Essential Free Linux Applications for Students

There are a thousand and one applications out there that are important for everyday computing but not all of them are essential, especially not across all facets of work and study e.g. software development, medicine, data mining, film making, music production, etc.

Today, I bring you a list of applications that are absolutely necessary for every student to have. Be on the lookout for your favorite.

1. TexMaker

Texmaker is a free and open-source LaTex editor with advanced document creation and editing features available for Linux, Windows, and macOS computers. Its features include an integrated PDF viewer, error handling, fast navigation with its tree structure view, code completion and folding, spell checker, etc.

2. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a powerful open-source text editing application developed and maintained by Microsoft for beginner and pro developers alike. Every student needs a dedicated application capable of handling text files and VS Code is the definition of one app fits all since it is capable of handling all text files from the simplest of .txt documents to the source code of fully developed source code.

3. Laverna

Laverna is a modern, open-source, privacy-focused Markdown and to-do list note-taking application with a beautiful UI and markdown support. Its features include cloud synchronization, code highlighting, keybindings support, a distraction-free mode, and availability on all desktop computing platforms.

4. SciLab

SciLab is one of the software for any type of numerical computation available for macOS, Linux, and Windows Operating Systems. It features a well-organized User Interface with easy-to-access controls, comprehensive tutorials, and it is open-source.

5. Mendeley / Zotero

Mendeley is a professional platform for collaborating with people working on research projects as well as for organizing and sharing research papers publicly and privately. It works in conjunction with LibreOffice and OpenOffice to enable users to create bibliographies that are intelligently embedded in their documents and it supports import and export of data from multiple sources without losing organization.

If you want something other than Mendeley, Zotero is another excellent option. It is free and open-source, easy-to-use for collecting, organizing, sharing, and citing research work. It also has a well-organized User Interface convenient for collaborating, creating quick bibliographies, and syncing data across devices.

6. GeoGebra

GeoGebra is an awesome interactive application for learning algebra, geometry, statistics and calculus from the comfort of your personal computer. Its platform has learning resources suitable for all levels ranging from primary school to university topics and it does all this within a consistently responsive UI/UX.

7. GoldenDict

GoldenDict is a free and open-source project that aims to provide users with the perfect dictionary lookup software. Among its ton of features is support for looking up pronunciations with audio from forvo.com, availability for virtually all desktop computing platforms and Android devices, ability to use external programs for audio playback, support for multiple dictionary file formats complete with images, etc.

8. Your Favorite BackUp Application

There are too many good backup applications out there for me to pick just one and you probably already use one of them seeing as almost everybody needs at least one provision for backups in their life.

My favorite picks include Rsync, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and TimeShift. Just remember to consider your backup needs such as how often you want to make backups, your data limit, and the type & size of your backups when choosing your pick.

9. BitWarden / Buttercup

BitWarden is an open-source password manager for conveniently generating unique passwords and it is available for both desktop and mobile platforms for free. Apart from generating and storing passwords, you can use it to safeguard your digital documents, credit & debit card details, key log data, etc.

Buttercup is an excellent open-source alternative to BitWarden. It is free and beautifully designed for easy credentials, documents, and password storing and recollection with a strong emphasis on privacy. Just like BitWarden, it has an autofill function and is also available for mobile devices.

10. MindMaster

MindMaster is a beautifully designed modern mind mapping software for any type of diagrams and charts including network diagrams, flowcharts, 3D maps, graphs, and floor plans, to mention a few. You can also use it for brainstorming ideas remotely and collaborating with others on projects online across devices.

There are other applications such as chemistry, maths, and physics-specific software, complex calculations apps, stargazing apps, etc. but I’ll let you be the ones to add those. Did you see any of your favorites on my list? Drop your two cents in the discussion section below.

Divine Okoi

I am a graphic designer and web developer with a passion for the open source community. I am also thrilled by the latest world technologies and have made it a pleasurable duty to share my experience with you.