Friday, August 31, 2012

10 apps to add to Wheezy

Having just done a fresh install of The Gnome desktop on Debian Wheezy, I thought it would be a good time to look at the applications I've installed in the past, and which have become essential additions to a new install, and also to see if the installation advice I've given in the past is still valid.

So here is my list of ten applications to add to Debian Wheezy. The first is a Gnome 3 application, but the rest are not desktop specific.

1. Mailnag

This useful application will notify you of new emails, without having an email application like Evolution or Icedove open. It can use Push-IMAP and integrates with Gnome 3. It will run on Debian, but not all of its dependencies are installed by default. The dependencies listed on the web page do not exactly match the names in the Debian repositories, so check my post to find the required Debian dependencies.

Install Gnome GMail and clicking on Mailnag notifications will open the webmail page, if you're a GMail user.

2. KeePassX

 Keep all your passwords safe in the KeePassX encrypted database.

3. Iceweasel release version

Wheezy comes with Iceweasel 10. With Firefox following its rapid release cycle, by the time Wheezy becomes the stable release, Firefox could be up to version 20. By the time the next Debian Stable arrives two years later, Firefox could be up to version 40. Unless you're an enterprise or institutional user, get the release version of Iceweasel from the experimental repository as long as Wheezy remains in Testing or from the backports repository thereafter.

I recently experimented with using the latest Firefox release on Debian, but I found that Iceweasel is better integrated into the desktop, and am currently using Iceweasel from the experimental repository.

3. Opera web browser

It's not open source, but it's a great browser, and I like to have it installed, even if it isn't my primary browser. I've posted on installing Opera in Ubuntu and Fedora, but not in Debian. Previously I used the Debian Opera wiki page, but it seems to be a bit out of date, so I'll link to the The Opera .deb Repository.

4. Resynthesizer GIMP plug in

This plug in for the GIMP lets you remove unwanted objects in photos. It's now included in the gimp-plugin-registry package in the Debian repository, a collection of optional extensions for the GIMP.

5. Shutter

Take screen shots and edit them. I've used this application to produce screen shots for this blog, but haven't had it installed for a while: I'd forgotten how useful it is- highlighting and annotating is much easier than using the GIMP. It's in the Debian repository.

6. Audacious

A lightweight music player, great if you navigate your music collection by hand and just want to play folders. The old Winamp look is still an option, but the new GTK interface integrates well into Gnome. It has tabbed playlists, and a minimalist but funky album art and graphic equaliser display on the GUI.

7. Quod Libet

The thinking person's music player: good with large music collections, handles compilation albums, has an excellent tag editor, a brilliant album cover finder, is enormously customisable while still having the Gnome minimalism.

8. SoundConverter

Converts music formats. Simple, intuitive, elegant: great software.
MP3 output seems to be enabled in Wheezy without needing to enable the repository, which is nice.

9. Easy Tag

A audio file tag editor which uses the CDDB database of discid fingerprints based on track length information.

10. MusicBrainz Picard

Another audio file editor, this time using an audio fingerprint database.

Quod Libet, mentioned above, has plug-ins for both the CDDB and MusicBrainz databases: another reason for considering that excellent music player.

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