Skip to content

Click on each book below to review & buy on Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

LPI Linux Essentials Exam 010-160 - Topic 1.2 - Desktop Applications

Major open-source desktop applications, provide cost-effective alternatives to their proprietary counterparts. These applications benefit from ongoing development and support by active user and developer communities.

Office Applications

Office applications are essential for various office tasks, including word processing, spreadsheet calculations, and presentations. The primary open-source office suites are:

Apache OpenOffice (formerly

Apache OpenOffice, formerly known as, is a comprehensive office suite offering the following applications:

  • Writer: Word processing tool.
  • Calc: Spreadsheet program.
  • Impress: Presentation software.
  • Draw: Vector graphics editor.
  • Base: Database management tool.
  • Math: Formula editor for mathematical equations.

Apache OpenOffice stands out for its compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats and its ability to function on multiple platforms, making it a cost-effective alternative for office productivity.


LibreOffice, a fork of, shares similar applications and has evolved independently. Its key offerings also include:

  • Writer: Word processing tool.
  • Calc: Spreadsheet program.
  • Impress: Presentation software.
  • Draw: Vector graphics editor.
  • Base: Database management tool.
  • Math: Formula editor for mathematical equations.

LibreOffice is recognized for its active development community, regular updates, and improved compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats.

LibreOffice & Apache OpenOffice Licensing

Both LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are open-source software applications, yet they differ in their licensing terms. LibreOffice operates under the LGPLv3 license, while Apache OpenOffice is licensed under Apache License 2.0. This licensing divergence has a significant impact on their development and compatibility.

The crucial distinction arises from the fact that LibreOffice can readily integrate improvements initiated by Apache OpenOffice. In contrast, Apache OpenOffice lacks the capability to incorporate enhancements from LibreOffice due to licensing restrictions. This pivotal difference, combined with a more vibrant and engaged community of developers, is the primary rationale behind the widespread adoption of LibreOffice as the preferred default office suite in most distributions.


Mozilla Thunderbird, developed by the same non-profit Mozilla Foundation behind Mozilla Firefox, is an open-source email client and news reader. Its features include:

  • Email Management: Thunderbird offers robust email management capabilities with support for multiple accounts, filters, and customizable views.
  • Calendar Integration: It can be enhanced with add-ons for calendar and task management, making it a versatile personal information manager.
  • Add-ons: Thunderbird supports a variety of add-ons and extensions, allowing users to customize their email experience.
  • Security: Thunderbird places a strong emphasis on security and privacy, with regular updates to address vulnerabilities.

Thunderbird is a popular choice for those seeking a reliable and customizable email client.

Web Browsers

Web browsers play a crucial role in enabling internet access, with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox being two of the primary choices:

Google Chrome (based on Chromium)

Google Chrome is a widely used web browser developed by Google. It is based on the open-source Chromium project, which forms the core of the Chrome browser. Here are some key features of Google Chrome:

  • Speed: Google Chrome is known for its fast and responsive web browsing experience. It employs various technologies, such as the V8 JavaScript engine, to optimize performance.
  • Integration: Chrome seamlessly integrates with various Google services and products, including Google Search, Google Drive, and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). This integration provides users with a unified experience across Google's ecosystem.
  • Web Standards: Google Chrome is actively involved in shaping and implementing modern web standards. It often adopts and supports new web technologies, ensuring websites and web applications function correctly.
  • Extensions: Similar to Firefox, Chrome offers a vast library of extensions and add-ons from the Chrome Web Store. These extensions allow users to enhance their browsing experience with additional features and functionalities.
  • Security: Chrome places a strong emphasis on security. It includes features such as automatic updates, sandboxing of individual tabs to prevent security breaches, and Safe Browsing, which warns users about potentially harmful websites.

Chromium, on the other hand, is the open-source project that serves as the foundation for Google Chrome. Chromium provides the source code for Chrome, and many other web browsers are also built upon Chromium. It allows developers to create their customized web browsers or contribute to the development of the Chromium project itself.

Google Chrome and Chromium share many core features, but Chrome includes additional proprietary elements, such as certain codecs and features tied to Google services. Chromium, being open source, lacks these proprietary components.

Google Chrome is a preferred choice for users who appreciate its speed, integration with Google services, and strong support for modern web standards. Meanwhile, Chromium offers a more customizable and community-driven alternative for those who prefer open-source solutions.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox, maintained by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, is a highly regarded open-source web browser known for its user-centric features and commitment to privacy and security. Here are some key features and details about Mozilla Firefox:

  • Speed: Firefox offers swift and efficient browsing performance. It incorporates the powerful Quantum engine, which is designed to deliver fast page loading and smooth navigation.
  • Privacy: Firefox takes user privacy seriously. It provides enhanced privacy settings, including features like Enhanced Tracking Protection, which blocks invasive trackers by default. Additionally, Firefox offers a privacy-focused browsing mode called "Private Browsing" or the privacy focused mobile browser "Firefox Focus."
  • Security: Security is a top priority for Firefox. It regularly receives security updates to address vulnerabilities promptly. Firefox also uses sandboxing to isolate individual tabs, reducing the risk of security breaches.
  • Customization: One of Firefox's strengths is its extensive options for customization. Users can personalize their browsing experience by installing themes and a wide range of extensions from the Firefox Add-ons website. This flexibility allows users to tailor Firefox to their specific needs.
  • Sync: Firefox offers a feature called Firefox Sync, which enables users to synchronize their bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and even open tabs across multiple devices. This feature ensures a seamless browsing experience whether you're on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
  • Open Source: Firefox is an open-source browser, which means its source code is publicly available for inspection and modification. This transparency fosters trust and encourages community involvement in its development.

Mozilla Firefox is a favored choice for users who prioritize privacy, customization, and a commitment to open-source principles in their web browsing experience. It is available on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices.

Mozilla Foundation, the organization behind Firefox, also actively supports various initiatives to promote internet health and privacy, making it a browser with a strong social and ethical mission.


Desktop applications continue to excel in multimedia content creation and editing, particularly for resource-intensive tasks:

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is a robust open-source image editing software suitable for various tasks, including:

  • Image Editing: Tools for cropping, resizing, and advanced editing.
  • Layers: Comprehensive support for complex designs.
  • Filters and Effects: A wide range of creative options.
  • Custom Brushes: The ability to create custom brushes.
  • File Format Support: Compatibility with numerous image file formats.

GIMP serves as a versatile alternative to commercial image editing software.

Other notable multimedia applications include:

  • Blender: A powerful 3D renderer and animation creator.
  • Inkscape: A vector graphics editor utilizing SVG as its default format.
  • Audacity: An audio editor equipped with various effects and format conversion capabilities.
  • ImageMagick: A command-line tool for image conversion and manipulation.

Furthermore, multimedia playback options encompass VLC and alternatives like SMPlayer for video playback, along with Audacious, Banshee, and Amarok for music playback and management.

These open-source desktop applications offer extensive functionality for diverse tasks while benefiting from continuous development and support from dedicated user and developer communities.

Support DTV Linux

Click on each book below to review & buy on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

NordVPN ®: Elevate your online privacy and security. Grab our Special Offer to safeguard your data on public Wi-Fi and secure your devices. I may earn a commission on purchases made through this link.