You Won’t Find These Exclusive Linux Apps on Windows
Commercial operating systems try to reserve their best software as exclusives. This isn’t the case with linux. Many of the most well-knownand capable applications have ports for windows. GIMP is a wildly popularalternative to Photoshop on any platform, and it began on Linux.
The nature of open source software encourages people to port programs to whichever operating systems they like. So, are there any Linux exclusives out there? Of course!
Don’t expect this list to include cross-platform heavyweights such as Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice, and VLC. We have a separate one for that The Best Linux Software The Best Linux Software Linux is full of awesome apps, both open source and proprietary. People new to Linux and even seasoned Linux users tend to find new and useful software quite often. Here's what we love. Read More . Here I’m going to highlight some of the smaller projects out there that have chosen to call Linux home.Where to Find These Exclusives
On Linux, you don’t open a web browser to install most software. You open a package manager. These take many forms and go by many names. Some are similar to app stores, such as GNOME Software, KDE Discover, and AppCenter. Others are more complex and powerful.
Whichever one you use, none of them are available for Windows, and there’s a decent chanceyou will miss them when you find yourself hunting for an EXE in internet Explorer or buying Microsoft Office on Amazon. You could consider these package managers the firstLinux exclusives you won’t find on Windows.
You won’t be able to find all of the programs below in your distribution’s package manager, but most should be in there. Now, let’s get to it.1. GNOME Web (Epiphany)
You could describe Epiphany as Safari for Linux. It’s a lightweight, focused browser that isn’t bogged down by all of the add-ons and features baked into Chrome and Firefox.As an officialGNOME projectand the new default in Elementary OS, Epiphany is currently the best-supported, Linux-only web browser.
Manypeople view Chrome and Firefox’s extensions as must-haves, so Epiphany is by no means for everyone. Then again, the same is true on Windows.How many of your friends (that know how to install a new browser) use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge?2. Geary / Pantheon Mail
I’ve used Microsoft Outlook. I’ve used Thunderbird. Geary and Pantheon Mail are easily my favorite. Why? Because finally a desktop client feels as simple as webmail.
I don’t want to leave a tab open in my web browser, and I like that desktop clients let me load and scroll through mail more quickly. But they also feel more complicated. Geary and Pantheon Mail are the first I’ve used that I want to recommend to less technical users.
To clarify, Geary and Pantheon Mail are essentially the same application. When Geary’s development ceased, Elementary OS took the code and renamed the project as Pantheon Mail. Since then, someone else has stepped up to continue Gearyas a GNOME project GNOME Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Popular Desktops GNOME Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Popular Desktops You're interested in Linux, and you've come across "GNOME", an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. GNOME is one of the most popular open source interfaces, but what does that mean? Read More . The two programs may differ in the future, but right now the biggest difference between them is the desktop environment they’re designed for It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Overwhelmed? Start here. Read More .3. Vocal
I love listening to podcasts, but for the past few years, that’s something I’ve done only from mobile devices. Vocal is so cool that I’m listening from my laptop again. The program integrates perfectly with my Elementary OS desktop while managing to stand out thanks to its vibrant purple toolbar.
You can add RSS feeds manually, browse the top podcasts on iTunes, or have Vocal search for the specific one you want. Vocal will then auto-download new episodes of audio and video feeds alike. In short, it’s a one-stop-shop.4. GNOME Boxes
There are so many versions of Linux out there that no one blames you for wanting to try them all ― but your PC might not like it. So rather thanabusing your hard drive with repeated wipes, run that new distribution in a virtual machine instead.
This may sound complicated. I know. I put off learning how to do this for years because it sounded like so much work. GNOME Boxeschanged that Gnome Boxes: An Easy Way To Set Up Virtual Machines in Linux Gnome Boxes: An Easy Way To Set Up Virtual Machines in Linux Gnome Boxes is a simple virtualization tool that prefers ease and convenience over numerous customization options. Read More . All you do is select an ISO file and watch the desktop boot up inside a window. That’s it. You’re done. Enjoy.
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