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My 10 Favourite Free/Open Source Applications

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Software

IT is easy, if you are a Microsoft Windows user, to get tied-in to certain applications.

Music lovers seem drawn toward iTunes, businessmen and women cannot live without their Microsoft Office, artists and photographers gravitate toward Adobe's products.

And everyone, but everyone, absolutely has to have at least one up-to-date security application running – and preferably lots more, given Windows' notorious security issues.

But what about Linux and Free/Open Source users?

Anyway, here's my list of must-have applications:

VirtualBox – My first experiences of the benefits of virtualisation came when I was fortunate enough to acquire a full copy of Vmware Workstation 5.5 through my newspaper column. I still have it, although I have stopped using it in favour of VirtualBox. Wherever possible, I download VirtualBox from my distribution's repository – configuration and dependencies are handled automatically that way - but I have also downloaded distribution-specific versions and installed them 'by hand'. VirtualBox is a wonderfully simple application for a wonderfully complex concept – running one operating system from within another. It allows me to test Linux distributions without always having to re-format my hard drive partitions (although that is still the preferred method, in the interests of authenticity). I test an awful lot of distributions, so I would have to say VirtualBox is my favourite Open Source tool.

Leafpad/Mousepad –

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