Canonical’s Ubuntu & Kubuntu distros are loaded with great software and utilities. There are, however, a bunch of great tools that are not included in their standard installations. Aside from Skype, all of these tools can easily be added by going to your download package manager (in Ubuntu, Synaptic) and search for the program names.
We’ve compiled a list of the must-have software that can be added on after installation.
Voip – (Voice over IP)
Get Skype – It works great in Linux. Their Linux version isn’t as full with bells and whistles a their Windows version, but it works great and all the essential functions are there. Even better, skype is in the 64 bit software repository for Ubuntu, so a simple terminal command will get you up and running. First, you’ll need the Medibuntu repository.
sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/`lsb_release -cs`.list –output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list; sudo apt-get -q update; sudo apt-get –yes -q –allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring; sudo apt-get -q update
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update
Then install Skype
sudo apt-get install skype
Do you need to run Windows software on Linux? If so, you’ll want to run Wine
sudo apt-get install wine
Edubuntu is the Ubuntu distro aimed at K-8 and highschools. You may want to download some of the great educational tools they have included in that distro into your very Ubuntu.
Kalzium – Periodic table of elements
Kbruch – A great math game / skills test. The kids (and adults) will have a lot of fun with this. This is a KDE tool, but it works great on my Gnome Ubuntu
Khangman – A simple but effective visual hangman game to encourage your kids to practice their spelling. Comes with nice background choices and hints.
Tuxpaint – Tux Paint is a drawing program aimed at younger kids. It includes audio sounds integrated with the actions being drawn. For example, you can “stamp” a frog on the screen and hear the sound that a frog makes too.
Tux Typing – A nice typing tutor that adds a space-invader type arcade game. You save the Linux penguin from being smothered by the falling words by correctly typing them.
Tux Math – A nice game / math learning tool integration.
It’s amazing that all these tools are open-source. Grab then now and make Ubuntu that fun learning tool you always wanted for your kids.
Gimp – This is the Linux world’s answer to Adobe Photoshop. What’s better is that it’s free! This tool is so rich and includes so many wonderful add-ons and plug-ins, it’s nearly impossible to describe just how great it really is. If you need a graphics package, get Gimp! I also recommend adding the animation plug-ins for 3D graphics. There are plug-ins for many of your favorite Photoshop filters and for saving as a web optimized file.
Sound & Video
Kstreamripper Not enough can be said about this simple “dark horse” tool. How many Linux users know of its existence? The display is quite spartan, but the results are excellent. You add the URL for an audio stream. Preferably, Shoutcast, or some other stream that displays song information while its playing. Kstreamripper takes the feed and splices it up into MP3 files in your chosen directory, and injects the song information to the song’s tag and filename. This is also a KDE tool, but it works great in Kubuntu and Ubuntu.