Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04: The Good Stuff

Well, boys and girls, today I was going to talk about installing the Intel Fortran compiler and MKL libraries in Ubuntu 10.04. Unfortunately, the tar files Intel sent me are coming up with archiving errors, so I'll have to wait the track all of that stuff down until later in the week.

So today, let's talk about the good stuff, that is, things you can add to Ubuntu to make your computational life easier, or just more fun.

Start with a little list. Not mine, at first, it belongs to the indexer, who gives us his to-do list after installing 10.04. He gives you categories of program, the Windows equivalent, and the possible Ubuntu variants. There's also a rather complete source list that will allow you to download all of those files.

And then there's my list, which is a little more eclectic. All of these programs can be installed using the indexer's source list and the usual
sudo apt-get install xxxx
from a terminal window command line, where xxxx is the package name. Note that the links go to the program's home page, where I could or cared to find it:

  • alien: Converts other Linux package installers, particularly RPMs, to DEB format.
  • audacity: Record and edit audio files.
  • build-essential: All the tools you need to compile source code and build DEB packages
  • celestia: Planetarium program and space-travel simulator
  • celestia-gnome: Front end of Celestia
  • devilspie: Lets you tell programs where to open their windows on the Gnome desktop
  • emacs23: The One True Text Editor
  • emacs23-el: Extras for Emacs
  • emacs-goodies-el: And even more Emacs stuff
  • extremetuxracer: Get the penguin down the hill, while he collects fish.
  • ffmpeg: audio and video recordings
  • ftncheck: This is a Fortran lint checker, looking for errors in your Fortran code.
  • gfortran: Back aways I said that build-essential had all the tools you needed to compile programs. I lied. If you write in Fortran, you need a compiler. This is the free one.
  • googleearth: Google's mapping program. Note that this is technically non-free, you'll have to accept Google's license to use it.
  • googleearth-data: For use with Google Earth
  • gnumeric: For most applications I like this spreadsheet better than the one in
  • gnuplot: Scientific plotting program. It's script-driven, so you can edit it on the fly.
  • gthumb: Image/Picture viewer. Will import pictures from your camera.
  • gv: Postscript/PDF file viewer. This is really old, folks, but sometimes it works where a more modern program won't.
  • id3v2: Label MP3 file tags from the command line.
  • k3b: Write CDs/DVDs
  • kid3: Graphical MP3 tag editor
  • kdegames: The KDE game package
  • lame: Front end for writing MP3 files. See my SoX entry
  • latex2rtf: Supposedly converts LaTeX files to Microsoft's doc-lite format, aka rtf. I've used this program maybe twice in ten years, but, hey, you never know.
  • libk3b6-extracodecs: Addins to allow k3b to handle MP3 files
  • lynx: Text-based web browser. The original version was written at KU
  • mplayer: Music/video player
  • pdksh: Public-domain Korn shell. Pretty much like bash. I have dome scripts that still use ksh, so I keep this installed.
  • penguin-command: Clone of the Missle Command arcade game for Linux
  • sc: A text-based spreadsheet. I keep it around because I can edit the files with a script.
  • sox: See my Sox Post
  • spider: My favorite double-deck solitare game
  • sunbird: Stand-alone calendar program. If you want your calendar integrated with Thunderbird, see the Lightning plugin
  • ssh: secure shell. Log onto other computers with encryption
  • tcsh: The TENEX C Shell. An extension of the cshell
  • texlive: The default TeX/LaTeX package for Ubuntu
  • texlive-bibtex-extra: Puts your bibliography into a form LaTeX can use
  • texlive-latex-extra: More LaTeX stuff
  • texlive-publishers: Style files for various scientific journals
  • texlive-science: And still more
  • thunderbird: Mozilla's email program. I much prefer this to the default Evolution, especially since I can pass a users files back and forth between Linux and Windows machines
  • ubuntu-restricted-extras: Fun stuff for playing with forbidden files (MP3s, DVDs, etc.)
  • vim: Text-based full-screen file editor. This and Emacs are the first full-screen editors most early techies used.
  • vlc: Watch just about any kind of video
  • xmms2: Yet another music player
  • xpdf: The original PDF file viewer for X windows