Tuesday, 28 October 2008

10 Essential Applications Included in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

The new release of Ubuntu, codenamed Intrepid Ibex, is scheduled for October 30 and pre-orders are available through ShipIt, a wonderful service which allows you request completely free CDs, which usually arrive in one month.

Intrepid comes with pretty much bleeding-edge packages: GNOME 2.24.1, OpenOffice 2.4.1 (OpenOffice 3.0 is now available, but it is not included in 8.10), Firefox 3.0.3 and GIMP 2.6.1. Although Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 is out, 3.0.3 is the version which ships with Intrepid, and I guess it's a smart choice considering there was enough time to test this release.

In this article I will briefly review 10 most essential applications which come by default included on the Ubuntu desktop CD. I took several screenshots using the default Ubuntu theme, and a few using the new DarkRoom theme.

Music player: Rhythmbox 0.11.6
Rhythmbox is the default music player coming with GNOME, and also the default for Ubuntu. It comes with an audio library, Magnatune and Jamendo music stores, support for podcasts, Internet radio and Last.fm song submission. You can even download music torrent files from Jamendo directly from within Rhythmbox.


Movie player: Totem 2.24.2
I usually prefer KDE/Qt applications over the ones built in GTK, and the same applies here. I always used players like Kaffeine or SMPlayer instead of Totem. Totem has support for DVDs, but most of them won't work even with libdvdcss2 installed, even though in other players they work flawless. Seeking is very slow and choppy. Totem has support for plugins and subtitles. For DVD support and w32codecs, you will have to use the Medibuntu.org repositories.


Office suite: OpenOffice.org 2.4.1
OpenOffice has done some amazing things bringing a completely full-featured office application to Linux, and also offering support for the OpenDocument Format. Although Intrepid comes with 2.4.1, in the meantime OpenOffice 3.0 was released and is available on their official website. Here are the applications included with this office suite:
- OpenOffice.org Writer - word processor
- OpenOffice.org Calc - spreadsheet
- OpenOffice.org Impress - presentation
- OpenOffice.org Draw - drawing
- OpenOffice.org Base - database
- OpenOffice.org Math - equation editor


Web browser: Firefox 3.0.3
I think Firefox needs no introduction. The last stable release is 3.0.3 which is also included in Intrepid, while a beta for 3.1 has been released on the official Mozilla website. If you want Flash support, you will have to install it using sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree with your user password. An extremely annoying bug I could catch was that sometimes right-clicking an image (for example in the form used to write this post) will do anything but open the right-click context menu: it will either try to bookmark it, open it in a new tab or new window and so on. I think this should be fixed. In fact, Firefox behaves in a same manner on Debian too (and probably it's not distro-specific), it won't open the context menu when right-clicking if you just opened a few more images in separate tabs.


File manager: Nautilus 2.24.1
Nautilus comes with tabbed browsing, bookmarks, a 'Computer' place which will list your partitions/hard drives (including the umounted ones) and optical drives. You have three modes for viewing files: icon view, list view and compact view; it provides a sidepanel which you can toggle on/off using F9; you can set emblems to files, sort them by name, type, modification date, size and emblems. Nautilus also comes with a configuration tab for choosing default actions when media is inserted or other devices are connected to the system.


CD/DVD burner: Brasero 0.8.2
Brasero supports burning in multi-session mode, it burns CDs/DVDs and ISO images. You can also create audio CDs, DVDs or SVCDs. It provides a minimal interface, allowing you to drag and drop files to be burnt. Brasero has a very suggestive name, and it is also in tone with the famous Human theme Ubuntu uses. It comes with four plugins by default, one of them being the 'normalize' plugin, which sets consistent volume to tracks burnt to an audio CD. I personally never liked to alter original sound, but some prefer it that way in order to prevent very high sounds.


Terminal application: GNOME Terminal
I find work in a terminal powerful and faster in many occasions. GNOME Terminal is the default shell-like application in Ubuntu, and it supports desktop transparency effects, background images or solid colours, profiles and tabs. An essential tool for any Linux user if you ask me.


Text editor: Gedit 2.24.0
This is the default text editor, which can also be used as an integrated development environment (IDE), just like Geany or Kate in KDE. Gedit has the same simple interface characteristic to GNOME applications, but it can be expanded via plugins. It includes syntax highlighting, indentation, a whole bunch of plugins like the spell checker or document statistics. It's simple but powerful enough for small projects.


IM and IRC client: Pidgin 2.5.2
Cleverly named, this is the default IM and IRC client in GNOME. Pidgin supports various IM protocols like Yahoo!, MSN, AIM, ICQ or Google Talk and can be also used as a basic client for internet relay chat. It comes with plenty plugins, some of which would be:
- Nautilus integration
- Join/part hiding
- Evolution integration
- History (to keep conversation logs)
The good thing is that it supports all those protocols, so you won't need to use a separate client for each of them.


Image editor: GIMP 2.6.1
GNOME comes with Eye of GNOME for viewing images, which I guess should be the 'essential' application instead of GIMP. But since EOG comes with every GNOME distribution, I decided upon the new GIMP. Yes, Ubuntu comes with the new 2.6.1 release instead of the old stable 2.4.x, which apparently will be shipped in Debian Lenny.



About GNOME 2.24.1

Related articles
10 Essential Applications Included in Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
How-To: Compile and Install Wesnoth 1.6 in Debian Lenny and Ubuntu 8.10

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rhythmbox and Pidgin are NOT default GNOME applications.

Pidgin doesn't even use the GNOME infrastructure or follow the GNOME guidelines.

Anonymous said...

Try installing the mouse gestures add-on to get rid of the firefox right click bug.

This add-on has the effect of delaying the right click menu from appearing until the button is released, which avoids the accidential selection.

Haven't tried it in Ibex but it worked for me in Hardy.

Anonymous said...

Please keep away from applications that use Mono. They taint GNOME with Microsoft junk and the sword of litigation.

Dan Craciun said...

Anonymous @ 11:37 Thanks for the suggestion, I'll make sure to try it. I have a confirmation that this is really a bug and is not happening to me only (link here).

Anonymous said...

I'm loving 8.10 so far, I install the RC1 and its been rock solid for the past few days now.

Things I installed which I found to be a little better as far as looks/functionality for what I do are:

amsn
songbird(amazing up and coming mp3 player)
Deluge(utorrent like bittorrent clone)
vlc

Anonymous said...

"Rhythmbox and Pidgin are NOT default GNOME applications.

Pidgin doesn't even use the GNOME infrastructure or follow the GNOME guidelines."

Neither are Firefox or OpenOffice. They don't integrate wholly into the GNOME desktop either.

joshyMinor said...

UBuntu is Da Bomb! If you havent made the switch yet, what are you waiting for???

Jiff
www.online-anonymity.kr.tc

Laralantha said...

Why are guys complaining about these about these apps not being "default gnome apps" or gnome integrated? The article doesn't even state they are. In fact, the article is about Ubuntu, not Gnome. The article states that these are the apps that come with Ubuntu. Got Gnome on the brain for some reason?

BTW, Ubuntu comes in many flavors too, so if you get one of the distros of Ubuntu that uses something other then Gnome, these apps are still there. :)

Sam Liddicott said...

totem ususally means totem-gstreamer and it is pretty useless for playing dvd's.

If you un-install totem-gstreamer then totem-xine will be used, or you can just invoke totem-xine directly

I can't work out why totem-gstreamer has been shipped for the last couple of years.

Anonymous said...

sam liddicott said: "I can't work out why totem-gstreamer has been shipped for the last couple of years."

i agree. totem is absolute garbage. i wish i could get an explanation as to why it is included. other than that, ibex should be wonderful.

Dread Knight said...

Very nice, but I prefer Kubuntu.

Anonymous said...

I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 and I will tell you that Totem-xine works fine. If you bother checking bug reports out there you will notice that it is a known BUG that totem-gstreamer has issues. Totem is not garbage, maybe your knowledge on the matter is. And to say totem does not work with some DVDs while other apps do is BS. I can play ALL dvds and totem plays all media files. Just like any window manager you are relying on default setups, codecs, etc... that all of the apps use and call on. There IS not a problem with totem. I will admit there are complications to Linux in general, but with some work you can iron stuff out. So blaim yourself, not the app.

Anonymous said...

Intrepid comes with pretty much bleeding-edge packages: GNOME 2.24.1, OpenOffice 2.4.1 (OpenOffice 3.0 is now available, but it is not included in 8.10) ........

Is it just me or is that an oxymoron, bleeding edge software, but the latest stable release of OpenOffice is not included??

In reality, Ubuntu is the antithesis of "bleeding edge". For better or worse.

Anonymous said...

I installed OO3.0 the stable release and it's a piece of crap. Layout is much better (smaller toolbar buttons for the non-blind users) but it's still very buggy (as of last week anyway). I ended up going back to 2.4, which works perfectly fine.

jimhap said...

Probably OO3 requires fixes. And, it is likely too late, as Ubuntu have a release cycle stage, including where features are "freezed". OO3 likely came AFTER the "freeze".

As for the Firefox right click bug, it does exist. My alternative: press your menu key on keyboard. It will work...

stevefoto said...

you make ubuntu seem complicated, just say its fun easy and invisible.givit a spin in a ubun2 shop where hp sony compac asus all run linux and like apple store, invite hands on before buying
murcia spain Nativeingles centre

sims said...

Yup, I'll have an order of Kubuntu please.

Fintan said...

"Yup, I'll have an order of Kubuntu please."

Make that two

Elder Geek said...

I was worried about the implications of MONO in gnome/linux until recently. Netflix is going to start streaming video to Windows, Linux and Mac users via Silverlight/Mono.

I would say that since large companies are coming on board and using these technologies with Microsoft helping. I think we are past the danger point. They may rattle the saber a little bit.

I don't know why between trying to kill Linux and trying to kill Adobe, they chose Adobe. The end result is silverlight / mono adoption is going to grow.

Charlie said...

Mono is becoming an integral part of most Linux distros and rightly so. Mono is an extremely capable development environment.

The Patent argument isn't really valid because the vast majority of the technology MS has effectively given up its patents on when it became an official standard via the EMCA.

There are small chunks not covered by this that it implements which potentially MS could complain about but removing them would not be a big deal, they arn't integral to its operation.

http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing

Its true future .Net developments could be patented and therefore break compatibility. But since Mono includes GTK# its is perfectly capable of standing in it own right as very powerful development environment.

bazz said...

rhythmbox and pidgin is one of my favourite. it's very simple and user friendly.

John Macey said...

As far as I'm concerned I'm more interested in better WiFi support.

I've been running different Linux distros for about 6 - 7 years. And NdisWrapper still have never been much of a success. I'd like to het rid of the PCMCIA / USB WiFI devices that I still need to use.

Amarok has always been my favorite, music player, K3B is the best burner there is. I do mix and match from the GNOME and KDE desktop apps.

The lack of Open Office 3.0 seems a bit disappointing.

Of course, the issue of video and audio codecs should be included. But, we know the legal issues here in the US.

The latest UBUNTu doesn't seem to make we want to change from openSuSE 11.0. If I make a move I think that I'll try Fedora 10 out.

Sorry guys, but the newest UBUNTU seems like something that lacks that "cutting edge".

JJMacey
Phoenix, Arizona

Shadoglare said...

FINALLY somebody other than me has noticed this issue - every time I gripe about it on a message board somewhere all I get is "doesn't do that for me." Drives me up a dang wall, and unfortunately FF is basically our only realistic choice.
It isn't just images, BTW, I frequently right-click on links to open in new tabs, and it jacks up more often than not.
This is on OpenSuse BTW, so no, it's not distro-specific, though I have heard grumblings that it could actually be some kind of Gnome issue.

An extremely annoying bug I could catch was that sometimes right-clicking an image (for example in the form used to write this post) will do anything but open the right-click context menu: it will either try to bookmark it, open it in a new tab or new window and so on. I think this should be fixed. In fact, Firefox behaves in a same manner on Debian too (and probably it's not distro-specific), it won't open the context menu when right-clicking if you just opened a few more images in separate tabs."

Anonymous said...

This is so useful! Don't you think the average user will find out about this applications on his/her own? Because, you know, they are installed by DEFAULT. What then is the point of your article? And maybe, just maybe you want to read up about the art of reviewing. Because you obviously can't "review" your way out of a paper bag.

Jacob said...

u r blog Is very nice

John Macey said...

Jacob,

U R Right. I just got a great deal on an .mp3 player from one of his ads for Buy.Com.

I'm sort of the Linux / opensource / electronics / devices guru for a bunch of people that I know.

I'm glad I saw that ad. Cool!

bucketoflulz said...

Ubunutu 8.10 burns DVD's and CD's very slowly, there is a bug there that needs to be fixed.

John Macey said...

YOU ARE RIGHT!

I gave up on burning any .deb distro - Ubuntu and Linux Mint because the checksums never matched using K3B e.g. verify data.

I can get anything .rpm to work. I've pulled down everything Fedora, and openSuSE.

Why does Ubuntu / Linux Mint refuse to recognize this?

Certainly this is a major issue.

JJMacey
http://jjmacey.net/blog/

AndrewG said...

Open office is my most used application since i switched to ubuntu. So glad to get shot of MS word.

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Peter said...

Mono does not taint GNOME. Great applications!

Thanks for the post