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Installing 20+ Free Ubuntu Linux Software Apps

Linux Software Install Easier than Snaps or Flatpacks

I have been using various forms of Linux as my main desktop for about twenty years, mostly Ubuntu. This has given me the benefit of knowing which programs I am most likely going to use. There is significant amount of discussion about how software installation should be managed: debs, snaps, flatpacks, or AppImage. In this post I am letting you know of a simple way to install a lot of software on DEBIAN BASED systems with one command and not have to choose a new method just yet. It sure seems a lot easier than poking through a “software store” and installing each one individually.


Here Are My Favorite Linux Apps

I do not use any games or other significant video editing software. My main hobby is working with photographs and expanding my music collection.

# audacity - Edit audio files (I'm a noob).
# brasero - Burn a CD or DVD or ISO image TO DISK.
# brave - The new firefox.  Best browser for privacy  (Install instructions at brave.com).
# chromium-browser - Keep a third browser for testing websites.
# darktable - Advanced, professional photo manipulation program like Adobe Light table.  Works on copies and results must be exported.
# easytag - Excellent tool for altering tags in music and video files solo or in bulk.  Use to group files by genre, etc.
# exiv2 - Useful for bulk image manipulation of exif data.
# filezilla - Best FTP client for mass upload / download.
# gdebi - For me, the easiest and consistently best way to install .deb packages.
# geany - My favorite scripting text editor.
# gimp - Graphic Image Manipulation Program, Photoshop equivalent.
# gnome-shell-extension-manager - Graphically manage gnome extensions (auto-move to workspace is essential).
# gparted - My favorite disk partitioning tool.
# gthumb - The BEST photo manipulation program for minor jobs.  Crop, resize, adjust brightness, contrast and color level directly to files.
# handbrake - Essential tool for ripping DVDs to digital formats.
# imagemagick - Useful for bulk image manipulation.
# libfuse2 - Required to run my AppImage (pcloud).
# libreoffice - Most popular open source office suite.
# meld - Useful tool for "diff'ing" text files.
# mpv - For a while, has been the most stable basic video player without extra "library" window, etc.
# openshot - I have used for simple video editing (Noob level).
# shotwell - Not as good as gthumb, forces "library", but has essential "shadows" adjustment.
# soundconverter - Batch convert sound files, change bitrate, etc.
# sound-juicer - Rip an audio CD.
# synaptic - Graphical front end to apt package manager (where I got these exact names).
# transmission - Graphical bitorrent client.
# vlc - Old, reliable media player with ugly UI.

sudo apt install audacity brasero chromium-browser darktable easytag exiv2 filezilla gdebi geany gimp gnome-shell-extension-manager gparted gthumb handbrake imagemagick libfuse2 libreoffice meld mpv openshot shotwell soundconverter sound-juicer synaptic transmission vlc

Tweaking Linux software install for efficiency

I have learned how to manipulate the EXIF data in photos in batch mode and most of my scripts are in the “Computer” category of this site. Other programs deal with legacy CDs and DVDs, so here are some notes on what to skip if you have no use for the apps.

  • If you don’t have a CD/DVD player, there is no reason to have the apps brasero, handbrake, or sound-juicer.
  • If you don’t use AppImages you probably won’t need libfuse2.
  • If you won’t edit audio or video files, you don’t need audacity or openshot.
  • If you won’t write scripts to manipulate photos, you don’t need exiv2 or imagemagick.

I will consider the rest of the list handy utilities to have around, especially if you want to work with your photos. The contents of the above CODE section (blue square) can be executed directly on the command line and install some or all of the apps with one command. All the lines starting with “#” are comments and not part of what is executed.

  1. Copy and paste the contents of the blue box to a TEXT editor (not word processor). Call it something like “install-apps.sh” and your text editor will highlight the different parts as a shell script.
  2. Delete the file names of the programs you don’t need in the last long line starting “sudo apt install…”
  3. Make the file executable: In Ubuntu Linux, right-click on the file and find the box/switch that says something like “Allow executing as a program”.
  4. Open a terminal, browse to the directory the file is in and execute it like this:
me@mybox:~$  ./install-apps.sh

Remarks – Linux is free and easy to use

I hope this method will continue for a while. After all this time, I very rarely install software after this initial script is run. I really like the new “minimal” install option with Ubuntu. If you chose the full install, Libreoffice and others will already be on the system and will generate an error. Delete the ones you are told already exist and rerun the script.

I’ve been really happy for the most part with Ubuntu with the exception of the crippling of the file browser some time back (maybe a different post on that). The benefits of using one of the most widely used distributions in industry is that if you want to use commercial software, like pCloud or Private Internat Access, or printer drivers when written, they work very well for the most part. I also strongly recommend you use the Brave web browser if you are not already doing so. It is the best browser for privacy and security that I know of. Enjoy the apps.

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