Hopefully by now you may well be a Linux convert?
Regardless of whether you are a hardcore Linux user or have just decided to join a more private environment when it comes to your operating system there is, of course, always the question of "but what can i do with my new OS?". After all, on Windows I have Microsoft Office or is it called Office360? Honestly, whatever they call it I don't really care! Or your Adobe Photoshop, or any of the expensive apps that come with a separate payment in order for you to use them on your computer! Well if you are lucky you'll get a 30 days free trial version, right?
I understand that the ecosystem of Apple combined with an iPhone is awesome, and I get your Windows machine is what your friends use to play mindcraft or join online battles on Steam. Honestly, I have no idea as I am not a gamer but that said I know that games can run on Linux, maybe not all and I get it that as a gamer you need to stick with what works best, but when it comes to your online browsing, or working notebook, desktop or PC you should consider Linux. You can always dual boot! So let me reassure you that Linux has you covered in every aspect of life!
And I mean that.(and you can install Steam on Linux!).You see, Steam is a proprietary client/marketplace for the purchase, installation and management of your Linux games. It is probably the best client available and offers a large library from which to choose. You will find free and paid options and to install it download the .deb file from the official download page, alternatively select an installer from the AppCenter or Software Center.
Let's now get to the software I was saying Linux has for you, mostly (if not all) for free.
Starting with Email clients
If you host your own email and don't have web-mail or just want to use an easy to use email client then one of the oldest and very best is:
Thunderbird is, of course, from Mozilla and therefore your perfect companion to Firefox, but there is more to it. Thunderbird not only has a great email interface, but it also features a great Calendar and RSS reader and you can also install lots of add-ons after that which makes this an email powerhouse. Thunderbird also makes it easy to use PGP and is 100% open-source.
Music and media player
VLC is a simple media player, open-source and free! It supports almost every type of file format and you. You can download it from their website or find it in the Software Center.
Kodi is a popular media server software/player. The latest version, Kodi 18.0. was just released with a batch of tweaks and improvements that include support for Digital Rights Management (DRM), decryption, game emulators, ROMs & voice control.
Free and open- source with a good community for support, it has got good playback support allowing you to add any supported 3rd party media service for content or manually add ripped video files.
Software center or via terminal
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi
Kdenlive is a free and open-source video editing software from KDE. It provides support for dual video monitors, multi-track timeline, clip list, customizable layout support, basic effects and transitions.
It can support a variety of file formats from a range of camcorders and cameras including: raw, avi, dv, mpeg2, mpeg4, h.264, AVCHD, HDV, XDCAM-HD™ streams, IMX™ (D10) streams, DVCAM (D10) , DVCAM, DVCPRO™, DVCPRO50™ streams, and DNxHD™ streams.
If you are looking for an iMovie alternatives for Linux, Kdenlive would be a good bet.
Kdenlive features include:
- Multi-track video editing
- A wide range of audio and video formats
- Configurable interface and shortcuts
- Easily create tiles using text or images
- Plenty of effects and transitions
- Audio and video scopes make sure the footage is correctly balanced
- Proxy editing
- Automatic save
- Wide hardware support
- Keyframeable effects
Kdenlive should be in your software center, however, if you are using a Debian or Ubuntu based distro and want to use the terminal, this is the command:
sudo apt install kdenlive
HandBrake is free and open-source and a useful video conversion tool which will allows you to convert a video from one format to some of the widely supported codecs (.mp4/.m4v/.mkv/.webm)
You should have no problem finding HandBreak in your Software Center or again via terminal:
sudo apt-get install handbrake
OpenShot is another multi-purpose video editor for Linux. It allows you to create videos with transitions, effects and adjust audio levels. It supports most formats and codecs.
You can also burn your film to DVD, upload to YouTube or Vimeo, and/or export in many common video formats. OpenShot is simpler than Kdenlive, so if you need a video editor with a simple UI, OpenShot is a good choice.
There is also a neat documentation to get you started with OpenShot.
OpenShot features include:
- Support for a wide range of video, audio, and image formats
- Powerful curve-based Keyframe animations
- Desktop integration with drag and drop support
- Unlimited tracks or layers
- Clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation, and cutting
- Video transitions with real-time previews
- Compositing, image overlays and watermarks
- Title templates, title creation, sub-titles
- Support for 2D animation via image sequences
- 3D animated titles and effects
- SVG friendly for creating and including vector titles and credits
- Scrolling motion picture credits
- Frame accuracy (step through each frame of video)
- Time-mapping and speed changes on clips
- Audio mixing and editing
- Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key, etc.
As with Kdenlive you should find OpenShot in the Software Center. On debian and ubuntu based Linux distros you can use the command:
sudo apt install openshot
LibreOffice Draw is an easy way to edit PDF files. If your needs are limited, Draw will serve your purpose, it is not a full-fledged PDF editor and comes with some limitations e.g. not being able to edit a scanned PDF document (but then who can do that?).
You'll find LibraOffice Draw in the Software Center
LibreOffice is free and open-source. It is a full office suite written in C++, Java and Python. It was released in 2011, by The Document Foundation, and is regarded as a very capable alternative to Microsoft Office Suite, it is regularly updated and is compatible with doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx files (and others).
Lyx - is an open source editor with multiple features. If you're working with scientific documents and the like this is very handy with its formula editor.
It can be downloaded from the AppCenter or Software Center.
Simplenote is a great Evernote alternative available on Linux. The organization behind WordPress (Automattic) developed it and it is maintained and offers the basic note taking features and syncing capabilities across multiple devices. For free!
Laverna is a free and open-source note taking app. It can be utilized as a web-based tool with encryption functionality or be downloaded to your desktop, easy to to use with a decent UI with code highlighting and to-do task lists, which makes life easier.
System optimizer & task manager
Stancer has a good looking UI and agreat list of features. It can help you manage star-tup tasks, clean temporary/cache files, manage running services, uninstall packages and monitor your system resources.
Screen recording and streaming tools
Kazam is a neat tool for screencasting including screenshot support. It is suitable for beginners and for getting the task done quickly without too much faffing around!
Kazam features include:
- Simple and compact user interface
- Supports multiple video output format
- Audio recording from a suitable source (microphone or speaker)
- Support for recording a single window or selected screen area
- Delay timer support
Installation is via terminal:
sudo apt install kazam
Open Broadcaster Software Studio - OBS Studio is probably the most advanced screencasting app available on Linux.
OBS features include:
- Multiple Scenes to switch between seamlessly via custom transitions
- Filters for video sources
- Audio mixer with filters
- Powerful and easy to use configuration options
- Streamlined Settings panel for tweaking configurations
- Live streaming support
Installation is via terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
sudo apt update
sudo apt install obs-studio
Flameshot - powerful screenshot software
Flameshot features include:
- Customization appearance.
- Easy to use.
- In-app screenshot edition.
- DBus interface.
- Upload to Imgur.
Audacity is also an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder
Gimp - whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator or a scientist, GIMP provides you with the tools to get the job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to the many customizable add-on options and 3rd party plug-ins.
Inkscape is certainly an impressive image editor as well. Unlike GIMP, Inkscape comes pre-installed on most of the major Linux distros. It offers a bunch of drawing tools and vector graphics editing capabilities making it a powerful choice to manipulate images as well.
Nextcloud is open-source and operates as a self-hosted file sharing platform with lots of community support and collaboration.
Its functionality is similar to Dropbox or ownCloud so you can use it to sync your files, calendars and other data formats.
Bitwarden is a free and open-source password manager that keeps digital records safe & secure. It has a clean & clear UI and multiple client applications including web interface, desktop, mobiles etc. It can be used jointly and severally by teams, groups or organizations.
Wine, which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, is a compatibility layer which enables its users to run Windows applications on any POSIX-compliant OS.
So Wine integrates Windows apps within Linux desktops by "translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls in real-time which eliminates the performance and memory repercussions of other methods."
I hope that helps and I'll see you in a few days time with Chapter 7 of the Privacy Cookbook featuring Social Media!, now this is going to be fun!