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This list of Best Free Software for Linux now includes 156 apps in various categories. Among a plethora of freeware products, we have selected some gems in each category and added them to the list with clear and brief descriptions of each app.

 

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This category is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here. You can visit the Google+ profile page of Jojo Yee here.

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Best Free Audio & Video for Linux
 
 

Best Free Audio Editing / Splitter for Linux

AudacityAudacity does all the recording and editing I need, and is much simpler and faster to use than a lot of paid products. The interface is easy to use, allowing you to select and apply a noise profile just as easily as removing it.

The program also can record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings, edit various sound files, cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together and change the speed or pitch of a recording. (Review)

 

Ocenaudio , a fast, easy-to-use and powerful audio editor provides users with an intuitive audio editing and analysis tool without complications. It supports multiple file formats, with real-time waveform and spectrogram views, multiple selections, one-click effects and handling large files with an advanced memory management system.

 

mp3splt-gtk splits mp3 and ogg files without re-encoding, able to identify split points between tracks via online database services (CDDB or FreeDB). (Review)

 

Best Free Audio / Video Format Conversion for Linux

SoundConverter aims to be simple to use and fast for conversion from most audio files to wav, flac, mp3, aac and ogg files, supports for extraction of the audio from videos too. (Note: Install GStreamer MP3 Encoding to enable conversion to mp3.)

 

Arista Transcoder , an easy-to-use converter to convert multimedia files from one format to another for playback on various devices. Supported output formats include m4v (Ipod), avi (Nokia, PDA or DVD player), mkv (computer) and mp4 (various Sony devices), depending on the device you choose.

 

WinFF converts many supported media files from one format to another and serves as a frontend of FFmpeg. It comes with preset conversion settings and options for common formats and devices. For example, to convert an mp4 to an mp3, select Convert to “Audio”, preset “MP3”, then save the result in an output folder.

 

OggConvert , a small and easy-to-use utility to convert most audio and video files to the patent-free Ogg format, and support for encoding to the Matroska container format (mkv, mka), with adjustable settings on audio and video quality for conversion.

 

Best Free CD / DVD Burning Software for Linux

K3b , a capable CD/DVD burner optimised for KDE, lets you easily burn data CDs/DVDs, create audio/video CDs and video DVDs, rip audio/video CDs and video DVDs along with other related tasks, good for experienced as well as beginner users.

 

Brasero , designed for ease of use to create a traditional audio CD, data CD/DVD, video DVD or a SVCD, burn an existing CD/DVD image to disc, copy a CD/DVD to a new disc or write to an image file in ISO and other formats.

 

Best Free CD / DVD Emulation Software for Linux

Furius ISO Mount , select or drag-and-drop an image file to mount, one-click unmount, supports for burning ISO and IMG files, generate MD5 and SHA1 checksums, saving history and retrieving previously unmounted images. (Review)

 

AcetoneISO , a feature-rich application to emulate CD/DVD drives and manage CD/DVD images. You can use it to mount disk images including ISO, BIN, NRG, MDF and IMG formats, generate an ISO image from a folder or CD/DVD, backup an audio CD to a BIN image, burn CD/DVD, convert other images to ISO, extract image content to a folder, and more.

 

Best Free CD Ripper for Linux

AsunderAsunder , a simple yet powerful audio CD ripper and encoder to save audio tracks from an audio CD as any of MP3, AAC, Ogg, WAV, FLAC, Wavpack, Musepack or Monkey's audio files.

Useful features include using CDDB to name and tag each track, encoding to multiple formats in one session, simultaneous ripping and encoding, tagging each track for a different artist and more.

 

Best Free DVD Authoring Software for Linux

DeVeDe , an easy-to-use tool to create a video DVD, Video CD, Super Video CD and other disk images, with support for adding menus and subtitles, shifting audio and other video editing functions such as rotating, scaling, deinterlacing and more. You will need separate CD / DVD burning software to burn the disk images created by this tool for playback on your home players.

 

Best Free DVD Ripper for Linux

HandBrake , good quality in transcoded video, small file size, integrates the latest improvements to the H.264 encoding library with enhanced picture quality, speed optimizations and supports better control over multiple audio tracks. (Review)

 

Best Free Media Center for Linux

KodiKodi (formally known as XBMC) is truly outstanding in this category and earns the Gizmo's Top Pick title rightfully in my eyes. It played all media files I fed it with and turned out to be the most reliable product for me.

Kodi offers convincing media library features and is highly configurable with custom skins and backdrops. You will find a vast amount of plugins, skins and other goodies for it as the community around Kodi is large. (Review)

 

Best Free Media Player for Linux

VLC Media PlayerVLC Media Player supports playback of most video files and DVD discs without the need to download external codec packs, including flv filescan. There are 5 different DVD region codes and VLC plays them all.

VLC also has the ability to take screenshots of your video, even while during DVD playback, a real attractive feature. (Review)

 

SMPlayer intends to be a complete front-end for MPlayer, from basic features like playing videos, DVDs, and VCDs to more advanced features like support for MPlayer filters, remember the settings of all files you play and more.

 

Best Free MP3 Tag Editor for Linux

Kid3Kid3 , edit all tags, generate tags from files or vice versa, import tags from databases, browse cover arts and lyrics from online resources, drag and drop cover art to a file, export tags, etc." Kid3 uses KDE libraries, while another package Kid3-qt is also available for installation without KDE dependencies. (Review)

 

MusicBrainz Picard , identify track info by matching digital thumbprint with MusicBrainz database, show up existing tags with add and delete functions. (Review)

 

Best Free Music Creator for Linux

LMMSLMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio) , as a stand alone application, one would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensively full featured and versatile free music creator than this, with so many instruments and effects to choose from.

The onboard Beat/Bassline editor removes the need for a separate drum sequencer and is a very nice touch: LMMS really is a one stop shop. (Review).

 

Best Free Music Notation Software for Linux

MuseScoreMuseScore , the best free music notation software with fast and easy note entry in WYSIWYG mode. It's integrated with a sequencer and FluidSynth software synthesizer and allows for an unlimited number of staves; up to four voices per staff; 128 instrument sounds for playback plus eight drum and percussion sets.

Other features include import and export of MusicXML and standard MIDI files; output as PDF or PNG documents and basic ensemble scoring. (Review).

 

Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Linux

Banshee imports, organizes, plays, and shares music using a simple yet powerful interface. Other features include rip CDs, create playlists, burn audio and mp3 CDs, support for podcasting and music recommendations.

 

Amarok , a powerful music player for multi platforms with an intuitive interface, supports for collection management, bookmarking, dynamic playlists, file tracking, integrated web services and more.

 

Rhythmbox , an easy-to-use music player and organizer that has a clean interface, and sports many features, such as album art display, online radio access, and CD burning. This software is powered by Gstreamer, and can therefore support all of its audio formats, such as WAV, AAC, MP3, OGG, FLAC and more. (Review)

 

Best Free Photo Slideshow Software for Linux

ffDiaporama , a great tool to create a slideshow of your favorite photos with background colors and images, music and transition effects, clean user interface with drag-and-drop support for slides, and a preview of the slideshow from any point.

You can insert fixed or animated titles as well as movie clips into a slideshow, save your project for editing and export your result to mp4, mkv, mpg or avi formats. A wide range of video quality from QVGA (320x240) up to full HD (1920x1080) is supported.

 

Best Free Radio Broadcasting for Linux

Great Little Radio Player , a simplistic radio station streamer allows you to listen to a collection of 400 radio stations worldwide on the Internet, sort stations by country or genre and set your favorite stations as well. Other features include add stations, import and export stations, skin changes and localization settings.

 

Best Free Screen Session Recorder for Linux

SimpleScreenRecorder , an easy-to-use screen session recorder to record the entire screen, a fixed rectangle or a window on your screen, with various input options including frame rate, scale video, record cursor and audio. Output files can be saved in a container format using audio and video codecs of your choice provided they are installed and supported in your system.

 

Best Free Video Downloader for Linux

ClipGrabClipGrab , an efficient and free video downloader for YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, MyVideo, MySpass, Sevenload, Tudou, Clipfish and many other online video sites. You can enter keywords in the box to search videos on YouTube or paste the URL to a video, then select the format and quality of the video you need, click "Grab this clip!" and the app does the rest for you.

You can also configure how the app behaves when a downloadable video is discovered in your clipboard, and whether you want to keep metadata (ID3 tags) when you download and convert videos to mp3 files.

 

Best Free Video Editor for Linux

AvidemuxAvidemux is designed for multi-purpose video editing and processing and is my personal favorite because of its simplicity yet wide range of tools.

The software supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. It lets you do just about everything under the sun, with well documented tutorials. (Review)

 

OpenShot Video Editor , an open-source and non-linear video editor which is stable and friendly to use with support for many video, audio and image formats based on FFmpeg together with lots of other useful features.

 
 
 
 
Best Free Desktop and System for Linux
 
 

Best Free Cleanup and Tuning for Linux

BleachBitBleachBit , a system tool allows you to preview and delete unnecessary files to free up your valuable disk space, maintain privacy, and remove hidden junk. It deletes cache, cookies, Internet history, logs, temporary files, broken shortcuts, and wipes clean 70 applications and more.

 

GtkOrphan , an orphaned libraries remover to analyse the status of your installations, looks for orphaned libraries and adds package-removal capability. A GUI front-end to Deborphan for Debian systems.

 

Best Free Color Picker for Linux

gcolor2 , quick and easy to pick a color, supports HSV, RGB and HTML codes with an opacity slider, color grabber, allows for naming and saving picked colors. (Review)

 

Recoll , an open source program and a powerful tool allows you to search instantly most common document types, emails and their attachments after indexing your home directory by default. You can configure additional areas for indexing and install supporting packages to include file types that are not indexed natively by the tool as well.

 

Best Free Font Manager for Linux

FontmatrixFontmatrix is the largest and most complex application and runs on a wider range of platforms with more high-end features. Some of these features are not available in any of other programs.

You can activate fonts in tagged groups, view many sample texts in many languages, classify fonts using PANOSE, view and compare glyphs, find a font from a raster, extract fonts from PDF files, and test layouts in a free-form playground. (Review)

 

Font Manager allows you to easily manage fonts installed in your Linux system. You can preview and compare installed fonts, activate and de-activate installed fonts, install new fonts or remove existing fonts, group fonts into collections and export them to an archive for backup and sharing.

 

Best Free Grub Customizer for Linux

Grub Customizer , a graphical user interface to re-arrange, rename or hide boot menu entries, set a default operating system to boot on a multi-boot device, customize the appearance as well as adjust other settings of Grub (GRand Unified Bootloader).

 

Best Free Program Launcher for Linux

Launchy , a top product in the keyword search class, easy to understand, simple to configure, extend and use. It's open source and has a really small memory footprint. You can use it not only to launch applications, but also run your media player with a specific MP3 file, have your browser open on a specific bookmark and more. (Review)

 

GNOME Do , type and search the items on your computer or on the web and the program helps you perform the tasks directly and quickly with suggested actions to take. A large set of official and community plugins are available for making the program more powerful with even more task varieties.

 

Cairo-Dock , a pretty and light program allows you to launch your applications right away from the dock on your desktop, supporting useful features such as multi-docks, applets, themes and various settings to change the appearance and behavior of the program to your liking.

 

Best Free Screen Capture for Linux

ShutterShutter is like a swiss army knife for all screen capture tasks in Linux. It works better than Gnome-screenshot and KDE's KSnapshot.

You can use this program to capture desktop, window, child window and rectangular area, with many plugins for resize and special effects, delay capture, activate/deactivate window border and cursor, inbuilt drawing tools, linked to external editor and auto save. (Review)

 

Best Free Screen Session Recorder for Linux

recordMyDesktop , an easy-to-use and effective recorder to make screen recordings into free Ogg video format. It also offers the ability to record audio through ALSA mixer or other options. The frontend program gtk-recordMyDesktop and the ALSA mixer can be downloaded from some depositories including Ubuntu Software Center.

 

Best Free System Information Utility for Linux

I-Nex , similar to the application CPU-Z for Windows, gathers and displays information for hardware components on your system, including CPU, GPU, Motherboard, Audio, Drives, System, Linux Kernel, Memory, Network and USB devices plugged in. It also allows you to generate a report of the info and take a screenshot of the I-Nex window.

 

Best Free System Tools for Linux

PySDM , a Storage Device Manager allowing for full customization of hard disk mountpoints and creation of rules for dynamic configuration of storage devices. See also Auto Mount Drives at System Startup.

 

CCSM (CompizConfig Settings Manager) , a useful tool to configure the many plugins included in Compiz and Compiz Fusion for advanced desktop effects settings.

 

Best Free Wallpaper Changer for Linux

WallyWally , a good wallpaper changer allows for wallpaper positions to set to centered, tiled, center tiled, centered maxpert, tiled maxpert, scaled, center auto fit or scale and crop.

The program supports features such as time intervals, selecting images from local folders or online resources, displaying images' EXIF data in system tray tool-tip, saving downloaded photos and run-time folder change detection. (Review)

 

Variety is an open-source wallpaper changer packed with a variety of great features, such as automatically fetching wallpapers from your favorite folders or online sources, applying filters to the displayed wallpapers, matching wallpapers with color and size, showing random wise quotes and a configurable digital clock on the desktop. You can set Variety to change wallpaper on start or every fixed time interval.

 

DesktopNova , change your desktop wallpapers automatically based on a list of image files you've added, or even better, based on a list of folders and subfolders containing your favorite images. With this application, you can set wallpapers to change upon each login session or at every fixed time interval to your liking.

 

Webilder , rotate your wallpapers automatically from your collection at a time interval you set, and download new photos from Flickr or Webshots to your collection using tags or image type. Settings are available for different desktop environments such as GNOME3, GNOME, KDE and Xfce.

 

Best Free Windows API for Linux

Wine allows for running Windows applications on Linux and other operating systems, but without a copy of Windows. It's still under active development and not every program works yet.

 
 
 
 
Best Free Disk and File Tools for Linux
 
 

Best Free Backup Program for Linux

Back In TimeBack In Time , a convenient tool to backup your specified files and folders, with profiles to set up where to save snapshots at a time interval you choose, sources to include files and folders, recommended patterns to exclude, auto-remove and other options.

This application minimizes usage of your disk space by taking a snapshot only if the files have been changed, and hard links for unmodified files. Both GNOME and KDE front-ends are available. (Review)

 

luckyBackup , a useful tool to safely back up your data that you've changed in a source directory to a destination directory, or create multiple backup snapshots to a specific date and time. You can also use it to sync any directories to keep files identical on various devices.

Other features include options to exclude certain files, setting up profiles, scheduling and simulation controls. (Review)

 

Areca Backup supports the typical full, mirror, incremental, and differential backup methods with several additional “storage modes” including a delta block mode. For compressed archives, it uses both Zip and Zip 64 with the choice of just about any encoding algorithm your heart desires. It allows you to place each backup in a single Zip archive, or a separate Zip for each file. Zip archives can be automatically split at any size you choose. (Review)

 

Best Free CD Recovery Utility for Linux

Dvdisaster , a preventive program to create an error correction file from a good CD or DVD for data recovery. (Review)

 

Best Free Disk Image Editor for Linux

ISO Master is a handy tool for editing ISO image files. It has a two-pane view to facilitate moving files and directories between the hard disk and the ISO image, and supports for handing a boot record and creating a bootable disk image.

 

Best Free Drive Imaging Program for Linux

Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk and increases the close efficiency. The version of Clonezilla Live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. (Review)

 

G4U ("Ghosting for Unix") , "Not only can it clone disk to disk (any size) and copy disk partitions, it can also create and restore image files both locally and from an FTP site, if the workstation is connected to a wired network with a DCHP service." (Review)

 

Best Free Duplicate File Detector for Linux

FSlint , a convenient tool with both GUI and command lines modes to detect duplicate files and reclaim disk space. It also helps to identify unwanted or problematic file names, temporary files, bad symlinks, empty directories, nonstripped binaries and redundant whitespaces.

 

Best Free File Archiver / Zip Utilities for Linux

PeaZip , "Easy to use and very versatile, capable of creating 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, PAQ/ZPAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, ZIP files and extracting from 98 archive types." (Review)

 

File Roller is an archive manager designed for the GNOME desktop environment to create archives, view or extract files from archives, work as a front-end to the command-line archiver supporting various popular file formats.

 

Ark , a free and open source program designed for the KDE desktop environment to view, extract, create and modify archives in various formats such as tar, gzip, bzip2, zip, rar and lha.

 

Best Free File Comparison Utility for Linux

KDiff3 , a convenient tool for you to compare two or three input files and show the differences line by line and character by character. It also provides an automatic merge facility and an integrated editor for comfortable solving of merge conflicts. (Review)

 

Best Free File Copy Utility for Linux

UltraCopierUltraCopier has some pretty exciting features including an excellent file resume option, which allows for resuming of a file transfer from a disconnected USB key. If you're in the middle of a file transfer from a USB key and it somehow becomes disconnected, when you plug it in again all you have to do is to hit resume and it will pick up where you left off!

It has also other useful options such as speed limitation and searching through the copy list. And as far as looks go, UltraCopier is a much more visually attractive copier replacement. (Review)

 

Unstoppable Copier , excellent for copying information from scratched CD's, DVD's and corrupted files from the hard drives. (Review)

 

Best Free File Encryption Utility for Linux

AES Crypt is a simple program that adds a context menu item in the file system context menu. There is no program window as you have for most programs.

You simply right-click the file you want to encrypt or decrypt in the file listing, select the AES Crypt item, and enter your password in a little dialog box. A new encrypted or decrypted version of the file is created. Since the original file is not purged, you would need to shred it with a secure erase utility." (Review)

 

GNU Privacy Assistant (GPA) , a useful tool with the graphical user interface for the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) to encrypt, decrypt, sign files, verify signatures and manage the private and public keys.

 

Best Free File Manager for Linux

Dolphin , a file manager for KDE (by default) and good for other desktop environments such as GNOME as well, focusing on usability with navigation bar, view properties, split of views, dockable panels and many other useful features.

 

Best Free File Transfer for Linux

Dukto , a convenient tool to transfer files, folders or text from one device to another auto detected device on a local area network at high speed across mutiple platforms including Linux, Windows, OS X, Android, iOS and BlackBerry. (App of the Week)

 

Best Free Folder and File Synchronization Tool for Linux

FreeFileSyncFreeFileSync , a solid application with very clear and informative interface. The preview is very easy to understand, file collisions and deletions are readily recognizable.

If you require a sync program that can copy files that are in use or locked, it has you covered there too! (Review)

 

Grsync , a graphical user interface for rsync and an effective tool to synchronize folders, files and make backups with support for sessions, simulation, execution, checksum, logging as well as other basic and advanced options for you to choose.

 

Unison , set up a profile to sync folders and files locally on the same machine or remotely across a network with this capable tool, which runs on both Windows and Unix systems, like Linux and OS X, and works across platforms.

Useful features include detecting and displaying conflicting updates, optimising transfers of small updates to large files using a compression protocol similar to rsync.

 

Best Free Online Backup Sites for Linux

Dropbox provides 2 GB free space for backing up and sharing your files, works similar to any other folder of your computer—after installation, simply drag and drop files/folders to Dropbox you want to backup, share or sync with other computer. (Review)

 

Best Free Partition Manager for Linux

GParted , a GNOME partition editor for resizing (enlarging or shrinking), creating or deleting, moving or copying partitions on a hard disk, creating a partition table, enabling or disabling partition flags such as boot and hidden. (Review)

 

TestDisk , a console application designed for data recovery. It can be used to fix partition table, recover deleted partitions or copy files from deleted partitions. (Review)

 

Best Free Secure Erase Utility for Linux

Darik's Boot and Nuke constructs a floppy disk or CD that will automatically wipe the hard drives of any PC that's booted from the disk, great for bulk disk cleaning and emergency. (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Games for Linux
 
 

Best Free Backgammon for Linux

GNU Backgammon houses the all powerful GnuBG neural network engine in an ambitious freeware project with a wealth of advanced options and capbilities. It is a highly enjoyable powerplay program to delight all backgammon enthusiasts and a must-have for anyone with more than a passing interest in the game. (Review)

 

Best Free Billiards and Pool Game for Linux

BillardGLBillardGL , a brilliantly crafted open-sourced freeware game that affords play of either 8-Ball or 9-Ball. The 3D graphics are second-to-none and the physics appear to be flawless.

The user interface is simple and the controls straightforward. As you assess your next shot, you can view the table layout from any perspective you want, roaming and zooming and peering. (Review)

 

Best Free Breakout Game for Linux

LBreakout2LBreakout2 , an extremely polished Breakout Clone features a two-player mode (local or over the internet or LAN), fine animations and graphics, excellent controls, the ability to save a game, a level editor, and a turbo key.

This game gets regular Level Set updates. The fun continues well beyond when you have mastered the 50+ levels. (Review)

 

Best Free Computer Chess for Linux

PyChessPyChess , with this program, you can play against the GNU Chess engine or lots of other chess engines, such as the Crafty engine. You can also play Internet chess by connecting to the FICS servers.

It allows for saving games in the PGN, EPD and FEN chess file formats so that you can always return to continue with the games or analyze them. It also offers opening books and other useful features including undo moves, hint and spy modes, sound and animation effects." (Review)

 

HOXChess , a well designed open source Chinese Chess application with highly configurable user interface and multi engines for you to choose from. You can also easily connect to multi remote Xiangqi servers to play the game online. (Review)

 

Best Free Computer Go for Linux

PANDA-glGo , 2D and 3D boards, adjustable board size and engine strength, play online or offline, etc. (Review)

 

Best Free First-Person Shooter for Linux

Urban TerrorUrban Terror , described as fun over realism by the creators, the game has fast paced, intense game-play. Urban Terror doesn't throw realism to the wind mind you, but rather tries to enhance game-play with elements like powerslides and wallhops.

Five different game types, over a thousand servers, plenty of players to go around and no waiting for people to show up. (Review)

 

Best Free Hearts Game for Linux

Gnome Hearts , various rule sets including Spot Hearts, Omnibus Hearts with configurable play rules, backgrounds and card styles. (Review)

 

Best Free Jigsaw Puzzle for Linux

Picpuz , create and solve puzzles, save and open puzzle files, set tile sizes, solving a puzzle by swapping pieces or with a helpful solver. (Review)

 

Best Free Lemmings Game for Linux

Pingus , play a free clone of the popular Lemmings game and guide as many penguins as possible to build bridges, climb, bash and use their talents to reach home before they fall into traps. Optional sound effects and music, plenty of level sets and even a level editor are available for challenging your skills.

 

Best Free Match-3 Puzzle for Linux

Frozen BubbleFrozen Bubble , designed with colorful 3D rendered penguin animations and 15 stereo sound effects, Frozen Bubble comes with editable 100 levels for 1-player game, or hours and hours of 2-player game. You can also choose to have multi-player game over the local area network or Internet.

Play this game with the left or right key to aim your shot and up key to fire. Hone your skills in speed and accuracy before the bubbles get frozen! (Review)

 

Best Free Physics Game for Linux

Numpty PhysicsNumpty Physics , an excellent open source and multi-platform physics game with 35 built-in levels. It has more to offer than the free prototype of Crayon Physics Deluxe.

You're able to draw custom shapes and have access to all levels at once, so you don't have to worry if you get stuck at a level. The sketches look more like what a 3-year old has drawn and don't have the professional feel of Crayon Physics. But who cares? I'm also not an artist! (Review)

 

Best Free Pipe-Building Puzzle for Linux

PipeWalker , solve this casual puzzle in building a piping or network system by connecting all scattered pieces with your logic and skill. With support for four map sizes, themes and auto save, it has multiple levels for you to figure out. A binary package is available here for Ubuntu and compatible distros.

 

Best Free Reversi for Linux

KReversi , 7-level of difficulty, clean and helpful interface, show legal moves and last move, undo moves, hints, animation, etc. (Review)

 

Best Free Sandbox Game for Linux

Dwarf FortressDwarf Fortress is so horrendously in depth. It's nearing insanity, everything from the dynamic flow of water in the moats to several dozen types of ore, gems and utility stones by the book. You can spend anything from minutes to hours playing this 'uber' creative game.

For the first few hours there is a steep learning curve - you'll probably be unsure of what you're doing. However, the Dwarf Fortress Wiki or captnducks video tutorials may come in handy. (Review)

 

Best Free Simulation Game for Linux

OpenCity , a 3D city simulator like a classic SimCity game for you to construct a city divided into residential, commercial and industrial zones. You can connect them by building roads, provide the city with necessary goods and watch it grow up with the power you supply.

 

TORCS (The Open Racing Car Simulator) , a multi-platform car racing simulation game allows you to drive different cars in races against computer opponents or human players. The game play allows different types of races from a simple practice session up to the championship while the simulation features a simple damage model, collisions, tire and wheel properties, aerodynamics and more. (Review)

 

Best Free Sudoku Puzzle, Generator and Solver for Linux

HoDoKuHoDoKu , an open source program allows you to generate sudoku puzzles in five different and configurable difficulty levels. It also includes a solver and an analyzer to help you solve the puzzles.

While playing the game, you can select to view a summary of solving techniques and solution paths. When you click on a solution path, it highlights the steps on the corresponding grid to help you analyze the game. (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Home and Office for Linux
 
 

Best Free Comic Book Reader for Linux

Comix , a perfect reader for comic book archives saved in such formats as cbz, cbr, cbt, zip, rar, tar, tar.gz, tar.gz2 as well as normal image files, with support for various viewing modes, slideshow, magnifying glass, image scaling, dynamic background color, caching for faster page flipping, bookmarks, image enhancement, thumbnail maintenance, adding books to library, editing archives and more.

 

Best Free Desktop Publishing Program for Linux

ScribusScribus , a professional quality page layout program capable of producing press-ready output. The feature list is impressive; basically everything you want is there including "CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

Graphics manipulation is handled via an interface to Gimp. Scribus can also import from and export to programs in the Open Office suite. The user interface is highly functional and the documentation is excellent, with lots of support from the user community. (Review)

 

Best Free Dictionary and Thesaurus for Linux

Artha , an off-line English dictionary and thesaurus application based on the extensive and in-depth database provided by WordNet, giving you word definitions and relative words such as synonyms, antonyms, derivatives, etc. Support for word look-up with a pre-set hotkey Ctrl-Alt-W, search using wild-cards like * or ?, and spelling suggestions.

 

Best Free eBook Reader for Linux

Calibre includes an e-book viewer, library management, format conversion, news feeds, ebook conversion and sync features. A complete solution to all your e-book needs. (Review)

 

Best Free Notes Organizer for Linux

KeepNoteKeepNote , in each notebook, you can create folders and pages, as well as sub-folders and sub-pages, and you can re-organize them easily by drag-and-drop. In each page, rich text formatting including colored fonts, bullet point lists and hyperlinks are supported.

Not only can you store images, you can also directly insert a screenshot you take with this application into an opened note." (Review)

 

Tomboy Notes , time for it if you want to have a useful tool to relate notes and ideas together, with a wiki-like linking system. Features of the program include rich-text formatting, printing or exporting notes to html format, etc. (Review)

 

Best Free Office Suite for Linux

LibreOfficeLibreOffice , a new office suite contains six feature-rich applications including Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base, supports for Open Document Format (ODF) and is compatible with other major office suites.

If you're already familiar with OpenOffice, you will be able to start using LibreOffice quickly and easily as it's a fork of OpenOffice.

Developed and supported by The Document Foundation, LibreOffice is aimed to be free and vendor-independent, with no requirement for copyright assignments.

 

OpenOfficeOpenOffice covers the basics of office document creation: word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, a desktop database and allows you to save your documents in many choices of file formats so you'll have no problem exchanging documents with MS Office.

All of the modules are easy to learn and if you've ever used any other office software, it's a doddle. It is also extendable via extensions. (Review)

 

Best Free PDF Editor for Linux

Master PDF Editor , a PDF editor allows you to create and edit PDF files with features such as edit text, remove or insert images, add bookmarks and PDF controls, encrypt and protect PDF files, convert XPS files into PDF and more. This application also comes with editing functions for XPS files and is free for non-commercial use in Linux system.

 

Best Free PDF Reader for Linux

Okular , more than a viewer for pdf and other document formats including postscript, djvu, tiff, chm, dvi, xps, odf and so on. It can be used on both KDE and GNOME desktop environments, with features for annotations, highlighting, drawing lines and shapes, adding textboxes and stamps, selecting and saving a part of documents as text or in an image format.

 

Evince , a document viewer for pdf and other document formats including postscript, djvu, tiff and dvi, aiming to replace the multiple document viewers that exist on the GNOME Desktop with a single simple application.

 

Foxit Reader , small size, user-customized toolbar, fast launch speed, full screen capabilities, snapshot, zoom, thumbnails and other features. (Review)

 

Best Free PDF Tools for Linux

PDF-ShufflerPDF-Shuffler , re-arranging pages in a pdf document, or merging and splitting pdf files, would be much easier with PDF Shuffler.

After importing one or more pdf files to PDF Shuffler, you are presented with pages in thumbnails so that you can easily merge, re-order or delete the pages, or right-click a thumbnail to rotate or crop a page before exporting to a new pdf file. (Review)

 

PDF Mod , besides the same functionalities as PDF Shuffler for reordering or rotating pages, and merging and splitting pdf files, PDF Mod comes with a clearer PDF viewer and a slider to adjust zooming levels easily. Even though it lacks a feature for cropping select pages, you get more other goodies such as exporting images, adding bookmarks and editing properties including the title, author, keywords and subject of PDF files. (Review)

 

Oracle PDF Import Extension allows you to import and modify PDF documents in OpenOffice from a PDF/ODF hybrid file with 100% layout accuracy. (Review)

 

Best Free PDF Writer for Linux

CUPS-PDF creates a virtual PDF printer to convert a file printed in queue to PDF and save it in a user directory.

 

Best Free Personal Finance for Linux

GnuCash , double entry accounting, keep tabs of budgets, create various accounts in each category, full suite of standard and customizable reports. (Review)

 

Best Free Personal Information Management for Linux

Evolution , a full-featured and comprehensive PIM that can syncronize with serveral protocols including Microsoft Exchange, providing users with integrated mail, address book and calendaring functionality. It has also been ported from Linux to Windows. (Review)

 

Best Free Project Manager for Linux

GanttProjectGanttProject , a very good project management tool with a surprisingly good depth of features and accessories—you can put in a percentage complete bar inside the timeline of that particular stage and make it easy to see how far along everything is without a lot of hassle. You can also add team members for a project and assign them to tasks when you set them up.

It also includes a Milestone feature giving an end goal to aim for with a fixed time. Many other project management tools do not support these. (Review)

 

Best Free Word Processor for Linux

AbiWordAbiWord , easy to adapt to, especially since the interface is similar to that found in Word and WordPerfect. Its abilities include cut and paste, highlight, as well as the usual host of common formatting tools, annotation and checking spelling in many languages.

Besides being able to save to Word format, its own proprietary file format is available. A plugin can be installed to open OpenDocument formats. Sharing documents is possible with the integration of AbiCollab Web service. (Review)

 

FocusWriter , a distraction-free word processor lets you focus on writing with a hide-away user interface. This excellent cross-platform software runs in a full screen or a small window, features on-the-fly word counts, spell checks, customizable themes, and supports docx, odt, rtf and txt file formats. (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Internet and Email for Linux
 
 

Best Free BitTorrent Client for Linux

Vuze (formerly Azureus) , cross platform, informative interface, wide variety of plugins, excellent support and the Vuze platform of legal content that downloads at high speeds. (Review)

 

Tixati performs excellently, easy on system resources, has an appealing and useful interface and has no ads or toolbar on install." (Review)

 

Transmission , an easy-to-use yet powerful BitTorrent client with an intuitive interface and low memory footprint. The default settings just work but you can take a few clicks to configure advanced features such as watch directories, limit download and upload speed, bad peer blocklists, the web interface and more.

 

Best Free Download Manager for Linux

UgetuGet a cross-platform program designed to be simple, lightweight and easy to use. It's an open source application written in GTK+. Debian and RPM packages are readily available for download and installation.

The program supports pause, resume and queue downloads, and classification of download files, monitors clipboard and integrates with Firefox browser via FlashGot plugin." (Review)

 

FlareGet applies a dynamic file segmentation algorithm to speed up downloads and http-pipelining to further accelerate each segment. It's equipped with a queue manager, scheduler, batch downloader and flash video grabber.

Useful features include dynamic and intelligent file management, enhanced browser integration, resume, multi-protocol and mirror supports, speed limits, etc. The free version supports up to four parallel connections per download.

 

FatRat , an open source and feature rich download manager built on top of Qt4 library, supports HTTP(S) or FTP downloads, FTP uploads, BitTorrent (including torrent search and creating, DHT, UPnP, encryption), SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies. Other features include RSS feed with special functions for TV shows and podcasts, hash computing, RapidShare.com downloads, uploads, link verification, folder extraction and more.

 

Best Free Email Client for Linux

Mozilla Thunderbird , customizable and expandable through add-ons, intuitive user interface." (Review)

 

Evolution provides integrated mail, address book and calendar, matches most other email programs in features and functionality.

 

Best Free File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Client for Linux

FireFTP , a cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox, easy to use, small, fast, feature packed, frequent updates and new features." (Review)

 

FileZilla , if you use a browser other than Firefox or require advanced functionality not found in FireFTP, then this is one of great standalone applications, easy to use, feature rich, includes site manager functions. (Review)

 

Best Free Instant Messaging Client for Linux

Pidgin supports AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr IM networks, available for multiple platforms, simple user interface, functional and lack of popups." (Review)

 

Best Free Remote Access Software for Linux

TeamViewerTeamViewer , an excellent remote control product that allows you to connect to any PC over the internet and drive it as if you were sitting in front of it.

The software is said to have been downloaded more than 60 million times so far, and is widely praised by a number of users of Gizmo's Freeware. Another handy feature is that your grandma won't need admin privileges to run the client application, so making the connection to her PC is going to be pretty easy. (Review)

 

Best Free RSS Feed Reader or Aggregator for Linux

LifereaLiferea , an abbreviation for Linux Feed Reader, comes with distinguishing features like Google Reader and Tiny Tiny RSS sync, Google Reader labels, permanently saving headlines in news bins and reading articles when you are offline.

Other functionality includes optional pop-up notification of new items, news items with headline, image and summary, as well as other settings in user preferences.

 

Best Free Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for Linux

Skype , make Skype-to-Skype conference calls or see each other with one-to-one video calls for free. You can also send text messages, documents, video clips or photos to your friends and relatives using this application. More advanced features are available but not all services are free.

 

Best Free Web Browser for Linux

Mozilla FirefoxMozilla Firefox is safer and browses a tad faster than Internet Explorer (for Windows), very stable and more standards compliant, rich in features such as Private browsing, tabbed browsing and over 2000 free extensions (add-ons) that allow you to customize your experience. It provides the most flexibility, expandability, and features of any browser to date." (Review)

 

Google Chrome , extremely fast, simple and intuitive interface, Incognito Mode won't leave traces of browser history, capable of creating Application Shortcuts to specific pages on the web. (Review)

 

Opera , in addition to being a top rate web browser, it also has a great email client, RSS reader, newsgroup reader, and IRC Chat client." (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Photos & Graphics for Linux
 
 

Best Free CAD Program for Linux

Sweet Home 3DSweet Home 3D is sure to tickle every bone in your body. You can model your dream home, along with all of its cherished appointments, and then watch it come to life. You can start simple with just the bare walls or import an image of your intended floor plan to serve as a basis for the design-to-be.

The user interface is as intuitive as it gets; drag and drop furnishings from the built-in catalog onto your floor plan. Clear graphic handles then make it easy to edit the items. Once you've finished your home design and tweaked every niche and corner to your liking, the fun has only just begun. (Review)

 

BlenderBlender , a complete software package for 3D modeling, texturing, rendering, animation and physics. It has a complex but merciful user interface, and the entire repertoire of its capabilities are made available through a scripting language, so the creation of 3D games beckons.

The software can import from and export to more than 20 different file formats. There is a large and growing community of Blender users who've already contributed numerous add-on scripts that can make your going easier. If it can be imagined then it can be realized, with Blender freeware. (Review)

 

Best Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software for Linux

Luminance HDRLuminance HDR (previously known as Qtpfsgui) is an open source graphical user interface program and a high quality application to provide a workflow for high dynamic range imaging.

It has great tone-mapping and aligning facilities, allowing for 8, 16 and 32 bit channels and two means of manually manipulating the image.

 

Best Free Image Editor for Linux

Luminance HDRGIMP , currently the only freeware package I am aware of that can be called an advanced image editor.

If you are inexperienced at using image editing programs GIMP will likely be too overwhelming to start learning on as it has a steeper learning curve but it is feature rich. It has lots of advanced features and can do almost everything the Photoshop can do.

Its multi-windowed interface makes it a little unusual if you're used to a windows program. (Review)

 

Pinta , a simplified alternative to GIMP and modelled after the popular Windows program Paint.Net, Pinta is good for average users and includes most basic features including common drawing tools, resizing and cropping, adjustments and effects for tweaking images as well as supports for multiple layers.

 

Best Free Image Optimizer for Linux

Trimage makes your image files smaller and more suitable for use on websites, sharing on social media or sending by email. It supports PNG and JPG formats, shows compression levels and optimizes multiple images in one go, using optipng, advpng, pngcrush and jpegoptim.

 

Best Free Image Stitcher for Linux

Hugin , a GUI front-end of Panorama Tools allows you to stitch overlapping digital photos taken from the same location into a complete panorama, with advanced features and workflow options such as correction of exposure and white balance, generate HDR, supporting a full range of cameras and lenses, multiple rows of photos, cropping, masking, control points, optimizer and more.

 

Best Free Image Viewer for Linux

XnViewMP , a multi-platform and enhanced version of XnView, is a media or graphic browser and viewer available both in 32 and 64 bit versions, with speed-optimized loading, improved caching and multi-core processing. It also has a powerful batch image converter built-in.

Provided free for private and educational use, this app supports more than 500 formats in reading and export to about 70 different file formats.

 

Best Free Paint Program for Linux

MyPaintMyPaint , designed for pressure sensitive graphics tablets, MyPaint allows you to use a large collection of brushes including charcoal and ink to emulate real media, with color changers and opacity controls, unlimited canvas and basic layer support.

You can also download and import more brush packages for use with the application.

 

Krita , a user-friendly and feature-rich sketching and painting application for raster images, complete with real-world painting materials and workflows, multiple brush engines, blending and wrap-around modes, advanced selection and masking tools, symmetry tools, drawing aids, filters, effects, layer and color management.

 

Best Free Photo Organizer for Linux

digiKam , a digital photo management program designed to import, organize, enhance, search and export image files. With this you can add comments and tags to albums, view and edit items, create slideshows and calendars, and share your creations.

 

Phototonic , an image viewer and organizer to load thumbnails and browse images on a folder tree. Some key features include image navigation, file management, slideshow, transformation, adjustment, display image info and metadata, rotate images based on the Exif orientation tag, find and manage duplicate images, etc.

No executable package is readily available but general instructions to compile the program code and create the executable are given on the developer's homepage.

 

Best Free QR Code Generator and Decoder for Linux

QtQRQtQR , a graphical frond-end for python-qrtools allows you to easily create and decode QR codes, supporting URL and other data type, configurable pixel and margin sizes, error correction, and save QR Codes in png format.

You can also use it to decode a QR image from a file on your computer or captured on a Webcam. (Note: Install python-qrtools in your system before installing QtQR; both debian and rpm packages are available.)

 

Best Free Vector Graphics Editor for Linux

Inkscape , a top product enhanced by an excellent user interface and the impressive set of tutorials, helps wean the user away from the world of digital images to the nodes, lines, curves and shapes that form the basis of vector editing. (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Programming for Linux
 
 

Best Free HTML Editor for Linux

KompoZerKompoZer , one of the best free WYSIWYG editors is KompoZer, our top recommendation for newbies. It's designed for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive web site without needing to know HTML. Features include integrated file management (upload to and edit files on a web server), tabbed editing (allowing work on multiple pages), and support for forms, tables and templates. (Review)

 

NetBeans started life as a Java Editor but with recent releases it has developed into a powerful text editor for web scripting.

At first glance, NetBeans is a little intimidating. Most of the menu items can be ignored by ordinary mortals. Using it as an HTML/PHP editor is akin to using a steam hammer to crack a peanut. Nevertheless the code completion, code colouring and the professional look and feel make it an excellent choice. (Review)

 

Best Free NFO Viewer for Linux

NFO Viewer , a simple viewer for NFO files with preset font, encoding settings, automatic window size and clickable hyperlinks.

 

Best Free Programming Editor for Linux

BluefishBluefish , a lightweight yet powerful editor designed for experienced programmers and web designers, and works as a general purpose editor as well with the IDE.

Its user interface is complete with toolbars, dialogs and user-customized menus to facilitate insertion of markups and codes. Options are available for writing websites, scripts and programming codes in many programming and markup languages, with many other useful features. (Review)

 

Kate , an advanced and easy-to-use editor supporting scriptable syntax highlighting, indentation and code folding for many source files, loads fast and runs stably. (Review)

 
 
 
 
Best Free Security and Privacy for Linux
 
 

Best Free Anonymous Surfing Service for Linux

JonDo (previously known as JAP) is my top choice and a Java application that performs the role of a local (PC based) proxy server that redirects browser requests via the JonDo network. This allows the user to configure their choice of any browser rather than requiring a change to Opera. (Review)

 

Best Free Antivirus for Linux

ClamTK Virus Scanner is a graphical user interface for ClamAV and designed to be an easy-to-use, on-demand scanner running on Linux systems.

I thought Linux doesn't need antivirus protection?" It's true that you may not need it, but this program is more geared for users interested in scanning files prior to sending them to users of other operating systems than Linux.

 

Best Free Firewall for Linux

GufwGufw is a graphical user interface for UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall), and as the name implies, an easy-to-use firewall for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Linux systems, with support for setting up rules such as allowing or blocking applications, incoming and outgoing services, common P2P or individual IP/ports, with options for logging and showing notifications.

 

Firestarter , a complete firewall tool for Linux, allows for users to create a firewall with a wizard, open and close ports with a few clicks, completes with a real-time hit monitor.

 

Best Free Internet Safety Check for Linux

WOT , fastest ratings, uses green/yellow/red ratings and 'people' reliability icons, multiple rating categories to help you evaluate websites, fantastic warning screen to empower users to avoid potentially bad websites before interacting with them. (Review)

 

Best Free Password Manager for Linux

KeePassXKeePassX , you just need to remember one single master password to access many user names, passwords and other private information saved in one single database. Features include defining titles and icons, grouping and sorting entries, and generating secure passwords.

The database is encrypted either with AES or Twofish encryption algorithm using a 256 bit key and uses a file format that is compatible with KeePass Password Safe for Windows.

 
 

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