View Full Version : What's the primary way you discover new programs for Ubuntu?

June 29th, 2008, 05:38 AM
A lot of times on the forums, people mention or try to install a program I've never heard of (Gnome-Do or AWN, for example), and I just want to know what got people interested in even trying these programs in the first place.

"New" here means "new to you." So they could be programs that just appeared or ones that had been around for a long time but you just didn't know about.

"Primary" means the main method. Obviously, for a lot of people, there will be many different avenues for discovering new programs. I'm just curious what the main one is, though, especially since the multiple-select polls here never add up to 100%.

Thanks for participating in this poll!

June 29th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Probably just be reading the forums. Not a very reliable method but so far I have been pleasantly surprised :)

June 29th, 2008, 05:43 AM
Usually via a thread either in these forums, or in the Ars Technica Linux Forum. In both places, I've seen threads along the vein of "Your Fav Application" or "Neat App discovered on the web".

Occasionally I have found something that looks interesting on other sites, such as GetDeb, or Gnome-Look.

About the only other way would be in a thread requesting "Linux Version of Windows App "XXX"" where there are usually several recommendations.

June 29th, 2008, 05:44 AM
i mostly use "apt-cache search" for specific queries and the add/remove applications program for a more general search, which is a nicer interface for searching than synaptic in my opinion and has the popularity ranking.

sometimes also from the forums and ocassionally from other distros.

Bakon Jarser
June 29th, 2008, 05:45 AM
I usually browse through the forums to find some choices and end up trying out a few different programs. But this time around I installed Ubuntu Ultimate which comes with a ton of pre-installed software. I've found a few really good programs because of it.

June 29th, 2008, 05:48 AM
Forums, mainly. One could browse through synaptic searching for anything that looks 'interesting' but, honestly, package descriptions aren't always helpful, and the names can be confusing sometimes.

I mean... xcompmgr? screen? skippy? (gotta love skippy :p) I'll usually google for something that does something, then I get names. And then I browse forums looking for a description of what those names mean.

June 29th, 2008, 05:54 AM
- Forums

- blogs

- getdeb.net

June 29th, 2008, 06:34 AM
Hard to choose between searching repositories (apt-cache search, non of this "GUI" stuff) and hearing about it on forum.

I'll give the forum the credit :-)

June 29th, 2008, 07:13 AM
RSS feeds to see what's new from:


June 29th, 2008, 07:39 AM
all of the above, I didn't vote, because I find out from all of the sources pretty much equally, except the book one, I don't have ubuntu books.

June 29th, 2008, 08:40 AM
Forum here, primarily. I've done quite a lot of scouring the repositories, but by far the ones I tend to stick with the most come from user recommendations. I actually love the thread, Cool applications you use that others might not know of. (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=382137&highlight=cool+programs)

June 29th, 2008, 08:49 AM
I marked other, because my main way of discovering new software is by just by accidentally tripping over it somehow. If somehow its not an Ubuntu binary (.deb), I just create one myself (though usually messy).

chucky chuckaluck
June 29th, 2008, 08:54 AM
i have always view synaptic as a menu. otherwise, i discover stuff by stumbling into it in a variety of ways.

June 29th, 2008, 08:56 AM


June 29th, 2008, 09:54 AM
More or less an even distribution between searching for something in the Arch repos (pacman -Ss [insert vague adjective]) and looking through the suggestions, seeing something mentioned here or the Arch forums, reading linux.com articles, or finding it by accident when searching on Google for something completely different :)

June 29th, 2008, 10:18 AM
I don't really tend to go looking for new things just to try out, but if there's something new that I want to do that I think there might be an existing program for, if it's something where I expect there to be numerous candidates of varying quality, I'll use the Add/Remove menu so that I can see the popularity rating, since this is usually a decent guide to what order to try the various options out in. But if it's something more specialised, Google is usually my first port of call.

Otherwise, I don't really "discover" something new unless it's big enough news that I've heard about it frequently from multiple sources (last time this happened was compiz I think), in which case it's hard to say by which means I discovered it.