Best Free Software for Linux

 

Introduction

LinuxLinux, occasionally referred to as GNU/Linux, is an open source and free operating system predominantly known for its use in servers, but has increasingly become commonplace in desktop, notebook and netbook computers in recent years after newer and enhanced versions of Linux distributions, Ubuntu or Linux Mint for example, are developed and offered free to users.

While you can get the Linux system and use it for free, you can also run on the system a wide range of free applications such as well-known and commonly-used software including Firefox web browser and the LibreOffice application suite.

Among various free applications, here you might find the best free software for Linux, including those products reviewed and recommended by our editors in the various sections.

Other programs that work as potential alternatives to Windows applications or even perform better than them are also listed here for the benefit of users who migrate from Windows to Linux or run dual systems on their computers.

How To Use This List

This is a multi-page article. To quickly find what you want, either check out the Page Index below or view everything as one huge page by clicking here .

Page Index:

 

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Summary

This list of Best Free Software for Linux now includes 150 applications in 97 categories. To read brief descriptions of the applications, click a page number from the Page Index or check out the new and recently updated apps below.

 

New and Updated Apps:

NewPhototonic | WinFF | Krita | PDF Mod | Variety Wallpaper Changer | SimpleScreenRecorder | Back In Time | FlareGet | Dwarf Fortress | Great Little Radio Player

 
 

Related Links

 

Editor

This category is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here.
You can visit the Google+ profile page of Jojo Yee here.

 

Tags

best, top, free, software, applications, freeware, Linux, Ubuntu, Mint, distros, multi, cross, platform, list, listing

 

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by Panzer on 4. June 2013 - 8:55  (108260)

NCurses Music Player Client (Plus Plus) - featureful ncurses based MPD client inspired by ncmpc

Main new features:

* tag editor
* playlist editor
* easy to use search engine
* media library
* music visualizer
* ability to fetch artist info from last.fm
* new display mode
* alternative user interface
* ability to browse and add files from outside of MPD music directory

... and a lot more minor convenient functions:

http://ncmpcpp.rybczak.net/

by Panzer on 10. June 2013 - 8:32  (108434)

Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers. It is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. It uses strong authentication which means that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, and it aims to hide "non-content" data, like the sender and receiver of messages, from passive eavesdroppers like those running warrantless wiretapping programs:
https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page
https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Compiling_instructions

by Panzer on 10. June 2013 - 10:51  (108437)

SimpleScreenRecorder:

Features:

* Graphical user interface (Qt-based).
* Faster than VLC and ffmpeg/avconv.
* Records the entire screen or part of it, or records OpenGL applications directly (similar to Fraps on Windows).
* Synchronizes audio and video properly (a common issue with VLC and ffmpeg/avconv).
* Reduces the video frame rate if your computer is too slow (rather than using up all your RAM like VLC does).
* Fully multithreaded: small delays in any of the components will never block the other components, resulting is smoother video and better performance on computers with multiple processors.
* Pause and resume recording at any time (either by clicking a button or by pressing a hotkey).
* Shows statistics during recording (file size, bit rate, total recording time, actual frame rate, ...).
* Can show a preview during recording, so you don't waste time recording something only to figure out afterwards that some setting was wrong.
* Uses libav/ffmpeg libraries for encoding, so it supports many different codecs and file formats (adding more is trivial).
* Sensible default settings: no need to change anything if you don't want to.
* Tooltips for almost everything: no need to read the documentation to find out what something does.

http://www.maartenbaert.be/simplescreenrecorder/

by Panzer on 10. June 2013 - 11:09  (108438)

PDFtk Server is a command-line tool for working with PDFs:
http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/

PDFtk Server can:

- Merge PDF Documents or Collate PDF Page Scans
- Split PDF Pages into a New Document
- Rotate PDF Documents or Pages
- Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
- Encrypt Output as Desired
- Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
- Generate FDF Data Stencils from PDF Forms
- Apply a Background Watermark or a Foreground Stamp
- Report PDF Metrics, Bookmarks and Metadata
- Add/Update PDF Bookmarks or Metadata
- Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
- Unpack PDF Attachments
- Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
- Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
- Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/

by Panzer on 11. June 2013 - 8:32  (108458)

The Courier mail transfer agent (MTA) is an integrated mail/groupware server based on open commodity protocols such as ESMTP, IMAP, POP3, LDAP, SSL, and HTTP. Courier provides ESMTP, IMAP, POP3, Webmail, calendaring, and mailing list services:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/courier/

by Panzer on 17. June 2013 - 7:37  (108565)

FireBox - A 3D Internet Browser supporting the Oculus Rift:
http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/~mccrae/projects/firebox/

by Panzer on 19. June 2013 - 8:07  (108586)

"... Obnam is an easy, secure backup program. Backups can be stored on local hard disks, or online via the SSH SFTP protocol. The backup server, if used, does not require any special software, on top of SSH.

Some features that may interest you:

* Snapshot backups. Every generation looks like a complete snapshot, so you don't need to care about full versus incremental backups, or rotate real or virtual tapes.
* Data de-duplication, across files, and backup generations. If the backup repository already contains a particular chunk of data, it will be re-used, even if it was in another file in an older backup generation. This way, you don't need to worry about moving around large files, or modifying them. (However, the current implementation has some limitations: see dedup).
* Encrypted backups, using GnuPG ...":

http://liw.fi/obnam/

by Panzer on 19. June 2013 - 8:42  (108590)

fish is a smart and user-friendly command line shell for OS X, Linux, and the rest of the family.

Features:

- Autosuggestions
- Glorious VGA Color
- Sane Scripting
- Web Based configuration
- Man Page Completions
- Works Out Of The Box

http://fishshell.com/

by Panzer on 19. June 2013 - 8:49  (108592)

"... Duplicity backs directories by producing encrypted tar-format volumes and uploading them to a remote or local file server. Because duplicity uses librsync, the incremental archives are space efficient and only record the parts of files that have changed since the last backup. Because duplicity uses GnuPG to encrypt and/or sign these archives, they will be safe from spying and/or modification by the server ...":
http://duplicity.nongnu.org/

by Panzer on 24. June 2013 - 7:36  (108693)

Instant Server - get a virtual private server:

"... Specs
Ubuntu 13.04, 64-bit, 614 MiB of RAM, 8 GiB storage. It’s an ec2 micro instance.

What’s the catch?
The server gets destroyed after 35 minutes.

When would I use this?

Among other reasons, perhaps:
- You need another computer to test something quickly
- You need to install and use a utility for one thing, and don’t want to clutter your own environment
- You need a vanilla environment to get something to build and run properly
- You need Linux but accidentally used Windows ...":

http://instantserver.io/

by Panzer on 24. June 2013 - 7:38  (108694)

Calise is a Free/Open Source Python 2.x program that calculates ambient brightness and sets screen’s correct backlight using a camera:
http://calise.sourceforge.net/wordpress/

by Panzer on 2. July 2013 - 8:12  (108898)

YaRock is an open source music player app written in C++ and Qt, providing a clean, beautiful and simple music collection based on album cover art:
https://launchpad.net/yarock
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/YaRock-97586.shtml

by Panzer on 2. July 2013 - 9:18  (108899)

selfoss is a multipurpose RSS reader, live stream, mashup, and aggregation Web application:
https://github.com/SSilence/selfoss
http://selfoss.aditu.de/

Go Read is a web-based RSS reader:
http://www.goread.io/

by Panzer on 2. July 2013 - 9:23  (108900)

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics:
http://www.r-project.org/

by Panzer on 3. July 2013 - 9:16  (108938)

fre:ac is a free audio converter and CD ripper for various formats and encoders. It features MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, and Bonk format support, integrates freedb/CDDB, CDText and ID3v2 tagging and is available in several languages:
http://www.freac.org/index.php/en/homepage-mainmenu-1

by Panzer on 15. July 2013 - 8:48  (109251)

TIPP10 is a free 10-finger touch typing tutor:
http://www.tipp10.com/en/

by Panzer on 22. July 2013 - 8:00  (109474)

GSmartControl is a graphical user interface for smartctl (from Smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives:
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Administration/GSmartContro...

by Panzer on 30. July 2013 - 9:35  (109758)

Conky Manager is a graphical front-end for managing Conky config files. It provides options to start/stop, browse and edit Conky themes installed on the system:
http://teejeetech.blogspot.com/p/conky-manager.html
https://launchpad.net/conky-manager

by Panzer on 1. August 2013 - 7:34  (109848)

"... Cobbler is a Linux installation server that allows for rapid setup of network installation environments. It glues together and automates many associated Linux tasks so you do not have to hop between many various commands and applications when deploying new systems, and, in some cases, changing existing ones. Cobbler can help with provisioning, managing DNS and DHCP, package updates, power management, configuration management orchestration, and much more ...":
http://www.cobblerd.org/

by Panzer on 8. August 2013 - 7:34  (109971)

Frackin’ Reserve Simulator lets you simulate what happens in the money cycle with fractional reserve banking. It demonstrates how banksters print money out of thin air and how that money very quickly mushrooms into massive quantities of debt:
http://cynic.me/tag/fractional-reserve-banking/

by Panzer on 9. August 2013 - 8:01  (110005)

FullRecall is a software that can help you memorize knowledge for lifelong periods with the minimum time investment (virus Total 1/45):
http://fullrecall.com/

by Panzer on 9. August 2013 - 8:39  (110010)

Springseed - note taking freeware:
http://getspringseed.com/

by Panzer on 20. August 2013 - 9:03  (110218)

Guacamole is an HTML5 remote desktop gateway.

Guacamole provides access to desktop environments using remote desktop protocols like VNC and RDP. A centralized server acts as a tunnel and proxy, allowing access to multiple desktops through a web browser.

No browser plugins are needed, and no client software needs to be installed. The client requires nothing more than a web browser supporting HTML5 and AJAX:
http://guac-dev.org/

by George.J on 28. August 2013 - 5:28  (110367)

Clementine is a fork of the once mighty Amarok and I think it could be the most comprehensive music player for Linux at the moment. It looks great too :D

by MidnightCowboy on 28. August 2013 - 5:45  (110368)

Agreed. Audio file sound quality is much better than VLC on all three of my Linux systems, plus Clementine loads the complete selection of Sky.fm channels automatically. No doubt these (my) basic requirements are a lot less than some will expect from a player, but for what I need it's faultless. MC - Site Manager.

by Panzer on 31. August 2013 - 6:50  (110424)

"... Quantum jump from planck to planck as you hit critical velocity in Boson X, a new rotational runner from Mu & Heyo.

Build up speed inside a massive particle collider and generate high-energy collisions to discover strange new particles. Use precise timing and fast reflexes to navigate a subatomic world where floors and ceilings don't exist. Will you be fast enough to find the elusive Boson X? ...":

http://www.boson-x.com/

by Panzer on 31. August 2013 - 7:13  (110428)

Dungeon Robber is a flash game that constructs random dungeons based on the original merciless Dungeons & Dragons rules and allows you to play through them:
http://blogofholding.com/dungeonrobber/

by Panzer on 31. August 2013 - 7:25  (110430)

"... If you are looking for a side-scrolling, action packed game like you used to play or if you are looking for an extensible engine to write your own game, look no further. Paintown supports user created content through a mod system and user defined functionality through scripting ...":
http://paintown.org/

by daviodan on 7. September 2013 - 8:12  (110572)

http://www.maartenbaert.be/simplescreenrecorder/
SimpleScreenRecorder is a Linux program that it was created to record programs and games.

http://lalescu.ro/liviu/fet/
FET is open source free software for automatically scheduling the timetable of a school, high-school or university. It uses a fast and efficient timetabling algorithm. It is licensed under GNU GPL.

http://wps-community.org/
Kingsoft Office is a simple, effective, powerful and comfortable office suite, which has been in release since 1989. Now porting to Linux.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/wxmaxima/
wxMaxima is a cross-platform graphical front-end for the computer algebra system Maxima based on wxWidgets. It provides nice display of mathematical output and easy access to Maxima functions through menus and dialogs.

http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/
Dynamic mathematics & science for learning and teaching

http://imagination.sourceforge.net/
Imagination is a lightweight and simple DVD slide show maker for Linux and FreeBSD written in C language and built with the GTK+2 toolkit.

by Jojo Yee on 7. September 2013 - 9:54  (110574)

Thanks for the various suggestions daviodan. Kingsoft Office for Windows looks good but the Linux version is still in the alpha stage at time of checking. The rest of the suggested software products will be looked into.

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