Must-Have Applications for Linux

In this post, I will show you some open source applications that Linux user should use.

Posted by Karan on February 01, 2018   4441 views

If you are an avid Linux user you might be using many apps and tools. In this post, I will show you some essential open source applications you should install. 



Guake is a simple feature-rich drop-down terminal, which you can access quickly by binding a key to it. Here are some cool features of Guake:

  • Appears when you call and disappears once you are done by pressing a predefined hotkey (F12 by default)
  • Multi-tab
  • Quick Open in your favorite text editor with a click on a file name (with line number support)
  • Customizable hotkeys for tab access, reorganization, background transparency, font size,...
  • Multi-monitor support (open on a specified monitor, open on mouse monitor)
  • Save terminal content to a file

Guake | A free GNU drop-down Application



sudo pacman -S guake

Ubuntu / Mint 

sudo apt install guake



KDE-Connect is my one of my favorite app, it is used to connect all your devices, it is developed by KDE and comes pre-installed in KDE desktop environment, but you can use it in other desktop environments also. Some of the cool features of KDE-Connect are :

  • Clipboard Sharing  - Whatever is copied to clipboard of your Android device, it will get synced with Linux system and vice versa
  • Media Control - You can control audio, video, change/play/pause the track being played on your Linux system with your Android device.
  • Notification Sharing - You can turn on a feature to get notifications of your device to your Linux system, you can also receive notification from Linux system to connected device.  USE CASE - While watching a video on Linux system, if you receive a phone call on your Android device then the video will be paused and you will get the notification about the call.
  • File Sharing - You can transfer files from your Linux system to Android device and vice versa.
  • Battery Information - You can get the battery information of Android on your Linux system
  • Wireless mouse/keyboard - You can use your Android phone as wireless mouse/keyboard


Manjaro / Arch based

sudo pacman -S kdeconnect

Ubuntu / Mint

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt update
sudo apt install kdeconnect indicator-kdeconnect

On Android: Download it from play store

# NOTE: Don't forget to give notification access in your phone to display phone's notification in your laptop


Safe Eyes

If you have bad habits like sitting for a long time behind your computer, not drinking enough water etc. then you need safe eyes. It is a free, open source, simple and beautiful, yet extensible break reminder alternative to EyeLeo. Here is the link to the GitHub repository.



yaourt -S safeeyes

Ubuntu / Mint

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:slgobinath/safeeyes
sudo apt update
sudo apt install safeeyes



youtube-dl is the best open source command line python based program for downloading videos or extracting audio files from streaming websites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo.

Features :

  • Download in different format/quality 
  • Audio Only download also available
  • Playlist download
sudo curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

You can read documentation here



CopyQ is an advanced clipboard manager with editing and scripting features.

CopyQ |

  • Store text, HTML, images or any other custom formats
  • Quickly browse and filter items in clipboard history
  • Sort, create, edit, remove, copy/paste, drag and drop items in tabs
  • Add notes or tags to items
  • System-wide shortcuts with customizable commands
  • Paste items with shortcut or from tray or main window
  • Ignore clipboard copied from some windows or containing some text
  • Support for simple Vim-like editor and shortcuts



yaourt -S copyq

Ubuntu / Mint

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hluk/copyq
sudo apt update
sudo apt install copyq



Simplenote was started for ios and then expanded to include many OS. It is an open source project and have following features

  • History
  • Collaboration
  • Publishing
  • Tags
  • Pinning

Simplenote |

You can download it here



Tilix is an advanced GTK3 tiling terminal emulator that follows the Gnome Human Interface guidelines. Tilix has following main features :

  • Custom links - Terminals support custom titles and custom hyperlinks.
  • Drag & Drop - Terminals can be rearranged using drag and drop both within and between windows.
  • Image Support -Transparent background image support
  • Multiple Panes - Layout terminals in any fashion by splitting them horizontally or vertically.
  • Notifications -Support notifications when processes are completed out of view.
  • Persistent Layouts - Grouping of terminals can be saved and loaded from disk.

Check this youtube video to find out more.



yaourt -S tilix

Ubuntu / Mint

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminix
sudo apt update
sudo apt install tilix

 If you install Tilix then you don't require guake because you can also use Tilix as drop-down terminal.



Now you can run Android apps like any other native application on your Linux system. Android devices are based on Linux kernel but its user environment is heavily based on Java and Google service, unlike Linux based distros which uses GNU environment. So Anbox is an Android emulator which puts the Android OS into a container and integrate core system services into a GNU/Linux system. 

It has the following features:

  • Open Source
  • No Limit
  • Secure 
  • Performant
  • Integrated
  • Convergent

Find out more  here



Plank is meant to be the simplest dock on the planet. The goal is to provide just what a dock needs and absolutely nothing more. It is, however, a library which can be extended to create other dock programs with more advanced features.



yaourt -S plank

Ubuntu / Mint

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/docky
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install plank

To configure plank run following command

plank --preferences



Flash OS images to SD cards & USB drives, safely and easily. Check Github repo here

Etcher |

For installation go to



Although this program is pre-installed on most of the desktop environment, if you don't have it then you should give it a try. Rhythmbox is one of the best offline music player available for Linux. It has following features

  • SoundCloudRhythmbox can browse and play sounds from SoundCloud, via built-in SoundCloud plugin.
  • Podcasting - Rhythmbox can subscribe to podcasts from the iTunes Store, or by manually providing a podcast feed URL
  • Web Remote Control Rhythmbox can be controlled remotely with a Web browser, via the inbuilt Web remote control plugin.
  • Internet Radio Streaming

Rhythmbox |

# If you think this list is missing some of your favorite apps/tools then comment them below.


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