In short: A comprehensive list of the best Ubuntu apps for all types of users. Each of these programs is designed to improve your Linux user experience.
I have already written several times about what you need to do right after installing Ubuntu. Each time I suggest installing the necessary applications in Ubuntu.
But the question arises, what are these so-called “core” Ubuntu applications? There is no, nor can there be, an unambiguous answer. It all depends on your subjective needs and the type of activity you are engaged in.
However, some readers have asked me to suggest some good applications for Ubuntu. So I created this exhaustive list.
For convenience, I have divided it into the appropriate categories.
The best Ubuntu apps in every imaginable category
Of course, you don’t have to use all of these apps. Just browse through this list of essential software in Ubuntu, read the description, and then install only what you need or what you want to see in action. And, just in case, save this page in your bookmarks for future reference, or just do a Google search for “The 50 best apps linuxio.ru”.
The list of the best Ubuntu apps is designed for the average Ubuntu user. Therefore, not all of them are open source. Also included in this list are several rather complex applications that may not be suitable for a beginner. The list must be valid for Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, and other versions.
The programs listed here are available in the Ubuntu Software Center, unless I have written otherwise, directly in the application description.
If you don’t find any application in the software center or it doesn’t have an installation guide, let me know and I’ll add a description of the installation procedure to this list.
All right, stop talking, let’s go! Let’s see which apps are best suited for Ubuntu.
Ubuntu comes with Firefox as the default browser. Since the release of Quantum, Firefox has improved significantly. But personally, I always use multiple web browsers to distinguish between different types of work.
Google Chrome is the most frequently used web browser on the internet for a reason. With a Google account, you can easily sync between different devices. A variety of extensions, applications, and plugins further expand its capabilities. You can easily install Google Chrome on Ubuntu.
Google Chrome may be and is the most commonly used web browser, but it violates privacy. As an alternative, I suggest you consider the browser-Brave, which blocks ads and tracking scripts by default, which provides faster and safer web browsing.
In Ubuntu, Rhythmbox is used as the default music player, which in general is not a bad solution for a default player. However, you can definitely choose something better.
Sayonara is a small lightweight music player with a nice dark user interface. It has all the basic features you would expect from a standard music player. It integrates well with the Ubuntu desktop environment and doesn’t take up your RAM.
Audacity is more of an audio editor than an audio player. You can record and edit audio with this free, open source tool. It is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. You can install it from the Software Center.
Picard is not a music player, it’s a music tagger. If you have many local music files, Picard lets you automatically update them by adding the correct track, artist, and album information to them.
Apps for listening to streaming music
In the age of the Internet, the habit of listening to music has certainly changed. These days, people rely more on streaming music services than on storing hundreds of local music files. Let’s see which apps can help with streaming services.
Spotify is the king of streaming music. And the good thing is that it has its own application for Linux. The Spotify app in Ubuntu integrates well with the sound menu, as well as with desktop notifications. Just make sure at the beginning that the Spotify service is exactly available in your country.
Nuvola music player
Nuvola is not a music streaming service like Spotify. It is a desktop music player that allows you to use multiple music streaming services in a single application. You can connect to Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, Amazon Cloud Player, and more.
Ubuntu has a default GNOME video player (formerly known as Totem), and it would be a passable solution if it supported more different media codecs. It’s good that we have an alternative.
A free and open source application, VLC is the king of video players. It supports almost all possible media codecs, allows you to increase the volume up to 200% , and can continue playing from the last known position. There are plenty of lists of tricks and tricks for VLC on the internetthat you can use to get the most out of it.
MPV is a video player that deserves more attention. Elegant, minimalistic graphical interface and a variety of functions, MPV can do everything that a high-quality video player should be able to do in the view of the most meticulous user. You can even use it on the command line. If you are not satisfied with VLC, you should definitely try MPV.
Local backup is fine, but cloud storage gives you an extra degree of freedom. With cloud services, you don’t have to carry a USB key around all the time or worry about a possible hard drive failure.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud service providers. You get 2 GB of free storage with the ability to get more by bringing new users through a referral link. Dropbox provides a native client for Linux, and you can download it from the official website. Dropbox creates a local folder on your system that syncs with the cloud servers.
pCloud is another good cloud storage service for Linux. It also has its own client for Linux, which you can download from the app’s website. You get up to 20 GB of free storage, and if you need more, the prices are more affordable than Dropbox. pCloud is located in Switzerland, a country known for strict data privacy laws.
I’m sure you may need a photo editor one day. Here are some of the best Ubuntu image editing apps.
GIMP is a free, open source image editor available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. This is the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop on Linux at the moment. You can use it for all kinds of image editing, and there are plenty of resources available online to help you with GIMP.
Just like Gimp, Inkscape is a free, open-source image editor specifically focused on vector graphics. You can use it to create vector graphics and logos. You can compare it to Adobe Illustrator for Linux. And, like Gimp, Inkscape also has a variety of tutorials available online.
Drawing apps are not the same as image editors, although some of their functions often overlap. Here are some drawing apps that you can use in Ubuntu.
Krita is a free and open source digital painting application. With it, you can create digital art masterpieces, comics, and animation. This is a professional-level software, which is also used as the main software in art schools.
Pinta may not be as versatile as Krita, but it’s done deliberately. You can think of Pinta as Microsoft Paint for Linux. You can draw, color, add text, and do other simple tasks that you do in drawing apps.
Amateur or professional photographer? There are many photography tools at your disposal. Here are a few recommended apps.
Using the open source digiKam app you can professionally process images from a high-quality camera. digiKam provides all the tools you need to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photos.
Darktable is an open source photo processing application that focuses on processing raw images. This is the best alternative to Adobe Lightroom. It is also available for Windows and macOS.
Linux systems have no shortage of video editors, but I won’t go into details here. Take a look at some of the feature-rich but relatively easy-to-use video editors for Ubuntu.
Kdenlive is the best universal video editor for Linux. It has enough features that can be compared to iMovie or Movie Maker.
Shotcut is another great open source video editor with all the essential features you can only expect from a standard video editor.
Image and video converters
Everyone sometimes needs to convert an image or video from one format to another. Here are a couple of excellent converters for such a case.
Xnconvert is a great tool for batch image conversion. You can massively resize images, convert the file type, and rename them.
HandBrake is an easy-to-use, open-source tool for converting videos from multiple formats to several other modern popular formats.
Tools for taking screenshots and recording the screen
Here are the best Ubuntu apps for taking screenshots and recording your screen.
Shutter is a tool for creating screenshots. You can also quickly edit these screenshots, such as adding arrows, text, or resizing images. The screenshots you see on our website were created and edited using Shutter. Definitely one of the best Ubuntu apps in this category.
Kazam is my favorite screen recoder running on Linux. It’s a tiny tool that lets you record the entire screen, an app window, or a selected area. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to pause or resume recording. The training materials on the LinuxIO YouTube channel were recorded using Kazam.
Office Application Packages
I can’t imagine using a computer without using a text editor. And while we’re at it, why limit ourselves to just one document editor? Choose a full office suite.
LibreOffice is pre-installed on Ubuntu and is undoubtedly the best open source office software. It is a complete package that includes a document editor, a spreadsheet tool, presentation software, a math tool, and a graphical tool. And even some PDF files you can use LibreOffice to edit.
WPS Office has gained popularity as a clone of Microsoft Office. It has an interface identical to Microsoft Office, and is claimed to be more compatible with MS Office. If you are looking for something similar to Microsoft Office, WPS Office is a good choice.
If you frequently download videos or other large files from the Internet, these tools will help you.
This is one of the rare Ubuntu applications on this list that runs from the command line. If you want to download videos from YouTube, DailyMotion, or other video sites, youtube-dl is a great choice. It provides many additional features for downloading videos.
uGet – this is a multi-functional download manager for Linux. It allows you to pause and resume downloads, schedule downloads, and track downloaded content on the clipboard. An ideal tool if you have a slow, unstable internet or a daily data transfer limit.
If you’re into programming, the default Gedit text editor may not be enough for your coding needs. Here are some of the best code editors for you.
Atom is a free, open source code editor from GitHub. Even before the first stable version was released, it became a favorite among programmers because of its user interface, features, and huge number of plugins.
Visual Studio Code
VS Code is an open source editor from Microsoft. Don’t worry about Microsoft’s dubious reputation, VS Code is a great editor for web development that also supports a number of other programming languages.
Applications related to PDF and e-books
In this digital age, you can’t just rely on real paper books, especially when there are so many free e-books available. Here are some Ubuntu applications for managing PDF files and ebooks.
If you are a bibliophile and build your own digital library, you should use Calibre. It is an e-book manager with all the necessary software to create e-books, convert e-book formats, and manage your e-book library.
Okular is basically a program for viewing PDF files with the ability to edit them further. You can do basic editing of PDF files in Linux using Okular, such as adding pop-up notes, embedded notes, drawing lines by hand, placing markers and stamps, and so on.
I assume that you use at least one messenger on Linux. And here are my recommendations on this topic.
Skype is the most popular video chat app. It is also used by many companies and businesses for interviews and meetings. This makes Skype one of the must-have apps for Ubuntu.
Rambox itself is not a messaging app. It’s something like an aggregator that lets you use Skype, Viber, Facebook Messanger, WhatsApp, Slack, and a number of other messaging apps from a single app window.
Notes and To-do List apps”
Do you need a tu-doo sheet or a simple note-taking app? Take a look at these:
Simplenote is a free, open-source note-taking app from the creators of WordPress Automattic. It is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. Your notes are synced to a cloud server, and you can access them on any device. You can download the DEB file from the official website of the program.
Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk is a popular app for creating to-do lists. It is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. Your to-do list is available on all your devices, and you can access it from a web browser. It also has its own official Linux app, which you can download from its website.
Security and Encryption Applications
If other people regularly use your computer, you may want to add an extra layer of security by password-protecting your files and folders.
EncryptPad is an open source text editor that allows you to lock files with a password. You can choose the type of encryption. There is also a command-line version of this tool.
Gnome Encfs Manager
Gnome Encfs Manager allows you to protect folders with a password on Linux. You can store any files in a password-protected folder.
We all remember those dark days when games on Linuxwere a sad sight. It’s a good thing those days are long gone. At the moment, Linux games are much better, and you can enjoy a lot of games without going back to Windows.
Steam — this is a digital distribution platform that allows you to buy (if your desires match your capabilities;) games. Steam has more than 1,500 games for Linux. You can download the Steam client from the Software Center.
PlayOnLinux allows you to run Windows games on Linux on top of the WINE compatibility layer. Don’t expect too much from it, because not every game will work flawlessly with PlayOnLinux.
Package Managers [intermediate to advanced]
The Ubuntu Software Center is more than enough to meet the needs of the average Ubuntu user, but you can gain more control with these apps.
Gedbi is a tiny package manager that you can use to install DEB files. It is faster than the default software center and also solves dependency issues.
Synaptic was the default GUI package manager for most Linux distributions a decade ago. It is still available in some Linux distributions. This powerful package manager is especially useful when searching for installed apps and deleting them.
Backup and Restore tools
Backup and restore tools are, in my humble opinion, a must-have software for any system. Let’s see what software you need to install on Ubuntu.
Timeshift is a tool that allows you to take a snapshot of your system. This will allow you to roll back to the previous state of your system in the event of some incident that caused your system configuration to be broken. Please note that this is not the best tool for backing up your personal data. In this case, it is better to use the default tool Deja Dup Ubuntu (also known as Backups).
TestDisk [for advanced users]
This is another command-line tool on this list of the best Ubuntu apps. TestDisk allows you to recover data in Linux. If you accidentally deleted the files, there is a chance that you will be able to get them back using TestDisk.
System configuration and management tools
GNOME / Unity Configuration Tool
These configuration tools are essential for every Ubuntu user. They allow you to access some advanced system settings. And the cherry on the cake — you will be able to change the theme in Ubuntu with these tools.
UFW is an abbreviation that stands for Uncomplicated Firewall, which translates into Russian as a simple firewall, and this is correct. UFW has preset firewall settings for home, work, and public networks.
If you want to free up space on Ubuntu, try Stacer. It is a GUI tool that allows you to optimize your Ubuntu system by removing unnecessary files and completely removing the software. Download Stacer from its website.
At the end, I’ll list some of my favorite Ubuntu apps that I’ve never been able to place in any particular category.
Another command line tool! Neofetch displays your system information such as Ubuntu version, desktop environment, theme, icons, RAM, etc.
It also draws the logo of your distribution using ASCII characters directly in the terminal window. Like this.
Isn’t it cute?
Use this command to install Neofetch.
sudo apt install neofetch
Ubuntu already has a tool for creating so-called live USB devices, but Etcher is the best application for this task. It is also available for Windows and macOS. You can download it from its website.
I use this tiny tool for the sole purpose of converting images to PDF. You can also use it to combine multiple images into a single PDF file.
Another tiny but important Ubuntu audio recording app. You can use it to record audio from your system microphone, music player, or any other source.
What are your suggestions for the main Ubuntu applications?
With this, I would like to conclude my list of the best apps for Ubuntu. Most likely, many of you will not need everything that is presented here, but I am sure that you will like everything that you will use.
Have you found useful apps that you didn’t know about before in this top? And if you had to suggest your favorite app for this list, what kind of app would it be?
After all, if you find this article useful, share it on social media, Reddit, Hacker News, or other communities or forums you regularly visit. So you will help us to grow and develop 🙂