Monday, 30 June 2014

Software in Linux: FOSS rocks!

Hey guys, today I will discuss about the various cool Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) available for the Linux OS. Many of them, prove to be best alternatives to those paid-software, and ensure that you will always feel like home in Linux. Also a few of them are even better than those which are used in Windows. So let us start:

The major software you need are:

KDE software are always known for their performance, beautiful interface and tonnes of other features. Though, it is highly recommended that you prefer KDE software only when you are using KDE distros like openSUSE(KDE) or Kubuntu. Also KDE software require a bit more resources than other software, but if you have a modern PC or laptop, enjoy the ride with KDE!

Office Suite:

Libre Office is an Open Source alternative to MS Office, and includes all software which you will need.
  • LibreOffice Writer is a word processing program similar to MS Word
  • LibreOffice Calc, is used for creating spread sheets, like MS Excel
  • Libre Office Impress is for presentations, just like MS PowerPoint
  • Libre Office Base is for database development, similar to MS Access

Libre Office Suite

Archiving Tool:

Forget about the annoying popups of WinRar. Linux has efficient archiving tools that keep you awestruck, and the best part is that they come preinstalled with your distro.

Web Browser:

When talking about web browsers, you don't need to worry at all, because your favourite Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are available in Linux. The OpenSource web browser, Chromium, from whom Chrome derives its source code, is available in the repositories, while Chrome can be downloaded from the Google website.
Personally, I would recommend Chrome to Chromium.

Email Client:

Mozilla Thunderbird makes your email-management easy because of its simple interface.
For KDE fans, Kmail is flooded with many features also.
For now, I would recommend Thunderbird.

Video Player:

Vlc media player rules the heart of many Linux users. Apart from that, we have the SMPlayer, which, I would personally recommend. These two are the best media players with built in codecs. Install both of them and you will never get trouble watching any kind of video.


Music Player:

Anything is better than the “Windows Media Player”. Linux users are blessed with dozens of media players with such beautiful interface, ease of use and versatility that choosing one of them becomes very difficult. To me, Rhythmbox and Amarok(KDE) are the best of the best ones.

Amarok is better recommended for KDE users. It is a fully featured player that fetches each and every data for the tracks you play from the Internet, including album art, lyrics and even webpages!

Rhythmbox has a interface inspired by iTunes, and you will just fall in love with it. Clementine and Banshee are also worth mentioning. The rainfall-background effect in Clementine is just awesome!


Music Tag Editor:

Hey, don't worry if you downloaded your music collection from a website with a horrible irrelevant album art and shit like metadata. 
Editing the music metadata can be done from your music player itself, but these software offer you great speed and power to edit your music metadata. Puddle Tag and Easy Tag are best ones here. I use Easy Tag. These software will help you organizing your music collection in such a way that your friends will easily get jealous.

Easy Tag

Text Editor:

Oh come on, if you see the text editors in Linux, you will come to know how much time you wasted struggling with the boring Notepad. Even the lightweight default text editor for GNOME DE has much more features than Notepad! Every distro has a default text editor which is fully featured and can be extended by using plugins.
Personally I would recommend the Sublime Text Editor. Install it and you will even forget your IDE for coding!

Sublime Text

PDF Reader:

When I was a Windows user, I always complained about the Adobe reader taking so much of my system resources just to start up!
Okular is a very powerful PDF and similar documents reader for KDE, but works nice with other DEs also. If you do not want to install Okular, don't worry, the pdf reader provided to you by your distro is also powerful enough!


Gwenview (KDE) is a picture viewer with a beautiful interface.
The Open Source GIMP, along with Inkscape (Vector Image Drawing Tool) and Krita (Digital Painting) are together, a good alternative to Photoshop.
Krita will make you think harder why you were stuck at the hopeless simple MS paint.
Blender, a 3d model rendering software is also available easily in Linux.
For managing your digital pictures, Shotwell and F-spot are the best ones , and if you are up to some professional editing, DigiKam(KDE picture managment software) and Darktable will win your heart!


Video Editing:

No match for the Kdenlive(KDE) here! Apart from that OpenShot and pitvi are also very good movie editing software.

Sound Editing:

For simple uses, the general purpose Audacity is also available here. For professional level, LMMS and Ardour Digital Work Station let you achieve superb results.

CD/DVD Burning:

Though you get a CD/DVD burning software with your distro, I would personally recommend the K3B (KDE). It has all the features that will make you forget even Nero. Though most of the CD/DVD images can be directly mounted, still if you want better performance, install AcetoneISO (The Kubuntu users will usually need this software)

Torrent Client:

Every distro has a pre-installed torrent client and they are worth to give a try! If you want a very simple and lightweight client then go with Transmission, the default client for GNOME. If you want more features, Deluge will never let you down. KDE users always have the feature rich Ktorrent client.

Virtualization Softwares:

You may have some Windows software which you can't live without. Also there are large numbers of distros that are worth trying! Then you can always have Windows as a virtual OS. Thus even if your Windows “gets infected”, your base OS remains untouched, and so does your valuable data. On the other hand you will also never miss your games, which run only in Windows.
Also having a virtualization software will let you try other various Linux distros, which is a great fun on itself.
Virtual Box and VMWare Player are two such software. I would recommend VMWare Player, which can be downloaded from their website. It is far better than Virtual Box, in case of speed, stability and robustness, though the non commercial version lacks some extra features, but we don't need to worry about them.

VMWare Player

Download Manager:

Do not worry, the default Linux network downloader “wget” is always with you. Download videos from YouTube and other large number of similar websites by the youtube-dl command, which can be installed easily.
Those who will miss their “cracked” IDM, a similar program, the Xtreme Dowload Manager (XDM) is very promising.

Webcam Software:

Cheese is the best one available in Linux that never lets you down.

Software Development:

If you are an IDE fan, then most of your favourie IDEs are also available here. Apart from that Linux has large number of other OpenSource IDEs as well. Netbeans, Eclipse, Mono, Qt creator, Octave, IPython, Kdevelop, etc, can be easily installed from the software center or from the respective websites also.

Apart from these, there are hundreds of softwares to be checked! Why don't you go and check some on your own? Don't forget to tell me about your experience, in the comments below.

As a bonus, you can try the offline English dictionary, Artha.
Also, try the Guake and Yakuake (KDE) drop down terminals which add “coolness” to your machine.



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