Best Linux apps of 2018

Although everyone knows that most distributions of Linux (distros) can be downloaded for free, not everyone knows that they also have access to thousands of free applications through the package manager of their operating system.

Many of the easiest-to-use distributions will come with a selection of pre-installed software to help you get started, but there are many more applications in nature, in continuous development.

In this guide we will highlight 10 of the best desktop applications for Linux. All these programs can be installed through the command line or through a graphical interface for your package manager, such as Synaptic, which we will see in the next slide.

1. Synaptic

While some Linux distributions like Ubuntu come with their own flashy app stores, none is as fast and easy to use as Synaptic, which simply serves as a graphical interface for the command-line utility. get & # 39; You can install it in any Linux distribution based on Debian, such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Explore the categories of applications like "Games and fun" using the panel on the left side. Click the box next to the name of an application to mark it for installation (or uninstallation) and then click on the Apply button at the top to affect your changes. All programs covered in this feature can be installed through Synaptic.

2. VLC Media Player

VLC is best known for being a media player, although it does much more. When installed, it downloads codecs for virtually any type of audio or video file, which means you're unlikely to experience playback problems again. The software can also play DVD.

You can use VLC to crop video files and even convert them from one format to another, from AVI to MP4, for example. See our guide on this here. The client of the multimedia player can also act as a server, which allows you to transmit multimedia content from one device to another (in a practical way, we also have a guide on how to do it).

3. Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is the default web browser for several Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The simple and fluid interface of the browser is one of its many attractions. Firefox will play YouTube videos from the beginning, and you can download add-ons to play other formats for you. The browser is also updated from the beginning, which means that it always has the latest version.

Firefox supports several extensions to improve your web experience, and you can further customize the browser through the Mozilla add-ons page, where you can install a colorful theme.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free image editor. It can be used to edit and retouch images by resizing, adding layers and other special effects. You can access these through the practical toolbox or drop-down menus. See our guide on how to use GIMP here. The GIMP website also has a large selection of tutorials.

If you're used to Adobe Photoshop, it may take some time for it to fit the GIMP interface, but it can do almost everything that professional image editors are capable of. You can even add certain Photoshop plugins to GIMP.

By default, the program occupies less than 100 MB of space, which is another considerable benefit, particularly for those who do not have much storage.

5. Deluge

Although many Linux distributions already come with a BitTorrent client, Deluge stands out as a lightweight but fully functional application for downloading your files.

The interface is extremely easy to master and can be improved by a series of excellent community-compatible add-ons that do things like turn off the machine when a download is complete.

You can even configure the flood so that it can be accessed through a web interface from other devices, allowing you to download files to your home computer when you are away.

6. Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a free and powerful email client. The installation wizard guides you smoothly through the process of creating a new email address or configuring the existing one. The Thunderbird database contains email settings for all common providers, and you can add as many email accounts as you wish.

Like Firefox, Thunderbird can be enhanced with add-ons, such as themes to make it more colorful, or better ways to sort your Mail folders. The most useful of these is, without doubt, the Lightning extension, which adds a fully functional calendar to the email client. We have an in-depth review of Thunderbird here.

7. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is nothing less than a full-fledged office suite, on par with commercial alternatives such as Microsoft Office. While the interface may seem quite basic, this product has some extremely advanced features.

The LibreOffice Writer word processor, the Calc spreadsheet software and the Impress presentation application are pre-installed on Ubuntu and most of its derivatives. The package also includes three lesser known applications, Draw, Math and Base, which are used to edit vector graphics, compose mathematical formulas and manage databases respectively.

Although LibreOffice uses the ODF (Open Document Format) format by default, you can also open and save files compatible with Microsoft Office. Read our full review of LibreOffice here.

8. Pidgin

Pidgin is an instant messaging program that allows you to connect to multiple chat networks at once. At the time of writing, these include AIM, Bonjour, IRC and Google Talk, to name just a few. Unfortunately, Facebook chat is no longer available because the social network stopped supporting the open XMPP messaging protocol.

Pidgin can be improved by installing third-party add-ons. Some of these allow you to connect to other chat networks such as Skype, while others can be used to protect your conversations, for example, the OTR messaging add-on (out of registration).

9. ClamAV / ClamTk

Although Linux machines can not be affected by viruses designed to infect Windows, your PC can accidentally forward harmful files to other computers, for example, in an email attachment. And these days, there are even some malware incidents targeting Linux systems.

The ClamAV antivirus scanner provides peace of mind because it can detect many types of malware. It is often used in mail servers but will work happily on your desktop system if you want to scan files or folders.

By default, ClamAV can only be used from the command line, but you can use Synaptic to install & clamtk & # 39; clamtk & # 39; and & # 39; clamtk-nautilus & # 39; to allow you to scan your system and individual files with a few clicks of your mouse.

10. Audacity

Audacity is an editing program that allows you to record and manipulate audio. Audacity can not only record audio simultaneously from multiple inputs (for example, a USB microphone or an electric guitar), but you can also trim and edit clips. In addition, it supports multiple tracks, allowing you, for example, to record lyrics and backup music separately.

The software also supports a number of audio effects such as noise reduction, as detailed in its extremely comprehensive manual that is included with Audacity and available online. Audacity is also compatible with VST add-ons (Virtual Studio Technology). The tracks can be exported in several popular sound formats, such as WAV, OGG and MP3. If you want to know more about Audacity, then read our full review here.

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