I’m new to Linux, where are my apps for ___? A Guide for Windows 10 and OS X Converts

Well first of all, welcome! We’re glad to have you! Let’s get you setup with all the software you’re used to using on Window and OS X, and Some Free and Beautiful Competitors to what you’re used to.

Web Browsers –

Google Chrome:

Google Chrome is that thing you use Microsoft Edge one time to download, and what you’ve likely been using if not Safari. There’s the link to download the Linux version!

If you are using Fedora, download the .RPM file

If you’re on Ubuntu or Debian, download the .deb file.

Open your downloads folder → Right Click the chrome download → Open With Software Install

Hit Install, enter your password if it asks, and there you go! Netflix and Hulu should both work just fine in Chrome.

If you would rather use Firefox, and it isn’t pre-installed, you may install that install by installing a software called ‘Flathub’

https://flatpak.org/setup/

Follow the directions for the version/distribution of Linux you’re using

to setup support for Flatpaks.

“I don’t know what that is Cara”

Yeah, I know.

The best way I can explain it, is to tell you to think of it as a new catalog for your Software Center to download Apps and Games and all kinds of things from.

Now that you’re able to use Flatpaks; here’s the Page for Firefox! Follow this link and click ‘Install’ and it’ll open Software Center (or whatever you have installed as a store by default) and you may install it from there.

Sounds complex maybe but it really isn’t

Video Games. Steam, GOG, Epic Games, Blizzard Launcher, etc.

Steam –

https://store.steampowered.com/about/

They support Linux as a company, and you can download and install the launcher right from their website!

Since you are on Linux, there are a couple (actually kinda cool) things you should know about Steam on Linux.

But first, I’m going to tell you the first thing you should do in Steam once you’re logged in, and than I’ll tell you why.

Once you’re logged into Steam, there’s a setting you should enable to make sure as many games run as possible (most if not all will run, don’t worry)

Go to Steam Settings → Steam Play → Enable Steam Play for Supported Tittles & also Enable Steam Play for All Other Tittles

Steam will restart, once it’s restarted, you can install any game you want, even if the developers didn’t make it for Linux!

If you care how this works, Steam built on a tool called WINE made by Linux nerds, Named it Proton, made it better, and made it work automatically without having to mess with it! It runs all the windows games on Linux through steam for you! While not yet perfect, it gets better every week, and has the support of a large company behind it.

GOG –

You’re going to install this Launcher through two tools you’re unfamiliar with, but don’t get scared yet, you’re so close.

Chances are, this will actually only be one step depending on what Linux Distro you’re on.

Navigate to:

https://snapcraft.io/gog-galaxy-wine

Click on ‘Install’ and copy and paste that text following the $ into your Terminal. (Hit the windows key, and start typing the word Terminal until you see it). Enter your password and wait for the terminal to do its thing. It may ask you to hit Y or N to confirm you want to actually install what you said. Tell it yes and let it finish. There you go, all finished.

If that didn’t work, follow the directions to install snap support for your version of Linux

https://snapcraft.io/docs/installing-snapd

Epic Games –

To install the Epic Games Launcher, you’re going to use a software called Lutris. Lutris is a game launcher that uses a bunch of complex software to make Windows software and games run on Linux! It uses a tool called WINE that we’ll be getting into later.

For now, you can download Lutris from the following places:

https://lutris.net/downloads/

They have the commands listed very clearly, you’re going to use your Terminal again (yeah, I know, scary! Lol)

Open the Terminal and copy-paste the correct commands for your distro and give it your password.

Open Lutris, login/register if you’d like to store your library, and search on Lutris for ‘Epic Games’ and install it! All done.

Blizzard Launcher –

I mentioned a software called WINE before, and that’s where you’re going to start! Navigate to:

https://wiki.winehq.org/Download

They have directions for Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

Select the one you’re using, and copy-paste the terminal commands it gives you. Enter password, hit ‘y’ if it asks, and wait. Reboot your computer when it’s finished.

What you’ve just done will let you download Windows .EXE files and install them just like you’re used to on Windows! And guess what? Since this isn’t windows, you don’t need to be scared of getting a virus from it! It wouldn’t know what to do on a Linux system haha.

Anyways, download the Blizzard launcher from their website, navigate to where it was stored, right click → Open With → Open with WINE

The first time anything that uses WINE is launched, it’s going to prompt you to install some basic requirements for it to work. Click yes on everything as you go through, and the installation launcher for Blizzard will start. WINE will install mono and tff fonts, two things needed for windows apps to work; in case you’re curious.

That’s it for the Game section of this article, let’s move onto other things!

In the last section, we added several components to our system that gave us a bunch of sources to download stuff from, but I didn’t tell you how to configure it to search your Software stores from. Let’s fix that.

Flathub

Flathub is a source of apps, games, and software for Linux users, from companies and users alike. They have quite a lot there that you’ll be familiar with.

https://flathub.org/home

Spotify – Music Streaming

Discord – Chats and Video calling

Zoom – Video Calling

Steam – Steam Installer

Steam Link – Stream steam from a desktop in your home

Minecraft – It’s Minecraft

Firefox – Web Browser

Telegram – Messaging Client similar to Facebook Messenger

Visual Studio Code – Microsofts IDE

OBS Studio – Streaming Software

Kodi – Video Streaming Suite

Skype – Skype Video Calling Software

Blender – Make 3D Models

Krita – Similar to Adobe Illustrator, but free!

LMMS – DAW for making music, free

RPCS3 – Playstation 3 Emulator, need a gaming laptop or Desktop

PCSX2 – Playstation 2 Emulator

PPSSPP – Playstation Portable Emulator

Google Play Music Desktop Player -Unofficial Google Play Music Client

MuseScore – Make Sheet music

Peek – Screen recorder, record as an mp4, webm, or gif

Pithos – Unofficial Pandora Music Streaming Client

Cawbird – Unofficial Twitter client

Chiaki – Stream your Playstation 4 to you Linux Desktop

Dialect – Similar to Google Translate

Dolphin Emulator – Nintendo Gamecube emulator

Dropbox – Dropbox file sync and storage

Foliate – Ebook reader

FOSStriangulator – Make pretty triangular art by drawing lines and tracing outlines of animals! Very easy to use.

Giara – Unofficial Reddit client

Glimpse – Image Editor software, lighter-weight than Krita

Gnome Maps – Similar to Google Maps

Gnome Twitch – Twitch client

Godot – Make video games

Goxel -make voxel models

KDE-Connect connect your android phone and Linux desktop like iphones and macs connect.

Inkscape – Vector drawing program

Kdenlive – Video Editor

KeePassXC – Password storage app

Kooha – Screen recorder

Libre Office – Similar to Word, free, usually preinstalled

LibreSprite – Make Pixel sprite art

Lollypop – Music player

Microsoft Teams – It’s Microsoft Teams

Moonlight – Stream your Nvidia-Based desktop to your computer

Mousai – It’s basically Shazam

Natron – Video compositing software similar to Adobe After Effects, free

NordPass Password Manager

Obfuscate -blur important private information out from your pictures

OpenToonz – Animation software from Studio Ghibli, free

Pixelorama – Make still or animated pixel art

Pure Maps – Another Maps app similar to Google Maps

RetroArch – Multi-System Emulator, emulate almost any classic console or handheld on you computer

RuneScape – New Runescape client

RuneLite – Old School Runescape client

Thunderbird – Email Client

Video Downloader – Copy and paste HTML addresses from YouTube and other sites into this app and download them as music or videos

Viber – Viber texting app

VLC – Video Player, supports a lot of formats

Vwave – Music player

Snap Store

I just covered a lot off apps that can be grabbed from one place on the internet, the Snap Store has a lot of the same software as Flathub does, and choosing to download your program from one or the other should be based on who has the latest version available.

Here’s how to add the Snap store to your Desktop as an App:

sudo snap install snap-store

Give it your password if it asks and hit ‘y’ if it requests, once it’s done installing, you’ll have a new app icon in your App Launcher!


AppImages & AppImageLauncher

As you use your Linux system, you’ll run into a type of app format called ‘AppImages’
These are exactly like portable apps on Windows, they don’t require any installation, just download them, right click → run
However, this doesn’t app a pretty app icon to your system, and who wants to open the file browser just to launch an app? So we’re going to fix that too by adding this tool to our system:

https://github.com/TheAssassin/AppImageLauncher/releases

You’re going to see a lot listed, and I’m going to tell you how to know what one you need.
If your computer is Intel based, download the i386.AppImage
If your computer is AMD based, download the x86_64.AppImage
If you don’t know if your computer is AMD or Intel, that’s okay, hit that windows key and start typing ‘settings’ go to Settings→ About→ Here, you’ll see a bunch of info about your computer, including weather it’s Intel or AMD.

Install the AppImage, once you do, any other AppImage you download, will pop-up with ‘Integrate and run’ clicking that will add the AppImage to your systems App Launcher along with a pretty icon for it!

Caprine – A Very well done Facebook Messenger Client with Theming options, Video/Audio Calling, and Notifications, get it from:

https://sindresorhus.com/caprine/


That’s it for this Post, I hope I’ve helped someone with this! (sorry about the odd font change at the end, I’m not sure what the issue is.)

Published by Cara Oswin

I write about Linux Software and devices. My hobbies include writing, DnD, reading, playing videogames, and chugging energy drinks to pump out code and articles!

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