15 Must Have Linux Applications: Page 2

Essential Linux apps for the efficient open source desktop.
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9) Filezilla – The modern Linux desktop offers a number of methods to access an FTP server. However, few of these match the ease of use or the stability found in Filezilla. First, Filezilla offer me the ability to setup the login details for each server I wish to connect to. Also, it also supports SSH FTP, and it allows you to store and sort your server configurations within separate folders. In my opinion, the final feature that really sets Filezilla apart has to be the ability to connect to multiple servers at the same time, with each server setup as a separate tab.

10) Skype – I honestly wish I could have named off a SIP client instead, one that I use for my daily video conferences. Sadly though, we live in a Skype world. And now with Microsoft rekindling support for the VoIP client, I have found that Skype remains my goto VoIP/video call software of choice. Not only does the latest release of Skype provide excellent PulseAudio support with zero tweaking, the video calls made with the client are sent and received flawlessly. The only complaint I have about the software is that it would be cool to see video conference calls made available to Linux users. Perhaps, this will be coming in the next update?

11) PulseAudio Volume Control – If you use a Linux distribution that includes PulseAudio, then you know the hassle that comes from trying to getting USB microphones working with the existing sound settings. Even after you select the new device from which to record from, some VoIP applications or sound recorders still default back to the soundcard provided jack instead. This is where using the PulseAudio Volume Control comes in handy.

Not only does it mirror the functionality found with the typical sound settings found in distributions such as Ubuntu, it also allows you to switch input devices based on each application – not by choosing the default input device. This is powerful if you're needing to record something from one source monitor, and in another application you wish to record directly from a microphone.

12) GIMP – Next to LibreOffice, this is one of my most commonly used applications. I use GIMP for just about anything I do with images. From resizing, altering or simply cleaning up my pictures, GIMP is a tool I rely very heavily on. Interestingly, I have been using GIMP for so long that I feel lost and out of place when I try to use Photoshop in its place.

Even if a feature is missing in GIMP, chances are very good there is a script or an add-on that will provide me with whatever missing functionality I might need. Besides the decent pace of development, I have found that GIMP only continues to improve with each new release. It's easily the best image manipulation tool available on the Linux desktop today.

13) FreeFileSync – For programmers and web developers, having a means of keeping their files in sync can be a real time saver. So even though I may not be a developer, I am someone who manages a number of websites. So having everything on my machines in sync is critical for me. And this is where FreeFileSync comes to my rescue. Not only does it provide me with a rapid, reliable method of keeping my files in sync from directory to directory, it does so based on the rules and conditions I lay out for it. FreeFileSync even supports advanced functionality such as support for symlinks, conflict detection and a means of comparing files so I can ensure nothing is overwritten incorrectly.

14) Invulgotracker – With my hectic lifestyle, my time is immensely valuable to me. And without realizing it, I can easily find myself buried in "busy-work" that could, quite honestly, be addressed the following workday. To deal with this and other related issues, I've found that invulgotracker is the perfect tool for Gnome users to track their time. It's the perfect tool for tracking your time spent on a given project, along with generating reports when needed. While the application may not be appropriate for those who manage a ton of projects, for most of us, it offers plenty of basic flexibility. Plus, its easy-to-use interface is a pleasant surprise.

15) Terminal – Last, but certainly not least, my terminal application. The terminal you use within your desktop environment is likely to vary. But in my case I'm quite content with gnome-terminal. It's from here that I can extract zipped folders, install pre-release drivers, and even install new software from my distribution's software repositories. My terminal application is also critical in diagnosing connectivity issues on my LAN, updating my DNS information, and killing off a rogue software application that isn't running properly. Without a doubt in my mind, the terminal is the most valuable and critical piece of my day to day Linux experience. I honestly don't know what I would do without it.

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