Great Ubuntu Software

Just a quick list of top-quality Ubuntu software that you may or may not have heard about.  In no particular order.  Many are installable from the repository, while others might require a little google/search for their PPA (I’ve kicked you off with a link for each).  This post revolves around Ubuntu 10.04 – the Lucid Lynx.

1. Handbrake.  This allows you to rip your DVDs into MP4 format for viewing on any H264 compatible device, such as Sony PSP or Android phone.  The interface is very slick and easy and it will take advantage of multiple cores to speed up the process.

2.  Remmina.  This is an RDP and VNC client.  You can use it to connect to Windows terminal services (RDP) or Ubuntu (VNC) remote desktops.  It also supports Avahi which is like a local-network autodiscovery of these services.  It can also use SSH if required.  What really makes this stand out though is the beautiful interface for launching these sessions.

3. Deluge.  A superb alternative to Transmission, this superlative client can also run in a client/server mode which is supremely easy to set up.  Simply run Deluge on the server in “server” mode, then run the same package on your laptop in “client” mode, connecting to the server.  Thereafter, anything you kick off on your laptop will actually start downloading on your server.  Close your laptop and everything just keeps ticking over on your server.  Superb functionality and beautifully realised.

4. jBrout.  If you have a lot of photos and struggle to categorise them, this is the software for you.  The idea is that you create tags for your collection (people, place names, things, etc) and then you drag those tags onto the pictures.  What stands this software out from the rest is that while many other programs will then create a database to store these tags in (which you’ll lose if you re-install, sit at another PC and so on), jBrout will actually edit the photo, adding the tags into the Exif details of that photo.   Never lose your hard work again!  I’ve written more about jBrout in an earlier post.

5. Phatch.  The title is meant to be an amalgam of “Photo” and “Batch”.  Another cracking interface makes it very easy to take a folder (or multiple folders) full of pictures and apply various transformations to them.  The main use I found for this is to take ALL your photos and rename them into a folder structure which is dictated by the time you took the photo.  This way, you can see, visually, when each photo was taken.  Combined with jBrout, you’ll never struggle to find another photo again.