Tuesday, 30 November 2010

10 Alternatives to Default Applications in Ubuntu 10.10

Music player: Rhythmbox (full review here)
Alternative: Banshee (full review here)
Banshee is a feature-rich collection-oriented player which includes Internet services, cover manager, smart playlists, Last.fm integration, 10-band equalizer, tray icon, ratings, fullscreen mode, track metadata editor, support for radio and podcasts, plugins and play queue, to list only a part of them. The version which comes in Ubuntu Maverick is 1.8.0, but at the time of writing a new development version, 1.9.0, is available on the official website and can be easily installed using the Banshee daily builds PPA at Launchpad.
Runners-up: Exaile, Listen, Audacious, gmusicbrowser, Decibel Audio Player, Quod Libet, Foobnix, DeaDBeeF, Sonata, GMPC

sudo apt-get install banshee

Movie player: Totem
Alternative: GNOME MPlayer
GNOME MPlayer is a GTK frontend to mplayer the popular, cross-platform movie player. GNOME MPlayer is provided by the package gnome-mplayer and can play any file that mplayer supports. It has support for subtitles, playlist, video info, and comes with pretty much enough configuration options.
sudo apt-get install gnome-mplayer

File manager: Nautilus (full review here)
Alternative: GNOME Commander
It was a tough choice between this and PCManFM, and finally decided to go for the twin-panel one although the latter is a good replacement too. GNOME Commander is a twin-panel file manager with features like search for files/folders, horizontal layout, SMB support, keyboard shortcuts, bookmarks. It doesn't seem to integrate context menus for various file formats, for example adding/extracting to/from an archive.
Runners-up: PCManFM, Thunar, emelFM

sudo apt-get install gnome-commander

Web browser: Firefox
Alternative: Epiphany
Epiphany is a clean and simple GTK web browser that uses the WebKit layout engine. It includes the usual features like privacy management, bookmarks, tabs, history, fullscreen mode.
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser

Word processor: OpenOffice.org Writer
Alternative: Abiword
Abiword is for those who need a word processing application, but without the more advanced features the OpenOffice.org Writer includes and also quite lightweight compared to the latter. It provides a simple, easy-to-use interface and has support for the OpenDocument Text format.
sudo apt-get install abiword

Image viewer: Eye of GNOME
Alternative: gThumb
gThumb supports a wide variety of image formats and comes with decent features for an image viewer, like bookmarks, basic editing tools (rotate, convert to other formats, resize), extensions.
Runners-up: GPicView, GQview, GImageView

sudo apt-get install gthumb

Terminal application: GNOME Terminal
Alternative: Guake
A few days ago I talked about Yakuake, a KDE Quake-style console application. Well, Guake is its counterpart on the Gnome desktop environment. Guake features transparency effects, keyboard shortcuts (F12 to hide/show the terminal), tray icon, tabs (using the Firefox shortcuts to switch - Ctrl+Page Up and Ctrl+Page Down), configuration options.
sudo apt-get install guake

Text editor: Gedit
Alternative: Geany
Geany is a very powerful text editor which also offers features for programmers. Geany comes with tabbed support, highlighting for various programming languages, indentation support, projects, plugins and a whole range of configuration options. A respectable replacement for Gedit, and also a valid tool among more advanced IDEs like Emacs.
Runners-up: Scribes, SciTE, Leafpad

sudo apt-get install geany

Photo manager: Shotwell
Alternative: F-Spot
What better alternative for Shotwell than the former default photo manager, F-Spot? F-Spot features camera support, importing and exporting images to various services, tags, extensions to name a few.

sudo apt-get install f-spot

Email client: Evolution
Alternative: Claws Mail
Claws Mail is a highly configurable email client written in GTK with features like address book, support for POP3 or SMTP protocols, external editor, multiple accounts.
Runners-up: Thunderbird (not GTK but integrates well enough)

sudo apt-get install claws-mail

Final notice
All the alternative applications and runners-up were chosen to blend well in the GNOME environment, which means all of them (except for Thunderbird) are GTK-based.


VasiaUVI said...

Hello,Nice post!
For me Exaile is the best, it has the online radio which resemblence with a former version from Amarok (I don't remember which one).
On video player SMplayer is my favorite.
Gnome Commander or even Double Commander-the same level on my list!
Firefox definitely!

Craciun Dan said...

Hello VasiaUVI! Thanks for the kind words. I think you're maybe referring to Amarok 1.4 in KDE3?

VasiaUVI said...

Yes, Amarok 1.4! I forgot!

Anonymous said...

Um, Thunderbird is certainly GTK-based...at least on Linux. Please do your research before posting an article like this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for foobnix link. It's the best one:)

Anonymous said...

I'll have to give you Banshee, some serious hiccups for me personally, but otherwise terrific. As well as MPlayer. But, Nautilus is such an integral part of Gnome, replacing it is hardly necessary; plus, pressing F3 gives you a double panel as well.

It's unfortunate you appear to have forgotten "Runners-up" for every other program excepting the Music Player; Midori, Chromium, Terminator, SMPlayer and even Thunar all deserve their respective mentions, to name a few.

Otherwise not a terrible article. Best thing is to get alternatives out there. Alternatives create competition, competition creates better alternatives and the circle continues.

lamapper said...

Firefox does not belong on this as they are not solely on Gnome, seems like it would be the same for Evolution, but would have to check.

LibreOffice is the obvious alternative to OpenOffice or MS Office on any Linux distro. Neither are unique to the Gnome Desktop or Ubuntu. Abiword would be a third choice, always nice to have at least three options or you have no choice.

Terminal, really, err. I use Gnome, but have not used Gnome Terminal specifically, perhaps that is what I am using without realizing it, will have to check. In my mind a Terminal/Console Window is ubiquitous and there is a Terminal on all distros of Linux. Sometimes you need to use a command line and I would not use a distro that tried to prevent me from getting one. No matter how good their GUI.

I like the idea of an alternative list to Ubuntu as I too am concerned about the Extending of .NET and Mono (Which will follow .NET's direction and thus Microsoft) into Ubuntu via Unity and Wayland.

I will switch to a different distro and only use Unity as a 3rd/4th option just to be safe. I admit that it will be interesting to watch Ubuntu Unity on its apparent proprietary path. Thankfully there are many, many options for us so I wish them well.

How with the incompatibilities between Intel and Nvidia GPUs impact us...neither of those players have flawless records with opensource and their device drivers either.

Yes, 2011 will be interesting for us Linux users, won't it!

Totally loved your post and its implications...fantastic!

HurricaneHarry said...

For terminal a runner-up might be terminator.
for photowork there is some future work in darktable

Anonymous said...

I keep installing KDE aside with Gnome just so that I can use Dolphin because the filters in Dolphin are just fantastic. I think the article is good way of making us all realize that there are good alternatives to what we have got used to.

michkhoo said...

My personal favorites: abiword,gnumeric gedit & vlc

Best Ubuntu Programs

bam said...

Keep being product specific. Ubuntu has a huge install base.