Essential Linux Software
In the last couple of days, for various reasons I have completely reinstalled Linux on this machine.
One of the great joys of Linux is the ease with which a reinstall can be done. A Windows reinstall is a slow process and when it is complete there is the tedious and lengthy process of reinstalling all the software, if you can find all the disks and the licence codes. Even then, the chances are you have lost all your settings for the various programmes and you have to customise them all over again.
With Linux, it is a simple matter of restoring your Home directory from backup and that’s that.
However there are still some programmes that have to be reinstalled. There is no fear of having no CDs or licence codes as they are already available on the Net. The problem (if you can call it a problem) is remembering which programmes to install. For that reason, I have made a little list as a reminder to myself in the future. I have called this “Essential Linux Software” but that just means it is essential for me.
First on my list is VirtualBox. This is essential not only for testing other flavours of Linux but also for running Windows for the odd programmes that won’t run on Linux. Naturally I will have kept all my virtual machines intact in my /home backup!
I have to include Filezilla despite its small problems.
Another one I like is Alacarte. which is a nice little program for tidying and editing the Menu.
I am a great fan of Audacity. However, to record off the soundcard I also have to install pavucontrol.
Skype is another essential, and again all it’s settings and history can be restored from the /home backup.
Another programme that isn’t exactly essential but is just too good to miss is Google Earth.
For my browsing and mail I like to use the absolute latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird and therefore use the nightly builds (called respectively Nightly and Earlybird). As I have both installed directly in my /home directory they are automatically installed from backup.
All the above can be installed directly by using Synaptic Package Manager or Software Manager. There is one little programme that I like which has to be manually installed. That is Grub Customizer. Installation of this requires a wee bit of Terminal typing. The lines are –
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
The one feature of this little programme is that apart from being a good Grub editor, it can set Grub to load to the last used OS. On a dual boot machine with Windows, this is very handy as for example Windows may need to reboot after an update. In a normal Grub, Windows will try to reboot into Windows, but will actually end up in Linux, if that’s the default OS.
Occasionally I like to delve into the strange world of Twitter. For this I use Tweetdeck which requires Adobe Air. The latter is simple to install once you know how!
I’m sure there are one or two I have missed. I’ll add them at a later date if necessary.
Any other suggestions?
for me, I also like to have
vim: best text editor ever
tightvnc: I have too many machines scattered around the house. this lets me work on them from one seat
synergy: this lets me use one mouse and keyboard to control multiple machines, without any dedicated hardware.
mplayer: for videos.
amarok: for music.
I forgot to mention KRDC! I had been ,meaning to see it I could find a better VNC client as KDRC causes some problems. You prompted me to try TightVNC – had some problems with it – it didn’t the cursor properly and locked into full screen mode. I have just discovered Remmina which seems to work very well. Thanks for giving me impetus to search!
As for the others, I am happy enough to stick with the defaulte – Gedit, Banshee and the like though I may poke around for some alternatives. I have yet to see a Linbux text editor that can beat Textpad though. I miss that!
On a somewhat vague on topic point, If you’re running Linux Mint 12 (and I know you are) you’ll find there’s no ‘Users and Groups’ applet any longer and making VirtualBox fully functional requires adding your user to the ‘vbox’ group and attempting to do so without the above app get’s interesting. You’ll need to install ‘gnome-system-tools’ to get ‘Users and Groups’ back.
Alacarte should have been installed by default as should ‘Users and Groups’ but for some reason they weren’t. There are times when I have to wonder about some of the decisions being made Linux-wise these days. Thanks for the list!