xpp - X Printing Panel

Graphical substitute for the lp/lpr command. With xpp, you can control every printing option known to the CUPS print system (the cupsys package). Best results are available with usage of the appropriate PPD file for your printer. Each user can save their own customized printing preferences.

Home Page: http://cups.sourceforge.net/xpp/

Also recommended by Malte S.:
My favorite printer frontend. Good for people who sometimes print .ps files or similar. You don't have to learn the whole syntax of lpr or alike.

Funny. I never thought lpr was too difficult to learn. But then I grew up writing sendmail.cf files. *shudder* Fortunately, I had that portion of my brain surgically excised.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

installwatch - Track installation of local software

Installwatch is used to track the changes made during the installation of local (i.e. non-deb) software.

This is the package on which checkinstall depends that was recommended by Malte S. yesterday. It is just amazing how much useful and powerful software is out there just waiting to be discovered. And the amazing thing is it's all free to use and improve. After years and years of using Debian, there is always another cool package to discover.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

checkinstall - installation tracker

CheckInstall keeps track of all the files created or modified by your installation script ("make install" "make install_modules", "setup", etc), builds a standard binary package and installs it in your system giving you the ability to uninstall it with your distribution's standard package management utilities.

Suggested by Malte S.:
I think it's really useful if you've got a tarball archive with software that you have to compile with the usual:
./configure
make
make install

Makes removal and reinstalling really easy!

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

3ddesktop - "Three-dimensional" desktop switcher

3D-Desktop is an OpenGL program for switching virtual desktops in a seamless 3-dimensional manner. The current desktop is mapped into a fullscreen 3D environment where you may choose other screens. Several different visualization modes are available. A window manager compatible with the GNOME pager standard is required.

The transition from working desktop to fullscreen 3D environment is seamless: when the pager activates you see your current desktop appear to zoom out to a point in space where you can see your other virtual desktops allowing you to select another.

The program is rather memory-hungry and it is CPU intensive, but it's accessible from the command line, which makes it perfect for show floors and impressing your non-UN*X-using friends.

Ratha G. writes:
Have you done 3ddesk? I just stumbled onto it and it is quite pretty, if a little frivolous.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

aiksaurus - an English-language thesaurus (utility)

Aiksaurus is an English-language thesaurus that is suitable for integration with word processors, email composers, and other authoring software.

Another suggestion from Andre L.:
Aiksaurus is an English-language thesaurus. When you lookup a word it gives you synonyms. To interact with it directly use either aiksaurus (command-line) or gaiksurus (GTK GUI). It is also available as a library so other programs, for example abiword, can access it. One of the many great new packages coming in Sarge.

Upstream: http://www.aiksaurus.com (usually down) and http://aiksaurus.sourceforge.net/

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

ding - Dictionary lookup program for Unix

This is "Ding"
  • a dictionary lookup program for Unix,

  • DIctionary Nice Grep,

  • a Tk based Front-End to [ae]grep, ispell, dict, ...

  • Ding {n} :: thing


This package needs agrep(1) or egrep(1) as a back end. agrep is preferable, because it supports fault tolerant searching.

You have to install some translation dictionary word list with a word/phrase in two languages in one line with some kind of separator between them. The default configuration of ding uses the German-English dictionary which can be found in the trans-de-en package, but you can use every other translation word lists with one entry per line.

Homepage: http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~fri/ding/

Andre L. suggested Ding:
Ding is an English/German and German/English dictionary. To look up a word (e.g. "lust") you just type it in.Searches are simultaneously done in both languages with yoursearch word highlighted in the results. The text file containing the dictionary is part of the trans-de-en package.

The name ding is allegedly short for dictionarynice grep, but is also a multilingual pun.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

exiftran - transform digital camera jpeg images

exiftran is a command line utility to transform digital image jpeg images. It can do lossless rotations like jpegtran, but unlike jpegtran it cares about the EXIF data: It can rotate images automatically by checking the exif orientation tag, it updates the exif informaton if needed (image dimension, orientation), it also rotates the exif thumbnail. It can process multiple images at once.

I'm pretty sure several people mentioned this package in comments regarding the jpegtran command (from the libjpeg-progs package), but props go to Giulio M. for submitting it.
More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

guidedog - NAT/masquerading/port-forwarding configuration tool for KDE

Guidedog is a KDE utility which allows to use easily activate and configure your machine for packet routing, Network Address Translation/IP Masquerading (NAT) and port-forwarding.

If you are using the functions of this program, it is recommended that you setup/configure a firewall to protect your machine - guidedog does not setup a firewall for you. To configure a firewall, the Guarddog program, by the same author, is recommended.

Guidedog requires iptables, and therefore Linux kernel 2.4+.

This is Martin S.'s second package suggestion and he contrasts this to yesterday's guarddog package saying that guidedog...
...offers easy routing and IPNAT masquerading. With a click or two you can use the machine guidedog runs on to connect your whole local network to the internet.

I never seen anything that comprehensive and user friendly for these kind of configuration task except MiamiDx (for AmigaOS). But MiamiDx's automatic firewall configuration wasn't that flexible as the one in guarddog.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

guarddog - firewall configuration utility for KDE

Guarddog is a firewall configuration utility for KDE. It is aimed at two groups of users: novice to intermediate users who are not experts in TCP/IP networking and security, and those users who don't want the hassle of dealing with cryptic shell scripts and ipchains/iptables parameters.

This is the first of two packages suggested by Martin S. where he says that guarddog...
...is an awesome tool for configuring a firewall without writing all the firewall manually. I would say that for the purpose of protecting a notebook or desktop machine that dials into the internet, guarddog is really fine. It might be that you can do a more fine grained firewall by hand, but actually in my oppinion guarddog is rather flexible.

It has an internet zone, which contains all IP addresses not being in an other zone, and it has a local zone, containing the machine guarddog runs on, and when you have a local network you can define an additional zone for it easily. You can even have a demilitarised zone if you like to (see screenshots).

Then you connect the zones and can specify which services in a certain zone should be available to which other zones. By default guarddog is configured in a way that nothing is allowed. That way to have to find out about the program before using it. The whole design of the software is in the way that for every service you want to use you have to poke to hole into the firewall. I like this security oriented design in a GUI configuration tool for firewalls. guarddog is generating iptables-Rules and works nicely with Kernel 2.6.

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
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Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.

quintuple-agent - Secure store for secrets (passphrases, etc.)

This is a followup to yesterday's kuvert package.
quintuple-agent serves as a cache for secrets, so that you don't have to enter them over and over again. You enter a secret once, and quintuple-agent stores it for a configurable timespan. Programs needing the secret can query the agent for it instead of bothering you.

Included are wrappers for PGP 2 and GnuPG.

&rw says:
Don't get me wrong, it's not a "password safe", it's a cache, not a facilty for permanent storage (which, wrt. passwords and -phrases, should reside only inside your skull anyway).

More information on this package can be found on the Debian web site.
(If there is a package you would like to see featured here, go to the userinfo page and follow the directions there to submit your entry.)

Now available in RSS and ATOM flavors too.