Best Linux Applications of 2013

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2013 was a year wherein Linux stood out in many arenas. It was a year of endeavors so big that it turned Linux into an underrated hobbyist operating system to a dark house to watch out for. Before 2013, the word Linux was uttered mainly in closed circles. Developers, system administrators, and those who were brave enough to "take the plunge" spoke about Linux. Besides that, you would rarely find Linux mentioned on a popular site like Forbes, Engadget, or The Verge. 2013 changed the scene completely.

Linux, or more specifically Ubuntu, started the year with a bang by announcing Ubuntu Touch for smartphones and tablets. This was a major step as far as the operating system's strategy was concerned. As if that announcement wasn't enough to turn many heads, Canonical took another huge step in the mobile direction. Ubuntu Edge was announced thus propelling Ubuntu to mainstream popularity in a matter of days. Ubuntu was no longer the OS for programmers and hobbyists; this was something an average user might end up using someday. That said, Ubuntu Edge failed to meet its end goal thus plunging it into oblivion months after the campaign.

Linux's tryst with fame didn't end there, though. Steam fully and completely embraced the platform thus making it a potential gaming beast. The consequences of this announcement are far reaching. Since gaming will become a part of Linux, NVIDIA and ATI will stop ignoring the penguin as they used to before. This massive progress was accompanied by a string of software releases that made Linux a platform more approachable to end users who are stuck with Windows or Mac. The following is a list of some of the best Linux applications of 2013:


Steam brings a whole new gaming platform to the Linux crowd. With solid titles like Left 4 Dead and Dota 2, Windows users can now finally take the plunge into the penguinian world. At the release, very few titles for the Steam client were available and its adoption kind of stagnated. However, Steam knows that gaming on Linux isn't just a move to please a community of software enthusiasts, it's their core strategy. After alienating, rather blatantly, the Windows 8 platform, Steam has placed all its bets on Linux. With Steambox running on the open-source operating system, Steam has ensured that many gamers will migrate to the FOSS world and eventually to Steam. Whether or not this strategy will work, no one can tell. However, what we know is that this strategy will give gaming on Linux a massive boost. 


Lightworks is one of the best video editing software out there. The tool is popular not just amongst professional editors but also among editing legends of Hollywood. Scorsese's award winning biopic The Aviator was edited using Lightworks. And guess what, Thelma Schoonmaker even won an Oscar for it. Lightworks is a high-end tool that many filmmakers rely on and its release on Linux came as a pleasant surprise for many users. Though released as a beta in 2013, this year, we'll see the maturing of the software as many users start to adopt it.

Metro: Last Light

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Metro is a first-person shooter developed by 4A games. The title comes with stunning graphics and an amazing plot. Holding a Metacritic ranking of 80, it's a treat for gamers who had been looking for something "substantial" as far as gaming on Linux was concerned. Truly deserving of the many accolades it received, Metro surely is a game worth remembering.

Viber for Linux

Viber, popular alternative to Skype, came to Linux last year thus bringing along voice and video calling. Available for Ubuntu, Viber makes sure that you stay in touch with your loved ones without any hassles. The best thing about Viber is that it brings together conversations you've had on your smartphone, desktop, and tablet in one single place. Though the Linux version is buggy and poorly designed, we hope it gets some developer love in 2014.