Here is a short but useful list of some applications we’ve found and use very often. A lot of these applications (if not all of them) listed can be found in the Ubuntu Software Centre under the Applications menu.
Chromium Web Browser – this is the web browser from Google, a very minimal design giving you more space for the web page, some prefer it to FireFox. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Opera – a great, full featured web browser, I’d say give it a shot!
Pidgin Internet Messenger – personally I find this is better than the default included Empathy IM Client. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
XChat IRC - for those that like to use IRC often for support, etc – XChat is a very nice option. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
FileZilla – for your FTP needs. If you’re into Web development, this is a very useful FTP client. It’s available on Windows, too. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
ScITE Text Editor – a very useful programming editor for Linux, albeit not as good as Windows counterparts, it’s a good option and we recommend it. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
GIMPshop – a modified version of GIMP that modifies the menu, etc., to make it more Photoshop-like (which, for some people means easier to use!)
Command Line Programs/System Utilities
Irssi – if you want to get into using the command line for doing tasks you can do in GUI counterparts, Irssi is a good option. It’s an IRC client for the command line, surprisingly easy to use, too. Use
sudo apt-get install irssi to install it. See this guide on how to use it. If you’re connecting to Freenode by the way, use the following syntax to change your nick/username for connecting to Freenode, for instance, that sometimes requires you to be registered:
/set nick your_nick_name then
/set user_name your_user_name – use
/quit to quit the command line program. Use
irssi to launch the program.
Lynx – a command line based web browser (it even lets you type in to text fields!), use:
sudo apt-get install lynx to install it. It gives you instructions how to use it as you go along. For instance, to go to a web address just hit the letter
g when using Lynx. Use
lynx to launch the program.
VirtualBox – a great, open source way of running different versions of Linux to try out (as well as Windows, if you need it every now and then for the odd program) in a virtual environment. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Kvkbd – a virtual keyboard, except unlike Windows counterparts you can increase the size of it. Awesome! Although, you may not use this often, but oh well. Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
ClamTk – a GUI front end for the ClamAV anti virus program. Good for those that want to have anti virus protection on their Ubuntu installation. Although, it’s not a necessity; Linux is very secure out of the box (all applications that want to do anything more than at a low privilege level requires your permission) but some anti virus protection is there in case you want it. And of course, it’s free! Available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Just goes to show there are great alternatives for using Ubuntu full time, and the fact of the matter is – Ubuntu is ready for the desktop. It’s stable and reliable, it has many many applications available and it’s easier than ever before to install software on your Ubuntu computer. And because Ubuntu is free and open source, developers don’t feel there is an industry for commercial software on Linux yet, which means, most of the software is open source (or at least, free). What more could we ask for?
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