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:

 

  Read this article in Spanish (Español)

 

Summary

This list of Best Free Software for Linux now includes 149 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:

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

 
 

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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Comments

by Panzer on 13. April 2013 - 7:34  (107042)

"... LFTP is a sophisticated ftp/http client, and a file transfer program supporting a number of network protocols. Like BASH, it has job control and uses the readline library for input. It has bookmarks, a built-in mirror command, and can transfer several files in parallel. It was designed with reliability in mind ...":
http://lftp.yar.ru/

yEd is a powerful desktop application that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality diagrams:
http://www.yworks.com/en/products_yed_about.html

by Panzer on 20. April 2013 - 6:48  (107213)

XnSketch allows you to turn your photos into cartoon or sketch images:
http://www.xnview.com/en/xnsketch/

XnRetro allows you to create stunning images with vintage or instant effect on your Desktop:
http://www.xnview.com/en/xnretro/

by Panzer on 20. April 2013 - 9:09  (107221)

"... Monitorix is a free, open source, lightweight system monitoring tool designed to monitor as many services and system resources as possible. It has been created to be used under production Linux/UNIX servers, but due to its simplicity and small size can be used on embedded devices as well ...":
http://www.monitorix.org/

by Panzer on 23. April 2013 - 8:46  (107277)
by Panzer on 23. April 2013 - 9:27  (107279)

Gobby is a free collaborative editor supporting multiple documents in one session and a multi-user chat:
http://gobby.0x539.de/trac/

Geeknote — non official command line client for Evernote:
http://www.geeknote.me/

Phatch is an user friendly, cross-platform Photo Batch Processor and Exif Renamer with a nice graphical user interface:
http://photobatch.wikidot.com/

Ocenaudio is a cross-platform, easy to use, fast and functional audio editor. It is the ideal software for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without complications:
http://www.ocenaudio.com.br/

Geary is a lightweight email program designed around conversations and built for the GNOME desktop:
http://www.yorba.org/projects/geary/

Glances is a cross-platform curses-based monitoring tool:
http://nicolargo.github.io/glances/

Format Junkie is a Graphical User Interface application with lots of options, which can convert your media files to all the popular formats:
http://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comments/ya3u4/format_junkie_fully_featur...

ReText is a simple editor that reads your text with MarkDown or HTML markup and saves it as plain text, HTML or PDF:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/retext/

by Panzer on 23. April 2013 - 9:48  (107281)

Bitfighter is a fast-paced team-based outer-space multi-player combat game:
http://bitfighter.org/

Cyphertite Basic - online backup:
https://www.cyphertite.com/

Platinum Arts Sandbox Free 3D Game Maker is an open source easy to use standalone 3D Game Maker and 3D Game Design program currently based on the cube 2 engine being used in many schools throughout the world that allows kids and adults to create their own video games, worlds, levels, adventures and quests, even cooperatively:
http://www.sandboxgamemaker.com/

"... RabbitVCS is a set of graphical tools written to provide simple and straightforward access to the version control systems you use. We provide multiple clients and extensions designed to give you a uniform experience no matter what development tools you use ...":
http://www.rabbitvcs.org/

by Panzer on 23. April 2013 - 9:54  (107283)

"... xxxterm is a minimalist web browser with sophisticated security features designed-in, rather than through an add-on after-the-fact. In particular, it provides both persistent and per-session controls for scripts and cookies, making it easy to thwart tracking and scripting attacks.

In additional to providing a familiar mouse-based interface like other web browsers, it offers a set of vi-like keyboard commands for users who prefer to keep their hands on their keyboard.

The default settings provide a secure environment. With simple keyboard commands, the user can "whitelist" specific sites, allowing cookies and scripts from those sites ...":
https://opensource.conformal.com/wiki/XXXTerm

by Panzer on 24. April 2013 - 7:56  (107305)

Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor:
http://www.shotcut.org/bin/view/Shotcut/WebHome

by Panzer on 6. May 2013 - 8:46  (107483)

Kile is a user-friendly TeX/LaTeX editor for the KDE desktop environment:
http://kile.sourceforge.net/

by Panzer on 7. May 2013 - 7:50  (107508)

BZFlag is a free online multiplayer 3D tank battle game:
http://bzflag.org/

Blinken is the KDE version of the well-known game Simon Says. Follow the pattern of sounds and lights as long as you can! Press the start game button to begin. Watch the computer and copy the pattern it makes. Complete the sequence in the right order to win:
http://edu.kde.org/blinken/

StepMania is a free dance and rhythm game:
http://www.stepmania.com/

by Panzer on 8. May 2013 - 7:56  (107545)

pdf2htmlEX renders PDF files in HTML, utilizing modern Web technologies. It aims to provide an accuracy rendering, while keeping optimized for Web display:
http://coolwanglu.github.io/pdf2htmlEX/

by Panzer on 9. May 2013 - 7:47  (107584)

"... Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7 ...":
http://preyproject.com/

by Panzer on 10. May 2013 - 7:48  (107626)

TreeLine stores almost any kind of information in an organized tree structure. Each node in the tree can contain several fields, forming a mini-database:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/treeline/

by Panzer on 11. May 2013 - 8:57  (107654)

kissdb - (Keep It) Simple Stupid Database

Features:

* Tiny, compiles to ~4k on an x86_64 Linux system
* Small memory footprint (only caches hash tables)
* Very space-efficient (on disk) if small hash tables are used
* Makes a decent effort to be robust on power loss
* Pretty respectably fast, especially given its simplicity
* 64-bit, file size limit is 2^64 bytes
* Ports to anything with a C compiler and stdlib/stdio
* Public domain

https://github.com/zerotier/kissdb

by Panzer on 14. May 2013 - 8:10  (107737)

"... LiVES is a Video Editing System. It is designed to be simple to use, yet powerful. It is small in size, yet it has many advanced features ...":
http://lives.sourceforge.net/

by Panzer on 20. May 2013 - 11:56  (107886)

2ManDVD is a program to simplify the creation of DVD-Video:
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Video/2ManDVD-45319.shtml

OGMRip:

Features:

* transcodes from DVD or files
* outputs OGM, AVI, MP4, or Matroska files
* supports a lot of codecs (Vorbis, MP3, PCM, AC3, DTS, AAC, XviD, LAVC, X264, Theora)
* calculates video bitrate for a given file size
* autodetects cropping parameters and scaling factors
* supports multiple audio and subtitles streams encoding
* extracts subtitles in SRT or VobSub format
* uses maximum quality codecs switches
* rips contiguous chapters
* supports external audio (PCM, MP3, AC3, DTS, AAC, Vorbis) and subtitles (MicroDVD, SubRip, SRT, Sami, VPlayer, RT, SSA, PJS, MPSub, AQT, JacoSub, VobSub) files
* provides customisable encoding profiles
* is extensible through plugins

http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html

by Panzer on 21. May 2013 - 9:55  (107921)

traGtor - Convert all your Audio and Videofiles in Ubuntu, Debian or Gentoo through FFmpeg without using a terminal:
http://mein-neues-blog.de/tragtor-gui-for-ffmpeg/

by Panzer on 22. May 2013 - 9:04  (107949)

Freeciv has moved to HTML5 - now you can you play it right in your browser:
http://play.freeciv.org/

by Panzer on 27. May 2013 - 7:41  (108061)

NitroShare - a network file-sharing application that makes sending a file to another machine on the local network as easy as dragging-and-dropping:
https://launchpad.net/nitroshare

by Panzer on 27. May 2013 - 8:07  (108062)

EqualX LaTeX Equation Editor:
http://equalx.sourceforge.net/

by Panzer on 28. May 2013 - 7:13  (108088)

mpg123 is a real time MPEG 1.0/2.0/2.5 audio player/decoder for layers 1,2 and 3:
http://www.mpg123.de/

by Panzer on 28. May 2013 - 10:09  (108092)

Midnight Commander is a visual file manager. It's a feature rich full-screen text mode application that allows you to copy, move and delete files and whole directory trees, search for files and run commands in the subshell. Internal viewer and editor are included:
http://www.midnight-commander.org/

by Panzer on 28. May 2013 - 10:22  (108096)

dwb is a lightweight web browser based on the webkit web browser engine and the gtk toolkit. dwb is highly customizable and can be easily configured through a web interface. It intends to be mostly keyboard driven, inspired by firefox's vimperator plugin.

Features:

- vi-like shortcuts
- Link following via keyboard hints
- Bookmarks
- Quickmarks
- Cookie support, whitelisting of cookies
- Proxy support
- Userscript support
- Tab completion for history, bookmarks, userscripts
- Custom stylesheets
- Javascript blocker with whitelisting support
- Flash plugin blocker with whitelisting support
- Adblocking with filterlists
- Webinterface for keyboard and settings configuration
- Custom commands, binding commandsequences to shortcuts
- Extendable via extensions/scripts
- Extension manager

http://portix.bitbucket.org/dwb/

by Panzer on 29. May 2013 - 7:55  (108116)

marathon is a minimal bash/unix based launcher that tries to be smart about running or focusing apps:
https://github.com/ronjouch/marathon

Freelan - multi-platform, highly-configurable and peer-to-peer VPN software:
http://www.freelan.org/
http://www.freelan.org/page/faq#comparison_grid

by Panzer on 29. May 2013 - 8:18  (108117)

Pinot is a D-Bus service that crawls, indexes your documents and monitors them for changes, and a GTK-based user interface that enables to query the index built by the service and your favourite Web engines, and display and analyse the results:
http://code.google.com/p/pinot-search/

by Panzer on 29. May 2013 - 8:40  (108120)

Minetest is an infinite-world block sandbox game and a game engine, inspired by InfiniMiner, Minecraft and the like:
http://minetest.net/

by CorporalPunishment on 31. May 2013 - 3:02  (108170)

Missing categories is more interesting to me than disputes over which game is truly the best.

Best RPG? Perhaps 0ad
Best Sim game? Perhaps Micropolis
Best Tower Defense game? Perhaps CreepTD
Best Racing game? Perhaps TORCS

"Best" is sufficiently subjective that I think you ought to add an Honorable Mention list for those games not the "best" but competitive.

I do appreciate the list and read it every time it comes out. I never fail to find something I'm interested in trying. Thanks for your work.

by Jojo Yee on 31. May 2013 - 6:58  (108173)

Good suggestions CorporalPunishment. TORCS has been reviewed by editor George J. and is now added to this list as well. Other suggested games will be looked into.

by Jojo Yee on 31. May 2013 - 7:03  (108174)

Thanks Panzer for the many suggestions. I'll try them out one by one once I get time.

by Panzer on 4. June 2013 - 8:36  (108259)

Fastwiki is an Offline wikipedia software:
http://fastwiki.qwrite.info/en/index.html

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