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.
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.
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.
- Libreoffice Download and Installation
- Open Office Download and Installation
- 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.
- gedit Download: http://projects.gnome.org/gedit/
- jEdit Download: http://www.jedit.org/index.php?page=download
- Kate Download: http://kate-editor.org/get-it/
- leafpad Downlaod: http://tarot.freeshell.org/leafpad/
- NEdit Download: http://www.nedit.org/
- Scribes Download: http://scribes.sourceforge.net/download.html
- 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.
- Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/#download-fx
- Epiphany: https://live.gnome.org/Epiphany/Downloads
- Konqueror: http://www.konqueror.org/download/
- 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.
- Instantbird: http://instantbird.com
- Kopete: http://kopete.kde.org/releases.php
- Pidgin: http://pidgin.im
- 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.
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?
- KolourPaint Download: http://kolourpaint.sourceforge.net/download.html
- Pencil Download: http://www.pencil-animation.org/index.php?id=Download
- Pinta Download: http://www.pinta-project.com/download.ashx
- 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:
- Brasero Download: http://projects.gnome.org/brasero/#download
- GnomeBaker: Download http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnomebaker/files/
- Graveman! Download: http://graveman.tuxfamily.org/telecharger.php?l=e
- K3b Download: http://www.k3b.org/
- 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:
- Freevo Download: http://freevo.sourceforge.net/download/freevo.php
- LinuxMCE Download: http://www.linuxmce.com/index.php/download
- Moovida Download: http://www.moovida.com/thank-you/
- MythTV Download: http://www.mythtv.org/download
- 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:
- VLC Player Download: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/#download
- KPlayer Download: http://kplayer.sourceforge.net/#downloads
- Mplayer Download: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html
- 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:
- Cinelerra Download: http://cinelerra.org/getting_cinelerra.php
- Kdenlive Download: http://kdenlive.org/downloading-and-installing-kdenlive
- LiVES Download: http://lives.sourceforge.net/index.php?do=downloads
- Open Movie Editor Download: http://www.openmovieeditor.org/download.html
- OpenShot Download: http://www.openshot.org/download/
- PiTiVi Download: http://www.pitivi.org/?go=download
- 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.
- GParted Download: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php
- Palimpsest Download: http://library.gnome.org/users/palimpsest
- Partimage Download: http://www.partimage.org/Download
- QtParted Download: http://qtparted.sourceforge.net/download.en.html
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.
- qBittorrent Download: http://qbittorrent.sourceforge.net/download.php
- 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.
- Evince Download: https://live.gnome.org/Evince/Downloads
- okular Download: http://okular.kde.org/download.php
- 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.