September 29, 2003

What are your top 10 Linux desktop apps?

- by Joe Barr -
What would you choose as your top 10 favorite desktop apps for Linux? Here are mine. Please feel free to disagree, but don't just flame my picks, explain why yours are better.

Email is king when it comes to my desktop, and Evolution is the best I've found. I like the virtual folders, multiple accounts, search capabilities, speed, and looks. There is very little I don't like about Evolution. That's why it's number one with me.

Digital photos are big with me, too. That's why the GIMP, gPhoto, and GQview are all on my top ten list occupying the number 2, 6, and 8 spots.

For my word processing needs, I look to I know. It's not as fast or as polished as StarOffice, but not only does it do everything I need an office suite to do, it's free. That makes it number 3 on my list.

I've been a fan of gnumeric for several years. It's still my favorite spreadsheet for Linux. It weighs in at number 4. Browsers are a different story. I've switched several times, most recently away from Galeon. These days it's Mozilla for me, and it ranks 5th overall.

Number 7 is a game. All work and no play, you know. This little jewel has been played about 75 million times since it was released earlier this year. It's not free as in speech, but Id made it free as in beer. Enemy Territory is great for killing. Time, that is.

My 9th and 10th picks are new apps. New to me, at least. Number 9 is tvtime, a really nifty Linux TV program with spectacular performance. Good enough to hook your game console's TV out up to your TV card and play at the PC, too. And in 10th spot, good enough to rank higher if only I used it more, is Scribus, the great new DTP program for Linux.

OK, those are my picks. Of course your own personal top ten are going to be driven by how you use your Linux desktop, not how I use mine.

Here are mine again, this time in order.

1. Evolution
2. the Gimp
4. Gnumeric

5. Mozilla
6. Gphoto
7. Enemy Territory
8. GQview
9. tvtime
10. Scribus

Joe Barr has been writing about personal computing for 10 years, and about Linux for five. His work has appeared in IBM Personal Systems Journal, LinuxGazette, LinuxWorld, Newsforge, phrack, SecurityFocus,, and He is the founder of The Dweebspeak Primer, home of the official newsletter of the Linux Liberation Army, an organization in which he holds the honorary rank of Corporal-for-life.


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