10 Best Tools to Install on Fresh Linux Mint Installation

So, you have just installed a fresh copy of Linux Mint 20 or Linux Mint 21 and are ready to make the most of your new system. How do you move forward?

In this guide, we will highlight some of the useful tools to consider installing that will enhance your user experience in Linux Mint.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list of the tools you need to install, but a collection of some of the most popular tools that will considerably enhance your experience.

1. VLC Media Player

The VLC media player is a powerful and hugely popular media player that is used by millions around the globe to watch videos, listen to music, and stream online radio.

It’s completely free and open-source and provides support for a wide range of media formats including AVI, MP4, FLV, WAV, TS, MP3, FLAC, DV-Audio, and AAC to mention a few.

With VLC, you can play everything: local files. CDs and DVDs, webcam footage, and online streams. Additionally, you can easily customize VLC with a wide variety of skins as well as install plugins for added functionality.

VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player

VLC offers a neat and intuitive UI which is exactly what a media player should do to avoid spending so much time finding your way around.

Install VLC in Linux Mint

To install VLC, use the following apt package manager as shown.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install vlc

2. Skype

If staying in touch with your family and friends via chats and video calls is a priority, then Skype is an essential application that you should consider installing.

Skype is a proprietary video conferencing and video telephony tool that allows you to make high-quality audio and HD video calls. Additionally, you can have smart chats that provide emojis and reactions to chats.

Additionally, you can record Skype calls to preserve sentimental and fun moments with family and loved ones.

Skype for Linux Mint
Skype for Linux Mint

You can share your holiday photos, and videos, and even share anything on your screen thanks to integrated screen sharing.

Install Skype in Linux Mint

To install Skype, use the following wget and dpkg commands as shown.

$ wget https://go.skype.com/skypeforlinux-64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64.deb

3. Teamviewer

TeamViewer is a fast, intuitive, and easy-to-use remote access and control software application that is primarily used to provide remote support to users on an adhoc basis.

With Teamviewer, you can securely take over control of a remote user’s desktop over the internet and provide much-needed support regardless of their location and time.

The traffic initiated by Teamviewer is encrypted using RSA public/private key authentication and AES (256) encryption standard. The encryption is safe and you can rest assured that your connection is private and not being eavesdropped on.

TeamViewer for Linux Mint
TeamViewer for Linux Mint

If you are in technical support and offer remote technical support to your team members or staff, then Teamviewer is an application that will come in handy.

Install Teamviewer in Linux Mint

wget https://download.teamviewer.com/download/linux/teamviewer_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i teamviewer_amd64.deb


GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation is an incredibly powerful image manipulation or editing tool that brings out the best in your images. If you are a photographer, illustrator, or graphic designer, then this is the ideal tool for you.

GIMP provides a rich set of tools that are key in high-quality image manipulation. You can retouch photos, manipulate hues and saturation, create image composites, render images, and so on. In addition, you get a high-fidelity color quality that can be reproduced across print and digital media.

GIMP for Linux Mint
GIMP for Linux Mint

GIMP is free and open-source. It is highly extensible and can be augmented with plugins and extensions to give it added functionality in image manipulation.

Install GIMP in Linux Mint

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gimp

5. Steam

Developed by Valve Corporation, Steam is a hugely popular online video gaming service that allows users to buy, and play games in a convenient way instead of purchasing physical copies.

You can browse the newest and top-selling games from various genres such as action, adventure, Indie, sports, strategy, racing games, and simulation games to mention a few.

Steam for Linux Mint
Steam for Linux Mint

With Steam, you can also play live games and get updates on upcoming and exciting games that might pique your interest. Most of the games are proprietary, however, you can also find a few free games that you can try out and still have some fun.

Install Steam in Linux Mint

sudo apt update
sudo apt install steam

6. Spotify

Music is food for the soul, so goes the saying. It can lift up your spirits when you are having a rough day or help you relax after a long and busy day or week. Spotify is the world’s leading digital music streaming service that lets you listen to your favorite music and podcasts online.

It is a repository of millions of songs and podcasts from top artists and creators from around the globe. With the Spotify App, you can browse and play all of your favorite songs and daily mix playlists.

Spotify for Linux Mint
Spotify for Linux Mint

Spotify is a premium service with a monthly subscription that goes for between $9.99 to $15.99. Thankfully, there is a free plan that allows you to play music for free in shuffle mode and skip up to 6 tracks every hour.

Install Spotify in Linux Mint

curl -sS https://download.spotify.com/debian/pubkey_5E3C45D7B312C643.gpg | sudo apt-key add - 
echo "deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install spotify-client

7. Visual Studio Code

Developed and maintained by Microsoft, Visual Studio Code is a free and open-source code editor that is designed for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s a lightweight, yet powerful IDE that aims at providing developers with an extensible and feature-rich platform for developing and testing code.

VS Code provides a simple and user-friendly UI that is easily customizable. In addition, it provides impressive integration with third-party plugins which augment functionality. Worth mentioning is the GitHub extension that allows you to browse, edit, and commit your code to a GitHub repository.

VSCode for Linux Mint
VSCode for Linux Mint

VS Code provides impressive language support and you can code in HTML5, CSS3, Python, Java, C, C#, C++, Dart, Lua, Javascript, and TypeScript to mention a few. If you are an app, web developer, or DevOps engineer, then VS Code is your code editor of choice on your Mint installation.

Install Visual Studio Code in Linux Mint

wget -qO- https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | gpg --dearmor > packages.microsoft.gpg
sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 packages.microsoft.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/packages.microsoft.gpg] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/vscode stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install code

8. Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit Reader is a free and feature-packed PDF reader that is comparable to Adobe Acrobat Reader. It’s lightweight and allows you to view and make a few changes to your PDF documents. You can create PDF files from Word documents, create interactive forms, enhance documents with markers and sign them.

Foxit PDF Reader
Foxit PDF Reader

9. Geary Email Client

Geary is a free and open-source email client by the GNOME project. It’s a great alternative to ThunderBird and Evolution and integrates seamlessly with system settings to help you manage your emails.

Geary for Linux Mint
Geary for Linux Mint

It provides an easy-to-use UI and comes with a fully-featured HTML email composer. Geary comes configured with SMTP and IMAP settings for Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. This takes away the tedious task of having to provide the IMAP and SMTP settings for the mail providers.

Install Geary in Linux Mint

sudo apt update
sudo apt install geary

10. Snap

One of the things that put a damper on Mint was the lack of support for snap packages. As you all know, snap is a universal package manager that allows you to install packages as snaps. Snaps are containerized standalone, and dependency-free packages that bundle with the application’s source code, libraries, and dependencies.

Snap allows you to simplify the installation and management of software applications. With Snap enabled on your system, you can seamlessly install software packages in the form of snaps from platforms such as Snapcraft. Snaps auto-update and are considered safe to run. The only drawback is that they gobble up substantial disk space.


And there you have it. We have put together a collection of 10 of the most popular and widely used tools to help you get started and enhance your user experience with Linux Mint.

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James Kiarie
This is James, a certified Linux administrator and a tech enthusiast who loves keeping in touch with emerging trends in the tech world. When I'm not running commands on the terminal, I'm taking listening to some cool music. taking a casual stroll or watching a nice movie.

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  1. It’s important that when you install Steam, you enable Proton support in settings (Compatibility > “Run other titles with” > Proton), else you won’t get Window’s games listed as installable or runnable.

    • That’s cool but I actually use VLC a bit and visual studio is going to be used by me is that I’m a noob. I didn’t find any good info on installing Spotify until this list so to each their own…

  2. Linux Mint 20+ is perfectly able to support snap packages like any other Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux. It’s just that to prevent normal apt packages from surreptitiously triggering the installation of Snap, which is what Ubuntu’s Chrome package has been doing for some time now, snapd has been blocked from being installed by apt.

    Unblocking snapd installation is easy and fully documented, you just need to remove the file /etc/apt/preferences.d/nosnap.pref.

  3. Snap or flatpak is a great idea on paper. I have used a few flatpaks for updates for applications. Too many flatpak apps can fill up an HDD fast. Should have flat apps share libraries that may be already on the Linux system and not install the same library in a sandbox.

    • In my opinion, Snap is an abomination and should be removed from any Linux distro upon installation. After using snap in a lab environment of over 25 dedicated Linux boxen, Snap consistently caused software failures, loopfs issues, and failed software updates. Snap is one of the problems with Ubuntu that has contributed to its downfall. Netplan would be the other nightmare that destroyed the once strong Ubuntu legacy.

      Mint developers did a great job avoiding snap and netplan.

      Maybe it is because I have used Linux exclusively as my desktop and server operating systems for over 25 years, but the list seems a bit uniquely specialized for a particular type of user. I agree with VLC, but the other applications are unusual in any standard build.

      If this list was titled, “What I (the op) like to install…” It would certainly be valid, but the recommendation for general users seems flawed.

      I apologize for any typos or venting of my personal preferences in this rushed response from my phone.


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