Top 10 Must Have Applications for Ubuntu. (In no particular order). 02/18/08
For all the people who asked what apps I use, these are the ten best applications that I recommend having installed on an Ubuntu based PC. Why? They allow for some eye candy, but most importantly all for a computer that can actually do something valuable – Instead of just looking good 😉 And… I like them!
I’m not including OpenOffice as part of the list, because I think that’s a given and a matter of fact! – http://www.openoffice.org/
Have better applications, disagree?, agree? Say so in the comments section!
1) Compiz/Beyrl – For nice eye candy.
Offers a superior window management environment for your Ubuntu installation. One system used here, with an older video card (GF 6800GT 256MB DDR3 Dual DVI TV PCI-E); but at least I get to experience on of the most exciting GUI interfaces ever. If you’ve not had the chance to use Beyrl/Compiz, see the video below:
[coolplayer width=”340″ height=”260″ autoplay=”0″ loop=”0″ charset=”utf-8″ download=”1″ mediatype=””]
Please keep in mind that the features and functions depend a lot on the type of video card installed. Install guides for Edgy and Feisty can be found here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=272104
Of course, you could try this (below for Dapper) but I’d NOT recommend it unless you are a Linux guru:
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Add the following…
deb http://www.beerorkid.com/compiz dapper main
deb http://ubuntu.compiz.net/ dapper main
Get the key
wget http://www.beerorkid.com/compiz/quinn.key.asc -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Make Gnome load Xgl instead of Xorg
sudo gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom
Add the following at the end under ‘[servers]’
command=/usr/bin/Xgl :0 -fullscreen -ac -accel glx:pbuffer -accel xv:fbo -kb
Download the files
sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl compiz-gnome emerald emerald-themes beryl
Run at startup
Go to System ->Preferences ->Sessions ->Startup Sessions and add a new session:
After logging in, you should have a Beryl logo in your taskbar. Use that to configure Beryl (Xgl) settings and effects, and use Emerald to get themes. Also you can disable Xgl by changing the Window Manager to ‘Metacity’.
To download the Emerald themes you might need Subversion:
sudo apt-get install subversion
Download the themes.
Sometimes Xorg conflicts with Xgl for control of the desktop upon logging in. You’ll note your CPU is maxing out and Beryl is not working properly. Try killing Xorg, (CTRL+ALT+Backspace) then see if that helps out after logging in again
2) Amarok – For great sound while I’m working.
In my opinion one of the best designed and thought out music players available. One feature I especially like it the integration of lyrics and that it does sync properly for iPod users.
Easy to install, easy to use, easy on the ears…
sudo apt-get install amarok
3) VLC (VideoLAN) – So I can watch or stream my media.
A video player that can play just about any type of video. I’ve never had to use anything else. It can capture and save streamed video as a file and it can even function as a video stream on your network. That’s sweet!
Again, so easy to install:
sudo apt-get install vlc
And… for those using the (dare I say “Best”) Firefox browser, there’s even a handy plug in!
sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-* mozilla-plugin-vlc
sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
sudo apt-get install avahi-utils
4) Firefox – So I have a web browser that works like a web browser.
While Ubuntu does have Firefox out-of-the-box, I’d be remiss in not mentioning the incredible number of extensions available!
Very easy to install if you don’t have it
sudo apt-get install firefox
5) Jokosher – So I can make my own music mixes.
This is an easy to use, multi-track studio. Record, edit or mix audio and then export. Favorite feature?… the instruments.
Installation on Feisty:
sudo apt-get install jokosher
sudo apt-get build-dep gstreamer0.10-gnonlin
You also need to install the following packages using either Synaptic or at the command line:
Then download, build and install gnonlin from CVS. In a console run the following:
cvs -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvs/gstreamer co gnonlin cd gnonlin ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr make sudo make install
This will overwrite the version of gnonlin that came with Feisty. If for some reason there is a problem following this update then the original version can be re-installed by issuing the following command:
sudo apt-get --reinstall install gstreamer0.10-gnonlin
Now check that gstreamer is going to load the correct version of gnonlin by running this command:
If everything worked OK then the version of gnonlin displayed should be 0.10.7.1
(Instructions are from here: http://userdocs.jokosher.org/JokosherOnUbuntu)
6) GIMPshop – So I can edit graphics faster – Because the regular GIMP interface is terrible 😉
This is a mod of GIMP, that tries to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop, to help Photoshop users get a more comfortable feel when using GIMP. Specifically, it modifies the menu structure to more closely match Photoshop’s and changes the program’s terminology to match Adobe’s. I find it a great tool because I am able to use most Photoshop tutorials using this application – One reason why it’s on the “Best” list.
Installation: Uninstall GIMP first (if not, then your GIMPshop might not work).
1. Remove all previous GIMP components
First, open a terminal. Go to Applications->Accessories->Terminal.
sudo apt-get remove xsane gimp-svg gimp-dbg libgimp2.0-dev gimp gimp-print gimp-helpbrowser mrwtoppm-gimp libgimp-perl gtkam-gimp gimp-ufraw gimp-texturize gimp-dimage-color gimp-dcraw gimp-cbmplugs gimp-data libgimp2.0
2. Install GIMPShop package (libgimp2.0 is more a pseudo package to prevent programs that require ‘libgimp2.0’ from breaking)
Replace arch with your Ubuntu installation’s architecture. This will either be i386 or amd64.
sudo dpkg -i gimpshop_2.2.11-1_arch.deb
sudo dpkg --force-all -i libgimp2.0_2.2.11-gimpshop1_arch.deb
You can ignore any warnings resulting from the libgimp2.0 package.
3. Tell Synaptic not to update libgimp2.0 to a repository version
Go in Synaptic, find libgimp2.0, and go to Package->Lock Version.
Run GIMPshop by selecting Applications->Graphics->The GIMP.
Change the Shortcut Name
If you wish to rename The GIMP under the Applications->Graphics menu to GIMPShop, you can do the following:
1. Install alacarte (if you already have alacarte installed, skip this step)
sudo apt-get install alacarte
2. Run alacarte from terminal
3. Select Graphics, look for The GIMP.
4. On The GIMP, right click and choose properties. Where it says name, change it to GIMPShop.
5. Press Close to exit out of the dialog.
The next time you go to Applications->Graphics, it will say GIMPShop. You can reinstall xsane and such that we removed in the first step. (Don’t install any packages that require the gimp package or things will get screwed up.) xsane, etc. were just going to conflict with our new libgimp2.0, until we told Synaptic to lock it.
Instructions are from here: http://gimpshop.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1197574338
7) gFTP – So I have a fast, easy, simple way to upload files.
One of the simplest (and in my mind) best FTP clients. Easy to use, easy to connect and definitely easy to upload files, images, etc. I particularly like the layout, with a dual panel, and that gFTP supports secure protocols.
sudo apt-get install gftp
8) APTonCD – For faster disaster recovery (this has saved me a few times).
When I do something that breaks my system or need to install the same applications on another, I need to get up and running fast. APTonCD does that for me!
What is it? “APTonCD is a tool with a graphical interface which allows you to create one or more CDs or DVDs (you choose the type of media) with all of the packages you’ve downloaded via APT-GET or APTITUDE, creating a removable repository that you can use on other computers.
will also allow you to automatically create media with all of your .deb packages located in one especific repository, so that you can install them into your computers without the need for an internet conection.”
sudo apt-get install aptoncd
Or go here to read more: http://aptoncd.sourceforge.net/download.html
9) Basket Note Pads – So that I know what I’m supposed to be doing and when.
It does everything to keep me organized. Notes, dates, documents to edit, people to contact and when… Just read the info here: http://basket.kde.org/index.php
Download here: http://basket.kde.org/downloads/?file=desktop-basket
BasKet Note Pads includes a small script that will guide you trough the process of building and installing BasKet Note Pads.
Simply extract the downloaded basket archive.
Open a console window and type:
The installer should do everything.
If the process does not succeed or some libraries are missing or cannot be found, try to install the *-dev or *-devel packages of your distribution: they contain library (X, QT, KDE…) sources needed to compile from sources.
Install note here: http://basket.kde.org/install.php
I’ve not tested, but have heard that
sudo apt-get install basket
should work. If anyone try’s the apt-get, please comment about it.
10) KompoZer – So I can create web pages faster!
This is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. I used to use NVU and KompoZer is a descendant of NVU. For those familiar, it’s a little bit like DreamWeaver.
Either way, it lets me create pages fast.
sudo apt-get install kompozer
Or if you wish, here’s the download: http://www.kompozer.net/download.php
Again, these are my 10 best, which are not in any particular order. They keep me productive and organized, while providing me with some eyecandy and entertainment while I work.
Have better suggestions, use the comments below to let everyone know!