Where do I find Linux software?

Jack Wallen
Apr 17, 2009
Updated • Dec 28, 2012

If you are a Windows user you most likely know where to get software. You can either go to your local software retailer or you can go to a place like downloads.com. But what if you are searching for Linux software? Where do you go? Is there a one stop shop for all of your software needs? Yes and no. Even though that answer is not a resounding YES! there is a plus side - there are tons of software titles to have with Linux. But without knowing where to look, the downside is you might not even know that software exists.

With that in mind I am going to point out some of the best ways (and places) to find software for the Linux operating system. Some of these might be all too obvious. Some may not. We'll start with the obvious.

Your menu

Package Management

Believe it or not, package management is where Linux blows Windows out of the water. Open up Synaptic and check to see how many pieces of software your distribution holds. In my Elive Compiz distribution Synaptic reports over 23,000 pieces of software available for me to install. And each piece of software is a search away. If you don't know what you are looking for you can click on a category and search around for something that will fit your bill. And you know if that software is in your package management system, it will install with a single click.


I have to admit I am not loving the new freshmeat.net (especially since they got rid of the themes), but it still one of the best places to find software. Freshmeat claims to be the worlds largets open source and cross-platform software repository. And it is. And with Freshmeat you can keep on top of things by subscribing to their RSS feed. This will allow you to know what software has been added or upgraded on a daily basis. The freshmeat search tool is also one of the best you'll find.

Just bring back the themes Freshmeat!


The LinuxSoftware.org site doesn't hold nearly the amount of software as Freshmeat. Nor does this site serve as a repository to hold the software. What is nice about this site is the software is easily categorized and each piece of software has a brief description and a link to the home page of that software. It's simple to use and quick to find a piece of software to fit your needs.

From this same site you can also find distributions as well as books about Linux.


The Linux.org site is similar to LinuxSoftware.org with the addition of Linux news and information about training, people, hardware, vendors, projects, and events. There are also more software categories to choose from on Linux.org.


Did you know that Softpedia has a Linux section? To me this site is just as good as Freshmeat, if not better. A very simple to navigate site that has tons of software. The biggest difference between this site and others is that Softpedia doesn't have the desire to be a primarily open source site. Instead you will find a mixture of prices and licenses.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it. If you can't find it in one of the above methods, then it most likely doesn't exist.


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  1. Oliver Willemse said on April 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Another few good sites:

    SF hosts a LOT of projects, usually you can find the bug trackers and some sort of mailinglist/forum there as well

    Open source software portal, hosts a fair amount of projects.

  2. Mythos said on April 20, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    My favorite (only for Ubuntu) is

  3. votre said on April 18, 2009 at 5:45 am


    re: who cares about Ubuntu

    With an average of 2k downloads per day, quite a few people apparently.

    Now how about doing something constructive – like posting a few links of your own as opposed to trashing the links of somebody who has?

  4. Ollie said on April 18, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Easy up on the hate, there. A lot of people care about Ubuntu. And “Ubuntu apps” (what?) are pretty much just debian binary packages of linux apps, and can serve many users of several debian- or ubuntu-based distributions.

  5. Name said on April 18, 2009 at 1:02 am

    who cares about ubumtu, the article is for linux apps in general, not ubumtu apps

  6. Phillipe said on April 17, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Adding 2 more (for Ubuntu): Getdeb.net (multilang) & Uptodown.com/ubuntu (spanish)

  7. votre said on April 17, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Also don’t overlook these two ‘native’ Linux software sites:



    Both are well-maintained and constantly updated.

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