5 best programming tools to use on linux desktops

For all those just starting with linux, you may be wondering: Why do most programmers use linux as their operating system for their work. Well, what I can tell you from my experience is that in the beginning, it may seem very hard to work on linux, especially do projects etc., but if you continue and strive to learn about linux, you will learn tons of things that will have use in your programming career and discover tons of programming tools and applications which will help you deliver anything you need more efficiently. Here are my opinion on what are top 5 apps to have as a programmer on Linux. Bear in mind that people use whatever they like and what suits them, these are apps that are in my opinion all-round apps…


1) Code::Blocks IDE

If you are a programming competitor, learning algorithms and data structures in C/C++, Code::Blocks is a goto. Beginners tend to use it because it looks the same as in Windows, simple to use. But even more experienced programmers tend to use it sometimes, because of the same reason. It’s really SIMPLE to use. Has a built in debugger, common updates and very beautiful looking IDE. Also, if you didn’t know, all programming competitions include Code::Blocks as a default tool for C/C++ programs, even International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), highest level of competition for all pre-college students.


2) Eclipse

Pretty much, same thing as Code::Blocks, very widely used, but the difference in these two is that Eclipse was built for Java programmers. Later, they added compatibility for C/C++. Very nice looking, elegant, easy to learn and use and very powerful with many interesting options which if you know how to use, your life becomes way easier 🙂


3) Gedit

Everyone, who has ever tried to install linux, or just tried linux knows what gedit is. A very simplistic, but in the same time powerful text editor. It has very nice syntax highliting, various compatibility for different programming languages and of course, wide range of plugins to install. Comes preinstalled on most Linux distros, it is the official text editor for GNOME.


4) Netbeans

Free and in the same time lightweight and easy learning IDE. One of the programmers must have tools. Plus side to it, it is cross platform, which means apps built in Netbeans will run without any problems in MAC OSX and Windows operating systems. Very big collection of plugins along with a well written documentation is all you need in one IDE. Does what it needs to do – stability, compatibility, functionality.

5) Vim

If you have ever heard of Linux text editor Vi. Vim is its extension. Down side to it is that it is hard to learn, but it is worth it. When I just started using Vim I was a bit confused, but it payed off and things that helped me are their tutorials and also, well written documentation as well as the Linux community. It is a very powerful text editor and comes with most linux distros. And if it didn’t come with yours, for any reason, just pop up a terminal window and type in: sudo apt-get install vim full. Yes, it is as simple as that. There are many commands, such as insert, command, ex, visual and those are probably the things you will need to learn first.

And there we come to the end of our list. In this article we will not discuss why Linux is better for development, but I can assure you that Linux has really well written documentations for programs for easier learning and also, very, very powerful text editors which can enhance your programming and help you fulfilling your needs. We just mentioned 2 text editors, but there are many more to explore such as Bluefish, Geany and development tools such as Aptana etc.

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