Linux Equivalents to common Windows Programs

We’re all familiar with windows proggies … and we know how to do things …

But in linux … there’s 1000 programs cryptically organised in your … err … well, mines a lizard bar (suse+kde)? and how do we know just what program does what …

The answer: Linky!

Good question Debro :slight_smile:
I tried openSuSe. i had some driver issues (sound didn’t work properly, nVidia 8800 driver crashed x server). Even worse was KDE and the mess of the menu’s. Also i personally found the user community very snobbish and pretty unwilling to help a Linux n00b like myself. When trying to find answers on how to get the nVidia driver working. A typical answer was “you need to get a new kernel and recompile it to work with your Gfx card and distro”. Yeah!!! a great help. :slight_smile:

After some research, i gave up on openSuSe and found ubuntu. It uses Gnome and the menu system is much cleaner, faster and easier to use.

Assuming everyone knows about Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice, the packages i use most often…

Kaffine ( a media player and if you have DVB T a TV player). You need the right CODECS and plugins, but ubuntu finds and installs them with a few clicks of the mouse.
xDVDShrink (Linux version of DVDShrink).
Nero Linux 3 beta (can’t wait till the final version). :slight_smile:
Gaim (MSN messenger among other instant messengers).
The GIMP (powerful graphics package).
FileZilla (FTP client)
Azureus (BitTorrent).
DeVeDe (DVD authoring).

Linky :slight_smile:
Linky :slight_smile:

A lot of the problems with Linux tend to relate to non-free software
like the Nvidia drivers. If Nvidia don’t produce a working binary
that is compatible with your distro of choice, you may have to
build a new kernel or at least a new kernel interface. This usually
means that you will need to install kernel headers, kernel source
and several other development packages. And of course, if it
is broken in any way, nobody in the Linux community can
fix it because they don’t have the source code.

I installed Ubuntu and played with it for a few days. I think 7.04
is the best version of Ubuntu yet. I normally use Debian which
Ubuntu is based on.

Thanks for the list Dee. I will add a few of my favourites:

K3b CD/DVD burning.
Pan Usenet client.
Xfig Vector drawing.
QUCS Electronics simulation.
Frostwire Gnutella client (free(er) version of Limewire)
XMMS Audio player.
Transcode Video transcoding.
Xine Video player.
Mplayer Video player.
Lame MP3 encoding.

Lots more in this list on the ILUG web-site:

Very cumbersome indeed, but it can easily be reverted to standard KDE menu style (see caption).

So far the only things I’ve added to the standard SUSE/KDE office desktop are:

  • Wine/WineTools (for those indispensable Windows tools like CDSpeed, Flash Utility…)
  • QPxTool (CD/DVD Drive Quality Testsuite)
  • KSensors (lm_sensors hardware monitoring front-end)
  • KWiFiManager (Wireless LAN Manager)
  • unrar (for the std. Ark Archiving Tool)
  • aMule (P2P eMule equivalent - std. KTorrent is fine for my bittorrent needs)
  • Nero beta (K3b does a pretty good job otherwise)
  • LightScribe SimpleLabeler and 4L (LaCie LightScribe Labeler for Linux)

Other KDE Windows equivalents are pretty straightforward and just a matter of getting used to. :slight_smile:

Does CD-DVD Speed work properly with wine?

I thought when one installed OpenSUSE that one is given a choice of GNOME or KDE (or both)?


Most of the major Linux distros have at least one unofficial FAQ site. I’ve found them to be invaulable sources of information. I’ve been using Linux on and off since 1999 (Mandrake, RedHat, SUSE, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu…) and have found such FAQs for all of them in the past. The video driver issue is typically a big issue for a lot of people. I’ve usualy found good information on my own without having to ask someone.

I do ask, but not before seeking out stuff via an Internet search.


That’s GNOME in general, regardless of the Linux distribution. Again, OpenSUSE has GNOME also.

I’m not pushing OpenSUSE. I just wanted you to know. In fact I’m an Ubuntu fan myself (well both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, that is).

Interesting you mention Kaffeine, it’s a KDE app, so therefore you’re running a KDE app in GNOME. Nnot that you can’t do that, but there are good GNOME options as well which mean less “bulk” for your installation (e.g. MPlayer, Gxine) and the non-desktop-environment-specific (and cross-platform) VLC.

I’ve had good success with all of these. But since I usually spend most of my time in KDE, I too, use Kaffeine. :slight_smile:

Oh and my most frequently used apps?

Firefox, Thudnerbird, Kate, Konqueror, Konsole, Amarok, KNode, Kaffeine & The GIMP.

I’d not heard of Xfig till now. Have you ever used Skencil, Inkscape or Sodipodi?

I’ve been playing with Ubuntu, but I’m thinking I might give kubuntu a try. Some of my favorite apps are KDE (Ktorrent and Amarok).

i’ve never known what other people see in azureus, and I think any utorrent user will agree that utorrent users are pretty attached to their client. Ktorrent is pretty much a direct utorrent clone That being said, I’m very surprised there isn’t a true utorrent client for linux. i’m open to change, and trying new things which was why I started messing around with linux in the first place, but I’d be very surprised if a program existed that would make me abandon utorrent.

amarok is a better media player/organizer/podcast streamer/ID3 tagger than any windows program I’ve used. It’s iTunes management capabilities on crack. I do use a separate program for tagging, but for small groups of files or quick fixes amarok is MORE than adequate.

Ubuntu is the first distro I’ve tried where I’ve heavily relied on the forums for help and I’d swear their contributors were bots…no one can be THAT nice lol and with an ATI video card, I needed a place with a lot of patience to initially get started.

other programs i like:

i’ve abandoned gaim for the newest pidgin (same program, just updated) not sure if it’s in repos. I had to compile it, but it was fairly painless.

if you use soulseek on windows check out nicotine…the linux soulseek client. it’s a p2p program ala napster but if you add your buddies to a list and they have their settings so you can upload to them you can send them photos or videos, etc while they’re away which is nice.

ntfs-3g drivers to write to my ntfs storage drives. drivers are now stable and in my 6 months of (heavy) use I haven’t run across any problems yet

i don’t remember the name of the program (not at home right now) but you hit a hotkey (say F1) and it launche sthe terminal as a fold down menu from the top of the screen. very nice for quickly showing/hiding the terminal while you’re doing other things. sort of like old school first person shooter style.

oh and if you’re sitting there saying “hey i need a program to do the same thing that X does in windows”

the linux equivalency project is a very nice source. it’s by no means complete but covers a fairly large quantity of functions and they’re alwys taking new submissions.

i liked it because you search by the windows or osx program that you need to replace and you’ll get 4 or 5 different options to test out. It’s nice when you’re just not quite sure what does what and need a few directiosn to go in.

I guess a lot is down to personal preference.
I did try Gnome in openSuSe but again i thought the menu’s were very cluttered. I also found yast hard to get along with. Compared to add/remove in ubuntu it’s a nightmare.
I forgot to mention i also use Amarok and like reasonsnotrules already pointed out (it rocks).
I’m also a fan of Utorrent, so i’ll be sure to give KTorrent a try.

A real cool util i found for ubuntu is “Automatix2” i found it very handy for getting some things working and finding some hard to find applications.

i tried to stay away from automatix or any of those “do it for you” type of scripts just because i wanted to learn exactly what it was I was doing, but I agree that those programs can be very helpful.

It sounds like you got your video driver issues cleared up, but I did use the envy script ( on my previous Edgy install. I don’t think I needed it with Feisty though although I don’t remember. it’s a nice automatic tool if you’re ready to throw your computer out the window due to video card driver issues.

I have tried Inkscape and Sodipodi in the distant past. I haven’t
heard of Skencil before. It looks familiar. Is it a renamed project?

Not on IDE, but it works perfectly with SATA and then I can use my PATA drives on USB or FireWire as well. :iagree:

I made a thread about this a couple of months ago ( where you’ll see it can work with a PATA drive too. With the right BIOS setting on that Intel ICH5 board, SuSE 10.0 uses a module called ata_piix in stead of ide, which worked to my surprise. :slight_smile:

Thanks Cressida. I just did an apt-get install wine and tried it. It spends
about a minute looking for a SCSI CD drive before it reports
"No CD-ROM drives found". I can see how it would work with
SATA drives because Linux treats SATA drives as SCSI drives.
It might work with ide-scsi, but I am reluctant to go back to
the old days of ide-scsi emulation.