A illustration of Yoda from Star Wars with the words, May The FOSS be with you.

Must Have Essential Applications For Desktop Linux

  • Adam Douglas

I’ve tried hard to make this list different from the majority of similar posts online. This list in intended as a reference when building a fresh Linux system or just looking to discover software that one was not aware existed. We can’t recall every application, so hopefully this will fill that void as well as those that are curious.


I’ve sorted the list by application use or category for ease of browsing. All software applications listed must meet the following criteria.

  • A graphical user interface
  • A native application
    • Does not require container or virtualization
    • Does not require a client/server configuration
    • Runs locally
  • Active project development
  • Has an open source license (not freeware)
  • Runs on the Linux operating system


Archive Manager

Audio Editor

Document Viewer

Email Client

File Manager

Image Viewer

Image Editor

Media Player


Password Manager


Screenshot Tool


System Backup

System Monitoring

Text Editor

Video Editor

Web Browser

Word Prosessor

This is post 70 of 100, and is round 2 of the 100 Days To Offload challenge.

    • add messaging apps
    • change topic
    • change 100DaysToOffload message
    • Add software links