What to have in your Linux Desktop?

The tools that a Must have on Linux Desktop are

1- Variety

(Automatic desktop wallpaper downloader and customizer), Variety also displays quotes on your desktop along with wallpapers.


2- Cairo dock (shortcut bar to Applications)


3- Shutter (Graphic tool)

Shutter is a graphic tool that can take snapshots, desktop screenshots and edit them or send them to your e-mail.

it’s very powerful and every button on it can be customized with a shortcut by the keyboard. for example if you want to create a shortcut for screen selection (Like the OneNote on Windows) you can simply open the keyboard shortcuts app (mate-keybinding-properties)


Once you have launched the keyboard shortcuts utility, you can customize a new shortcut to take a screenshot for you with Shutter by selection.


You will have to click on Add and create a new shortcut as following


Once you click apply, you can assign the shortcut for this command.

For example, I am using the shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + S


4- Remote Desktop tools

A- NoMachine

NoMachine is a free and very powerful remote desktop utility that works on all Operating systems and supports all kinds of features that are available in other remote desktop utlities like (Radmin, Teamviewer, RDP).


5- OneDrive for Linux.


Install onedrive-d on Linux

While onedrive-d was originally developed for Ubuntu/Debian, it now supports CentOS/Fedora/RHEL as well.

Installation is as easy as typing the following.

$ git clone https://github.com/xybu92/onedrive-d.git

$ cd onedrive-d

$ ./inst install

First-Time Configuration

After installation, you need to go through one-time configuration which involves granting onedrive-d read/write access to your OneDrive account.

First, create a local folder which will be used to sync against a remote OneDrive account.

$ mkdir ~/onedrive

Then run the following command to start the first-time configuration.

$ onedrive-d

It will pop up a onedrive-d’s Settings window as shown below. In “Location” option, choose the local folder you created earlier. In “Authentication” option, you will see “You have not authenticated OneDrive-d yet” message. Now click on “Connect to OneDrive.com” box.


It will pop up a new window asking you to sign in to OneDrive.com.


After logging in to OneDrive.com, you will be asked to grant access to onedrive-d. Choose “Yes”.


Coming back to the Settings window, you will see that the previous status has changed to “You have connected to OneDrive.com”. Click on “OK” to finish.


Sync a Local Folder with OneDrive

There are two ways to sync a local folder with your OneDrive storage by using onedrive-d.

One way is to sync with OneDrive manually from the command line. That is, whenever you want to sync a local folder against your OneDrive account, simply run:

$ onedrive-d

onedrive-d will then scan the content of both a local folder and a OneDrive account, and make the two in sync. This means either uploading newly added files in a local folder, or downloading newly found files from a remote OneDrive account. If you remove any file from a local folder, the corresponding file will automatically be deleted from a OneDrive account after sync. The same thing will happen in the reverse direction as well.

Once sync is completed, you can kill the foreground-running onedrive-d process by pressing Ctrl+C.


Another way is to run onedrive-d as an always-on daemon which launches automatically upon start. In that case, the background daemon will monitor both the local folder and OneDrive account, to keep them in sync. For that, simply add onedrive-d to the auto-start program list of your desktop.

When onedrive-d daemon is running in the background, you will see OneDrive icon in the desktop status bar as shown below. Whenever sync update is triggered, you will see a desktop notification.


6- Evolution Email Client for Exchange accounts.

If you ever thought of using an e-mail client that supports your account on Microsoft Exchange Email server’s protocol which is known as (RPC over HTTP) then you have probably used Mozilla thunderbird or kmail, geary..etc but all those clients don’t support Exchange’s most flexible connectivity which is RPC over HTTP that will sync all your emails, contacts, tasks, calendars ..etc

To Install evolution, all you have to do is open Linux Terminal and type the following

Sudo apt-get install evolution


Since I already have Evolution installed it won’t proceed and will tell me that it’s already installed. but that’s not all!

In order to setup an Exchange account on Evolution you will have to install an Evolution plugin that will support the web services for the RPC over http connectivity which is known as (EWS = Exchange Web Services).

In order to install this plugin you will have to type the following command

Sudo apt-get install Evolution-ews


Once you install the plugin, you can launch the program and setup your account as following.

Click on Add as in the picture


When you click add you should be welcomed by a message saying “Welcome to Evolution wizard ..etd”

Click Continue and then type in your name and email address in the next window

You can skip the automatic configuration as Evolution still doesn’t support Exchange Autodiscover mechanism for auto configuration of the account. so you must manually provide all the configuration of your exchange as following


In the host URL you will have to provide your Exchange server’s EWS URL which usually looks like this


In my case I am using an Office 365 account so instead I’ll use Microsoft’s EWS url.


For the OAB (Offline Address Book) you also need to provide the configured URL of the OAB on your Exchange Server. which in my case again it’s Microsoft Office 365.


you will need to make sure that the correct authentication method is set (NTLM) in my case, this can vary though on Exchange server’s Outlook Anywhere configuration. it can be Basic as well. so it’s up to your configuration to choose but for Office 365 it’s NTLM.


Once you finish the configuration you can continue and you’ll get prompted to enter your Credentials. as soon as you finish typing your Password hit enter and your e-mails will start syncing. as in the following snapshot


That’s it, you’re setup here either if it’s an exchange on-premises or Office 365 for Linux desktop client.

Here’s another guide for the new mapi connectivity for Evolution, probably the same steps


7- For Office (Word, Powerpoint ..etc) I prefer to use Kingsoft’s community version along with LibreOffice

Since Libre office provide more tools or the full package I still use it on Linux but Kingsoft’s WPS tools have a user friendly and rich of tools GUI.


In order to download WPS software you will have to navigate to the link below and download the suitable version with your Linux OS. or use the terminal to download latest available version with the following command

sudo apt-get install wps-office


8- For media there are various available software and tools that you can use on Linux to either listen to music or edit mp3s or convert media types.

A- Audacity (Convert and Edit audio files).

B- Spotify (listen to music online)

C- Clementine (Listen to Music on your computer)

D- VLC (Watch Videos on your PC) or use it as a streaming server.

There are other useful tools and things to do on Linux OS as it’s a very flexible and customizable OS but I’ll end this article here and write a new one about how to decorate your welcome screen and your desktop with beautiful pictures and tools.

Hope you find this useful

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