Trending November 2023 # 10 Of The Best Launcher Docks For Linux # Suggested December 2023 # Top 13 Popular

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Whether you’re a beginner or a professional system administrator, organizing the Linux desktop can feel challenging at times. Luckily, there are a bunch of launcher docks that make desktop organization easier than ever. Linux docks are simple utilities that allow users to quickly switch between apps, monitor programs, and group frequently used software. We take a look at some of the best launcher docks for Linux in this guide.

1. Latte Dock

Latte Dock is a plasma-based dock that offers an intuitive bar and sleek design. It works with KDE plasmoid, and you may use multiple panels if you want. Some of Latte’s other features include parabolic zoom, auto-hide, background blur, and smooth transparency.

However, since it’s a KDE package, you will need to manually install the dependencies if you’re using a different environment. This can be a big issue for people who are running Linux on older machines.

2. Plank

If you want a beautiful dock but don’t want to install too many dependencies, look no further than Plank. It is a simple yet elegant Linux dock with some excellent features. The design of this launcher panel is very neat. It is also one of the fastest docks you can use.

Moreover, if you’re into development, you can easily extend Plank’s existing features to match your needs. We’ve outlined how to configure Plank in an earlier guide.

3. Polybar

Polybar is a fast and simple-to-use status bar with a plethora of really cool features. You can tweak the bar any way you want without needing to deal with the source code. As of now, Polybar offers system trays, playback controls, desktop panels, keyboard layouts, menu trees, and various load indicators.

Moreover, since Polybar is in active development, new features are being added every day. Overall, Polybar will be highly appreciated by people who like to take full control of their dock panels.

4. Docky

Docky is also quite customizable and enables users to tweak components very easily. However, the development efforts behind this dock seem to have slowed down quite a bit.

5. Dash to Dock

Dash to Dock is a lightweight extension for GNOME. It’s gaining in popularity due to the rising number of Ubuntu users worldwide. The main selling point for this dock is simplicity. Plus, it is without any doubt one of the most customizable launcher docks for Linux. When you install the Dash to Dock extension, it removes the default dash and takes its place. You can then organize the applications as you wish.

However, Dash to Dock is indeed a GNOME extension. Users of different Linux desktop environments may face issues integrating it into their desktop.

6. tint2

tint2 is a minimal dock panel designed for modern Linux desktops. It is a lightweight dock and performs relatively well, even on older hardware. One key benefit of this taskbar is that it works out of the box on most desktop environments. Plus, it’s easy to customize the dock components, such as icons, fonts, and transparency. Some of its other features include multi-monitor integration, running simultaneous panels, and i3wm integration.

7. Cairo Dock

Cairo Dock is certainly one of the most popular docks for Linux. It offers a fast, simple, and productive panel to organize frequently used applications and switch between them. The powerful DBus interface, provided by Cairo, makes it easy to control the dock from other applications. Moreover, users can integrate it with several popular tools, like Pidgin, Thunderbird, KTorrent, Twitter, and Google Translate.

8. DockbarX

DockbarX is a lightweight Linux dock suitable for minimal desktop environments like XFCE. You can either use it as a standalone dock or configure it as an applet for XFCE, Mate, or GNOME desktops. DockbarX also offers a variety of themes to choose from. Overall, it’s a nice open-source launcher dock that runs smoothly on older systems.

9. KSmoothDock

KSmoothDock is yet another KDE-based dock for Linux. It offers some quality features, including an intuitive app menu, several visibility modes, support for drag and drop, and so on. KSmoothDock also supports parabolic zooming and cascading-style menus. However, like most KDE tools, you need to install several dependencies to run this on a different desktop environment.

10. i3status

i3status is a minimal and lightweight dock panel aimed at terminal heavyweights. It works with several bars and panels, including i3bar, dzen2, and xmobar. You can use it to easily create personalized launcher docks for Linux. Moreover, i3status uses only a handful of system calls, making it resource-efficient and fast. Overall, it’s a suitable utility for customization enthusiasts.

Wrapping Up

Linux offers many types of application launchers and dock panels. Standalone docks like Latte or Plank are suitable for beginners. Advanced users can choose from a number of customizable dock panels.

Rubaiat Hossain

Rubaiat is a CS graduate who possesses hands-on experience with Unix Administration, Web Programming, DevOps, and Virtualization. He has a strong passion for enlightening people in open-source technologies.

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The Best Terminal Emulators For Linux

If you’re a fan of Linux, you know the reason it’s awesome: the command line. Though many outsiders view it as only a “hacker tool,” it’s one of the best available tools for any operating system. The Linux shell has the ability to install software, manage your operating system, and basically everything else, but you need a terminal emulator to interact with the command line.

There are many good ones, and picking the right one depends on your needs and how you prefer it to look.

Note: most if not all programs on this list can be found in your distribution’s package repository. Install them by using your package manager.

1. Terminator

For the ultimate multitasker, Terminator (based on the GNOME terminal) could be the unicorn of terminal emulators. Sure, you could just do a split screen, but why bother when Terminator lets you have multiple sessions all in the same window?

This makes it much easier to manage and see. What’s so great is that the possibilities are endless. Easily resize each session to fully customize the screen. This is a completely different experience from the multi-tab support some other emulators use.

For those new to terminal emulators, you might not like the setup. It’s not the easiest to customize until you learn the right keyboard shortcuts. But, if you don’t mind taking the time to learn, it’s well worth the effort.

Troubleshooting tip: If you are unable to type in the Terminal, try these fixes.

2. Kitty

If speed is your priority, look no further than Kitty. It uses GPU (using OpenGL) versus CPU for processing, which makes it perfect for ultra-fast keyboard users. Not only is it incredibly efficient, it works well with older systems, those with fewer resources, or any system where you’re already close to maxing out resources. Unlike terminals using the CPU for processing, there’s less chance of freezing or crashing.

Obviously, performance is front and center with Kitty. You’ll see results almost instantly with minimal latency. The great part is most every performance element is customizable to best fit your needs.

To get things done even faster, just remember the various keyboard shortcuts. You can also map a variety of actions to different key combos to further customize how you use this terminal emulator.

3. Guake

Guake is a Quake-inspired and designed for those who love to customize their terminal. The drop-down Linux terminal lets you multitask with both split and multi-tab views.

You can start Guake at launch along with a script that automatically configures your layout – at least until the save session option is added. With over 130 color palette layouts, full control over choosing keyboard shortcuts, and simple hotkey start and hide, it’s a powerful terminal that’s surprisingly lightweight.

It works extremely well with multiple monitors too. If you prefer having the terminal automatically load on one monitor over another, you can set it to do that.

The top-down design is made specifically for the GNOME desktop. It’s a fun terminal emulator great for both beginners and power users.

Good to know: learn all the ways to copy and paste text, files and folders in the terminal.

4. Alacritty

If you were a fan of Termite, the developers recommend you switch to Alacritty. It’s inspired by Termite, which is no longer being actively supported or developed. Instead of VTE, it’s an OpenGL-based terminal, which makes it exceptionally fast.

If you’re trying to remember what you’ve done in terminal so far, you don’t have to just scroll and hope you find it. The search feature lets you quickly find anything currently in Alacritty’s scrollback buffer.

5. Rxvt-unicode

Rxvt-unicode, also called urxvt, is one of the top terminal emulators for Linux thanks to how easy it is to customize using the configuration file. It’s also one of the lighter weight terminals, meaning it’s ideal for any Linux system.

Thanks to only a few dependencies, it’s fast and able to process large amounts of text quickly. Not only is text stored in Unicode, but Unicode provides support for international languages. You can even open multiple windows using a single instance in daemon mode. It’s speed comes from having both a server and client modes

It doesn’t have tabs by default, but you can use plugins to get tab support. If you’re looking for something that’s not overly complicated, it’s hard to beat this terminal emulator.

Tip: check out more Bash tips and tricks to get the best out of your Terminal usage.

6. Cool Retro Term

While Classic Amber is the default, there are other themes to choose from, such as Apple II and Vintage. If old school is your goal, this lightweight terminal has you covered.

It’s likely the most unique-looking terminal emulator you’ll find. Easily choose the retro monitor you’d like to emulate and you might just feel like you’re back in a 90s hacker movie.

7. Hyper

Hyper is built on the web technologies HTML, CSS, and JS using Electron, and it’s also cross-platform. If you frequently jump between Linux, Windows, and/or Mac, your terminal can stay the same. It doesn’t really do anything special outside of being extremely easy to customize.

In fact, it supports plugins and themes to make customization even quicker. If you design your own themes, you can submit them directly to Hyper. The plugins truly set it apart from other terminal emulators. While the site doesn’t have a ton available, awesome-hyper on GitHub does.

If you’re not into spending a lot of time on customization, you’ll still love Hyper. It looks great without doing anything else to it. The downside is it slows down quickly if you’re using multiple terminal windows or using Hyper alongside multiple other apps.

8. GNOME Terminal

If you’re already using a distro with the GNOME desktop environment, you already have GNOME terminal. But if you’re using another distro, such as a Fedora or a Debian-based distro, you may want to give GNOME terminal a chance.

Easily customize the look and feel, auto-detect URLs, and even switch between split and full screen quickly. It’s easy to use and surprisingly simple to customize to your needs. It’s also nice if you’re switching distros and want to keep GNOME terminal.

9. Terminology

Terminology is based on Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL). It has a wide range of features and customizations. For instance, you can enable OpenGL for rendering in your acceleration settings, adjust colors and fonts, and change the background to a video if you’d like.

It’s a security-focused terminal, too. All scrollback stays in RAM to keep your data safer, and there are even audible alerts (which you can turn off) if something’s not right. You can also multitask easily with quick switch tabs.

While you can add your own backgrounds, Terminology comes preinstalled with backgrounds and themes to help you get started quickly. Being able to preview all types of files within the terminal makes it the ideal option for those who prefer doing everything via the terminal versus a GUI.

Comparison: are you a fan of multiplexer? Find out whether Tmux or Screen is the best terminal multiplexer.

10. Konsole

If you’ve ever used a KDE desktop environment, you’ve probably used Konsole before. Just like the GNOME terminal goes with the GNOME desktop., Konsole is bundled with KDE – not that you can’t use it on other desktop environments.

11. Tilix

Image source: Tilix Features

Easily customize Tilix with transparent backgrounds. Move panes around with ease and even drag and drop terminals into place. You can even custom links and titles.

All the settings are easy to access in the GUI. Change everything from the general appearance to setting up different profiles for various users, including root.

Find out more: Interested about Tilix? Check out our review here.

Frequently Asked Questions How can I customize the terminal prompt?

Want a unique looking terminal prompt? While many terminal emulators let you customize the prompt, you can also use a separate prompt build like Starship, then get creative and see how unique things become.

Why won’t my new terminal load?

Ubuntu sometimes has this problem with the built-in terminal. The troubleshooting steps work well for figuring out what may be causing your new terminal emulator to not load properly. However, a few things to check immediately are:

Is it compatible with your version of Linux and desktop? Not every emulator is compatible with every version. Check to ensure that the terminal will work with your desktop and Linux version before installing.

Did you install it correctly? It’s incredibly easy to type a single letter or symbol that wreaks havoc on the installation. Try reinstalling to see whether something may have gone wrong.

Can I still use Termite if I already have it installed?

If you love using Termite, keep using it. However, it’ll no longer being updated. This also means it could eventually pose a security risk. Alacritty is faster and more secure, so it’s a great replacement. After all, even the developers are recommending it.

Why is my terminal crashing?

The more you ask the terminal to handle at once, the more likely it is to crash. If you’re a power user, you may want to consider using at terminal that uses OpenGL for faster processing. It can also be an issue with insufficient system resources for what you’re trying to do. As a result, the terminal crashes, as it can’t complete the process.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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The Best Of 10 Penetration Testing Tools For 2023

Security of any website, application, or computer system can be ensured by using penetration testing tools. Companies can use penetration testing to simulate cyber attacks on their systems in order to find vulnerabilities that criminals might be the ability to exploit. Penetration testing is also useful in the context of web app security.

With penetration testing becoming more popular, there are many tools that can help companies assess the security of their technology. We’re going today to discuss the best penetration testing tools available for 2023.


SQLMap is a state-of-the-art SQL injection tool that automates the process of accessing databases servers and detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws. SQLMap technology supports all the common targets for penetration testing, including Microsoft Access and Oracle as well as MSSQL and many others. It’s also very simple for beginners.

SQLMap’s powerful detection engine and the large community of experts that are available to answer your questions make it appealing to many companies. It is still a top tool for penetration testing.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux, formerly known as BlackTrack Linux penetration test technology, is now maintained by offset. It is optimized in every way for excellent penetration testing. Although the solution can be run on its own hardware you will find most penetration testers using Kali virtual machines for Windows and OS X.

Kali comes with all the tools that you would expect from a top pen-testing company. There are also customization options to allow companies to build more sophisticated penetration testing strategies. You will also find extensive documentation with tips and recipes to make sure you get the most out of your investment. combines the simplicity of a SaaS platform and a community full of penetration testers to provide real-time insight that companies can use to improve their security status. Cobalt makes it easy for business users to launch penetration tests quickly and efficiently, rather than spending weeks planning.

Burp Suite

Burp Suite is the best tool to test web applications for penetration testing. Burp Suite includes full Proxy capturing, command injection options, and everything businesses need in order to gain deeper insight into their systems. Burp Suite UI can also be fully optimized to simplify your workflows.


Acutenix is a fully automated and simple-to-use tool for testing website and application vulnerabilities. It can detect and report more than 4500 vulnerabilities including XSS, SQL injection, and other XSS. Acunetix technology can automate some of the testings that a professional would need to do to track all issues in a network.

Acunetix also supports HTML5, JavaScript and CMS systems. It can also support single-page applications. Acunetix also offers a variety of manual tools and integrations that can be used with issue trackers to help penetration testers.

Also read:

Top 9 WordPress Lead Generation Plugins in 2023


Metasploit is the most widely-used penetration testing tool in the world. It started as an open-source project. The solution today helps security teams to verify vulnerabilities, increase security awareness, and manage complete assessments.


Tenable’s Nessus is a commercial penetration test tool that’s available under a variety of licensing models. Nessus is a great tool for companies that don’t feel comfortable using open-source software. It allows companies to scan the target machine and identify running services. Then, it provides a complete list of vulnerabilities.

Because it is so easy to use and leverage, the Nessus technology is especially compelling. Each scan gives penetration testers guidance on how to fix potential vulnerabilities so they can quickly take action.

Also read:

9 Best Cybersecurity Companies in the World


Network mapper (or “NMAP”) is a popular tool to explore target networks or systems. There are many scan types available to help you leverage the solution’s knowledge. These scans help companies find vulnerabilities in their networks and implement stronger security strategies.

Nmap is a configurable and user-friendly open-source program that has been a favorite choice for many years. For beginners, Zenmap is a simpler version.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper is perhaps the most well-known password cracking tool on the market. It focuses on finding weak passwords in a system and exposes them. This technology is for business leaders and aims to identify weak credentials that could be causing vulnerabilities in their environment. The pen-testing tool can be used for security and compliance purposes.


Wireshark, one of the most effective and popular network protocol analyzers in the world is able to show which protocols and systems are active in a network, which accounts have the highest activity, and when attackers attempt to intercept sensitive data.

Wireshark gives business leaders a complete view of their network at the microscopic level. This allows them to inspect all types of protocols. The live capture, offline analysis, and rich VoIP analytics can all be accessed from one place.

The Fragmentation Of The Linux Desktop

As recently as a year ago, the Linux desktop was easy to describe. GNOME and KDE dominated, both offered an ecosystem of applications, and neither much different from Windows and OS X in their goals or design. Xfce was a distant third, with other desktop environments trailing even further behind.

Now, at the start of 2012, the state of the Linux desktop is radically altered. GNOME and KDE remain popular, but GNOME has been fragmented by the rise of Ubuntu’s Unity shell.

Moreover, because of user dissatisfaction with GNOME and Unity, Xfce and other alternatives are receiving more consideration — although how many users are switching to them remains almost entirely undocumented.

What the long term affects of these changes will be is impossible to predict. Whether user dissatisfaction will continue, and which desktop environments will gain popularity as a result is anybody’s guess.

For now, the most you can say is that users of free and open source software have dropped the idea that a single desktop environment can suit everybody’s needs.

Instead, most user’s criterion for choosing a desktop fall into one of four main categories. In terms of appeal, desktop environments are either traditional, minimalist, experimental, or — in a class by itself — Unity.

Although some desktop environments could be squeezed into more than one category, the appeal of each of these types is usually quite distinct. For example, someone who prefers a minimalist environment is unlikely to consider an experimental one, any more than those who favor a traditional desktop will consider Unity. Generally, the appeal of these categories rarely overlaps

Traditional desktops are the conceptual descendants of Mac and Windows — or, on the free desktop, the KDE 3 and GNOME 2 series. They feature a configurable panel, a main menu, and a general workspace, sometimes augmented by virtual work spaces. Some traditional desktop users may be conservative, but just as many seem to think of an interface as the launcher for their applications, and to want nothing more except some basic customization of themes and wallpaper.

By far the most popular traditional environment is Xfce. You often see it described on distribution mailing lists as a stripped down GNOME desktop. Since the development team is careful to control code bloat, most distribution’s versions of Xfce are faster than their versions of GNOME or KDE.

However, because usability has become an equal priority in recent releases, to call Xfce minimalist no longer seems appropriate. Increasingly, it seems the alternative of choice for those who long for GNOME 2, including Linus Torvalds. Xfce’s major weakness is that it has only a small ecosystem of applications, although its ability to run KDE and GNOME applications is carefully maintained.

In GNOME 3, you can also choose fallback mode, which looks like GNOME 2, but lacks panel applets and the ability to add application icons to the desktop. In Linux Mint (and, I suspect, in other distributions very shortly), you have the option of enabling Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE), whose combined effect is to replicate GNOME 2 within GNOME 3.

Modern KDE itself can be configured to be a traditional desktop if you make a Folder View your desktop and set it to display the Desktop folder in your home directory. However, to use KDE in this way is to ignore many of its features, and many GNOME users disgruntled about GNOME 3 and Unity are unlikely to consider KDE as an alternative.

Moreover, for those who preferred the KDE 3, a better choice is probably the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE). TDE is an updated port of KDE 3. In fact, its version numbers are a continuation of KDE 3.x’s. Because maintaining and updating the code is a huge effort, and the development team is small, TDE does suffer from more bugs than you may be used to. But, in general, TDE is an example of how, in free software, nothing is ever lost so long as someone is interested in preserving it.

Minimalist interfaces have a long history in free software. To this day, you can still find long-time users who restrict themselves to a window manager like IceWM, or — slightly more elaborately — a tiled window manager like Ratpoison.

However, for many users, these choices are too extreme. Usually, the preference for a minimalist environment is a reaction to the size or lack of speed of GNOME or KDE (usually involving the word “bloated”), but that doesn’t mean that their proponents want to give up all the convenience of a graphical interface. Some may be looking for an environment for older equipment, but most of those who favor minimalist environments simply seem to admire efficiency and simplicity over any other considerations.

One long-established minimalist choice that has undergone a minor revival in recent months is Enlightenment. Although originally described as a window manager, Enlightenment more closely resembles a lightweight desktop these days. It is highly configurable and generally stable, but users shopping around for an alternative might be put off by its slowness to reach a major release.

Instead, minimalist users seem to prefer more modern choices, such as LXDE, which promotes itself as a “fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment.” One sign of LXDE’s popularity is that last year Lubuntu became an official variant of Ubuntu.

Another minimalist choice is Sugar, the interface for One Laptop Per Child. However, Sugar has had only limited acceptance as a general desktop environment. Its focus on children and education is not for everybody, and the interface, while simple to learn, may be too different for many users to seriously consider it.

The last year also saw the release of Razor-qt, whose home page summarizes it as “tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface.”

If none of these choice suit your minimalist instincts, do a search on Distrowatch for distributions based on various desktop environments. The majority of options in the desktop environment field are for minimalist options — proof, if any were needed, of how popular this criterion is.

Experimental desktops try to go beyond the traditional expectations and anticipate how users might work more efficiently. Although you can find many interesting experimental minor environments, to date, so far the major experimental desktops are GNOME and KDE.

It didn’t use to be that way. For the first decade of their existence, both GNOME and KDE had the same goal: to catch up to existing proprietary desktop environments like Windows. Having reached that goal several years ago, both projects decided to try to get ahead of their proprietary rivals, and innovate.

Until then, for all the famous flame wars, GNOME and KDE were functionally similar. If one added a new feature, the other was quick to follow, and efforts such as chúng tôi existed mainly to ensure mutual compatibility and cooperation.

But in KDE 4 and GNOME 3, the two most popular desktops presented dramatically different visions of the future of graphical interfaces.

Both abstracted the interface from the functional core, which allowed Unity to run on top of GNOME, and KDE to develop desktops for different hardware platforms. However, the results could hardly have been more different if deliberately chosen.

GNOME chose to eliminate clutter — by which it meant features like panel applets and icons on the desktops. In their place, GNOME added an overview and made virtual desktops an automatic feature. Instead of accommodating different work flows, it enforced a particular one in the hopes of making everything simpler and more efficient.

By contrast, KDE focused on increasing the choices on the desktop. Instead of a single desktop, it encouraged multiple ones, each with its own configuration. Instead of a single set of widgets and icons, KDE offered multiple ones. Where GNOME eliminated applets, KDE allowed its widgets to spill over from the panel to the desktop.

These were radical changes, and direct causes of the present desktop environment fragmentation. Both were too much for traditionalists, and neither were major moves toward minimalism, especially KDE, whose fourth release series is generally considered slower than its third release series.

All the same, both these experiments have their supporters. Whether you appreciate one of them depends on whether you agree with their assumptions of how desktop environments should involve. Of the two, KDE is more tolerant of different ways of working, but even it is often condemned by traditionalists and minimalists as being more complicated than anyone wants.

Amid the other desktop environments available today, Unity is an anomaly. It is not a traditional desktop, nor a minimalist one, and, far from being experimental, it is a simplification — some might say an over-simplification.

Just as importantly, Unity is not a reaction to user demands, nor an attempt to evolve the desktop. So far as anyone outside of Canonical and Ubuntu’s inner circles can judge, Unity appears to be largely the vision of one man: Mark Shuttleworth, who stepped down as Canonical CEO so he could focus on interface design.

The motivations driving Unity appear to be pragmatic ones, such as developing an interface suitable for a variety of hardware platforms, and borrowing features from OS X to fit a particular concept of usability. As much as Ubuntu’s elaborate color choices, Unity brands Ubuntu as a distribution unlike any other.

Much of the dislike of Unity seems more political than functional. The new environment was a top priority for Canonical and Ubuntu, and many resented the reluctance to explain the reasons for design designs, and the perceived lack of community input.

Outside of Canonical employees and long-time Ubuntu enthusiasts, praise for Unity seems muted. Some seem to be waiting to see how Unity develops before making up their minds about it. Others seem indifferent to it, so long as they can launch their applications with a minimum of effort.

When users do praise Unity, they usually mention its simplicity. Some also like the fact that configuration tools are not immediately obvious, since most users only use them immediately after installing. In many ways, Unity seems to have managed the reduction of clutter to which GNOME 3 aspired but fell short of.

With the Linux desktop pulling in all these directions at once, a return to the days when one desktop fit every need seems unlikely. The days are probably gone forever when one environment was only a minor variant of the others.

In some ways, this state of affairs seems wasteful. With different priorities, desktops cannot cooperate as easily as they once did, and duplication of effort seems inevitable. Some might argue, too, that the increased number of choices will only confuse new users.

Still, the fragmentation has its points. A project with clearly defined goals may be able to satisfy users more than an environment that tries to be all things to all people. Also, for long-time users, the increased recognition of minor projects seems long overdue.

Even more importantly, the user revolts that created the fragmentation may, in the long term, teach free software developers to start paying attention to users. Except in the case of Unity, developers looking at the last year may come to appreciate that they have no authority to impose changes on their user base. If they try, someone else is likely to come along with an innovation like the Mint GNOME Shell Extensions and give users what they want.

In the end, the fragmentation on the desktop may not be completely ideal. Yet, when you consider the individualism that is such a core value in the community, it is hard to imagine events happening in any other way.

10 Best Python Ide & Code Editors For Windows, Linux & Mac

Python code editors are designed for the developers to code and debug program easily. Using these Python IDEs(Integrated Development Environment), you can manage a large codebase and achieve quick deployment.

Developers can use these editors to create desktop or web application. The Python IDEs can also be used by DevOps engineers for continuous Integration.

Following is a handpicked list of Top Python Code Editors, with popular features and latest download links. The list contains both open-source(free) and premium tools.

Top Python IDEs & Code Editors: Download for Free & Paid

#1) PyCharm

PayCharm is a cross-platform IDE used for Python programming. It is one of the best Python IDE editor that can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux. This software contains API that can be used by the developers to write their own Python plugins so that they can extend the basic functionalities.


It is an intelligent Python code editor supports for CoffeeScript, JavaScript, CSS, and TypeScript.

Provides smart search to jump to any file, symbol, or class.

Smart Code Navigation

This Python editor offers quick and safe refactoring of code.

It allows you to access PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, and many other databases from the IDE.

Price: Free/Paid

#2) Spyder

Spyder is a scientific integrated development environment written in Python. This software is designed for and by scientists who can integrate with Matplotlib, SciPy, NumPy, Pandas, Cython, IPython, SymPy, and other open-source software. Spyder is available through Anaconda (open-source distribution system) distribution on Windows, macOS, and Linux.


It is one of the best Python IDE for Windows which allows you to run Python code by cell, line, or file.

Plot a histogram or time-series, make changes in dateframe or numpy array.

It offers automatic code completion and horizontal/vertical splitting.

Find and eliminate bottlenecks

An interactive way to trace each step of Python code execution.

Price: Free

Dreamweaver is a popular Python Editor Tool. This tool helps you to create, publish, and manage websites. A website created with DreamWeaver can be uploaded to any web server.


Dynamic websites can be quickly developed using Dreamweaver.

You can create a website that fits any screen size.

This tool helps you to customize workspace the way you like.

It has an inbuilt HTML validator to validate your code.

Provides Real-time collaboration, Live Preview, Drag-and-drop Editor, Multilingual, Syntax Highlighting, and Dual View

Supports compliance standard such as GDPR

Provides numerous plugins like Code View

Seamlessly integrates with Fireworks and Flash

Offers ready-made templates for blogs, ecommerce, newsletters and portfolios

Provides programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Offers flexible coding, Seamless Live View editing, Multi-monitor, and Redesigned

It provides customer support via Phone and Chat

Supported Platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $20.99 a month.

Free Trial: 7 Days Free Trial

#4) IDLE

IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) is a default editor that comes with Python. It is one of the best Python IDE software which helps a beginner to learn Python easily. IDLE software package is optional for many Linux distributions. The tool can be used on Windows, macOS, and Unix.


Search multiple files

It has an interactive interpreter with colorizing of input, output, and error messages.

Supports smart indent, undo, call tips, and auto-completion.

Enable you to search and replace within any window.

Price: free

#5) Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3 is a code editor which supports many languages including Python. It is one of the best Python editor that has basic built-in support for Python. Customization of Sublime Text 3 is available for creating create a full-fledged Python programming environment. The editor supports OS X, Windows, and Linux operating systems.


Allows you to highlight syntax.

It has command Palette implementation that accepts text input from users.

Handle UTF8 BOMs in .gitignore files

Display badges for folders and file to indicate Git status

Changes to a file are represented by markers available in the gutter.

Price: Free Trial

#6) Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is an open-source environment developed by Microsoft. It is one of the best Python IDE for Windows that can be used for Python development. Visual Studio Code is based on Electron which is a framework to deploy Node JS applications for the computer running on the Blink browser engine.


The editor provides smart code completion based on function definition, imported modules, as well as variable types.

You can work with Git as well as other SCM providers

Enable you to debug code from the editor.

Price: Free

#7) Atom

Atom is a useful code editor tool preferred by programmers due to its simple interface compared to the other editors. Atom users can submit packages and them for the software.


Package Manager Integrated for Plugins support

The feature of smart autocompletion

It is one of the best Python editor which supports Command Palette

Multiple panes

Allow cross-platform editing

Price: Free

#8) Jupyter

Jupyter is a tool for people who have just started with data science. It is easy to use, interactive data science IDE across many programming languages that just not work as an editor, but also as an educational tool or presentation.


It is one of the best Python IDE that supports for Numerical simulation, data cleaning machine learning data visualization, and statistical modeling.

Combine code, text, and images.

Support for many programming languages.

Integrated data science libraries (matplotlib, NumPy, Pandas).

Price: Free

#9) Pydev

PyDev is a third-party Python editor for Eclipse. It is one of the best IDE for Python which can be used in not only Python but IronPython and Jython development.


It has interactive console shortcuts

Allows you to create a Google App Engine (GAE) Python project

Find and Go to definition

Automatically import code to complete it.

You can Configure Django integration.

Price: Free

Also Check:- Django Tutorial for Beginners: Features, Architecture & History

#10) Thonny

Thonny is an IDE for learning and teaching programming, specially designed with the beginner Pythonista scripting environment. It is developed at The University of Tartu, which you can download for free on the Bitbucket repository for Windows, Linux, and Mac.


Allows developers to view how their code and shell commands affect Python variables.

It has a simple debugger.

It is one of the best IDE for Python that provides support for evaluating an expression.

Python function call opens a new window with separate local variables table as well as code pointer.

Automatically spot syntax error.

Price: Free

#11) Wing

Wing is a lightweight Python environment which is designed to give you productive development experience.


Immediate feedback by writing your Python code.

Helps you to remove common errors and write better Python code.

You can check for debug data and try out bug fixes interactively without restarting your app.

Wing supports test-driven development with various frameworks like the unittest, pytest, nose, doctest, and Django testing.

Price: Wing Pro trial is free. Wind Personal and Wing 101 are paid versions.

#12) ActivePython

Increase software development data science with a secure and supported Python distribution. ActivePython is software consisting of the Python implementation CPython and a set of various extensions to facilitate installation.


It is one of the best IDE for Python which allows you to connect to your big data and databases, including Redis, MySQL, Hadoop, and MongoDB.

Helps you to manage your data using, SciPy, Pandas, NumPy, and MatPlotLib.

Supports machine learning models like TensorFlow, Keras, and Theano.

Compatible with open-source Python so that you can avoid vendor lock-in.

Uses OpenSSL patch for security.

Price: Free for community, however, coder, team, business. Enterprise versions are paid.

FAQ ❓ What is Python IDE?

Python IDE or code editors are designed for the developers to code and debug program easily. Using these Python editors, you can manage a large codebase and achieve quick deployment.

✅ Which are the Best Python IDEs?

Here are some of the Best Python Code Editors:





Sublime Text 3

Visual Studio Code


10 Of The Best Alternatives To Autocad

AutoCAD is a flagship product by Autodesk, the drafting industry’s juggernaut, designed to help its users with product or building design, manufacturing planning, construction, and civil infrastructure. It also costs much more than other programs that match its capabilities. For this reason, we are sharing this list of the best alternatives to AutoCAD.

Tip: If you just need to draw diagrams, you don’t need AutoCAD. Check out some of the best online diagramming software.

What Makes a Good AutoCAD Alternative?

If you’re an average student or hobbyist working on a lean budget, you don’t have to always pick AutoCAD. There are some worthy contenders with similar supporting infrastructure and critical functionality.

The challenge is in deciding which AutoCAD alternatives are worth your time, as the market is awash with ghastly knockoffs. You’ll obviously want more affordable alternatives to AutoCAD that offer similar features and read similar files, easily integrate with AutoCAD, and are intuitive to learn.

The most important factors to consider include:

Cost – free drafting software is always a great option, but even lower-cost premium options are still better than the more than $1,700/year you’ll pay in subscription fees with AutoCAD.

Compatibility – if you previously used AutoCAD or need to view and edit AutoCAD files, you’ll want to choose an alternative that’s compatible. It’s important to note that there is an official free AutoCAD file viewer available if you just need to view files.

Cross-platform compatibility – even though AutoCAD is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, a Linux version still doesn’t exist.

Built-in toolsets – AutoCAD contains built-in toolsets to get you started quickly with common tasks, such as architecture and electrical.

Intuitive interface – despite all the complex tools and features, AutoCAD is still incredibly intuitive. The best alternatives are easy to learn and use and will ideally have ample documentation.

1. FreeCAD

Price: Free

While LibreCAD works great for 2D models, FreeCAD is one of the best open-source alternatives to AutoCAD for 3D modeling, though it supports 2D as well. Plus, it’s designed for Windows, macOS, and Linux environments.

Parametric modeling is a core feature, allowing you to go back through various changes to build upon them. Dozens of file types are supported, included DWG. Grouped workbenches make it easy to find the tools you need for specific tasks, and more are being added regularly.

The large variety of tools in this free architectural design software can easily rival those in premium alternatives and AutoCAD itself. Plus, it’s free.



Cross platform

Support for dozens of file types

Uses minimal resources to run on older systems

Active community for support

Parametric 2D sketcher

Workbenches make it easier to use


Steep learning curve

Some features may be outdated, depending on community development

2. SolidWorks

AutoCAD has had pretty good support for 3D modelling, but its greatest strengths remain as a 2D-design and drafting architectural software.

Solidworks is a parametric solid modeler focused mainly around 3D designs, so you’ll need to have some knowledge of engineering terms rather than just geometric ones.

The latest edition of SolidWorks has excellent features, like the ability to do freehand sketches on touchscreens. Despite being primarily focused around 3D modelling, its 2D sketching tool still remains functional, even though it’s much lighter than what you find in AutoCAD.

Pricing details

You have to request a quote for exact pricing, but the starting price is around $4,000 a year, along with an annual maintenance fee of over $1,000. Students can pay as little as $60 a year, and qualifying startups and entrepreneurs can even get it for free initially. The reason it’s so expensive is that it is so similar to AutoCAD. There’s also a cloud-based version, but once again, you have to request a quote.


Excellent 3D modeling functionality

Unbeatable in the fields of engineering and automation

Compatible with DXF files

Assesses weak points in designs

Good 3D-printing compatibility

Touchscreen-based sketching

Some command-line functionality


Windows only

Limited 2D sketching


Good to know: for those who just want to create beautiful images to share via social media, check out these design tools.

3. BricsCAD

This CAD platform is known for its reach features and has several familiar features, including native .dwg applications.

If you’re familiar with AutoCAD’s 2008 version, BricsCAD has a somewhat similar interface, plus rich features in 2D design and 3D direct modeling. You can use it with the major operating systems, such as macOS, Windows, and Linux, and hundreds of third-party apps from across the world that are based on .dwg.

Despite being a paid software like AutoCAD, BricsCAD is more affordable with four editions: Lite, Pro, BIM, and Mechanical. The latter two are feature-packed with tools that aren’t found in AutoCAD, such as Sheet Metal, 3D Compare, and BIM.

BricsCAD also integrates with the cloud, has a robust rendering engine, recognizes XREFS, and is customizable.

If you just need a basic 3D modeling solution, BricsCAD Shape is free. While it doesn’t have the same powerful features, it’s still an impressive offering for free architectural design software.

Pricing details

One great thing about BricsCAD is that you can try it for free for 30 days without a credit card. After that, you’ll have several options, including:

Lite – $314/year or $560/lifetime

Pro – $615/year or $1150/lifetime

BIM – $1,010/year or $1,890/lifetime

Mechanical – $950/year or $1,780/lifetime

Ultimate (bundle of all editions) – $1,120/year or $2,100/lifetime

As you can tell, lifetime licenses make this significantly more affordable overall.


Easy to use if you’re familiar with AutoCAD

Faster LISP execution

Perpetual licenses available

Broad customization and development capability

Built-in tools such as IFC import/export, architectural direct modeler with BIM database and SketchUp SKP

Opens complex drawings faster

You can read, edit, save AutoCAD files to .dwg

Can use AutoCAD customization

AI-enhanced predictive QUAD cursor works faster on large drawings


Has a difficult document management tool

Limited scope

4. DraftSight

Draftsight is a professional-grade alternative to AutoCAD, designed for users looking for better ways to read, write, and share .dwg files.

Through its clear user interface, which makes DraftSight easy to use and learn, you can make accurate revisions, as design elements are stored in layers. You can also create G-Code directly in the program and save and open DXF and DWG files. It has a huge design library from which you can use existing designs, do batch-printing, and access macro recording.

Pricing details

A free 30-day trial is available. This is one of the most affordable professional alternatives to AutoCAD. The plans are as follows:

Professional – $199/year

Premium – $480/year (adds 3D functionality)

Enterprise/Enterprise Plus – pricing by quote only


Many features

Good for 2D modeling

Easy to run with storage space

Easy to learn and use

Perpetual license available

Save and open DWG and DXF files

Compare designs, add symbols, or append PDFs to project files


Doesn’t run LISP routines

No express tools

Not useful if you want specialized solutions

Good to know: you can also design a beautiful poster with Microsoft Powerpoint.

5. SketchUp

Formerly Google SketchUp, this free tool is an excellent pick for CAD professionals.

SketchUp is a 3D-modeling program used for a wide range of uses, including interior design; architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering; and video game and film design.

Available as a freeware version, the tool works with several types of files, including DWG, DXF, OBJ, XSI, and more, and can export HD animations and PDFs.

Pricing details

While the architecture design software is mainly known for its free version, there are three premium plans available if you need more functionality, such as unlimited access to pre-built 3D models, unlimited cloud storage, and a desktop edition. These include:

Shop (Web only) – $119/year

Pro (desktop/Web) – $299/year

Studio (desktop/Web) – $699/year

Promo codes are often available on the site to get the Pro and Studio plans on a discount.


Easy to learn and use

Easy to import different types of files

Vast library to upload or download drawings

Good for creating 3D models

Integrates with third-party plugins


Less detailed designs owing to lesser rendering ability

Doesn’t let you create NURBS

Desktop version is only compatible with Windows

6. LibreCAD

This is another free alternative program that is feature-rich and commands a large following of customers and designers.

LibreCAD is a high-quality open-source 2D-modeling software birthed from QCAD (later known as CADuntu) and resembles AutoCAD in concept and features.



Easy to learn and use

Writes DXF files

Source code is available on GitHub

Seamless transition from AutoCAD

Clutter-free interface

Not resource-intensive

Multilingual (more than 30 languages)

Cross-platform support for Mac, Windows, and Linux OS

Can export JPG, SVG, PDF, PNG, and other file types


2D only

Only displays 2D views

Can’t work on 3D models and rendering


If you prefer to try what LibreCAD started, check out QCAD. It’s one of the best AutoCAD alternatives for 2D models and is regularly updated.

It’s open source and cross-platform, working Linux, Mac, and Windows. If you’re new to CAD tools, it’s a good beginner-friendly option, but has ample features for more experienced users. The free version offers more than 40 construction tools and over 20 modification tools.

While the basic version is free, a Professional edition is available with a healthy dose of extra features, such as support for more file formats. However, it’s fairly inexpensive at just $39. The Professional version trial is bundled with the free version and offers a 15-minute trial per session.


Built-in part library with over 4,800 CAD parts

Basic version free

Import and export DXF and DWG files

Support for SVG, PDF, JPG, BMP, PNG, XPM, XBM, ICO, TIFF, and more

Detailed documentation and active community


Some file formats are Professional edition only

2D only

8. OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is one of the more unique free AutoCAD alternatives that focuses on 3D modeling for machinery and parts. It’s designed for Linux/Unix, macOS, and Windows.

It works a little differently than most of the alternatives to AutoCAD on this list. It’s not an interactive 3D modeler. Instead, it works more like a compiler. You’ll use the code editor to make adjustments to colors, sizes, shapes, and positions. Instead of drawing things out yourself, you import libraries (which are free) to build your creation.

You may want to use a mind-mapping tool like the ones on this list to plan out your design before diving into the tool.


Everything’s free

Numerous libraries and free resources available on the website

Has an active Thingiverse community

Supports DXF, STL, and OFF files


Isn’t a true design tool

Has a learning curve

9. JTS IntelliCAD

When you need professional features at a fraction of the cost of AutoCAD, look no further than JTS IntelliCAD. Formerly known as TrueCAD, this premium tool supports all DWG and DXF versions from R2.2 and later.

Most of the the file formats you would want are supported, such as JPG, STL, BMP, TIFF, and more. Easily import and export PDF. There are numerous 2D design tools along with 3D modeling features. You can even use LISP programs within IntelliCAD or create your own.

While the software isn’t free, it’s just $149 for a perpetual license. If you choose to upgrade to a new version (which isn’t required), it’s only $80 to upgrade.


Offers many of the same features as AutoCAD

Supports many file formats

Works for both 2D and 3D modeling

Great support for DWG and DXF file versions

No subscription or upgrades required


Only available for Windows Vista and later

10. CMS IntelliCAD

CMS IntelliCAD is powered by IntelliCAD, just like JTS IntelliCAD. It’s often considered one of the best AutoCAD alternatives due to the features and file support.

While it may seem overwhelming to beginners, this is a tool experienced AutoCAD users could fall in love with. A free trial is available.


Perpetual license – $250

One-year edition – $130

Plus perpetual license – $300

Subscription – $150/year


Close AutoCAD competitor

Advanced design and editing tools

LISP support

Native DWG and DGN support


Only compatible with Windows

Honorable Mentions

While the above are some of the best drafting software alternatives to AutoCAD, they’re not the only options that deserve a mention.

Some others you may want to check out that aren’t quite as feature rich but still great for personal use and smaller projects include:

nanoCAD – Offers a free basic option for educational and personal projects only. Five premium plans are available starting at $180/year. It provides all the tools you need for most drafting projects and is compatible with DWG files. For commercial use and additional features, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.

Tinkercad – This is a free educational tool from Autodesk. While it’s not as feature-rich as AutoCAD, it’s an ideal alternative for beginners, hobbyists, and personal drafting projects. While it’s made for students and educators, you can create a personal account for free to start tinkering with new designs.

Frequently Asked Questions How can I get the premium AutoCAD alternatives cheaper?

Many of the premium options on this list offer free and low-cost student editions. There may also be discounts for non-profits if you contact the company directly.

Is a free alternative to AutoCAD powerful enough to compete?

Yes. While they may not be as feature-rich, you can still create detailed designs. If you’ve ever used AutoCAD and never used even half of the features, you’d be much better off with a free alternative. If one doesn’t meet all your needs, consider using two different alternatives with complementary features.

Do these tools let me sketch out designs first?

Not really. Built-in shapes and lines are used to develop your designs. If you prefer a sketching tool, try these Windows-based sketching tools. Some are cross-platform, such as GIMP.

Image credit: SolidWorks, BricsCAD, CHIP, SketchUp, LibreCAD, CMS IntelliCAD, Kumpan Electric via Unsplash

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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