|50 Open Source Desktop Tools|
|Written by Daniel Ihonvbere|
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We found dozens of great open source tools that let you customize your desktop environment, whether you're ready to try out a whole new operating system or just a new screen saver.
While many of these tools add new features to software you probably already have on your system, others offer brand new functionality, like the Florence virtual keyboard and the PNotes sticky notes. You might even find a open source tool or two that you just can't live without.
Open Source Tools: Desktop Enhancements
If you like to operate from the command line in Windows, Console is a great alternative to cmd.exe. Features include multiple tabs, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, and different window styles and backgrounds. Operating System: Windows
Are the Google deskbar and "I'm feeling lucky" button not fast enough for you? Try Dave's Quick Search Deskbar. It lets you search the Internet without opening a browser first, and it has lots of helpful features that speed up search even more. Operating System: Windows
Primarily designed for the Gnome desktop, Florence offers a virtual keyboard on the screen that hides when you're not using it. It's a great tool if you can't use a regular keyboard because of a handicap or injury--or because you just spilled your coffee on it. Operating System: Linux, OS X
GeoShell replaces the standard Windows interface (start menu, taskbar, system tray, etc.) with a customizable version. As an added bonus, it usually requires fewer resources to run than the standard interface. Operating System: Windows
Kysrun works a lot like Launchy (below), letting you open applications, files, or bookmarks with a couple of keystrokes. As you begin typing, it offers suggestions for what you might be trying to find. Operating System: Linux
Why bother moving your hand all the way from the keyboard to the mouse and back again? With Launchy, you can open applications, documents, and bookmarks with a couple of keystrokes. You'll never need your start menu or desktop icons again. Operating System: Windows
7. LCARS 24
This is the ultimate conversation piece for true Trekkies. LCARS turns an old PC into a talking alarm clock that uses the graphics you've seen on Star Trek. The latest version runs on Windows, as well as DOS. Operating System: DOS, Windows
Have trouble remembering things--like where you left the pad of sticky notes to use for reminders? Leave yourself a virtual sticky note on your desktop instead with this handy app. Operating System: Windows