4 Indispensible Tools To Enhance Productivity On Linux Desktops

Linux is sometimes considered as a lighter and thrifty alternative to Mac and Windows OS, but that doesn’t mean it’s behind the two in terms of management and productivity. The OS is outpacing Windows in enterprise server revenue according to IDC’s quarterly tracker.

The 2013 results show that Linux was growing at 12.7 percent each year, while Windows was still going through a stagnant growth phase of 3.2 percent each year, and the prior quarter even showed that Linux was growing and Windows was in decline. If you are using Linux or Windows and want to keep up with customers you are going to need a good email database.

Another report published last year revealed that the United Space Alliance (responsible for managing the International Space Station computer) switched key functions, previously hosted on Windows, to Linux because they required an operating system that was more reliable and stable.

Linux becomes the number 1 choice for apps that require a stable OS to function. But apart from offering stability and reliability, the open source model also accommodates myriad tools and applications that enhance productivity of the user.

And from the whole lot of productivity tools, the following 4 will help you search a needle in a haystack and address your productivity needs on a Linux desktop:

1. Email marketing
Running email campaigns is no easy feat, but the right email campaign tool can ease the process of creating publicity lists, sending newsletters and other tasks. phpList is one of the open source email marketing tools that can be used to create and manage email lists.

The software works seamlessly on a Linux Apache MySQL PHP server and it thrives on MySQL database for information storage, while the script relies on PHP. Such tools can also be integrated in web browsers where the administrators can create an opt-in form for subscription and attach files to the email.

2. Remote access/support
Remote access software becomes important when you want to operate as a Linux site administrator without being physically present in front of the server, perhaps when on vacation or when working on an off-site project for your company.

Simple Help and ThinLinc are examples of remote access desktop virtualization solutions: they can be used to access the Linux desktop over the internet as well as through an internal network. The availability of native mobile clients with some of these tools makes things even easier for administrator, as they can just use a smartphone to control system files and activity.

3. Docking applications
Advocates of the Mac OS dock would know the advantage of keeping apps in the dock: they can be launched with a single mouse click without wasting any time. Linux also has its native docking applications, with Cario-Dock being an example. It can be used to place your favorite apps and tools in the launch bar and then open them later with a single click.

Another option includes AWN (Avant Window Navigator) that can be used to place frequently used applets on the bottom of the desktop screen, and it even features plugins for customized use and functionality.

4. Desktop publishing applications
Linux has lacked professional desktop printing and PDF creation applications over the years, but offerings like Scribus are aiming to fill in that need. This particular tool includes a PDF creation feature and CMYK color separations, so it is capable of producing press and ready outputs.

Likewise, GIMP is another tool that can be used for image editing and publishing. It supports a wide range of formats including .ps, .peps and .psd as well as Inkscape files.

What are your favorite productivity tools for Linux? Feel free to make suggestions/add to the list in the comments section below.

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