20 Linux Apps That Make the Desktop Easier: Page 2

Posted September 22, 2010

Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley

(Page 2 of 2)

11. Gedit or Kate – Windows users may like Notepad, but there’s still no comparison to the love I have for Gedit and Kate. On most days, I am using Gedit as it's my editor of choice for the GNOME desktop. Both editors provide me with the ability to edit and make changes to the written word and code alike.

12. Brasero or K3B – Despite not switching Linux distributions like I used to, access to a decent DVD/CD writer application is a must for me on my Linux desktop. When using GNOME, I've found that Brasero meets my needs with a resounding yes. Back on the KDE front, K3B remains my first-used CD writer application -- and my favorite as well.

13. OpenOffice – In my time sitting in front of my computer I've used countless office suites. Yet at no time have I ever felt that anything other than Open Office really addressed my needs.

The work flow that OpenOffice provides has been very fluid over the years, albeit not terribly attractive. So while we have Google Docs, among other web-based solutions now, there is something inherently convenient about a locally installed office suite.

14. F-Spot or DigiKam – My very first experience with using Linux software to get images off my digital camera was with an early release of DigiKam. From the first day I used it, I was in love. Now, despite preferring GNOME for most things, I tend to use DigiKam in KDE more than I use F-Spot in GNOME. Despite this, both applications provide a great user experience for managing photos.

15. Gparted or QTParted – I must confess that most of my recent experience has been with Gparted when it comes to successfully managing my partitions. Sure, I could do so from the command line, but Gparted and QTParted both offer such great visual guides to what’s being changed with my partitions that I’ve never looked back.

16. Filezilla – After trying out countless FTP clients including using my terminal to manage uploads to my own web server, I always find myself coming back to Filezilla each and every time. Always stable, brain-dead simple to use, I feel that as open source FTP clients go, Filezilla remains in a class all its own.

17. Network Manager (Gnome and KDE) – I’m including this because not everyone wants to edit a configuration file, followed by typing commands into a terminal window, simply to connect to the Internet. And luckily, network manager makes short work of this. Today, network manager for both GNOME and KDE support everything from VPN to mobile broadband.

18. GUFW or GuardDog – I don't imagine editing your IPTables is anyone's idea of fun. On the GNOME desktop, I used to rely heavily on Firestarter. But since moving onto Ubuntu, I am now using a GUI wrapper for its UFW (uncomplicated firewall) called GUFW. Then when I am booting into KDE, I remain quite happy with GuardDog for my firewall editing needs.

19. Open Shot or KDENLive – Despite spending most of my day head deep into one text editor or another, there are times when I need to create and edit video. Only a few years ago, this was not a very pleasant experience. Applications available were buggy and those that didn't crash were very difficult to use.

Today, we have Open Shot for GNOME users with KDENLive providing the same kind of functionality for those on KDE. The biggest difference between the two applications is that KDENLive supports DVGrab while it seems that Open Shot does not. Luckily, we can use DVGrab from the command line. And if GNOME users are simply not okay with this, KINO does a splendid job at making DVGrab very user friendly.

20. GNOME terminal or Konsole – Even though most of this list has highlighted the benefits of using various GUI solutions to make using desktop Linux easier, that there is something to be said for the CLI (command line interface). When accessing the CLI within a desktop manager, I prefer to use GNOME terminal on my GNOME installation and Konsole when I have booted into KDE. Both applications provide me with a customizable, straight forward CLI experience. And when I need to do some system updates or even just trouble shoot a problem not addressed by any GUI option, both terminal programs meet the challenge with flying colors.

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Tags: open source, Linux desktop, Linux downloads, Gnome, KDE

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