A piece of my mind

17 (not really) Must-Have Free Apps for New Ubuntu Users

I was emailed by Free Geekery, he told me that he wrote an article about 17 Must-Have Free Apps for New Ubuntu Users. He told me that his post might be interesting for my blog readers and asking me to give feedback about his posting. Because I can’t give comment on his post so I just give comment to his post in here. For all of you please read his post here, it’s quite a good article.

Ok, here’s the feedback from me.

  1. Alltray, it’s worth to try, but I don’t think this is a must-have. Note: Alltray don’t work if you’re using Beryl+XGL (If any of you can make it work, please let me know)
  2. amaroK, it’s a must-have for music enthusiast. But I’ll stick with Rhythmbox for the moment.
  3. Automatix2, well Automatix2 will make it easier for you to install certain applications, but I don’t recommend this for new users. Why? Because a lot of user mess up his/her system by using Automatix. And it will make it hard if you want to upgrade to newer version of Ubuntu. CMIIW.
  4. Beagle, it’s a must for people who needs faster searching for documents, media, email, and everything else. I still don’t use it though.
  5. Beryl 0.2.1, well it’s not a must have for new users. Because it’s still in early stage I don’t recommend new users to install Beryl. In Ubuntu 7.04 you already have desktop effects (it uses compiz). Unless you want to show off to other people :p . Note: Beryl 0.2.1 in Ubuntu repos don’t work with my ATI, so I have to use Beryl repos to install Beryl 0.2.0
  6. CheckGmail 1.11, it’s a must have for people who use Gmail and who don’t use the POP features of Gmail. I prefer use my email client to POP my email from Gmail.
  7. Cinlerra, not all users of Ubuntu need to capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video. So I don’t think this is a must-have application. If you want to create/edit multimedia files, check the ubuntu-studio package in Ubuntu repos.
  8. Deluge 0.5.0, for all of you who likes to download from torrent, I will also recomend deluge as your torrent downloader.
  9. Flash, flash plugin is a must have for people who likes to browse the web that uses flash.
  10. Gimp, it’s already installed by default :D
  11. Gnomebaker, burn baby burn… good application for burning CD/DVD. But I’m using K3B for now.
  12. KMyMoney, it’s a must-have for people who likes to manage his/her money. I’m using it, but I still prefer GnuCash.
  13. MythTV, it’s a must have for people who wants to have a Media Center in his/her Linux box. I haven’t tried it though.
  14. Opera 9 Browser, although Ubuntu already installed Firefox by default, it’s still handy to have Opera ready in your Linux box.
  15. Scribes, this one is a matter of choice. For simple text editing I’ll stick to gedit for now.
  16. Thunderbird 2.0, again it’s a matter of choice. But for you who always use Thunderbird for email client, this is a must have. Note: you have to install it manually because Thunderbird 2.0 is not available in Ubuntu repos yet.
  17. VLC 0.8.6b, this is a must have media player in my opinion.

But again, the choice of applications that you want to use is up to you, based on needs and a matter of choice.


  1. Kristoffer Bergström Kristoffer Bergström
    Tue, 8 May 2007    

    You can use alltray with beryl etc if you start the program together eith alltray. It’s just the window choosing that doesn’t work.
    Eg. “alltray gnome-terminal”

  2. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    @ Kristoffer
    Thank you for your tips, it works. I’ve updated my post.

  3. Dave Morley Dave Morley
    Tue, 8 May 2007    

    Try Brasero as a gtk+ alternative to K3b. It’s faster but currently doesn’t have all the features that K3b has. Most of the basic features for burning are there though.

  4. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    I got the same email from that website asking if I would review their list. They just want links built up to their site… I didn’t review the list because I thought it was a crappy list. Automatix should never be used. Or, at least don’t expect any support from anyone but them if you do use it.

  5. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    2) forget about amaroK and get quod libet already.

  6. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    I agree on Brasero (d’oh forgot to install that one on my Feisty). Its better than Gnome Baker.

    For media player I’m currently using Banshee (I’m a gtk+ fan but yeah, Amarok is hot). Its mono-based, but mono is default on Feisty anyway.

    About Automatix, yes I think that should never be used. That’s my oppinion anyway. I prefer getting my stuffs manually from the official repos when available.

    By the way, I have a small suggestion, why not add the package name of the applications. That way users will know how to install the listed apps through Synaptic.

  7. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    About automatix2 I think that the people is talking too much about that project in a bad way without even -it seems- tested it for themselfs.

    Automatix only installs things that are in universe and third party repos, they don’t own any repo. Sometimes I check what repos they’ve added to my sources.list and I realize that the only add ONE, you know why? because I have all universe repos enabled.

    They’ve made mistakes in the past, I don’t know what nor when: the popular opinion says that it have been that way, but please don’t repeat the “mess your system” thing again and again without even tested the program in his latest version.

  8. Corey Woodworth Corey Woodworth
    Tue, 8 May 2007    

    This is kinda a wierd list:
    This is cool but I don’t use or need it
    This is cool but I havn’t even tried it
    This is cool but its already installed
    This is cool but it’ll prolly b0rk your system
    I’m just saying, why not recommend software you actually recommend?

  9. Scott K Scott K
    Tue, 8 May 2007    

    Weeber: I’ve looked at the source for the current release of automatix. I don’t have to run it to know that sigkilling dpkg is a bad thing. One can say that automatix doesn’t do X bad thing they used to do and be correct, but it appears to me based on source inspection that it doesn’t really work with or respect the packaging system. Additionally, it does install files in non-standard locations. Just because it worked for you, doesn’t make it a well designed system. You won’t really know if it worked for you until after your next upgrade.

  10. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    @ Chister Edwards
    That’s why I review that list so it will not misleading the new users.

    @ ak
    I will update it, thanks

    @ Corey Woodworth
    I review that list because I can’t give comment to Free Geekery post. So I review his list so new users knows what is not must-have from that list.
    Maybe later I will recomend some application based on my experiences :)

  11. Tue, 8 May 2007    

    Just want to see whether my Firefox version already changed into :P … And don’t use Automatic2 please!

  12. Trifon Trifon
    Mon, 14 May 2007    

    There does seem to be a problem with AllTray & Mozilla Thunderbird, if I start it like “alltray mozilla-thunderbird” then I cannot drag messages to folders. Also, the -na option makes window title disappear at all.

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