Best Free Software for Linux

Page Index:
4. Best Free Multimedia for Linux


Best Free Media Player for Linux
  • VLC Media PlayerVLC Media Player

    "Supports playback of most video files and DVD discs without the need to download external codec packs, including flv filescan. There are 5 different DVD region codes and VLC plays them all.

    VLC also has the ability to take screenshots of your video, even while during DVD playback, a real attractive feature." (Review)

  • SMPlayer

    "Intends to be a complete front-end for MPlayer, from basic features like playing videos, DVDs, and VCDs to more advanced features like support for MPlayer filters, remember the settings of all files you play and more."


Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Linux
  • Rhythmbox

    "An easy-to-use music player and organizer that has a clean interface, and sports many features, such as album art display, online radio access, and CD burning. This software is powered by Gstreamer, and can therefore support all of its audio formats, such as WAV, AAC, MP3, OGG, FLAC and more." (Review)

  • Banshee

    Imports, organizes, plays, and shares music using a simple yet powerful interface. Other features include rip CDs, create playlists, burn audio and mp3 CDs, support for podcasting and music recommendations.

  • Amarok

    A powerful music player for multi platforms with an intuitive interface, supports for collection management, bookmarking, dynamic playlists, file tracking, integrated web services and more.


Best Free Media Center for Linux

    "It is truly outstanding in this category and earns the Gizmo's Top Pick title rightfully in my eyes. It played all media files I fed it with and turned out to be the most reliable product for me.

    XBMC offers convincing media library features and is highly configurable with custom skins and backdrops. You will find a vast amount of plugins, skins and other goodies for it as the community around XBMC is large." (Review)


Best Free Audio / Video Format Conversion for Linux
  • SoundConverter

    Aims to be simple to use and fast for conversion from most audio files to wav, flac, mp3, aac and ogg files, supports for extraction of the audio from videos too. (Note: Install GStreamer MP3 Encoding to enable conversion to mp3.)

  • Arista Transcoder

    An easy-to-use converter to convert multimedia files from one format to another for playback on various devices. Supported output formats include m4v (Ipod), avi (Nokia, PDA or DVD player), mkv (computer) and mp4 (various Sony devices), depending on the device you choose.

  • OggConvert

    A small and easy-to-use utility to convert most audio and video files to the patent-free Ogg format, and support for encoding to the Matroska container format (mkv, mka), with adjustable settings on audio and video quality for conversion.


Best Free MP3 Tag Editor for Linux
  • Kid3Kid3

    "Edit all tags, generate tags from files or vice versa, import tags from databases, browse cover arts and lyrics from online resources, drag and drop cover art to a file, export tags, etc." Kid3 uses KDE libraries, while another package Kid3-qt is also available for installation without KDE dependencies." (Review)

  • MusicBrainz Picard

    "Identify track info by matching digital thumbprint with MusicBrainz database, show up existing tags with add and delete functions." (Review)


Best Free CD / DVD Burning Software for Linux
  • K3b

    A capable CD/DVD burner optimised for KDE, lets you easily burn data CDs/DVDs, create audio/video CDs and video DVDs, rip audio/video CDs and video DVDs along with other related tasks, good for experienced as well as beginner users.

  • Brasero

    Designed for ease of use to create a traditional audio CD, data CD/DVD, video DVD or a SVCD, burn an existing CD/DVD image to disc, copy a CD/DVD to a new disc or write to an image file in ISO and other formats.


Best Free CD / DVD Emulation Software for Linux
  • Furius ISO Mount

    "Select or drag-and-drop an image file to mount, one-click unmount, supports for burning ISO and IMG files, generate MD5 and SHA1 checksums, saving history and retrieving previously unmounted images." (Review)

  • AcetoneISO

    A feature-rich application to emulate CD/DVD drives and manage CD/DVD images. You can use it to mount disk images including ISO, BIN, NRG, MDF and IMG formats, generate an ISO image from a folder or CD/DVD, backup an audio CD to a BIN image, burn CD/DVD, convert other images to ISO, extract image content to a folder, and more.


Best Free CD Ripper for Linux
  • AsunderAsunder

    A simple yet powerful audio CD ripper and encoder to save audio tracks from an audio CD as any of MP3, AAC, Ogg, WAV, FLAC, Wavpack, Musepack or Monkey's audio files.

    Useful features include using CDDB to name and tag each track, encoding to multiple formats in one session, simultaneous ripping and encoding, tagging each track for a different artist and more.


Best Free DVD Ripper for Linux
  • HandBrake

    "Good quality in transcoded video, small file size, integrates the latest improvements to the H.264 encoding library with enhanced picture quality, speed optimizations and supports better control over multiple audio tracks." (Review)


Best Free DVD Authoring Software for Linux
  • DeVeDe

    An easy-to-use tool to create a video DVD, Video CD, Super Video CD and other disk images, with support for adding menus and subtitles, shifting audio and other video editing functions such as rotating, scaling, deinterlacing and more. You will need separate CD / DVD burning software to burn the disk images created by this tool for playback on your home players.


Best Free Photo Slideshow Software for Linux
  • ffDiaporama

    A great tool to create a slideshow of your favorite photos with background colors and images, music and transition effects, clean user interface with drag-and-drop support for slides, and a preview of the slideshow from any point.

    You can insert fixed or animated titles as well as movie clips into a slideshow, save your project for editing and export your result to mp4, mkv, mpg or avi formats. A wide range of video quality from QVGA (320x240) up to full HD (1920x1080) is supported.


Best Free Audio Editing / Splitter for Linux
  • AudacityAudacity

    "It does all the recording and editing I need, and is much simpler and faster to use than a lot of paid products. The interface is easy to use, allowing you to select and apply a noise profile just as easily as removing it.

    The program also can record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings, edit various sound files, cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together and change the speed or pitch of a recording." (Review)

  • mp3splt-gtk

    "Splits mp3 and ogg files without re-encoding, able to identify split points between tracks via online database services (CDDB or FreeDB)." (Review)


Best Free Video Editor for Linux
  • AvidemuxAvidemux

    "It is designed for multi-purpose video editing and processing and is my personal favorite because of its simplicity yet wide range of tools.

    The software supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. It lets you do just about everything under the sun, with well documented tutorials." (Review)

  • OpenShot Video Editor

    An open-source and non-linear video editor which is stable and friendly to use with support for many video, audio and image formats based on FFmpeg together with lots of other useful features.


Best Free Video Downloader for Linux
  • ClipGrabClipGrab

    An efficient and free video downloader for YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, MyVideo, MySpass, Sevenload, Tudou, Clipfish and many other online video sites. You can enter keywords in the box to search videos on YouTube or paste the URL to a video, then select the format and quality of the video you need, click "Grab this clip!" and the app does the rest for you.

    You can also configure how the app behaves when a downloadable video is discovered in your clipboard, and whether you want to keep metadata (ID3 tags) when you download and convert videos to mp3 files.


Best Free Screen Session Recorder for Linux
  • SimpleScreenRecorder

    An easy-to-use screen session recorder to record the entire screen, a fixed rectangle or a window on your screen, with various input options including frame rate, scale video, record cursor and audio. Output files can be saved in a container format using audio and video codecs of your choice provided they are installed and supported in your system.


Best Free Radio Broadcasting for Linux
  • Great Little Radio Player

    A simplistic radio station streamer allows you to listen to a collection of 400 radio stations worldwide on the Internet, sort stations by country or genre and set your favorite stations as well. Other features include add stations, import and export stations, skin changes and localization settings.


Best Free Music Creator for Linux
  • LMMSLMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio)

    "As a stand alone application, one would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensively full featured and versatile free music creator than this, with so many instruments and effects to choose from.

    The onboard Beat/Bassline editor removes the need for a separate drum sequencer and is a very nice touch: LMMS really is a one stop shop" (Review).


Best Free Music Notation Software for Linux
  • MuseScoreMuseScore

    "The best free music notation software with fast and easy note entry in WYSIWYG mode. It's integrated with a sequencer and FluidSynth software synthesizer and allows for an unlimited number of staves; up to four voices per staff; 128 instrument sounds for playback plus eight drum and percussion sets.

    Other features include import and export of MusicXML and standard MIDI files; output as PDF or PNG documents and basic ensemble scoring." (Review).


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by famewolf (not verified) on 20. January 2011 - 2:19  (64876)

For those who preferred Amarok 1.4 over the new amarok 2.0..a lookalike named "Clementine" has been created. It should really get a mention.

Most of the newer distro's are switching from Openoffice to Libreoffice. A quick google will give specifics as to why. Libreoffice is a fork of the original openoffice project.

by Jojo Yee on 20. January 2011 - 16:07  (64911)

Thanks Famewolf for mentioning Clementine. It's now in the list.

As for LibreOffice, it's discussed in our forum thread here. This product will be added in the list once the developer has released a final version. Currently is an rc and not yet "production-ready".

[Update: The final version of LibreOffice has been released and available for download at the developer's site. This new office suite is now included in the list. Give it a try.]

by Panzer (not verified) on 1. February 2011 - 8:39  (65615)

Look what cm0nster said about Clementine:

My first experience with Clementine was not a pleasant one ...

by Jojo Yee on 2. February 2011 - 3:10  (65674)

You're spot on Panzer. Taking its place now is Rhythmbox to reflect the recent update in the review of the software category.

by famewolf (not verified) on 14. February 2011 - 0:38  (66385)

Did anyone actually try the clementine player under LINUX which is what this thread is supposed to be about? The review pointed to was from someone trying the windows version. Plenty of apps have issues when being ported from one os to another.

by christina (not verified) on 2. March 2011 - 16:49  (67318)

Hey..i got problem cant get my " HUAWEI E 1550 right set-up on my system...I use " LINUX-MINT 10.10...Hope some can help me or just in short version write how i do..???




by MidnightCowboy on 2. March 2011 - 17:16  (67320)

Hi Christina,

According to this thread it should work out of the box or at worst need a simple workaround using the USB_modeswitch application.

If not, there is some more information about how to configure this modem here:

by jimvandamme (not verified) on 26. April 2011 - 12:40  (70942)

You have a wireless modem dongle that only has Windows drivers. You need to install them under an app called ndiswrapper, which makes your windows drivers work under linux. Most of the time. I ran two similar dongles fine with it. It depends which version of Mint you have but it should already be installed. If not, get it from the Mint repository and search the Mint forums and documentation for advice on how to install. As I recall you have to run ndiswrapper and find the driver file that you should have copied somewhere Mint can find it. It will have a .inf on the end.

by Vahid (not verified) on 30. August 2011 - 1:23  (78600)

Hi Jojoyee,

Thanks for the nice effort again. Maybe you want to consider Krusader as a dual panel file manager.


by BlubberBoyXXX (not verified) on 1. September 2011 - 21:52  (78835)

As for torrent clients, I think there's nothing better than Deluge. Deluge's GUI is very similar to uTorrent. So for all users who just recently switched from Windows to Linux, Deluge is a very good recommendation.

by MidnightCowboy on 2. September 2011 - 6:12  (78853)

+1 for Deluge.
I'm always trying out new distros alongside my preferred Kororaa and no matter what comes as "standard", Deluge is one of the first apps I install.

by wdhpr on 10. December 2011 - 2:36  (84741)


I noticed you didn't list a text editor. I would like to suggest EditPad Lite. You can install it using Wine. It works very well with Linux Mint Julia and has many more options than gedit. I have the latest version installed and running with no problems.
Heres EditPad Lites home page


by Jojo Yee on 10. December 2011 - 8:32  (84755)

Thanks for your suggestion Wdhpr. Currently this list only includes native Linux software and it doesn't include software for Windows that can be run in Linux using Wine.

by wdhpr on 18. December 2011 - 18:05  (85241)

Candidate for a Linux back up utility

I have been using FreeFileSync as a back up tool synchronizing my personal files weekly. I finally needed a reason to restore a folder I accidentally erased. I loaded FreeFileSync and switched directions to restore and executed the task. Results were a complete disaster. I thought I had done everything correctly and could not tell exactly what went wrong. I kind of feel the GUI although looks straight forward can be a bit tricky. Luckily I had made an Image and restored my system.

After doing some searching I found LuckyBackup:
Very nice and easy to use. When I did a test to restore, it worked perfectly.

There doesn't seem to be a great deal of free Linux backup utilities but so far LuckyBackup seems to work well and a possible candidate for Best Free Software For Linux list.


by Jojo Yee on 19. December 2011 - 3:01  (85260)

Added LuckyBackup to the list and thanks Wdhpr for recommending this software.

by Mr wdhpr (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 0:24  (85329)

The guy from Liberian Geeksays states their are allot of linux backup utilities. For starters Mint has one installed by default and its very limited. I also disagree that there are a many of them. From what I can tell many use resync as their core. Where as Window's has a ton of backup software.

Perhaps I need to look harder :\

by TK (not verified) on 20. March 2012 - 18:52  (90884)

I'm surprised there havent been arguments over the opening line, but that's good.
It might be worth mentioning (atleast briefly) the difference between free/libre software and free-of-charge software (and clarifying what you're listing... though most seems to be libre some things are not: Opera isn't and truecrypt is highly debatable in this regard).

Still... generally a good list - though a few I'd recommend considering.

* Exaile - music player, similar to clementine already mentioned, but imho a more comfortable GUI.

* Kdenlive - video editor, this is a big one imho because it's the most intuitive editor I've found yet yet supports a wide range of formats (input and output). Yes, it requires KDE libraries but so does Amarok which (imho, deservedly) makes your list.

* The browsers you have on your list are quite heavy, full featured browsers. That's fine, but when linux on netbooks is seeming to gain a little in popularity, a lighter browser mightn't be a bad idea (atleast for when needing to run alongside other apps, especially office-suites as many students would have to). Midori sadly seems somewhat crash prone on many distro's (though it's working fine on my gentoo machine) which is a shame as it's otherwise a nice browser - Epiphany is a touch heavier, but seems much more stable.

* Claws mail is worth mentioning as another good email-client, though not many people seem to use email-clients anymore.

* Deluge - my favourite torrent client. Vuze can't touch it, imho.

by Panzer on 7. April 2012 - 7:40  (91737)

Best Dock contenders:
Cairo Dock

Avant Window Navigator:

Best Network Protocol Analyzer:
Wireshark (bottom right)

by Panzer on 7. April 2012 - 18:20  (91754)

F.Lux for Linux - Redshift:

by Jojo Yee on 14. April 2012 - 12:48  (92082)

Thanks Panzer for good suggestions. Cairo Dock is now added to the list.

by vin100 on 6. May 2012 - 9:40  (93107)

In the section "Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Linux", you should consider Gmusicbrowser ( ) much better than the one mentioned

by Panzer on 31. May 2012 - 13:24  (94241)

Monsterwm is a minimal, lightweight, tiny but monsterous dynamic tiling window manager. It provides a set of different layout modes, including floating mode support. Each virtual desktop has its own properties, unaffected by other desktops' settings.

by kkslider on 21. June 2012 - 0:15  (95176)

Tough article to write, nice job!

Some things that may be worth considering:

* Empathy as well as Pidgin

* Adobe Reader (

* Revise image viewer. XnView as newest version is more heavyduty than its image viewing roots (XnViewMP.. or multiplatform).. theres dozens of good ones. Mirage. Geeqie. Gwenview. Gthumb. (yep I'm a GNOME user apologies)

* fre:ac used to be BonkEnc, and is a worthy CD ripper

* Shoutouts to proprietary Picasa but not the comparable Shotwell or F-Spot? For shame! =)

thats all

thanks author (would scroll up but im too lazy~!)

K. Slider

by Panzer on 5. July 2012 - 8:49  (95750)

Gnome Pie (similar to Magic Formation on Windows) for best circular application launcher:

Synapse is a semantic launcher written in Vala that you can use to start applications as well as find and access relevant documents and files by making use of the Zeitgeist engine:

by Panzer on 12. July 2012 - 10:56  (96087)
by Panzer on 17. July 2012 - 7:35  (96319)

Safecopy is a data recovery tool which tries to extract as much data as possible from a problematic (i.e. damaged sectors) source - like floppy drives, harddisk partitions, CDs, tape devices, ..., where other tools like dd would fail doe to I/O errors:

by Panzer on 17. July 2012 - 8:42  (96321)
by Panzer on 19. July 2012 - 7:35  (96387)

Meerkartor - OpenStreetMap editor:

by Panzer on 24. July 2012 - 7:48  (96580)

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