The Best Linux Software of 2018
Here it is, the lineup of the most useful and frankly awesome Linux apps of 2018.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser is without a doubt a leader in development community and one of the most successful representations of what open source means. The versatile customization, theming, and original extension library has made Firefox a favorite of almost every user in the Linux world.
The Tor Network is the most popular encrypted internet tunnel available to date. Between the government use, plus interest in things such as privacy, black markets, and the Deep Web, popularity has sky rocketed in recent years. The Tor Browser, officially developed by the Tor Network and based on Mozilla’s Firefox Browser is the easiest way of accessing the Deep Web and hidden .onion links.
Bittorrent was released over ten years ago and is still one of the most used peer-2-peer sharing protocols ever created. If Bittorrent was an egg, qBittorrent would be the spatula. Not really a good analogy but you get my point. It is the most popular Linux application for harnessing the awesome protocol that we love. After all, where would we be without all the malware infested illegal movie and porn downloads on the internet that have made it what it is today?
Sometimes we leave home on vacation or for business trips and forget important files or simply some favorite pictures. Instead of bringing a USB stick, buying an SD card, having to bring another computer, or going without, why not just have access to your device at home from anywhere in the world. TeamViewer allows this as it is the most popular and commercially successful remote access tool available. With a slick interface, tons of features such as cross-platform support, complete desktop control, file sharing, and speedy performance, it’s always a nice addition
Deluge is a torrent client that you can use to upload and download data from all over the web. Aside from using the legendary Bittorent protocol, Deluge harnesses libtorrent on the backend and has quite a few interfaces to choose from. The UI, while packed with features is pretty simple and relative to most torrent applications so there’s no learning curve. If qBittorent doesn’t quite fit your taste, then I bet Deluge will
LibreOffice is one of the two leaders of power packed Open Source office software. Many people believe Microsoft Office is the only true option when it comes to all of your document and processing needs but I’d beg to differ. LibreOffice is feature packed with full word, spreadsheet, presentation, design, database, and calculation suites. The best part is, it’s all for free.
Along with LibreOffice, comes OpenOffice, the second powerhouse of the Open Source business community. Similar to Libre, OpenOffice is packed with multiple suites to combat Microsoft’s monopolistic app and on top of that, is backed by a well funded and maintained company by the name of Apache. Sure, it may not have the heavily designed interface and “excellent” Microsoft backed tech support, but nonetheless is a beast in its own league. I have used OpenOffice for almost 10 years and wouldn’t have it any other way.
While Linux has been proven to undoubtedly be more secure than macOS and Windows for everyday users, I’m not gonna be one of those people that tell you that Linux is perfect and that if you use a Linux system you don’t need some sort of protection. Unfortunately, just like all forms of technology, Linux is able to be compromised too, and as its popularity grows among the world, so do the interest of those who would like to make the world a little more difficult. This is where ClamAV steps in. ClamAV has pretty much every tool you could want, including a graphical and command line interface. There are tools for detection of viruses, trojans, rootkits, and various security threats. As one of the longest running Open Source solutions for Linux security, it has easily earned its place at the number one spot as a free Linux security solution.
ClamAV may be the running champ when it comes to an AV for Linux, but Sophos is one of the leading security solutions for every platform in the world. Personally, one of my favorite things about their team is that they are heavily focused on not only stopping intelligent malware from hackers, but also from government entities. Very few security companies can boast catching the United State’s own NSA spyware and with a vast array of top of the line tools, Sophos is built to do one thing… destroy malware.
Since its creation, GitHub’s custom designed modern text editor Atom has left a footprint in the development community. With a sleek and modern design along with fluid performance, it leaves past text editors something not to be desired. Atom features easy tabs, beautifully highlighted syntax, a developer mode, and most importantly, support for the most popular languages. If a full fledged IDE is not your thing, then there’s no excuse not to have Atom installed on your system.
Visual Studio Code
Speaking of IDE’s, if your using Linux and you haven’t heard of VS Code then you’d better get to downloading. Visual Studio is excellent but can take up gigabytes upon gigabytes of space, not to mention resources. Code resolves this by providing the most essential and important features of Microsoft’s beloved IDE and packaging it in a lightweight, modern, and free program.
If ultimate lightness and near invisibility is your preference, then you’re probably gonna love Bluefish, an IDE aimed at the programmers who value performance over anything else. With an easy explorer-like interface, important features, and word processing to create cross-compatible scripts, what more can you ask for in such a light package?
Finding a massively packed IDE such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio is hard when it comes to Linux and even macOS. Finding one that loves Python is even harder. Luckily, we have PyCharm now to solve all of our problems… well like a teeny tiny bit of the problems, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. The first thing you’ll see after opening this editor up is a smooth but comprehensive interface filled with excellent features such as syntax highlighting, project synchronization, auto-complete, event logging, console, terminal, bookmark support, code inspection and debugging. With all of these tools at one’s disposal, I think anyone can understand why PyCharm is one of the go-to editors for advanced programmers and developers.
Everyone will always have their favorite package manager. Rather you are installing pre-built packages or building them yourself your gonna want one that has stability and up to par performance. The Manjaro team’s own realtively new Octopi is an excellent example of a very capable solution. Aside from being the default manager for one of the most beloved distributions, support for Arch’s unbeatable Pacman command-line tool with the yaourt wrapper makes this thing pretty hard to beat. Let’s cross our fingers and hope the development of Octopi can increase so that it’s compatibility on all Linux distributions is solid.
Once again, although younger than many, the Arch team’s Pacman is undeniably one of the greatest package managers of all time. With native support on any Arch distro and incredible speed, it has quickly made itself to the top of the list; not to mention all of the front-end options, yaourt and AUR access. All of this built in to one simple interface makes Pacman one of my favorites and for many others.
Where would the Linux community be without Debian? Hate it or love it, it is without a doubt one of the grandfathers of Linux distributions and one of the reasons we have so many options to this day such as the popular Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and elementaryOS distributions. Debian’s native DPKG manager is one of the oldest and most respected low-level package managers out there. And after installing some front-end tools like Synaptic, APT, or Aptititude, you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome setup.
Photo & Video Editing
For years, Adobe’s Photoshop has virtually owned the market when it comes to the photo editing industry. However, for years there has also been an Open Source and free competitor in the market that has strongly stood its ground. GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program is packed with all of the basic features like crop, blend, scale, healing, pencil, and eraser, yet still retains some of the most advanced capabilities in its simple and professional interface. GIMP is and will most likely always be my favorite solution when it comes to all of my photo editing needs in Linux.
The Davinici team has created a revolutionary product to say the least. With a clean and modern interface packed with an immense amount of features and tools, it’s a wonder how other premium apps and software have even gotten close to their popularity thus far. Used in major Hollywood productions across the world and deemed the most reputable color-correction software on the planet, Davinici Resolve is easily the most advanced video editor on Linux to date. The best part is that it is completely free!
Sometimes, all of the advanced, professional tools can be intimidating for new or low-level editors. While Windows and macOS have had an arsenal of editing tools for what seems decades, Linux has always gotten the short end of the stick. That was until Kdenlive, the KDE developed powerful and fully featured video editing/creation suite. Aside from the non-linear editing which lacked support for many years in the Linux community, you can create complex projects, configure the app and project configurations, output the project in popular video formats, and all in a a very easy to use, sleek interface. Kdenlive is in my opinion the best overall video editor on Linux for everybody and is the most stable I have ever used as well.
If you are a music enthusiast or work in an industry where audio editing is necessary then I’m sure you know about Audacity, the most popular and equally respected, Open Source, cross-platform editor. With one of the simplest GUI’s in the field and extensive tweaks Audacity will leave you messing around with effects and settings for days, not to mention the plethora of extensions. This quick and nimble, high quality tool is something every aspiring musical heart should know about.
Audacity may be king of Linux editors but that opinion may differ when it comes to true professionals. Sure, an audio editor is nice, but what about an entire hard disc recorder and digital workstation? Ardour is the most solid and specialized audio software I have ever used on a Linux machine. The vast features between latency compensation. material positioning, monitoring, and multiple plug-ins were far too much for me and in all honesty, way past my level of understanding regarding the quality of music and sound. If you are an audiophile who’s feeling bored… look no further, this is your answer.
Online music is more popular then ever and people are constantly searching for a new and intuitive players to let them play or stream their favorite jams. Clementine has stepped up to the plate as one of the most modern and sleek newcomers to the market. Designed with a clean theme and packed with an integrated search engine, choosing your track is pretty simple. Also boasting support for online and offline content plus adding in multiple tabs and excellent cover art, Clementine is definitely giving other legacy music players a run for their money.
VLC Media Player
I doubt I really need to explain why VLC is on this list, but for the sake of the review, I shall continue. The long running champion and most downloaded media player of all time still holds its place as the number one option to play any form of media on a Linux machine, especially videos. With incredible support for every codec and format you can image, support for any operating system out there, and a leader of Open Source development, there is really nothing else that needs to be said except if you don’t have VLC Media Player on your computer right now, then I am sorry for all of the pain you have been suffered.
There are tons of great music and media players that can stream your favorite tracks and even access your favorite streaming services. Unfortunately, the most popular and well known, Pandora is pretty hard to get a hold of when you are using Linux. However, thanks to the mind of an incredible developers and the incredible Open Source community, we have Pithos. Pithos is the ultimate Pandora client, supporting all of the most beloved features such as playlist integration, thumbs up, thumbs down, next, and even some extras like letting you see the next few tracks that are going to play. What’s even cooler is that you can choose the quality of your music and even have unlimited skips for free. Now that, in my opinion, is the definition of freakin’ awesome.