Tag Archives: best


Best Linux Distro for Beginners

The Share of GNU/Linux distributions (as a Desktop Operating System) has increased significantly in the past few years, and it’s growing very fast.

Among the new Linux users, most of them are common desktop users who just want to get things done without much hassle. They need a simple and easy to use graphical interface not a green/black terminal (although, the terminal will help them a lot but it shouldn’t be compulsory, rather it would be like an extra tool – that they might want to learn, in order to become an advanced user).

There are various flavors of GNU/Linux distributions – some of them are dedicated for a specific purpose while some of them are targeted for common desktop users. Among these commonly used Linux distros, few most popular Linux distributions are – Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, ArchLinux, OpenSuse etc. Ubuntu holds around 50% share in Linux Desktop market, so it’s the most popular one – it has growing community, large number of developers, wide collection of free and open source applications (now, paid apps are also available in Ubuntu Software Center).

Linux Mint is derived from Ubuntu, but it focuses more on Linux beginners and non-technical users. So it’s the most beginner friendly Linux distro available now. it’s user base is also growing very fast.

Linux Mint 13 : Cinnamon Desktop

Linux Mint 13 – The Best Linux Distro for Beginners!

Linux Mint 13 “maya” is the latest stable version, there are various editions, depending on the desktop environment such as MATE, Cinnamon, KDE or XFCE. Linux Mint 13 – Cinnamon is the best one! Cinnamon is a new desktop based on GNOME 3/ Shell but it’s more beginner friendly with an intuitive UI.

Why Linux Mint 13 is the most beginner friendly GNU/Linux OS ?

it’s easy to use

Linux Mint 13 comes bundled with commonly used applications such as VLC player, Firefox Browser, Thunderbird (Email Client), Libre Office (equivalent to MS Office) etc. Restricted libraries and codecs pre-installed, which some times causes a lot of headache for beginners – because of that – they can’t even play a music file or video from computer, not even in browser because of flash player.

The desktop environment such as Cinnamon or MATE are very beginner friendly – as it follows the conventional Desktop layout, so users feels more comfortable, specially to the users coming from the Windows(7, XP or whatever). It has nice graphics effects that makes a desktop experience a lot fun, if your computer doesn’t support heavy graphics stuffs then it can easily fall back to simple mode.

Application management has become very easy –  just go to Software Manager and install the cool apps – in a couple of clicks (or update/remove the previous installed one). System can be updated – in one click – using the default system tool – update manager.

it’s easy to customize ‘n’ tweak

Cinnamon desktop (or MATE or whatever you’re using) can be customized – in a couple of clicks. In other distro – you would be searching for some tweaking tools but in Linux Mint 13, you got the customizing application – installed by default. You just go to System settings and start customizing your desktop.

cinnamon-settings : For Customizatoin

It’s very easy to change/customize themes, icons, fonts, panels etc, with the tool called – Cinnamon Settings.

Other obvious reasons are :

  • Get things done without much hassle
  • It has huge collection of Free Applications
  • it’s secure by default
  • it’s easy to learn and explore new stuffs
  • Large (and growing) Community of Users

Are you Ready to Try Linux Mint 13 ? If yes, then refer this Getting Started Guide for Linux Mint 13 Beginners.


Best Linux Mint 12 Applications

Linux Mint is the rising star of GNU/Linux desktop world! On distrowatch it became the most popular distro (although the popularity metrics isn’t based on user base  of Linux Mint or Ubuntu but the page hits on the site). With the release of Ubuntu 11.10, Linux Mint 12 version was released with various desktop options like Gnome 3/Gnome shell, KDE Desktop etc. Linux Mint team introduced MATE plugin in the latest release which is awesome, because it might be good for those Gnome 2.* fans who hates Unity and Gnome Shell – it has merged the awesomeness of Gnome 2.3 with Gnome 3/Shell.

Since Linux Mint 12 is based on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) so most of the applications that works with Ubuntu 11.10 will work fine on Linux Mint. I’ve already covered a post about the most popular apps (plus some Tweaks too that will help you in getting most of Linux Mint) on Ubuntu 11.10 – so I’m not going to repeat that here. [Follow the below link]

Best Apps for Ubuntu 11.10/Mint 12

Did you miss any favorite application ?

I certainly missed few of my favorite Application, media players. It’s XBMC and Nightingale Music Player.


XBMC – The coolest Media Center Application, and of course it’s free and open source!!!

Install XBMC in Linux Mint 12

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:nathan-renniewaldock/xbmc-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

Nightingale Music Player


It’s a songbird fork, optimized and improved for GNU/Linux distributions (although it’s available for Mac and Windows too). Right now, you can’t install it from Software Manager/Center or from a deb package (because it’s not available in that format yet!) but you can extract the downloaded file and run the nightingale-bin executable file to run the program.

Download Nightingale for Linux Mint

What’s your Favorite Apps in Linux Mint ? Wouldn’t you like to tell us through comments ?


best Linux distribution for Laptop

Do you want to try Linux based OS on your laptop ? That’s really a good idea! (welcome to the open world of open source :)) but if you aren’t sure what distribution is right for you (it is obvious because you got a lot of options – a number of distros), then this post will guide you in selecting the best Linux distro for your laptop.

The most important factor in choosing a right Linux distribution is your primary task, because there is almost a dedicated distribution available for all type of tasks eg. video/audio/music/graphics production work, office work, common purpose such as surfing internet, Email, etc. Your experience/interest is the second most important factor, you should consider while choosing a Linux distribution for your laptop computer.

PCLinuxOS – Easy to use



PCLinuxOS is a simple and easy to use GNU/Linux distribution suitable for all types users. It is little bit like rolling release distribution (it doesn’t uses version mechanism instead of that the updates are pushed as soon as it’s available, which means that in one simple command you distro will have all the latest stuffs), initially derived from Mandriva Linux (2007). it uses KDE Plasma as default desktop (user interface/window manager), although XFCE, LXDE or Openbox editions are also available. So it is one of the best option for your laptop.

Download PCLinuxOS

Download PCLinuxOS KDE version  or go to official download page for more options

Puppy Linux – Light weight and Fast


Puppy Linux is the best option if your laptop is old because PuppyLinux is a very lightweight Linux distro and it’s very efficient at resource consumption, and of course it’s one of the fastest OS available. You can even use it without installing it on your hard-drive (as it can loaded into RAM due to its small size), right from a bootable media such as Pendrive or CD. It comes along with all necessary basic applications such as Abiword (Document Processing application like Open Office or MS Office), Mplayer. Due to its versatile nature and flexibility it is one of the most popular Linux distributions.

Download Puppy Linux

LinuxMint – a cool, Linux based OS for beginners


Linux Mint is another great option for newbies. Linux Mint (12 is the latest version) has been forked from Ubuntu but aims to make it more beginner friendly by including proprietary stuffs (Adobe Flash player, media codecs to play files e.g mp3). if you have any experience in Debian based distro such as Ubuntu, then you won’t feel much difference except one major change – Gnome 3/Shell, although Gnome 2 style user interface is also available but it’s worth trying if you have a decent configuration (otherwise you will be switched to fallback mode).

Want to try Linux Mint 12 (latest version, released a month ago) ? Before trying out, look at the Linux Mint screenshot Toor/Review (I’ve already covered earlier). Besides that I’ve also covered some more tips and tricks about Linux Mint, so come here frequently :) for more cool stuffs on Linux Mint (although most of the Ubuntu related posts will also work with Mint).

Download Linux Mint

Other Popular Linux distributions that you might want to try on your laptop, are –

  • Ubuntu : Most popular Linux distribution, for all purpose!
  • OpenSuse : easy to use and well suitable for office use
  • Fedora : Rock Solid Linux distro, well suitable for experienced/advanced users!

That’s All, choose any one (All are good for something) you want and enjoy the freedom :)

Audacious Music player

Best Applications and Tweaks for Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu 11.10 (Alias : Oneiric Ocelot) released last week, If you are using an older version of Ubuntu or not using it at all (I mean you have never used Ubuntu or any Linux based OS, possibly you are a mac or Window user), then probably you are missing a lot of Fun and Joy! Better upgrade your existing version of Ubuntu to 11.10 or install Ubuntu 11.10 on a new partition (hey! non-Ubuntu user, just give it a try, you will love it; don’t think too much – it isn’t going to hurt anyway, as you can install it as Dual Boot without altering your existing operating system or even you can give it a try using Live CD or USB without installing it on your hard disk).

After a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10 you might be looking for some cool tips, tricks, hacks or customization tips so that you can enjoy Ubuntu in your own way. That’s a good thing and of course, this post will help you a lot, in customizing Ubuntu 11.10.

Just After fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10

If you are new to Ubuntu, then you might have noticed that a lot of basic applications, codecs and plugins are missing (for example mp3 decoders – it means you can’t play mp3 files without it). Most of those programs/softwares are proprietary, that’s the reason why they aren’t included with default installation (Although from 11.04, there’s an option to install those package during installation) – to avoid copyright problems. Another obvious reason is, in order to make the size of installation file (ISO archive) as minimum as possible.

I’ve already written a post about the programs/downloads that is mandatory after a fresh installation of Ubuntu 11.10, so I’m not going to repeat that here, Just follow the link : things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10 and come back when you’re done!

Best Free Applications for Ubuntu 11.10 users

Here are some cool and best open source applications that you must try on Ubuntu 11.10. It’s not necessary that the collection of best Apps will be in a harmony with your favorite ones but it’s worth trying as it is based on my few years of experience with Ubuntu and community ratings/reviews over the web. Anyway, if you have some cool apps to share then do share it through comment.

1. Audacious : The Best Music Player

Audacious is a simple and easy to use audio player with a lot of cool features. The look is very similar to Windows’s Winamp player specially when you will choose the appropriate theme in preferences option. You may try other music players such as Clementine or Amarok (for more sophisticated features) but Audacious works great and It just works!

sudo apt-get install audacious

Audacious Music player

2. Google Chrome : Best Web Browser

Although, Firefox’s performance has improved a lot on Ubuntu but Google Chrome(or try Chromium, it’s there in the Software Center) is the best web browser. Latest cutting edge features, a lot of plugins/extensions and other cool features makes Google Chrome the best. To install chromium use the command –

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

or read more about installing google chrome in Ubuntu 11.10.


3. VLC : Best Video Player

VLC is one of the most popular open source and cross-platform media player, the best thing is that – it is a some sort of All in One player. A lot of free plugins are available to add more functionality and features. It is available in Ubuntu Software Center so you can install it in one simple click or just type the command at terminal –

sudo apt-get install vlc

playing-vlc in Ubuntu 11.10

4. FileZilla : Best FTP Client

FTP(File Transfer Protocol) client is a simple GUI application that will allow you to upload/download or manage remote files, typically hosted on your shared or Private(VPS/Dedicated) web server. It is a must have application for web developers because it is very useful in editing remote files in real time, in nice and easy to use interface, with your favorite code editor such as gedit. FileZilla is cross-platform application. It also supports file transfer in secure(encrypted) mode i.e SFTP.

sudo apt-get install filezilla


5. gedit : Best Text Editor

gedit is the default text editor for most of the GNU/Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc. It is a simple text editor with a lot of powerful features, and flexible enough to make it suitable for any work you want. e.g I use gedit as a code editor for Ruby on Rails development, to make it look like Textmate (the Most popular rails IDE) – there is a plugin gmate, which tends to make it more programmer friendly (as it adds a lot of plugins for better productivity; like auto bracket completion, code snippets, highlighting embedded codes etc). To install gmate execute these commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-on-rails/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gedit-gmate

That was just one example, a number of free plugins are available to customize it as you want.


6. Geany : Best Lightweight IDE for web developers

Although, there are number of sophisticated IDE (e.g Eclipse, Netbeans, Aptana, BlueJ etc) are available for Ubuntu but Geany is for you if you are looking for a simple and lightweight IDE that just works. It has a lot of good features (such as code completion, folding, embedded terminal etc) for web developers – php lovers will probably love it. It is there in the repository so if you want to install Geany IDE on Ubuntu (or other similar distributions), then fire up a terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install geany

geany IDE

7. GIMP : Best Image Editor

GIMP : For Advanced user/graphics designers
If you’ve been using Adobe Photoshop and looking for an open source alternative on Ubuntu, then try GIMP Image Editor. It has lot of sophisticated features like Adobe Photoshop (Some Photoshop users might not agree here), and it’s very simple to use. Although, it doesn’t have a lot cool brushes/effects installed by default (unlike Photoshop) but There are lot of good plugins and brushes available there on Web – so just Google it. To install gimp, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install gimp

gimp image editor

If you want some more brushes and plugins like Save for Web (image optimizer, may be useful for those who want to publish graphics work on web), then install that in one simple command –

sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry

Pinta : For beginners
If you want to get started with image editing business then probably Pinta will be sufficient for you. it is far simpler than Gimp and it does have nice features. Its look is very similar to MS paint. To install Pinta on Ubuntu, execute the command –

sudo apt-get install pinta

MyPaint : For Digital Painters

If you’re a digital painter, then MyPaint is the best. It is an open source and cross-platform application, with a lot of cool features for painters. To install MyPaint, open terminal and execute the command –

sudo apt-get install MyPaint

8. Tomboy Notes : Best Note taking Application

Tomboy Notes is one of the coolest default application, included with Ubuntu 11.10 (may be it will also be available in the upcoming version – 12.04). If you have ever used Evernote or other similar application (such as Nevernote – an open source clone of Evernote) then you need no explanation about what really it is. As the name suggest – it’s a simple application that will allow you to take small notes, you do not need to hit save button or Ctrl+S, just write it on a note and you’re done. It will even synchronize it with the Ubuntu One cloud (or other local or remote location of your choice). I use it daily – for writing new post ideas or tips for this blog.


9. OpenShot : Best Video/Movie Editor

There are lot of open source video/movie creators/editors available for Ubuntu but OpenShot is the best one. It is very simple, stable and powerful. it has a lot of features such as Drag and Drop support with Gnome desktop, unlimited tracks/layers, a number of audio/video formats are supported, cool transition effects, 3D animated titles, digital zooming of video clips, high definition video support (HDV, AVCHDV), plus a lot of other features that you can expect from a modern video editing software. To install OpenShot, execute –

sudo apt-get install openshot


10. Shutter : Best Screenshot program

If you want to take a screenshot of whole screen then a PrtScn button on your keyboard may do the job easily, but that’s not all you want always. In some cases, you will need to select a portion of the screen after a delay or some other complex case might occurs then you will need a dedicated screenshot program. That’s where shutter comes into mind. Shutter is the best screenshot program because of its ease of use and a bunch of cool features – multiple screenshot, delay, region selection with co-ordinates, editing features (to draw arrow or watermarks) and the most cool feature is effects (collection of plugins to apply some cool effects such as 3D reflection, Shadow etc). To install shutter – simply execute the command –

sudo apt-get install shutter

11. Handbrake : Best Video converter


Handbrake is the most popular video converter application and it’s a cross-platform application. It has a lot of cool features which makes it the best, and of course it’s very easy to use (you don’t need to read a lot of manuals in order to get a video for your iphone or ipad or whatever). To install Handbrake, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and execute these commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake

12. Pidgin : Best Chat client

Pidgin is the most popular chat client (or instant messaging application) among Linux users. The reason is – it has cool features with lot of options and it is very simple to use. It supports a lot of protocols and allow you to chat using Google Talk , Facebook, AIM, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, MySpace etc. The default chat application ‘Empathy’ is also good. To install pidgin, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install pidgin

That’s all, now you can add an account to starting chatting with your buddies.


13. Thunderbird : Best Email Client

Thunderbird is the most popular open source and cross-platform application for sending and receiving email right from your Desktop i.e it’s an Email client. You enter your email provider details and send/receive emails in one click. A lot of plugins are also available to extend the core functionality (according to your need). It is already installed in the latest version of Ubuntu 11.10 (in other versions of Ubuntu or other Linux distro search in Software Center or synaptic package manager).


14. K3b : Best Disc (CD/DVD) Burning Application

K3b is a great DVD/CD burning program for Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. It is specially useful for beginners. It has very simple and easy to use interface with default configurations that just works. To install K3b, open terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install k3b

k3b - dvd burner
DeVeDe – To create video DVD/CD
If you want to create DVD for your DVD players, then DeVeDe is the best. Install it in one click from Ubuntu Software Center or just execute the command –

sudo apt-get install devede

What about Tweaks ?

I’ve already covered a post about that – so you are supposed to follow the link –

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks for Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

zukitwo-theme with Ubuntu

Top 10 GNOME shell themes

I think that – Ubuntu 11.10 is going to rock with Gnome Shell interface (there was some critical compatibility problem with unity desktop, in earlier version). Unity also got a lot of innovative features (so I like it) but I love Gnome 3 (with Gnome Shell). After installing Ubuntu 11.10, install some necessary apps first then you may want to customize the login screen or themes. If you are a regular reader of this blog – then you might have noticed that – I’ve already covered few cool and best collection of Gnome 3 themes – i.e GTK3 and Gnome shell themes but in this article, I’m going to focus on Gnome Shell theme.

I’ve tried a lot of cool and beautiful themes in Ubuntu 11.10 but here is the list of my favorite Top 10 – cool and best gnome shell themes, that you may want to try. All are good looking, Fun and Amazingly great artworks.

Best Gnome Shell Themes

1. Zukitwo

currently, It’s my most favorite Gnome Shell theme on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot, I’m using beta version, stable will be out within few days). It looks great! The theme is available not only as Gnome Shell Theme but also as GTK 3 theme and GTK 2 theme, so even if you are not using Gnome shell or Ubuntu, you can try it in older version of Ubuntu. The theme has been updated frequently and the bugs has been fixed actively to work seamlessly.

zukitwo-theme with Ubuntu

Download Zukitwo Gnome Shell Theme by lassekongo83

2. Atolm

Atolm Gnome Shell theme

Download Atolm Gnome Shell Theme by half-left

3. Slave


Download Slave Gnome Shell Theme by half-left

4. Nord

nord - gnome-shell theme

Download Nord Gnome Shell Theme by 0rax0

5. Metal X


Download Metal X Gnome Shell theme by justviper

6. Elementary Viper Luna

Elementary luna-shell-theme

Download Elementary Viper Luna theme by justviper

 7. Capazul


Download Capazul Gnome Shell theme by plaidcounty

8. Orta

Orta Gnome Shell Theme

Download Orta Gnome Shell Theme

9. Adwaita White

adwaita-White shell-theme

Download Adwaita Gnome Shell Theme by oberon27

10. MinimaZero

MinimaZero Gnome Shell Theme

Download MinimaZero Theme by plaastik

How to install Gnome Shell Themes in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) ?


You can install it either manually (lets go with it) or using ‘gnome shell extension’. First, extract the theme packages and copy the gnome-shell directory to the usr/share/gnome-shell directory. Then rename the ‘theme’ directory to something else – e.g theme_default. Now, rename the gnome-shell directory (you’ve copied) to theme. You’re done. Simply Reload the Gnome Shell Theme either by – press ALT+F2 then type r and hit enter or logging out from the current session will also reload the theme when you will be back.

Update : If you want a Mac like look Try Mac OS X Theme in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS