back to article Ten Linux apps you must install

Unless you are operating in the enterprise class, most Linux software is free, which is both a blessing and a hindrance. Sure, there are some truly fantastic apps out there, but all to often you have to wade through a mess of buggy unfinished projects with dependencies on other defunct code to get to what you want. To help with …

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I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

I don't use any of the above, nor do I see a need for any of them.

But then I grok what the command-line is for ... Glitter is an anathema to computing.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

Same here (never used MS-Windows) and I still use DOS for many things. In fact DOS is great for doing web pages. BUT, when you have a long page with nested divs you might want to look at Kate. When you see the syntax highlighting you will be glad for the time saver. It's all very fine for us to brag about our command-line prowess, but there are uses for GUI tools too. By the way, what do you do when someone sends you a .doc or even a .docx file?

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However...

If you're a fan of the command-line, then you should heartily approve of anything that fits the proper Unix computing model and interfaces with a command-line tool rather than reinventing the wheel -- hence ClamTk, GParted, LuckyBackup and SMPlayer. This sort of tool prevents coders from migrating away from command-line apps by keeping them relevant and accessible to all users.

And in fact this is our best weapon in the war against bloat: low coupling, high encapsulation, high reusability.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

I grok Kate ... but I prefer vim. I mostly use my GUI of choice to run multiple xterms :-)

Re: Doc/Docx, I ignore them. Hasn't upset my business any.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

I grok Kate ... but I prefer vim. I mostly use my GUI of choice to run multiple xterms :-)

Re: Doc/Docx, I ignore them. Hasn't upset my business any.

Well it does sound line we're basically on the same page. I always run a stack of xterms as well. However I find it impossible to ignore the doc/docx docs. I absolutely have to receive documents from people and there is no way I'm going to get them to understand what a text file is - I've given up on that.

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Headmaster

Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

@ Jake.

As you are using the word 'anathema' as a predicate nominative, you should leave out the indefinite article. HTH :-)

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs4/grammarlogs530.htm

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

And people wonder why a career in computing is still seen as an unfriendly nerd haven.....I hold you up as a shining example.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

"grok"?

Once was a typo. Twice suggests intent.

I realise I don't know the dictionary cover to cover, but is this some sort of Linux term used by weird command-line people?

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@Symon: (was: Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

Re-read the link you provided. I was properly using the word as a regular noun.

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@Richard 81 (was: Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

Are you serious? You don't grok "grok"?

This may not be the forum for you ...

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Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

I've been reading the register for about 6 years and this is the first time I've encountered the word. I suppose I could have passed it off as a typo before.

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Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

"Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience."

With a piece of software? That sounds uncomfortable.

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Linux

Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

"By the way, what do you do when someone sends you a .doc or even a .docx file?"

manolo@quokka:~$ strings foo.doc

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

"Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience."

Realistically, it's a word Unix fans make to make other Unix fans think they're wise old greybeards rather than insular, blinkered saddos who've just discovered Usenet ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

Sigh. It's from Robert A. Heinlein's excellent novel Stranger in a Strange land (well worth the read story about alienation, belonging, and understanding across cultural divides, set against a science fiction context) and often used in tech circles to suggest an intimate and intuitive level of understanding with a concept or technology, so much so that it feels totally natural and automatic. I'm sure you could probably have searched for this on Google in about three seconds, so I'll just assume your obtuseness is intentional and you're just trolling.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

It's all well and good this look at how basic my command line tool is crap but some people are visual and need visual environments. The thought of immersing themselves in mountains of super nerd code, makes them want to run away and hide. Personally I do quite a bit of CSS, HTML, JavaScript and PHP and I like to build interfaces that make things easier for your average Joe to get shit done as quickly as possible and go home to a life. Honestly what the hell is wrong with having a decent visual, customisable UI, for crying out loud?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

You're on the right forum.

It's only jake who uses that word on here

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

At least Jake lives as he wants to ( as maybe we all should )

I suspect he's a lot happier than most of the people that criticize him.

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Trollface

@jake

I drive a rusty Lada, I see no need for anything else. But then I grok what wheels are for ... glitter is anathema to the transport of people and goods.

I bet zsh is too glitzy for you too.

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Happy

@Chemist

He has provoked people to respond to his original off topic post, just as he intended. Also known as a successful troll.

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@foo_bar_baz (was:Re: @Chemist)

My post was off topic? How do you figure?

And no, I wasn't trolling. I was voicing (typing) an honest opinion.

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Re: @foo_bar_baz (was:@Chemist)

The article was about Linux apps to install

You turned it [1] in to a GUI vs Command Line argument

[1]in post one of the associated forum

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@AC 09:48 (was: Re: @foo_bar_baz (was:@Chemist))

"The article was about Linux apps to install"

No, it was about "apps you must install" ... FOSS isn't about "must", FOSS is about "can".

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Coat

Re: Grok

A term meaning "understand intuitively" or "be in sympathy with" coined by the late science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/grok

It's in the OED, so should be accessible to us command-line geeks and real people alike.

Mine's the one with that copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that I still haven't read in the pocket ....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).) @AC09:16

"I'm sure you could probably have searched for this on Google in about three seconds, so I'll just assume your obtuseness is intentional and you're just trolling."

Yup, done so ages ago. What I said is perfectly true about the people who tend to use it. Much the same intellectual posing as those who read only the sci-fi that snobbish dogma calls "real sci-fi".

"... suggest an intimate and intuitive level of understanding with a concept or technology, so much so that it feels totally natural and automatic."

-> "Look at me! I'm a GURU!"

Disagreeing with someone doesn't mean they're a troll - that's just unimaginative. I guess you also call anyone who likes anything MS a shill. Interesting given the material you're trying to imply you read.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 09:48 (was: @foo_bar_baz (was:@Chemist))

" No, it was about "apps you must install" ... FOSS isn't about "must", FOSS is about "can". "

Yeah, yeah, you're a FOSS hero. It's an expression - deal with it in the context of everyday usage instead of trying to twist the intent of the article in a weak defence. You can't really maintain a focussed argument, can you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Grok

"Mine's the one with that copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that I still haven't read in the pocket ..."

I wouldn't bother, it was a bit suspect back in the hippy days when all that free love was going to save the world. And it's worse now in our new "Savile isn't a hero after all" truth.

Anonymous, because I don't really want to argue with misguided Heinlein fans...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

"Re: Doc/Docx, I ignore them. Hasn't upset my business any."

I very much doubt you'd admit it if you had made a decision which affected you badly. Even to yourself.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

Downvoted for using the stupid, annoying and unnecessary word "grok".

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

>"By the way, what do you do when someone sends you a .doc or even a .docx file?"

>manolo@quokka:~$ strings foo.doc

Use "catdoc" instead. The output tends to be much more readable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

Not to be confused with "Drokk!", a stress releasing exclamation when you find you've got to dig out an old DOS manual to get an ancient computer to run.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

I've been using Linux more or less as long (started on SLS, so probably slightly longer than you), and there were two on the list I definitely endorse - synaptic and kate - and two I shall try (lucky backup and smplayer). The command line is a key tool and I use it a great deal, but when you're exploring something new a point-and-drool interface really helps.

For example, this morning I needed something to convert HTML to docx from the command line. I started synaptic and typed in 'convert html to docx', and the package I needed - pandoc - was one of four options. Yes, I could have grepped the same information out of something - that is, after all, all synaptic was doing - but it's easier to launch synaptic than to remember which file it is one should grep.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

No, it's a popular culture reference - to what I consider the very best dreadful book you will ever read (and one which everyone should read, at least once). But then, as one who looks down on us geeks, I don't imagine you're very up with popular culture.

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And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

There is a frood who -really- knows where his towel is.

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Re: And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

Belgium, man. Belgium.

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

@simon_brooke: Who's looking down on who?

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

"And people wonder why a career in computing is still seen as an unfriendly nerd haven.....I hold you up as a shining example."

If you're not a nerd , or at least a competant techie , then you should not be working in IT. Its not for fluffy idiots who need pretty icons and multicoloured menus with cutsie animated puppy dog reminders to be able to function. Well, unless they're Windows admins of course.

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WTF?

Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

"The thought of immersing themselves in mountains of super nerd code, makes them want to run away and hide."

Good , let them hide. Those are the sorts of people who should not be doing sys admin or coding which is what the tools in the article are for.

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Paris Hilton

Re: @Richard 81 (was: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).)

Read Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land". Then you'd grok "grok".

Paris: Heinlein would agree...

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Anonymous Coward

. @boltar

And yet another example why women are so scarce in the IT environment and Linux not as popular as it really should be - why would they have to put up with people with an attitude like yours?

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Re: I've been using Linux since mid-late 1993 (Slackware).

Indeed.

The biggest benefit of Linux is that it keeps command line nerds away from proper consumer computing, where they could do some real damage to the industry.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who's looking down on who?

That's "Who's looking down on whom?"

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WTF?

Re: . @boltar

"And yet another example why women are so scarce in the IT environment and Linux not as popular as it really should be - why would they have to put up with people with an attitude like yours?"

The 1980s called, they want their right-on rhetoric back.

The reason there are so few women in IT is that they don't find computers very interesting in the same way most men don't find childminding or handbags very interesting. Sorry if that doesn't gel with your poltically correct view of the world where both sexes are identical in every way but its just the way it is. Deal with it.

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Anonymous Coward

@boltar

Clearly spoken by a man who has never spoken to a woman without parting with cash first

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Re: Grok

"Mine's the one with that copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that I still haven't read in the pocket " - Wouldn't bother either, I really enjoy his short stories, but couldn't get into it.

Never got the point of grok either - anyone who says they understand intuitively the CLI probably doesn't as much as they believe they do. I spend half my life in it and it still sometimes turns around and whacks me over the head.

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Re: Stranger in a Strange land

While I would agree it is an excellent read, I would say it's more about challenging mores then anything else. If it where JUST about alienation, belonging, and understanding across cultural divides, it wouldn't have been required to create a such a stark contrast to the social norms of 1961 (it's worth noting, this was published 6 years before the now infamous "summer of love"), as there are many existing cultures which clash with even modern western culture (in fact some are represented in the novel).

If you do seek this out, do your self a favor, get the 1992 "uncut edition." It is the originally intended manuscript, as Putnam required the 220,000 word volume to be cut down for both space and content.

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Re: @boltar

"Clearly spoken by a man who has never spoken to a woman without parting with cash first"

Actually its only sad loners who've never spoken to any women other than their mothers who have this quaint idea that most women find computers intrinsically interesting in themselves and if only it wasn't for the nasty sexist nerds there would be women flocking into the industry. Newflash - they don't.

As for paying cash - I'll have to ask my wife if buying her presents counts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @boltar

newsflash - most men aren't either

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FAIL

Re: @boltar

"newsflash - most men aren't either"

No, but a greater percentage of men are interested than percentage of women are. Really , this isn't comlicated. When you've actually spent time with some women and have had kids perhaps you'll understand that the differences between boys and girls arn't just down to nurture. Boys really are naturally more interested in technical and mechanical things than women. So get back to me when you've had some life experience.

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Re: And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

Excellent HHGG ref.

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