Most Commonly Used Windows Alternatives for Linux

People hesitate, switching from Windows to Linux because they fear, they won’t get an appropriate program to perform their day-to-day tasks. 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.

These alternatives are more reliable, less buggy, more secure, easy-to-upgrade, easy-to-install, large user-group-support, and that doesn’t crash similar to their alternatives for windows. Get ready to change the prevailing notion, along with 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 suite that Windows Ships that is used to create or edit a formatted text document, and you have to buy it separately i.e., this package doesn’t come 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 often, 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 250 MB as compared to MS Office which is over 500 MB.

Certain other alternatives are OpenOffice, AbiWord, etc.

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.

[ You might also like: 23 Best Open Source Text Editors (GUI + CLI) for Linux ]

3. Microsoft Edge Browser

Internet surfing is the most widely used task one performs using a computer. Windows ships its OS with Microsoft Edge as Browser. Before Saying anything about Microsoft Edge, one quotation that is too hilarious commonly shared is – “Microsoft Edge is the best browser available, to download another browser”. You will rarely find anyone using Microsoft Edge even on the Windows platform (I Fear if Bill Gates himself is using another browser for his personal computing). The alternatives to Microsoft Edge are Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

According to users ‘ needs, these alternative browsers are highly customizable and support several plugins and when it comes to security, Microsoft Edge is far behind.

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

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

[ You might also like: 16 Best Web Browsers I Discovered for Linux ]

4. Windows AOL

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

  1. Instantbird:
  2. Kopete:
  3. Pidgin:
  4. PSI:

5. Adobe Photoshop

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

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

[ You might also like: How to Install GIMP 2.10 in Ubuntu and Linux Mint ]

Another alternative is CinePaint.

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 to this program and tell us which one you liked the most?

7. Nero Burning ROM

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

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

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 a high-end graphics card for full functionality and results in Windows freezing often. 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:

[ You might also like: 10 Best Media Server Software for Linux ]

9. Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is shipped with the Windows, but the same look and feel for years, frequent resulting in BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death), bugs, and poor codec support are the back draws 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 fewer bugs, plenty of codecs support, and a sneak look.

Other Alternatives of Windows Media Player are:

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

[ You might also like: 16 Best Open Source Video Players For Linux ]

10. Windows Movie Maker

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

Alternative of Movie Maker are:

[ You might also like: 8 Best Video Editing Softwares I Discovered for Linux ]

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.

[ You might also like: Top 6 Partition Managers (CLI + GUI) for Linux ]

12. utorrent

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

[ You might also like: 10 Most Popular Download Managers for Linux ]

13. Adobe Acrobat Reader

To view a 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 the 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 it 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:
  2. okular Download:
  3. Xpdf Download:

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

If you liked this article, then do subscribe to email alerts for Linux tutorials. If you have any questions or doubts? do ask for help in the comments section.

If You Appreciate What We Do Here On TecMint, You Should Consider:

TecMint is the fastest growing and most trusted community site for any kind of Linux Articles, Guides and Books on the web. Millions of people visit TecMint! to search or browse the thousands of published articles available FREELY to all.

If you like what you are reading, please consider buying us a coffee ( or 2 ) as a token of appreciation.

Support Us

We are thankful for your never ending support.

30 thoughts on “Most Commonly Used Windows Alternatives for Linux”

  1. Gimp is useful, but not an Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom replacement.

    There are replacements, Darktable or Rawtherapee, both high-quality programs for photographers.

  2. At the top of this article originally written in 2013, it says “Last Updated: June 16, 2021”. If so, it seems it has not been revised according to the date, as it mentions Internet Explorer as the browser shipped by Microsoft in Windows, when everyone knows this software has been discontinued recently and the “official” Windows browser is MS Edge, based on the Chromium project.

  3. Master PDF editor Which is free for personal use and is cross platform Linux, Mac.and windows for those that use it. The only linux distribution tgat has it on install is PCLinuxOS.

  4. 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 ;)

  5. 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)


Got something to say? Join the discussion.

Have a question or suggestion? Please leave a comment to start the discussion. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated and your email address will NOT be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.