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{ Linux at home | Application software }

Application software

Desktop settings

You can change a range of details of the desktop environment. First, there is the application Settings, which you can also reach quickly from the top-right menu. Better hidden, but just as relevant is Tweaks.

World-wide Web

The Gnome 3 desktop already includes Firefox as web browser. During first use, it is a good idea to inspect the preferences and perhaps to improve your privacy a little further. Also consider to install two extensions: Adblocker Plus and NoScript.

Audio and Video

Although the Gnome 3 desktop comes with the application Videos, this cannot play many video files. You should install VLC media player. To decrypt DVDs you should also install the library required for that. And then there is the possiblity that your DVD drive has not been configured for the "region" in and for which the DVDs were published. You can change the region of your drive a very few times; use this option sparingly.

Open a Terminal and enter these commands:

  apt-get install vlc libdvd-pkg regionset
  dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

Installing libdvd-pkg in itself accomplishes nothing. But when you then configure it, will it download and install the libdvdcss2 library. VLC can then draw upon this to decrypt encrypted DVDs. Regarding the regionset command, best study the file /usr/share/doc/regionset/README as documentation. That should enable you to determine the current region setting of your DVD drive and to set a different region if required. Determine the correct region in advance; this is where the DVD was purchased.


For Email the application Thunderbird is recommended. This comes from the same company as Firefox

  apt-get install thunderbird

During first use the application you configure it for your email account. If your provider is not one of the common email providers this can be a little difficult. You may have to use the buttons for manual configuration and for advanced configuration, and you will need the documentation from your provider.

Man email providers implement the service with the pair of protocols IMAP and SMTP. IMAP is used to retrieve and read email that has arrived in your account. The IMAP server hence is the Server of your provider. SMTP on the other hand is used to send your own emails to others. This is best done after login to the server of your email provider over port 587 or 465. But perhaps you have to send anonymously over port 25. In that case you probably have to use a server of your Internet service provider (which connects your house to the Internet and sent you your configured modem).

Instead of Thunderbird you can use Evolution for email. This is already installed, because the clock and calendar in the Gnome 3 desktop is provided by Evolution.

If you prefer a simple application, which you can also use over a remote terminal login, then install mutt or alpine:

  apt-get install mutt
  apt-get install alpine