Linux Mint – Bundled applications

Getting Started with the IIS Manager in IIS

Although most of the applications bundled with Mint are not specific to Cinnamon, they are discussed here as each compliments the environment by providing a basic functionality. As discussed earlier, Mint includes just about everything you’ll need to be productive immediately. Whether you want to browse the Web, check your e-mail, or watch movies, you’re covered. In this section, we’ll go through some of the noteworthy applications included out of the box. In Chapter 6, Installing and Removing Software, we’ll run through the process of installing new applications, so you will get a chance to install some additional applications, discussed as follows, that will make your experience even more complete.

  • Firefox: The default web browser in Mint is Mozilla Firefox, which is a great choice because it is cross platform (it’s essentially the same Firefox that you can download for use with Windows and Mac OSX) and recognized in the industry. The main difference in Mint’s version is that the process of changing the default search engine has been customized. We will discuss how to change the default search engine in Firefox later in this chapter.
  • Thunderbird: Thunderbird is a cross-platform e-mail client, which will allow you to consolidate your e-mail accounts into one application. Nowadays, cloud e-mail solutions (such as Gmail) have largely replaced standalone applications such as Thunderbird. However, it’s still very useful for ISP e-mail services and even Gmail itself can be accessed with it. If you prefer a standalone e-mail solution over a cloud-based solution, Thunderbird is for you.
  • Pidgin: Chatting with instant messaging services (such as AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Chat) is a snap with Pidgin. Pidgin allows you to connect to all of your chat services in one application with a single contact list. Like Firefox and Thunderbird, Pidgin is also a cross-platform application. It’s available on Windows as well.
  • Transmission: Transmission is a client of Bit Torrent, one of the best services available for Linux. Bit Torrent itself is a very useful service that facilitates the transfer of large downloads. The Linux community uses Bit Torrent heavily for downloading large distribution ISO files (for example, the Crunchbang distribution can only be obtained this way). However, like most services created for the purposes of good, Bit Torrent is often abused in order to distribute illegal copies of paid applications and media as well. It’s important to use responsibility and good judgment while using it.
  • XChat: XChat is a full-featured client of IRC chat. While some may see IRC as an archaic technology, it’s still very popular in the Linux community, so using it is recommended. For most (if not all) of the major Linux distributions, an IRC channel is available.
  • Libre Office: Libre Office is a cross-platform productivity suite featuring a Word processor ( Writer) as well as a spreadsheet application ( Calc) and presentation application ( Impress). Libre Office is a very capable Office suite on all the platforms; it’s available on Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows, so learning it is highly recommended. By default, Libre Office saves files in open formats, though you can save files in Microsoft formats should you need to send documents to someone who uses Microsoft’s Office suite.
  • GIMP: GIMP ( GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP is very useful for editing, cropping, and manipulating photos and is a welcome addition to any graphic designer’s tool set.
  • Simple Scan: If you own a scanner, Simple Scan will facilitate your document-scanning needs. Simple Scan is easy to use, thus making things such as creating multi-page PDF files a cinch.
  • Banshee: For those of you who have a collection of MP3 files, Banshee is a very capable music manager. With Banshee, you can not only listen to your MP3 files but also edit metadata, create playlists, listen to podcasts, and so on.
  • Brasero: Brasero is a multipurpose media creator. If your computer has a rewritable DVD or CD drive, you’ll be able to create music and data discs with this program. Brasero also allows you to create bootable CDs and DVDs from downloaded ISO files, so it is an important part of any Linux administrator’s tool kit.
  • Software Manager: A Mint-specific application, Software Manager is your gateway to discovering new applications. Although installing and removing applications is covered in Chapter 6, Installing and Removing Software, feel free to have a look around at the various categories of applications available. In addition, although Software Manager was developed by the Linux Mint team, it has found its way to other distributions since its debut.
  • Synaptic: Synaptic is an application that does essentially the same thing as the Software Manager, but is catered more toward power-users. Synaptic is a tried-and-true package manager, having existed for well over 10 years. Intermediate to advanced users will likely prefer Synaptic over Mint’s Software Manager.
  • Update Manager: During the time in which a version of Mint is within its support cycle, security and feature updates are regularly released. Updates may include new versions of applications such as Firefox or even the Linux kernel itself. Although Linux is inherently secure, keeping it up to date is the best security practice recommended on any platform. Keeping your system up to date is discussed in Chapter 6, Installing and Removing Software.
  • Videos: Videos is a generic video player application with a generic name. By default, all video files (clips, movies, and so on) stored on your hard disk will open with this program.
  • VLC: VLC is also included for viewing video files. It’s very similar to the Videos application, but much more capable and available on just about every platform in existence. There are few types of video files that won’t open with VLC. In many ways, VLC is actually superior to the default Videos application.
  • Document Viewer: Document Viewer allows you to view PDF files, which you would normally view using Adobe Reader on other platforms.
  • gThumb: gThumb comes to the rescue when you need to view images. Not only does gThumb handle the viewing of images currently in your collection, it allows you to import new photos from a digital camera if you have one.

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