Best of Linux

Most Popular and Essential Linux Applications

One of the best things that come with Linux is its large collection of applications and tools. Linux has established a respectable name for itself and is well known for having some of the most excellent and stable applications, several of which are free and open source. 2020 has been another excellent year for the production and development of several amazing and outstanding applications, and the story is mostly going to be the same next year, as well. This article covers the top 10 applications that are expected to be extremely popular.

1. Firefox

Firefox is one of the best web browsers available today. Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by Mozilla, and it is the default browser for several Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The excellence of Firefox can be seen in the extensibility that it offers, while at the same time offering secure privacy to its users. Firefox provides some of the best features that one can find in web browsers, along with excellent support for syncing features, such as browsing history, bookmarks, etc. Firefox also comes with extensions, which further add more customizability and features to the already jam-packed browser.

2. LibreOffice

Even though Microsoft Office is not available in Linux, Linux users need not worry. Linux has its own excellent application for getting work done, called LibreOffice. LibreOffice is a free and open-source application that contains some extremely powerful tools, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation-making software, and several others. Moreover, LibreOffice allows users to add bookmarks to their workflows so that they can keep track of their work, supports a large set of file formats, and has excellent performance to boot.

3. VS Code

Computer Science is one of the hottest fields in the industry right now, and programmers are one of the most sought-after professions. For both those just starting off with development, as well as professional developers, VS Code should be the first choice when it comes to a code editor. VS Code is an application developed by Microsoft that is free and open-source. It has some of the best features that a programmer needs, and even offers a built-in debugger, a support system for Git, and a large set of extensions that provide support for several programming languages.

4. VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is another application that deserves a place in this list of essential Linux applications. Though Linux comes with a built-in media player, VLC offers twice the number of features present inside of the default player. VLC has a large, extensive support system for file codecs, including MP4, AVI, MP3, etc. VLC is extremely lightweight, despite having a huge set of features, as well as highly customizable, which clearly shows the power and quality that exist behind this amazing tool.

5. Thunderbird

Thunderbird, a free and open-source application, is another Mozilla Foundation product that has earned its spot in this list. Thunderbird is one of the best email clients available for Linux. With a majority of companies switching to online systems and adopting digital communication, email has become essential in almost all departments. This is why Thunderbird is essential to have in your Linux system, as it helps to keep your emails secure. Thunderbird also provides support for add-ons with which users can easily customize the application, further testifying to its powerful nature.

6. Flameshot

Flameshot is a powerful and open-source screenshot application available for Linux, offering all the features that are essential for a screenshot tool. Flameshot is extremely easy-to-use and can be executed either from its graphical interface or from the command-line. Having markup tools such as freehand drawing, creating arrows and lines, highlighting, blurring, etc., make this application not only my personal favorite screenshot tool but also for millions of other people.

7. XDM

The amount of content that we are downloading from the Internet has greatly increased. Whether these are attachments, videos, or games, all are extremely important and urgently needed as soon as possible. This is where XDM comes into the picture, which is an extremely powerful download manager that can easily be integrated into web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. XDM also supports downloading files from websites such as YouTube, Facebook, DailyMotion, and more. The application even has a built-in video converter that you can use to convert the file formats of downloaded videos.

8. Timeshift

With security attacks becoming quite popular in recent times, it is always essential to make backups of your data. Timeshift for Linux comes highly recommended, as it not only allows you to make backups of your files but also provides functionality similar to what you get with System Restore in Windows. In other words, Timeshift does not just backup all your folders and applications – but your entire Operating system – all inside a single snapshot.


Despite its low entry barrier, graphic design is considered one of the most sought-after skills in the world, and this field also occupies a huge portion of the freelance industry. Although Adobe products are not available in Linux, Linux itself offers an excellent application called GIMP that has one of the largest communities and some of the best features you can find in a photo editor, some of which you may not even be able to find in its Adobe counterpart.

10. OpenShot

Creating videos and uploading them on the Internet is one of the most popular hobbies that you can find on the Internet today. From YouTubers to TV Media, all require applications with which to edit video in the most creative and effective way. OpenShot is an excellent video editor available in Linux, and it comes with one of the most amazing and largest feature collection sets that you can find inside a video editor.


Linux is one of the best-operating systems these days, and it continues to improve after each update. With so many Linux distributions out there, it is imperative to know which applications to use to have the best experience possible. This article covered the ten most essential Linux applications out there to keep an eye on.

About the author

Zeeman Memon

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineer who loves to write about tech. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn.