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Current revision as of 15:36, 7 January 2013

Contents

Internet Applications

Internet applications enable you to make full use of your Internet connection. Web browsers, Email clients, Instant Messengers, and more are included in this category.

Web Browsers

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is the ubiquitous web browser. Based on open source components, it is trademarked and cannot be altered or re-distributed with any change that involves the name or trademarks. Install the current version:

sudo apt-get install firefox

Firefox Plug-ins

Adblock Plus plug-in (block ads in a web page)

Adblock Plus blocks ads that appear in web pages. It is an important tool to limit tracking and undesirable website elements, as well. You can subscribe to a free filter service, and can add to the block list individual ads and website elements with a single click.

sudo apt-get install xul-ext-adblock-plus
  • You can also add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> AdBlock Plus. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
  • Recent versions of Adblock Plus allow the display of a large number of "partner" ads unless you disable this undesirable behavior:
Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Adblock Plus -> Preferences -> Filter preferences... -> Allow some non-intrusive advertising (unticked)

Because Adblock Plus appears to now be creating holes in its own blocking service, it is probably worthwhile to stop automatic updates and only update Adblock Plus selectively (in case the developers in the future decide to create even more holes in the plug-in's blocking capability without the corresponding option to disable the behavior).

NoScript plug-in (controls scripts)

The NoScript plugin is considered one of the most important security measures for browsing the Internet. Most viruses and trojans gain access to computers from the Internet through scripts. This plugin allows you to choose which scripts to allow and blocks the rest.

  • Add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> NoScript. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
  • NoScript has a long of websites on its "whitelist." It is important to review this list and remove the websites for which you don't wish to automatically allow scripts (I remove them all).
Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> NoScript -> Preferences -> Whitelist
  • A large number of websites use multiple locations/URLs to assemble their webpage content, a process which is blocked by NoScript's ABE (Application Boundaries Enforcer) function. I have found it necessary to disable ABE in order for most of my websites to function correctly.
Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> NoScript -> Preferences -> Advanced -> ABE -> Enable ABE (unticked)
  • Many websites now use aggressive pop-ups to place advertising in front of the actrual content. While NoScript can block these ads, there will be a "placeholder" still blocking the content unless you turn off the placeholders:
Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> NoScript -> Preferences -> Embeddings -> Show placeholder icon (unticked)
  • Most websites use scripting extensively these days, so that you may need to "Allow" a website in NoScript. To block the individual undesirable elements of the website, use AdBlock Plus.
Bookmark Favicon Changer plug-in

In the newest versions of Firefox, there are some bugs regarding the Favicons (the small icons that appear in the address bar) and the Bookmark icons. This plug-in will restore the icons that get erased (leaving a blank dotted box) or allow you to choose your own Favicons / Bookmark icons.

  • Add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> Bookmark Favicon. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
RefreshBlocker plug-in (prevents redirects)

RefreshBlocker allows the user to decide which websites (and pages) will be allowed to redirect (based on META tags within the webpage). Although Firefox (as of version 3.5) blocks all directs by default, the behavior is not customizable; it is therefore preferable to turn off the Firefox redirect control and use RefreshBlocker instead.

  • Add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> RefreshBlocker. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
  • Turn off the Firefox automatic redirect blocker:
Firefox -> Enter about:config in the browser location bar -> right-click on "accessibility:blockautorefresh" -> Toggle to change the value from true to false
Video DownloadHelper plug-in for Firefox

The Video DownloadHelper plugin allows the download of videos (including Flash videos) from sites like YouTube.

  • You can add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> Video DownloadHelper. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
User Agent Switcher plug-in for Firefox

Now that Firefox is the world's leading web browser, this plug-in should no longer be necessary. Still, there still exist a few old web apps that will only run on IE (and for them this plug-in may be useful). The User Agent Switcher plugin allows a browser to masquerade as another browser, allowing (most of the time) browser-specific content to be displayed.

  • You can add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Search All Add-ons -> User Agent Switcher. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
Unplug Download Management

The UnPlug add-on lets you save video and audio which is embedded on a webpage.

  • You can add this extension from Firefox -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Browse All Add-ons. (This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)
Lucifox (eBook reader extension)

Lucifox (Lucidor for Firefox) enables e-books to be read and e-book catalogs to be browsed in a Firefox window.

  • To install, go to the website and click "Download Now."
Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for Firefox plug-in

This package also installs the Java Runtime Environment. (JRE is also installed when OpenOffice or ubuntu-restricted-extras is installed.)

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin

Note: You must accept the license to use this product.

Adobe Acrobat Reader for Firefox Plug-in

This plugin is allows you to view Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files within the Firefox browser.

deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu Oneiric partner
then install Adobe Reader:
sudo apt-get install acroread
  • Alternatively, this plugin is also available from the Medibuntu repository. Add the Medibuntu repository to your repository list:
deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ Oneiric free non-free
then install:
sudo apt-get install acroread mozilla-acroread acroread-plugins acroread-fonts
Adobe Flash Player for Firefox Plug-in

To install the official Adobe Flash plugin (Flash 10) for Firefox:

sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin
Gnash Plug-in (Open source Flash Player replacement)

Gnash is available in a 64-bit version as well as a 32-bit version. It is the open source replacement for Adobe Flashplayer.

sudo apt-get install gnash

After installing, change your web browser's Preferences -> Applications so that SWF and SPL files use Gnash.

VLC plug-in for Firefox

This package allows the popular VLC player to play media within the Firefox browser.

sudo apt-get install mozilla-plugin-vlc
Gecko MediaPlayer Plug-in for Firefox

Gecko MediaPlayer is a browser plugin for all Gecko-based browsers (Firefox, SeaMonkey, IceApe, Opera) that allows Mplayer to play multimedia within the browser. Install:

sudo apt-get install gecko-mediaplayer

An alternative is to use the mplayer plugin for Firefox. Install:

 sudo apt-get install mozilla-mplayer
Kaffeine Plug-in for Firefox

This package allows the Kaffeine media player (often used in KDE-based desktops) to play multimedia within the Firefox browser.

sudo apt-get install kaffeine-mozilla
Helix player plug-in for Firefox

This package installs the Helix player (the open source player that plays Real Player content in Linux) as well as the plugin that plays RealMedia within the Firefox browser.

sudo apt-get install mozilla-helix-player
Moonlight plugin for Firefox

Moonlight is part of the Novell Mono project that is an open source implementation of Silverlight (the Microsoft multimedia presentation platform). It is based on FFMpeg. It is made to work best with the Firefox 3 web browser, as a plugin (but also works with other mozilla browsers). Version 2.3 is available as a plugin for mozilla-based browsers:

sudo apt-get install moonlight-plugin-mozilla
The stable version 2.4 is available here. The Moonlight 3.99 plugin (compatible with most Silverlight 3/4 content) is here.
  • Netflix under Moonlight
Netflix streaming requires both the capabilities of Silverlight 2.0 and Digital Rights Management modules. Although the current version of Moonlight 2.0 will run most Silverlight content (including Netflix content), Netflix has not yet released Digital Rights Management modules for Linux. Please contact Netflix directly for further information or sign a petition.
  • An HTML5 Netflix plugin (currently being developed by Google for the Chrome browser) may soon be available. Another alternative is the Netflix Android app which can be used in a virtual Android environment.
FireFTP for Firefox

FireFTP is a Firefox extension for FTP transfers.

Firefox Widgets

Turn off browser bar drop-down list in Firefox

This is the most frequently asked problem regarding Firefox. To turn off the location browser bar drop-down list (and therefore not show your browsing history):

Firefox -> about:config (in the location browser bar) -> browser.urlbar.maxRichResults -> right-click -> Modify -> set value to 0

Turn off SSL certificate name in address bar

In newer versions of firefox, the validity of the SSL certificate associated with a website is displayed as a color-coded background to the Favicon (the small icon displayed in the address bar). However, Firefox currently also displays the name of the site issuing the SSL certificate, which can be annoying, since for most sites this is a duplicate of the domain name (which then gets displayed twice in the address bar). To turn off this behavior:

Firefox -> about:config (in the location browser bar) -> browser.identity.ssl_domain_display -> right-click -> Modify -> set value to 0

View Firefox cache

In a new window/tab, enter about:cache in the Firefox address bar. You can view and save individual elements (from all open windows/tabs) in the cache from there.

IceCat

IceCat is Firefox distributed without the Mozilla trademark restrictions. It is endorsed by the Debian project (on which Ubuntu is based). It is formerly known as IceWeasel and is also known as IceApe Browser. Install the current version:

sudo apt-get install iceape-browser

SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is an open-source integrated internet application suite (including web browser, IM (IRC) client, Email client, RSS/News reader, and web development tools). It is based on the same components as the Mozilla products and shares the trademark and branding restrictions. There are many plugins, similar to those for Thunderbird and Firefox. Install:

sudo apt-get install seamonkey

IceApe

IceApe is an open-source integrated internet application suite (including web browser, IM (IRC) client, Email client, RSS/News reader, and web development tools). It is based on the same components as the Mozilla product SeaMonkey, but has no restrictive trademark licensing, and is endorsed by the Debian project (on which Ubuntu is based). Install the current version:

sudo apt-get install iceape

Opera

Opera is a proprietary browser and internet suite (currently free on PCs) also used in some mobile devices and gaming consoles. It includes email, an address book, IRC chat, integrated BitTorrent, and webfeeds. A limited number of plugins are also available. Download from the website and follow the instructions or install from the Opera repository:

echo "deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/opera.list
wget -O - http://deb.opera.com/archive.key | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get install opera

Chromium

Chromium is the open-source browser on which the Google Chrome browser is based. Install:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
  • Start Chromium:
Menu -> Applications -> Internet -> Chromium Web Browser

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is Google's web browser. Based on the Chromium browser, Google adds the Google name and logo, an auto-updater system called GoogleUpdate, RLZ, and other Google add-ons. Download and install it here.

Download Managers

MultiGet

MultiGet is a GTK-based free-standing download manager utility.

sudo apt-get install multiget

Usenet Clients

Pan

Pan is a Gnome-based Usenet reader and nzb binary downloader. Install:

sudo apt-get install pan

Kwooty

Kwooty is a Usenet reader and nzb binary downloader for KDE4. Installation instructions from source or PPA repositories are at the website.

Email Clients

Evolution

Evolution is the default Gnome-based email client in Ubuntu. If not installed:

sudo apt-get install evolution

Evolution and PGP

Email messages can be encrypted in PGP and sent by email using Evolution. See this tutorial for an example how to configure it.

Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a licensed and trademarked free open-source email client that is compatible with Firefox. Install:

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Lightning calendar extension

Lightning is the calendar extension for Thunderbird (with functionality similar to the stand-alone application Sunbird). It is currently available in a 32-bit version only. (If using a 64-bit OS, install the Sunbird calendar client instead.) Install by clicking on the Linux download at the website.

Enigmail

Enigmail is an add-on to Thunderbird that allows you to easily encrypt your email using OpenPGP, which is included in the kernel by default. It also allows you to create and manage the encryption keys. Go the website and click "Download Now". (64-bit versions are found here.) Install:

Thunderbird -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Install -> select downloaded file

or

sudo apt-get install enigmail
  • Also see these tips for instructions on setting up e-mail with PGP encryption.

New Mail Icon for Thunderbird

"New Mail Icon" is an experimental tray add-on which notifes you of new mail. Download from the website. Install:

Thunderbird -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Install -> select downloaded file

KMail

KMail (Kontact Mail) is the default email client included with Kontact in KDE (Kubuntu). Kontact includes email, an address book, a calendar, reminders, pop-up notes, a link to the Akregator News/RSS reader, time-tracking, and more. Install:

sudo apt-get install kontact

Newsreaders

Akregator

Akregator is the default news/RSS reader included with Kubuntu (KDE). Usage instructions are found in the Handbook. Install:

sudo apt-get install akregator

RSSOwl

RSSOwl is a Java-based RSS | RDF | Atom Newsfeed Reader.

Install java and in order to use the internal browser, install the packages xulrunner and firefox:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre firefox xulrunner

Change to your "opt" directory:

cd /opt

Download the zip-archive into your opt directory:

sudo wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/rssowl/rssowl-2.0.6.linux.zip

Extract the archive and remove the extracted file:

sudo unzip ./rssowl-2.0.6.linux.zip && sudo rm ./rssowl-2.0.6.linux.zip

Make a startscript:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/runRSSOwl.sh

add the following lines to your startscript file /usr/bin/runRSSOwl.sh and save it afterwards.

    #!/bin/bash
    cd /opt/rssowl
    ./RSSOwl

Make the startscript executable:

sudo chmod u+x /usr/bin/runRSSOwl.sh

To start RSSOwl:

runRSSOwl.sh

Instant Messengers

Empathy

Empathy is an open source IM application. It is the default in the Ubuntu (Gnome) desktop. You can access multiple services with it. If not already installed, you can install it:

sudo apt-get install empathy

Pidgin

Pidgin is an open source IM application. It is the previous default in the Ubuntu (Gnome) desktop. You can access multiple services with it.

sudo apt-get install pidgin

Kopete

Kopete is the default Instant Messenger application for Kubuntu. You can access multiple services with it. Install:

sudo apt-get install kopete

Kopete Styles

Additional styles for Kopete are available from KDE-look. Install from:

Kopete -> Settings -> Configure -> Chat Window -> Style -> Get New...

GoogleTalk on Kopete

Kopete can be configured to work with GoogleTalk Instant Messaging (but not VOIP) using the Jabber protocol. See these GoogleTalk instructions.

Konversation (IRC client)

Konversation is the default Kubuntu Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. It functions similar to the venerable mIRC. "A little less action and a little more Konversation." -- Elvis. Install:

sudo apt-get install konversation

aMSN

aMSN is an MSN Messenger utility that functions like the original client. It is alternative to Pidgin for MSN users. Install it:

sudo apt-get install amsn

To enable Drag-and-Drop capabilities to aMSN for easy file transfer see Ubuntu Geek.

Emesene

Emesene is an MSN messenger client that uses a simplified interface similar to the original client. It is alternative to Pidgin for MSN users. Install it:

sudo apt-get install emesene

FTP Clients

You might wish to use a dedicated FTP client instead of the one in your browser. Also see these FTP tips.

Filezilla

Filezilla is the ubiquitous free open-source FTP client and server for all platforms.

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Filesharing / P2P

Do not share copyrighted material or content that is otherwise illegal to share.

Transmission (BitTorrent Client)

Transmission is the GTK-based default BitTorrent client in Ubuntu (Gnome).

sudo apt-get install transmission

KTorrent

KTorrent is the default BitTorrent client in Kubuntu. See these additional tips. Install:

sudo apt-get install ktorrent

Be sure to have your firewall ports open (by default 6881 and 4444).

Azureus

Azureus is a Java-based BitTorrent client.

sudo apt-get install azureus

QTorrent

QTorrent is a PyQT-based BitTorrent Client that is supposed to be very fast.

QTorrent

Apollon (P2P Filesharing)

Apollon is an older BitTorrent client oriented towards KDE. It uses plugins for compatibility with multiple networks.

sudo apt-get install apollon gift

MLDonkey (P2P eMule/eDonkey2000)

MLDonkey is a P2P file sharing program (and network) that is able to use different network protocols. To install the MLDonkey core server, follow these instructions.

MLDonkey GUI frontends

  • Install the Gnome GUI frontend for MLDonkey:
sudo apt-get install mldonkey-gui
sudo apt-get install kmldonkey

Opentracker (Torrent tracker)

Opentracker is the most widely used torrent tracker software. It can be used within a private organisation or as a public service to track freely-available torrents. Download (through CVS) and installation instructions are at the website.

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