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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  1. jake Silver badge

    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.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      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?

      1. jake Silver badge

        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.

        1. Ole Juul Silver badge

          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

      2. Manolo
        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

        1. Gerhard Mack

          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.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      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.

    3. Symon Silver badge
      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

      1. jake Silver badge

        @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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Chemist

        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.

        1. foo_bar_baz
          Happy

          @Chemist

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

          1. jake Silver badge

            @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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              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

              1. jake Silver badge

                @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".

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  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?

      2. boltar Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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?

          1. boltar Silver badge
            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @boltar

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

              1. boltar Silver badge
                Facepalm

                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.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @boltar

                  newsflash - most men aren't either

                  1. boltar Silver badge
                    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.

                2. Marshalltown
                  Pint

                  Re: @boltar

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

                  Heinlein would say it did. In fact he did say that, different book though.

    5. Richard 81

      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?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @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 ...

        1. Richard 81

          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.

          1. Richard 81

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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 ...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Grok

                I always find the following mnemonic helpful:

                Using the word "grok"

                Makes you sound like a cock

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Grok [2]

                Mind you. It's not half as irritating as using foo and fucking bar as placeholder names in code!

                1. A J Stiles

                  Re: Grok [2]

                  Agree. I use "wibble" and "blah", and usually a big hash-of-hashes called %stuff.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                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.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                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.

              3. Oninoshiko

                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.

              4. Grego
                Holmes

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

                No need for google, just a command prompt:

                $ dict grok

                3 definitions found

                From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

                grok

                v 1: get the meaning of something; "Do you comprehend the

                meaning of this letter?" [syn: {grok}, {get the picture},

                {comprehend}, {savvy}, {dig}, {grasp}, {compass},

                {apprehend}]

                From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:

                grok

                /grok/, /grohk/, vt.

                [common; from the novel Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein,

                where it is a Martian word meaning literally ?to drink? and metaphorically

                ?to be one with?] The emphatic form is grok in fullness.

                1. To understand. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge. When you

                claim to ?grok? some knowledge or technique, you are asserting that you

                have not merely learned it in a detached instrumental way but that it has

                become part of you, part of your identity. For example, to say that you

                ?know? {LISP} is simply to assert that you can code in it if necessary ?

                but to say you ?grok? LISP is to claim that you have deeply entered the

                world-view and spirit of the language, with the implication that it has

                transformed your view of programming. Contrast {zen}, which is similar

                supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash. See also

                {glark}.

                2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient understanding. ?Almost

                all C compilers grok the void type these days.?

                From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (26 July 2010) [foldoc]:

                grok

                /grok/, /grohk/ (From the novel "Stranger in a Strange Land",

                by Robert A. Heinlein, where it is a Martian word meaning

                literally "to drink" and metaphorically "to be one with")

                1. To understand, usually in a global sense. Connotes

                intimate and exhaustive knowledge.

                Contrast {zen}, which is similar supernal understanding

                experienced as a single brief flash. See also {glark}.

                2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient

                understanding. "Almost all C compilers grok the "void" type

                these days."

                [{Jargon File}]

                (1995-01-31)

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Gawd/ess, what a palaver ...

                  A couple things:

                  1) From email: No, I'm not the "Anonymous Coward" in this thread. Nice trolling dude/tte :-)

                  2) My daughter is the Senior Member of the Technical Staff for a Fortune 50. Girls can do anything that boys can in the working world, and vice versa. Trying to separate them stifles both.

                  3) "grok" is part of working English vernacular. Deal with it.

                  4) I use a GUI where appropriate. But I, me, personally, find the command line far faster & more functional than the "tools" listed in the original article. If you think that my finding the command line to be faster, easier method than said listed tools somehow makes me feel "elite" ... well, all I can think is that you are misinformed and/or ignorant of the reality of the situation, or you have a severe inferiority complex.

                  5) It's not "special lingo", it's English that is evolving as Humanity invents new shit. Or would you rather we stagnate? Because that's where you sound like you are coming from, "Anonymous Coward". (And before you say it, I wrote a new bit of code to do a new (command line/scripted) operation in my brewery this morning. Onwards & upwards, but no "aps" required. Or wanted.)

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Gawd/ess, what a palaver ...

                    That's five things not "a couple"

                    Lots of words are in the English language, just that some are less bodacious than others and will tell other people what sort of person you are if you're willing to use that word on a regular basis

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      @AC: 20:30 (was: Re: Gawd/ess, what a palaver ...)

                      So you are just trolling.

            3. Grass Mud Horse
              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...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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

          1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

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

            1. Chika

              Re: And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

              Belgium, man. Belgium.

            2. Chemist

              Re: And you sass that hoopy Linux Torvalds,

              Excellent HHGG ref.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          you grok skull and bones?

          Quit acting like some idiotic secret society members..

          Go ahead, by all means, do things the way you like.

          But developing a big ego about command lines and getting all pedantic about your special lingo will seriously impede your ability to get laid.

          Some people get 40 years old and still sound like they're compensating for high school pimples.

      2. dajames Silver badge
        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 ....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Grok

            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

            The only reason it's worse now is that everyone immediately sees the whole Christian angle as being incredibly trite. Just like we wouldn't read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe without seeing the same pattern.It doesn't mean they're bad stories in themselves, though.

            Another thing that commenters seem to have missed is that 'grok' is really a multi-purpose word, similar to "smurf", and, eh, "fuck".

            Don't know exactly where I was going with this, except to say that I'm glad I didn't see Smurfahontas in 3d.

        2. My Alter Ego

          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.

          1. Michael Dunn

            Re: Grok @ My Alter Ego

            Rough quote from Richard Feynman: "Anyone who thinks they understand quantum mechanics doesn't."

        3. Michael Dunn
          Thumb Up

          Re: Grok

          You really should get round to it; it's a great read!

      3. simon_brooke

        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.

        1. Richard 81

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

          @simon_brooke: Who's looking down on who?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who's looking down on who?

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

      4. Fatman
        WTF?

        Re: ...weird command-line people?

        You must be one of those people who are Screwed Without A GUI!!!

        The command line has its place, and one who does know how to leverage its efficiency is far better off than some SWAGged (l)user.

        1. Michael Dunn
          Headmaster

          Re: ...weird command-line people? @ Fatman

          "leverage its efficiency"" I think "use it" would work equally well in this sentance.

          1. Michael Dunn
            Headmaster

            Re: ...weird command-line people? @ Fatman

            Yes! Grammar gestapo hoist with my own petard - should have been 'sentence'.

            1. jake Silver badge

              @Michael Dunn (was: Re: ...weird command-line people? @ Fatman)

              That's "hoist *by* your own petard" ... Or "hoise by", if you want to be archaic & petulant. Pet peeve. But then I'm a cantankerous old fart ...

    6. mrweekender
      Flame

      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?

      1. boltar Silver badge
        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.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        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.

        1. Rick Giles
          Linux

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

          "where they could do some real damage to the industry."

          Which industry? The one that Microsoft has enslaved everyone with?

    7. foo_bar_baz
      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.

    8. dz-015

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

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

    9. simon_brooke

      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.

    10. 4.1.3_U1

      Five .. Linux apps you must install

      How about this:

      sed, awk, grep, vi(m), less

      Bring it on ...

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

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

      Well fuck me. If you think that is good, I have been using Time Commander - from 2050 back to the present.

      This is THE command line operator of all command line operators.

      Look it up when you get there.

  2. Raumkraut

    Kate in a bottle

    I happily used Kate for many a year; until the premature abandonment of the KDE 3.x series by distros. But Kate just doesn't feel right running under a primarily GTK-based DE - it's just too much a KDE application for that.

    So if you're using GNOME, XFCE, or the like,I recommend trying out Geany instead.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Kate in a bottle

      Thanks for the suggestion! I just installed it on a Linux box as well as one running FreeBSD. It looks pretty good so far. Mostly I prefer working in a terminal though. My favourite editor there is ne which is the first thing I install on any machine.

    2. Manolo
      Linux

      Re: Kate in a bottle

      "until the premature abandonment of the KDE 3.x series by distros."

      It is safe to go back to KDE now.

      Happily running KDE 4.9.3. Stable, usable, versatile, pretty.

      And indeed: preferring Kate when I want to do something in the GUI, otherwise vi(m).

      I find that for a quick and small change to a file I often use vi, but for larger changes, where a good overview of the syntax is needed, I prefer Kate. Quick scrolling in a file is more comfortable in a GUI than on the command line.

      1. Chika
        Linux

        Re: Kate in a bottle

        Haven't tried KDE 4.9 yet, so I'll hang fire there. Kate, however, is pretty good, though I still prefer KWrite or vi when I'm working on scripts. Not sure why.

        And yes, I still use KDE 3.5.10. Like I said, I haven't tried KDE 4.9 as yet but I detested 4.8 (and openSUSE 12, for that matter).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

    The other 8 not so much.

    And seriously, where is emacs?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

      Why would an average computer user need emacs or vi? This article is for normal people using Linux, not developers.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

        > This article is for normal people using Linux, not developers

        Normal people would not need a syntax highlighting editor. Nor a partition editor.

        It'd be nice if normal people didn't need a 'Package Editor' as well. Windows users survive without one although I'll grant that it can be a precarious survival sometimes.

        1. Tim Parker

          @AndrueC Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

          "> This article is for normal people using Linux, not developers

          Normal people would not need a syntax highlighting editor. Nor a partition editor."

          Very true.

          "It'd be nice if normal people didn't need a 'Package Editor' as well. Windows users survive without one although I'll grant that it can be a precarious survival sometimes."

          They don't need a package editor and updates can be handled automatically if required in most distributions, but it is a convenient place to look for things you might like - not totally dissimilar to using an appstore/whathaveyou on other OSes, even if only for a first port of call. They generally make compatibility and dependencies a non-issue as well, which can sometimes cause problem when compiling from source or using external binary only packages.

        2. Christian Berger Silver badge

          Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

          Well the package manager is what keeps Linux boxes clean. While a Linux user simply types "something" into the package manager, the Windows user will type "something free download" into Google. Guess who will get more malware?

        3. Rick Giles
          Linux

          Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

          "Windows users survive without one..."

          They don't survive as musch as they go from one near disaster after another...

          1. Fatman
            WTF?

            Re: ...as they go from one near disaster after another

            You mean like those poor bastards that went from WindblowZE ME to WindblowZE Vistaster?????

        4. A J Stiles

          Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

          "It'd be nice if normal people didn't need a 'Package Editor' as well. Windows users survive without one"

          I think you mean "Windows users survive despite not having one". In Ubuntu, if you try to run a program that isn't installed, it tells you what you need to do to install it. (Now, if they'd just get rid of -dev packages and put the -dev files into the main package, they might achieve perfection .....)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

        Normal people don't use Linux

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Normal people don't use Linux

          I've just wasted several days trying different versions of Ubuntu and Mint on a new netbook.

          I really would like an alternative to the Win7 that it came with, but I've just about concluded that Linux is too broken to use, same as the last time I tried to swap over. Pity that, but there you go :-(

          1. Chemist

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            "Linux is too broken to use"

            That's rather a broad comment given that lots of people use it all the time. I do every day - I don't use anything else. I obviously can't help with your problem esp. as as it's so vague. I do know that before I retired 200+ people used it in the company I worked for all the time and that was 8-9 years ago.

            My wife, who had little in the way of computer education, used Windows at her school until she retired but then had no problem shifting to Linux.

          2. Simon Brown

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            I agree they've broken Ubuntu quite effectively. The underlying idea is sound but the implementation is bewildering. Xubuntu on the other hand has most of the things in most of the places you'd expect to find them, an advantage of using Gnome. I use xubuntu alongside Windows. Some of the video editing I do is a lot easier in xubuntu.

            I also use xubuntu exclusively on my laptop, an old Vaio with a 1.2ghz processor and 1.5GB RAM - anything else on there runs like poo. XP ran like a dog. Vista even worse, win 7 - didn't even want to go there. But Xubuntu - rock solid and fast.

            So - when you say Linux is too broken to use... which bit of it do you mean? I'd have agreed with you a few years ago (no I don't want to recompile the kernel to run on a bloody laptop, wtf???) but these days I find some hardware runs better in linux - that often won't run at all under windows. It takes a little getting used to, you do eventually need to learn to do a few bits on the command line (you don't have to but it does help) and as I say the Ubuntu Unity interface is just bizarre but there is plenty good out there :)

          3. simon_brooke

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            If you can't use it when many other people do, is it Linux that's broken, or you?

          4. Chika
            Trollface

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            Define "normal".

            1. James Hughes 1

              @broken AC

              Well, I use Linux (Ubuntu + Unity)on a netbook, and it's not broken. I also use it on a desktop, and an elderly parent uses on his (different) desktop. All working fine (esp. compared with my other half's Vista machine - you want broken?). So what, actually, is broken?

              I do wonder why people write comment's like yours, then give no reason whatsoever as to why they have that opinion. I'd not have a problem if there was some accompanying evidence or reason which showed you had a problem, but just saying 'broken' doesn't really cut the mustard.

          5. David Hicks
            FAIL

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            I'll say here what I've said before - If you can't make one of the friendlier Linuxes work for you, and after days of struggling, then you have no right working in this industry.

            It's really not that hard, and as much as you think you're showing us how broken linux is, you're really just exposing your incompetence. Which is why you've posted as AC no doubt. Wise, nobody I know would hire you after that admission.

          6. This post has been deleted by its author

          7. crowley
            FAIL

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            "I've just wasted several days trying different versions of Ubuntu and Mint on a new netbook."

            New. It quite likely has new device variants requiring updated drivers which aren't available in existing distro releases. And it might even have devices from vendors that assist Microsoft by refusing to release data sheets to enable non-Windows drivers to exist. Give it 6 months, or try on your old one.

            Oh, and try installing a generic OEM copy of Windows onto your new netbook too.

            You'll surely have just as much joy, without any vendor supplied disk to fill in the driver gaps.

            Of course, if you're too much of a muppet to realise any of this, you should stick to buying pre-installed kit.

            I don't try to change the engine in my car for similar reasons.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Normal people don't use Linux

              "It quite likely has new device variants requiring updated drivers which aren't available in existing distro releases."

              From the horse's mouth - Linux doesn't support new hardware.

              "Of course, if you're too much of a muppet to realise any of this, you should stick to buying pre-installed kit."

              And insults.

              With the above, is it any wonder no one takes Linux seriously?

              1. Rick Giles
                FAIL

                Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                >>"It quite likely has new device variants requiring updated drivers which aren't available in existing distro releases."

                This is because M$ has most of the hardware vendors by the short and curly's.

                >From the horse's mouth - Linux doesn't support new hardware.

                I'm not going to make any analogies on the other end of the horse...

                >>"Of course, if you're too much of a muppet to realise any of this, you should stick to buying pre-installed kit."

                >And insults.

                Nope. That is a true and accurate statement. That's the difference between buying a new car or one that needs a little work to keep running. Most people don't want the challenge/reward of understanding the thing they are using.

                >With the above, is it any wonder no one takes Linux seriously?

                M$ FUD is why no one takes Linux seriously. Remember the troll that bought the Dell computer preloaded with Windows and then got U.S. National news attention because she could do her college course work? That was all a setup.

                1. Rick Giles
                  FAIL

                  Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                  >>With the above, is it any wonder no one takes Linux seriously?

                  >M$ FUD is why no one takes Linux seriously. Remember the troll that bought the Dell computer preloaded with Windows and then got U.S. National news attention because she could do her college course work? That was all a setup.

                  $h1t... I screwed the pooch on this one...

                  She got a Dell with *Linux* pre-installed...

                  http://www.wkow.com/Global/story.asp?S=9667184

                  or this more slanted article

                  http://www.inquisitr.com/15383/worlds-dumbest-woman-blames-ubuntu-for-college-failure/

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            "I really would like an alternative to the Win7 that it came with, but I've just about concluded that Linux is too broken to use, same as the last time I tried to swap over. Pity that, but there you go :-("

            Why you'd want to move away from Windows is a mystery, as you found out Linux really isn't ready. And even if it did work, none of you applications would run and you might have problems accessing your data due to Linux not being compatible. Heck, your printer might not even work due to Linux's lack of support.

            You also have to consider where you will get support and how much extra that's going to cost you. Your netbook's maker won't be able to help and installing Linux might void your warranty, so you could be left seriously out of pocket.

            1. Chemist

              Re: Normal people don't use Linux

              "as you found out Linux really isn't ready."

              FUD absolute FUD

              And if you want to try and don't want a real installation use VirtualBox

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Normal people don't use Linux

              "You also have to consider where you will get support and how much extra that's going to cost you. Your netbook's maker won't be able to help and installing Linux might void your warranty, so you could be left seriously out of pocket."

              You sound seriously worried about an OS that has 1% desktop share - you should be !

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                "You sound seriously worried about an OS that has 1% desktop share!"

                Less than, and falling.

                I'm more concerned that someone might find themselves £300+ out of pocket after breaking their computer by experimenting with Linux.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                  "I'm more concerned that someone might find themselves £300+ out of pocket after breaking their computer by experimenting with Linux."

                  More FUD

                  The only thing they'd break would be Windows NOT £300 of computer in any case.

                  1. Lord Voldemortgage

                    Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                    "The only thing they'd break would be Windows NOT £300 of computer in any case."

                    That's quite true, of course, but may seem a moot point to a Windows user in those circumstances.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                      "That's quite true, of course, but may seem a moot point to a Windows user in those circumstances."

                      If what they want is a Windows installation why are they installing a Linux distro?

                      I'm bemused by people complaining that their brand new off-brand laptop lacks Linux driver support. How is it Linux's fault that certain companies don't provide drivers for their hardware? If anything the Linux community should be applauded because within a few months they'll have reverse engineered a working opensource driver for that hardware. What's more those drivers will be available for years to come.

                      Try installing Windows on said laptop in a few years when you've lost the install media for the proprietary drivers and the dodgy looking website for the small Chinese manufacturer that made your hardware no longer exists because the firm has gone bust / has been bought out.

            3. Ole Juul Silver badge

              Re: Normal people don't use Linux

              You also have to consider where you will get support and how much extra that's going to cost you.

              Exactly. Since your are obviously not able to do your own support.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                "Exactly. Since your are obviously not able to do your own support."

                Some people can't/don't want to, and these are the people that the uber-geeks of the F/OSS world always forget about. If you aren't 100% computer literate, you get attacked and insulted; just as we have seen on this forum.

                If the uber-geeks ever want to know the reason for their ego-project never making it, they should try looking in the mirror.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Normal people don't use Linux

                  Yeh, clearly the uber-geeks forced you to come here and start talking out of your arse about Linux after a whole two days worth of experience. If you'd stuck with it and accepted that it wasn't going to be the same as Windows and that you were going to have to learn things (as you do with any new OS), you'd have realised there are thousands of forums and wikis brimming with tutorials and friendly people willing to help. You don't need them if all you want to do is office work and browse the web but you probably will if you want to start modifying the system and have never used a Unix-like OS before.

                  The reason you're getting a hostile reaction here is because Linux users see this crap time and time again. Some guy who thinks he's quite good with computers after having used Windows all his life tries Linux for the first time. Then he realises he doesn't actually know a great deal about computers and that all his knowledge is specific to one proprietary OS. Then he gets mad and declares that every OS apart from Windows is broken and not user friendly.

          9. Marshalltown
            FAIL

            Re: Normal people don't use Linux

            "I've just wasted several days trying different versions of Ubuntu and Mint on a new netbook."

            Hmm, after several days trying at least two different distros, against - how long was it you said you've been using Windows? Oh, you didn't. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. The difference in useability between Linux and Windows is centered almost solely in cost. Windows costs money, since MS has more or less forced most computer uses to learn their products. Linux costs the time it takes to learn to use it. It s true any OS. I've never like Mac's OS's either. They were saddled with the adjective "intuitive" by folks who never learned what the word means. There are no "intuitive" OS's or interfaces, just people who do or do not want to make the effort to learn.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Rick Giles
          Linux

          Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

          "Normal people don't use Linux"

          You're right. Intelligent people use Linux because they want to figure things out on their own so they can understand what they are doing and not be spoon fed by the man.

        4. Fatman
          Trollface

          Re: Normal people don't use Linux

          WARNING

          WindblowZE troll sighted!!!

      3. Chemist

        Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

        "Why would an average computer user need emacs or vi ?"

        They wouldn't need emacs or vi but then again a lot of Linux users are more technically inclined.

        I listed my 'user' stuff earlier but in addition :

        gcc - I write quite a lot of stuff in 'c'

        tcl/tk - for quick GUI front-ends

        VirtualBox

        Now I'm not a IT professional, although I've been using and building computers since the Science of Cambridge Mk14 and written quite a lot of scientific programs and others for my own use.

    2. lurker

      Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

      "And seriously, where is emacs?"

      This was an article about applications you should install, not operating systems.

    3. simon_brooke

      Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

      I used emacs for more than twenty years. Now I use kate for preference. No, it doesn't do all the things that emacs can do, but I can remember how to get it to do the things I want it to do better than I ever could with emacs.

      Try it. You might like it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

        > Try it. You might like it.

        I think I'll just wait for a native CLOS subsystem.

    4. csumpi
      Facepalm

      Re: Only 2: GParted and Libre Office

      "And seriously, where is emacs?"

      This is a list of "do"s not "don't"s.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux with windows? Weird

    # sudo apt-get install kate

    Reading package lists... Done

    Building dependency tree

    Reading state information... Done

    The following extra packages will be installed:

    alsa-base alsa-utils app-install-data appmenu-qt aspell aspell-en consolekit dbus dbus-x11 defoma

    .

    .

    .

    x11-common x11-utils x11-xserver-utils xdg-utils xfonts-encodings xfonts-utils

    0 upgraded, 244 newly installed, 0 to remove and 124 not upgraded.

    Need to get 99.7 MB of archives.

    After this operation, 356 MB of additional disk space will be used.

    Do you want to continue [Y/n]? n

    Abort.

    Er, no thanks

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Linux

      Re: Linux with windows? Weird

      Taking donations to buy a bigger hard disk for your Pentium MMX? I'll chip in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux with windows? Weird

        >Taking donations to buy a bigger hard disk for your Pentium MMX? I'll chip in

        What's a hard disk?

        No, wait I'll google it. Ah, storage device for bloatware.

        Kind offer but no thanks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Linux with windows? Weird @Chris W

          "No, wait I'll google it. Ah, storage device for bloatware.

          Kind offer but no thanks."

          Weeeeeak ...

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. GreyWolf
      Thumb Down

      Re: Kate? Kate?

      Good illustration of the perils of installing an app dependent on a windows manager other than the one you already have.

      If you are not already using KDE, installing any KDE-based app will do exactly this - install vast buckets of dependencies that unecessariiy flll your disk space.

    3. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Not just a Linux problem

      Just try to install a .net dependent program on Windows. You'll first need to hunt down and install the .net framework. Last time I checked (many years ago) that was 60 megs. 60 megs just to run a little piece of software.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
        Windows

        Re: Not just a Linux problem

        If you are shipping CD-ROMs to people who might not have a network connection, .NET 2 is around 235MB, because MS don't make it available to redistribute in any form except "blob that deploys everything on anything".

        Conversely, if you are targetting Windows 8, Microsoft don't make it available *at all* and you *have* to have an internet connection to pull down the special Win8 version. So that's zero bytes on your CD-ROM but you have to ship a SIM to each customer.

        So I think you Linux types have it easy.

        1. Fatman

          Re: .NET

          Years ago, I encountered a co-worker that obtained a used Win XP computer infected with .Net 1.0, .NET 2.0 and .Net3.0.

          He had NO IDEA what all of that bloat was for. I suggested a nuke from orbit, and a re-install of ONLY that software he needed. The 80GB hard drive had less than 15Gb of free space before he started, once finished, free space rose to over 60GB. Oh, so much bloat, and cruft, oh so much faster system after he got through.

    4. Antoinette Lacroix

      Re: Linux with windows? Weird

      Some packages have indeed weird dependencies. I usually avoid packages and build from source. However, your package list indicates a full X-server install. You weren't planning to run Kate from the CLI, were you ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Linux with windows? Weird @Antoinette Lacroix

        >You weren't planning to run Kate from the CLI, were you ?

        Obviously not and Kate was just an example, I could have used any of the "Apps you must install". The article should be titled "Linux GUI apps you must install". All my linux boxes are strictly command line only. I don't understand why anyone would want to use Linux and then try to make it look like windows. Only a blind, deaf and dumb Linux fanbois would argue that Linux GUI is even slightly superior to windows, hence title of comment, pay attention. There's a good example in another comment where someone says GIMP will do what they want so there's no need for photoshop. Sums it up perfectly, at the moment Linux GUI apps are good enough to get by but they cannot compete with the range and functionality of professional applications available for windows.

    5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Linux with windows? Weird

      What on earth were you running this on!

      For it to need to install x11-common, x11-utils, x11-server etc must mean that you are using a Linux distribution that DOES NOT PACKAGE A GUI! AFAIK, unless you are running a GUI which drives a framebuffer device directly, X11 MUST be installed on your system.

      What is this, some crazy hair-shirt hand built system? Or maybe your package repository is corrupt. Is the Linux kernel listed in the redacted portion of the list? Maybe again, do you normally use apt-get to manage the packages on the system, because I suppose that if you were using Yum or something rpm-ish, the repository may not be populated with a correct list of installed packages.

      Anyway, in this day and age, 99.7MB is actually a fairly trivial amount of space. Your average Microsoft Patch Tuesday will be larger than this. I would hazard a guess that this is a system with Gnome as the GUI, and much of what is being installed are the KDE packages that do not normally get installed on a Gnome system. But X11 should still be there!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux with windows? Weird @Peter Gathercole

        >X11 MUST be installed on your system

        Funny that, none of my Linux boxes have X11 installed and they all run perfectly even if I do say so myself.

        See my previous comment.

        >I would hazard a guess

        Maybe instead of guessing you should try thinking for a while. No, forget that, thinking mught be too dangerous for you.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only screenshot program?

    I find that hard to believe that shutter is the only program for taking screen shots. Let's see what happens when I press print scree... Oh, look what is this? KSnapshot. I'm sure there are more.

    BTW, I must *not* install any of those. I may, but I doubt if I will.

    1. phil 27

      Re: Only screenshot program?

      Gnome appears to honour print screen out the box too. And thats under my very stripped down gentoo build...

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Only screenshot program?

        Windows has honoured print screen out of the box and a clipboard to paste the image into whatever application can handle images since..um..forever? I did wonder about that application. Are you really saying that there are versions of Linux out there with a GUI where you have to install an application in order to get a screen grab into your graphical editing application of choice? Shirley you jest!

        1. Chemist

          Re: Only screenshot program?

          Well my version of KDE has screen capture built in and indeed a clipboard that handles multiple entries and has done for years - all out of the box.

    2. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: Only screenshot program?

      Print screen is one of the best supported functionalities in Linux. Now if we could get someone to write some actual applications it might get somewhere...

  6. rahul
    Megaphone

    More consumer oriented apps

    May I suggest that you look towards more consumer oriented apps, such as Exaile (Music manager / player), WINE (usually for games), Audacity (Audio editing), GIMP (Picture editor) and niche stuff like SweetHome3D (home layout and planning). Dropbox client is also worth a review.

  7. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Mostly no

    Other than for someone that might need something like that I really wouldn't touch any of these.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GIMP

    And Shotwell.

    1. ACcc

      Re: GIMP

      This ^

      While GIMP isn't quite Photoshop, it plenty good enough for the majority of photo work.

      UFRaw to import / handle CR2 files into GIMP.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: GIMP

        Per the GIMP FAQ: "For some industries, especially photography, 24-bit colour depths (8 bits per channel) are a real barrier to entry"

        It's therefore explicitly not good enough for a lot of photographic work, per its own documentation. The good news is that the developers are fixing it, and I believe deserve credit for being upfront about the deficiency. If it were ordinary commercial software I'm sure the FAQ would disingenuously argue that nobody needs more than eight bits per channel.

  9. Anonymous IV

    "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

    Really? I think I saw a couple of RAR files in the late 80s or early 90s in MS/PC-DOS, but not since then. ZIP files, however, are endemic.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

      RARs are everywhere, particularly in the sticky-floored areas of the internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward 15
        Pirate

        Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

        Why is that? Why do pirates seem to prefer RAR?

        1. AceRimmer
          Joke

          Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

          "Why do pirates seem to prefer RAR"

          (R)Arrrggghhhhh

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

          "Why is that? Why do pirates seem to prefer RAR?"

          I assumed it was a hold-over from the Usenet days where large files had to be broken down into smaller chunks so that they could be uploaded to newsgroups. RAR lets you split an archived file into standard sized chunks that can be reassembled at the other end whilst ZIP, as far as I know, does not. I don't know if RapidShare and the like have a limit on max file size but if they do it might explain why RAR is still so prevalent.

          1. AceRimmer

            Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

            ZIP allows you to do that too and has done since the days of floppy drives

            The biggest advantage of WinRAR is it's support of files bigger than what WinZIP will handle and slightly better (probably cause it works even with the evaluation version) command line utils

      2. Michael Thibault

        Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

        > RARs are everywhere, particularly in the sticky-floored areas of the internet.

        Or so you've heard?

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge
      Mushroom

      Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

      Popular? Not in either sense of the word. Why would anyone use RAR when ZIP is universally understood, already supported by your OS, free and just as good?

      I've only ever had to deal with one. A quick surf of the internet suggested that there were no decoders from any source that looked *remotely* trustworthy, so I fired up a virtual machine, installed an OS, downloaded a (presumably) virus-ridden pile of poop, extracted the files and then threw the VM away.

      You probably don't want to know what I thought of the person who sent me the archive.

      1. phil 27

        Re: "RAR extraction, an archiving option popular in the Windows world"

        You say that zip is a supported format but I unboxed a new pc (lenovo q180) with windows7 professional preinstalled yesterday (it was cheaper than buying the no os option due to a deal... :/ ), and playing with it and opening a zip file I was shocked to discover that win7 *DOESNT* come with something that can handle .zip natively, and went on to suggest I give $39 to winzip for their program. Er.... No, Ive got a better solution to not much in the way of functionality out the box, and at the moment gnome is compiling on its fresh shiny new gentoo install...

  10. Chemist

    I'd add...

    Google Earth

    A video editor - I mostly use kdenlive which supports 1080p/50

    Thunderbird

    Skype

    UFRAW plugin for GIMP

    Hugin for panorama creation

    +2 I couldn't do without vncviewer for remote access and sshd/ssh/fish but they are likely built-in.

    mplayer from the command line plays videos esp. 1080p/50 with the lowest cpu usage(~10% on my rather old dual-core AMD) although many other players support acceleration.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      I used to use Thunderbird

      Still have it installed, but I haven't read Usenet for ages and both personal and work email are on Google Apps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I used to use Thunderbird

        I found it rather deficient, I might think better of it now but can find no reason not to use Claws Mail.

  11. ooooorange

    Apart from GParted, wouldn't install any of them.

    No exactly thrilling stuff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apart from GParted, wouldn't install any of them.

      "No exactly thrilling stuff."

      Linux people get into wars about text editors. Kind of makes your viewpoint subject to appraisal.

  12. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Artha

    Artha is a nifty thesaurus and dictionary. Highlight any word press Ctrl-Alt-W to get a definition.

    Also great for crossword solving R???S??R returns the following results

    ravisher

    register

    resister

    resistor

    roadster

    1. Terry Cloth
      Go

      Re: Artha

      Oh, you mean like

      $ egrep r...s..r /usr/share/dict/american-english

      (Actually, I made a script called cw. I didn't get `ravisher', but did come up with `robuster'.)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

    Windows 8, and join the 21st century. Innovation beyond compare, it's what Linux will be doing in 5 years after all the ideas have been copied.

    1. NB
      FAIL

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      0/10

      jimmies remain unrustled.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      "Windows 8, and join the 21st century. Innovation beyond compare, it's what Linux will be doing in 5 years after all the ideas have been copied."

      Thank you for completing the "Master of Technology" exam - unfortunately you have failed

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      As technical advice..fail.

      As humour..fail.

    4. Bush_rat
      Holmes

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      "Windows 8, and join the 21st century. Innovation beyond compare, it's what Linux will be doing in 5 years after all the ideas have been copied."

      And you my friend have "innovate" and "change" confused

    5. GreyWolf
      Devil

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      You have failed to notice who is copying whom. The Metro interface is a direct copy of the appearance of Unity on Ubuntu, which came out long before Win 8 and Metro.

      And Jakob Nielsen is right, a plague on both those interfaces because they are perversions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

        The tiles come from Windows mobile which pre-dates Unity by some way.

        Also, the Win8 tiles are functional; unlike Unity which seems to be nothing more than an Amazon tat bazaar. Even when Linux copies it manages to mess up it seems.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

          Have you ever, ever, actually used Unity - I presume not because your comment makes no sense if you actually had used it. I suspect you read some headlines, formed an opinion and are now spouting that opinion off without actually, you know, trying it out?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

            Have you ever, ever, actually stabbed yourself in the eyes with a fork - I presume not but how do you know it hurts without actually, you know, trying it out?

            Some things one simply knows from past experience, but as it happens I have tried Unity and it was just as painful as I would imagine stabbing myself in the eyes with a fork to be. It's probably the reason Linux uses the command-line so much, it just struggles graphically.

            1. Chemist

              Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

              "uses the command-line so much, it just struggles graphically."

              FUD

              Just been editing 1080p/50 video on a rather elderly 2-core AMD - works fine - no struggles

    6. Rick Giles
      Trollface

      Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      "Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:

      Windows 8, and join the 21st century. Innovation beyond compare, it's what Linux will be doing in 5 years after all the ideas have been copied."

      Jerk alert! - Mouth (the Goonies)

    7. Fatman

      Re: Innovation beyond compare

      Really???

      You know that "innovative" UI that WindblowZE 8 just "introduced"??

      It was premiered in Ubuntu 10.10 which came out in October of 2010!!!!!

      Micro$oft is a bit late to the party!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Innovation beyond compare

        "It was premiered in Ubuntu 10.10 which came out in October of 2010!!!!!"

        Very wrong. But nice try to re-write history, the tiles were brought over from Windows mobile which pre-dates Ubuntu Maverick by some way.

        You clearly have no valid argument as you've had to resort to playground name calling. It's not unexpected though, such infantile behaviour is common within the F/OSS community; which is why professional organisations prefer to work with actual professionals and not yourselves.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Innovation beyond compare

          Windows Phone 7 != Windows 8 Metro UI

          They both use tiles but apart from that don't share a lot in common. Windows 8's Metro UI is much more similar to Unity in it's implementation.

          "It's not unexpected though, such infantile behaviour is common within the F/OSS community; which is why professional organisations prefer to work with actual professionals and not yourselves."

          That'd be why over 60% of enterprise servers and 92% of supercomputers run Linux then?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Click...click...click...click...click

    Only two items per page? Sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Click...click...click...click...click

      I think that's all open office can cope with

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Click...click...click...click...click

      Try the 'Print' button near the top left to get a single page version. HTH

  15. FreeTard
    Linux

    Kate eh?

    Didn't know about it till this article - I guess its because I never use KDE.

    I used geany for a year or two, but ultimately I have retured to VI, or VIM X11 as of yesterday...

    Think I'll give kate a try out and she how good she is.

    1. Bush_rat
      Trollface

      Re: Kate eh?

      "Think I'll give kate a try out and she how good she is."

      Cue dirty joke in 3...2...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Free but rich

    These types of articles are helpful to convery just how rich the options available to Free Software users really are, and the comments also reflect the joys of their being options. My own list also doesn't include any of the above, but does inlcude:-

    Zim - desktop wiki-style note editor - I have three "notebooks" which have years of stuff in them. Also usable as a daily journal with eth calendar plugin

    Radiotray - uses the gstreamer plugin system to play radio streams - all the Beeb output, including 3Extra for us non-DAB denizens, and other streams around the world. Very convenient and unobtrusive.

    gthumb - for photo management ans imple manipulation. Not as fully fledged as digikam, the absolute must-have for serious photographers, but adequate and reasonably quick.

    Thunderbird with Lightning. Lightning works against a centralised calendar provided by eGroupware or Owncloud, two server-based must-have offerings.

    But coming back to the article, it's refreshing to see how others have different needs or wants to your own and the fact that Free Software doesn't place anythign other than personal demands against use.

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Free but rich

      > Thunderbird with Lightning

      Very, very frightening?

      1. Anonymous Coward 15
        Devil

        Beelzebub

        Has a devil put aside for meeee!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free but rich

        > Very, very frightening?

        Geo-location by new European satteliite system,

        Geo-location by new European satteliite system

        Middle-eastern fruit good for the bowels plus the projectile from a bow

        MAGNIFiCOOOOOOOO!

    2. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Free but rich

      Thanks for mentioning Zim - it seems great, almost exactly what I was looking for - I particularly like the way it stores the data, the plain text files are very "clean" and easy to update with VI over SSH when I'm out and about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Free but rich

        > Thanks for mentioning Zim

        You;re most welcome. OpenSuSE users can use the source on the zim site, but apt-based systems should find it in the repos.

  17. Miek
    Linux

    KATE

    Whilst Kate is good, Gedit is my favourite.

    1. Bush_rat
      Linux

      Re: KATE

      I recommend Geany, lots of features in a neat interface.

  18. Valeyard
    Linux

    Hardly everyday stuff

    Yes I absolutely love GParted but it's hardly something to fire up everyday unless you like messing with your pi regularly

    What about WINE (for games, spotify, etc)

    maybe konqueror instead of dolphin for example and perhaps a list of good alternative web browsers (some of the default ones are terrible)

    in openSuse and kubuntu anyway Alt+F2 has all my applications and docs so no idea why I would install anything over that

    BOINC for a bit of distributed computing so you can leave it in lock screen mode instead of shutting down guilt-free for a few minutes while you go for dinner

    The kind of things that when you have a fresh install you should immediately trawl through to find a good list of killer applications to make it a pleasure to use in your own preferred style

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those of us stuck on Windows can get Kate as part of KDE4 Win.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Or Notepad++ without the need for KDE4

      http://notepad-plus-plus.org/

  20. Velv Silver badge
    Linux

    I'd have thought top of the list was a tool to locate your nearest sandal shop.

    But seriously, these top tens are rubbish. Nothing is a MUST. I've rarely come across one of these lists (Linux, Windows, iOS, Android, Firefox plugins, etc, etc) that actually contain a tool I haven't already found an answer for.

    (For El Reg - this is intended to be constructive - I've given up reading the Top Tens as of today - lets see what other readers think)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Velv

      "But seriously, these top tens are rubbish. Nothing is a MUST."

      When I saw the article title, I presumed they wanted to see flame wars between Linux users. Wasn't surprising to see who first brought a vi-alike into it :)

    2. Miek
      Coat

      "I'd have thought top of the list was a tool to locate your nearest sandal shop" -- That actually might be useful, so that I can find a home for these Molotov cocktails!! </Joke>

    3. AJ MacLeod

      Top ten articles do have their uses...

      Though I invariably either already use or have dismissed the software mentioned in these articles, I have been alerted to quite a few gems through the comments. Same thing for this article - Zim looks almost exactly what I was after a year or two ago but I don't recall having seen it (desktop wiki isn't really the kind of description that I would have associated with my requirement.)

  21. nematoad Silver badge
    Happy

    You missed one

    The first thing I install on a fresh build is MC.

    When it's too much bother to fish around in a GUI I find that MC will always sort things out for me. Oh, and as a extra it includes a little thing named "mcedit", perfect for just diving in and editing a config file or two.

    As an oldie I do still miss "linuxconf", that was great for setting up bits and pieces after a new install.

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Re: You missed one

      Ditto here - but then that's probably due to using Norton Commander on DOS oh so many years ago, and being happy with the way it works.

      Might give PeaZip a go though - if only to compare it to the 7zip equivalent I tend to use on Windows boxes

  22. The New Turtle
    Happy

    Unfortunately most of these comments only illustrate that many don't feel adequate unless they demonstrate themselves superior to another human being.

    The list isn't bad, although it's likely many will have already come bundled with the distro we've downloaded and used, or have equivalents depending on the DE of choice. Good point about antivirus, even though we don't need it. Everyone who's been using Linux for a little while will have developed their own preferences for doing different things, but lists like this are useful for making one review the tools they use and maybe trying some new ones.

    Nice that many of these are graphical front ends to command line tools too. I'd never want the command line to be lost, but equally I'd not want to use it in normal day to day operation; your preference may be different and that's fine too. I suspect many who use Linux these days do so because they wanted freedom from feeling like they were being told just how things were going to be, rather than for technical reasons or wishing to escape the evil GUI.

    1. Valeyard
      Trollface

      "Unfortunately most of these comments only illustrate that many don't feel adequate unless they demonstrate themselves superior to another human being."

      I don't grok what you're talking about

    2. Ole Juul Silver badge

      making choices

      I suspect many who use Linux these days do so because they wanted freedom from feeling like they were being told just how things were going to be, rather than for technical reasons or wishing to escape the evil GUI.

      Thanks Mister T. You nailed it. It's funny how some people get into technical details when that isn't even relevant. One would think that in this day and age where IP is king, that people reading these forums were more cognisant of the role of licence agreements in making choices.

      As for the list. I agree, it's not bad. This article sparked discussion and I've picked up a couple of good pointers in the comments.

  23. GreyWolf
    Thumb Up

    Kate? Kate? You're joking

    ..Kate is is too close to vi, and only works well in the KDE environment.

    Geany and Gedit are fine but don't go nearly far enough.

    There can be only one, and it's Bluefish <a href="http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/index.html" target=_blank>here</a>

    - mutliple windows for many files open at once

    - syntax highlighting for many more languages

    - code block folding (to make IFs or subroutines appear and disappear)

    - tooltips for language reference

    and lots lots more

    Bluefish is also available on That Other Operating System.

  24. Old Painless
    Thumb Up

    ..and for those who can't escape Other OS users..

    ..I put Crossover on wife mint laptop, as she absolutely positively must use Office 2003...as a side effect she canplay Civ too

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ..and for those who can't escape Other OS users..

      FreeCiv is always an option there ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ..and for those who can't escape Other OS users..

      Have you tried PlayOnLinux? It doesn't cost anything unlike CrossOver. It's name is a bit misleading since it originally started out as an easy way to get Windows games running on Linux but it can run anything. It's a superb front-end for Wine though, setting up Wine prefixes and even multiple versions of Wine on the same machine with ease.

      1. Bush_rat
        Happy

        Re: ..and for those who can't escape Other OS users..

        I second that motion, also PlayOnMac works well too.

  25. Mahou Saru

    mutt for me

    not because of geekness, but because it is nice to have all my email set up in one place and I can easily access archives without needing to do syncing shenanigans!

    I still use the email client on my phone for notification and quick access

  26. James Hughes 1

    Sad

    That so many of the comments here are by command line users who seem to look down on graphical desktops. As a command line user from BBC micro and DOS days, I bloody love graphical UI's. Once they appeared I was as happy as a pig in shit. Much easier to understand and explain to people. It the 'command line or nothing' attitude that puts many people off Linux, and the people commenting above are the reason. 'My way or the highway' is NOT a good advert.

    I use Linux every day and Windows XP/7everyday, I use Unity, but also use the command line when I need to. Graphical desktops are great for the vast majority of users, but the command line is great when you need to drop down to it. It's not an 'either or' situation, and I wish the extremists could get that through their heads.

    1. Daniel Warner

      At last!

      Hear hear! The voice of reason at last. GUIs and command-line/terminal use can coexist. Even on Windows.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Sad

      You got my vote.

      Because my old fedora 6 file server box runs cheerfully along without its GUI nonsense and about the only command it ever gets is to restart samba.

      But to set it up in the first place, its login as root, startx and use those nice GUIs created by the fedora/redhat team.

      But the command line is quicker the wailing starts..

      yeah if you can remember all the bloody commands and options.. and lets face it... how many of us really do that?

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Sad

        "yeah if you can remember all the bloody commands and options.. and lets face it... how many of us really do that?"

        Careful, that's close to blasphemy to the die hard command line or nothing zealots.

        I can never remember the bloody commands and options either, while there used to nominally be standards for the structures of these, many apps have just done what they feel like. The result is having to get the help up for the app, inevitably scroll back through 3 pages of advanced options I'll rarely care about to get back to the basic options. Then try to remember to type the bastard things in the right order as the text has (typically) scrolled up the the page and out of view. I know I can use multiple terminal windows, I do it all the time, but spawning extra terminal sessions just to look at help feels excessive. An extra terminal window to look at command line parameters requires, of course, some form of windowing user interface... the shame of it!

        Alternatively I can right click on the .tar.gz file and select "Extract here" and the appropriate commands will be fired off to decompress and unpack the file into the appropriate directory structure. It'll even give me a progress bar so I can see how far along the task is. Yes, if I did the process multiple times a day I'd remember the command line I'd need, but I have better things to do than that especially when somebody has already written a labour saving tool to do the job... The computer's job is to assist me, not to give me more things to remember.

    3. Ian Yates
      Joke

      Re: Sad

      Pff! GUI? CLI? I hand etch the binary on the hard disk, as God intended!

  27. Leona A
    Linux

    Nice article

    Good to see some 'day to day' reviews of Linux applications.

    Its just a shame that the 'willy wavers' have to dive in to the comments, adds little value, its not big and it doesn't make you look clever, just an idiot.

    Sadly the first comment is typical of a male dominated IT environment, It can be intimidating at first until you learn its all testosterone fuelled bragory (yes, made up word), it just shows how insecure and lonely they feel.

    I only use the command line if I have to, so to have some GUI applications that use the CLI backend is really useful and allow us to 'have a life', I will certainly give Lucky Backup a look, its just what I was looking for.

    Both my partner and I use Linux (well we use the same machine), Ok I work in IT (Web and software development) so I am used to Linux but my partner isn't, and they get on with it just fine, but I would consider us to be 'normal' users, you don't have to be an Uber Geek to use Linux, thankfully.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nice article

      Generally I find most people are alright with Linux so long as they can see a Firefox / Chrome icon.

      I remember an internet cafe on holiday, you logged in and the desktop looked vaguely like XP though something was off.

      The only browser was a desktop link called "Internet" with the blue 'e', dblclicked it and it launched Konquerer.

      The netbooks of a few years ago, the Linpus distro had an XP style window border, with a big Firefox link on the metro style desktop called 'Internet'.

      (Though I still got tortured by relatives asking if I could put "that there windows" on, as if I was a walking repository of windows licences and install media.)

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Nice article

      Out of curiosity, where did you get "male dominated" out of mine?

      Serious question. Insecure? Look within.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice article @jake

        You do realise you are the problem and not the cure? It's that sort of attitude that is causing the problem, not fixing it. Straight into the personal insults. Well done.

    3. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Nice article

      Sadly the first comment is typical of a male dominated IT environment, . . .

      The IT environment may indeed be male dominated, but I don't think this has anything to do with command line vs GUI. I've met numerous women who prefer the command line. It's actually interesting when you look at the history of computing and see that the "women of the ENIAC" who were arguably the first programmers, didn't even have a terminal for programming. Perhaps the word "nerd", that some seem to insist on connecting with the command line, has sexist overtones. The passion for, or choice of, an interface certainly does not.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    drop table comments;

    GParted is a good call.

    VLC does everything I need it to in terms of meedia streaming.

    Gimp - high learning curve but powerful image manipulation (must not mention the shop of photo) tool.

    Usually when I convert someone (or at least dual boot them) to Linux, one of the first installs I need is the Flash plugin. Oh noes - 3rd party closed source*. But they need it to watch youtube videos of cats falling over.

    (* Open source alternatives are available, but with occasional glitches in my experience).

    Similarly the closed source NVidia drivers are usually needed.

    Virtualbox just to run Win3.1/95 for the craic.

    SuperTuxKart. Just because.

    Kivio (now called Orinoco Flow or something) for diagramming. (Yes it installs the KDE bumpf, but that tends to be mostly a one off with the occasional updated package)

    Squirrel SQL for rummaging through DBs.

  29. A J Stiles
    Happy

    Kate FTW

    I've been using Kate since the days of KDE2, and it really is a wonderful editor. You can even enter filenames such as "fish://login@some.server.co.uk/path/to/file" (assuming you have ssh access there) and edit remote files with no need of an FTP client or similar. It's much nicer than using nano on the server (though I've been known to do it that way too; I once built an entire shopping site in nano, but I wouldn't really recommend the experience).

    The only downside to Kate (and maybe nano) is, I've forgotten most of what I knew about vi.

  30. Simon Brown
    Thumb Up

    geany ftw on non-KDE implementations

    whoever suggested geany - only just started with it myself but most impressed :)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apps?

    I got bored after the 3rd "next page" click, but that was still ?6? "apps". All of which were pointless underpowered front ends for normally powerful CLI tools. Why do people do this to themselves? Layers of pointless abstraction that suck the power out of a tool.

  32. Greg J Preece

    When we've finished arguing over what grok means...

    I concur with a lot of this list, except for Shutter and the quick-search doodah, mainly because equivalent tools come as part of KDE. All the little gadgets in KDE don't seem like much, and then you try to use something else. It's that moment in Windows when you hit print screen, expecting KSnapshot, and nothing happens, that you start cursing and wanting your old environment back.

    And that's what I love about Linux: proper computing innovation, rather than re-packaging something and calling the design innovative.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Though to contradict myself for a moment, GParted is superb. I use it from SysRecCD a lot and it's the best partition editor going.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advice for Windows users

    http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/150/021/system%2032%20troll.jpg

  34. Mako
    Joke

    "Unless you are operating in the enterprise class..." "To help with such endeavours, here are ten Linux applications..."

    I work in an Enterprise environment, but was certainly Endeavouring to find a Linux Challenger to my brother's existing software stack . He's just started a degree at Columbia university and, as a student, doesn't want to have to pay for software licenses since to him they may as well be as expensive as the lost treasures of Atlantis. The Discovery of this article was therefore especially timely.

  35. sisk Silver badge

    Kate? Really?

    Of all the damn fine programmers' text editors out there you latch on to one that's tied to a particular desktop environment? Why not vim, emacs, pico, or any of their myriad offshoots? None of them are joined at the hip to particular DE.

    Personally, I prefer Cream.

  36. Lars Silver badge
    Linux

    Thanks

    Would be nice to have more of this on the Reg.

    Remember the old times when it was hard to find programs for Linux. Now there are more than anybody will ever have the time to try out. Then of course we will continue to have this silly shit about CLI/GUI.

    Working with Unix for so many years there was no real alternative to the command line. It is still fast and fine if you know what you are doing, if not, use the GUI, or learn it. As somebody pointed out one tends to forget the commands (same with vi). To day I think, I more or less, use only df, find and tar.

    The only thing that pisses me off is Silverlight, It will not work as "they" demand version 4.0.60831.0 or later and there seems to be no such version for Linux. And I will not miss linuxconf any more.

  37. Rob Dobs
    Boffin

    Hasn't anyone ever seen the Star-Trek T-shirt from the 60's-70's "I Grok Spock" ?

    In the episode where William Shatner absolutely ridicules the Star Trek fans I believe that Jon Lovits is the one wearing it.....

    if you haven't seen it, it is a pretty hilarious sketch....

    "look at you have you ever even kissed a girl?.... You've taken something I did as lark years ago and turned in to a colossal waste of time!!" Two of the best Shatner lines in history

    So no its not a Unix thing to separate normal people from the Nerds. Its just a nerd thing... and its been around a long time (coined by Robert Heinlein in 1961)

    And yes I am nerd.

    And Jake.... I understand where you are coming from but please try opening your world a bit...

    I know lots of Command Line ONLY types, mostly old Unix Guru's, I also know a butch of young whipper-snapper types that install and try out EVERY new GUI that comes out, I also know lots MS Gurus that can make Active Directory and and a Windows Server dance and do all kinds of neat Unix-like tricks....

    The problem is the Unix/DOS Command Line types too often shun GUI's, Windows etc. entirely as if they are some kind of inferior technology they refuse to stoop to. The MS gurus typically get a scared look if they have to use even a DOS prompt, and typically have no Unix/Linux experience. The young guns always know the hot new apps and programs, but don't usually have a real understanding of the underlying system, and couldn't write even a simple shell script.

    Trust me when I say this, I have seen thousands of different types of experts in my long Career (have met the founders of the Internet, the WWW, coders of many kernels and OS... etc....etc The most effective people on a computer in general are the ones that can do it all, and don't put themselves into a box.... A guy who can hop back and forth from the command line to the GUI, that go into a GUI code and tweak the program to let him do the task he wants with a visual click that is familiar will run circles around any of the types I described above... and that included CLI die-hards like yourself Jake.

    Hard truth is there are some things a GUI can do faster, and you must live a very sheltered life if indeed you NEVER need to open a Word Doc... it is the typical format for businesses and there is no way around it. Sure you can use Libre office or something else, but your not going to get by with just VIM or a txt reader in the command line. (Insurance policies, offer letters, resumes etc....) If this is true you must be self employed and happy with your tiny niche in the world.... but like most CLI gurus I know.. you probably have an old Windows 98 VMware you fire up just for those times when you must interact with the real world

    1. Lars Silver badge
      FAIL

      "The problem is the Unix/DOS Command Line types too often shun GUI's"

      NO that is not true at all. If you know nothing about the command line you use the GUI. If you know both you use both according to what is faster, better or easier. To imply that command line people are stuck to the command line is rubbish.

  38. Phil W

    nano

    In certain situations nano is by far the most important thing to install.

    I don't want to revive the editor wars, so rather than explain why I personally like using it I'll give a good practical business case for it....

    I'm one of a team of network admins, I'm one of only a couple of people in the department familiar with Linux, the rest have a passing knowledge but don't regularly use it. nano is the only commonly available command line editor I know of which shows you on screen the keyboard commands for saving, searching etc making nano a life saver for the Linux noobs in the team in the event of my unexpected absence.

    I

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: nano

      Another vote here for nano. Its ease of use is what got me using it in the first place, but it's also got everything I need for general server admin/text editing stuff. No switching between input modes using batshit keyboard shortcuts that aren't explained, no having to constantly check the man page, just write the bloody edit, save, quit, run.

    2. A J Stiles

      Re: nano

      Yes, but nano is installed by default in Debian (my weapon of choice). It's also (by design) fairly close to pico, which I knew from before.

      Another thing I like to install early on is lame, from Source Code; because it's about the easiest thing to build (and you do want a sane build environment).

      1. Rukario
        Unhappy

        Re: nano

        nano is also what you get when you try to launch pico.

        And on the topic of text editors, vi vi vi ... the editor of the beast

    3. sisk Silver badge

      Re: nano

      I concure. As non-GUI editors go nano is by far the best for noobs. It's also, I find, the best for simple config files where you don't need all the bells and whistles of vi/emacs/whatever else.

      1. phil 27
        Stop

        Re: nano

        And there you have the failing of nano. If you are a proficient vi/vim user, and someone installs nano in its place because they find it easier for noobs, its like trying to work with a azerty keyboard in place of a qwerty. You can mostly drive it, but you have to keep looking at the keystrokes which slows you down considerably.

        Nano with vi keystroke compatibility mode, I'd go for that, but in the meantime its back to resetting the default editor to vim on everything tainted thus...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fact that an anti-virus for Linux was listed first

    was enough to make up my mind about the quality of the article. However, I kept reading it to the end and my first impression was good.

    FUD-ing Linux and LibreOffice in one sentence was the only notable intellectual achievement of the article.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: The fact that an anti-virus for Linux was listed first

      Even Linux needs AV. Believe it or not there are a few Linux viri in the wild, even if they are exceedingly uncommon and pretty much harmless unless you're running root when you pick them up. Besides, the point of avoiding passing on viruses to your more vulnerable friends is a good one. My Linux based file server runs daily Clam AV scans for that very reason.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @sisk (was:Re: The fact that an anti-virus for Linux was listed first)

        That's "viruses". not "viri".

  40. Fibbles

    "Indeed, there's still no replacement for Synaptic if you want to run software from third party sources or manage those that you have installed manually."

    I haven't used vanilla Ubuntu in a while but I'd assume adding a repository using the GUI is the same as Xubuntu.

    Software Centre >> Edit > Software Sources > Other Software [tab] > Add

    or

    Update Manager >> Settings > Other Software [tab] > Add

    Just paste in the address for the repository you want to use (e.g. ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates for more recent graphics driver updates) and any software on the repository should become available through the Software Centre. Updates will be handled via the Update Manager just as they are with stuff from the official repositories.

    Not that anybody is going to see this post on page 4 mind...

    1. Rukario

      I haven't used vanilla Ubuntu either, I've always shied away from it for coming with Gnome, preferring Kubuntu instead (and I guess with Unity it's not a bad thing). Still, have always used command-line apt-get for package managing. Caches through apt-cacher-ng that way, especially now that Kubuntu comes with Muon as its package manager.

      And there's another one... apt-cacher-ng is useful if you have several machines that you want to maintain all the packages/updates for. Especially useful when my first command line on a barebones system is something like:

      sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update; sudo apt-get --yes install app-install-data-medibuntu apport-hooks-medibuntu; sudo apt-get install firefox testdisk gimp ubuntu-restricted-extras libdvdread4 pdfedit unzip kcharselect traceroute gcc g++ krdc virtualbox scribus scribus-template scribus-doc xsane imagemagick libdvdcss2 mplayer vlc flashplugin-installer sshfs nfs-common fslint; sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

    2. sisk Silver badge

      I haven't tried to use Ubuntu in a long time, but last time I did I found their package manager to be far inferior to Synaptic. It just made finding the packages I was looking for harder. Even searching for a package using its exact name was unreliable in there.

      Granted, that's been several years. I would hope that Ubuntu has improved since then, but I'll be sticking to Debian and Synaptic anyway thanks.

  41. Rusty 1
    Trollface

    Shutter?

    And, pray tell, what exactly is wrong with xwd? Helping X11ers dump since, well, forever!

  42. Tyrion
    Linux

    Needs

    If all I had on my computer was VIM, GCC/GDB, Mplayer (cli version), mpd/ncmpc, and elinks, I'd be more than happy :)

    In fact sometimes I forego the X server environment altogether and just use a tty with screen. I can watch movies/tv on the framebuffer :D

  43. t_lark

    Noob list

    not knowing print screen gets a screenshot (works on windows too!) is one of many oversights that suggests the author has only just started learning linux. *The* major omission is grep. Another good tool is locate.

    grep -r "regex" .

    does a recursive sub directory inside files for the regex. Perfect for finding where the debug message you are currently viewing came from. Also has many uses in filtering the output from some other command

  44. johnwerneken

    windows 8 and ubuntu used here, love this list

    very useful to me. I know a little unix/Linux command line stuff, am a regular but not power user of Ubuntu, and a year+ veteran of windows8, and Microsoft stuff going back to the original dos; cp/m before that; mainframe stuff back way before any of Linux unix system 5 ...back to the paper tape, ibm card, and patchboard days in fact, back before keyboards and monitors even lol. don't have the inclination to learn all things about every darn thing I use, so this list HELPS ME. Thanks!

  45. kb
    FAIL

    Anyone that think Linux can't get bugs

    Is just deluded and can join the Apple users on the "most shocked when they find out they've been pwned" list. modern malware? NOT obvious and in fact many will just sit in the background quietly leeching resources for spamming or other nefarious purposes. just look up the KDELook bug which infected a ton of people, or the Quake 3 that sat on virtually every repo server for nearly a year and a half and was infected for just two examples. Hell Kernel.org got hacked not long ago, so pretending Linux doesn't need an AV is just plain wrong.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Anyone that think Linux can't get bugs @kb

      Er, what? No-one anywhere said Linux cannot get bugs. Its likely to have the same number of bugs per line when originally written as any other piece of software.

      On the other hand, it does have a lot of people peer reviewing it, which means the bugs count drops faster than closed source code.

  46. Bruno Girin

    Shutter

    Completely agree about Shutter: Brilliant application! And thanks for other useful suggestions that I didn't know about.

  47. mrfill
    Pirate

    'you must install...'

    It may surprise the author but there are other distros available other than Ubuntu and for 'ordinary users' would suggest PCLinuxOS which comes with LibreOffice and Synaptic pre-installed. Straight 'out the box' it provides a familiar look and feel (Start button, taskbar, systray) to new users, requires only modest hardware and has rolling updates so is always up to date without needing to find a complete new version.

    'Ordinary users' will also appreciate that wlan dongles, 3g dongles, printers, scanners and webcams can all be plugged in and will invariably work immediately.

    I have used PCL for years as well as SUSE and Fedora. Each has its merits - SUSE is great on netbooks, Fedora good for tinkering - and I prefer all to Ubuntu which hides things too much for my liking. If you really need a Debian based distro, Mint is top of my list and may well appear next time I set up a machine.

    Journalists don't seem to be able to see beyond Ubuntu. Laziness I guess.

    1. present_arms

      Re: 'you must install...'

      +1 For pclinuxos I love this little distro, I also use lubuntu on the girlfriends machine but on my own box i just love the familiarity of pclinuxos I personally prefer it over the *buntus, oh and i dual boot with debian :D. Linux mint is quite nice and it least doesn't have gnome3 or unity as a gui front end :)

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: 'you must install...'

      +1 for Mint. It's been my recommended distro for noobs for years.

      Another +1 for your comment about Ubuntu. It's NOT a good distro for noobs at all, yet it seems to be the one that gets foisted on they're fortunate enough to have someone nearby who knows better.

  48. 4.1.3_U1

    I said sed, but I was thinking about grep

    I was lurking here yesterday, but now I have to say 'sed' - this must be in the top 10 - if not, why not?

    $ rpm -qi sed

    Name : sed

    Version : 4.2.1

    Release : 10.fc17

    Architecture: x86_64

    Install Date: Sat 11 Aug 2012 07:04:52 PM WST

    Group : Applications/Text

    Size : 541801

    License : GPLv3+

    Signature : RSA/SHA256, Thu 19 Jul 2012 01:23:07 PM WST, Key ID 50e94c991aca3465

    Source RPM : sed-4.2.1-10.fc17.src.rpm

    Build Date : Wed 18 Jul 2012 08:50:48 PM WST

    Build Host : buildvm-14.phx2.fedoraproject.org

    Relocations : (not relocatable)

    Packager : Fedora Project

    Vendor : Fedora Project

    URL : http://sed.sourceforge.net/

    Summary : A GNU stream text editor

    Description :

    The sed (Stream EDitor) editor is a stream or batch (non-interactive)

    editor. Sed takes text as input, performs an operation or set of

    operations on the text and outputs the modified text. The operations

    that sed performs (substitutions, deletions, insertions, etc.) can be

    specified in a script file or from the command line.

    Maybe I jest somewhat, but as far as I am concerned sed (and the rest of the GNU tools) would have to be close to the top of any top 10 Linux apps you must install. As for 'grep' - even MORE important. What about awk?

  49. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Devil

    Here are my top 5

    No-one's reading this far, I know....

    vim

    Best editor bar none, blazingly fast, I use vim for almost every application of reading or writing text. This is a Pragmatic Programmer tip: Use a Single Editor Well.

    I've nothing against emacs, but those nancy boy IDE editors (Kate, gedit, Eclipse et al) are like toy things compared to vim or emacs, once you have several years experience.

    ffmpeg

    The swiss army knife of media operations. Can do almost anything to almost anything. Used as a base for mplayer, vlc, whole host of other media libraries, the command line tool can do anything those can do.

    python

    A general purpose programming and scripting language for the 21st century. Begone with your bash scripts.

    chromium

    A fast browser that looks decent, is regularly updated, doesn't leak memory all over the shop (hi Firefox).

    moc

    moc - music on console - is a background music player that you run from your console. You can detach from the player, and it continues on running, and is instantly available from any shell, eg from vim, :!mocp

    mpd

    mpd - music player daemon - is a networked background music player. You run the server on one box, and connect clients from another box. You can also push the audio output from the server through icecast, and broadcast over rtmp to your lan.

    I assume all of these things are available for Linux, they certainly are for FreeBSD.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Here are my top 5

      I would say nano over vim for the things most users do (config file editing mostly). Don't get me wrong, vim's great and all, but the learning curve is a bit steep for people who aren't going to do anything with it beyond editting a couple lines and saving the file.

      And yes, all of those are available on Linux, though I've never had the pleasure of moc or mpd (I prefer Amarok for music, even if I do have to pull in half of KDE just to get it to run....oh how I miss Songbird).

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Here are my top 5

        The learning curve is only steep while you are learning. Once you have learnt it, there is no unlearning. So why not learn something today?

  50. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Totally missed my most favourite program

    ack - better than grep

    ack does the things that grep -r should do. It searches only the files that are relevant, where as grep -r will dumbly search every file. If you're a programmer, and you've ever used grep to find other uses of a variable/function/class etc, you have to try out ack. It's just miles better.

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