Now that I am running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, I have had the chance to test a number of Google technologies on my desktop. There are a number of Google products available for Linux, and there are several packages available for Ubuntu. Since I use so many Google services, it is extremely useful to have Google applications for my desktop.
Some of the Google programs that I use:
1. Google Desktop for Linux
Google Desktop for Linux includes a program that archives just about all the data on your computer — from individual files to Gmail emails, and can be accessed by a quick double “Ctrl” click, which displays a search box. Did I mention you can even surf the web?
2. Google Gadgets for Linux
Typically, Google Desktop also installs the Google Gadgets feature, but for the Linux version was not developed until very recently. The source tarball available has been turned into a .deb package, and can be run on your desktop. There are hundreds of “gadgets” available. I am currently using both the clock applet and the Google News applet.
3. Google Gears – for Google Docs
Google Gears installs itself through the web browser (in this case Firefox 3) and allows me to work with Google Docs offline. It saves any documents you are working on offline, and then syncronizes the updates you have made to your Google Docs account. It has the option of automatically installing an icon link to your desktop, which I promply dragged to the “office” section under my menu editor. Then, I added the application to my panel for quick access.
4. Google Toolbar for Firefox 3
While the Google Toolbar may sound simple, it can perform a wide variety of tasks. For example, since I use Gmail as my default mail, I have set the toolbar to open a Gmail “Compose” message box whenever I click on an email. I have also set Google Docs to open whenever I open a document online.
If you’re into Google and want to add some Google to your Ubuntu 8.04 desktop, there are plenty of options available. Just seach in Google, and you are bound to find many different solutions for your needs. The ones that I have listed above are released by Google, but there are also plenty of third-party applications that you can use as well, such as CheckGmail.