Here is a list of useful (and free) programs that I like to use. Many
are released under the GNU GPL open source license. Typically, these
programs are excellent alternatives to proprietary programs. Linux is
one program released under the GPL.
- Arch Linux - This
distribution is very modular and you can make it as complicated or
as simple as you want. I'm currently using it. It's better than
Gentoo in my opinion because you don't have to compile everything
every week. A lot of the packages are binary instead. It also
has the awesome AUR (Arch User Repository) with lots of packages
contributed by users.
- Linux Mint This is the BEST
distribution for just WORKING out of the box. I install this for
my kids to use on old laptops. It's awesome for that purpose.
I've also used it on my desktop for several years (not currently).
- Gentoo Linux - a very easy
linux distribution to update and keep constant. Installation of
packages is very simple. All you need to do is type "emerge
<package name>". I've stopped using it because I was tired
of my computer being out of date. It would be broken if I didn't
emerge sync my system every week. I switched to Linux Mint after
this. I used Gentoo for over 5 years.
Various Linux programs
- XMMS (A Winamp clone for Linux)
- MPD (Music Player Daemon) (The best music player/organizer)
Works with the following clients (not a comprehensive list)
- Lots of others!
- Mozilla Firefox
- Gnucash - A open source accounting software program
- Wine (allows you to run window programs on Linux!)
- The list goes on and on...
Putty- a free SSH2/SSH1 client.
- WinSCP - a free GUI
client for SCP or SFTP.
- RealVNC - a free remote
desktop server/client. Download the free version.
- Filezilla - a free FTP
client/server and SFTP client.
- a tool to create PDFs from almost every application. just select the
PDFCreator "printer" when you print something.
Mozilla Firefox - a free new browser - now my favorite
browser. if you are serious about security, then don't use Internet
Explorer and use Firefox! read the following articles:
- LibreOffice - a free office suite. can open up
microsoft word, excell, and powerpoint files. can download for
linux, unix, or windows.
GIMP for Windows - the gnu image manipulation
program - a nice free substitute for an image editor.
- Winamp - nice,
free, music player
- CDex -
CD extractor - extracts your music CD's to
- Colinux -
Colinux is a port of the Linux kernel, which allows you to install
Linux inside a Windows installation. I have a running Gentoo Linux
installation installed on my Windows XP box at home.
I have gnucash, as well as mpd installed and running on my Windows
- Cygwin -
cygwin is a UNIX-like
operating system for windows 95/98/ME/2K/XP. it has lots of very
useful unix-commands including:
- openssh server (works on 2000 and XP)
- You can now install Ubuntu and/or the OpenSUSE terminal window on
Windows as well. I haven't tried it much, but my son installed in
on Windows. I'm used to the cygwin way of doing it.
- Various Zip archiver programs are a must when trying to install
Emacs or other programs that come as either a *.tar.gz file or a
- 7-zip. 7-zip is released
under the GNU LGPL license, so is the most free zip archiver
program. It specifically says it supports *.tar.gz files
(important for the emacs distribution).
- Iceows. Another free
extractor. It also says it supports *.tar.gz files.
Last modified: Fri Mar 2 23:10:12 HST 2018
- Miktex - a free
windows version of MikTeX
- Ghostscript - a free postscript interpreter.
- Ghostview - a free viewer for ghostscript.
- Emacs - the best way to edit latex files when used
with AucTeX. If you want to install the latest CVS version of
Emacs, you can download it here, here, or here.
- AucTeX - lisp programs to make editing latex files
very, very easy. A package for Emacs.