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Alternatives of 13 Most Commonly Used Windows Applications for Linux

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People hesitates, switching from windows to Linux because they fear, they won’t get an appropriate program to perform their day-to-day task. Moreover a general notion more or less that lies within us is – “A Paid service or a paid project would be more reliable as compared to a project that falls under the category of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)”. Had it been true, perhaps there would not have been a project named Linux today, Neither I would have been writing this nor you would have been reading right now. Only true GEEK know that there is an alternative to almost all the projects, available for Linux and even more than that.

Windows Alternatives For Linux

13 Most Commonly Used Windows Alternatives For Linux

These alternatives are more reliable, less buggy, more secure, easy-to-upgrade, easy-to-install, large user-group-support and that don’t crashes similar to their alternatives for windows. Get ready to change the prevailing notion, along the article.

1. Microsoft Office

If you had worked on Windows you would probably be familiar with Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is the only office suit that Windows Ships that is used to create or edit formatted text document, and you have to buy it separately i.e., this package doesn’t comes with the Windows OS. The alternative to Microsoft Office is Libreoffice.

Libreoffice is fast, contains necessary plugins like PDF converter inbuilt and installed, does not break oftenly, comes bundled with many distros (e.g., Debian). A file created in Ms Office could be opened and/or edited in LibreOffice but the vice-versa is not true. A file can be created to be Ms Office compatible in LibreOffice but the vice-versa is again not true. The main installer of LibreOffice is nearly 175 MB as compared to Ms Office which is over 500 MB.

Certain other alternatives are OpenOffice, AbiWord, etc.

  1. Libreoffice Download and Installation
  2. Open Office Download and Installation
  3. AbiWord Download: http://www.abisource.com/download/

All of them are available for Windows too, however Ms Office is not supported in Linux but you can certainly use wine to install MS office to Linux, that’s the power of Linux.

2. MS Notepad

MS Notepad is another program that is pre-built in Windows box. Some of the alternatives of Notepad are.

  1. gedit Download: http://projects.gnome.org/gedit/
  2. jEdit Download: http://www.jedit.org/index.php?page=download
  3. Kate Download: http://kate-editor.org/get-it/
  4. leafpad Downlaod: http://tarot.freeshell.org/leafpad/
  5. NEdit Download: http://www.nedit.org/
  6. Scribes Download: http://scribes.sourceforge.net/download.html
  7. tpad Download: http://tclpad.sourceforge.net/download.shtml

3. Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet surfing is the most widely used task one perform using a computer. Windows ships their OS with Internet Explorer or IExplorer as Browser. Before Saying anything about IExplorer, one quotation that is too hilarious, commonly shared as – “IExplorer is the best browser available, to download another browser”. You will rarely find anyone using IExplorer even on Windows platform (I Fear, if Bill Gates himself is using another browser for his personal computing). The alternative to Ms IExplorer is Firefox.

Firefox is highly customisable, according to users’ need. Firefox Supports a number of plugins and when it comes to security, IExplorer is a way far behind Firefox.

Certain other alternatives are Epiphany, Konqueror, Opera, etc.

  1. Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/#download-fx
  2. Epiphany: https://live.gnome.org/Epiphany/Downloads
  3. Konqueror: http://www.konqueror.org/download/
  4. Opera: http://www.opera.com/download/guide/?os=linux

Most of them are available for Windows too and some of them are even available for Mobile Devices.

4. Windows AOL

Windows AOL Instant Messenger, commonly called as AIM, is the Instant Messenger, provided by Windows. Some of the alternatives of AIM are.

  1. Instantbird: http://instantbird.com
  2. Kopete: http://kopete.kde.org/releases.php
  3. Pidgin: http://pidgin.im
  4. PSI: http://psi-im.org/download/

5. Adobe Photoshop

Why should one use a program that is too high on processor as well as money and when the Foss alternative of the software is low on processor and provides you with more tools and is very easy to use. Gimp is a very nice alternative of Adobe Photoshop.

Gimp is written in C and GTK+ and Photoshop in C++ which makes photoshop a nice tool but it’s constraint is being close source program that cost too much on cost and processor load. Gimp comes packed with almost all the distros. Another alternatives is CinePaint.

  1. Gimp Download: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
  2. CinePaint Downlaod: http://www.cinepaint.org/

Gimp too can be installed on Windows.

6. Ms Paint

Ms Paint is another tool that however comes bundled with the Windows box. Why don’t you try yourself the alternative of this program and tell us which one you liked the most?

  1. KolourPaint Download: http://kolourpaint.sourceforge.net/download.html
  2. Pencil Download: http://www.pencil-animation.org/index.php?id=Download
  3. Pinta Download: http://www.pinta-project.com/download.ashx
  4. Tuxpaint Download: http://www.tuxpaint.org/download/

7. Nero Burning ROM

Nero provide tools for burning optical disk. There lies many strong reason to find an alternative software of Nero. Firstly Nero is not supported in Linux followed by Nero makes the Drive and Disk to freeze, it is closed source and it costs too high on purse. Brasero is a very nice alternative to Nero.

Brasero is free, open source tool, the output of which is very reliable. Other alternatives of Nero are:

  1. Brasero Download: http://projects.gnome.org/brasero/#download
  2. GnomeBaker: Download http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnomebaker/files/
  3. Graveman! Download: http://graveman.tuxfamily.org/telecharger.php?l=e
  4. K3b Download: http://www.k3b.org/
  5. X-CD-Roast Download: http://www.xcdroast.org/#download

8. Microsoft Windows Media Center

A PC entertainment system that comes with Windows 7 and later, however it is not available for Windows prior to Windows7. It requires high-end graphics card for full functionality and results in Windows freezing oftenly. Why don’t you try the alternative of this, without any constraints and walls and tell us your experience.

Alternatives of Microsoft Windows Media Center are:

  1. Freevo Download: http://freevo.sourceforge.net/download/freevo.php
  2. LinuxMCE Download: http://www.linuxmce.com/index.php/download
  3. Moovida Download: http://www.moovida.com/thank-you/
  4. MythTV Download: http://www.mythtv.org/download
  5. XBMC Media Center Download: http://xbmc.org/download/

9. Windows Media PLayer

Windows Media Player is shipped with the Windows, but the same look and feel for years, frequent resulting into BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death), bugs and poor codec support are the backdraws of Windows Media Player. VLC is a very pleasing alternative for Windows media player and all other media player for all the platform.

VLC gets frequent updates, resulting in less bugs, plenty of codecs support and a sneak look.

Other Alternatives of Windows Media Player are:

  1. VLC Player Download: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/#download
  2. KPlayer Download: http://kplayer.sourceforge.net/#downloads
  3. Mplayer Download: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html
  4. Xine Download: http://www.xine-project.org/releases

There are certain fancy media players that can run from terminal, giving you a Geeky feeling viz., CMUS.

10. Windows Movie Maker

Many of the newbie believes that Linux is a too Geeky thing and perhaps there is no support for high quality videos editing. So they appraise Linux Environment for their Geeky productivity environment but when it comes to video editing, they sees towards either Windows or Mac. Cinlerra is much advanced alternative of Windows Movie Maker.

Alternative of Movie Maker are:

  1. Cinelerra Download: http://cinelerra.org/getting_cinelerra.php
  2. Kdenlive Download: http://kdenlive.org/downloading-and-installing-kdenlive
  3. LiVES Download: http://lives.sourceforge.net/index.php?do=downloads
  4. Open Movie Editor Download: http://www.openmovieeditor.org/download.html
  5. OpenShot Download: http://www.openshot.org/download/
  6. PiTiVi Download: http://www.pitivi.org/?go=download
  7. VideoLAN Movie Creator Download: http://trac.videolan.org/vlmc/wiki/Downloads

11. Partition Magic

Partition Magic is a tool for creating or repartitioning a mass storage device or block. Ok, if you don’t know about the alternative of this closed source software then give a look at these alternatives, you surely will love the power provided to you with these Foss software’s.

  1. GParted Download: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php
  2. Palimpsest Download: http://library.gnome.org/users/palimpsest
  3. Partimage Download: http://www.partimage.org/Download
  4. QtParted Download: http://qtparted.sourceforge.net/download.en.html

12. utorrent

A general user come across torrent download most oftenly, when in a closed source, utorrent could be a good option but certainly there exist a better plan. Try Transmission or qBittorent.

  1. qBittorrent Download: http://qbittorrent.sourceforge.net/download.php
  2. Transmission Download: http://www.transmissionbt.com/download/

13. Adobe Acrobat Reader

To view Portable Document file, a Windows user must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in their system. Well if you have used the above, you might be aware that adobe for no reason prompts you to download and install updates every second day, and you have the same software from the first day you installed to the day you installed 100th update.

Moreover it provides you with the feature only to view the portable file. Just move your sight from proprietary software to Foss and give a try to the below mentioned packages. At least one of them comes with almost every Linux distribution pre-built and installed.

  1. Evince Download: https://live.gnome.org/Evince/Downloads
  2. okular Download: http://okular.kde.org/download.php
  3. Xpdf Download: http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf/download.html

This is the power and popularity of Linux that a FOSS Project has several Alternative Foss Project. So our competition is not with other platform but within the same platform, giving choice of use without any bottleneck. This healthy competition is a sign of good future for Foss World but certainly a threatening to other platforms.

Stay Tuned! I will be joining you in the very next article soon. Don’t forget to mention your valuable comments here, Like and Share it and help us spread.

I am a major in computer science, love to research nix. I love to write codes and scripts, review distros, experiment Foss Technologies, write technical articles, Hack, of course Ethically. I am working as System Administrator (nix) for a NGO.

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27 Responses

  1. Peter Molnar says:

    Photoshop could not be replaced only with Gimp; however, if you list Gimp + Inkscape, you’re closer to the truth.

  2. Peter Jansen says:

    Adobe reader is available for linux, and, though probably not supported anymore, there was at a time a Nero burning ROM for Linux (Nero burning ROM 4). I am also surprised Chromium (Google Chrome) wasn’t under the browser list.

    • Avishek says:

      The policy of chrome is a little unknown to us.
      Chrome tracks anything and everything, what ever you do on web.
      Although Chromium is opensource and too fast as compared to other browser but still this didn’t make it to this article.

      If you are on chromium there is nothing called privacy. just serach for anything which is not common e.g., books, biscuit, shoes, cosmetics and you will be surprised to know that, from then all the ads will be related to your search term. Just check this.

      • jocaferro says:

        You don’t know the policy of Chrome/Chromium and this is the only fact you’d excluded from the list. Allright it’s your opinion and I’ll respect it although I disagree with you.
        But why did you choose Opera knowing that it’s not FOSS!?
        Or why did you choose some apps that depend of the patent disguised mono!?

        If you use any os the above mentioned browsers with the Google search engine/bar you’ll have the same problems. If you want to choose another search engine in Chrome/chromium you can do it too. So I don’t clear understand why your privacy fear excluded this browser. I’m sure you know that you can browse the web anonymously with Chrome/Chromium, right?

        Best regards.

      • Andrew Hadweh says:

        I totally agree with you, no privacy at all… it just fetch all cookies and every bit!

  3. Hameed says:

    There are many differences between Microsoft Office and Libreoffice but Microsoft Office can be used with Wine in Linux, until Linux office packages improved.

    • Federico Marchetti says:

      One thing you will realize if you teach statistics in a community college is that Libre Office doesn’t have much in terms of pre-programmed statistics. Neither does MS Office, but you can install the data analysis extension, and I am not aware of an equivalent in LO. However, Gnumeric (lightweght, in theory part of the Gnome office “suite”, with AbiWord) does have the stuff built in, you don’t have to install anything extra, and, in some aspects, it does a cleaner job than MS Office. It’s not suited for very heavy professional grade stats, but then, neither is MS Office – you need R for that.

      As far as I know, Gnumeric is available for Windows, but not on OS X. It is, of course, available on Linux

  4. Harri says:

    Replacement for Outlook?

  5. Zta says:

    Hi,

    Nice list all in all. It’s important to remind people of the alternatives. Even though the part about Office suites seemed more like the familiar Linux-is-better-rant which is a bit sad.

    Anyway, I have some additions that I think are important. Some I’ve just read about and ever used, others are on my TODO-list to check out, and some I am a regular or daily user of.

    1. Microsoft Office

    * WPS Office is an MS Office lookalike, so if that’s important to you: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/03/wps-office-for-linux-looks-like-microsoft-office-but-isnt

    3. Internet Explorer

    * Google Chrome (or Chromium as the Open Source proejct is called). Everyone knows it, it’s probably the world’s most used browser, and I wonder why you didn’t *want* to mention it: http://www.chromium.org/Home

    4. Windows AOL

    * Empathy is default in Ubuntu and therefore deserves mentioning. Like Pidgin (and probably others) it integrates with nearly any chat service on the planet: https://live.gnome.org/Empathy

    5. Adobe Photoshop

    * Darktable is a photo editor, very much like Adobe Lightroom. It’s a must have if own a digital camera! http://www.darktable.org/
    * Inkscape for vector graphics: http://inkscape.org/
    * Scribus for DTP (text and graphics layouting): http://www.scribus.net/canvas/Scribus

    Even though neither of the tools have a learning curve that’s like a walk in the park, they’re all very impressive tools!

    10. Windows Movie Maker

    * Cinelerra … last I checked it was a very, very complex application to use. My guess is that if you expect Windows Movie Maker and enter Cinelerra, your head would explode. It should definitely not be on top of the list, if t here at all.

    * Lightworks, professional tool and quite new on Linux. Probably as feature-rich as Cinelerra, but maybe easier to use. I’m guessing, but the application definitely deserves mentioning: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/04/lightworks-enter-public-beta

    • Skylance says:

      Mail program (Thunderbird) would have been a good inclusion.

      I would take some exception on the “Windows AOL” section, though. Respectfully, perhaps the author is not as well-versed in chat/messaging programs. Windows did not come with AOL or AIM as default, but rather MSN & Windows Messenger. AIM is a product of AOL, which is a separate entity from Microsoft (despite what the old chain letter claimed). Likewise, Yahoo! Messenger, and other proprietary programs were/are user installed extras. Pidgin and Empathy are two FOSS programs that allow for accounts through one of these other services to be used through Linux.

      With regard to browsers, it may be worth taking a look at Sleipnir, though it’s not got a very strong foothold at present.

  6. zoly says:

    Isn’t the Pinta a program? So there should be “Pinta” (uppercase) and not “pinta”.

  7. Frank Williams says:

    Good article. It is complimentary to a more extensive article at

    Linux Equivalents

  8. Walter Freud says:

    I recommend another free alternative to Microsoft Office:

    freeoffice.com

    Why? Because it doesn’t need as much resources as LibreOffice (57MB compared to 190MB), it is less packed but has all the functionalities that an efficient office suite needs, it’s faster, it has a better UI, but mainly it has a much better compatibility to Microsoft Office formats than LibreOffice. Whilst LO messes up many formats, file exchange with FreeOffice works excellent. It includes the great import and export filters from SoftMaker which are regarded as the best on the market.

  9. Joel says:

    Left out of browsers was Chromium. That should be added since it works great in Linux.

  10. Jacque Donald says:

    I’m A Linux fan and windows fan, I think they both have their advantages. What leads me to comment on this article is the notion you make that these applications you mention are more reliable and less buggy and also more secure. I have been in the business for almost fifteen years and I run a majority of these applications for a variety of uses on windows 7 and windows 8 and I don’t experience any crashes or buggy behavior at all… And as for security the majority of these applications run on either platform and security is something that begins with your system and network configuration along with the tools and technique you use to ensure your own safety, and I just have to say that the majority of your safety is based on that not on your choice of operating system or software. I am not in any way saying these aren’t good applications, nor am I saying one operating system is better than another because in reality the best is the one that fulfills your needs for your own requirements not just some bucket list that claims it’s better because it’s FOSS.

  11. Benjamin Smith says:

    What about Silverlight for Netflix? This is the only reason I still use Windows sometimes.

  12. Taner Müftüoğlu says:

    What about
    Blender – 3DS Max,
    Octave – Matlab,
    Freehand – Inkscape
    IIS – Apache :)
    MS SQL Server – MySql Server
    Active Directory Server – Samba4
    Virtual PC, WMWare – VirtualBox
    DreamViewer – BlueFish :) (in a way)
    ???

  13. Eli says:

    Another phenomenal paint program is MyPaint – http://mypaint.intilinux.com/

  14. Larry says:

    This is great. I only wish you had included an email client.

    Thunderbird is the only one I’m familier with but I’m sure their are others. I’ve been asked for that info for people wanting to install a cheap replacement for outlook.

    I’ll forward this off to my family. Some at least use some opensource software. They have yet to “See The True Light” and make the correct decision on their OS ;)

  15. Mollusk says:

    Deluge is the end all be all torrent client, period.

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