With so many flavours of Linux and the awesome apps in their repositories, finding the right app for getting things done can be tough. In our annual Lifehacker Pack for Linux, we’re highlighting the must-have downloads for better productivity, communication, media management, and more.
The Lifehacker Pack is a yearly snapshot of our favourite, essential applications for each of our favourite platforms. For our always-updating directory of all the best apps, be sure to bookmark our Linux App Directory.
How We Designed the Lifehacker Pack for Linux
Unlike Windows and OS X, Linux isn’t one cohesive entity. There are lots of different distributions of Linux, with different desktop environments to choose from and different apps already built into the system. Some people prefer to use apps tied to their desktop environment, some would rather use the best in class, and some might even prefer to do everything in a terminal. This makes the Lifehacker Pack for Linux hard to curate.
So last year, we added a few more apps to reflect this. In some categories, we’ll list a few of our favourite apps for different desktop environments instead of listing just one — that way, you can decide which you want to use based on your distro and desktop preference. We could never make one pack that fits everyone, but hopefully this is one step closer.
So a few years ago, we haven’t changed much from the 2014 pack — just removed an app or two to keep things neat. Linux development is a bit slower than other platforms, so most of these apps haven’t gone through any huge updates, nor have their competitors. We considered swapping out Kate and Geany for Sublime Text, and VLC for SMPlayer, and even Deluge for qBitTorrent, but at the end of the day, we picked these for a reason—and decided to stick with them rather than changing for the sake of change. As always, much of this is personal preference, so don’t take our recommendations as the only viable options!
a lot more than just launch appshas now been all but abandonedGNOME DodmenuKRunner
favourite text editorEclipseSublime Text 2
save you hours of typingAutoKey fits the bill
Internet and Communication
best IM client aroundEmpathypretty sweet extension library
isn’t our favourite video chat tool
Music, Photos, and Video
handy command line tools
our favourite is definitely digiKam
it can do an awful lot on its own
These days, lots of us have more than just one device. Maybe it’s a Linux machine at home and a Windows computer at work. Or maybe it’s three computers, a smartphone, a tablet, and a netbook running Archbang. Whatever your span of devices, Dropbox is absolutely essential for keeping all your files (and other stuff) in sync. You get 2GB of free space to start, but it’s really easy to load up on extra space for free.
our favourite client is DelugespeedprivacyqBitTorrent
back up to an external drivereally easy to set up
p7zipPeaZip is our pick
Wine’s app database
Terminator will take your command line work to the next levelGuakeYakuake
Title image by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.