16 Must-have Ubuntu Apps for Programmers in 2024

Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions for programmers. It offers a stable, secure, and user-friendly operating system that supports various programming languages and platforms. However, to make the most out of Ubuntu as a programming environment, you may need some additional applications that can enhance your productivity and efficiency. In this article, I have listed some must-have Ubuntu apps for programmers.

Why Ubuntu is Good for Programming?

Ubuntu is a popular and widely used operating system for programming. Some of the reasons why Ubuntu is good are given below.

  • Ubuntu supports various emerging technologies such as deep learning, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Ubuntu Linux provides libraries, examples, and tutorials for these technologies, as well as reasonable support for the latest versions of free open-source software and platforms.
  • Ubuntu Linux has a hardware certification program that ensures the compatibility and reliability of various hardware devices and components with Ubuntu Linux.
  • Ubuntu Linux provides a consistent and stable operating system experience across different devices and platforms, such as desktops, servers, cloud, and IoT.

List of 16 Must-have Ubuntu Apps for Programmers

Here I have listed 16 must-have Ubuntu apps for programmers according to the preference of the programmers, and scope the boost their productivity.

1.  Visual Studio Code: Code Editor

Visual Studio Code is a free and open-source code editor that supports multiple programming languages and platforms.visual studio code which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the Visual Studio Code application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 1 GB RAM, and a 6 GHz processor is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and RedHat Enterprise Linux distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Execute the following code into the terminal to install Visual Studio Code into Linux:

sudo snap install --classic code

Reasons to Use

  • You can debug code right from the editor, launch or attach to your running apps and use breakpoints, call stacks, and an interactive console.
  • You can see different colors and fonts for keywords, variables, operators, comments, and more.
  • You can get smart suggestions based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules with IntelliSense.

Reasons to Avoid

Some plugins can be inconsistent in quality, functionality, or compatibility with different versions of Visual Studio Code or operating systems.

2. Git: Code Collaboration

Git is a free and open-source version control system allowing developers to track and collaborate on code changes.Git apps for code collaboration.

System Requirement

This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Gentoo, and RedHat Enterprise Linux, distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install Git on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • Git supports creating multiple branches of a project that can be independent of each other. This allows developers to work on different features or experiments without affecting the main codebase.
  • Git is designed to be lightweight and efficient, with a small disk footprint and fast performance.
  • Git is a distributed system, which means that every developer has a full copy of the project history on their local machine.

Reasons to Avoid

Git is not well suited for handling large binary files, such as images, videos, or audio files. Git stores the entire history of every life in the repository size grows quickly and consumes more disk space and network bandwidth.

3. Docker: Application Container

Docker is an open-source platform that allows programmers to develop, ship, and run applications using containers.Docker is a container which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the Docker application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 4 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and RedHat Enterprise Linux distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install Docker on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • It uses less space and has very little bootup time compared to a virtual machine.
  • It automates the deployment of applications inside the Linux operating system using a command line interface.
  • It enables programmers to separate your applications from your infrastructure and deliver software quickly.

Reasons to Avoid

It has some performance overhead compared to running applications on bare metal servers. Docker containers use a shared operating system and a union file system, which add some extra layers of abstraction.

4. Postman: API Manager

Postman is a tool that helps programmers to develop, test, and share APIs. It is available for Linux as a snap package or a tarball.Postman which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install Postman on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • It allows programmers to send requests to any API endpoint and view the responses in various formats.
  • It enables programmers to create collections of requests and organize them into folders and subfolders.
  • It supports multiple authentication methods, such as basic, bearer, OAuth 2.0, etc.

Reasons to Avoid

It does not support some advanced features such as GraphQL, WebSocker, and gRPC.

5. GNOME: Application Set

The GNOME app is a desktop environment that provides a user interface and a set of applications for Linux.GNOME which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and Vanilla OS distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install GNOME on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • It offers a modern and streamlined user experience with a single panel, an overview mode, and a dynamic workspace manager.
  • It includes a variety of focused consistent, and intuitive apps for common tasks such as web browsing, file management, email, calendar, etc.
  • It supports Flatpak, a technology that allows you to distribute and run applications across different Linux distros.

Reasons to Avoid

It may have some performance issues or bugs due to being a web-based application that runs on Electron.

6. Atom: Text Editor

Atom is a popular open-source text editor for Linux that comes with a wide range of features to help developers with their coding tasks.Atom is a text editor.

System Requirement

To install the Atom Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 8 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for CentOS, RedHat Enterprise, Oracle, Debian, Ubuntu LTS, Fedora, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, OpenSUSE Linux, Slackware Linux, Gentoo Linux, Mandriva Linux, Arch Linux, and Forescout CounterACT distros of Linux.

Installation Process

For installation on Ubuntu run the following commands into the terminal to install Atom on your device:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
wget -qO - https://packagecloud.io/AtomEditor/atom/gpgkey | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://packagecloud.io/AtomEditor/atom/any/ any main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/atom.list'
sudo apt install atom
However, you can also follow this link to install Atom on other distros of Linux.

Reasons to Use

  • It allows developers to split the editor into multiple panes to work on different files simultaneously.
  • It automatically indents code to help maintain consistent formatting.
  • It has built-in Git integration, allowing users to manage version control directly within the editor.

Reasons to Avoid

Due to its extensive package system, Atom can consume a lot of memory, which can be a problem if developers are working with large projects or multiple files.

7. Terminator: Terminal Emulator

The Terminator app is a terminal emulator that allows you to run multiple terminal sessions in a single window using a tiling layout.Terminator which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the Terminator Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 8 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for CentOS, Manjaro, Debian, Ubuntu LTS, Fedora, and Open SUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

However, you can also follow this link to install Terminator on Linux.

Reasons to Use

  • It supports multiple tabs and drag-and-drop terminal panels.
  • It has keyboard shortcuts akin to tiling window managers.
  • It allows programmers to save layouts and profiles for quick access.

Reasons to Avoid

It does not support some advanced features or technologies that other terminal emulators offer, such as GraphQL, WebSocker, gRPC, etc.

8. MySQL: Work Bench for Database

MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that is widely used in Linux systems.MySQL which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the MySQL application, you have to meet the following requirements.

  • Hardware: 8 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Linux, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install MySQL on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • MySQL is designed to be fast and efficient, and it is optimized for high performance in demanding environments.
  • MySQL can be used with a wide range of programming languages and frameworks, making it a versatile tool for developers.
  • MySQL is relatively easy to set up and use, and it comes with a range of tools and utilities to help manage databases and data.

Reasons to Avoid

MySQL does not have built-in support for advanced analytics and data processing features like data mining or machine learning.

9. Eclipse: Integrated Development Environment

Eclipse is a popular Integrated Development Environment(IDE) that supports multiple programming languages and platforms.Eclipse which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the Eclipse application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: It uses 2 GB of RAM and 6 GB of disk space.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install Eclipse on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • Eclipse has a rich ecosystem of plug-ins that enhance its functionality and provide additional features, such as language support, code formatting, debugging, testing, etc.
  • Eclipse has a built-in terminal that lets programmers run commands and scripts without leaving the editor.
  • Eclipse has a powerful debugger that supports breakpoints, watch expressions, call stacks, and more.

Reasons to Avoid

Eclipse can be slow to start up, load projects, or perform certain tasks, such as code completion, refactoring, or debugging.

10. IntelliJ IDEA: Integrated Development Environment

IntelliJ IDEA is an Integrated Development Environment(IDE) that supports multiple programming languages and platforms.IntelliJ IDEA which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the IntelliJ IDEA application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 8 GB of RAM is recommended and 5 GB of disk space is used.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install IntelliJ IDEA on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • IntelliJ IDEA provides smart code completion, code analysis, refactorings, inspection, quick fixes, and more for various languages and frameworks.
  • IntelliJ IDEA has a built-in terminal that lets you run commands and scripts without leaving the editor.
  • IntelliJ IDEA has a rich ecosystem of plugins that enhance its functionality and provide additional features, such as language support, code formatting, debugging, testing, etc.

Reasons to Avoid

IntelliJ IDEA may not work properly on some Linux distributions or versions, depending on the configuration interface and dependencies.

11. NordVPN Cli: Privacy Protector

NordVPN is a VPN service that allows you to protect your online privacy and security, access geo-restricted content, and bypass censorship.NordVPN which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the NordVPN Cli application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: NordVPN Cli uses 256 MB of RAM and 100 MB of disk space.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Linux, OpenSUSE, QubesOS, and Linux Mint distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install NordVPN Cli on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • The programmer can enable the auto-connect feature to automatically connect to a VPN server whenever you launch the NordVPN CLI or the programmer’s device connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi
  • Programmers can enable the threat protection feature to block malicious websites and ads using CyberSec
  • Programmers can enable the kill switch feature to prevent any traffic from leaving or entering programmers’ devices if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.

Reasons to Avoid

NordVPN CLI requires manual installation and configuration of the OpenVPN client and the server files, which can be tedious and error-prone.

12. GIMP: Art and Design App for Linux

GIMP is an advanced cross-platform picture editor for graphic designers in Linux. It is a free and open-source image manipulation program.GIMP which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

This application is available for Debian, and Ubuntu distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Run the following commands into the terminal to install the GIMP application:

apt-cache search ^gimp
sudo apt install gimp
apt-cache search gimp | grep ^gimp
sudo apt install gimp-plugin-registry

Reasons to Use

  • It can open and edit PSD
  • Open-source
  • It develops files of tiny size.
  • It has a customizable user interface.

Reasons to Avoid

The interface of this application is a little cluttered.

13. Wireshark: Network Protocol Analyzer

Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer that lets programmers see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level.Wireshark app is a network protocol analyzer tool.

System Requirement

To install the Wireshark Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 2 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Execute the following commands into the terminal to install Wireshark on your device:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install wireshark

Reasons to Use

  • Deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, with more being added all the time.
  • Live capture and offline analysis of network traffic.
  • Standard three-pane packet browser that shows the packet list, packet details, and packet bytes.

Reasons to Avoid

Wireshark Require requires root privileges to capture packets on most Linux systems. This can pose a security risk if you run Wireshark as root or use sudo to launch it.

14. AppJS: Desktop Application Developing Tool

AppJS is an open-source platform that allows developers to create desktop applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Moreover, it is designed to work on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS, and offers a range of features for creating cross-platform desktop applications.AppJS is a desktop application developing tool.

System Requirement

To install the AppJS Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 2 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install AppJS on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • AppJS allows developers to create native windows for their desktop applications, which can be customized using standard web technologies.
  • AppJS provides developers access to the local file system, allowing applications to read and write files and folders on the user’s system.
  • AppJS provides integration with js, which allows developers to use Node.js modules in their desktop applications.

Reasons to Avoid

AppJS has limited support for Linux distribution, and some distributions may not be supported at all. This can make it challenging for developers to create applications that work across all Linux distributions.

15. VirtualBox: Operating Systems Virtualizer

Virtual Box is a popular open-source virtualization software that allows developers to run multiple operating systems (guests) on a single host machine.VirtualBox which is one of the must-have ubuntu apps for programmers.

System Requirement

To install the VirtualBox Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 4 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Follow this link to install Virtual Box on your device.

Reasons to Use

  • Virtual Box is a cross-platform virtualization software that works on Linux, Windows, and macOS. This makes it easy for developers to run guest operating systems on different host platforms.
  • Virtual Box is easy to install on Linux and is available through most Linux package managers, including APT and YUM.
  • Virtual Box allows developers to set up shared folders between developers’ host and guest operating systems. This can be useful for sharing files and data between the two systems.

Reasons to Avoid

Virtual Box may not perform as well as other virtualization solutions, such as VMware, especially for resource-intensive applications. This is because Virtual Box uses software emulation instead of hardware virtualization.

16. Discord: Social Messenger

Discord app is a social messaging platform that allows programmers to chat voice call, and video calls with other user.Discord app in Ubuntu.

System Requirement

To install the Discord Application, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hardware: 4 GB RAM is recommended.
  • This application is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, and OpenSUSE distros of Linux.

Installation Process

Execute the following commands into the terminal to install Discord on your device:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install discord

Reasons to Use

  • It lets programmers create and join servers that are dedicated to specific topics or communities, such as programming languages, frameworks, projects, etc.
  • It supports multiple channels within each server, where you can send text messages, images, videos, files, emojis, etc.
  • It offers a rich text editor that supports code blocks, syntax highlighting, markdown formatting, etc.

Reasons to Avoid

It may not be compatible with some Linux distros that do not support snap dependencies.

Conclusion

In this article, I have presented some of the must-have Ubuntu apps for programmers that can help you with various aspects of software development. These apps are designed to make programmers’ coding experience more enjoyable, efficient, and productive.

People Also Ask

Is Ubuntu Linux good for Programming?
Yes, Ubuntu is good for programming. Ubuntu’s snap feature makes it the best Linux operating system for programmers as it also finds wide applications in coordination-based services.
Which is the hardest Linux version?
There are various versions of Linux, but Gentoo is the hardest Linux version for programmers. It offers a challenging environment and interface to programmers.
Can Linux run on 2 GB RAM?
To run Linux, at least 2 GB of memory is recommended. However, it can run on as low as 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of free disk space.
Which Linux is most stable?
Debian Linux is the most stable Linux distribution. It is user-friendly, lightweight, and compatible with other environments.
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Susmit Das Gupta

Hello everyone. I am Susmit Das Gupta, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I am a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Besides my routine works, I find interest in going through new things, exploring new places, and capturing landscapes. Read Full Bio

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