Essential applications (Linux, Android, Windows)

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A list of all the applications that I use, on various platforms.

Linux Applications

Packaging Systems (on Gentoo)

  • emerge
    THE best package manager for Linux.
  • flatpak
    Works well on Gentoo (OpenRC) and allows to install some programs that don't have ebuilds available.
  • appimage
    another good package system, entirely self contained (no need to install a package manager to run appimage packages).
  • snap
    requires systemd, so bad choice for Gentoo OpenRC systems. Better to avoid snap packages.

Console Applications

  • htop
    Small utility to monitor your system's resource usage (CPU and RAM).
  • nano
    Good console text editor.
  • screen
    Utility to allow to launch long commands on remote hosts, disconnect and later reconnect to your previous session.
  • wgetpaste
    Excellent small utility to post to an online paste service.

Desktop & File Sharing

  • Dolphin
    Best file manager available on any platform due to its excellent integration with any protocol (SFTP, FTP, etc).
  • Nextcloud
    Very good free file sharing platform (similar to Google Drive or Dropbox). You must setup your own server.
  • Insync
    Good Google Drive synchronization client for Linux. Not free, but I was unable to find a correct free client.


  • Brave
    Better and more lightweight than Chromium.
  • Firefox
    The standard open-source browser that you can trust. Emerge netscape-flash or gnash to get Flash support.
  • Chromium
    Was best browser available for Linux, now bloated and second to Firefox.
  • Opera
    Another good web browser. Development tools are awful, and not free.
  • Floccus
    Easy bookmarks synchronization service. Required with Firefox & Chromium.
  • Thunderbird
    Good open-source email client from Mozilla.
  • Filezilla
    Best fully featured FTP client currently available on Linux.
  • Konversation
    IRC client for KDE, better integration with KDE than X-Chat.
  • Kopete
    Excellent, ultra-customizable multi-protocol IM client.
  • Krdc
    VNC / Rdesktop client for KDE.
  • TightVNC
    VNC client.
  • Ekiga
    SIP (Audio / Video) client. For webcams or remote conferences. Very buggy still.
  • aMule
    Best client for eMule P2P networks.
  • kTorrent
    Nice client for torrent downloads.
  • Eiskalt DC ++
    Client for Direct Connect networks.


  • GCC
    The whole GNU tool chain will be of course included in the system.
  • VSCode
    Excellent, fast IDE.
  • Eclipse
    Excellent, complex IDE for Java and other languages as well with plugins.
  • Kate
    Lightweight text editor.
  • Quanta
    Good text editor oriented towards web development (PHP, Javascript, HTML).
  • KDevelop
    Very good IDE for C/C++ development.
  • Subversion with KDEsvn
    Excellent source management system. KDEsvn is the best GUI front-end available currently under KDE. It has Konqueror integration.
  • Kompare
    Good program to visualize diffs.
  • Kdiff3
    GUI for the diff3 utility. Needed to create patches.
  • Okteta
    This is an hex editor, sometimes useful.


  • Okular
    Free PDF viewer. Lighter than Acrobat Reader. Can reload files instantly, so very useful for LaTeX development. In theory can also open .epub and .mobi files.
  • Xournal++
    Tool to easily add text to a PDF document (very useful for some documents that don't have PDF forms).
  • Foliate
    Great e-book reader.
  • CoolReader
    Another e-book reader.
  • FBReader
    Epub / mobi / azw reader. Has some issues with some .epub files. Exists on Android too.
  • Calibre
    Excellent software to manage collections. The viewer features are not interesting.
  • Tellico
    Organizes a collection. Can be used with file collections, although it is not ideal.
  • LibreOffice
    Necessary to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
  • Odoo
    Web based accounting application (very powerful, can be used as a fully featured ERP). Open-source, can be self-hosted, but a paying SaaS version also exists.
  • KAddressBook
    Good address book / contact manager.
  • PortableSigner
    Tool in Java to electronically sign a PDF document. Comes with a Swing interface.


  • Gwenview
    Excellent KDE image viewer.
  • Inkscape
    Excellent SVG editor. Same as Adobe Illustrator.
  • The GIMP
    Excellent graphics manipulation program. Can be automated via scripts.
  • Digikam
    Very good image library management program. Very useful as well to find image duplicates (by content / similarity).
  • Geeqie
    Also able to search for image duplicates (but worse than Digikam).
  • Skanlite
    Application to scan documents from a scanner. Minimalistic but decent.


  • SMPlayer
    Best video player interface. Can use mplayer or mpv (recommended) as backend.
  • Kodi
    Excellent Home Theater software.
  • Strawberry
    iTunes like audio player and collection manager.
  • Clementine
    Another iTunes clone.
  • MComix
    Really excellent viewer for reading comics.
  • Gwenview
    Best image viewer (for collections).
  • VLC
    It will play less files than MPlayer, but is still good. Allows streaming over a network.
  • Showimg
    Excellent image viewer.
  • MPlayer
    This is the player that will play almost all your media files. On Linux you should use a different GUI.
  • OBS Studio
    Great software to record (and stream) movies to disk.
  • Kdenlive
    A video editor with advanced features.
  • Avidemux
    A tool that allows you to split videos with a GUI (among other things).
  • K3b
    Nice GUI to burn CDs/DVDs. Also able to rip audio CDs to Ogg / Flac / MP3.
  • Amarok
    iTunes like audio player and collection manager. Not actively developed anymore.


  • Authy
    2 Factor Authentication (2FA) application. Better than Google Authenticator, as it works on Android and Linux, but unfortunately is very buggy (automated backups don't sync well across devices, Linux app does not start with some versions...). Note also that the name of the accounts are not synced across devices, only the keys themselves. If it worked well, it would be the best 2FA available.
  • 2FAS
    Another 2FA application that has to be tested. Available in Android and as a Chrome browser extension.
  • Virtual Volumes View
    File indexer / volume cataloger. Very basic, but no better alternatives right now.
  • Basenji
    Another file indexer.
  • smartmontools
    Tool to monitor the SMART status of your hard drive.
  • phoronix-test-suite
    benchmarking tool. It is actually a test suite manager, you can install and run many different test suites.
  • bonnie / bonnie++
    I/O (hard drive) benchmarking tool.

Emulation & Virtualization

  • Wine
    This is absolutely necessary to play Blizzard games (Warcraft III), and many other Windows games as well. Latest versions are really impressive.
  • VirtualBox
    A free and excellent virtualization software. Allows you to run Windows natively on your Linux guest OS.
  • RetroArch
    Great front-end to many virtualization systems (especially arcade and console emulators).
  • DosBox
    Emulator for the DOS operating system, allows you to play old PC games.
  • Qcmame
    Front-end for the SDLMame Linux version.
  • GXMame
    Front-end for the XMame Linux version (obsolete, does not work anymore with SDLMame).
  • Gens
    Sega Genesis emulator.
  • Yabause
    Sega Saturn emulator.


  • Battle for Wesnoth
    A great wargame with nice art.
  • Majesty
    Native port of the great fantasy kingdom simulation game.
  • Pingus
    Free clone of Lemmings, excellent.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    Native port of the FPS game.

Android Applications


  • Kodi
    Best video player on Android. Can be configured to auto-hide OSD (Settings -> Interface -> Configure Screen -> On screen display).
  • Kore
    Remote control application for Kodi.
  • Perfect Viewer
    Great application for reading comics.
  • VLC
    Good video player on Android.


  • File Manager +: Good file manager.

Windows Applications


  • MinGW
    This allows you to use the GCC compiler on Windows, allowing your applications to be portable.
  • Eclipse
    Excellent, complex IDE for Java and other languages as well with plugins.
  • Notepad++
    Very good lightweight text editor.
  • TortoiseSVN
    Excellent GUI front-end for Subversion.


  • Avira
    Free antivirus tool.

Mac OS X Applications

Packaging Systems

  • SoftwareUpdate
    Built-in (from Apple), will only update the OS and Apple applications. Very easy.
  • Fink
    Large repository of UNIX open-source software.
  • DarwinPorts
    Other package manager. The repository has a lot of server software. Easy to use.


  • Mail
    Free as in beer (from Apple), good client except for the Spotlight search feature taking hours (and not returning anything useful, generally).
  • Thunderbird
    Good open-source email client from Mozilla.
  • Firefox
    The standard open-source browser that you can trust.
  • Safari
    Probably the best browser available for OS X (very fast). Based on Konqueror so should be open.
  • Cyberduck
    FTP client, open-source. I don't like it that much but it seems one of the best for the Mac.
  • X-Chat Aqua
    Open-source IRC client. Not awesome, but ok.
  • Fire
    Open-source multi-protocol IM client.


  • GCC
    Included in the system from Apple.
  • X-Code
    Good IDE for C++/Objective-C/Java, unfortunately only available on the Mac. It manages its own build system, but this is not portable.


  • iTunes
    Excellent audio player.
  • MPlayer
    Best video player available on the Mac, but should be compiled from source. The binaries versions are not maintained it seems. Also, the GUI sucks. Update: new binaries seem available directly from the official site.
  • VLC
    It will play less files than MPlayer, but the Mac port is official and better.
  • Adobe Photoshop
    Best image editing program.
  • Roxio Toast
    Good CD/DVD-burning software, but not free.


  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    Essential to read PDF files.
  • Address Book
    Nice contact book manager.


  • Built-in Unarchiver
    It will decompress .tar, .zip, and other formats. Nice integration into the Finder.
  • CDFinder
    Organizes a CD/DVD collection. Good but not multiplatform nor Open-Source.
  • CDCat
    Organizes a CD/DVD collection. Free as in speech, multiplatform, uses Qt3. But you must compile it yourself.
  • smartmontools
    Tool to monitor the SMART status of your hard drive. If you install using the Apple installer, the daemon will be automatically launched at startup (remove the StartupItem to prevent that).