Ubuntu has come along in leaps and boundssince its inception. It has always been slick and fast and very visuallyappealing. But in the last ten years, Ubuntu has come of age as the preferredLinux platform.
Ubuntu and Linux in general are governed by user needs. Unlike closed applications that you find in Windows or Apple Macintosh, Ubuntu is built on community interest and a world-class community of technicians . These technicians build applications that users want and make them freely available for Linux and Ubuntu users.
The advances Ubuntu has made include thenumber of applications which are not only suitable substitutes for Windows andMac applications but are in many ways superior.
If you’re a new Ubuntu user and you’re lookingfor the most essential tools, here is 10 of the most popular software choicesthat we recommend for those who are trying to get their head around the worldof Linux programs.
1. Thunderbird Email Client
Thunderbird is perhaps the most easy to useemail client for new Ubuntu users. It is quick and the platform is simple. Ithas advanced features that will allow you to synchronise Google products suchas Google Calendar and Contacts and it tends to manage space better than mostother email clients.
Thunderbird will support all the usual protocols including Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), POP and SMTP.
Thunderbird also works beautifully with Gmail.You’ll be able to synchronise messages between the Gmail client and your localThunderbird account.
2. Libra Office Suite
LibraOffice is considered by many users to bethe best alternative and in many ways., to Microsoft suite of office programs.
Those who are new to able to find it intuitivefor the most part with a clean and straightforward interface. It has all of theusual tools and programs that you will find in other major office suites.
LibreOffice include writer for wordprocessing, impress for presentations, calc for spreadsheets, base for databasefunctionality, draw for vector graphics and flowcharts, and math for formulaediting similar to Google sheets or Microsoft Excel.
It’s an excellent crossover platform thatallows you to import and export documents in Word format for other users aswell as PDF export.
3. VLC Media Player
VLC is a multimedia Framework and player thatcan handle audio, CDs, DVDs and VCDs. Basically, it can play anything: Discs,webcams, streams, H.264, MKV, WebM, MPEG-4, WMV, MP3 and more.
It’s also capable of running on just about anydevice including Android, Mac OS, Unix, Linex and Windows.
VLC for Ubuntu, in addition to other Linux distros, is packaged using Snapcraft. The latest VLC versions can then be easily distributed directly to end users with security patches and updated codecs.
Perhaps the most appealing feature to a new Ubuntu user is that it runs well out of the box and it is very fast. It can do just about anything that Windows Media Player can do without the lag and cumbersome coding.
4. The GIMP Photo Editor
GIMP is not only ideal for new Ubuntu uses but for those who are looking for something more similar to Photoshop with advanced features. GIMP is among the top free tools listed here on Help Desk Geek and will run on Linux, Mac OS and Windows, to name just a few operating systems.
For Ubuntu uses it’s the preferred program forphotography, illustration and can even handle animation.
Thanks to the many third-party plugins you cancustomise GIMP to act like some of the best photo and image software available.
Like any editing platform, it will take sometime to familiarise yourself with the interface. GIMP Does have somelimitations. For example, as a rstor editor, it is unable to handle 3D andVector images.
On the plus side, it can handle almost everykind of image file type and has its own native file extension, XCF.
Audacity is a very easy to use multi trackeditor for audio recording. It’s compatible on Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) Windows, MacOS X, and other major operating systems.
Audacity has a modern flat-design look with anumber of skin variations.
Among the many features, Audacity can help youwith recording audio through the mixer and microphone as well as create digitalrecordings from other media sources.
You can export and import your sound files andrecording many different formats. Audacity supports 16 to 32 bits and useshigh-quality littering and resampling.
Editing is very easy for new users allowingyou to paste, cut and copy without complications. You can also preview andreview your work as you go.
If you’re looking for a simple to use audioediting and creation tool with a very professional interface, then Audacity isan excellent choice for Ubuntu users who are new to Linux.
6. Open Shot Video Editor
OpenShot video editor is compatible withUbuntu, and most Linux distributions as well as windows and Mac OS.for Ubuntu,The subsequent project files can also be used across platforms which means thatany project in one operating system can be opened up and used on anotheroperating system.
This makes OpenShot video editor a highlyuser-friendly piece of software for those looking to create and modify theirown videos.
OpenShot includes image overlays, watermarksand compositing tools. Ubuntu users will be able to clip, scale, trim, snap,cut and resize or rotate image and video and then view them with real-timepreviews.
It includes advanced timeline functions, dragand drop and 3D animated effects.
It has a full suite of audio mixing andediting tools as well as digital video effects including green screen andChroma key.
7. Google Chrome
Google Chrome needs little introduction. The Linux or Ubuntu version is just as slick and even faster than Windows and Mac OS .
If you’re new to Ubuntu and want to slow downthe learning curve, then Google Chrome is an excellent choice.
You will enjoy all of the same extensions andapplications that you have access to on other operating systems as well whileenjoying the speed of an Ubuntu operating system.
8. Steam Linux Gaming
Steam OS, developed by Valve Corp, is one ofthe most respected gaming distros.
Gaming fans who are thinking of switching to Ubuntu will be pleased to know that Steam for Linux can run Windows-only games .
For some, this is the Holy Grail of crossoverapplications and computing. The list of confirmed titles includes Beat Sabre,Doom, Fallout Shelter, Final Fantasy VI, Mount and Blade and many, many more.
Steam Linux gaming supports numerous graphicscards, as well as an extensive range of gamepads, enjoy sticks. Drivers thatare not included out of the box can be easily set up manually.
The software runs seamlessly on Ubuntu, butthere are some hardware requirements to consider.
You will need a processor with Intel or AMD 64 bit capabilities, at least 4 gig or more of RAM and a hard drive the on 200 GB. You will also want to confirm with your own hosting or internet provider on whether they provide the speed you want and whether it is worth switching your hosting over to Linux as well.
The interface is a very good looking, and thesignificant number of games should be enough to convince anyone consideringswitching over to Linux and Ubuntu in particular.
For those wanting or needing easy access toall of their resources on any device, Insync has become a leader incross-platform synchronisation with Google’s products.
The interface is simple and easy to use. Itcan handle multiple Google accounts and sync everything in either directionstraight from your desktop. It is fast and light and an ideal choice forbusinesses relying on synchronisation and access to digital resources acrossplatforms and devices.
With Insync you can choose which Google driveor drives you want to have synced with your device, you can merge top-levelfolders to another location on your computer as well as syncing team drives.
Whether it’s documents, business resources,video, images or more, Insync is powerful and yet simple enough for any newuser to Ubuntu who wants to synchronise the data they own from one device toanother.
For some people, switching over to Linux is adaunting task, and many like to start out using dual boot operating systems ormaintaining two operating systems on two separate devices.
This is where Synergy comes in. Synergy allowsyou to run two operating systems through one monitor, keyboard and mouse. Or,if you prefer, you can switch instantly between monitors and operating systemsand yet still use the one mouse and keyboard.
This is incredibly useful if your workrequires you to use one device or operating system and you prefer to use adifferent operating system for your personal needs.
Synergy works through your cable or WiFinetwork and can be set up with multiple machines and multiple operatingsystems.
There is a free version, there are also paidbasic and pro plans provided by Symless, the developers behind Synergy.
Are you a new Ubuntu, user, is benefiting fromsome of the programs available to Ubuntu and Linux users? Let us know whatsoftware you have found the most essential and the most helpful as a new user.