My daily computer routine is pretty much about web browsing, emailing, text/document editing, watching some videos/movies, listening to music and playing some video games now and then.
Pretty classic things, right ?
I also create some virtual machines and use the terminal for either personal and professional stuffs.
As I said in this article, the Linux distribution you chose does not matter that much, at least “functionally speaking”. Pretty much any Linux distributions will allow you to do all of this natively and really easily.
But, before getting into it, let’s me talk about an important thing first.
Well… before using a software, you’ll need to install it ! And you know what ? Installing software on Linux is one of the best advantages it has compare to Windows.
Most Linux distributions use a “Software Center” (or “Application Center”). Through it, you can install pretty any software in an easy and secure way. It prevents you to go to the editor website, installing the software manually (which can be more or less difficult), taking the risk to get tricked by downloading a Virus or additional software/malware during the installation process, etc…
Indeed, each application/software available on those Software Centers are tested and their installations are automated. Take a seat, and let the Software Center do everything for you 😉
Most Linux distributions that have Gnome as desktop environment (such as Ubuntu) use the Gnome Software Center by default
Arch Linux based distributions use “Pamac“. It is not looking as good as the other ones but it is really efficient and it includes AUR (Arch User Repository) through you can find pretty anything !
Some distributions have their own Software Center such as Elementary OS (which is really good looking in my opinion, as the entire OS actually)
Keep in mind that any Software Center works approximately the same. Also, you can install and use the one you prefer, as long as it is compatible with your Linux distribution and package manager.
By the way, every software I’ll present to you can be installed through your Software Center (except for a few exceptions that I’ll notify).
Now, let’s get into it !
Software I use
Web browsing :
To navigate through the huge information amount internet offers us, I’m using Firefox.
Firefox is a free and open source (as all the software I’m gonna talk about in this article) Web Browser. It is very efficient and highly customisable.
Obviously, it has a Linux native version.
Of course, I could use email web apps through Firefox. But I like to centralise all of my email accounts via an email client.
This is why I’m using the default elementary OS email application. It is very simple and good looking.
Before switching to elementary OS, I was using Thunderbird. It may not be as good looking by default but, such as Firefox, is it very efficient and highly customisable !
Text/Document editing :
To write simple notes, I’m using “code” which is the default text editor on elementary OS.
But, to be honest, I do not care that much about which simple text editor I’m using. Any notepad will be okay to me as I’m just using them write down quick notes or ideas.
And trust me, there’s a bunch of them available of your Software Center. You’ll find one that suits your needs 😉
To edit/create all kind of typical documents, I’m using the LibreOffice suite.
It is a good and efficient alternative to Microsoft Office. If you’re used to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, its layout and usage will look familiar 😉
I’m currently using it (in its fresh version) to write this article (as you can see below) !
There’s a lot of other office suites available thought, you just need to find the one you’ll feel comfortable with.
To edit images, I’m using the Gnu Image Manipulation Program or GIMP for short.
It is a nice alternative to Photoshop. You might need to take some times to learn how it works, but it has a really nice and complete documentation. Once you’ve learn how to use it, you won’t quit it !
To edit videos, I’m using Kdenlive. It is a nice and complete video editor. There’s not much to say about it except that you can pretty much do anything you want with it, in exchange of a little learning phase.
Watching videos/movies :
To do so, I’m using VLC. I wont talk more about it, you probably already know what it is.
Listening to music :
To listen to music, I’m using Spotify. I think you know what this is 😉
It is not an open source software… The only one of this list (with the following one…) but hey… I guess you gotta close your eyes sometimes…
Spotify may not be available through every Software center. If it’s not available on yours, you can install it easily following these instructions.
Playing video games :
To play video games, I’m using steam (not open source as well). Well, like Spotify, you probably know what it is, so I won’t talk more about it. Just know that, yeah, is it available for Linux and there’s a ton of native Linux games on it. Furthermore, it now includes a specific runner called “Proton” that allows you to run Windows games on Linux (more or less properly depending on the game) !
Did you actually know that steam has its own Linux distribution ?
To run some Windows games that are not available on Steam, I’m using Lutris and/or Wine (included in Lutris). It potentially works for Windows software as well. Such as Proton, it works more or less good depending on the game/software. But every update offers more and more potentially compatible programs/games.
Lutris is not available through your Software Center but you can easily install it via your terminal following these instructions.
That’s it ! As you can see, Linux is ready to help you performing you daily tasks very quickly and easily (more then Windows in my opinion) !
Do not hesitate to look what your Software Center can offer you in term of programs, there’s a lot of software available for every needs !
For those who are interested, I said at the beginning that I was also virtualising machines and often using the terminal for either professional and personal stuffs.
To do so, I’m using virtualbox (which is enough for what I’m doing at home) and the default elementary OS terminal. I won’t talk much more about it as it is specific needs. We’ll talk more about it later 😉
See you next time guys 🙂