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Top applications to help you ditch windows permanently

Posted 01-26-2009 at 03:25 PM by jkzfixme

Being an often vocal advocate of Linux has its ups and downs. Sometimes It would just be easier to have a box with windows in my house. However that would be letting "The Man" get you down, which is unacceptable in my book ! One of the most common occurrences I have seen in people trying to migrate over is to get a distro installed and stare at it blankly saying what now ? So what Im trying to do here is hopefully answer some of these questions and inform you of the programs and applications that I find most useful in my day to day computing.

One of the most important things is not to get discouraged, time and again I hear of people reinstalling windows just to run one particular application. Most of the time there is a linux based alternative however it takes a voracious amount of google'n to figure it out. In the interim there are actually a few programs that will help you out running these windows proggies on linux. Most noteably wine which is actually a translation layer that will allow you to run the program without booting the whole OS. The second option you have is virtualization whereas the whole OS is booted with a program like sun virtual box although this is obviously more hardware intensive and not suitable for older boxes. There are also forks such as Cedegathat will satisfy all your gaming needs. That being said one of these two options should be able to hold you over and keep you fighting the good fight until you find reasonable alternatives. There are plenty of well writen tutorials such as the "perfect desktop" series on so I wont get into how to install or excessive details, however these are a few of my favorites. Well I digress from my ramblings, here comes the fore mentioned alternatives that I find useful.


I am not much of a graphics guy, but even in my limited capacity the Gimp is indispensable and a perfectly acceptable alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

CD & DVD Burning

I find that one of the most aesthetically pleasing and intuitive programs out there is K3b. Its got a laundry list of features which you can check out here but the long and the short of it is you have everything you would under a major windows based suite, and even somethings you wouldn't expect such as DVD Ripping and DivX/XviD encoding.


There are quite a few utilities here worth mentioning the first being the most obvious, the Itunes killer. There are many alternatives out there, but I personally only use Amarok due to the fact that the songbird interface is suspect. I also find myself using Utube-Ripper as theres nothing better than breaking out your ipod and having a video from youtube of some guy getting kicked in the nuts.

Instant Messaging

Pidgin is pretty awesome and supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! IRC, Zephyr, Gadu, Groupwise, SIMPLE, SILC, Sametime, Napster, MSN, and Jabber. So one proggie will pretty much take care of everything.

Server Stuff

I can go on for hours on this subject, however I already have if you take a look at my previous postings. So I just wanted to mention one of my all time favorites webmin.


If you want the most complete solution, in my opinion you need to look no further than OpenOffice. It has all the goodies of the MS version without this paying for it crap.

There are of course a multitude of solutions out there and these are just some of the most common questions that I am asked. If there's anything you wish to add feel free to comment.

Jesse Ziter
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  1. Old Comment
    To add to your notes, I'd like to mention a plug-in that I find extremely useful for pidgin: pidgin-otr.

    pidgin-otr allows you to encrypt data you transmit through pidgin. It can be toggled on or off (if, for instance you have friends who don't use pidgin-otr or use a different IM client). Pidgin-otr can even offer basic key-based authentication (if a buddy gets his account broken into, the attacker likely won't have the original key for your buddy, which should tip you off that something isn't right).

    I use it regularly, and it's quite nice.
    Posted 01-26-2009 at 04:57 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    One piece of software, that prevented my escape from M$ to Linux, is Quicken that I used for all financial data. I found Moneydance which includes the primary features that I used in Quicken. Problem solved!

    Although my Latitude D505 has XP Pro and many M$ programming packages, I rarely use it. This was my present for completing my Associate's Degree. If the OS ever becomes corrupt, I was given XP Home. I would lose all the M$ programming software. If that ever happens, I will install Linux.
    Posted 01-30-2009 at 04:14 AM by hooked2u hooked2u is offline
  3. Old Comment
    yeah I especially liked that moneydance can import profiles , sweet gig

    Posted 02-02-2009 at 08:32 PM by jkzfixme jkzfixme is offline
  4. Old Comment
    IMHO, it would be a lot better to recommend Krita as a replacement for Photoshop. Krita feels very Photoshop-like as soon as you execute the program. I'm sure GIMP is very powerful once you learn the ins and outs, but I don't think a former Photoshop user is going to turn GIMP on and say "Wow, its an open-source Photoshop". But a first time Krita user might say "Wow, this does most of the stuff Photoshop does..."
    Posted 02-06-2009 at 09:08 PM by CoderMan CoderMan is offline


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