When you first install a Linux distro or do a fresh install, you need to install the essential apps for regular use. That is why I have prepared a quick guide list of the essential apps for every Linux user. So that you can check and go through the installation easily and get the needed apps for your better use and workflow.

Note: Before you start, let me clarify something here. The apps listed below work seamlessly on every Linux distro so it doesn’t matter whether you are using Ubuntu, Mint, Elementary OS, MX Linux, Debian, Manjaro, Deepin, Zorin or any other that you prefer. However, there are some tools that are built for specific desktop environments such as Gnome Tweaks that works better with the Gnome desktop environment.

Having the above note in mind, now let’s start – what I like to call the app show!

Basic essential applications for Linux

1. Internet Browsers

Most of nowadays spend a lot of time surfing the web therefore, having a suitable browser is very helpful. We have so many options to choose from:

  • Chromium or Google chrome – People’s favorite.
  • Firefox – Open source, privacy-respecting, and a performance beast.
  • Opera – Sidebar apps, cool design, inbuild VPN & adBlocker, and mobile my flow.
  • Vivaldi – Multi-tab, huge customizations, mouse gestures, commands, and note-taking app.
  • Midori – Open source and lightweight.

2. Music Players

Everyone loves music that is why here are some of the considerations for a music player for Linux.

  • Rhythmbox – Lightweight, FM, Podcast, plugin support.
  • Spotify – Online cloud-based music steaming application, multi-device support.

3. Video Players

Videos have become a regular part of our day to day life. Therefore, have a video player that supports all the features is a must.

  • VLC – Open source, all codecs support, 3D support, converter.
  • SMPlayer – Similar to VLC.

4. Download Managers

If you browse the internet a lot then you must download the stuff as well. Whether attachments, files from the web or torrent.

  • XDM – Very similar to IDM with extra features.
  • uGet – A regular download manager.
  • Deluge – Best torrent client – simple & sweet.
  • Webtorrent – For streaming audio and videos directly from torrent.

Messaging applications for Linux

A world without any communication is a terrible thing so we need the tools of communication. Especially, the new tools such as messenger, email client, and collaboration applications that suit the current era of daily human life. Here are some of the best picks we have:

1. Email clients

It’s very rare when you meet anyone who doesn’t have an email address. And to access the emails people often opt for web-based versions as they are convenient but are they really? That’s why we have email clients.

  • Thunderbird Main – An amazing open-source tool for your emails.
  • Geary – Read & send emails with a straightforward, modern interface.
  • KMail – KDE mail client, popular with gmail with some extra features.

2. Messengers

Whether it is for your personal or professional talk, having the messengers in your system is kind of necessary.

  • Slack – A collaboration tool, send messages & files, do calls.
  • Telegram Messenger – A full featured messenger, good for personal talks.
  • Signal – An end-to-end encrypted messenger like Whatsapp.
  • Zoom – A conference attending application.
  • Skype – You probably know about this so let me skip on. Now you know I’m not lazy.

Productivity applications for the distro

Yes, the most important section of this article is this one as it makes your work easier and possibly earns the hard buck that everyone desires. So here is a list of applications that are related to productivity.

  • Office suits – For document related work use Libre Office or WPS Office.
  • FeedReader – To read news & blog post through RSS.
  • Calibre – An ebook reader and organizer.
  • AnyDesk & TeamViewer – Share you desktop with these applications.
  • SimpleNote – A simple malti-platform note taking app.

Utility application for Linux

Utilities and tools are very helpful and make our experience-rich on Linux, which is why below is a long list of such applications that you can utilize for your good.

  • Tilix – an advanced GTK3 tiling terminal emulator. You’ll love it.
  • BleachBit – A system clearner to flush out unnecessary files.
  • Stacer – A good looking system monitering tool with hundreds of features.
  • KDE-Connect – Connect & sync your Android smartphone to Linux.
  • VirtualBox – Create virtual machines and install different operating-systems.

Gaming on Linux

There are so many games available for Linux but you also require some other tools along with games. Here is a little list for that as well.

  • Steam – The king of gaming.
  • Discord – Open-source chating application, specially used by gamers.

Cloud syncing applications

Nowadays, we all use a cloud syncing application to save our important data on the cloud as a backup and for sharing it with people.

  • MEGA – An end-to-end encrypted cloud storage.
  • DropBox – I think you know about this one.
  • ODrive – As Google being harsh, we have to use a third-party client for Google drive.

Finally, work-specific applications

Among us – some are designers, coders, editors, streamers, and some more guys and we all use different kinds of applications for our purpose.

1. Coders – Programmers – Developers

Linux is heaven for such guys, I mean you will get every single thing with extra cheese that is missing with other operating-systems.

You get it all with Linux: Sublime, Geany, Android Studio, CodeBlocks, Atom, Vim, Emacs, Brackets, Visual Studio Code, Postman, Scratch, Arduino IDE, NotepadQQ, Netbeans, Eclipse, All Jetbrains IDEs, QT Designers and many more.

Check out: Best 5 text editors for Linux users

2. Designers pool

For designers, there are many open-source applications are available.

Gimp – Image manipulation application (Like Photoshop).
Inkscape – Scalable vector graphics image tool.
Krita – A digital painting application.

3. Editors and Streamers

So you do video/Audio editing, YouTuber thing, podcasting, video game streams, or maybe some other stuff. Here is a list for you.

‣ Kdenlive – A free video editor that is easy to use with all the needed features.
‣ Audacity – Same as Kdenlive but for audio editing like removing unnecessary background noise.
‣ OBS – Stream and record your desktop, it’s a free tool.

Watch Video guide on YouTube

Additionally, you can watch a step-by-step video guide on YouTube to get a better understanding of it.


So that’s it for now. I hope that I have covered pretty much every corner for Linux folks. If something is missed then let me know in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to subscribe to YouTube Channel, it’s getting regular updates, just for you guys. Cheers!