Jan Ole Peek

The little bit that Linux lacks

I use my computer a lot. So much in fact that I often catch flack from my girlfriend about never putting that damn laptop down. I have to use Windows for work. I’m dual booting with Ubuntu Edgy and am trying hard as can be to use Linux when I am at home. I love the way things just work and the interface of Ubuntu in general but there are some things that are still lacking.

This is a simple list of what I feel needs to be available for Linux in order for me to feel 100% comfortable and not yearning for that one app I had in Windows:

  • A nice text editor, ala Ultra Edit, Notepad++, xpad, etc, etc
  • A proper GUI FTP client, ala WS_FTP 2007, Smart FTP, FileZilla, CuteFTP, there are tons for Windows, and not one for Linux that is appealing to the eye and functional
  • A good looking media player that will actually play everything I throw at it

One should not have to sacrifice UI for functionality so I don’t want to hear about those apps that do exist in Linux that provide 100% functionality but look like they were designed for Windows 95. I mean, even the default Ubuntu desktop blows Windows XP away and with Compiz or Beryl, Vista looks like an afterthought, but to mess it all up with some crappy boxy grey apps? No… Get my drift?


  1. Well, even though Ubuntu is good, you are involuntarily blaming gnome, the desktop manager… Try installing KDE and try out a few of its apps. But please dont make a gome problem a whole Linux problem, since KWrite for kde, is plrobably exactly the text editor you want, since its like Notepad++

  2. I too dual boot Ubuntu Edgy and Windows XP, but most of the time I have to use XP because I do a lot of composition and I can’t seem to get Ubuntu to play MIDIs properly.My favorite text editor is Scribes. It’s really lightweight and simple, yet powerful and efficient.For an FTP client, I stick with FireFTP, which is a Firefox extension; it means I can just load up an FTP client in a new tab.VLC Media Player, while it doesn’t have the full ‘library’ thing that Windows Media Player has, supports almost all audio and video file types. It’s playlist functionality is limited, but I believe if you used it for a week, you’d get used to it and love it.There’s a lot of quality applications in the Ubuntu repositories, but it might take a while to find some of them. While there is a little bit that Linux lacks, I think most things can be almost fully replaced by Linux applications.

  3. well, for multimedia try VLC. i’ve never seen a file it doesn’t play (it’s a grey box, though).i’d recommend vim for text editing, but that’s probably not what you want. try kate. it has everything i need. highlighting, folding… you name it.

  4. Get automatix2. It has an installer for gFTP, a graphical FTP client with SSH, and mplayer, with when combined with the codecs will play anything you can find.Before you start whining, do a little googling while you’re ignoring your girlfriend.getautomatix2.com

  5. I’ve been using linux for many years, gnome and kde, I don’t find that kde has apps that are really any better than gnome’s. I use scribe right now but no tabs in it, and gftp while somewhat functional, is still no match for something like cuteftp or ws_ftp 2007 pro. vlc is fine with codecs but ugly as all hell. please don’t assume I haven’t done my homework here. Looks aren’t everything but my post is about having linux be ready for “everyone” and it’s not with apps like that, sorry. I’m still using it but hoping someone will create some UI friendly apps.

  6. For text editor check out Kate. For a good FTP client check out KFTPGrabber. I think these two can easily compare with UltraEdit and SmartFTP.For video playing just make sure you have all support enabled in Xine or MPlayer and all needed codecs installed. Than eany player that uses Xine or MPlayer libraries will be able to play files. As for the user interface, hard to say what is good looking. Every one has their opinion here.

  7. Your not describing a problem with Ubuntu your stating your preferences towards software written for windows.Just keep an eye out for linux software (perhaps at freshmeat etc) and you will find the tools that you can get along with.As for multimedia, everybodies trying, and DRM isn’t that easy to break unfortunetly.The real problem isn’t desktop apps but games which can’t be cloned and ported for their complexity and size.

  8. I haven’t used ftp clients so I don’t know anything about them, but for the other 2:editors:vim (gvim for gui), emacs, scribes, kate, gedit, jedit,… there are lots of really really good editor for linux!media player:mplayer (gmplayer and kmplayer for gui), xine and vlc(I prefer mplayer and it plays everything I throw at it!)

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