The linux setup for everyone (free software with GUI only and distro recommendation)

THIS LIST HAS BEEN DELETED DUE TO A BUG, SO IT MISSES SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS !

I've been using Linux for a year now. I do use CLI tool and the terminal but I'm super used to GUI and I do understand why you might don't want to bother with Terminal and stuff ! Here is my list of useful tools for beginners on Linux ! The same list for https://alternativeto.net/software/mac-os/ : https://alternativeto.net/list/29658/my-macos-setup/ https://alternativeto.net/software/windows-10/ : https://alternativeto.net/list/29653/my-windows-setup/

Darlene Sonalder
Darlene SonalderList by Darlene Sonalder, last updated 2024-02-13
  1. Linux distros for beginners

    If you don't know where to start. Here is a limited selected choice for beginners ! Stop searching for the perfect distro, use something stable widely used with great community support !

  2. Zorin OS icon

    Now that ZorinOS 17 is out it is again a great recommendation as it update the kernel and brought more hardware support ! One of the most polished distro as of today ! The Lite version is made for old PC while the Pro version is just a way to supports the developement of the OS and basically brings you premium layout such as macOS-like. Howver when Zorin 18 will release you will probably have to pay again as it wasn't possible to upgrade from 16 Pro to 16 Core. It's based on Ubuntu (which is based on Debian) which have tons of ressources for beginners !

    • ...
    Windows 10 layout
  3. Linux Mint icon

    If you're a Windows 10 Linux Mint is a great start. If you have a good PC go with Cinnamon, if your machine is quiet old I'll recommend you the xfce edition. It's based on Ubuntu (which is based on Debian) which have tons of ressources for beginners ! The UI is a bit old but not outdated and on Linux you can tweak it as your liking.

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    Linux Mint screenshot 1
  4. Fedora icon

    If you want something different Fedora is probably the way to go now.

    Worth mentioning : Pop!_OS (Ubuntu based)

    • ...
    Fedora 38
  5. ChimeraOS icon

    If you want to setup a gaming rig as a console in your livingroom or on a TV screen this is the distro to choose.

    Worth mentioning : HoloISO SteamOS clone AMD GPU only

    • ...
    ChimeraOS screenshot 1
  6. Nobara Project  icon

    A modified version of Fedora oriented to gamers and content creator (Out of the box DaVinci Resolve support) from Glorious Eggroll known for GE-Proton. The official version come with a modified GNOME DE that will be closer to a Windows UI/UI.

    • ...
    Nobara Project  screenshot 1
  7. elementary OS icon

    If you are a macOS Guy (or Girl, or anything) elementary OS is the distro for you. The default look is a bit outdated by default in my opinion but you're on Linux and their's tons of tutorial on how to customize it and make it looks more modern ! elementary OS has the closest user interface with macOS while not copying it and being super stable and suitable for beginners !

    • ...
    The boot screen
  8. Default apps

  9. Dolphin File Manager icon

    Your default file manager should be fine but Dolphin could be nicer

    • ...
    Dolphin File Manager screenshot 1
  10. Mozilla Firefox icon

    Firefox is my go to browser for Linux don't forget to disable telemetry in settings and install uBlock Origin ! Arkenfox is a great ressource if you want to harden your FF browser !

    Worth mentioning : LibreWolf Brave Ungoogled Chromium + uBlock Origin

    • Web Browser
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • BSD
    • iPad
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Flatpak
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • Gecko
    • ...
    Startpage
  11. Junction icon

    If like my you use multiple browsers daily this one will be useful. Set it as your browser by default and when clicking on a link it will prompt which browser you want to open. It let you also choose for other software such as email client, image viewer, file explorer, etc...

    Worth mentioning : Braus for Arch users

    • ...
    Junction screenshot 1
  12. Museeks icon

    An elegant music player !

    Worth mentioning : Elisa

    • ...
    Museeks screenshot 1
  13. VLC Media Player icon

    The king of media player !

    Worth mentioning : MPV

    • Media Player
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • BSD
    • iPad
    • AppImageHub
    • Apple Watch
    • Snapcraft
    • Google Chrome
    • Apple TV
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • F-Droid
    • Kindle Fire
    • Haiku
    • Android TV
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • ...
    VLC Media Player screenshot 1
  14. Koodo Reader icon

    If you read ePUB on your PC I would recommend you this one.

    • Ebook Reader
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Flathub
    • ...
    Koodo Reader screenshot 1
  15. Geary icon

    A nice e-mail client for Linux !

    • ...
    Main window
  16. Gwenview icon

    If the image visualizer that come with your distro not suit your needs look at the KDE one !

    • ...
    Gwenview screenshot 1
  17. Okular icon

    A PDF (and ePub/ebooks) reader for Linux !

    • PDF Reader
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • Flathub
    • KDE
    • ...
    Okular screenshot 1
  18. Flatpak icon

    You can choose between many different ways to install softwares on linux. It can be confusing for new comers ! I would personally recommend Flatpak first. It's universal (works with any distro), tends to deliver more up to date versions of softwares and integrate well with your default Linux App Store. Just download any flatpak from Flathub 's website, install it and now they should be added in your AppStore !

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    Flatpak screenshot 1
  19. Gaming

  20. Steam icon

    The Launcher for Linux gamers. Enable Steam Play (Proton) in the steam settings and you will be able to play most steam games without any other tweaking !

    • Game Store
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • Windows Phone
    • iPad
    • Flathub
    • SteamOS
    • ...
    Steam Store
  21. Heroic Games Launcher icon

    Epic Games does not have Linux client so Linux gamers made one ! Works with GOG too.

    • Game Store
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • AppImageHub
    • Flathub
    • ...
    Heroic Games Launcher screenshot 1
  22. Lutris icon

    The most useful linux tool for gamers. Allow you to easily (most of the time) installing Windows games with scripts that will do every tweaking for you ! So you will not cry trying to do stuff with Wine

    • ...
    Lutris screenshot 1
  23. RetroArch icon

    If you want to emulate retro games this one is gold when you know how to use it !

    • Game Emulator
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Blackberry
    • iPad
    • OpenPandora
    • Steam
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Playstation
    • Xbox
    • ...
    Main view
  24. Bottles icon

    The GUI app for Wine ! Wine is mandatory if you want Windows softaware/games supports. It's not super user friendly but thanks to tools like this one or Lutris it's easier.

    • ...
    Bottles screenshot 1
  25. Discord icon

    If your friends game on PC, they probably use this one to communicate !

    • Group Chat App
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Epic Games Store
    • Flathub
    • Electron / Atom Shell
    • Playstation
    • Xbox
    • Snapcraft
    • ...
    Discord screenshot 1
  26. MangoHUD icon

    Collects and logs details about game performance in games using OpenGL/Vulkan. Can display live statistics in overlay.

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    MangoHUD screenshot 1
  27. CoreCtrl icon

    Control your hardware with this free tool !

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    CoreCtrl screenshot 1
  28. Game Backup Monitor icon

    To manage games backups !

    • ...
    A game being detected.
  29. OpenRGB icon

    If you have RGB on your gaming RIG this helps you manage them for any constructor like Razer, AORUS, ASUS, MSI, etc...

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • ...
    OpenRGB screenshot 1
  30. GreenWithEnvy icon

    A great GPU app if you're on NVidia

    • ...
    GreenWithEnvy screenshot 1
  31. Art & Design

  32. Photopea icon

    If I have to do some image manipulation or photo editing ! (it's a WebApp)

    • ...
    Photopea screenshot 1
  33. Inkscape icon

    If you need to create or edit vector images

    • ...
    Inkscape screenshot 1
  34. darktable icon

    If you do photography this is useful for photo editing !

    • ...
    Darktable’s lighttable mode showing a collection
  35. Krita icon

    If you want to draw !

    • Image Editor
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android Tablet
    • Epic Games Store
    • PortableApps.com
    • Steam
    • ...
    Main Window
  36. BirdFont icon

    If you want to create font and make typography !

    • ...
    Background image on windows
  37. Aseprite icon

    If you want to do pixel art this one is gold !

    • ...
    Aseprite screenshot 1
  38. Goxel icon

    Powerful voxel art editor with 24-bit color support !

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • ...
    Intuitive selection tool
  39. Blender icon

    For 3D render and 3D animation. Nice UI, powerful tool and awesome community !

    • 3D Modeler
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Steam
    • Flatpak
    • ...
    Cycles is Blender’s ray-trace based production render engine.
  40. Unreal Engine icon

    For making video games or 3D environment !

    • ...
    A screenshot of the new Unreal Engine 5. Source: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-5-is-now-available-in-early-access
  41. KIT Scenarist icon

    For story writing, plot making etc...

    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • ...
    Add research document
  42. Storyboarder icon

    To quickly makes storyboard on PC !

    • ...
    Storyboarder screenshot 1
  43. OpenShot icon

    A super simple video editor !

    Worth mentioning if you need more advanced editing : Shotcut Kdenlive DaVinci Resolve

    • ...
    OpenShot screenshot 1
  44. Synfig Studio icon

    If you want to do 2D animation !

    • ...
    Main window
  45. Natron icon

    For making visual FX for movie production or videos.

    • ...
    Natron screenshot 1
  46. sfxia icon

    To generate retro sound fx ^^

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • ...
    sfxia screenshot 1
  47. Audacity icon

    If you need to quickly transform or manipulate a sound file audacity is the way to go !

    • Audio Editor
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • PortableApps.com
    • LAME
    • ...
    Audacity screenshot 1
  48. MuseScore icon

    If you want to compose / write music partition this open source app is awesome !

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    MuseScore screenshot 1
  49. Waveform icon

    A complete and free (as free beer) cross-platform DAW that might surprise you !

    Worth mentioning : LMMS FOSS Reaper Free Trial then cheap more oriented to sound engineer or enthousiast

    • ...
    Waveform screenshot 1
  50. Mixxx icon

    If you want to play music like a DJ this free and open source tool supports tons of decks from different brands !

    • ...
    Mixxx screenshot 1
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This list was created by Darlene Sonalder Jan 13, 2022 and was last updated Feb 13, 2024. The list has 81 apps.

You can create your own lists from our large database of apps either for your own sake or if you want to share some great apps with other people.


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