Firefox 3.1 Beta 1
While the official release of Firefox 3 was the really big news this year, a huge number of early adopters, testers, and, most likely, Linux fans who won't wait for their packages to update sought out the first publicly-available beta of a major improvement package for the open-source browser. When 3.1 officially comes around, expect to see keyword filters on the Awesomebar, "tearing" and previews for tabs, multi-touch for Macbooks, and much more. (Original post)
Dropbox Syncs and Backs Up Files Between Computers Instantaneously
It's certainly not the only online storage biz on the block, but Dropbox's 2GB of free, desktop-based syncing for all three platforms sets it apart from most of the pack. Whether you use it to back up your home directory's important config files or as the ultimate password syncer, it's a seriously handy tool for users of open-source desktops. (Original post)
Gmail Backup Archives Your Email Account
A simple but effective tool for all three platforms, Gmail Backup grabs all your Gmail, Google Apps, or (in Germany) Google Mail messages and backs them up in the Microsoft-read-able .EML format. It's currently got a very simple GUI in the Windows and Linux versions, while (surprisingly) Mac remains command-line-only. Linux users already rocking Thunderbird, though, can use it to back up Gmail. (Original post)
Ubuntu 8.10 Released, Includes Bootable USB Maker
Ubuntu doesn't keep users and the press guessing about when their releases are due out—they almost deliver on the day, and the six-month releases are numbered for their release dates. So in October, we woke up early and auto-refreshed until Ubuntu 8.10 arrived, and found ourselves mostly impressed with its polished edges and user-friendly features.
Songbird 1.0 Release Official, Fixes Bugs, Plays iTunes Purchases
Actually, for Linux users, unfortunately, FairPlay purchases through the iTunes store isn't quite ready for the open-source Songbird music player, but iPod support is fully locked in. And nearly all of the other killer add-ons are there as well, making Songbird a great media solution for any system. (Original post)
Other Top Linux Downloads:
- Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" Released: It was actually a more significant and game-changing distro than 8.10, but maybe that goes to show the increasing number of adopters.
- Fedora 10 Officially Released, Ready for Download: The Red Hat spin-off distribution Fedora is nearly identical in speed to Ubuntu 8.10, and offers a robust set of unique features.
- CrossOver Mac and Linux Products Free Today Only: So popular with our readers, and many, many others, CrossOver's one-day give-away of its Windows-apps-on-Linux suites overwhelmed their servers, but most everyone who signed up got their downloads eventually.
- Wine 1.0 Runs Hundreds of Windows Apps Flawlessly: WINE's 1.0 release was a long time in coming, but that's a good thing. By the time it got "official," the platform for running Windows apps inside Linux (without virtualization or emulation) already supported lots of cool apps.
- RarCrack Opens Protected Archives Without Passwords: Turns out RarCrack, one of our most popular Linux downloads this year, was just what the doctor (okay, readers) ordered: A simple program that busts open password-protected ZIP and RAR files.
What was your favourite Linux download of 2008? Whether it's in the list or found elsewhere, tell us about it in the comments.