13 Cool Things to Do with Linux

Last updated: July 19, 2022 | Bobbin Zachariah

Linux is an open-source operating system that allows you to run almost every major web development language available. You don't need to pay for any software installation and you can find everything on the web. It can be installed on minimal hardware and is more stable than Windows.

If you are a beginner for the Linux operating system then you must know the power of Linux. You can do several interesting things with Linux that you can not do with Windows.

In this guide, we show you some awesome things that you can do with Linux.

1. Use Linux Terminal

If you really want to learn Linux then you must know the power of the Linux terminal. You can do everything including, creating and removing file and directory, browsing the web, sending mail, setting up network connection, format partition, and monitoring system performance using the command-line terminal. Compare to other operating systems, Linux gives you a feeling that it is your system and you own it.

Here is some basic command that you should know:

ls : List the content of the current directory.
mkdir : Create a directory.
touch : Create a file.
df -h : Display your system partition with size.
free -m : Display memory usage.
cat : View the content of the file.
cd : Change the directory to another directory.
w : Show you currently login user in your system.

2. Install Latest Updates

After installing Linux, it is recommended to update your system software to the latest version. This will keep you away from unnecessary bugs, add new security features and improve the system performance. You perform software update using the Software & Updates utility.

3. Add Extra Repositories

By default, Linux ships with built-in repositories that can be used to install various software in your system. In some cases, your required software is not included in the built-in repository. Then, you will need to add additional partner repositories for installing extra drivers and software.

Some of the repositories are disabled in some Linux versions then you will need to enable them from the Software & Updates.

You can find them in the following screen:

add repository

4. System Cleanup Command

Regularly cleaning up your system from junk files and unwanted cache is necessary for the smooth functioning of your system.

To clean partial packages, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt autoclean

To cleanup the apt cache, run the following command:

sudo apt clean

To remove the unused packages, run the following command:

sudo apt autoremove

5. Setup Firewall

It is necessary to secure your system from unwanted traffic. So you will need to install firewall software in your system to control the traffic.

For Debian/Ubuntu operating system, you can install gufw graphical firewall package with the following command:

sudo apt install gufw

For RHEL/CentOS/Fedora operating system, you can install firewall-config graphical firewall with the following command:

sudo yum install firewall-config

Ubuntu ships with UFW which is a user-friendly front-end for managing iptables firewall rules.

6. Install Multimedia Codecs

Some multimedia codecs are not pre-installed in most Linux operating systems to play multimedia files such as MP3, MPEG4 and AVI.

For Debian/Ubuntu operating system, you can install them with the following command:

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

For RHEL/CentOS Stream/Fedora operating systems, install all codec with the following command:

sudo yum install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/{free/fedora/rpmfusion-free,nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree}-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
sudo yum install gstreamer1-libav gstreamer1-plugins-ugly unrar compat-ffmpeg28 ffmpeg-libs

7. Install Java

There are many software in Linux that relies on Java. So you should install Java in your system.

For Debian/Ubuntu operating systems, you can install Java with the following command:

apt install default-jdk -y

For CentOS/RHEL/Fedora operating systems, you can install Java with the following command:

yum install java-11-openjdk-devel

8. Customize OS

Linux gives you the freedom to customize everything according to your own needs. Linux has several desktop environments such as, XFCE, KDE, Unity, etc and each has multiple features. So you can try to install each and word around with it. You can compile your own drive and customize it for better performance.

You can also download and install your desired themes, customize icons, change wallpaper, change layouts, create keyboard shortcuts, and add additional functionality in your Linux system.

9. Install Command Line Web Browser

You should install a Lynx web browser in your system for surfing the internet. It is a text-based web browser that runs within a terminal. It is very useful when you are working on a Linux server that doesn’t have a desktop environment. The text-based browser gives better access to encoded information in the page than the graphical interface.

With Lynx, you can access and read emails, surf the google and perform many tasks easily. It also supports for SSL and many features of HTML.

For Debian/Ubuntu operating systems, you can install Lynx with the following command:

sudo apt install lynx

For CentOS/RHEL/Fedora operating systems, you can install Lynx with the following command:

sudo yum install lynx

After installing Lynx, you can browse any website with the following command:

lynx linuxopsys.com

You should see the following screen:


10. Install Command Line Mail Client

We all know the importance of emails in our day-to-day tasks. There are a lot of graphical email clients available for Linux now a day that provides a graphical interface to send and receive emails. However, you will all need to send emails from the command line if you are working on a headless server. In this case, you can install and configure command line email client in your server to send and receive emails.

There are a lot of command line email clients are available for Linux. Among them, Mutt is a small and lightweight email client for Linux operating systems. It offers a rich set of features including, easy to install, color support, IMAP and POP3 support, multiple message tagging and many more.

For Ubuntu/Debian operating systems, you can install Mutt with the following command:

sudo apt install mutt

For CentOS/RHEL/Fedora operating systems, you can install Mutt with the following command:

yum sudo install mutt

After installing Mutt, you will need to configure the SMTP setting in Mutt to send and receive emails.


11. Install Photo Editing Application

GIMP is a free and open-source image editing application for Linux based operating systems. It is an alternative to Photoshop and allows you to do anything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation. You can use it as a simple paint program, photo editing application and a mass production image renderer. You can easily install it using the Software Center in Linux.


12. Install Office Applications

If you are a Microsoft Windows user and want to switch to Linux then you may think about Word Processing software. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are very good alternatives to the Microsoft Office application. LibreOffice allows you to easily read and write Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. LibreOffice allows you to change the default format for saving documents from ODF to the Microsoft Office formats so you can easily exchange documents with Microsoft Office users.

There are many PDF manipulation tools available in Linux such as Master PDF Editor, Okular, Scribus, and PDF Escape that allows you to create, edit, and split multi-page PDF documents.


13. Linux Auto-Complete Feature

If you are a beginner user of Linux then it is difficult to remember a long command, long file names or directories. In this case, you can type the first letter of the filename or command and use the Tab key to autocomplete the filename or command while you are on the command line. You can press the Tab key multiple times after typing the first letter of any command this will display the list of all commands available with the letter you have typed.

You can use the UP and Down arrow keys to toggle between the previous commands. You can also use history command in the terminal to see a list of all commands that you have used before.

You may also install feature-rich zsh shell to improve your command line productivity which supports auto-completion.



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