Linux

100 Essential and Must-Have GUI Linux Applications

Last Updated on August 7, 2023

There is a staggering amount of proven open source software available to download. But it’s really difficult to keep up with the cream of the cream. That’s where this compilation aims to help.

We select the best-of-breed GUI (Graphical User Interface) software ranging from projects coded by individual programmers, small teams of enthusiasts, extending to large multinational corporations. The compilation largely reflects software that our volunteers use as their daily drivers.

We mostly recommend cross-platform software, but, where appropriate, make some exceptions. We include a select few proprietary applications along the way. We try to avoid duplication as much as possible. A few of omissions will definitely raise some eyebrows. For example, there’s no room for Firefox even though it’s open source software (unlike Chrome) and some of our volunteers strongly prefer it over any other web browser.

There are so many awesome GUI Linux apps not included in this roundup. Once you’ve digested the 100 apps here, please explore our hugely curated recommended free and open source software.

TUI software is covered here. And CLI software is covered here.

Let’s kick off the 100 essential apps as chosen by our volunteers.

LibreOffice
LibreOffice is a full-blown office suite packed with features. It provides Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).

Users who’ve used Microsoft Office for years will appreciate that LibreOffice has made enormous strides in offering better compatibility with DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX files. For example, LibreOffice’s DOCX is saved in native 2013/2016/2019 mode.

LibreOffice has native support for a modern and open standard, the Open Document Format (ODF). ODF 1.3’s most important new features are document digital signatures and OpenPGP-based XML document encryption. The new ODF also boasts improvements in change tracking, and elements first pages, text, numbers, and charts.

LibreOffice's Website
Mozilla Public License v2.0
Written in C++, XML, and Java


Linux for Starters - LibreOffice Writer
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Thunderbird
Thunderbird is widely and deservedly regarded as an exceptional open source desktop email client, especially on Linux. It’s also a proficient personal information manager, news client, RSS and chat client.

Thunderbird is highly customizable, has a rich set of features, and is geared for both novices and professional users.

Thunderbird's Website
Mozilla Public License v2.0
Written in C, C++, and JavaScript


Linux for Starters - Thunderbird
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Chrome
Chrome is the most widely used web browser. It boasts a minimalist design, security and high-speed browsing.

We must give a special mention to Firefox as it's also a top-class web browser and, unlike, Chrome, Firefox is open source software. But we wanted to include a diverse range of the finest software in this round-up, so we've deliberately restricted ourselves to just one web browser.

Chrome's Website
Proprietary freeware, based on open source components
Written in C, C++, JavaScript, and Python


Google Chrome
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GIMP
GIMP stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, software for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has a large feature set. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and more besides

GIMP's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C


Linux for Starters - GIMP
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Steam
Steam is a large digital library of PC games. It's not a Linux specific store but it's home to thousands of games that run under this operating system.

There are a relatively small percentage of Linux games hosted on Steam that can be downloaded without a charge. Most of the games at this location will need input from your wallet/purse.

Steam's Website
Proprietary software
Written in C++


Steam Library
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Inkscape
Inkscape is a professional design tool perfect for illustrators, designers, artists, and web designers.

It offers a great range of drawing tools, a powerful text tool, bezier and spiro curves, all combined with a wide file format compatibility.

Inkscape sports capabilities similar to Abode Illustrator. Unlike Illustrator, Inkscape is free and open source software. Say goodbye to subscription software.

Inkscape's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Linux at Home - Inkscape
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Kodi
Kodi media center is a software media player and entertainment hub for digital media for HTPCs (Home theater PCs).

Its graphical user interface allows the user to easily browse and view videos, photos, podcasts, and music from a harddrive, optical disc, local network, and the internet using only a few buttons.

Kodi's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Kodi


OBS Studio
OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software) is software that lets you record video and live stream. It provides real-time capture, scene composition, recording, encoding, and broadcasting via Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), HLS, SRT or RIST.

Pair the software with a capable dedicated graphics card and you'll be creating high quality videos in no time whatsoever.

OBS Studio's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C and C++


Image of OBS Studio
Click image for full size

VirtualBox
VirtualBox is virtualization software. It allows users to extend their existing computer to run multiple operating systems including Linux, macOS, Windows, and Solaris, at the same time.

It's a great way to experiment with Linux distributions without messing up your existing operating system.

VirtualBox's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C, C++, x86 Assembly, and Python


VirtualBox


RStudio
RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R, a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.

RStudio combines an intuitive user interface with powerful coding tools to help you get the most out of R. It includes a console, syntax-highlighting editor that supports direct code execution, as well as tools for plotting, history, and workspace management.

RStudio includes a wide range of productivity enhancing features and runs on all major platforms. RStudio can optionally also be run as server which enables you to provide a browser based interface to a version of R running on a remote system.

RStudio's Website
GNU Affero General Public License v3
Written in Java, C++, and JavaScript


RStudio - Data Science Tutorial
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Stellarium
Stellarium is a software project that allows people to use their home computer as a virtual planetarium. It calculates the positions of the Sun and Moon, planets and stars, and draws how the sky would look to an observer depending on their location and the time. It can also draw the constellations and simulate astronomical phenomena such as meteor showers, and solar or lunar eclipses.

Stellarium can be used as an educational tool for teaching about the night sky, or as an observational aide for amateur astronomers wishing to plan a night’s observing.

Stellarium's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++



Blender
Blender is an awesome 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.

Blender's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C and C++


Image of Blender


VLC
VLC is a multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Besides playing most multimedia files, discs, streams, devices it also converts, encodes, streams and manipulate streams into numerous formats.

While it's a capable music player it lacks gapless playback.

VLC's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C and C++


Linux for Starters - VLC
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Ardour
Ardour is a powerful digital audio workstation that gives you everything you need to record, edit, mix, and arrange professional audio.

There are an impressive array of plugins available with full sample accurate automation.

Ardour's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++

Ardour


Gaia Sky
Gaia Sky is a real-time 3D universe program. It’s developed within the framework of the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Gaia mission to chart more than 1 billion stars.

The Gaia mission was launched in 2013, performing astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy of about one percent of all stars of our Galaxy at very high precision. The mission is to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Gaia is a survey mission.

Gaia Sky's Website
Mozilla Public License
Written in Java


Mars
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Audacity
Audacity is a really easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder. It's brimming with features such as macros, scripting including a built-in scripting language called Nyquist, and analysis and visualization tools.

Audacity's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C, C++, and Python


Linux for Starters - Audacity
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Tauon Music Box
Tauon Music Box is an absolute gem of a music player. Designed to be streamlined but powerful while putting the user in control of their music collection. It’s jam packed with great features even if its interface is idiosyncratic.

Faded volume control, 24bit FLAC support and gapless playback provides the ultimate listening experience!

Tauon Music Box's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Tauon-with-playlists-created





Cura
Cura is a state-of-the-art slicer app to prepare your 3D models for your 3D printer.

Prepare prints with a few clicks, integrate with CAD software for an easier workflow, or dive into custom settings for in-depth control.

Cura's Website
GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Image of Cura
Click image for full size

darktable
darktable is a wonderful photography workflow application and raw developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.

darktable's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C


darktable
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Celestia
Celestia is software that offers a photo-realistic, real-time, 3D viewing of the solar system, the galaxy and the universe. Celestia is an excellent tool for astronomy education, and is used in homes, schools, museums and planetariums around the world.

Celestia's primary star catalog is based on the Hipparcos database of stars with accurately measured distances. It includes all of the stars within 20 light years of the Sun, as well as about 200 double stars.

Celestia's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++



BleachBit
BleachBit is a very useful tool for system administration. It deletes unnecessary files from the system to free valuable disk space, protect privacy, and remove junk. This software removes cache, Internet history, temporary files, cookies, and broken shortcuts.

BleachBit's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Image of BleachBit in action


Deskreen
Deskreen is software that lets you use any device with a web browser as a secondary screen. This device can be a wide range of hardware such as a smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or a notebook. And you can connect as many devices as required.

If you have a multi-monitor setup, you already appreciate the virtues of multiple screens. But Deskreen offers many of these advantages without additional outlay. What makes this tool standout is that it's really easy to use. The project has prepared a great how-to guide, but you'll be up and running without reading it! Always a sign of quality and well engineered software.

Deskreen's Website
GNU Affero General Public License v3.0
Written in TypeScript


Deskreen


digiKam
digiKam is an image organizer and tag editor. The software offers a comprehensive set of tools for importing, managing, editing, and sharing photos and raw files.

The software is particularly strong with its tagging tools. Assign tags, ratings, and labels to photos and raw files.

digiKam's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


digiKam
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Foliate
Foliate is a beautifully crated eBook reader. The developer has put a lot of effort in ensuring its easy to navigate around eBooks.

The software offers a great range of features with a distraction-free reading experience that lets the interface fade out of view to enable the reader can concentrate on reading.

There are other features included in the program which may be important to you. For example, there’s a quick dictionary lookup using Wiktionary and Wikipedia, translation of text using Google Translate, and support for touch screens.

Foliate's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in JavaScript


Foliate


Discord
Discord is a voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) application designed for gaming communities. The software specializes in text and audio communication between users in a chat channel.

Discord's Website
Proprietary software
The client is written in JavaScript


Discord


GParted
GParted (GNOME Partition Editor) is a GTK+ front-end to GNU Parted, partition-editing application.

This software creates, deletes, resizes, moves, checks, and copies disk partitions and their file systems. This is useful for creating space for new operating systems, reorganizing disk usage, copying data residing on hard disks, and mirroring one partition with another (known as disk imaging).

GParted's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


GParted


FileZilla
FileZilla is an FTP and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.

The software includes a site manager which allows the creation of a compilation of FTP sites, with individual setting for port, protocol, login details, starting directories etc. This functionality is similar to bookmarking/cookies included with popular web browsers, saving time when accessing popular sites.

FileZilla's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Image of FileZilla
Click image for full size

flameshot
flameshot is an excellent utility for capturing custom areas of a desktop. It’s really easy to use, has a good range of annotation tools which have recently been expanded, and is sleek.

flameshot's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


Image of flameshot


OpenShot Video Editor
OpenShot Video Editor is designed to be an easy to use, and quick to learn. It's a surprisingly powerful video editor.

OpenShot can read and write most video and image formats. It comes with a powerful key frame animation framework, and it’s capable of an unlimited number of key frames and animation possibilities. There are unlimited tracks/layers, over 400 video transitions with real-time previews, advanced timeline, frame accuracy, audio mixing and editing, and much more.

OpenShot's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Linux for Starters - OpenShot
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Surge XT
Surge XT is a hybrid polyphonic synthesizer which supports MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and runs as an LV2 plugin, or as a VST. The term “hybrid” usually means that the instrument uses a combination of analog and digital components, ideally providing some of the finer aspects of both realms.

Surge XT's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C and C++


Surge XT
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Kdenlive
Kdenlive is another awesome open source video editor.

It offers all the essentials including multi-track video editing, it supports almost all audio and video formats directly, offers tons of effects and transitions, and much more.

Kdenlive's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


kdenlive
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GnuCash
GnuCash is a personal and small-business financial accounting program.

Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

GnuCash's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0 or v3.0
Written in C, C++, and Scheme


GnuCash


KeePassXC
KeePassXC is an impressive password manager. It's targeted at people with high demands on secure personal data management. It sports a light interface. The software is a cross-platform community fork of KeePassX.

The software lets users store their passwords securely and auto-type them into their everyday websites and applications.

The goal of the project is to extend and enhance KeePass new features and bugfixes to provide a feature-rich, fully cross-platform and modern open-source password manager.

KeePassXC's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0 and 3.0
Written in C++


KeePassXC





Heroic Games Launcher
Heroic Games Launcher ("Heroic") is a free and open source games launcher for Epic Games and GOG. Epic Games is an American video game and software developer and publisher. GOG is a digital distribution platform.

Heroic is an open source alternative to the proprietary Epic Games Launcher that runs on Windows and macOS only.

Heroic's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in TypeScript


Heroic Games Launcher
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Okular
Okular is a universal document viewer.

Okular is fast and packed with features. This software lets you read PDF documents, comics and EPub books, browse images, visualize Markdown documents, and much more. Okular has a wide range of features that lets you easily manage your documents. These include annotating PDFs, select and view text, thumbnails panel, and signature support.

Okular's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0 or v3.0
Written in C++


Okular


Mattermost
Mattermost is a self-hostable online chat service with file sharing, search, and integrations. It is designed as an internal chat for organisations and companies, and mostly markets itself as an open-source alternative.

Mattermost distinguishes itself from proprietary messaging software thanks to several features including Slack compatibility, good mobile experience, mobile and desktop apps, in addition to web apps.

Mattermost's Website
MIT License
Written in TypeScript and Go


Mattermost
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HexChat
HexChat is an IRC client sporting an easy to use customizable interface.

HexChat's Website
GNU General Public License v2
Written in C


HexChat


HandBrake
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection. It comes supplied with built-in device presets, and a huge raft of features.

Handbrake's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C and C#


HandBrake
Click image for full size

Krusader
Krusader is an advanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager designed for KDE Plasma. Krusader also runs on other popular Linux desktop environments such as GNOME.

Besides comprehensive file management features, Krusader is almost completely customizable, fast, seamlessly handles archives, and offers a huge feature set.

Krusader's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Krusader


CopyQ
CopyQ is an advanced clipboard manager.

This software stores content of the system clipboard whenever it changes and allows to search the history and copy it back to the system clipboard or paste it directly to other applications. The tool offers a lot of functionality.

CopyQ's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++

CopyQ


Lutris
Lutris is a gaming platform for Linux. Lutris helps you install and play video games from all eras and from most gaming systems. By leveraging and combining existing emulators, engine re-implementations and compatibility layers, it gives you a central interface to launch all your games. The client can connect with existing services like Humble Bundle, GOG and Steam to make your game libraries easily available.

Lutris' Website
GNU General Public License
Written in Python


Image of Lutris
Click image for full size

KOReader
KOReader is a document viewer for a wide variety of file formats.

This is a wonderfully responsive document reader. It’s fast, brimming with features, and highly customizable. The fact that it supports a wide variety of devices is the icing on the cake.

KOReader's Website
GNU Affero General Public License v3.0
Written in Lua


KOReader - reading screen


PyCharm
PyCharm is an Integrated Development Environment that is primarily targeted for Python and web development.

It provides code analysis, a graphical debugger, an integrated unit tester, integration with version control systems, and supports web development with Django

An open source version is available as PyCharm Community Edition, and a proprietary version as PyCharm Professional Edition.

PyCharm's Website
Apache License 2.0 (Community edition), Proprietary (Professional Edition)
Written in Python and Java


PyCharm
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MusE Sequencer
MusE Sequencer is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities.

It can perform audio effects like chorus/flanger in real-time via LASH and it supports Jack and ALSA interfaces. MusE aims to be a complete multitrack virtual studio.

MusE Sequencer's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Linux for Starters - MusE
Click image for full size

Calibre
Calibre is a complete e-library solution. It offers library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features. Calibre is primarily an e-book cataloging program. It manages your e-book collection for you.

Calibre's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Calibre


Krita
Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It's made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.

Krita is really sublime open source software. It's very easy to use, intuitive, and offers features and tools for a wide range of digital painting.

We particularly admire its excellent support for displaying brushes, its highly customizable user interface, and easy editing.

Krita's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


Krita


Joplin
Joplin is a note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks.

The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor. The notes are in Markdown format.

Joplin was designed as a replacement for Evernote and so can import complete Evernote notebooks, as well as notes, tags, resources (attached files) and note metadata (such as author, geo-location, etc.) via ENEX files.

Joplin's Website
MIT License
Written in JavaScript


Joplin


Tabby
Tabby is an infinitely customizable cross-platform terminal app for local shells, serial, SSH and Telnet connections.

It sports an integrated SSH client with a connection manager, an integrated serial terminal, full Unicode support, multiple nested panes, flexible tabs, and much more.

Tabby's Website
MIT License
Written in TypeScript


Tabby


Pencil
Pencil is built for the purpose of providing a free and open source GUI prototyping tool that people can easily install and use to create mockups in popular desktop platforms. The software is mature and suitable for production use.

Pencil is shipped with Android and iOS UI stencils pre-installed. This makes it easier to start protyping apps with a simple installation. Popular drawing features are also implemented in Pencil to simplify the drawing operations.

Pencil's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in JavaScript


Pencil
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Photini
Photini is an easy to use digital photograph metadata (EXIF, IPTC, XMP) editing application.

This application enables users to quickly add information to photos. It can set textual information such as title, description, and copyright as well as geolocation information by browsing a map or setting coordinates directly.

Photini's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Image of Photini in action


Spotify
First launched in 2008, Spotify is a digital music streaming service with a freemium business model. You can listen to a huge library of music and podcasts for no charge if you are prepared to have shuffle play (with limited skips), interrupted listening and lower audio bitrate. Alternatively, there’s the option of Spotify Premium. In the UK, a subscription costs £9.99 per month for an Individual account. This gives you streaming music at 320 kbps, the ability to download music, and full functionality.

There’s no actual official desktop available for Linux. But some of their engineers have laboured night and day to produce a native desktop client.

Spotify's Website
Proprietary software


Spotify
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QCAD
QCAD is an application for 2D computer aided drafting.

QCAD enables users to create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schemas and diagrams.

It uses DXF as its standard file format. While other CAD packages are often complicated to use, QCad tries to be different.

QCAD's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


QCAD
Click image for full size

Ulauncher
Ulauncher is a fast application launcher for Linux. It has a minimal design, dependent on only a few resources, very fast, and works on virtually all Linux desktops.

The software is lean and fast. It's frugal with system resources, and very responsive. Ulauncher is desktop oriented.

You can launch web searches or search folders from the same prompt. There are even basic calculator functions.

Ulauncher's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Ulauncher


QDirStat
QDirStat is a graphical application to show what’s devouring your disk space and help you tidy up the disorder.

QDirStat is an extremely versatile and highly configurable tool for uncluttering your storage drives. It offers a wealth of features, it’s very fast, and stable. Support for macOS is experimental at best.

QDirStat's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


QDirStat


RawTherapee
RawTherapee is a RAW converter and digital photo processing software. All changes can be applied and batch processed at a convenient time.

The software is focused on users ranging from enthusiast newcomers who wish to broaden their understanding of how digital imaging works to professional photographers.

RawTherapee's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


RawTherapee
Click image for full size

PSPP
PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It reads the data, analyzes the data according to commands provided, and writes the results to a listing file, to the standard output or to a window of the graphical display. PSPP produces tables and charts as output, which it can produce in several formats; currently, ASCII, PostScript, PDF, HTML, and DocBook are supported.

The language supported by PSPP is similar to those accepted by SPSS statistical products.

PSPP's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C


PSPP
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Shortwave
Shortwave is internet radio software. It's a quirky name for software that streams radio stations over the net. It's still great software!

Shortwave uses the radio-browser.info community database.

Shortwave's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Rust


Shortwave-Radio


Duplicati
Duplicati is a backup client that securely stores encrypted, incremental, compressed remote backups of local files on cloud storage services and remote file servers.

Duplicati's Website
GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1
Written in C#

Duplicati


Rosegarden
Rosegarden is a professional audio and MIDI sequencer, score editor, and general-purpose music composition and editing environment. It combines a track-oriented audio/MIDI sequencer with a standard music notation editor to provide an “all-in-one” solution.

The software is a good fit for composers, musicians, music students, and small studio or home recording environments.

Rosegarden's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Rosegarden
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Scilab
Scilab is a numerical computational package and a high-level, numerically oriented programming language.

The software is used for signal processing, statistical analysis, image enhancement, fluid dynamics simulations, numerical optimization, and modeling, simulation of explicit and implicit dynamical systems and symbolic manipulations.

Scilab's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++, C, and Java


Scilab
Click image for full size

Scribus
Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing (DTP) program that allows the creation of page layouts with text, graphics, photos and other visual elements.

Scribus is designed for flexible layout and typesetting, and the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. The software supports RGB, CMYK and spot colors and, most importantly, provides a robust and very reliable color management that leaves you in control of color display and conversion.

While the goals of the program are ease of use and simple easy-to-understand tools, it still offers professional publishing features, such as CMYK and spot colors, easy PDF creation, Encapsulated Postscript import and export and creation of color separations.

Scribus' Website
GNU General Public License v2
Written in C++


Scribus
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Gramps
Gramps is genealogy software that is both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists.

The software lets users record the many details of an individual’s life as well as the complex relationships between various people, places and events.

Gramps' Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in Python


Image of Gramps
Click image for full size

VeraCrypt
VeraCrypt is disk encryption software that builds on the discontinued TrueCrypt. You can encrypt an entire filing system, including folder names, filenames, all of the content of each and every file, the metadata, free space, and more. It offers enterprise-grade encryption for data you want to protect. Keep your data safe from prying eyes.

VeraCrypt adds enhanced security to the algorithms used for system and partitions encryption. It also resolves many vulnerabilities and security issues inherent in TrueCrypt together with a ton of modifications.

VeraCrypt's Website
Apache License 2.0 and TrueCrypt License 3.0
Written in C, C++, and Assembly


VeraCrypt


Kasts
Kasts is a very strong podcast player. The interface is good although could be tidied up particularly around the top section where there is too much spacing, and poor choice of positioning.

Kasts' functionality is sufficient although there are a number of areas that warrant an overhaul.

Kasts' Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++ and QML.


Kasts
Click image for full size

VSCodium
VSCodium is a community-driven, freely-licensed binary distribution of Microsoft’s editor VS Code. VS Code is a streamlined code editor with support for development operations like debugging, task running, and version control. It aims to provide just the tools a developer needs for a quick code-build-debug cycle and leaves more complex workflows to fuller featured IDEs.

Note VSCodium is not a fork of VS Code, it simply saves having to compile the source code for yourself. While the source code for VS Code is open source, Microsoft's binaries aren't and include telemetry.

vscodium.com
MIT License
Written in TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.


VSCodium
Click image for full size

KiCad EDA
KiCad is a suite for the creation of electronic schematics. It helps design of schematics for electronic circuits and their conversion to PCBs (printed circuit board) design. KiCad uses an integrated environment for all of the stages of the design process: Schematic Capture, PCB layout, Gerber file generation/visualization and library editing.

KiCad's Website
GNU General Public License v2
Written in C++


Kicad


PeaZip
PeaZip is a file archiver utility and rar extractor. It's based on the technologies of 7-Zip, p7zip, Brotli, FreeArc, PAQ, Zstandard file compression tools, and on secure file compression and encryption PEA project.

PeaZip provides fast, high compression ratio multi-format archiving to 7Z, ARC, Brotli, BZ2, GZ, PEA, TAR, WIM, Zstandard and ZIP archives (write supported formats), and works as opener / extractor tool for 200+ archive types including ACE, ISO, RAR, ZIPX files, including ability to manage encrypted archives for supported formats.

This software deploys a powerful and complete file manager for editing, viewing, browsing and searching archive files, featuring a wide set of data security functions: strong encryption (AES, Twofish, Serpent), encrypted password manager, optional two-factor authentication (encryption / decryption with password and keyfile), secure delete, and file hashing tools.

PeaZip's Website
GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0
Written in Pascal


PeaZip in action
Click image for full size

ProjectLibre
ProjectLibre is project management software. It was founded to provide an open source replacement of Microsoft Project desktop. It offers a similar user interface.

ProjectLibre's Website
Common Public Attribution License
Written in Java


ProjectLibre


Octave
Octave is a oowerful mathematics-oriented syntax with built-in 2D/3D plotting and visualization tools. It is drop-in compatible with many Matlab scripts.

The Octave interpreter can be run in GUI mode, as a console, or invoked as part of a shell script.

Octave's Website
GNU General Public License v2
Written in C, C++ and Fortran


Output generated by Octave


Arduino
The Arduino Integrated Development Environment contains a text editor for writing code, a message area, a text console, a toolbar with buttons for common functions and a series of menus. It connects to the Arduino hardware to upload programs and communicate with them.

Arduino's Website
GNU Affero General Public License v3.0
Written in TypeScript and JavaScript


Arduino IDE
Click for full size image

Zeal
Zeal is billed as a simple offline documentation browser. It offers easy access to a huge database of documentation, API manuals, and code snippets. The main purpose of the software is to enable you to have reference documentation at your fingertips.

What do we like most about Zeal? Besides the huge range of docsets at your fingertips, there's useful support for HiDPI displays, in-page search tool, good font selection, and smooth scrolling. Combined with the fuzzy search functionality, it offers a slick way to access documentation.

Zeal's Website
GNU General Public License Version 3.0
Written in C++


Zeal - Python docset
Click for full size image

Dropbox
Dropbox is a file hosting service. Dropbox helps you create, share, and collaborate on your files, folders, and documents.

Dropbox's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0 and proprietary software
Written in Python, Go, CoffeeScript, and Rust


Dropbox


TeamViewer
TeamViewer is a comprehensive remote access, remote control and remote support solution that works with almost every desktop and mobile platform.

TeamViewer's Website
Proprietary software


AWOW AK41 - TeamViewer - Account


Synfig Studio
Synfig Studio is a vector-based 2D animation software. It can produce feature-film quality animation. Its vector tweening lets you transform any vector shape into another.

Synfig Studio's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Image of Synfig Studio


Telegram Desktop
Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security

You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Telegram has over 700 million monthly active users.

Telegram Desktop's Website
Client GNU General Public License v3.0. Server is proprietary software
Client is written in C++

Telegram
Click image for full size

FocusWriter
FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free word processor. It uses a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work. Improve your writing productivity.

FocusWriter's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++

FocusWriter


TeXstudio
TeXstudio is an integrated writing environment for creating LaTeX documents.

The aim of the project is to make writing LaTeX as easy and comfortable as possible. TeXstudio has numerous features like syntax-highlighting, integrated viewer, reference checking, and various assistants.

TeXstudio's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


TeXstudio


Timeshift
Timeshift is software that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS. Timeshift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes to the system.

Timeshift's Website
GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0
Written in Vala


Timeshift in action


uGet
uGet is a popular download manager brimming with features.

It has all the essential functionality such as multi-connection downloads, a download queue, and the ability to pause/resume downloads.

uGet's Website
GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1
Written in C

uGet in action


dupeGuru
dupeGuru is a tool to find duplicate files in a system. It has three modes, Standard, Music and Picture, with each mode having its own scan types and unique features.

Reliability is crucial with a tool of this type. You don’t want to delete files that are needed.

We’ve run the utility intensively, and we’re satisfied that the program is reliable. But we still recommend a good backup strategy.

dupeGuru's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


dupeGuru


AutoKey
AutoKey is a desktop automation utility. It allows the automation of virtually any task by responding to typed abbreviations and hotkeys.

AutoKey offers a full-featured graphical user interface that makes it accessible for novices, as well as a scripting interface offering the full flexibility and power of the Python language. There are versions for GTK+ and Qt.

AutoKey's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Image for AutoKey





LinuxCNC
LinuxCNC controls CNC machines.

It can drive milling machines, lathes, 3D printers, laser cutters, plasma cutters, robot arms, hexapods, and more.

LinuxCNC's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in Python and C


LinuxCNC
Click image for full size

Skype
Skype revolutionized the communications world with its supreme internet telephony / instant messaging / video-conferencing functionality, so it's only fair it's included in this roundup.

It still remains a hugely popular app.

Skype's Website
Proprietary software


Skype Linux


Makagiga
Makagiga is an easy-to-use, portable application for doing a variety of tasks, such as todo listing, text editing, or RSS reading. Plugins (add-ons) are used to implement its various capabilities.

Makagiga's Website
Apache License 2.0
Written in Java


Makagiga
Click image for full size

Webcamoid
Webcamoid is a simple, but versatile open source webcam suite for picture and video capture.

The application provides a good set of features.

Webcamoid's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++


Webcamoid


Sonic Visualiser
Sonic Visualiser is an application for inspecting and analysing the contents of music audio files.

Sonic Visualiser combines powerful waveform and spectral visualisation tools with automated feature extraction plugins and annotation capabilities. It also has powerful annotation capabilities to help you to describe what you find, and the ability to run automated annotation and analysis plugins in the Vamp analysis plugin format – as well as applying standard audio effects.

Sonic Visualiser's Website
GNU General Public License v2
Written in C++


Sonic Visualiser


WordPress (desktop app)
The full WordPress.com experience packaged as an app for your laptop or desktop computer. Write and design with no other browser tabs to distract you. Switch easily between managing your WordPress sites and your favorite desktop apps.

WordPress's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0



WordPress
Click image for full size

Zim Desktop Wiki
Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages. Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page. All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, like a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.

Zim's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in Python


Zim


Mandelbulber
Mandelbulber is software that creatively generates three-dimensional fractals. Explore trigonometric, hyper-complex, Mandelbox, IFS, and many other 3D fractals.

The three dimensional fractal type, the “Mandelbulb” is calculated from a fairly similar pattern to the Mandelbrot set. The difference is that the vector z contains three components (x, y, z) or four dimensions (x, y, z, w ). As they are part of the z vector, they are denoted as (z.x, z.y, z.z). Examples being Hypercomplex numbers and quaternions.

Mandelbulber's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in C++ and C


Mandlebulber v2


gretl
gretl is a cross-platform software package for econometric analysis, written in the C programming language. It offers an intuitive graphical user interface, a wide variety of estimators: least squares, maximum likelihood, GMM; single-equation and system methods; regularized least squares (LASSO, Ridge, elastic net), a good range of time series methods, limited dependent variables, and panel-data estimators, including instrumental variables, probit and GMM-based dynamic panel models.

There’s also an integrated powerful scripting language (known as hansl), with a wide range of programming tools and matrix operation.

gretl's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C


gretl
Click image for full size

3D Slicer
3D Slicer is software for visualization, processing, segmentation, registration, and analysis of medical, biomedical, and other 3D images and meshes; and planning and navigating image-guided procedures.

It provides powerful medical image processing, visualization, and data analysis tools.

3D Slicer's Website
BSD-style
Written in C++ and Python


3D Slicer in action
Click image for full size

Ásbrú Connection Manager
Ásbrú Connection Manager (Ásbrú) is a user interface that helps organizing remote terminal sessions and automating repetitive tasks.

The project began as a fork of PAC (Perl Auto Connector) Manager.

Ásbrú's Website
GNU General Public License version 3.0
Written in Perl


Connnections window for Asbru Connection Manager
Click image for full size

NewsFlash
NewsFlash lets you follow your favorite blogs and news sites. It's designed to complement an already existing web-based RSS reader account.

NewsFlash combines all the advantages of web based services like syncing across all your devices with everything you expect from a modern desktop program: Desktop notifications, fast search and filtering, tagging, handy keyboard shortcuts and having access to all your articles as long as you like.

NewsFlash's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Rust


NewsFlash
Click image for full size

DVDStyler
DVDStyler is a DVD authoring application for the creation of professional-looking DVDs. It allows not only burning of video files on DVD that can be played practically on any standalone DVD player, but also creation of individually designed DVD menus.

DVDStyler's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


DVDStyler
Click image for full size

React Native Debugger
React Native Debugger is a standalone app for debugging React Native apps.

React Native Debugger's Website
MIT License
Written in JavaScript


React Native Debugger
Click for full size image

KMyMoney
KMyMoney is the Personal Finance Manager for KDE. It is similar to MS-Money and Quicken, supports different account types, categorisation of expenses, QIF import/export, multiple currencies and initial online banking support. It enables users to keep careful track of their personal finances by providing a broad array of financial features and tools.

KMyMoney's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


Image of KMyMoney
Click image for full size

Pidgin
Pidgin
Click image for full size
Pidgin is a chat program which lets you log into accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. For example, you can chat with friends on XMPP and sitin an IRC channel at the same time.

Pidgin is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: Jabber/XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, and Zephyr. It can support many more with plugins.

Pidgin supports many features of these chat networks, such as file transfers, away messages, buddy icons, custom smileys, and typing notifications. There are many plugins which extend Pidgin’s functionality even further.

Pidgin's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C



LyX
LyX is an advanced open source document processor. It is called a “document processor”, because unlike standard word processors, LyX encourages an approach to writing based on the structure of documents, not their appearance.

Based on a document preparation system for TeX typesetting, LyX can handle documents ranging from books, notes, theses to articles in refereed journals. It also supports right-to-left languages such as Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew.

LyX's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


LyX


fre:ac
fre:ac is an audio converter and CD ripper with support for various popular formats and encoders. It converts freely between MP3, M4A/AAC, FLAC, WMA, Opus, Ogg Vorbis, Speex, Monkey's Audio (APE), WavPack, WAV and other formats.

fre:ac's Website
GNU General Public License v2.0
Written in C++


fre:ac
Click image for full size

Gajim
Gajim is a fully-featured XMPP client offering decentralized messaging, end-to-end encryption, and the ability to share pictures, videos, and files.

Gajim's Website
GNU General Public License v3.0
Written in Python


Gajim


We have not included software which is CLI (Command-Line Interface), TUI (Terminal User Interface), or mainly web-based. This is simply because they are covered separately.




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Kev the Leg end
Kev the Leg end
1 year ago

This is really useful to me. I’m a long-time Windows user who is just starting out on Linux, but will probably use both for a while. I like that many of the apps run on both, which should help with the transition.

coucou
coucou
3 months ago

I strongly recommends you to switch to only one system ; the way to think on Linux it radically different fron windoze and some procedures are opposites. Using both systems will result in big mistake on one of them soon or later.

Cordialement.

LPBBEAR
LPBBEAR
1 year ago

Excellent list! As Kev the Led End mentioned this is a great way to show converts from the Windows world how much great software is actually available in the Linux world. You might consider adding “GLabels” to your list. Way back when I moved over from Windows this was one of the applications that helped me transition since at the time I needed a decent label making software to replace one I used in Windows.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

How can ‘Chrome’ be on this list when you refused to list ‘Obsidian’ in another post due to it’s not being FOSS?

Jack Truman
Jack Truman
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

I see someone demanded Obsidian be included on the article “24 Best Open Source Linux Note Takers”. Yet Obsidian is not open source. What a surprise it wasn’t included.

InnocentBystander
InnocentBystander
1 year ago

Instead of VSCode, I think it would be better to mention VScodium instead. Which is open source. I am a longtime VScode user. Switched to VS codium since 2 weeks. Worked exactly the same. Theme is even better. Have uninstalled VScode and I didn’t miss a thing.

Oliver
Oliver
1 year ago

This is really good. Much appreciated from a newbie to Linux.

Sin
Sin
1 year ago

There is a really good alternative for (too expensive) Teamviewer: RustDesk – free and open source, you can even run your own server.

LPBBEAR
LPBBEAR
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Baker

I used to use TeamViewer and in fact bought what was touted as a “lifetime” license. Fast forward a few years and the company reneged on that promise using various underhanded moves to try to force paid users to buy a new license. Even though the software is cross platform and does a good job at what it does it is NOT an honest company. I would discourage people from purchasing a license from this company.

Mason
Mason
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Baker

@LPBBEAR, it’s unrealistic to expect any company to offer a perpetual license for a single fee to cover new versions forever even if that was the impression given at the time. It’s a question of reasonable expectations. I haven’t seen any lawsuits over this matter, just a few posts with similar moans as yours.

LPBBEAR
LPBBEAR
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Baker

Mason I’m not moaning. When a company uses the term “lifetime” license and then turns around and reneges on that license it is the company that is being unreasonable and deceptive not the paying customer who tried to support them. THEY used the term “lifetime” not I. Companies that pull this kind of crap are one of the reasons Open Source software exists. Sure go ahead and use their software….for free….but learn from former paying customers. Don’t pay them for it. Lifetime means lifetime. Not 1 year, not 2 years, not some arbitrary time limit decided by someone in the companies bean counting department. LIFETIME. People reading this list should be aware of this issue. As to why they haven’t been sued for this I have no idea. Some sharp class action lawyer actually should pick up on it. I’ve moved on. Plenty of other alternatives out there.

InnocentBystander
InnocentBystander
1 year ago

In the section about Pycharm. Maybe IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition deserves to be co-mentioned in the same section. They are similar but targetting different programmer audiences. IntelliJ IDEA CE is a generic programming IDEA. In some aspects, it is superior than VSCodium: code navigation, intellisense, and more advanced support for some languages such as Java, Scala, Terraform.

Ralph
Ralph
1 year ago

Nice list, but I do miss the open source webbrowsers like Firefox, LibreWolf, Torbrowser and Ungoogled Chromium.
Lots of Linux users are addicted to Chrome, but it isn’t really open source. It’s a proprietary data-collecting app from a large advertisement company.

LizardDev
LizardDev
1 year ago
Reply to  Ralph

How do you miss Firefox? It’s explicity mentioned in the article, and the reasons why Chrome is included. If you read the opening, the article makes it clear that a few proprietary applications are included. Personally I don’t use Google at all except for web searches. I agree they do collect a lot of data which is one of the reasons why I avoid Google software. There’s a useful set of articles on this site which give alternatives to their software.

FWIW, I’m happy they didn’t stuff 4 web browsers in the list. What next, 4 email clients, 4 office suites etc. It wouldn’t be 100 apps, it would be a 1000. This site does roundups like you seem to want anyway selecting the best X free and open source software in a specific category.

Frank
Frank
1 year ago

Sometimes the software I use is dictated by others. Lots of my friends use Discord, so that’s what I have to use. Even my bank doesn’t support Firefox so I have to use Chrome. While I might be able to persuade my friends to use open source software, I think I would have less chance of convincing a bank. Sure I could transfer to a different bank but that’s not going to happen.

Yan
Yan
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank

I have the same issue too. I would be delighted to ditch Discord.

GuyS
GuyS
1 year ago

This is an excellent list, especially for the Sonic Visualizer app, which does exactly what I wanted for such an app (or, rather, what I attempted to get some CLI tools to do [sox, ffmepg, and gnuplot] to frustrating restuls). And thanks for the reminder about fre:ac

Torin Doyle
Torin Doyle
17 days ago

A fine list, there.