Linux

3 Must-Have Linux Apps

3 Must-Have Linux Apps

Are you a Linux user? Want to make your Linux more convenient? This time we will share 3 Must-Have Linux Apps that will help you do some tasks more simply. These apps are free and open source, let’s dive in and see what they are!

#1 AzPainter

AzPainter is a tiny program, the source code of which occupies only half of an old-fashioned 3.5-inch floppy disk, or as little as 750KB. Yet it also poses a challenge to major image editors such as Gimp or Krita — the heavy-weight Linux apps for graphic fans and artists.

AzPainter is for drawing bitmap illustrations. It implements an original UI layout optimized for efficient drawing workflow. The application features support for 16-bit color images with transparency (RGBA), automatic brush size adjustment depending on tablet pen pressure, Photoshop-style layers, dozens of artistic filters, various selection tools, support for many third-party image formats including PSD, and more.

And this program packs all these features into a tiny package that also boasts astonishing speed in everything it does, from start time to general responsiveness. We think that there’s hardly anything on Earth that contradicts to the term ‘bloatware’ more than AzPainter.

The application makes use of an original graphic toolkit called Mlib, which is super lightweight. It looks very compact, greyish and, of course, unobtrusive to help you concentrate  on the content. AzPainter is very strong at drawing complex shapes and artistic painting, it has numerous brush settings (pressure, blend mode, interval, randomness and other such things), support for textures and lots  of extra goodies here and there once you understand the interface.

There are very few AzPainter binaries on the internet and the official AzPainter home page is in the author’s native Japanese, making it slightly harder to get the application running on your system. However, building it from source doesn’t require many dependencies, and the process goes swiftly using the good old  ./configure && make && sudo make install  sequence.

Download AzPainter here!

#2 KSnip

Almost all Linux users want to fill their desktops with small, handy accessories that make everyday life easier.  Windows’ standard snipping tool accomplishes the built-in system screenshot-taking feature, usually bound to the Printscreen button. Although you can slightly customize its behavior, all other useful features, such as drawing arrows over a grabbed picture, are only available in snipping tools or third-party commercial apps. Remarkably, Linux desktops still lack out-of-the-box snipping tools.

KSnip is a clone of the Windows snipping tool — a compressed floating always-on-top window, which lets you grab a custom part of the screen and quickly emphasize something in it. You can draw lines, rectangles, ellipses or use the highlighter in a non-destructive way: everything is superimposed over the image and you can always move or remove any drawn object. There is no arrow tool right now, but you can draw straight lines by holding down Shift and using the Pen tool. The Ksnip settings window hides default drawing colours and also the very useful Imgur uploader (authentication is supported).

Ksnip is currently in active development. When we first came across this, it didn’t have rectangle or ellipse drawing tools, so you can bet that there’s more still to come.

For some reason, the code sticks to the legacy Qt 4.8 version, however, and also needs GCC 4.8 for successful compilation. The KSnip developer expressed hope for porting his app to Qt 5 in the mid term, but it will require significant code refactoring.

Download KSnip here!

#3 Buttercup

Buttercup is a password manager that tries to maintain a very high security level without burdening the user with complexities. It’s a nice-looking JavaScript-based application that offers you a suitable interface for organizing your passwords in a sort of vault, protected by a master password. Each vault is referred to as an ‘archive’ in Buttercup, and you can have as many archives as you like. Inside each archive, you are free to create a tree structure of categories and populate them with entries. Buttercup lets you save tips and extra memos together with names and passwords — it is possible to add any number of custom fields to an entry. If the application detects a weak password, it shows the appropriate notification. The ‘magic wand’ icon to the right of the password input fields puts a pop-up password generator with advanced settings at your fingertips.

Buttercup is accompanied by the same-named browser extension for Chrome and Chromium, which means that you don’t need to manually copy-paste your credentials from the desktop application to the browser. Technically, Chrome and Chromium (and most other web browsers) provide the same functionality out of the box, but you may want to use a third-party password manager provider if you trust it better. Buttercup seems to be a very reliable replacement for built-in password managers thanks to its advanced features, such as search, rubbish bin, password generator and more.

The whole solution is very safe: the archive, upon saving, is encrypted with AES 256bit CBC mode with a SHA256 HMAC. Encryption is performed once the password has been salted and prepared with PBKDF2 at 1,000 iterations.

That’s secure.

Download Buttercup here!

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