Linux programs: You finally managed to install Linux on your computer and, happy to have achieved your goal, you can’t wait to get to work and test all the features of your new operating system. After a few minutes, however, you realized that you did not have any useful software for you: since you have never had to deal with the “penguin” before, you have therefore opened Google in search of a list of Linux programs that can meet your needs, and for this reason you happened right here, on my website.
If things are exactly this way, then know that you are in the right place, at the right time! During this tutorial, in fact, I will take care of listing a series of software that can be installed on Linux, free and almost always open source, suitable for different needs: from the Internet to productivity, through video editing, music and much more.
So, without waiting any longer, make yourself comfortable and carefully read everything I have to explain to you on the subject: I am sure that, once you have read this guide, you will be perfectly able to make your new Linux installation operational. Having said that, I have nothing else to do, except to wish you happy reading and have fun!
Linux programs for the Internet
Let’s start this discussion dedicated to the best Linux programs from what is probably the most commonly considered category to date: Internet. Below, I am going to list a series of browsers, email clients and messaging clients compatible with the operating system of the “penguin”.
- Mozilla Firefox: to be honest, I don’t think Mozilla’s browser needs any introduction! Practically the same as its counterparts for Windows and macOS, Firefox is a complete browser, the most modern versions of which are based on the Quantum engine (browser versions prior to 56, as well as its ESR variant, are instead based on the Gecko engine). I dedicated a whole section of my site in Firefox: visit it, you won’t regret it!
- Chromium: this news may surprise you, but Chromium is the free and open source web browser from which the well-known Google Chrome derives. Although browsers share most of the functionality (and code), they are different in some aspects closely related to the management of closed source components, as well as for the license. It goes without saying that, in practice, Chromium and Google Chrome resemble each other very much.
- Google Chrome: Google’s browser, based on the Chromium project, is also available for download and installation on most Linux distributions. If you are interested in learning more about how to use this program, also consult the specific section of my site.
- Opera: Opera is a cross-platform browser, also available for Linux, based on the Chromium code. The integrated functions of the program include the possibility of using a free VPN, a practical bar dedicated to instant messaging and the remarkable possibilities of personalization.
- Vivaldi: it is an open source browser, based on Chromium, which pays particular attention to data privacy, minimizing the possibility of tracking by the websites visited, thanks to some integrated features. Vivaldi’s interface is essential and free of particular aesthetic details, which makes it a navigation program suitable even for older machines.
- Falkon: previously known as QupZilla, it is a web browser fully integrated with the KDE / Plasma environment and based on the Chromium code (using the Web engine Qt WebEngine). Among the characteristic features of the browser, there are the possibility of making screenshots of whole pages and of using unique tabs for managing bookmarks, history and feeds.
- Lynx/ELinks: these two browsers are particularly suitable for remote use, as they do not have a graphical interface and can be easily called up via the Terminal. ELinks has a few more features than Lynx, however, due to their nature, both programs move away from the modern concept of surfing the Internet.
- Thunderbird: previously managed by the Mozilla Foundation, Thunderbird is a complete and easy-to-use email client, now fully driven by a huge community of volunteers, integrated into numerous Linux distributions. If you want to know more, consult mine guide to using Thunderbird.
- KMail: this is the default email client of the KDE / Plasma environment, which integrates natively with a large number of email providers (such as Gmail) and provides support for the most well-known communication protocols, such as POP3, IMAP, EWS (Exchange) and many others.
- Telegram: the famous messaging application is also available as a client for Linux, which can be used independently from the app for smartphones and tablets. To learn more about Telegram, I invite you to consult thedeepening that I dedicated to the topic.
- Franz: it is a program dedicated to chat and instant messaging, which integrates support for a large number of protocols of this type: Skype, Telegram and WhatsApp are just some of them. Starting from version 5, Franz’s code is freely distributed, effectively making it an open source program.
- Wickr: another program dedicated to instant messaging, allows you to chat in peer-to-peer mode, therefore without involving any server, by applying an advanced encryption algorithm. Regarding the security of information in transit, Wickr is considered one of the safest chat clients currently in existence.
Linux programs for productivity
If you installed Linux on a PC dedicated to carrying out study / work activities, then you cannot fail to consider the installation of the software that I propose below.
- LibreOffice: this is an open source and multi-platform office suite, which includes programs dedicated to word processing (Write), the management of spreadsheets (Calc), the creation of presentations (Impress) and graphic material ( Draw). There is also a database manager (Base). I told you about LibreOffice in my guide dedicated to free office programs.
- OpenOffice: another excellent free office suite, from which LibreOffice was later born. The functions of OpenOffice are very similar to those of LibreOffice, however this program usually receives fewer updates than those applied to LibreOffice.
- WPS Office: another excellent cross-platform office suite, equipped with tools for processing documents of various types.
- To Tom: is a multi-platform text editor, widely customizable thanks to a wide range of add-ons, through which it is possible to write texts of various types, including source files made with some commonly used languages.
- Bluefish: Bluefish is also an extremely flexible text editor, widely used by programmers and Web developers to create HTML pages, scripts and code of any type.
- GIMP: is one of the best open source software dedicated to photo editing and image manipulation in general. Most often, GIMP is called the free alternative to Photoshop. For more information on how it works, take a look at the dedicated section of my site.
- Krita: Krita is an open source program dedicated to graphics, mainly based on the concept of “freehand” digital drawing.
- Scribus: it is a real desktop publishing software, which allows you to create various types of graphics using the wide range of tools made available to the user. It is one of the most used free alternatives to Adobe InDesign.
Linux programs for video editing
If you are going to use your new Linux workstation to manipulate videos and movies of various types, then you will surely find useful the programs that I point out below.
- OpenShot: This is an open source non-linear video editor, pre-installed in numerous Linux distributions, which allows you to create movies composed of images, music, animations, transitions and other videos. I told you about OpenShot in my AI guide free programs to edit videos.
- DaVinci Resolve: Another extremely valuable non-linear video editor, which is making its way among video editing enthusiasts. It has 8K support and many advanced features. It’s free in its free version; alternatively there is the paid Studio version, which offers the DaVinci Neural Engine, multi-user collaboration, stereoscopic 3D tools, dozens of ResolveFX and FairlightFX plug-ins, HDR color correction, film graininess, blur effects and of the mist and more.
- KDEnlive: is a video editing program functionally similar to OpenShot, but based on the Qt libraries and perfectly integrated into the KDE Plasma environment.
- Pitivi: it is a non-linear video editor, with features similar to those of OpenShot and KDEnlive, but equipped with a simple, intuitive interface with particularly attractive graphics.
- LiVES: another popular open source video editor, this software has a simple but complete graphical interface and tools that allow you to operate on videos (cropping, editing, mixing and so on) in a couple of clicks.
- Blender: is an open source software dedicated to the modeling, assembly, composition and rendering of two-dimensional and three-dimensional images. It is an extremely powerful and feature-rich program.
- Lightworks: it is a professional software dedicated to digital editing, widely used for the creation of various types of films. Although an open source version was announced in 2010, its source code has not yet been released.
- Cinelerra: is a program mainly dedicated to post-production and video compositing operations, currently open source and distributed under the GPL license.
Linux programs to download music
On the Web and on P2P channels there are many musical contents freely distributed by independent or no longer copyrighted artists (such as the live shows of some concerts performed by famous artists). So if you intend to download them with Linux, you can refer to the programs listed below.
- Transmission: this is a client for downloading material from the Torrent network, installed “as standard” in numerous Linux distributions.
- qBittorrent: another excellent client dedicated to the Torrent network, it can be easily installed from the repositories of the most common Linux distributions.
- JDownloader: it is a cross platform software that allows you to download music from a large number of websites. I told you about it in detail this guide.
- aMule: it is an open source, multi-platform client, which allows access to eMule’s file sharing networks, such as ed2k and Kad, via Linux.
Note: be careful not to download copyrighted material, as this is an illegal practice: it is absolutely not my intention to encourage illegal operations and I will not be held responsible for the incorrect use of the software indicated above.
Linux programs for creating websites
If necessary, a computer equipped with Linux can easily be transformed into a workstation for creating websites. Therefore, if you have this need, I recommend installing the programs listed below.
- XAMPP: if you have never heard of it, XAMPP is an all-in-one software that allows you to configure a local Web server on the fly, without having to tinker with complex configurations. XAMPP integrates the Apache server with PHP, MySQL and the related PHPMyAdmin management software.
- Seamonkey: This is an all-in-one suite that includes a web browser, an email client, an IRC client and a visual editor (or WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get) HTML.
- KompoZer: is another excellent WYSIWYG program dedicated to the creation of HTML pages. Kompozer also integrates a site manager and an editor for CSS code.
Linux programs for kids
If the Linux workstation you have just created is mainly addressed to a child, you may find it useful to install the programs that I point out below on it.
- Childsplay: is a collection of games dedicated to children, aimed at strengthening basic learning skills.
- GCompris: it is a program dedicated to children that integrates a set of games and activities dedicated to various themes (history, geography, mathematics, science and so on).
- TuxMath: is a game program that helps children to learn basic mathematical notions.
- KStars: it is a game that, simulating a night sky, teaches children to recognize stars, planets, comets, constellations and other celestial bodies.
- Minuet: it is a suite dedicated to music learning, particularly suitable for children and novice music students.
- Sugar: more than a software, Sugar is a complete Linux distribution, dedicated to children and teenagers, executable from pen-drive. It which contains several mini-games dedicated to multiple thematic areas (mathematics, geography, drawing, typing and so on) and provides the opportunity to save your progress.
- Supertux: is a clearly level game inspired by Super Mario, available in the repositories of the best known Linux distributions.
Linux programs to burn ISO
On the Net you can find numerous programs dedicated to burning from Linux, some of which include the possibility of writing entire ISO images to disk: here are some of them.
- Brasero: is a burning software included in most Linux distributions with GNOME-based desktop environment. It has a simple but complete graphical interface and allows, among other things, to quickly burn ISO images. I told you about Brasero in my guide on how to format a rewritable CD.
- K3B: is another excellent complete program, dedicated to burning audio discs, data and ISO images. It is included in most Linux distributions with a Plasma / KDE based desktop environment.
- Xfburn: this is the burning software characteristic of the Xfce desktop environment (but can also be installed in other desktop environments). It has a simple interface with few frills and includes a function dedicated to burning ISO images.
- wodim: is a program usable from the command line that allows you to burn files of various types, including ISO images, on CD. It is already installed on most Linux distributions.