Tag Archives: best


10 best KDE themes

KDE(K Desktop Environment) is one of the most popular desktop among Linux users. KDE(Dually Licensed under – QPL and Proprietary) has been developed using Qt Framework, therefore some KDE application also runs on non-Linux platforms i.e Windows,Mac etc..

KDE looks very good due to cool beautiful icons and windows borders(layout,designed effects). by default some cool themes are installed with KDE packages e.g Plasma,Oxygen etc, but it’s not sufficient! If a lot of free KDE themes are available then why would you stick with few default themes.

I have tried a lot of KDE themes on my desktop, I’ve come up with Top 10 KDE themes, that I consider the best themes(including old and latest) for kde desktop or kubuntu(10.04/10.10). All the kde themes listed below will be compatible with the KDE desktop version 4.x(usually x will be zero).

Best KDE Themes

#1 : Soft Plastic



#2 : Maybe Mintish



#3 : Green Leaf



#4 : Shape of Zom



#5 : Metalized Studio



#6 : Greenay



#7 : Syl



#8 : G Theme Pack



#9 : Elegant Bespin



#10 : Classy Office




best dvd burning software for Ubuntu

DVD/CD has no longer that much importance in our lives, but still very useful in many cases specially the bootable DVD/CD, even though the Linux based OS can be booted/installed from a USB other OS(e.g Windows) still uses it.

On Ubuntu 10.04(Lucid Lynx) or 10.10(Maverick Meerkat,the latest stable version) or Ubuntu 11.04(Next Version), you can find a lot of DVD burning softwares in the Ubuntu Software Center(USC), but what is the best among them ? Actually it is a very difficult question to answer because in most of the cases, it depends on the type of work. That’s why this post will introduce you with a free and open source dvd burning software, that you can use to burn DVD’s quickly in a reliable way.

Brasero – The Best Software/Application for Burning DVD/CD

Brasero is a free and open source application(GUI)  for burning dvd on Linux Distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc. Other softwares that you may want to use is – K3b,CD/DVD Creator,DeVeDe Video creator etc. Brasero is very simple to use with a lot of features.


Features of Brasero at a Glance

  • burn/write Data or Audio CD/DVD
  • Erase DVD
  • a customizable GUI
  • Copy/clone CD/DVD
  • Song/Image/Video Previewer
  • Save/Load Projects
  • Supports Drag and Drop

How to install Brasero on Ubuntu

Brasero is installed by default in most of the cases. If you found brasero missing on your systems or you want to reinstall it then use Ubuntu Software Center to install it. On the other hand you can also install it from shell/Command Line/Terminal. Type (Followed by your user account => login password ) –

$ sudo apt-get install brasero

best dock for ubuntu 10.10/11.04

Dock is one of the most popular graphical element, commonly used for interacting with currently running programs, launching/monitoring Applications,etc with a lot of Fun. The dock available in Mac OS X has become the most successful dock ever(Although it is different point that Mac is better in look only, not performance(Ubuntu is far better!)). it is usually implemented in the form of charming icons located at the bottom/top of screen with some funky effects.

Best Open Source Dock for Ubuntu : Docky

GNOME Do has created an open source equivalent of dock(in other words docky is a front end of Gnome Do) and its new name is ‘Docky’, “The Finest Dock that no Money can buy” ; for Linux based operating system like Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04,Fedora,Open Suse,Debian or Linux Mint. Docky is free and open source Application for All common Desktops like GNOME and KDE. The latest stable version of docky is 2.0.7. So docky is the best free dock for Linux Distributions (Distros).

Ubuntu 10.10(Maverick Meerkat)/10.04 (Lucid Lynx) LTS(or earlier version) uses GNOME as their default desktop manager so you can install GNOME Do – Docky either from Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager or from terminal. If you are using Ubuntu 11.04 then then first you need to run GNOME Panel (The Classical Ubuntu Desktop) because Ubuntu 11.04(Natty Narwhal) uses Natty Desktop by default.


The snapshot you see above, was captured on Ubuntu 10.10, with some 3D effects enabled. The important features of Docky can be summarized as –

  • Simple and powerful
  • Easy to use with Nice GUI/Icons
  • Drag and Drop(items to the docky) features
  • Window Indicator
  • Parabolic Zoom
  • Smart Hiding Feature
  • Advanced Window Management Features

More details on its features,visit the official website. Here is another generic look of Docky on most of the desktop


Installing Docky on Ubuntu 10.04/10.10/11.04

Open ubuntu Software Center and search for ‘docky’ and click on install button to install. You can also install docky from command line by typing the command (Followed by your Login Password)  mentioned below –

$ sudo apt-get install docky

Top 10 Ubuntu Apps

Ubuntu(Latest Version : 10.10(Maverick Meerkat)), the most popular Linux desktop, has become the great choice for students,developers and common users; probably due to its stickiness with free and open source software(FOSS). A lot of good open source applications(Apps) are available for Linux based Operating System – like Ubuntu,Linux Mint,Open Suse,Debian etc and most of them are free to use.

I’ve been using Ubuntu from last two years(started with Windows Vista,later, switched completely to Ubuntu within a year). Initially when I migrated to Linux platform, I was wondering – how will I do the common tasks like playing music/movies, creating/editing documents/photos, editing movies, etc. on Ubuntu 9.04(it was the latest stable release,code named as ‘Jaunty Jackalope’) ? Is there any equivalent(to windows) apps available on this new platform(Ubuntu) ? …. and the answer to all these questions are very simple – Yes! perhaps better than those of windows; the other advantage is that you will never spend a penny!(On the other hand, MS Office,Adobe Photoshop….and a lot of other similar apps, charge a lot of $$$) , plus source code of the apps is openly available to play!(it may be very important from developers point of view)

I have installed and used a number of open source apps on Ubuntu 9.04/9.10/10.04/10.10; based on my past few years of experience, I’ve prepared a long list of my favorite applications but it’s difficult to select 10 out of them. Anyway, here is my top 10 – best apps , that I use on Ubuntu 10.10; if you have any suggestion or idea then reply through comment.

Top 10 – ‘open source and free’  Ubuntu Applications

#1 : GIMP

GIMP(GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a powerful image editor application, equivalent to the Adobe Photoshop. It has a lot of advanced features with a simple and easy to use GUI(Graphical User Interface). GIMP is available for all major operating system. It is the most popular image processing program on Linux platform. The default features can be extended easily using plugins e.g ‘save for web’ plugin on gimp is used to optimize the image files.


you can install GIMP on Ubuntu by one simple command -(More details on – installing gimp on Ubuntu)

$ sudo apt-get install gimp

#2 : VLC

VLC is the best media player because it can play all the common formats seamlessly. On Ubuntu it is not installed by default, due to the dependencies of vlc on  libdvdcss2 libraries(a proprietary library).

vlc-player-ubuntu-snapshotTo install vlc on Ubuntu, type the command given below(More details : installing vlc on Ubuntu)

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-pulse mozilla-plugin-vlc

#3 : Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the fastest web browser on this planet(it may not be true for all platforms but I’m sure about Linux). By name itself, it implies that – it has been developed and maintained by Google Inc . it is free and open source, developed on the top of Chromium project.


For Ubuntu — download Google Chrome and open it with Gdebi package installer(in older versions) or ubuntu software center(in Ubuntu 10.10) to install. For more help go here –  installing google chrome on Ubuntu.

#4 : LibreOffice

LibreOffice is developed by forking the OpenOffice(Probably due to the fact that Oracle had bought the Sun MicroSystems,therefore the future of OpenOffice wasn’t good in the hand of Oracle). It is free,open source and cross-platform(Linux,Windows and Mac). LibreOffice is the best substitute for Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is very useful for creating and editing Text Documents,Drawing,Spreadsheet,Presentation etc.

top ubuntu apps 4 - LibreOffice

Ubuntu ships OpenOffice by default so, if you want to install Libre Office then first remove the OpenOffice package(use Synaptic Package Manager). Then install the LibreOffice by typing the commands written below –

First Add the PPA Repository –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa

Then Update the Repository –

sudo apt-get update

Now install gnome version of LibreOffice –

sudo apt-get install libreoffice && sudo apt-get install libreoffice-gnome

#5 : Audacity

Audacity is a free and open source audio Editor/Recorder for Linux/Windows/Mac. it has a lot of features – Record Live Audio, Edit Audio Files(odd,mp3,wav etc), cut/mix audio files, control the pitch/speed of recording etc. it is very simple to use , with nice GUI.


On Ubuntu 10.10 you can install Audacity either from Ubuntu Software Center/ Synaptic Package Manager or from Command Line –

$ sudo apt-get install audacity

#6 : Compiz

Compiz is a compositing manager i.e it is used to add some cool effects to the windows. In the snapshot(given below) is an example of the cool effects – it is basically the 3D cube. it is available for GNOME as well as KDE desktops.
You need to install CCSM using the command –

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager

I’ve already discussed a lot about enabling 3D Effects in Ubuntu and Installing Compiz for cool Desktop Effects (Refer them for More details ).

#7 : Clementine

Clementine is my favorite music player on Ubuntu 10.10(The Ubuntu version, I’ve installed on my desktop). Clementine has developed on the Top of another popular music player – Amarok. Clementine is free and open source media player with a lot of advanced features like smart playlist, Fetching Lyrics from world wide web(www) etc. it is available for all major platforms ; the project is hosted on ‘code.google.com’.


If you want to try Clementine then first Download Clementine the debian package and then install it by opening with Ubuntu Software Center or Gdebi package manager or from command line —

$ cd directory_where_you_have_saved_the_clementine_*.deb_package
$ sudo dpkg -i file_name.deb

More help on installing Clementine Media Player in Ubuntu.

#8 : Arista Transcoder

Arista is a simple and powerful multimedia transcoder. it is a free and open source application for Linux based operating systems. The main purposes of this apps is to generate/convert multimedia files for all common music devices like iPod, PlayStation 3, PSP, DVD Player. You can see the live preview of the output(target file).


To install Arista on Ubuntu –  Open Ubuntu Software and search for ‘arista’ ; then click on install button to begin. You can also use terminal to do the same thing –

 $ sudo apt-get install arista

#9 : Blender

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite. it has very sophisticated GUI with a lot of amazing features. Blender is specifically used in – modelling, Rendering, Animation, Shading, Realtime 3D/Game creation etc. it is one of the most popular tool, used in 3D creation. it is available for all common platforms.

blender-top ubuntu apps

On Ubuntu, if you want to use Blender then the most simple way is to install it from Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic package Manager. More details on installing 3D Modelling tool blender on Ubuntu .

#10 : Getting Things GNOME(GTG)

GTG(Getting Things Gnome) is a very useful tool for managing/scheduling your daily life tasks. It is a good personal organizer for GNOME desktop. The main objective of this apps is to provide a simple to use apps with nice GUI and functionality.


On Ubuntu, you can find it in Ubuntu Software Center. Just Open USC and search for ‘gtg’; then click on install button! That’s All you are Done! Your Life Organizer is Ready! You can access it from Applications->Office->Getting Things GNOME!


best Linux Desktop Environment

A number of Linux based operating systems are available with a lot of Desktop Environments. So what is the best Linux desktop environment ? ,well it is not an easy question to answer, but this post might help you in deciding ‘what is best for you?’. It depends on a lot of factors, like – your system’s hardware configuration,nature of task performed,…and of course the personal choice is the dominant factor.

The most popular desktops include – GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE (Arranged in the decreasing order of popularity). Most of the Linux Distribution uses GNOME as a default desktop e.g Fedora,Ubuntu,Debian,Linux Mint etc. KDE (Initially called as K Desktop Environment) is used by Open Suse ,Kubuntu etc. as default desktop. XFCE and LXDE are light weight and fast desktop environment ; specially useful for users who uses old computer(The computer with fewer resources e.g 256 MB RAM,no graphics card etc).

What is Desktop in Linux.. (based OS) ?

Desktop Environment(DE) , or Desktop is the style of GUI(Graphical User Interface) , runs on the top of operating system; the user interface which allows the users to perform the common tasks like execution of application,modification of OS features etc in a graphical environment. The common actions are click,drag and drop , by which a user control the os. Some of the features are still not available through GUI, in that case CLI(Command Line Interface) is the only choice. Desktop Environment relies on Windows managers,which controls the placement and appearance(or look) of window within a windowing system.

GNOME  : The Best Linux Desktop Environment


GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment)  is the most popular desktop environment among the Linux users. it is open source and available free for all. it has no dependencies on any proprietary libraries unlike the other popular Desktop KDE ; made entirely on free and open source softwares(FOSS). GNOME is based on  GTK+ , a cross platform widget toolkit, used to create graphical interfaces.

Why GNOME is Best ?

#1 : Simplicity : it is simple to use and explore regardless of whether the user is technical or not.

#2 : Freedom : Gnome is available free and licensed under GNU GPL/LGPL i.e it’s an open source software,so you are allowed to use,modify or distribute the software as you want.

#3 : Appearance and Performance : The appearance of the gnome desktop is very appealing due to the availability of a lot of themes,icons etc. The performance is very high and it can be optimized in multiple ways. There is good balanced between the performance and appearance in Gnome; KDE desktop also have nice appearance but it is very heavy and performance is poor as compared to Gnome.

#4 : Extensibility : The structure of GNOME is very modular, so it is highly extensible i.e a extra features can be added in lot of ways.e.g Instead of the default window manager(Metacity) , compiz can be used to provide some 3D effects in GUI; The default theme (currently the default theme is Clearlooks) can be configured in the way you want. So you can make your Ubuntu look like a Mac OS X or Windows Vista/7/XP just  by installing some extra packages.

#5 : Accessibility : it can be used by anyone regardless of experience or physical circumstances/limitations.

#6 : Support : Along with the built in support(with GNOME), a number of online community and forums are available to explore and troubleshoot the common problems; to help the beginner users.

The latest stable version is Gnome vs 2.32 and the upcoming version – Gnome vs 3.0 will be released in April 2011. The official website of the GNOME is http://www.gnome.org/. Look at the snapshot below – a preview of gnome version 3.0 .



Gnome 3 or Gnome shell has released with a lot of new exciting features with totally different look and feel, available for Open Suse and Fedora. Ubuntu users can install gnome using PPA although it is very unstable now, but we can expect Gnome 3.0 as a desktop, in next major release of Ubuntu i.e Ubuntu 11.10.