Chapter 5. Quick guide to default applications

Table of Contents



GIMP, an advanced picture editor. You can use it to edit, enhance, and retouch photos and scans, create drawings, and make your own images. Read more at the GIMP website.

Ristretto is an image viewer designed to be very light on resources. More information can be found in the Ristretto online documentation.

Simple Scan is an easy-to-use scan utility designed to do simple tasks like scanning to email or directly to PDF. Read more at the Simple Scan website.


Firefox is a mature and stable web browser which can be extended with a wide variety of available add-ins. Read more on Firefox's online help.

Thunderbird is a versatile mail client which can handle multiple email accounts and different identities simultaneously. Like Firefox, it can also be enhanced with add-ins to customize its appearance and extend its functionality. If you are migrating from another mail program, Thunderbird allows importing your emails and address books. In Thunderbird, navigate to ToolsImport to start the Import assistant. Read more on the Thunderbird Support page.

Pidgin is the default instant messaging client capable of handling MSN, XMPP (Google Talk, Facebook) and more. Read more from Using Pidgin at the Pidgin online help.


gmusicbrowser has been provided as your basic audio player. Read more at the section called “Listening to music” and on the gmusicbrowser user guide.

Parole is a simple media player that can play video and audio files. More information can be found in the Parole online documentation.


It will be necessary to install xubuntu-restricted-extras in order to play proprietary media formats like e.g. MP3.

PulseAudio Volume Control is the way to control the different sound sources to their destination. Read more at the PulseAudio website.

Xfburn is the chosen program for creating your CDs and DVDs.

To read more about media in Xubuntu, refer to Chapter 6, Media applications.


AbiWord has been provided as a lightweight but very capable word processor. Remember to save into the correct format if you are planning to share documents with others.

Gnumeric is a spreadsheet editor and the perfect light companion for AbiWord.


If you prefer the LibreOffice suite over these default applications, you can install it from the repositories as well as remove AbiWord and Gnumeric if desired. We do not suggest directly installing the downloads offered by The Document Foundation as they lack Ubuntu-specific patches and polish available from repositories.

Dictionary provides an easy way to access a number of different dictionaries across the internet. Read more at the Xfce4 Dictionary online help.

Document Viewer is a PDF reader.

Orage has been designed to be a simple but effective calendar application to keep track of your appointments and trigger alarms. Read more at the Orage website.


Gigolo is an easy way to connect to local and remote file systems. Read more at the Gigolo website.

Task Manager provides a graphical overview of running applications. More information can be found in the Task Manager online documenatation.