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One of the common misconceptions about Linux is that there isn't a lot of software available. This of course is totally untrue. You won't find many software titles for Linux in your local computer store however there is definitely a large selection available online. Below you will find a list of various popular software titles for Linux, the majority of them are open source projects and are free.

We have tried our best to include the popular software titles below however please keep in mind that there are thousands upon thousands of titles and maintaining an up-to-date list is beyond the scope of Linux Help. If your thirst is not satisfied by this page please try searching one of the software repositories listed below. If you would like to have software added to this list simply contact us.

Most of the software listed below can be downloaded from the following software repositories.





Audio / Video

  • BladeENC is a MP3 encoder for Linux.

  • CDParanoia extracts audio from compact discs directly as data and writes them to a file in either WAV, AIFC, AIFC or raw 16 bit linear PCM. You can then use an encoding tool to turn them into MP3's.

  • mpg123 mpg123 is a real time MPEG Audio Player for Layer 1,2 and Layer3. (MPEG 2.0 with Layer1/2 not heavily tested) Tested with Linux, FreeBSD, SunOS4.1.3, Solaris 2.5, HPUX 9.x and SGI Irix. Note: this player is for non-commercial use only. It is a great player for the console/terminal environment. It's also a wise choice for systems that are lacking RAM.

  • Mplayer is a movie player for LINUX (runs on many other Unices, and non-x86 CPUs, see the documentation). It plays most MPEG, VOB, AVI, OGG/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, FLI, RM, NuppelVideo, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies, too (without the avifile library).

  • Xine is a free multimedia player. It plays back CDs, DVDs, and VCDs. It also decodes multimedia files like AVI, MOV, WMV, and MP3 from local disk drives, and displays multimedia streamed over the Internet. It interprets many of the most common multimedia formats available - and some of the most uncommon formats, too.

  • XMMS is a grapical MP3 player for Linux that looks pretty similar to Winamp. XMMS supports playlists and skins.

Games

  • Hopkins FBI is a game drawing on American comic-strip cartoons. It is an adventure game which offers many 3D cinematics scenes, hand drawn animations, sounds and great musics. Special Agent Hopkins has just been put on the biggest case of his life : find and kill Bernie Berkson, the most vicious and dangerous criminal in years. Hostage showdowns, murders terrorist acts: Special Agent Hopkins has to get around a nightmare of traps and twisted surprises in the course of his investigations if he wants to find Berkson and save the planet form certain doomsday.

  • Linux Half-Life

  • Quake (v. 1, 2 & 3) is available for Linux. If you already have Quake for windows you can simply download the Linux executables from http://www.linuxquake.com.

Instant Message / IRC Clients & Tools

  • BNC is a simple program designed to Proxy IRC sessions. It is user configurable using the file bnc.conf and includes multiple users, passwords, logging and other basic necessities. It also has virtual host support, a non-spawning daemon, with a supervisor mode for seeing who is on the proxy and killing users on the proxy.

  • BitchX is a very popular console based IRC client for Linux. It has a ton of built in features such as flood protection, nick completion, an away system, and more.

  • Eggdrop Bots are very popular on the EFnet IRC Network. They run in the background and sit in a designated IRC Channel and provide OPs, enforce bans and other neat features. There are also hundreds of tcl scripts that can add usefull features.

  • Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM (Oscar and TOC protocols), ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr networks. Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

  • IRC Servers

  • Licq is a multi-threaded ICQ clone written mostly in C++. It uses an extensive plugin system to manage many different functions. The main gui is written using the Qt widget set. Licq is distributed under GPL with some special QPL exceptions for Qt. is another version of ICQ built that uses the QT toolkit. To run Licq you must have QT installed.

  • Kicq is an ICQ (I seek you) client, specifically designed for the KDE desktop. kicq has a simple, clean interface very similar to the original Windows ICQ client, and includes all of the most commonly used ICQ features such as messaging, real-time chat, and file transfer.

  • Xchat is a graphical IRC client. It runs under the X Window System and uses the GTK+ toolkit. Optionally it can be compiled to use Gnome.

Internet Connectivity

  • Eznet is a program that simplifies PPP setup for Linux. Using eznet, all a user has to do is specify the name of their ISP, a login name, a password and a phone number to dial. Eznet takes care of the rest. There are no configuration files to edit and no chat scripts to design.

  • kppp is a dialer and front end for pppd. It allows for interactive script generation and network connection setup.

  • ppp-up is a simple chatscript that will get you connected to your ISP fast. It comes with an easy-to-follow guide.

  • rp-pppoe is a very popular PPPoE client. This is great for those of you who have ADSL and need a PPPoE to connect to your ISP.

  • X-ISP is a visual, X11/XForms based, user-friendly interface to pppd/chat, i.e. a dialup TCP/IP tool with an X11 interface. It is also a small ISP and phone company (PTT) database manager, and a dialup costs and usage logging/statistics tool. It provides maximum feedback from dialing and login phases on a message browser, versatility in interrupting a call in progress, a manual login terminal window, as well as call-back and per-ISP DNS selection capabilities.

Miscellaneous

  • Eterm is a color vt102 terminal emulator intended as a replacement for xterm. It is designed with a Freedom of Choice philosophy, leaving as much power, flexibility, and freedom as possible in the hands of the user. It is designed to look good and work well, but takes a feature-rich approach rather than one of minimalism while still maintaining speed and efficiency.

  • Gnutella is a popular file sharing program. When you run Gnutella software and connect to the Gnutella Network, you bring with you the information you wanted to make public. And you choose what information to share. You can choose to share nothing; you can choose to share one file, a directory, or your entire hard drive (we do not recommend this option).

  • Pine is a great mail client that comes bundled with a simple to use text editor called pico.

  • The Gimp is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

  • Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. Think of Wine as a Windows compatibility layer. Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely alternative implementation consisting of 100% Microsoft-free code, but it can optionally use native system DLLs if they are available. Wine provides both a development toolkit (Winelib) for porting Windows sources to Unix and a program loader, allowing many unmodified Windows binaries to run on x86-based Unixes, including Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.

Office / Productivity

  • Abiword is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for typing papers, letters, reports, memos, and so forth.

  • Adobe Acrobat allows you to view, navigate and print .pdf files.

  • Phone Book is a great little program that allows you keep track of all your phone numbers and addresses. It's simple to use and quick to look up numbers.

  • OpenOffice gives you everything you'd expect in office software. You can create dynamic documents, analyse data, design eye-catching presentations, produce dramatic illustrations, and open up your databases. You can publish your work in Portable Document Format (.pdf), and release your graphics in Flash (.swf) format - without needing any additional software. International users are not forgotten, with support for complex text layout (CTL) languages (such as Thai, Hindi, Arabic, and Hebrew) and vertical writing languages.

  • Ximian Evolution is the award-winning personal and workgroup information management solution for Linux and UNIX-based systems. The software seamlessly integrates email, calendaring, meeting scheduling, contact management, and task lists, in one powerful, fast, and easy-to-use application. Ximian Evolution is also powerful collaboration software that connects to popular corporate communications architectures like Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, and other messaging systems. Ximian Evolution supports a broad range of leading Linux distributions and UNIX variants.

  • Xpdf is an open source viewer for Portable Document Format (PDF) files. (These are also sometimes also called 'Acrobat' files, from the name of Adobe's PDF software.) The Xpdf project also includes a PDF text extractor, PDF-to-PostScript converter, and various other utilities.

Server Software / Tools

  • Analog is a program to measure the usage on your web server. It tells you which pages are most popular, which countries people are visiting from, which sites they tried to follow broken links from, and all sorts of other useful information.

  • Apache is the defacto-standard web server for Unix. It has support for SSL, Server Side Includes, plug-ins, database APIs, and various other extensions.

  • mySQL is a true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database server. SQL is the most popular database language in the world. MySQL is a client/server implementation that consists of a server daemon mysqld and many different client programs and libraries.

  • PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

  • ProFTPd is a great FTP server and a more secure replacement for wu-ftpd. ProFTPd also has an easy to follow configuration file.

  • OpenSSH is a FREE version of the SSH protocol suite of network connectivity tools that increasing numbers of people on the Internet are coming to rely on. Many users of telnet, rlogin, ftp, and other such programs might not realize that their password is transmitted across the Internet unencrypted, but it is. OpenSSH encrypts all traffic (including passwords) to effectively eliminate eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other network-level attacks. Additionally, OpenSSH provides a myriad of secure tunneling capabilities, as well as a variety of authentication methods.

  • Qmail is a secure mail server. It seems to be a little difficult to set up, but in the end it's worth it.

  • Sendmail is an easy to configure mail server. It generally comes with most Linux distributions.

  • Tripwire is a must have for anyone who is big on system security. Tripwire will watch your system for any critical changes to system files and email you which ones have changed etc.

Web Browsers

  • Galeon is a GNOME Web browser that is based on Gecko.

  • Konqueror is a web browser that normally comes packaged with the KDE desktop.

  • Links is a text-based browser with support for HTML tables and frames.

  • Lynx is another popular text-only web browser.

  • Mozilla is world-class open source browser that is designed from the ground up to support open internet standards across a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2, Solaris, and many more. Mozilla provides users with acclaimed browsing convenience along with power features such as pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing. Mozilla also provides a sophisticated platform for developing web and intranet applications using cutting edge technologies such as XML, SOAP and XSLT. Mozilla is an open-source web browser and toolkit, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability. Mozilla.org provides binaries for testing and feedback.

  • Netscape

  • Opera has been hailed as the fastest browser on earth by users and press worldwide. Opera uses less memory and less space on your hard drive than competing browser applications, making you more productive on the Web.

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