Did you recently move from a Windows operating system (OS) and its native applications to Ubuntu and its applications? Are you wondering how to benefit from the best Linux apps on offer and still get the same functionality you had with your Windows apps?

There is no need to worry. Linux continues to become more user-friendly with its open-source platform and the contributions of the developer community. 

Below are several Linux applications and utility programs that you can install to improve your Ubuntu user experience. 

Music Players

We listen to music on our computers to pass the time, help us concentrate, and increase our motivation. Below are a few of the most popular Ubuntu music players.

Clementine

Clementine is a multi-platform modern music player and a library organizer to search for and play your favorite music quickly and easily.

Clementine is more than just a music player. It offers a variety of other features including the ability to:

  • Create playlists
  • Customize the interface
  • Stream music from various sources such as online distribution serves and radio stations
  • Upload music files to various Cloud storage platforms 

Organize and search your saved music library, play CDs, download missing album art from Last.fm and Amazon, and use an Android phone as a remote control device. The Clementine Music Player improves and enhances your listening experience.

Other popular music players for Ubuntu include:

  • Rhythmbox, the default music player for Ubuntu 
  • CMUS, a small, fast, and powerful console music player
  • Audacious, a lightweight and low resource audio player

Image Tools

Many people think they need to use Mac or Windows to have access to the best image editing tools. However, Linux has plenty of options. 

GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a Linux alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is free and can be used to edit, resize, retouch, and apply other special effects to images.

GIMP is an open-source app that has many of the same features as Photoshop. There are even some Photoshop plugins you can use.

Besides being the most popular image editing app for Ubuntu, GIMP has another significant benefit. By default, GIMP takes up less than 100MB on your system and is especially helpful if you are running out of disk space.

There are several other free and open-source image tools for Ubuntu, including:

  • Inkscape, a vector graphics editor
  • Krita, a graphics editor with sketching tools and advanced digital painting
  • As an alternative to Microsoft Paint, Pinta enables users to draw and manipulate images

Browsers

The default browser for Ubuntu is Firefox. Google Chrome is the most used web browser on the Internet. However, many are concerned about their privacy. Brave is an alternative browser that blocks tracking scripts and ads by default.

Document Handling

There are several management and storage tools for Linux used to increase workspace productivity.

LogicalDOC

LogicalDOC is a document management tool for Linux. It offers four different options depending upon your needs.

The free and open-source version is called the Community Edition. It doesn’t provide all the features of the paid versions, but it does offer:

  • Advanced search
  • Access control
  • Integration extensions for WordPress and Joomla
  • Web-based user interface

If you want additional functionality, look at the comparison chart for this version, Business, Enterprise, and Cloud editions. You will need to provide a MySQL database for the application to store the data. If you don’t have MySQL, you must install it.

Other document management tools for Linux include:

  • Alfresco, a java-based document management program with open source and Enterprise editions
  • Bitrix24, a document management solution that tracks activity, enables chat, and manages projects and tasks
  • OpenKM (JAVA-based) offers a web UI, records management, integration with other services, and task automation

Maintenance & Disk Utilities

To keep your machine in tip-top shape, you should perform system maintenance such as deleting cookies, removing logs, and shredding temporary files.

BleachBit

Delete unnecessary files from the system with BleachBit to protect privacy, free valuable disk space, and remove junk.

The software removes cookies, broken shortcuts, Internet history, cache, and temporary files. Other maintenance and disk utility Linux apps are:

  • Ubuntu Cleaner, easy to configure, removes private information, and frees up disk space
  • Stacer, a monitoring tool and a system optimizer that also cleans application logs, crash and application caches, and empties trash.
  • GtkOrphan, a graphical tool that will find and remove orphaned libraries

Cloud Storage & Syncing

Although there are many available options on the market to store your valuable data on cloud storage, some of these programs have restrictions regarding privacy and user control over files. 

Linux offers several cloud storage solutions to enable you to store your data securely.

OwnCloud

One of the most popular and largest open-source community-driven cloud storage software is OwnCloud. It is a Linux replacement for Dropbox and a self-hosted share and sync server with access to unlimited storage space.

Other features include content sharing across URLs, file storage and encryption, and one-click app installation.

Other Ubuntu cloud storage and syncing programs include:

  • Nextcloud where you can share multiple folders and files and sync them with your Nextcloud server
  • GlusterFS, a scalable network-attached file storage system
  • Seafile, a free and open-source file hosting and collaboration platform that enables online document editing, and keeps versions of files and snapshots of folders to restore to a previous version

Best Video Linux Apps

There are a variety of video apps available to Linux users.

VLC

VLC is a portable multimedia player that supports various video and audio formats, VCDs, DVDs, and different streaming protocols without needing additional codecs.

VLC has many other features, including a responsive and clean UI, multiple audio streams, and extensive theme options.

Other video utility programs include:

  • Shotcut, a cross-platform video editor that supports a wide range of video formats
  • Peek, a lightweight screen recording app that turns your videos into GIF animations
  • OpenShot, a video software app that supports all media formats and offers cutting, trimming, cropping, and snapping functionality

Messaging

Messaging has become a part of our daily lives, both personally and professionally. There is no shortage of Linux app options.  

Telegram

If you are looking for an open-source messaging application for Linux that is similar to WhatsApp, Telegram is very popular.

Telegram works seamlessly and looks good on the Linux desktop.

Other message apps include:

  • Signal, a native Linux desktop client with a focus on security and privacy
  • Wickr, a popular, secure texting app that is free for up to ten team members (premium options available) 
  • Wire, an open-source alternative to Slack

Security

Keeping your Linux system secure is necessary to protect your data. Basic system security includes using passwords that are difficult to guess, regular backups, and removing services you don’t use or need.

Archery

Archery is a robust vulnerability assessment and security management tool.

With Archery, you can manage:

  • Vulnerability from multiple scanners
  • All static scans and detects risks
  • Risk management and compliance

Web scan results show the data visually on a dashboard to help web application risk assessment.

Several other essential security Linux apps include:

  • Privacy Badger, a security app that blocks invisible trackers and spying ads
  • Radare2, a popular Linux security tool used to explore firmware, any type of binary files, or malware
  • Intrigue, a Linux security utility used to discover the attack surface related to vulnerability, security research, and applications and infrastructure

Gaming

If you like to play games, there are tons you can install for free on Linux as Snap apps from the official Snapcraft store.

SuperTuxKart

SuperTuxKart is a free kart racing game with great graphics, a diverse set of tracks, and a collection of karts and characters from which to choose.

Some other fun games include: 

  • Live for Speed, a racing simulator game and the nearest thing to sitting in the driver’s seat of an actual car
  • Fill up a few minutes of time or let your kids play Oh My Giraffe where you are a giraffe who likes to eat fruit while outrunning some sleepy lions
  • M.A.R.S., a 2D space shooter with cool visual effects

Many users who switch operating systems (OS) after using a different one for a long time, often find it challenging to find the best alternative in the new OS.

Luckily for those switching to Linux Ubuntu, there are thousands of open-source and free to use application software programs so you can find the best Linux apps that matches your needs.