10 Interesting Software Packages for the BeagleBone - dummies

10 Interesting Software Packages for the BeagleBone

By Rui Santos, Luis Miguel Costa Perestrelo

The BeagleBone uses the Linux operating system, and the great thing about using an open-source operating system is that you can install most software for free from the command line on your console. Before installing your software, you have to update the software package listing by typing

sudo apt-get update

Here are some interesting software packages that you can install on your BeagleBone.


Thunderbird is a free email application maintained by Mozilla that lets you manage your various email accounts in one place. To install Thunderbird, type

sudo apt-get install thunderbird


Ksnapshot is a tool for taking screen shots. This software comes with features that let you select the area of the screen shot, take a screen shot with a delay, and save your screen shot in multiple formats. To install Ksnapshot, type

sudo apt-get install ksnapshot


Florence is a virtual keyboard for your BeagleBone. If you don’t have a USB hub for connecting multiple USB peripherals to your BeagleBone, you can use a USB mouse and this virtual keyboard to control your BeagleBone’s desktop environment. To install Florence, type

sudo apt-get install florence


Kodi, formally named XBMC, is a media center for your BeagleBone that lets you view videos or photos, listen to music or podcasts, and consume pretty much any other media format. You can view this content from local storage, as well as from the Internet. You can download this software at the Kodi website.


Pygame is a set of Python modules designed to create games. With this software, you can start building fully featured games that can run on every operating system. To install Pygame, type

sudo apt-get install python-pygame


LXMusic is a minimalist music player for your desktop environment. It has few features, but it’s perfect for playing a list of your favorite music. To install LXMusic, type

sudo apt-get install lxmusic


GIMP is a versatile graphics-manipulation package with a fully customizable interface. With this software, you can enhance your photos and create beautiful artwork. GIMP supports a variety of file formats. To install it, type

sudo apt-get install gimp

Midnight Commander

Midnight Commander is probably the best-known file manager for your console. It allows you to copy, move, and delete files from your console with ease. To install Midnight Commander, type

sudo apt-get install mc


LibreOffice is a powerful free office suite with a clean interface that makes it easy for you to work on your projects. You can download the software at the LibreOffice website.


Vim is an advanced text editor that is popular among programmers. It is highly configurable and very efficient. To install Vim, type

sudo apt-get install vim