Top 20 Things You Can Also Do On Linux

Contrary to the assumption that Linux is only for geeks and it's a boring OS, we would like to bust this myth and list the top things you can also do on Linux. At the end of the article, you will know what Linux can do for you and the reason to use it for everyday computing.

The Linux distro is what we call the Jack of all trades in the Operating System world. Reason? It applies to any OS functionality that you want to achieve. It is not just about achieving such functional objectives but also the easiness of achieving them. This easiness has nothing to do with the required skillset because we will need to get our hands dirty. It might not be a joy at first, but once you grasp the Linux OS, you enter a state of supreme awakening after realizing you were being restricted from a complete OS experience and exposure.

The easiness context mentioned above defines most Linux distros’ architecture and design to cross your path. The most convincing Linux philosophy that made us turn against other popular OS distros is its open-source standard. We cannot completely state that all Linux distros are open-source because others are commercialized to cater to some business and enterprise needs in the market place.

However, a significant portion of the Linux community is taking the open-source approach. Their influence and impact are so great that you might actually believe a commercialized Linux distro is some fictional character.

Linux Desktop Environment
Linux Desktop Environment

The open-source architectural and design state of a Linux distro also applies to most of the apps and services it houses. For this reason, the uses of the Linux OS and its distros continue to grow their applications both on a personal, business, and enterprise level. We cannot confidently claim to list all the Linux OS uses because anything open-source will always find a reason to pop up another useful functional applicability related to its existence. However, we can filter our way through the already existing Linux functionalities and list down the best features and functionalities to give Linux enthusiasts more reason to stick around and enjoy the Linux journey.

Things You Can Also Do On Linux

We are here to demystify the myth that Linux is a dull and techy platform only applicable to supreme nerds. You should also note that the listed Linux applications cater to proprietary and open-source software despite the urge to only side with its open-source applications. It is because this article seeks to bring out the best functional applicabilities you can reap from a Linux distro regardless of the open-source or proprietary attributes attached to them.

1. Photo Editing

GIMP Photo Editor
GIMP Photo Editor

The world of photo editing is renowned through the reputable conquest of apps like Adobe Photoshop, creating the photoshopping standards the industry needs to reference. Operating Systems like Windows OS and macOS have held a firm grip on the right to photo manipulation for a long time. The services rendered by such photo editors always come with a pricey invoice.

Such photo editors’ popularity, which caters to both Windows OS and macOS platforms, does not favor the Linux universe. You will need an extra stretch like using the WINE application or a virtual machine to harvest an Adobe Photoshop application’s optimal benefits. This service is also likely to be subscription-based.

Linux users no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of relying on other platform-based photo-editing applications to meet their project-based OS needs. We now have open-source, robust, and free photo editing alternatives to the renowned Adobe Photoshop. Apps like GIMP are the new sheriff in the photo editing domain and present new and flexible routines that effectively cater to photo manipulation.

Its learning curve differs from those of the subscription-based photo editors, but it prioritizes essential user features. Therefore, if we put a skilled Photoshop use and a skilled GIMP user under one roof, they will effectively attain the set objectives, but the GIMP user won’t have to carry around a subscription badge.

2. Digital Artistry

Inkscape Digital Art App
Inkscape Digital Art App

Digital artistry is a fancy way of pronouncing digital art. A digital art app caters to a user’s vector graphics drawing objectives. The software market has a heavy price tag on effective vector graphics drawing software. Switching to a Linux OS removes the burden of using your wallet or credit card to reap such vector graphics drawing software’s effective needs. At $0.00, the Inkscape app tool will meet your basic digital artistry objectives. It goes without saying that such a digital art app only creates a platform for exploring your artistry skills. The artist behind the digital artistry app’s platform will have to be you. Having some drawing inspiration will take you far, but it should not be an issue for you, for with the whole world fitting on the internet, the needed drawing inspiration can be an IP address away. The only limited flexibility when dealing with such apps might be in their file format support, but sharing your original creations with your audience should be flexibly easy.

3. Gaming

Steam Gaming App
Steam Gaming App

Believe it or not, the shock of bumping into this Linux usage goes both ways. Gaming has always been a popular affair in the Windows OS domain, but now Linux users can directly use the quote all work and no play… well, you know the ending. This feature is slowly diluting the concept of gaming under a Linux platform from being depicted as a lackluster system. The modernization of Linux distros front-ends was among the first attempts to fix this issue. Still, it failed to achieve the needed gaming smoothness making Linux-based games installation and configurations the opposite of fun.

Apps like Steam came out to be the perfect solution to this menace. The Valve Corporation is behind the development of this client application. This corporation has an extensive resume that has led them to own and operate the world’s largest digital PC store.

Steam is a platform that directly links Linux gamers to a native Linux games store. You can purchase and enjoy playing the games of your choice through it. It also accommodates a wealth of Windows-based games, which you can also acquire and enjoy through the Linux WINE app’s special implementation. The platform is also alternatively known as Steam Play.

4. Office Suite or Word Processing

LibreOffice Office Suite App
LibreOffice Office Suite App

Linux lovers of the open-source software world, enterprise employees, and frugal students have all professed their undying love for the Linux-based LibreOffice. Even the current strokes of this article piece are breathing life through the LibreOffice software. It has leveled the world processing field previously occupied by Microsoft Office. Unpackaging LibreOffice unveils a presentation app, a spreadsheet app, a word processing app, and a database solution app.

The LibreOffice software might not possess a pretty and polished interface like Microsoft Office, but its interface design is slowly improving due to its open-source community development team. Every basic functionality and feature you need from an office suite exists within the LibreOffice software package. You need to study its documentation thoroughly because some of the functions and features you seek might require you to adapt to a new software navigation pattern if you were used to the likes of Microsoft Office. I am sure other Linux-based office suites exist, but you will love what LibreOffice has to offer.

5. Desktop Publishing

Scribus Desktop Publishing App
Scribus Desktop Publishing App

With the world population becoming more literate every day, the hunger to consume digital content through eReaders, eBooks, and Tablet Computers is growing to uncontrollable heights. Desktop publishing (DTP) is now making a comeback after maintaining a low profile. You can now create beautiful book interiors and smart page layouts at the comfort of a Linux-based machine or OS. Specialized desktop publishing programs for Linux platforms like Scribus make this journey interestingly convenient.

This Python-based program is now recognized as a serious DTP platform. The portfolio and reputation of Scribus speak for itself, and a list of the existing digital content publications under its Made by Scribus tag are convincing enough. Comparing the cost of other professional DTP apps in the software market and what Scribus puts on the table guarantees it a slot in the Linux apps hall of fame.

6. Email Client Support

Thunderbird Email Client App
Thunderbird Email Client App

We are all aware of the existing popularity footprints made by renowned web-based email services like Yahoo and Gmail. The thirst for a desktop-based email client might not be high at the moment, but the continued growth of startups and online businesses will soon convince the mainstream users to join this parade. The need for a private email server or work email account will start to make sense through a client email software.

Another advantage of such a platform is the flexible storage of your emails on an offline mode and the ability to implement some advanced customization on your mailbox. So if the thought of needing an email client crosses your mind and your DNA reads Linux User, then you should definitely consider making acquaintance with a Linux Software like Mozilla Thunderbird.

After Mozilla moved in early 2019 to modernize Thunderbird, this email client embraced user-friendly encryption, an interface upgrade, and Gmail support, making it more appealing. Ranking Thunderbird with other Linux app mails clients depict it as the best-supported and feature-complete among Linux’s email clients.

7. Screen Recording and Streaming

OBS Screen Recording and Streaming App
OBS Screen Recording and Streaming App

The DIY dimension of our world through the internet creates an unstoppable urge to embrace screen recording and streaming. Why would you want to record your screen? You may ask. The reasons are countless. Maybe you found an exciting hack to something, or you are the first member of a software development community to fix a bug that has been a nuisance to many. You may need a way to document the steps to a solution you achieved or have a direct contact session with your audience on your Livestream.

Our software recommendation to achieve this Linux usage is Open Broadcaster Software or OBS. Your first interaction with its interface might give the impression of a Spartan universe, but that should not scare you, for its developers might have tried to come up with a face-value impression that matches its functional deliverable. This software needs its users to commit to a strict learning curve, and afterward, your muscle memory will make everything look easy.

If we are to have a pick at some of its advanced features, there is one that enables you to create a recording mix that couples and fuses multiple video sources. To save you from this sentence jargon, we state that OBS enables you to record your webcam and desktop feeds simultaneously. Your recording project elements are also easy to handle and implement through the OBS interface.

The popularity of OBS makes it a favorite to most streaming services that give it endless support. Real industry heavyweights also give it development and maintenance sponsorship due to the impact it is leaving. Having digested this info, you are guaranteed safe travel when deciding to join the OBS bandwagon.

8. Media Player Support

VLC Media Player App
VLC Media Player App

Whoever thought that all Linux users and enthusiasts are robots is clearly wrong. We, too, take some time off and watch a favorite movie or listen to the perfectly customized music playlist. The currently popular media consumption channels trailed by most Linux users include AppleTV+, Netflix, and YouTube. Since most Linux community members have an open-source mindset, they do not answer well to a controlled environment. They like to control the content they consume, and for this reason, they are prone to have torrents and plugins usable in downloading their desired video and audio files.

The successful download of such content leads them to the use of VLC. We are yet to come across a media player that matches its reputation with a few causing uncomfortable ripples. Some of these alternative media players have issues with file formats support because they do not have a wide range of encoders. VLC never fails to open a media file unless it is corrupted.

9. Video Editing Support

DaVinci Resolve Video Editing App
DaVinci Resolve Video Editing App

When it comes to Video Editing support, Linux presents several reputable offers and many of which are free. One such software that continues to give us a brain freeze is DaVinci Resolve. It is not because of the freezing touch it has on a video editing project but the state it exists in, making it free software. You will get the most out of its free version by enjoying some Hollywood-grade video outcomes. Alternatively, if you want to go pro or are considering an upgrade to your video editing business, the commercialized DaVinci Resolve Studio will meet your video editing fantasies. By default, it shows off its robust audio processing and compositor package.

If by chance, you are using a Linux distro like CentOS, it supports the development of a video-rendering workstation that is impressively multi-core and multi-GPU. In short, the Linux version does matter when it comes to video editing. DaVinci Resolve is not just a video editing software brand but also an ambassador for video editing camera equipment and other hardware. Consider this software if you are bold enough to join the big leagues.

10. Work Messaging App Support

Slack Work Messaging App
Slack Work Messaging App

There is nothing slack about the Slack for Linux app despite the evident sarcasm in its naming convention. If you are part of a Linux users team that tend to find themselves in a work environment that requires a combined or contributive mindset, then this app will take your group productivity to the desired level.

Many developers’ preference to work under a Linux platform convinces entire organizations to completely embrace Slack for the Linux app. The app does not embrace an open-source badge since an online service powers it. Its essence is mandatory for individuals that want to boost their productivity, whether remotely or locally.

11. Torrenting App Support

Transmission Torrenting App
Transmission Torrenting App

We all know of the impactful value a torrent app has on a Linux user’s life. Many Linux users dispute the need to use uTorrent and Transmission software to meet their torrenting needs. Picking sides between these torrenting software would be unethical as they are both reliable, fast, dependable, easy-to-use, and lightweight in their functional delivery. On the other hand, uTorrent might have the upper hand since it has a vintage footprint in the torrenting industry and is the reference standard in other torrenting apps’ development and performance. Either way, toss a coin and make a pick because you will not be disappointed.

12. Web Browsing Support

Firefox Web Browser App
Firefox Web Browser App

The browser of choice for most Linux users and developers is Google Chrome. Its lack of an open-source status is substituted by its reliable performance, stability, and speed. Alternatively, the Firefox web browser’s open-source nature is slowly winning the hearts of many Linux community members. Google Chrome gifted the open-source community with the Chromium browser to have a fair share of favorite users.

The web browsing features of Firefox are outstanding and match everything Chrome puts on the table. It outmaneuvers Chrome in terms of cupping user privacy concerns, and this reason alone is why a Linux user or developer will lean towards it without a second thought.

13. Audio App Support

Audacity Audio App
Audacity Audio App

This section is relatable to audio engineers or hobbyists who have the itch to perfect or fine-tune raw audio files. Audacity is an outstanding candidate when it comes to performing such audio tasks. It’s an effective multi-track audio recorder with rich tools and plugins to meet an already recorded audio file’s manipulation needs or objectives. It caters to both audio project-related simple recordings and professional content creation.

Audacity’s elite manipulation features cater to excluding unwanted background noise from an audio file and editing an audio’s sound properties where necessary. A thorough understanding of this app’s documentation will make you an elite user, but this hurdle is easily dismissable through a YouTube video tutorial. Have the audacity to try Audacity.

14. Virtual Machine App Support

VirtualBox Virtual Machine App
VirtualBox Virtual Machine App

Virtual Machine technology has an extensive history in the Linux domain. But there have been some bumps in its development cycle as it quested for a statutory identity in the Linux community. Modern CPUs have acknowledged its deserved round of applause from the Linux community and are, in turn, supporting its performance metrics. A Virtual machine app like VirtualBox lets you manage the access and usage of multiple Operating System distros or flavors on a single machine.

It takes away the need to create various partitions to install the various OS you want to try out permanently. VirtualBox’s OS compatibility is extensive and supports running various apps on the hosted Operating Systems’ platform. This app gives practical Linux users a better understanding of privacy and Cybersecurity concepts.

15. Backup App Support

Timeshift Backup App
Timeshift Backup App

Most users who have interacted with the Linux platforms will confess to the existing hurdles when interacting with a user-friendly backup solution. The Debian-based Linux users, on the other hand, can celebrate the existence of the Timeshift backup app. We can relate its functional deliverable to macOS’s Time Machine.

Its open-source and free nature comes at the cost of a mandatory manual installation procedure, but this is not a challenge to Linux users. If you manage to bypass this armature installation challenge, its friendly graphical interface will ease your mind. You do not have to be a victim of critical data loss with this app on your Linux system.

16. Hard Drive Partition Management App Support

Gparted Partion Management App
Gparted Partition Management App

The schematics of hard drive partitioning and management has been a bragging right that favored Windows users for a long time but not anymore. Linux users had to learn some technical tweaks to meet their hard drive partition management objectives. We now have Gparted, whose reputation extends to a simplified and straightforward user interface that does not compromise its functional complexity. No need to rely on the command line anymore to effectively create, resize, and delete partitions. It also gives you a safety net for canceling scheduled hard drive executable actions that might lead to irrevocable consequences.

17. Cloud Storage App Support

DropBox Cloud Storage App
DropBox Cloud Storage App

DropBox’s known reputation and effectiveness leave very little to say about it. Installing it creates seamless integration with your valued data stored on the local file system. Its free account sign-up gifts a few gigabytes of free storage to its users.

18. Instant Messaging App Support

Pidgin Instant Messaging App
Pidgin Instant Messaging App

Apps like Skype fit in this category, but the open-source nature of Pidgin makes it a favorite in the Linux community. Its list of supported customizations via plugins is extensive. It also integrates other external IM (Instant Messaging) services’ functionalities. Pidgin is lightweight but without VOIP support. Its text-based chat support is among the elite features that make this IM app essential.

19. Antivirus App Support

ClamAV Antivirus App
ClamAV Antivirus App

We like to generalize to our young Linux-wannabe-recruits that choosing any of the numerous Linux distros implies that you will not have to deal with OS virus problems. This statement is partly true because a malware enthusiast will find it challenging to create an incentive algorithm that can effectively compromise a Linux system.

That said, Linux antiviruses like ClamAV and ClamTK do exist because no system is breach-proof. ClamAV implements a text-based command-line interface on top of its open-source layout, which protects a system against a few rogue Linux viruses. ClamTK provides a graphical frontend for users that don’t fancy camping on the terminal. If your Linux operations can be described as mission-critical, consider implementing an antivirus app.

20. Web Development, Software Development, and Hosting

Visual Studio Code Software Code Editor
Visual Studio Code Software Code Editor

Every Linux developer considers this aspect of a Linux distro to be priceless. You get to develop a desktop or web application of your choice or for a potential client through the resourceful environment of a Linux OS. It also offers extensive web hosting capabilities that are secure and reliable. The support of these features makes Linux a skill-building and career-defining operating system through software development apps like the famed Visual Studio Code.

Final Thoughts

You now have enough knowledge and proof to spoof off anyone that might try to ruin the good name of Linux. If we were to exhaust all the use cases Linux distros have to offer, we would end up writing a beautiful Linux love-story novel. These apps are rich in scientific and creative flexibility applicable in any real-world field you might wish to explore. The Linux app adventure you choose to go with is up to you.

Brandon Jones
Brandon is an avid Linux enthusiast, programmer, and contributor here at FOSS Linux. Linux and open-source are one of his passions. He enjoys Python programming and loves to contribute to open-source projects on GitHub.

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