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Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Internet Apps

Conclusion

Congratulations, you've reached the end of this first segment in our Definitive Linux App Roundup. By now, Windows power users should have some good options for replacing your Web browser, BitTorrent client, podcatcher, RSS reader, download manager, FTP client, and even P2P software. If you were looking for email clients, instant messaging, or VoIP, then stay tuned for the next installation, where we cover communication-oriented applications.

As I explained in the Introduction and the Standards & Methodology pages, this was not a complete listing of Internet-oriented apps. In fact, it's just a small fraction of the programs available for Linux. If you were to throw in all of the apps that met my usability criteria, but failed in quality, this would be a larger article by up to 100 percent. If you take out the usability criteria, opening up the field for apps available via a shell installer, the article would easily triple in size. If you were to further break down my standards and allow for apps available only via source code, this little roundup would easily enter into Shinobi territory. I just couldn't do that kind of article. This is, after all, a follow-up to an installation guide for Linux newbs. All of these apps are painless to install, making them perfect even for neophytes.

Besides, opening up to the shell installers would require writing a new How-To article explaining that process, and compiling from source code is another can of worms entirely. But that is what makes Linux great. The rabbit hole goes much deeper than it does in Windows. With proprietary systems, you can only go so far until you reach a stop sign--a clear barrier where the realm of the power-user ends and the developer begins. In Linux, that barrier simply isn't there. If you want to be a novice, there are many distributions that cater to you, with all the pre-loaded software conceivable for such a level of expertise. On the other end of the spectrum, if something isn't working the way that you want it to (and you have the expertise), there is nothing stopping you from modifying the code yourself.

Whether you've already made the jump after our previous installation guide or are still using Windows, I encourage you to use the links found in the article to download the software for yourself. Everyone has different needs, and only you can determine whether or not it's necessary to pay for software. Remember, a hardcore PC gamer shouldn't use Linux, period. But there is absolutely no reason that a great many others should have to pay for retail software. Anybody wondering why a software guy, especially a Linux fiend, is writing for Tom's Hardware, allow me to explain. The answer is rather quite simple: because hardware is all that I buy!

  • tacoslave
    my web machine runs on linux and i find the experience to be quite satisfying but i still game on windows.
    Reply
  • C 64
    tacoslavemy web machine runs on linux and i find the experience to be quite satisfying but i still game on windows.I run Linux on my old notebook and the experience is more than just satisfying. In fact most of the office work I do on that notebook is now done in linux an Win are used only to play. If linux only got some more games...
    Reply
  • charlesxuma
    allow me to say this in a simple minded manner ...

    for the dumb there is OS X
    for the weak there is windows
    for the rest there is LINUX

    If u find my statement offensive, then DO something about it dont just sit there winning about it. (LEARN) Remember we were all DUMB ONCE.

    p.s : GAMERS NOT INCLUDED :)
    Reply
  • Hellbound
    CharlesXumaallow me to say this in a simple minded manner ... for the dumb there is OS Xfor the weak there is windows for the rest there is LINUXIf u find my statement offensive, then DO something about it dont just sit there winning about it. (LEARN) Remember we were all DUMB ONCE.p.s : GAMERS NOT INCLUDED
    ding fries are done....
    Reply
  • For FTP you can also simply use nautilus, the file manager. Just click file->connect to server (or in the menu bar places->connect to server)
    Reply
  • cybrcatter
    CharlesXuma:
    You truly covered all of you bases in that post.

    I was hoping that with the recession, perhaps companies who were really trying to make more efficient use of their capital would start to look at Linux as a tempting prospect.
    I wounder if there are any intriguing statistics about this.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    I'm a Linux user. I'm not a big gamer.

    Still, that Nexuiz thingie gives my RadeonHD 4850 a workout. Chromium B.S.U. might be old but it's nice looking and addictive. And TORCS is not for the faint of heart. And...

    Well, if you go and dig into the results of 'linux games' in Google, you can find nice stuff.
    Reply
  • dragoon190
    Thought you can run most of the games through wine
    Reply
  • cryogenic
    In order to test drive the feature sets of these applications, and to determine 64-bit friendliness, I used a native (non-VM) and fully-updated installation of 64-bit Ubuntu 9.04. When an application was not available for the 64-bit architecture, I used the 32-bit VM installation of Ubuntu. If that failed I would use Kubuntu, then Fedora, and then openSUSE

    Fail!

    You had to use ~5 different versions of Linux to install your apps?
    Reply
  • charlesxuma
    u actually can run most of your games through wine, however if ur a hardcore gamer that installs and plays many (as in 20+) new games, wine still needs development for these kinds of users, your better off having windows os on the side, for that task in particular.

    There is an exception, but it will cost you a monthly fee, that hooks wine on to a software that updates installation and compatibility on a regular basis.(for the ones who can't configure wine themselves.)
    Reply