Best Under the Radar Linux Apps

Now that Jessie's dropped and PowerPC users are more or less working out the kinks, I thought it was time to share some of our favorite under the radar Linux apps that don't get the publicity they deserve. By "under the radar," I mean applications that generally don't get bundled with full desktop environments like Gnome or LXDE. So no VLC, no Evince, no Abiword, no default applications or anything like that. Instead, these are apps you had to hunt down yourself and were rewarded with unexpectedly great features and ease of use.

So here are a few of my favorites:

Qalculate! – This is a calculator app that's as comprehensive as I've seen. Currency exchange, functions of every kind, and graphing are among the many features.

Xournal – Seems to be primarily a handwriting app, but it also features simple PDF editing. This is great for filling out government forms where you only have to enter some text and a signature and you don't want to deal with LibreOffice.

Artha – An offline dictionary, you can also have it running in the background and call it up by highlighting a word and hitting a key-combo. Really comprehensive information, and did I say it was an offline dictionary

Shutter – Zen loves this and so do I. It's a screenshot plus markup utility and uploader. So it's a lot like Skitch.

LMMS – Linux Multimedia Studio, this is actually distributed with some audio production-centered distros, but in my opinion it should be distributed with every distro (like a Garageband for Linux). It's that good, and it's perhaps the best example of open source software, one that's intuitive and fun like classic Mac software used to be.

What are your favorite under the radar Linux apps?

Xorg bug lands in testing

One month and eight days, that is how long it took before an update to Stretch brought in a nasty bug. Here is a little background, back in the early part of the year a lot of people were excited about Ubuntu-MATE announcing plans to support PowerPC. The guys involved in the project did a great job with the distro. A lot of us were testing the 15.04 release while it was in beta. Then an upgrade in beta brought in a lot of trouble.

The main issue was the change to version 1.17 of Xorg. There is a bug in this release that serisouly distorts the colors and graphics of the DE in PowerPC. You can read about it here in the Ubuntu forums. So now it has reached Debian Stretch(testing). I have placed a bug report to Debain (#787965) and also notified the Debian PowerPC mailing list of the issue. The brightside is that it landed early so I am hoping this will give the developers plenty of time to work on it and find a solution.

I will keep you all updated.

UPDATE: It looks like the Xorg bug has been fixed! The latest version (1.17.2-1) has resolved the graphics issue. Good times are back again :)