Recommended programs to add after a Ubuntu 10.04 installation

For my friends and co-workers doing a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04, these are the programs I would recommend adding:

Tier 1
For me, the first group of additions I would recommend are the following:


  • Ubuntu restricted extras (highly recommended package that adds the fonts and media drivers you will surely want)
  • Adobe Reader (Still the best way to read PDF files)

Recommended Graphics, Multimedia Applications

  • The Gimp: (No longer part of the base installation for Ubuntu)
  • Gimp Data Extras
  • VLC: VLC plays MPEG, MPEG2, MPEG4, DivX, MOV, WMV, QuickTime, mp3, Ogg/Vorbis files, DVDs, VCDs, and multimedia streams from various network sources.

Useful Utilities

  • Gpass (Manage a collection of passwords in an encrypted file, protected by a master-password)
  • grsync (A GTK+ front end to rsync, a backup program)
  • gftp-gtk (for the gFTP program)

Tier 2
These programs, which are available from the Ubuntu repositories, are probably not for everyone, but I find them useful.

  • The Bluefish editor
  • Wine (To run some Windows programs within Linux environment)
  • R (My favorite statistics program)
  • Cheese (Not necessarily a program you will use much, but Cheese often fixes driver problems for webcams)
  • Google Chromium web browser

These programs are available from third parties, and I find them very useful.

  • Skype
  • Picasa: From Google
  • Adobe Air: Installation will be a challenge for some but it is worth it, if just to run Tweetdeck.
  • Tweetdeck: I love this tool to monitor twitter. It requires Adobe Air.

Tier 3

  • Oracle/Sun’s Virtualbox (I use this to run Windows XP, Microsoft Office/2007, and some other Windows programs). It is surprisingly easy to run Windows and Windows application within Ubuntu 10.04 using this program.
  • Shotwell: A way to view your pictures organized by dates, that you can use without changing the underlying directories for the pictures.
  • Abiword: A smaller word processor than OpenOffice.Org.