A.2. Network

The following section features various Linux applications for networking purposes. Get to know the most popular Linux browsers and e-mail and chat clients.

Table A.2. Network Software for Windows and Linux


Windows Application

Linux Application

Web Browser

Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera

Konqueror, Firefox, Opera, Epiphany

E-Mail Client/Personal Information Management

MS Outlook, Lotus Notes, Mozilla Thunderbird

Evolution, Kontact, Mozilla Thunderbird

Instant Messaging/IRC Clients

MSN, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, XChat, Gaim

Gaim, Kopete, Konversation, XChat

Conferencing (Video and Audio)



Voice over IP


Linphone, kphone, Skype

FTP Clients

leechftp, wsftp

gftp, kbear


Konqueror is a multitalented application created by the KDE developers. It acts as file manager and document viewer, but is also a very powerful and highly customizable Web browser. It supports the current Web standards, such as CSS(2), Java applets, JavaScript and Netscape plug-ins (Flash and RealVideo), DOM, and SSL. It offers neat helpers like an integrated search bar and supports tabbed browsing. Bookmarks can be imported from various other Web browsers, like Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Opera. Find more information about Konqueror at http://www.konqueror.org/ and read our introduction to using Konqueror in Chapter 7, The Web Browser Konqueror (↑Applications).


Firefox is the youngest member of the Mozilla browser family. It runs on various platforms, including Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Its main features include built-in customizable searches, pop-up blocking, RSS news feeds, password management, tabbed browsing, and some advanced security and privacy options. Firefox is very flexible, allowing you to customize almost anything you want (searches, toolbars, skins, buttons, etc.). Neat add-ons and extensions can be downloaded from the Firefox Web site (https://addons.update.mozilla.org/?application=firefox). Find more information about Firefox at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/ and read our introduction to using Firefox in Chapter 8, The Web Browser Firefox (↑Applications).


Opera is a powerful Web browser with neat add-ons like an optional e-mail client and a chat module. Opera offers pop-up blocking, RSS feeds, built-in and customizable searches, a password manager, and tabbed browsing. The main functionalities are easily reached via their respective panels. Because this tool is also available for Windows, it allows a much easier transition to Linux for those who have been using it under Windows. Find more information about Opera at http://www.opera.com/.


Epiphany is a lean, but powerful Web browser for the GNOME desktop. Many of its features and extensions will remind you of Firefox. Find more information about Epiphany at http://www.gnome.org/projects/epiphany/.


Evolution is personal information management software for the GNOME desktop combining mail, calendar, and address book functionality. It offers advanced e-mail filter and search options, provides sync functionality for Palm devices, and allows you to run Evolution as an Exchange or GroupWise client to integrate better into heterogeneous environments. Find more information about Evolution at http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/ and read our introduction to using Evolution in Chapter 2, Evolution: An E-Mail and Calendar Program (↑Applications).


Kontact is the KDE personal information management suite. It includes e-mail, calendar, address book, and Palm sync functionalities. Like Evolution, it can act as an Exchange or GroupWise client. Kontact combines several stand-alone KDE applications (KMail, KAddressbook, KOrganizer, and KPilot) to form an entity providing all the PIM functionality you need. Find more information about Kontact at http://www.kontact.org/ and read our introduction to using Kontact in Chapter 3, Kontact: An E-Mail and Calendar Program (↑Applications).

Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird is an e-mail client application that comes as part of the Mozilla suite. It is also available for Microsoft Windows and MacOS which facilitates the transition from one of these operating systems to Linux. Find more information about Mozilla Thunderbird at http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/.


Gaim is a smart instant messenger program supporting multiple protocols, such as AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, SILC, and GroupWise Messenger. It is possible to log in to different accounts on different IM networks and chat on different channels simultaneously. Gaim also exists in a Windows version. Find more information about Gaim at http://gaim.sourceforge.net/about.php.


Kopete is a very intuitive and easy-to-use instant messenger tool supporting protocols including IRC, ICQ, AIM, GroupWise Messenger, Yahoo, MSN, Gadu-Gadu, Lotus Sametime, SMS messages, and Jabber. Find more information about Kopete at http://kopete.kde.org/ and read an introduction to using Kopete in Chapter 11, Chatting with Friends: Kopete (↑Applications).


Konversation is an easy-to-use IRC client for KDE. Its features include support for SSL connections, strikeout, multichannel joins, away and unaway messages, ignore list functionality, Unicode, autoconnect to a server, optional time stamps in chat windows, and configurable background colors. Find more information about Konversation at http://konversation.kde.org.


XChat is an IRC client that runs on most Linux and UNIX platforms as well as under Windows and MacOS X. Find more information about XChat at http://www.xchat.org/.


GnomeMeeting is the open source equivalent of Microsoft's NetMeeting. It features LDAP and ILS support for address lookup and integrates with Evolution to share the address data stored there. GnomeMeeting supports PC-to-phone calls, allowing you to call another party with just your computer, sound card, and microphone without any additional hardware. Find more information about GnomeMeeting at http://www.gnomemeeting.org/.


Linphone is a smart and lean Voice over IP client using the SIP protocol to establish calls. Find more information at http://www.linphone.org and in Chapter 12, Linphone—VoIP for the Linux Desktop (↑Applications).


KPhone is a program to initiate Voice over IP connections across the Internet. Find more information at http://www.wirlab.net/kphone.


gftp is an FTP client using the GTK toolkit. Its features include simultaneous downloads, resume of interrupted file transfers, file transfer queues, download of entire directories, FTP proxy support, remote directory caching, passive and nonpassive file transfers, and drag and drop support. Find more information at http://gftp.seul.org.


KBear is a KDE FTP client with the ability to have concurrent connections to multiple hosts, three separate view modes, support for multiple protocols (like ftp, sftp, etc.), a site manager plug-in, firewall support, logging capabilities, and much more. Find more information at http://sourceforge.net/projects/kbear.