Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, May 7, 2018 at 23:10

Here, I mention 20 useful applications for daily needs for new users of Ubuntu 18.04. This list is intended primarily for you formerly Windows users switching to Ubuntu by dividing 20 programs into 20 categories. You will find here download manager, image editors, as well as programming tools, each with apt-get command line or guidance to install. You will find each of them with respective website address. I hope this list helps you a lot with your new operating system. Know your software, work more. Enjoy!

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Read also how to install 18.04, the review, what to do after installing, and comparison of memory usages.

What Programs Already Installed

This list mentions programs not installed by default on Ubuntu 18.04. Then, of course, this list does not mention the programs already installed, for example:

1. Download Manager

Persepolis Download Manager (PDM)

2. PDF Reader


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install qpdfview
  • Details: multitabbed PDF reading (similar to Foxit's); supports PDF, DJVU, and PS
  • Website:

3. Reference & Citation System

  • How to install: see official guide
  • Details: very good references management system for researcher; it supports local database, save any type of references (web page, physical book, images, videos, etc.), easily integrate to LibreOffice Writer; free software under GNU AGPL (alternative to the proprietary Mendeley), see also our tutorials about Zotero
  • Website:

4. Video Editor


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install kdenlive
  • Details: non-linear video editor with a lot of effects and supported input/output video formats; the user interface is very similar to Adobe Premiere Pro; it supports both video & audio tracks; based on MLT framework; free software under GNU GPL
  • Website:

5. Image Editor

Inkscape (vector) GIMP (bitmap)

  • How to install Inkscape: sudo apt-get install inkscape
  • Details: feature rich, easy to use vector editor; the user interface is very similar to CorelDRAW; it supports SVG and other vector formats
  • Website:

  • How to install GIMP: sudo apt-get install gimp
  • Details: replacement to Adobe Photoshop; advanced photo editor with user-friendly user interface; supports a lot of filters like blur, noise, etc.
  • Website:

6. Desktop Publishing


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install scribus
  • Details: a good replacement to Adobe InDesign (PageMaker) and QuarkXPress; specialized to make layouts for published works (book, magazine, newspaper, poster, booklet, pamphlet, etc.)   
  • Website:

7. 3D CAD


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install freecad
  • Details: a good 3D Computer Aided Design program; it supports many formats (STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE); free software under GNU LGPL
  • Website:

8. Package Management


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install synaptic
  • Details: a detailed, easy to understand, easy to troubleshoot graphical package manager; it can help you operate APT without command line on Terminal 
  • Website:

9. Screenshot Capture


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install shutter
  • Details: a good replacement to SnagIt or ScreenshotCaptor; the most advanced screenshot tool for GNU/Linux with editing, cropping, and annotating feature
  • Website:

10. Screencast


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install kazam
  • Details: desktop recording tool with audio input support; capable to save recorded video as WEBM, OGV, MKV, as well as MP4 formats; you can record your screen as video to upload it to YouTube or teach it to your students
  • Website:

11. All-Language Programming IDE


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install geany
  • Details: a very lightweight but complete IDE for almost all languages; a good replacement to Sublime Text and Notepad++; very suitable for beginners; automatic build system; extensible by plugins; supports C/C++, Python, Perl, HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Java, BASIC, Assembly
  • Website:

12. C++ IDE

Qt Creator

  • How to install: sudo apt-get install qtcreator
  • Details: I suggest everybody to fully migrate from Visual Basic to Qt Creator (this means change everything: language, library, translator, experience), you will get a cross-platform free software platform without Windows lock-in better than VB; Qt Creator is the best C++ IDE to make GUI programs on Ubuntu thanks to Qt Framework behind + its awesome, user-friendly documentation system
  • Website:

13. Java IDE

Geany (lightweight) Eclipse (heavy)

  • How to install Geany: sudo apt-get install geany
  • Details: if you are a student, go for Geany instead; it is truly lightweight and small, supports Java programming, able to build your code automatically (means no configuration); enough for all kind of student's Java programming tasks
  • Website:

  • How to install Eclipse: sudo apt-get install eclipse
  • Details: if you are a professional, you need advanced features specialized in Eclipse (such as refactoring etc.), then go for it; Eclipse gives you Maven, Ant, and also Gradle (well-known to build Android apps) and many more
  • Website: Eclipse IDE Oxygen Edition

14. ISO Burner

GNOME Disk Utility (to USB flash disk, SDCard) K3B (to CD, DVD)

  • How to install Disk Utility: already installed, or, sudo apt-get install gnome-disks
  • Details: a replacement to Windows Disk Management or AOMEI Partition; capable to format, reformat, and low-level format towards partitions or disks (HDD, SSD, USB Flash Drive, MMC SDCard); it is able to burn ISO image into USB flash disk; supports labeling & automounting, checking S.M.A.R.T., etc.
  • Website:

  • How to install K3B: sudo apt-get install k3b
  • Details: a very good & complete replacement to Nero Burning ROM; capable to burn and copy (rip) CD, DVD, and Audio CD; fast and safe
  • Website: KDE K3B

15. CHM Reader


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install xchm
  • Details: if you have .chm files (old time format of ebooks), you can read them using XCHM
  • Website:

16. Lightweight Web Browser

Falkon, formerly QupZilla (moderate) Arora (more lightweight)

  • How to install Falkon: sudo apt-get install falkon
  • Details: KDE Falkon, formerly QupZilla, is a moderate lightweight browser (less resource-hungry than Firefox) which includes adblocker, proxy support, DuckDuckGo search engine support
  • Website:

  • How to install Arora: sudo apt-get install arora 
  • Details: more lightweight than Falkon, simpler, but comes with many features like proxy, adblocker, and more.
  • Website:

17. IRC Client


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install polari
  • Details: because 18.04 uses GNOME, it is suitable to use GNOME's official IRC client, Polari; it supports uploading image to Imgur/such online photo sharing; its user interface is very simple and easy to understand
  • Website:

18. All-in-one Internet Messenger


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install pidgin
  • Details: with Pidgin, you can connect to Yahoo! Messenger chat, as well as IRC, GTalk, Gadu-gadu, XMPP, AIM, MXit, and many more chat networks; it supports plugins to connect you to more networks such as Telegram and Facebook
  • Website:

19. Disk Partition Manager


  • How to install: sudo apt-get install gparted
  • Details: the best free partitioning tool available for GNU/Linux; it's able to format, delete, join, resize partitions; it supports NTFS and FAT filesystems as well as EXT, ReiserFS, BTRFS, HFS, and more; it can edit partitions for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • Website:

20. Bundle of Apache, MySQL, PHP


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