Latest Software Reviews/4
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- DeepinDeepin is a Debian-based Linux operating system from Chinese Wuhan Deepin Technology Corporation featuring a unique and very user-friendly desktop environment called "Deepin Desktop Environment". It comes with a wide range of easy to use applications written specially for it's Deepin Desktop Environment in C++ using Qt and the "Deepin Tool Kit" (DTK). Deepin is very easy to install, it is easy to use and it comes with everything you need to do most tasks you would want to do on a desktop or laptop computer.
- KontrastKontrast is a really simple program that will show you some example text and two color selectors that let you choose a text font color and a background color. Kontrast will give the colors you have selected a "Contrast ratio" score and tell you if they are "Perfect for normal and large text" or "Bad for large and normal text". And that's it.
- TLPTLP is a simple yet advanced power management script/utility for GNU/Linux that will adjust a lot of power-related settings when certain events like when AC power being disconnected or connected. It does not do any dynamic adjustments depending on system load or battery state or anything like that, it only applies settings on boot and when other clearly defined events take place. It does not have any GUI and it is not for novices. Power users may find it to be a useful tool.
- MSI KombustorMSI Kombustor is a GPU stress test and not really benchmarking application created by Furmark on the behest of Taiwanese Micro-Star International. MSI Kombustor can render a variety of scenes using either OpenGL or Vulkan and show how many FPS those scenes are rendered with. It may be useful as a GPU stress testing tool. It is not very useful for GPU benchmarking. There is no way to make it run through all the scenes it can render and produce a overall score (there is a Bench button that lets you benchmark individual scenes).
- GeekbenchGeekbench 5 is a cross-platform CPU benchmarking application that tests single and multi-core CPU performance. The Linux version will run in a terminal and output some information about the system and the name of the benchmarks it runs and finish off by printing a link to a web page where results can be viewed. It is not exactly exciting to watch.
- HowdyHowdy is a free facial recognition package that makes GNU/Linux systems capable of "Windows Helo" style authentication by showing your face to a web camera. Howdy provides a PAM module for the Linux PAM authentication system. That allows it to be used with common login managers like SDDM for KDE Plasma and LightDM for Xfce and others. It can also be used for things like
sudoand anything else using PAM authentication.
- FlatpakFlatpak is a distribution-independent package management tool for Linux from Sweden which can be used in addition or as a substitute for Linux-distribution specific package managers like apt or rpm. It was created by Swedish developer Alex Larsson using the C programming language in 2015.
- Qutebrowserqutebrowser is a minimalistic Vim-style keyboard-focused web browser written in Python and PyQt5. It can use either QtWebEngine or WebKit to do web page rendering. You will probably love it if you want a keyboard-navigated web browser with Vim-style keys and you will probably hate it if you want a web browser you can navigate using a mouse.
- Speech-dispatcherSpeech-dispatcher is a system daemon that allows programs to use one of the installed speech synthesizer programs to produce audio from text input as long as it has a special module or a configuration file for the speech synthesizer programs you want to use. It sits a a layer between programs that would like to turn text into speech and programs who actually do that.
- KMouthKMouth is a simple speech synthesizer front-end built using the KDE framework libraries. It is a very simple program with an input field where you can type what you would like it to say and a fine Speak button that makes it read the text you typed in out loud.
- FestivalFestival is a text to speech engine developed by the British at the Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR) division at the University of Edinburgh. It sounds very robot-like. The speech it creates is understandable but it is not anything remotely close human-sounding. It works, and it can be used for text to speech, but it is not the best free software alternative.
- GNU IceCatThe GNU IceCat web browser is a re-branded Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release version with slightly different more privacy-respecting defaults, different graphics and branding, some additionally really strange bugs and a hand-full of bundled extensions meant to provide more end-user freedom. The practical result of those extensions is a close to useless browser which is not suitable for most people. IceCat can be configured to be a somewhat usable privacy-respecting web browser given some time and effort even it if by default does not provide anything remotely resembling a good user-experience.
- NeoGFXNeoGFX is a dual-licensed C++ game engine, GUI toolkit and development platform. It supports developing games using OpenGL on the Windows platform. Support for OpenGL and Vulkan on the Linux platform is planned and scheduled for Q4 2021. NeoGFX has been in development since June 20th, 2015.
- Rdnssdrdnssd, available has part of the ndisc6 (ICMPv6 Neighbor Discovery tool) package, is a very small daemon that will listen for Recursive DNS Server (RDNSS) advertisements on IPv6 networks and automatically configure the system to use those by adding entries to
/etc/resolv.conf. It is useful on local networks where IPv6 is handled using stateless autoconfiguration using something like the radvd Router Advertisement Daemon.
- MuninMunin is a pluggable system monitoring suite capable of monitoring system load, network load, applications and much more on servers, routers and other gear. It is written by the Norwegians in Perl. Munin consists of two specialized programs:
munin-nodecollects information from local or remote servers and the
munintool generates a web page with nice graphs of everything monitored by
munin-nodeusing RRDtool. A running web server is required to view the graphs.
- Pngquantpngquant is a handy command-line utility for PNG images capable of reducing the file size to a fraction of the original using lossy compression. It can optionally do Floyd-Steinberg dithering to reduce the palette, further reducing the file size. PNG files processed by pngquant are typically between half and a third of the original image files size.
- ImageMagickImageMagick is a cross-platform suite of libraries, command-line tools and GUI tools for converting, creating, modifying and displaying digital image files. Several of the tools, like
convert, are very handy if you need to convert, resize or otherwise modify an image or ten in a terminal. ImageMagick supports pretty much all the image formats, if it is a image file and you need to do something with it then ImageMagick will much likely be able to get the job done.
- PlymouthPlymouth is the most commonly used bootsplash program on Linux systems. It supports showing background images, animations and effects during the boot process. Graphics are drawn using either Direct Rendering Manager or Kernel Mode-Setting framebuffer drivers. Plymouth and the theme files are packed into the
initrdimage. There are hundreds of themes to choose between even though GNU/Linux distributions tend to only come with one or two.
- MiniupnpdMiniupnpd is a internet gateway daemon that lets clients on a local network request ports to be forwarded to them using the UPnP and NatPMP standards. It is very small, it uses almost no memory and it can be configured to be more secure than most of the alternatives.
- JellyfinJellyfin is a free software multimedia server for managing and streaming audio and video collections. You can install it on a NAS server or a desktop computer and stream audio and video files to tablets, phones, smart televisions and other devices. Available media files on the server are indexed and browsable in its interface. On the fly video transcoding using hardware acceleration is supported. There are several Android apps available. The Jellyfin server is available for Linux, Windows and macOS.
- Zstdzstd (or Zstandard) is a compression tool and algorithm offering both really fast compression at low compression ratios and decently fast compression speeds at high compression ratios. zstd decompression is very fast regardless of how high compression ratio was used.
- KonquerorKonqueror is a web browser, file manager and document viewer that used to be at the heart of the KDE desktop environment. It has been neglected and unmaintained for years as of 2020 (a bit like this website's MediaWiki software, which looks like a Wikipedia page from 2013). It is practically useless as a web browser, alright as a file manager and kind of pointless as a document viewer.
- Exiv2exiv2 is a console image metadata viewer and editor capable of reading, writing and manipulating Exif, IPTC and XMP metadata. It supports all the common image formats such as jpeg, exv, cr2, crw, tiff, webm, png, bmp and many more. It is also available as a C++ library you can use to easily provide metadata-editing capabilities to any free software program. exiv2 is a great go-to Swiss army knife type tool for all image metadata manipulation.
- Ytopytop is a system monitoring program for consoles written in Rust. It provides nice graphs over CPU usage, with per-core graphs, memory use and network use. It will also show current temperatures using available lm_sensors data, disk use and a simple process list. ytop is not a process list manager like htop and top, there is a process list but it is just a small part of the window and sorting it or using it to kill processes is not very easy and there is no functionality for re-nicing processes. ytop focuses on showing you nice graphs over CPU, memory and network use as well as other real-time information about the system, it is not very good as a process manager. It is a nice addition to htop or top, not a replacement for those programs.
- GNOME System MonitorGNOME System Monitor (
gnome-system-monitor) is a simple task manager and process monitor made for the GNOME desktop environment. It can show a list of processes, graphs showing CPU, memory and network usage and mounted file systems. It lacks any support for showing I/O load, GPU load, temperatures or anything else beyond the very basics.
- Xfce Task ManagerThe Xfce Task Manager (
xfce4-taskmanager) is a task manager and system monitoring program made with the Xfce desktop environment in mind. It has a simple list of running processes and two simple non-resizable graphics showing CPU and memory usage at the windows top area. It can show all processes as either a list or a tree by changing a configuration option. It does not have any functionality for showing network utilization, disk I/O or anything else beyond a plain process list and CPU and memory graphs.
- KDE System MonitorThe KDE System Monitor (
ksysguard) is a task manager and system monitoring program made with the KDE Plasma desktop environment in mind. It has two default tabs for showing a process list and system load graphs by default. Its functionality can be expanded using a wide variety of downloadable plugins.
- Xfwm4Xfwm4 is a optionally compositing window manager for the Xfce desktop environment. It supports themes, configurable keyboard shortcuts, placing windows always-above other windows, sticking windows to multiple desktops and it has configurable compositing support that can be turned on or off.
- MoneroMonero is a decentralized payment network with a digital currency (XMR). It provides a very high degree of user privacy. It has a obfuscated blockchain which makes it very hard to tell the source, destination or amount of any given transaction.
- XMRigXMRig is a crypto currency mining program for crypto currencies like Monero (XMR). Many anti-virus scanners consider it to be malware. If you have found it on your system and you are wondering what it is malware then it is likely a part of a malware infection. Xmrig supports mining using the RandomX, CryptoNight, AstroBWT and Argon2 algorithms. It can mine using both the CPU and the GPU depending on what algorithms is used.