdnetreswb4yerdhjrm 6dyrbhweyrd fxbghvn yrn5b

          sadfgwtbr6tjhnbe5rdyjerdcvbnbvgwe bevdcghbvecrdtyvgbvcwescrvftfgcwesdrzftdvbg3wv4fe5sdtrcgb q3vwft4er
          Post comment
          JAMES M VANDAMME
          7 January, 2016
          Gramps – genealogy database.
          XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
          Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
          TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

          Ghis
          5 January, 2016
          Some of my contenders
          Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
          XnView MP
          Inkscape for vector drawing
          Scribus for desktop publishing
          Calibre for e-book management

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

          James Van Damme
          5 January, 2016
          Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
          DigiKam, to edit photos.
          Trransmission, torrent client.
          Variety wallpaper changer
          OpenShot video editor
          OcenAudio audio editor

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

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          JAMES M VANDAMME
          7 January, 2016
          Gramps – genealogy database.
          XSane scanner driver …. or Simple Scanner.
          Sweet Home 3D – architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
          TV time and Cheese – to run my TV cards that won’t work on Windows

          Ghis
          5 January, 2016
          Some of my contenders
          Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
          XnView MP
          Inkscape for vector drawing
          Scribus for desktop publishing
          Calibre for e-book management

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can’t believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

          James Van Damme
          5 January, 2016
          Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
          DigiKam, to edit photos.
          Trransmission, torrent client.
          Variety wallpaper changer
          OpenShot video editor
          OcenAudio audio editor

          Joel Lee
          6 January, 2016
          Wasn’t aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They’re important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

          Load 10 more

          Post comment

          Subscribe to our newsletter

          E-mail
          Get

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          5 Golden Rules to Live By as a New Linux User
          You have ignored persistent Linux myths and decided to give Linux a try. How do you ensure that your transition to the new OS is smooth? Stick to the following five rules and you should …

          7 Neat Linux Tricks That Newbies Need to Know
          As a Linux newbie, it's normal to struggle. Everything just feels so different from Windows and you find yourself scratching your head at the simplest of tasks. And while the command line makes Linux life much …

          7 Key Differences Between Windows & Linux You Should Know About Before Switching
          Linux has made some serious headway over the past decade, elevating itself from “that open source operating system” to “wow, this thing is actually usable!” There’s been a gentle but definite trickle of users away …

          It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments
          Don't know which Linux desktop environment is for you? From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Windows and Mac both basically offer one desktop …

          How to Instantly Free Up Spare Disk Space on Linux
          So you decided to dive into the not-so-scary world of Linux and, as it turns out, you’re actually having a blast. That’s usually how it goes, and many people find that Linux is much easier …

          What Are The Best Linux Web Browsers?
          Linux desktops offer many of the same web browsers you can use Windows and Mac, with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all available for Linux. We’ll take a look at the best

  11. JAMES M VANDAMME
    January 7, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Gramps - genealogy database.
    XSane scanner driver .... or Simple Scanner.
    Sweet Home 3D - architectural CAD (renovated my kitchen with it)
    TV time and Cheese - to run my TV cards that won't work on Windows

  12. Ghis
    January 5, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Some of my contenders
    Absolute must-have for photographers: Darktable which is almost equalizer to Lightroom.
    XnView MP
    Inkscape for vector drawing
    Scribus for desktop publishing
    Calibre for e-book management

    • Joel Lee
      January 6, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      DarkTable is surprisingly good, as is Inkscape. Calibre is a must-have for avid readers. Nice mentions! Can't believe I forgot them. Thanks Ghis!

  13. Anonymous
    January 5, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Grub Customizer. Because, why not.
    DigiKam, to edit photos.
    Trransmission, torrent client.
    Variety wallpaper changer
    OpenShot video editor
    OcenAudio audio editor

    • Joel Lee
      January 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Wasn't aware that Grub Customizer was a thing. Might have to give it a whirl. :) Great mentions on those other programs, too. They're important to know for creative folks! Thanks James.

  14. Anonymous
    January 3, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I suggest
    Geany - Free alternative to nagging Sublimetext
    Gigolo - Automate mounting of remote directoris. Supports most protocols the average user needs. NTFS, SSHFS, WebDav, NFS, ..etc.
    encfs - Enable and encrypt your home directory or important directories.
    CherryTree - Note taking. Combine with encfs and DropBox to store your imporant notes safely and without fear of losing them if your hard drive goes bad.
    gparted - Manage your hard drive(s) and partitions.
    Keepass/Keepassx - Store and manage your passwords.
    Shutter - Taking screenshots
    Pinta - For those who want simple image editor and do not want to learn Gimp

    • Joel Lee
      January 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Geany is pretty good, and the lack of nagging is great lol. CherryTree is also awesome, my preferred method of keeping notes when OneNote is unavailable. Lots a nice mentions, thanks John!

      • Anonymous
        June 21, 2016 at 1:38 am

        Is CherryTree a comparable replacement for OneNote? I mean...well...does anybody know of a point-by-point comparison?

        • Joel Lee
          June 24, 2016 at 1:49 am

          No not exactly. OneNote is definitely more advanced in terms of what it can do (clipping, media embedding, advanced formatting options, etc) whereas CherryTree is more for simple text-only notes. But if that's all you need, then I think CherryTree is easier and faster to use.

  15. Anupam Sarkar
    January 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I'd suggest a couple more-

    Redshift- F.lux alternative
    Vocal- Podcast Manager
    Focuswriter - Distraction-free writing tool
    MEGAsync- Cloud storage ( 50 GB free)
    Nylas N1- E-mail Manager (in my opinion, it's much better than Geary)

    • Joel Lee
      January 6, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Aw man, I intended to include Redshift but somehow forgot when I got around to writing the article. Really good mention! Very useful. FocusWriter is also awesome, though a bit more niche than most of the mentions on the list.

      I want to like N1 but it will need a few more features before I feel comfortable recommending it. Thanks, Anupam!

      • Anonymous
        June 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

        Any opinion on MEGAsync, Joel?

  16. Anonymous
    December 29, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Some other possible contenders:

    Clementine - Music Player (Arguably more fully-featured than Tomahawk.)
    Pinta - Simple Image Editor (Think 'paint.net' for linux)
    Kate - Feature Rich Text Editor (Hides a lot of power behind its initially simple interface)
    Spotify - Streaming Music Player (if you already use this service)

    • Joel Lee
      January 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Clementine is a good one, as are Pinta and Spotify. I've never used Kate but have heard a lot of good things about it, though I was under the impression that most users migrated to Sublime. Maybe that was TextMate... can't remember. But at the end of the day, whichever is most comfortable to use is the best one to use. :)

      • Anonymous
        January 6, 2016 at 10:15 pm

        Sublime is certainly a very well-designed text editor and what could be considered to be 'commercial quality'. Kate is a general-purpose full-featured text editor analogous to Notepad++ for Windows -- free and also very powerful. It's a lot more elegantly designed than N++ and has a ton of functionality that's not immediately apparent when you first open it. It's also good for working on projects that have hundreds or even thousands of text files because of the way it displays files (open files displayed in sidebar, not as tabs) and because it has project management, state saving, and really top-notch multi-file search+replace.

        My philosophy on text editors is whatever one is most comfortable and best fills your use case is the one to use. Kate just happens to be perfect for the type of projects I work on.