Favorite apps you install right after the operating system or can't live without on Linux.

  • Thread starter Deleted member 147986
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Deleted member 147986

Having recently reinstalled my system with Linux Mint 21.1 it became very obvious what was missing right after. Curious to see what apps are must have for other people. What do you install first or can't live without right after installing Linux? Here is my list so far:

kate (text editor with tabs)
k3b (cd/dvd/bluray image creator and burner)
Steam (games store)

chromium (browser)
deluge (bittorrent client)
irssi (irc client)
qbittorrent (bittorrent client)

cpu-x (cpu info)
hashdeep (checksumming and backup auditing)
gparted (partition editor)
htop (terminal process manager)
mc (terminal twin pane file manager)
nemo-gtkhash (gui for checksums)
pixz (multithreaded xz compression)
screen (terminal multiplexer)
tmux (terminal multiplexer)

gamepad and joystick
jstest-gtk (joystick calibration and testing)
qjoypad (remap gamepad/joystick events to keyboard events)

system tools
bluetuith (terminal bluetooth manager fixing bluetooth issues in mint 21.1) https://github.com/darkhz/bluetuith
cpulimit (limit cpu usage of a process)
iotop (terminal list of i/o using processes)
git (version control software)
gsmartcontrol (smart information for storage devices)
gtkstresstesting (stability testing)
iptraf-ng (terminal realtime network monitor)
mdadm (software raid)
nmap (network mapping)
smartmontools (smart information for storage devices)
vnstat (bandwidth usage monitoring)
wireshark (recording and viewing network traffic in detail)

System compatibility
bottles (wine frontend)
dosbox (dos compatibility)
dosbox-x (dos compatibility)
heroic games launcher (wine frontend)
virtualbox (virtual machines)
wine (windows compatibility)

Audio Video
deadbeef (swiss army knife of audio players) https://deadbeef.sourceforge.io/
OBS-Studio (streaming and recording)
MakeMKV (dvd/bluray transcoding)
VLC (video player)

gimp (pixel based drawing)
krita (pixel based drawing)
inkscape (vector based drawing)

Linux Mint 21.1 (Cinnamon)

dead beef


Brave-browser (with the Homey extension, Bitwarden, Grammar Checker, Privacy Badger)
(I do not use sync on Bitwarden)



Video Downloader

catfish File Search

Timeshift (already Installed....Set it up & take first snapshot after installing all of these)



chromium web browser (my backup browser)


Zim Desktop Wiki

Simple Image Reducer


RescueZilla (onto a usb stick)

That's about it. I write a list before I wipe and reinstall/upgrade.

All this makes my PC a "one stop shop" for everything I need
After installing Devuan Live, pysolfc, xshisen, xpat2, are what usually get installed, then only others if needed. ;)
Timeshift (already Installed....Set it up & take first snapshot after installing all of these)

I take one both before and after.

@Insomniac I have a number of yours and a number of Brian's @Condobloke .

If Timeshift is not already installed I install it. (across all 90 distros)

testdisk (particularly for photo recovery)
aisleriot (patience)
kazam (and vokoscreen and obs-studio)
a spare browser or 3. Usually Waterfox, Chromium and Brave, occasionally Vivaldi or Slimjet

Guess I'm the only one not using Timeshift. It never seemed liked a good solution to me. Snapshotting with zfs or btrfs seems easier and less resource intensive, but as it stands I'm still sticking with ext4. Not taking any chances with storage reliability. Instead using rsync to backup to external ssds weekly or more often if needed.
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Caprine and Brasero, and if not already there Timeshift
This thread has been very helpful and informative. Thank you to the OP for starting it and to the others for sharing their knowledge. I know what I like to do with servers, but am still figuring out desktops, so I will sit and watch and learn. I hope to see more posts from others.
  • Steam
  • Proton-GE (community build)
  • ProtonUp-Qt
  • Protontricks
  • DXVK
  • Lutris
  • Yuzu
  • Ryujinx
  • Curseforge
  • Zygor
  • Mumble

  • Discord
  • teams-for-linux
  • Jitsi Meet
  • Signal Desktop
  • Telegram Desktop
  • Zoom

  • VLC
  • Spotify
  • Jellyfin Media Player
  • Plex client

Command-line tools:
  • git
  • zsh and plugins
  • vim
  • htop
  • btop
  • alacritty
  • dnf5
  • powerline-go
  • bind-utils
  • zip/unzip
  • unrar
  • nfs-utils
  • mlocate
  • telnet
  • nmap
  • tcpdump

OS applications and tools:
  • Flatseal
  • Gnome Extension Manager
  • GIMP
  • Libreoffice
  • alacarte
  • Remmina
  • GNUCash
  • Timeshift (for automatic btrfs snapshots)
  • Codium
  • Citrix Workspace App
  • Transmission and Fragments
  • Thunderbird
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Qemu/KVM, libvirt and virt-manager
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I'm summat of a "hoarder" when it comes to software. I re-package/create packages of so much stuff for the Puppy community.....but if I was to set-up a minimal Puppy system, it would probably go something like this:-

SRWare's Iron browser (for NetFlix!) + Pale Moon for general browsing
FreeTube (optional)
The Jitsi video-chat client (and Skype for stubborn relatives!)
Tixati for "torrenting"

SoftMaker's FreeOffice
Foxit's Linux port of their PDF reader
DeaDBeeF - for music & streaming radio (lets me listen to my RadioTunes a/c in a player of MY choice!)
Openshot & mifi's LosslessCut for video editing
VLC & SMPlayer (both have their pros & cons)

gThumb & Viewnior for viewing images
GuvcView for webcam

WINE for running Mooi Tech's PhotoScape (this is where all my desktops get built). Also NextUp's "TextAloud"....

Puppy's native TakeAShot! for screenies
recordMyDesktop for screen-recording - been around for ever, and produces .ogg video output & Theora audio. Both have been around for decades, and date all the way back to Unix days. And nobody will refuse Ogg or Theora.....plus, it's dead simple to use.
A modified TakeAShot, now called TakeAGif! I'll let y'all guess what this gets used for....

Florence virtual keyboard
HardInfo, &
MagDock by JakeSFR - an on-screen magnifier

That would be a minimum system for me.......with maximum functionality. (shrug)

(Whoops! Nearly forgot.....AnyDesk)

I produce 'portable' packages for all but a handful of the above.

Mike. ;)
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In mainstream distros: KeepassX/KeepassXc as it is not always packed for reasons unknown :cool: (I don't really use these distros for any advanced geeky stuff. Mainly using them for a while to see what's what while logging into 2 forums and email and stuff)

In Puppies: Nothing. Every single Pup has everything I need for my every day computing purposes.
I install a couple of browsers, maybe a GUI text editor, and probably get SSH up and running.

After that, I just install stuff when I need it. Or, when I'm curious about it.
:D To "parrophrase" ParrotHome, "In Tiny Core: everything. Every single fresh Tiny Core install has nothing I need for my for my every day computing purposes." :D

Well... I use Tiny Core, so a lot of shtuff that other guys take for granted, I "install right after the OS".

In fact, I -actually- use Micro Core, not Tiny Core, so one of the first things that gets loaded is the GUI, if I plan on using it:

... and whatever dependencies they bring along.

Then the really important stuff:
Epsilon Programmer's Text Editor (*)

Then the almost always stuff:

Then stuff that I usually keep around but don't usually load "onboot":
the gimp
gtm5 (**)
rcs (***)
(I don't use the "ondemand" feature. How hard, really, is it to type "tce-load -i libreoffice"?)

Then whatever else strikes my fancy on any given day. But whatever gets installed, gets installed because -I- want it installed. I never have to think about, "Where did all that bloat come from?" or, "Will something break if I get rid of this?"

(*) Epsilon Programmer's Editor from Lugaru Software. -Not- free software but -so- worth the price. I've been using it, in progressing versions, since about 1985. Installs that don't get epsilon (licensing, you know), get zile because, hey, it beats having to use vi. :eek: I can't distribute this, so there's no .tcz extension for it.

(**) gtm5 - MUMPS language/database from the Tiny Core 1.x repo. Some of my computers are like little museums, so it doesn't matter that the 1.x repo has been taken down. Yeah, that's a .tce extension, not a .tcz - no longer supported, but not hard to manually load as it's really just a tar file.

(***) rcs - Take that, you "git" kiddies! :cool: There's no .tcz extension for this (yet).
First thing I install is synaptic.
Followed by gnome-software , flatpak, snapd.
Packages: 2989 (dpkg), 54 (flatpak), 6 (snap)

Firefox beta (snap)
thunderbird + birdtray
midnight commander
For me it's...
Soundkonverter yes it does have a "K"
XF burn
Google Chrome
Video Downloader
Celluloid and VLC
After installing Devuan Live, pysolfc, xshisen, xpat2, are what usually get installed, then only others if needed. ;)
It's been a pleasure to find another Devuan user out there
Do people here automate those setups or do they use a checklist (mental or otherwise) and install the applications manually? What about system configuration?
If I want duplicate systems on several computers, I install to one of them, add whatever, then remaster it to a new iso/pendrive image, & use that to install to the others - quite easy once you've done it a couple of times. ;)
If I want duplicate systems on several computers, I install to one of them, add whatever, then remaster it to a new iso/pendrive image, & use that to install to the others - quite easy once you've done it a couple of times. ;)
Honestly, right now I am installing a lot of distros, roving around the default interface, and making snap decisions to continue to look or delete it immediately. Next, I look at the software/security update process - GUI (if available) and command line. After that, poke around, decide if it will live for a few days or a week alongside others for comparison ... you get the drill. My current "working" Linux desktop is Linux Mint Cinnamon. I have been running it for a few months after switching from years of Ubuntu. My primary desktop is still Mac, and probably will be for another year or two before switching to Linux full time. I have been learning a lot about Linux desktop usage lately. Much credit goes out to the good people here for their terrific help and for tolerating my eccentricities; a quirky combination of deep knowledge in some areas and almost none in areas that nearly everyone here takes for granted.

I am trying out the different Linux desktops in virtual machines as a side project. It takes little effort to download a distro, (check the signature and/or verify file integrity - always!), boot it in a virtual machine, and enter a few values in the installer. Hide it behind a full screen interface, and you can flip to it whenever you feel like giving it a look. There may be more than one of them running at a time in the background. The first thing I do is disable the screen locks, screensaver, automatic suspends and sleeps, etc. Otherwise, every time I flip to it, I must enter the password again and again. The next thing I do is set up the accounts - no root, admin for configuration and updates, unprivileged user for the working account, etc. ... You get the idea. (Note: This is a test deployment in a safe virtual environment. If it had been a real "production" system, I would have focused on security first - firewall, safe network environment, patches/updates, etc.)

You can tell I am serious about a distro if I take the time to setup the aliases and functions in the dotfiles in the user account, and very serious if I do it in the admin account. Yeah. Lazy. I know. ;-)

A personal setup/installer script or set of scripts is probably more what I would use. Checklists and manual installations take longer but are still quick and easy. The problem is that the distros are very different from one another. Their default packaging and update methods differ, and the desktop environments vary between what types of screen locks and screensaver they use. Some do not include a "Screensaver" Settings interface, for example.

When I was a kid I learned:
Mom: "If you do something three times, automate it."

(Alright, not my mom. ... and yeah, "mum" for the Aussies and @Brickwizard.)
mum" for the Aussies and @Brickwizard.
That's OK, I speak English, American, Aussie/Kiwi, and a bit of Greek, I don't do Turkish, but have been known to speak Jibberish