This guide lists the 10 must have applications to complete the Raspberry PI 400.
Some of the applications in this list are installed by default, and others you will need to install from the repositories.
It is assumed that you are using Raspberry PI OS
1. Web Browser (and media edition web browser)
Chromium is the default web browser installed with Raspberry PI OS. You don’t really need to install another browser as this is perfectly adequate for most people’s needs.
The main issue, however, is that any content with DRM will not work.
Luckily there is a straight forward solution for getting services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime to work.
2. Email Client
The default mail client installed with Raspberry PI OS is called Claws and it is woefully inadequate. Good luck trying to connect Claws to services such as Outlook or GMail.
I recommend installing Thunderbird. It is a fully featured email client providing access to all major email providers. It has everything you expect from an email client as well as a calendar, to do list, chat feature and address book.
To install Thunderbird go to file -> preferences -> add/remove software and search for thunderbird.
Place a check in the box and click “Apply”.
3. Office Suite
Raspberry PI OS already has the best office suite for Linux installed.
LibreOffice has everything you could need, including a word processor, spreadsheet package, presentation package, database package and drawing tool.
4. Media Player
The best media player is also already installed with Raspberry PI OS and is called VLC.
VLC can be used for playing videos stored on your Raspberry PI, on an external hard drive, on a NAS or from any network address.
5. Audio Player
One area where Linux excels is the sheer quantity and quality of audio players.
Unfortunately Raspberry PI OS doesn’t come with an audio player pre-installed so you will need to install one.
The player that has the most features is Rhythmbox but it is also the most expensive when it comes to resource utilisation.
Rhythmbox lets you connect to other devices such as NAS drives and you can play music locally or across a network. It also has a series of online radio stations and you can also add podcasts and stream music via DAAP to other devices such as your phone.
If you just want to listen to music installed on the Raspberry PI you might want to use something a little more lightweight. I have found GMusicBrowser to be ideal for most purposes and it has a nice skinning feature so that you can make it look like other audio players that you may be used to such as Itunes.
You can install either of these tools by clicking on the menu and navigating to preferences -> add / remove software and searching for them.
6. Photo / Image Viewer
We all have large photo collections nowadays and every so often you will want to look through those photos.
Raspberry PI OS has a very basic image viewer installed by default and you can view each picture one by one by clicking on the name of the file you wish to view.
There are other tools more suited to the job, such as Shotwell, which is a fully featured photo manager.
Shotwell has the option to enhance images, tag them, publish them to online sites such as Flickr as well as creating slide shows.
A more basic tool is called ephoto. With ephoto you navigate to the folder where the photos are stored and you can view all the images in that folder as a slide show. The transition effects in ephoto are excellent.
To install shotwell or ephoto click on the menu and navigate to preferences -> add / remove software.
You can now search for the software you wish to install.
7. Image Editor
For basic image editing such as red eye removal you can use Shotwell. If you are more serious about image editing then you will want to install GIMP.
It is worth pointing out that the Raspberry PI might struggle with some of the more resource intensive aspects of image editing but in the main I have found that it is responsive.
GIMP is as close as you will get to Photoshop on the Raspberry PI.
If you want a simple paint package similar to MS Paint you can use something like GNU Paint.
8. Video Editor
Video editing can be resource intensive and you may well end up exhausting every last resource that the Raspberry PI 400 has to offer.
The best video editing package for non-experts is Openshot.
Simply add video files, audio clips and images and drag and drop them onto timelines.
You can cut clips, move them around, add title cards and transition effects.
9. Development Tools
If you are a software developer then you will want to install your favourite IDE.
VS Code isn’t available from the repositories but you can install it direct from the developer’s website.
Visit https://code.visualstudio.com/Download and click on the “arm” link next to .deb.
The file will download automatically. You will be asked whether you want to keep or discard the file. Choose keep.
Click on the file that has downloaded and you will be asked if you want to install the file. Click “install” and when prompted enter your password.
To run VSCode, click on the menu and navigate to “programming”. The icon for VSCode should appear.
10. Games Emulators
If you like playing games then you can emulate games from many of the popular games consoles. You won’t be playing PS5 games any time soon but you can play all the classics from previous generations.