10 Essential Applications For A New Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Install

Thanks to the economy, a lot of people are flat broke. And often these same people get viruses on their computers so severely that Windows has to be reinstalled. Except they’ve lost their system restore discs (or never made them in the first place), and they can’t afford a license for Windows 7. What then?

Well, there’s Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. Lately I’ve seen several people who moved from Windows to Ubuntu not out of choice, but because their computers were badly infected and they couldn’t afford a Windows 7 license. Ubuntu, of course, comes with a good selection of bundled software, but what are the best apps to install for these involuntary switchers? Here are 10 good apps for new Ubuntu users, along with links to my handy install guides.

1.) Flash Player. The Internet runs on Flash, alas, and a new Ubuntu user will be put our if he or she cannot hit YouTube. Here’s how to install Flash.

2.) Pidgin for instant messaging. You’re not going to install Windows Live Messenger or AOL Messenger on Ubuntu. Fortunately, Pidgin can do the same thing. Ubuntu comes with the Empathy IM client, but I’ve had better luck with Pidgin. Here’s how to install it.

3.) Thunderbird for email. Thunderbird is a nice, lightweight mail client, and an improvement over Windows Mail (or, God forbid, Outlook Express). Here’s how to install it.

4.) VLC Video Player. People like to watch things on their computers, and VLC will let you watch a wide variety of video types. Here’s how to add VLC to your Ubuntu system.

5.) Handbrake. The popular Handbrake app lets you rip and convert video, and version 0.9.4 is now compatible with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. Here’s how to install it.

6.) Picasa. Your average Windows user probably uses Picasa for photo management, especially if he or she has an enormous number of photos. (College-age girls seem particularly prone to this.) Fortunately Picasa works on Ubuntu, and here’s how to install it.

7.) Skype. It beats the heck out of a cell phone plan. Here’s how to install Skype on Ubuntu.

8.) Audacity. If you want to do any sound editing in Ubuntu, you need Audacity. Here are directions for installing Audacity with MP3 encoding.

9.) GNOME Do with Docky enhancement. Of course, you may want a Mac OS X style Dock on Ubuntu. This is quite easy to do. Just install GNOME Do, and then enable the Docky theme.

10.) DOSBox. Because, really, who doesn’t want to play classic DOS game in Ubuntu? Here’s how to get DOSBox.

These 10 apps will greatly enhance the Ubuntu experience.

-JM

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