Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Must-Have Linux Software, part 1

A follow-up to last year's widely ignored post on must-have software for the mac. I imagine I'd get actual hits, readers and comments if I ever told anyone I had a blog. Anyway, the linux software I've gotta have.

Ubuntu Linux. Let's start off with the basics. I actually use Kubuntu, since I vastly prefer KDE to Gnome, but there's some software that comes with Ubuntu I've gotta have. I could install Kubuntu, then run sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop but I usually go the other way, mainly because it seems that the Ubuntu disk images download faster and install easier. Why, I don't know.

I do know, though, the last time I decided to try a clean install, Ubuntu was the only flavor that would actually install. Kubuntu, nope; Mepis, nope; a couple more I can't remember, no joy. Actually, Puppy would install, and was screaming fast, but a pain to use and ugly to look at. Sorry, pup, I'm lazy and automount is a good thing.

Anyway, once I get Ubuntu installed, a quick trip to the terminal, followed by sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop and I'm in business. Here's some of the software I've got to have installed to be happy. Some of it comes pre-installed, some not.

Epiphany Web Browser
Yes, Firefox is pre-installed, and I use Firefox for almost all of my web-browsing, but Epiphany has one thing going for it that Firefox lacks: If I shift+click on a link, it downloads whatever's on the other end of that link. If Firefox does this, I haven't figured out how yet.

Synaptic
Yes, Adept is installed as part of Kubuntu, and I use apt-get a lot, but when I want a gui for installs and updates, I find Synaptic easier to use.

Filezilla
I needed an ftp program, and of the ones I tried, Filezilla seemed to work the best. Sometimes, though, its faster and easier to use Konqueror's ftp capabilities.

Evolution
In my oh-so modest opinion, Evolution is the best e-mail program for linux that I've tried.

wifi-radar
I need to get dellbuntu to hook up to my wireless router and wifi-radar does a better job for me. I used to use Wireless Assistant, but I had to manually tell it to connect every time I restarted the computer. wifi-radar automatically connects for me.

gtk-gnutella
The best p2p program for linux that I've tried.

dolphin
Up until recently, KDE's default file browser was Konqueror, the combination file browser, web browser, ftp client and I don't know what else. I prefer Dolphin because it feels faster and more responsive. On the down side, it lacks a couple of features that make Konqueror so damn useful: tabs, multiple split-window capability and the ability to drag & drop onto the side-pane. Maybe they'll show up in the 4.x releases, or maybe not. For that matter, maybe Konqueror 4.x might feel faster.

konsole
I usually do system upgrades in konsole. A quick sudo apt-get update/upgrade and I'm done. If a program locks up, a fast top followed by kill -9 <offending pid> and it's sorted.

kaffeine
my basic viewer for video clips and DVDs.

vlc
sometimes kaffeine won't play something. When this is the case, vlc will almost always pick up the slack.

amarok
not quite as polished as iTunes, but it works and it works damn well.

Open Office
screw microsoft. 'nuff said.

kate
a good all-around text editor. I use it these days for all my html, css and javascript. When I get up off my ass and get back into java and C++, I'll probably use kate for that as well.

klibedo
everyone needs a good usenet client, and this is the only one I could get to work for me. Two additional features and it'll be as good as Unison on the Mac: group posts by thread/upload, and create separate download folders for each grouping.

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