Sunday, April 9, 2006

Making the Switch from Microsoft to FREE!

I have read lots of posts and stories all over the net about there not being SOFTWARE of comparable features and power for Linux. Many people are under this illusion and therefore choose to stay with Microsoft and pay out their asses to boot. Well I for one am tired of paying for software and operating systems. So I decided I would take some time and find very good software/operating systems to replace the crap I currently have had to pay for. Below you will find a list of Very good Operating Systems and a nice sized list of FREE (except when noted) software. I have tried to include everything that would be needed on most Desktops and Workstations and even included accounting and tax software as those seem to be two of the biggest problems. I didn't include any games, but rest assured there are thousands of very good games out there for Linux. Including Doom, SimCity, Civilization, Qauke and many more.

Operating Systems

Ubuntu – Debian Based and my personal favorite – extremely easy to install, configure and use
Damn Small Linux
Suse Linux
Mandriva Linux – Also very easy to install and use
Redhat Linux – very flexible and comes in numerous configurations for desktop/workstation, server, enterprise server, etc.
Anonym.OS – Only available as a LiveCD that is used to boot the computer and run it from CD. Very useful if you need to be TOTALLY ANONYMOUS or are just a Privacy Fanatic. Maybe possible to install but not sure.
Slackware – very popular but not the easiest to use/learn
FreeBSD – based on BSD (Unix)
OpenBSD – based on BSD (Unix)



Quasar Accounting – Replaces Quicken/Quickbooks – NOT FREE
Quasar Point-of-Sale – Runs Cash Registers and ties it to your accounting software – NOT FREE
GnuCASH – Replaces Quicken/Quickbooks
BANAL – Book Keeping System


Dia – Diagram Editor
gThumb – Image Viewer
Blender 3d modeller
Gimp Image Editor
Wings3d – 3D mesh modeller


aMSN – MSN Messenger for Linux
aMule – eMule P2P Client
Bittornado – Bittorrent client
- P2P Network/Client
Epiphany Web Browser
EtherApe – Graphical Network Monitor
Ethereal – Network traffic analyzer
Galeon Web Browser
GnomeMeeting – similar to Microsoft's NetMeeting
Konqueror Web Browser
Kopete – Trillian Style Instant Messenger for AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and more
– Skype style VOIP Telephony Program
Mozilla Mail Client
Mozilla Web Browser
Nicotine – SoulSeek network filesharing client
Thunderbird Mail Client – Similar to Microsoft Outlook


AbiWord Word Processor
Adobe Acrobat

Mozilla Calendar Suite – Replaces Microsoft Office

Other Cool Applications

Celestia Space Simulator
– Satellite tracker
GRAMPS Genealogy System


Anjuta IDE – Integrated Development Environment
Bluefish Editor – Web Development Editor
Boa Constructor – RAD Tool for Python and WxWindows
Eclipse – Integrated Development Environment
Interface Designer – Design Graphical User Interfaces
gPHPEdit – Edit PHP source files
– Web Development Environment
HTML/XML Editor – Website Editor and Management System


amaroK – WinAmp on Steroids
Audacity – Record and edit audio files
GnomeBaker – Burn CD/DVD discs
Gnomoradio Music Player – find, download and play free music
Grip – CD Player/Ripper
Helix Player – very good media player
K3B – CD Writing Program (Does DVD's Too)
Mplayer – Very easy to use and no fuss media player
Nomad Jukebox Manager – Upload, Download and Edit tracks on your Creative Nomad
Ogle – DVD Player with Menus
RealPlayer Video Player
Serpentine – Create audio CDs from Music Files
VLC for Gnome – Media Player

System and Security Applications

Firestarter – Desktop Firewall Tool
GnomePGP – PGP Encryption Program
Synaptic Package Manager – The best package manager on EARTH.

Special Note: If you install a version of Linux like Debian or Ubunto that has the Synaptic Package Manager preinstalled you can use it to find all of the software listed above and much much more. Plus you can select numerous programs from the package manager and have then all automatically installed and configured, including dependancies. It is now as easy as Windows/OSX to install software using the Synaptics Package Manager. Plus the package manager has a WindowsUpdate style feature built in that will check and prompt you whenever there are updates to any of the operating system or software installed on your computer.