Popular Linux Development Software

Popular Linux Development Software

Software developers use a lot of different tools and methods for their hacking. And by hacking, I mean real, good and legitimate hacking. Real coding for real purposes.

I thought I’d show you just some of the more popular tools and software applications that Linux software developers and hackers use.

When I first started dabbling with code and software development, I used nothing more than a text editor for all my work. But the more I got involved, I quickly began to understand why it is necessary to use a more advanced, focused and generally more suited tool for the job.


Emacs is every developers essential piece of software. And something that we just can’t live without. At first glance, Emacs can look like nothing more than just another text editor. But all its goodness and advanced usage are all hidden away in the menus. Emacs can literally be used for anything and all things development and code. It is whatever you want it to be. Heck, it even comes with a built in command-line shell, calculator and a few time-wasting games for when you need a break from all that coding.

There is a reason that Emacs has been around since the mid-1970’s and another reason it has reached version 23.4. It might be for the more advanced users out there, but if you’re still learning software development it might be worth checking out what Emacs is all about and what serious Linux developers use.

A popular alternative is the command-line driven vi, which has also been around since the mid-1970’s. But as I don’t use and know not much about vi, I’ll let you do your own research on it. A Google search will bring up plenty of information about vi.


If Emacs is not your personal preference, then you might feel a little more comfortable using an IDE like Geany. Geany is a simple and clean interface with provides a nice environment that makes you feel right at home and in control but without overwhelming the developer with features and functions.

Neat and handy features that you might find useful are the built in command-line shell environment and a scratch pad for all those little ideas you might have floating around in your brain.


Code::Blocks is of those software applications that remains popular among its loyal user-base, but for some odd reason not a lot of mainstream Linux distributions ship it in their repositories. It can be downloaded from the official home website but only Debian packages are provided. But a quick Google search for Code::Blocks and your distribution name might bring up some positive results.

Once installed, Code::Blocks’ interface might intimidate first-time users a little as the layout is a little more ‘messy’ in comparison to Geany and other applications. But its functions are great. A few notable features are the built-in scripting console, debugger and inside application compiler support. There a lot of stuff in Code::Blocks and it can all be configured to suit any sort of developers preferences.


Anjuta is a popular package and is usually found in most Linux distribution repositories. Anjuta is a little more on the simple side when it comes to IDE’s. Its interface is clean and lean. Anjuta acts sort of like a Project Manager for your development. Development language support may be a little more limited in comparison to the aforementioned packages, but what Anjuta does, it does well. I remember Anjuta was the first IDE that I started using many years ago.

The simpleness of Anjuta may not be for everyone, but simple is how some developers like it. So you may find it works for you. If not, there’s plenty of other options.


My final example is not what you might consider a package built for software development. In truth, it is not. It is built and designed for web development. But the reason I am adding it in to this article is because of its feature set that can be used in addition to other packages. ie. Emacs.

Personally, I use Emacs+Seamonkey together. I use split window Emacs and have Seamonkey open at the same time. Seamonkey handles your web browsing (built around Firefox and Gecko), includes an email client and also has a web development composer. Whilst coding and working on a project, I also like to keep a HTML development tree of my notes and progress, which is what I use in Seamonkey’s web development composer for. Once you get a work flow happening between all the different windows, it all comes together and you’ll find that you get things done in a much more efficient manner.

It does take time. And what works for one developer may not necessarily work for another. We all have different ideas of what is considered efficient work flow.

Of course, there’s a lot more tools readily available online. And there’s even some tools available that run directly through your browser and require no download and installation of any packages. They may be limited in their functionality and all, but it’s very interesting to see them in action.

Let us know what projects you’re currently working on and what tool(s) you use.

  • DigiFree

    How can you forget KDevelop and Qt Creator. These are the two I most frequently use for bigger projects these days. For smaller hacking Kate is also very nice, it has some awesome plugins for coding.

  • khaine

    Almost the same as saying: “How did you forget Eclipse” of “Vim” or etc. etc. etc.

    It is just a list of some great development tools, it doesn’t say that it covers all, right?If for one use both eclipse and vim for most development. Add in a little bazaar and meld for checking the changes and your done.

  • Wendell Anderson

    What about QT developer, on of the most popular, professional and powerful Development tools used anywhere?

  • Bojan Markovic

    It also does say popular, and than leaves out Eclipse which is probably the no.1 in usage (esp. when spinoffs like Aptana are takein into account) but lists Seamonkey which no one uses.. for development or anything else…

    This post looks like it was written by highschool kid for a project showing off apps he uses or has tried really. If you will list “popular” development tools on a serious site (well at least that’s how I felt for Unixmen until now) at least do your homework.

    Blogs are sometimes worst tech journalism, really. FLOSS blogs doubly so.

  • Arunkumar

    I am using the Komodo Edit, Bluefish for webdev, Eclipse for android, Anjuta for GTK, KDevelop for QT.

  • Chrisjones

    It disappoints me that you didn’t find anything worthy in my article Bojan. I tried to keep the examples I used for this article simple and friendly and which could be used for either new developers or seasoned developers.

    And I did explain my reasons for adding Seamonkey to the list. I use it. And I am aware of fellow developers using it also, so it is being used by developers. I’m sorry that it doesn’t work for you.

    Hopefully, you’ll find something more interesting in my future articles.

  • Bojan Markovic

    I’m sorry for being an arrogant asshole in my first post — it was a bad day and I was pissed off and then for some stupid reason vented out on your post.

    That said, really, your post is very disinformatively titled (which is why I consider it bad journalism). It’s ok to list tools you like, but then name the post something like “My selection of Linux developer tools” or something like that. But if you are going to list “popular” tools, then do research and see which are the widely most popular tools. 

    And I’m really certain that Seamonkey is not among them, Firefox+Firebug maybe, but certainly not Seamonkey whereas Eclipse would then certainly top the list. Most developers in FLOSS word use it for their daily development (not just Java devs but web developers, python developers etc.). It’s probably the second most popular IDE globally, right after MS Visual Studio.
    Also, I’d personally consider Vi/Emacs etc. to form a common category of “text editors” together with Sublime Text, Kate, Gedit, nano, mined and bunch of other tools all being equally successfully used for development as Vim or Emacs. i,e, apart from personal preference — why single out Emacs. I’m pretty sure nano and Gedit now take the lead as quick-hack editors, and Emacs is hardly an IDE, and OTOH, all these tools provide scripting and automation to nudge them a bit in the IDE direction.Cheers