Best Linux Applications for 2013 (so far)

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2013 has been the year of Android. With the Google-based operating system stealing the show with amazing devices, it's hard to believe that an open-source project has reached such heights. With stellar competitors like Microsoft and Apple, Android has once again proved that in the tech industry, anything is possible. That said, its freedom-loving brother Linux is still struggling to gain a foothold in the desktop market. As the demand for the desktop itself has started waning, the dominance of Microsoft that once bothered Linuxians, now seems like a thing of the past. However, that's not to say that Linux isn't growing. In fact, it has seen many new developments recently that have pushed it even further into the mainstream market.

One of the key aspects that will help Linux ensure a sustainable growth in the market is the number of software applications available. These days, the number of quality apps that an OS has, somehow signifies its popularity. In that case, here too Linux has seen surprising growth. This year, a lot of new applications were released for Linux. And yes, more are there to come with the Ubuntu App Showdown underway. However, not all apps that have come up on Linux have been that good in terms of quality. Some of them, well, they've raised the standards of the platform itself. In this article, we'll mention the best applications that the are available for Linux so far this year:


Though Lightworks was announced way earlier in 2012, Linuxians were impatiently waiting to get their hands on the professional tool. Used in many Hollywood movies, Lightworks is a professional-grade video editor from EditShare. The editor is free to try and use; however, if you want more, you can upgrade to the PRO version by paying. The application, though in beta, can be downloaded on your Ubuntu or Mint desktop right now.


Out here in the Linux world, we aren't really big fans of Adobe especially after they stopped supporting Flash on this platform. However, this time, they've pleasantly surprised not only many FOSS supporters but also developers as well. In 2013, Adobe released Brackets, an open-source code editor for the web. Yep, open-source and Adobe sounds strange to hear in a single phrase, but that's the truth. Built with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, the lightweight code-editor can serve as a worthwhile upgrade from gedit or Kate. Brackets is really worth a try even if you are not a fan of Adobe. 

BitTorrent Sync

In the age of NSA spying and all sorts of privacy concerns, an application like BitTorrent Sync comes as a breath of fresh air. The free, cross-platform application lets you sync and share your files across multiple devices, safely and securely. All file transfers are encrypted, thus making the application NSA proof. And yes, BT sync handles large files exceptionally well thus making it a good alternative to Dropbox.


Viber is a Skype rival that lets you make HD-quality video calls to your friends and family. What makes Viber so special is that it is tied to your phone number. This means that unlike Skype, you won't have to remember any User ids. All you have to do is add the contacts that are there on your phone and let Viber sync them across all platforms. So, whether you are using Blackberry, Mac, Windows, Android, or even iOS, Viber works almost everywhere. And now, it's on Linux too. This is definitely good news for those who use Viber regularly. You can download Viber HERE


Well, this year was a big one for Linux all because of the release of Steam on Linux. While Windows gamers are silently mocking penguinians for their childlike enthusiasm about this announcement, only true FOSS supporters will understand how big a step it is towards the progress of Linux as a platform, both in terms of general usage and gaming as well. Steam, though it doesn't boast of many games as of now, is still a treat for gamers on the Linux platform. Let's hope the efforts of the gaming community continue this way to make Linux a true gaming platform of the future.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.