I am a big fan of getting the job done without any hassle. I use a MacBook Pro to work most of the time, but I still use Linux to do a large portion of work. Mac and Windows are great and all, well maybe not Windows, but there are just some things that I can’t leave my dear Linux because of. Here are some of my favorite apps (and the reasons) to use in Ubuntu (currently I am using 10.10). These are also the first things I install on Ubuntu if I ever need new machines.
This is a text editor that comes default most (if not all) versions of Ubuntu. This is by far one of the best editors I have ever used to code in. I have also been known to frequent VIM and some IDEs but I use Gedit for most of my coding due to the editors vast number of features like its snippet library (that has keyboard shortcuts for quick coding) and language support. Not to mention, you can open file in Gedit straight from the default file browser (Nautilus).
Nautilus is the default file browser as previously mentioned. I do a lot with Nautilus because of its bookmarking feature. You can use it to connect to servers via FTP, SFTP, SSH, and other protocols, and then save the connection as a bookmark. While using Nautilus like this, you are looking at these files as if you had them on your computer. You can open the files as if they were on your computer, such as a PHP file in Gedit, edit the file and save. If you do a lot of live edits, this is the set-up you should be using.
That is a weird name for an application, eh? What in the world could this one be? Well, this is by far one of the most important programs that I have on my computer. This is a heavy weight python built program that checks the security of your site. It goes threw all kinds of different sql injections, cross site request forgeries, XSRF, and much much more. This is one of the ways I insure that I am not going to have to fix my work later, and above all else, ensure the happiness (and security) of my customers.
You can get this beauty in the Ubuntu Software Center. It is free, but because of its value, I try to get as many people as I can to donate. Donations for w3af will only help get the developer who made it to improve it, and keep it current.
Ok, I am a keyboard shortcut kind of guy. Let me say that before I start in with Gnome Do. Gnome Do is the greatest thing I think I have ever come across in the history of Keyboard Shortcuts. Gnome Do by default acts like Macs Spotlight or Launchy for Windows (both in which I use), but with Gnome Do.. You get plug-ins.
Gnome Do lets you open a Skype window with a person just by typing part of their name, or open a program by typing a portion of it’s name. Hell, you can even post to twitter in just a few keystrokes.
What to say about my dear friend Docky. He lives on the side of my monitor, and keeps me informed about my programs and offers some widgets. Oh, it acts like the dock on OSX, only you get widgets. I use a timer to work in 1 hour bursts, alarm goes off, I take a break. This keeps my mind fresh, and my wrists from killing me at the end of day.
You can in fact install Docky without using the repository, but it is an older version and does not come with the timer app.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:docky-core/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docky
Web Browsers and Plug-ins
Can’t forget about these guys. They work just the same as other OSs, only you don’t get the satisfaction of having the ability to natively install IE. Firefox, Chrome, Firebug, XMarks, and Web Developer Tools all that should need to be said.
Terminal is one of the main reasons a lot of folks love Linux. It is the root of your computer, he.. I said root. If you have ever used cmd (command prompt) in Windows, or the Terminal in OSX, You have used a Terminal. Granted, the cmd isn’t as great as having all your computer belong to your fingers, but it is close. This is the way a lot of us install programs, interact with files, use VIM, automate some scripts, etc. Learning some Python (or Perl, Ruby, etc) and how to use Terminal might just be one of the best things you have done for yourself.
Terminator acts as a terminal, only in this environment you can split the panes. I use this program when I am writing Python programs and need to test, or interact with several terminals at one time. I have also been known to open a Terminator just to view HTop/Top or any other live server health checking program of many servers while I try to get down to the bottom of an issue on a different computer.
If you have ever felt like you needed a second computer so you can test what your program or site would do in a different operating system or different OS version, VirtualBox is exactly what you are looking for. Make a new virtual box, install an OS on it, and run it any time you need it. Did I mention you haven’t left Ubuntu for any of it. This program is availble for most OSs now, so it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to some of you.
MySQL Query Browser/SQL Developer
These are GUI interfaces for working with databases. If you are using databases to develop something, these can be a HUGE help. There isn’t a whole lot more to say about them.
Back in Time
Back in Time is a back-up program much like Apple’s Time Machine. In fact, if you have a Time Machine you can use Back in Time to backup your Linux computer there. That Setup has saved me countless times.
I left this for last on purpose. One of the newer features of Ubuntu is the way they have implemented some social applications. Between Gwibber and Empathy, you will never be out of the loop. Gwibber lets you broadcast messages to platforms like Facebook, and Empathy lets you connect to AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and many more chat programs. The best part is because they are built in, If you set your computer as away, your setting your social accounts that you are away as well.
If you are a Twitter lover, You will love the use of the Gnome Do plug-in to post to twitter from a Gnome Do pop-up. Yea, thats right, an example: ctrl + <super> (super means space) and then write your twitter post, and press down to the post to twitter option, hit enter and done.
What is your favorite apps?