Some alternatives to pre-installed Ubuntu applications

Screenshot of Spotify preferences.

The Spotify client also allows you to play the audio files stored on our devices

Most Linux distributions usually include programs in their normal installation. In this post We analyze alternatives to the applications pre-installed by Ubuntu.

We are referring to software such as the LibreOffice office suite, the Rhythmbox audio collection manager or the Firefox browser.

Let us agree that the ideal Linux distribution it's like noses. Everybody has one. I am not writing this post because the mentioned apps are bad. I just prefer to use others.

Rhythmbox

Rhythmbox is a complete manager of audio collections. This includes both music stored on our hard drive, as well as downloaded podcast episodes and radio shows.

Tags can be assigned and searched using various filters.

Alternatives to Rhythmbox.

In my case it doesn't make much sense to store music on your hard drive with streaming services. Today they can all be used from the browser, and Spotify Linux client lets you play locally stored music.

For music lovers, however, it is not a good solution. Streaming services can delete discs from their catalog and playlists put limits on the number of tracks that can be stored. In another blog someone complained that they could not have more than 10000 topics in their library.

In case you prefer an application to work locally with your own files, take a look at articulo of Pablinux on Banshee.

Firefox

Quoting Linus Torvalds we can say that "I am a believer in technology over politics." And according to his mailing list and his blog, the Mozilla Foundation seems to be privileging political correctness over developing the best browser.

Furthermore, the Blink rendering engine has become the de facto standard for these types of programs and we already know that web designers are very respectful of the law. Of the law of least effort.

After all, Blink is used by Chrome, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, and Edge.

Alternatives to Firefox

Some think that if you are going to browse the Olympus website, it is best to use the Zeus browser. Google Chrome has Linux support and your browser integrates seamlessly with the company's web services. For my part, I did not spend years suffering from Microsoft's quasi-monopoly to change it to Google's.

Within the Linux community the most popular option is Chromium. This open source browser is the basis for Google Chrome but does not include proprietary components. Since I always end up installing those proprietary components, installing Chromium would be the same as installing Chrome.

You can find Chromium in the repositories of your preferred distribution.

I lean towards Brave This browser is developed by Brendan Eich. Eich is the inventor of Javascript and was responsible for the new features of Firefox at its most innovative stage.

Brave It is also based on Blink, includes an ad blocker, a crawl inhibitor, a torrent client and integration with the Tor network. It is also developing a system whereby users can reward content creators who like it by using a virtual wallet.

Transmission

This torrent download application cperform your role appropriately. However, I prefer to use a tool that has more functionality.

Alternatives to Transmission

qBittorrent allows you to search different trackers for free and paid (adding the links) set the download priorities and which sectors will be downloaded first. Too you can create your own torrents to share.

We can find the program in the repositories of the main Linux distributions.

In the last few months I have liked WebTorrent Desktop. This program works with the torrent protocols as well as WebRTC and allows both previewing the files in the player installed on the computer and transmitting them to AirPlay, Chromecast and DLNA devices.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice Writer screenshot

My difficulties in seeing the LibreOffice user interface well make me prefer other alternatives.

To understand this section you must know two things; I am very shortsighted and I use Linux because I like to use it, not for philosophical or ideological reasons.

I have been following the development of LibreOffice since a group of developers split from the OpenOffice community. I recognize the immense work they did in giving us Linux users a professional quality office suite.

But there is no way I am able to work with that user interface. It is impossible for me to see. Ok, I know I can change the desktop theme to a high-contrast one, increase the font, and other ways to make it more accessible. I probably would have gone to the trouble of doing it if LibreOffice allowed working on different devices, but It does not have a mobile application. And that's a feature that I can't give up.

Alternatives to LibreOffice

Those that do have apps for mobiles in addition to Linux are Freemaker Office and its paid version Softmaker Office.
These office suites allow choose between different types of user interface (some with a dark background). They both have native support for Microsoft's proprietary formats and allow export to pdf and epub.

As I mentioned in another post, I also use the online version of Microsoft Office and Google Docs that work perfectly with the Brave browser.

GNOME Software Center

Have you ever hated a show with all your soul?

In my case it is GNOME Software Center, I tested it on both Ubuntu and Fedora and I never had reason to change my mind. The search engine, when it works, does not always allow you to find the application you need although you know perfectly well that it is in the repositories.

The GNOME developers claim to have fixed the problems in version 3.22 of the desktop. It is possible, I am with the development version of Ubuntu 19.04 and it has been working reasonably well for a couple of days. However, I always have an old friend close at hand.

Alternatives to the GNOME Software Center

El Synaptic package manager It is not pretty, but it is useful. In addition to find packages by item or by name, it allows you access the repository manager to add or remove them. Synaptic iFind out what additional packages you need install and if there is dependencies that are not met.

The program is in the Debian repositories. You can install it with:

sudo apt install synaptic

Anyway, I am installing more and more packages using the Snap y Flat pack.


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