Some great Xubuntu apps

I’ve been using Xubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal for about a week, and I finally decided to keep Xubuntu on my laptop after spending a couple of days debating if I should keep it or not. I then decided to find some software in the Ubuntu Software Center. I got bored using the apps that is installed by default, and I found some great software that you need to get.

I did a little customizing to my desktop. Not much, just changed the wallpaper, and added some apps to my dock. Nothing fancy. Here is my software list:

Shotwell Photo Manager (Or just simply, “Shotwell”):

If you are a photographer, or just simply someone that likes to take photos, and want to keep them organized, then this app is perfect for you. Shotwell includes a photo editor, in which you can fine tune the color, gamma, etc. Shotwell also includes a utility that lets you share your photos to various sites, such as Facebook, Flickr, Picasa web albums, to name a few. You can add tags to photos (Any photo manager has the ability to add tags to photos.) You can also add videos to your gallery. If you like Shotwell, well, there’s always F-Spot. In the above image, you can see some photos that I took. Terrible, huh?

Chromium (Web browser):

If you don’t like the default web browser that is installed in Natty Narwhal, which is Firefox, the best alternative is Chromium. Never heard of Chromium? Are you familar with… Google Chrome? Well, Google Chrome is based off Chromium, and is open source (Chromium, that is.) But before using Chromium, I recommend installing Adobe Flash, which is available on the Ubuntu Software Center. Or if you don’t flash, and believe in open source programs, then give Gnash a whirl.

Rhythmbox (Music player):

If you don’t like the default gmusicbrowser in Xubuntu, then I recommend Rhythmbox. Rhythmbox works with Gnome, and other desktop environments. You can browse the online music store in Rhythmbox, listen to the radio, sync your iPod, manage your music and so on. Plus, Rhythmbox integrates with the sound control panel, which is pretty cool, and integrates with firefox and pidgin to name a few. In the below picture, you can see Rhythmbox integrated into my sound panel:

Evolution (Mail and Calendar client):

Xubuntu doesn’t really come with a good calendar planner. The best one I’ve used is Evolution. Its like using Microsoft Outlook on Windows. Evolution includes iCalendar support. You can sync your calendars to your mobile devices. It comes in handy for someone who likes to manage their time well. I’ve starting using Evolution more of a calendar, and I really have no interest of using the mail client part.

Last but not least: Xfce CPUFreq Panel Plugin

If you have a laptop that has a CPU scaling feature, then you will definitely want this. I have a AMD Turion64 x2 CPU, and it has the PowerNow! feature. (yes, its called “PowerNow!” with an exclamation mark.) and with that plugin, and setting the speed governor to “Ondemand”, when my computer is idle, or doing some light work, it will downclock to 800 MHz, which reduces heat and power, and will upclock back to 1.6 GHz if its doing something intensive (i.e. gaming, rendering.) There’s also a power saving mode that will keep the clock speed at a constant 800 MHz, regardless of how CPU intensive an app is.

Well, that’s some of the best Xubuntu apps that I’ve ever used. If you think there’s a better app than the ones I have listed, then feel free to recommend some that you think is better.


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