andEs Corner: My favourite linux apps

Hope this might be interesting to somebody else – if not it will simply help me remember what I am using on my linux boxes ;-).

Mostly this is focused on my eeepc but is also more and more valid for my desktop as I see my favourite apps converging.
On my eeepc I am currently running Linux Mint Fluxbox edition V8. So I am also on the look-out for non-KDE and non-gnome applications. My desktop is still using gnome but I am considering a move to LXDE to make things faster.
This list is something that keeps evolving as the opensource world keeps coming up with an even better app to do the job – where I often thought I was totally happy with the solution I had. Also, sometimes a newer version comes along from an app I tried and gave up on (e.g. evolution where version 2.28 got rid of some of the problems I had had with 2.26 and beat thunderbird to become my PIM of choice – especially after performance problems with thunderbird’s lightning – esp. in TB 3.x). But on top of this there is a handy set of “mini apps” that use the evolution database but with a very simplified view and focus on doing one part of the PIM story well, and to fit the concept the apps have simple obvious names: contacts, tasks and dates. I use only really contacts as a VERY quick address book. Dates still seems to have a problem with timezone settings and I don’t use the todo functionality of a PIM as I am using Zim for this.

Note taking / personal wiki: zim. I also use this to track my todos. Chosen as it is available also on windows and because it just works. I also use it for the draft version of my blog.

Journal/diary: for just clearing my head of thoughts and a little bit of a diary I am using Rednotebook. Maybe I will start using this more than zim in the future but as I just found this I am still working out how and when to fit this into my life.

Flegita replaced xsane for scanning. Much more compact if not quite as powerful (only scans into .png files but if I need to I can use imagemagick to convert to jpg).

GCStar the application I have used to meticulously catalogue my downloaded film collection. It is definitely worth doing this as I see my online catalogue growing slowly towards the 1TB limit of my NAS I cannot think now of living without this. So start as soon as you can – catching up later (as I found out) is a PAIN. GCstar works perfectly for my needs (basically I can add comments & genre (as I see fit – not tied into pre-defined genres) and of course mark as seen or not – these are my biggest requirements but you should also check yours. Of course there is a download from (and others) for initial reviews.

Photo viewer: here I keep going round and round in circles and cannot make my mind up what I want. Whilst picasa is the outright clear winner on my desktop I have just moved back to gthumb on my eeepc after trying shotwell (took up too much cache with no way to stop caching & and had no zoom), solang (too unstable in V0.3) and also picasa (too big for my eeepc). I still have picasa installed on my desktop as I also use the upload to web feature there. I still have gpicview installed for really quick viewing and zoom.

Graphical editing: the simple solution is mtpaint – much better for my eeepc than gimp and has the functions I most regularly need and 10% of the footprint. I still have gimp installed on my desktop for more complex graphical design. Also uninstalled gnupaint which was no longer needed.

Music player: exaile. Is getting better and better although the crossfading seems not to work yet – or not consistent. I still prefer to all but amarok but on my eeepc I don’t want the kde libs installed.

Conky is a cool little tool for monitoring my pc – I use it for diskspace, CPU & RAM usage, network traffic and also battery. It put’s it output onto the desktop and is AMAZINGLY configurable.

Keepassx is still my password & PIN manager.
Guake is my terminal of preference.

Ok, office remains open office. I have gnumeric installed but only cos of ssindex which is needed for beagle to find stuff on my linux PCs. On top of this planner for my project planning and Dia for flowchart & visio type stuff.

Dictionary I am using starDict and have installed English, English to German and indonesian dictionaries that I need for work. Would like some more dictionaries (e.g. Indonesian and German to English) but otherwise love it.

Search: well beagle is not perfect but the only one to really find everything without needing an index as big as the data I am indexing (the only problem with recoll). I am not totally happy with beagle here but I still need to mess around a bit more to make it work as intended.

Programming editing: ok, programming is a bit of an exageration but editing html is done with bluefish. Simple and lightweight.

Filezilla for FTPing, galculator for calculator (10% of the size of GCalcTool but containing all the functionality that I ever use), mousepad text editor (although I usually use vi), nautilus file manager (with dropbox plugin), gsopcast for my online footie, idesk for my desktop, gsimplecal for my pulldown calendar (just replaced orage), VolumeIcon for volume control, xfce-power-manager, unetbootin to make bootable usb drives, skype, syncevolution for PIM sync, rsync as basis for my own backup scripts, wicd network manager and just about to install vpnc for vpn access to my work network, Firefox for browsing (see my previous blog about this), pidgin IM although I did take a quick look at empathy but there was too much gnome included in it.

And finally, my current project is remote access / control of my desktop and currently got vinagre for vnc access but not yet happy and so trying qtnx/freenx. I want to do this currently simply to control exaile running on my desktop from the patio where the wireless speakers usually are during the summer.

As I said at the beginning, I expect this list to keep changing as the open source world is changing SO fast. I would also love to know what you are using so that maybe I can find some new apps.


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