Major Linux Application Programs

AbiWord - a standalone word processing program similar to (and compatible with) Microsoft Word. AbiWord can run on virtually any operating system and is available in numerous languages.

Apache - the most popular web server on the Internet since April 1996, and currently hosting more than 70 percent of Internet websites. Truly one of the greatest free software success stories!

Blender - highly regarded software for three dimensional modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. See Linux Software for Artists for more complete information about art applications for Linux.

Dia - a diagram creation program similar to Microsoft's Visio. It can be used to draw many types of diagrams and currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML (unified modeling language) diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams and simple circuits. It can load and save diagrams to a custom XML format, export diagrams to EPS (encapsulated PostScript) or SVG (scalable vector graphics) formats and can print diagrams (including those that span multiple pages).

DOSEMU - enables many MS-DOS programs to run on Linux.

Evolution - provides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop.

Firefox - ranked by many as the best major web browser. Among its most useful features are small size, high speed, tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and high resistance to viruses and other malicious code. Developed by as the successor to its widely acclaimed Mozilla browser.

FreeMED - an HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant medical management software package that runs in a browser and aims to duplicate all of the functionality of proprietary programs such as The Medical Manager. It differs from conventional billing systems in that it is episode of care-based, and it allows the tracking of medical data in detail with preservation not just of the diagnosis but also the reasons for medical encounters.

gedit - a lightweight text editor for the GNOME desktop. It supports most standard editing features and has a powerful plug-in system for adding even more, including a spelling checker, date and time insertion, word counting, documents or files comparison, output insertion from shell commands and tags insertion for common markup languages (such as HTML and Latex). gedit's counterpart for the KDE desktop is kedit, which is included in the Linux distributions that contain KDE.

gFTP - a multithreaded FTP (file transfer protocol) client that also supports the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) and SSH (secure shell) protocols. It is multithreaded to allow for simultaneous downloads, and it can download multiple files, supports downloading entire directories and subdirectories, has a bookmarks menu to allow quick connection to remote sites, supports resuming interrupted file transfers, supports caching of remote directory listings, has drag-and-drop support, and allows for passive and non-passive file transfers.

Ghostscript - an interpreter for the PostScript language, which is embedded in many printers. The main uses are to display PostScript files and to print PostScript files to non-PostScript printers.

The GIMP - an advanced image manipulation program similar to Adobe Photoshop. See Linux Software for Artists for more complete information about art applications for Linux.

GNOME - a Linux desktop environment which provides an intuitive and attractive desktop for end users. It is also a development platform that provides an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop.

GNU Emacs - an extensible, customizable and self-documenting editor which uses an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language. Features include content-sensitive major modes for a wide variety of file types, complete online documentation and support for many natural languages and their scripts.

Gnumeric - a high quality and easily customizable spreadsheet program developed as part of the GNOME desktop environment as a drop-in replacement for proprietary spreadsheets, rather than a clone of existing applications. Gnumeric can import Excel, 1-2-3, Applix, Sylk, XBase Quattro Pro, Dif, Plan Perfect and Oleo files.

GQview - an image viewer that features single-click file viewing, external editor support, thumbnail previews, and zooming. Some image management features are also included.

Kaffeine - a xine-based media player for the KDE3 desktop. It plays back CDs, DVDs and VCDs. It also decodes multimedia files, such as AVI, MOV, WMV and MP3, from local disk drives and displays multimedia streamed over the Internet. Kaffeine interprets many of the most common multimedia formats as well as some of the most uncommon formats.

KDE - one of the two main graphical desktop environments for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

KHexEdit - a versatile and customizable hex editor. It displays data in hexadecimal, octal, binary and plain text modes. New input can be inserted into a file and current data can be replaced just as with a conventional text editor. Other functions include undo/redo, formatted printing and HTML (hypertext markup language) export.

Konqueror - a combined web browser, file manager and universal viewer that is included as part of the KDE desktop.

LyX - said to be the first WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) document processor. It automatically enforces consistency, as determined by the user, throughout a document in order to produce professional results. LyX is particularly useful for long documents, such as books and dissertations. It is based on the highly regarded TeX typesetting engine.

MySQL - the most popular open source relational database management system (RDBMS). Users include Cisco, Google, Lufthansa, NASA, Sabre Holdings, University of California at Berkeley (UCB), UPS and Yahoo.

Open Office - a full-fledged suite of office applications comparable to and compatible with Microsoft Office. Contains word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, equation editing and drawing programs. Among the many features of the word processing program is the ability to convert documents directly into PDF format.

Perl - a wildly popular, interpreted programming language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files and printing reports based on that information. It is also a good language for many system management tasks.

PHP - the premiere server side scripting language for web sites. Among its many features is the ability to be embedded directly in HTML code.

PostgreSQL - claimed to be the world's most advanced relational database management system. Begun in 1986 at the University of California at Berkeley.

Python - an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language which is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Scheme or Java. Python has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level dynamic data types and dynamic typing.

rCalc - a scientific calculator for the GNOME desktop environment which aims to occupy the middle ground between simple point-and-click calculators and full-featured mathematics packages.

Rosegarden - a professional audio and MIDI sequencer, score editor and general-purpose music composition and editing environment. It is claimed to be one of the most comprehensive Linux music software projects and the only Linux application to offer full composition and recording capabilities to musicians who prefer to use classical notation. See Linux Software for Composers for more complete information about musical composition, notation and editing applications for Linux.

samba - a file and printer server for networks containing Microsoft Windows clients. Because it runs on reliable Unix-like operating systems, there are fewer problems and a low cost of maintenance. Samba also provides superior performance under heavy loads, outperforming Windows 2000 Server by a factor of two to one on identical hardware, according to third-party benchmarks.

Tcl - a scripting language for building powerful GUIs (graphical user interfaces), creating multi-threaded applications and developing cross-platform programs. Other features include rapid development, readiness for the enterprise and ease of learning.

Thunderbird - a highly customizable e-mail program developed by that features increased safety, higher speed and greater ease of use.

SQL Ledger - an advanced, highly customizable double entry accounting system that is suitable for a wide variety of manufacturing and other businesses.

WINE - a still incomplete, but functional, open source implementation of the Microsoft Windows API (application programming interface) that allows many unmodified Windows binaries to run on x86-based Unix-like operating systems. It does not require Microsoft Windows, but it can optionally use native system DLLs (dynamic link libraries) if they are available.

Xfig - an interactive drawing tool that can create objects such as circles, boxes, lines, spline curves and text as well as import images in formats such as GIF, JPEG and EPSF. Multiple ways are available to select attributes such as colors and line styles.

xpad - a sticky note application written using GTK+ 2.0 that strives to be simple, fault-tolerant, and customizable. xpad consists of independent pad windows; each is basically a text box in which notes can be written.

Xpdf - a viewer for PDF (portable document format) files. The Xpdf project also includes a PDF text extractor, PDF-to-PostScript converter and various other utilities. Xpdf is designed to be small and efficient, and it can use Type 1, TrueType or standard X fonts.

Zope - a web application server written primarily in Python which features a transactional object database that can store not only content and custom data, but also dynamic HTML templates, scripts, a search engine, and relational database connections and code. Zope also features a strong through-the-web development model, high security and the availability of numerous plug-in components.

The above list contains some of the best and most popular Linux application programs. All are available for free (i.e., in a monetary sense), and most are free software (i.e., both free in a monetary sense and in that they can be used by anyone for any desired purpose, including modification and redistribution). Many of them are included in the major Linux distributions and are also available for other operating systems.

The list does not include any of the hundreds of command line (i.e., all-text mode) programs that are commonly used on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. For information about such programs, see Index of Linux Commands.

Created February 29, 2004. Last updated August 28, 2006.
Copyright © 2004 - 2006 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.

, 2004. Last updated August 28, 2006.
Copyright © 2004 - 2006 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.