3 Feb 2021

The 7 Best Linux Apps To Download


Linux continues to be an underappreciated OS. Despite its large presence in the tech industry and among tech enthusiasts, many ignore Linux in favor of more popular OS's, such as Windows and MacOS.

There's a reason for Linux's small(er) fanbase: its learning curve. Sure, some Linux distros promote themselves as beginner-friendly, but for the most part, it's difficult for those not invested into tech to use Linux. Furthermore, many programs that work on Windows are not compatible with Linux.

What programs do work? Today, let's go over seven of the best Linux apps that are both free and compatible with Linux straight out of the box.

1. GIMP (Image Editing)

Not all Linux distros come with image editing software. Even if they did, included image editing software is often basic and fails at being anything more than a way to crop certain photos.

In comes GIMP. Short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, GIMP is one of the photo editing software programs available on Linux. It is a free, cross-platform image editing program compatible with GNU, Linux, and Windows, along with MacOS. GIMP not only comes with a plethora of tools and customization options, but it also supports third-party plugins.

2. A Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Some say Linux is immune to the pitfalls of cybersecurity - malware, viruses, DDoS attacks, etc. This isn't true. Like any other operating system, Linux is vulnerable to all kinds of cyber threats if left unchecked.

Fortunately, many security programs are developed to be compatible with Linux, including VPNs. VPNs encrypt data sent from a Linux device, meaning it's near-impossible for a cybercriminal to steal information from or attack your device through a network connection. Any Linux user should download a VPN app.

3. OBS (Streaming and Recording)

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is used by thousands of streamers, teachers, students, and video editors. With OBS, a user can record their screen, capture videos, stream to streaming sites, and vice versa.

OBS comes with a load of customization options, such as bitrate, video quality, audio channels, and other quality options. If you need to record your screen - or even stream - OBS is a free option that works with Linux.

4. Plex (Media Server)

Streaming services have dominated the movie industry for a long time, but not everyone likes streaming. Some prefer owning the shows and movies they watch. The problem is, managing that digital media can be exhausting.

Plex aims to solve that problem. Plex allows users to "store" digital media in Plex and, after some tinkering, stream that content to any device from any location. It's a confusing topic, but there are some nifty guides to help you learn how to use Plex.

5. Lightworks (Video Editing)

OBS records video, but it can't edit them. Well, not in any meaningful way - only cropping and trimming. What does Linux have in terms of video editing software?

The obvious answer is Lightworks, a freemium video editing software that allows professional editing with simplistic software.

6. LibreOffice

Microsoft has been working on bringing Office over to Linux. But as of now, compatibility is limited and issues can arise. Those looking for a Linux alternative should take a look at LibreOffice.

LibreOffice is an open source software suite. It's easy to write LibreOffice as a mere rip-off, but it's so much more. Its software is available with most popular versions of Linux and can be used on other OS's as well. And it's completely free! 

7. VLC Media Player

Speaking of open source software, VLC media player is an almost-essential download. Need to play videos on your computer? Do you edit, but not often enough that Lightworks is overkill? VLC is perfect for you.

VLC allows users to play most video formats and gives users basic editing options. Nothing much to say here besides VLC is probably the best video player on the Internet, so be sure to grab it.


Due to the public's apprehensiveness to adopt Linux, it continues to be a useful, yet niche OS in the tech industry. If you're new to Linux and are wondering what you need to get started, take a look at this list and try the apps out. Worst case scenario, you end up uninstalling a few of them.

Writer's bio:

Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools. 

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