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port to linuxLast year, I decided I would start solely using Ubuntu as the primary OS on my laptop. But the lack of printer support, and hiccups here and there in Ubuntu unfortunately catapulted How To Safely Uninstall Ubuntu From A Windows Dual-Boot PC How To Safely Uninstall Ubuntu From A Windows Dual-Boot PC Read More me back to Windows 7. As my classes right now are requiring students to SSH into university servers to submit homework, I thought I might as well start getting used to bash and Linux again.

There are many suitable Linux distros that are easy to pick up 3 Ways to Install Linux on Windows or Mac 3 Ways to Install Linux on Windows or Mac Read More for Windows users How to Set Up a Dual Boot Windows & Linux System with Wubi How to Set Up a Dual Boot Windows & Linux System with Wubi Read More , such as Ubuntu DOWNLOAD Ubuntu: An Absolute Beginner's Guide DOWNLOAD Ubuntu: An Absolute Beginner's Guide Curious about Ubuntu, but not sure where to start? Start here: "Ubuntu: An Absolute Beginner's Guide", by author Courtney Loo, is the latest free guide from MakeUseOf and will teach you everything you need to... Read More , PinguyOS Install & Use Linux The Easy Way With The Ubuntu-Based PinguyOS Install & Use Linux The Easy Way With The Ubuntu-Based PinguyOS Read More , Zorin Make Switching From Windows To Linux Easier With Zorin OS Make Switching From Windows To Linux Easier With Zorin OS Linux is not hard to use or understand, but it simply doesn't fit the Windows mindset that most people have. Expecting to do everything in Linux exactly like in Windows is where problems start appearing,... Read More , etc. I’ve been calling Linux Mint my main OS How To Dual-Boot The Windows & Linux OS's On Your Computer How To Dual-Boot The Windows & Linux OS's On Your Computer It's like having two computers in one - start your system up and choose between Windows and Linux. It's called dual-booting, and it gives you access to two of the best operating systems on the... Read More , an experience which has absolutely blown my mind. Linux Mint simply works beautifully, without any of the quirks that drove me up the wall Why Linux Isn't As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion] Why Linux Isn't As Good As Everyone Makes It Out To Be [Opinion] Linux is a highly developed, stable and advanced operating system - this, I will never question. It comes in every conceivable flavour - from server solutions that simply work (again, this cannot be argued with)... Read More in Ubuntu. However, I have observed that there are no alternatives (yet) for some of the programs that I call indispensable and have grown to love in Windows.

There might be Linux alternatives Switching to Linux: Linux Alternatives to Windows Apps [Part I] Switching to Linux: Linux Alternatives to Windows Apps [Part I] Read More for the products on this list, but the Windows counterparts are simply equipped with more and better features at times, leaving much to be desired of the few programs that are in fact, available for Linux. Wine Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Run Windows Applications on Linux (or Mac) with WINE Read More and PlayOnLinux PlayOnLinux Brings Windows Games & Programs To Linux PlayOnLinux Brings Windows Games & Programs To Linux Read More might provide some hope 4 Ways To Make Linux Compatible With Even More Software 4 Ways To Make Linux Compatible With Even More Software Read More to Linux users who swear by certain programs or services, but they don’t always guarantee complete relief. At least for me, the following programs sadly don’t work as well, if at all, when I run them with Wine.

Windows Live Writer

port to linux

To say that this program makes blogging a breeze is an understatement. Windows Live Writer Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer Five Things To Do After Installing Windows Live Writer Read More is a superb product with many ridiculously useful features. It supports pasting of screenshots, keyboard shortcuts for the most common tasks, and plenty of other features that make it work as smoothly as can be.

I discovered this tool back when Mahendra rounded up the top 5 Microsoft products The Top 5 Free Microsoft Products & Why They Are The Best The Top 5 Free Microsoft Products & Why They Are The Best Read More 2 years ago. I was fed up with WordPress sometimes losing my almost-finished drafts so I gathered some courage and tried the highly-rated program. Little did I know it would become one my absolute favorite products released by Microsoft. As Mahendra said, if you are a blogger and are not using Windows Live Writer, you are seriously wasting your time.

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Evernote

good programs for linux

Evernote is a must-have for anyone with ideas to jot down, pictures of places, food, etc. to take, audio to record, etc. It’s like your second brain, except it will remember anything and it is available for a number of devices. Like I’ve said before 5 Uses for the Evernote Desktop Clients [Windows & Mac] 5 Uses for the Evernote Desktop Clients [Windows & Mac] A couple of years ago, we had a post on the myriad uses for Evernote, which could well be an all-in-one second brain. With the advent of improvements on the desktop clients, there have been... Read More , Evernote’s desktop client for Windows or Mac can serve a multitude of purposes, including being your email client, photo journal program, quick screenshot utility, and more. Perhaps one of my favorite features is that it allows you to paste clipboard images.

Now I know NixNote (formerly Nevernote Access Your Evernote Data With The Open Source Client Nevernote [Linux] Access Your Evernote Data With The Open Source Client Nevernote [Linux] Linux users have long been used to the fact that a lot of online services that also offers its own optional client generally doesn't have one for Linux. Instead, they have to use the service... Read More ) is a cool, unofficial project that aims to bring an Evernote client for Linux, and that may even work wonders for you. However, in my machine, NixNote is on the slower side and it doesn’t sync back to Evernote servers very well. On the other hand, NixNote lets you change colors in your notes, rotate images, hide notebooks and unused tags, and many other tasks that aren’t available in Evernote.

Any PDF Annotator (e.g. PDF-XChange Viewer PDF-XChange Viewer - Give This Free PDF Reader A Second Look PDF-XChange Viewer - Give This Free PDF Reader A Second Look Read More )

port to linux

I know PDF files aren’t meant to be edited, but when all your professors do is publish PDF slides instead of giving you handouts anymore, sometimes you just need a program to annotate these slides. Foxit Reader has been ported to Linux FoxIt Reader - A Great Alternative PDF Reader for Linux FoxIt Reader - A Great Alternative PDF Reader for Linux Read More but it’s really only for viewing PDF files, not for annotating anything. The default GNOME PDF viewer, Evince, does fine reading PDFs as well, but it doesn’t support small annotations, while Okular does allow you to review the files (with annotations) but it doesn’t let you save annotations to the actual files.

It’s a bit ridiculous that there are many PDF editors available for Windows, but all you can do in Linux is face the many limitations or figure out unsatisfying workarounds, like using Xournal Xournal - A Great Note-Taking Application For Linux Xournal - A Great Note-Taking Application For Linux There are many applications out there that try to make your life easier by letting you take useful notes that you can search and manipulate in a number of ways. Some of these programs do... Read More to convert PDFs to images (which it does fine but it’s not the seamless experience I was looking for), Inkscape Increase Image Resolution: Convert Raster Images to Vector Increase Image Resolution: Convert Raster Images to Vector Read More to add text (but only one page at a time), or PDFEdit which does allow edits but is so not user-friendly. I guess the best you can do for now in Linux is either run PDF-XChange Viewer via Wine (embracing the Windows 98 toolbar look), use Okular to read annotations or use web-based PDF editors 2 Ways To Annotate Your PDF Files Online 2 Ways To Annotate Your PDF Files Online Read More .

What are some great programs, or even services (ahem, Netflix, anyone?) that you Linux users absolutely miss from Windows? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit: phauly

  1. Paul Girardin
    July 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for this article!

    I just started using Linux (the Mint 13 MAYA package) and articles like this one help me transition to it from Windows.

    My desktop tower has been brought back to life because of Linux.

    Now I just need to get up to speed with this new (for me) operating system.

  2. spothead
    February 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Foobar2000...no Linux audio player comes close...

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

      I know the fan base for Foobar2000 is quite large but I haven't used it myself. Could you please elaborate on what makes it so awesome?

      • Quinton
        April 2, 2012 at 1:26 am

        Features and customization.
        It's not too flashy but it is fast and it organizes your music just the way you decide to. Very easy to use yet able to be tailored by someone more advanced. I don't think I could ever use another player. Gapless playback as well.

        • Jessica Cam Wong
          April 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm

          That sounds like every other music player to me, but I suppose that's because my music player needs are not that advanced.

          Either way, I appreciate the time you took to comment!

        • Jessica Cam Wong
          April 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

          I meant every other player except iTunes!

  3. Guillermo Bottaro
    February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Instead of Onenote, try Basket, it's KDE-based. I used to install all KDE depencies so I could use it on my ubuntu notebook

    • Jessica Cam W.
      March 4, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Hmm, haven't used that program yet. I might try it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Nevio P.
    February 22, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Since the people below have done a good job with the options, Ill do something else.

    Namely printers which have been very good the past few years.

    Brother has AMAZING Linux support, still havent found one that it doesnt support including the printer-fax-copier combos.
    HP supplies Linux drivers for all their printers. So that is a pretty safe bet.
    My friends also say Epson is very good.

    Canon and Lexmark were so-so the lasttime I checked a few years ago.
    Any chance you have one of those two?
    You can check this database or there are a few others.
    http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/database/databaseintro or I think this is their new url : http://www.openprinting.org/printers

    >Windows users, such as Ubuntu, PinguyOS, Zorin

    Are you sure these are the best ones for newbies or has the Ubuntu hype machine swallowed you whole?
    Zorin is still a Gnome desktop and KDE is much, much close to the look and feel (GTK is the big difference, Qt feels more like MS) of Windows.
    Zorin looks and feels like a cobbled together piecemeal look more like Win98.

    Pinguy is also a Gnome distribution and oh by the way, ALL three of your choices are Ubuntu or derivatives. Have you even tried something else?
    Oh wait... Mint... another Buntu offshoot. Im willing to bet that its also a Gnome desktop.
    Im stating to see a pattern here....

    Ive done about 30 conversions of friends and especially family (who want free support and this was the deal because I was spending so much of my time cleaning the usual crap) and twice tht much at Lugfests and when you give a Windows user a choice KDE usually wins by quite a margin.

    My dad needs a particular tax program so we installed XP in Virtualbox and he opens it up once a year. He is one of a dozen relatives over 72 that are now using Linux, half of them never touched a computer. Its a 70-30 split between KDE and XCFE (i offer always three desktops for them to look over,usually giving them my laptop for a week) and XCFE is defaulted to when its old hardware.
    The Linux-is-too-hard myth is really shot out the window. Granted, I had them all using free software like Firefox, Chrome, VLC, OpenOffice beforehand in windows and even brought along Opera, Skype, Picasa, Google Earth too.

    There really is more to Linux that Gnome and Ubuntu ESPECIALLY if its to switch people over from Windows.

    There is no bad choice really, just different paradigms that people prefer.
    Its about getting people to use Linux and you find whats best for THEM.
    (I use mainly E17 and LXDE but dont push those on people.)

    • Aibek
      February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      thanks for the detailed input

  5. BenN
    February 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Zoho has a very nice alternative to OneNote/EverNote.  Productivity Apps > Notebook.  Web based, a few skins, bookmarklets...  Zoho was great years ago and just keeps getting better.

    Netflix would be great on Linux!

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Maybe I'll try that. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. ArtemZ
    February 22, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Oh, c'mon, who needs all these writing programs on Linux when there is Emacs?
    What Linux is REALLY missing and what makes me sometimes think of installing windows on my pc is need for Adobe Photoshop and modern games. Most other things already are on linux or has an alternatives.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Hmm, since emacs is a text editor, I doubt you can use it for blogging (i.e. inserting links and embedding screenshots) though.

  7. Tinkerer
    February 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I got my crappy old printer working in linux mint through an XP guest in virtualbox. Just make sure you install the 'Virtualbox PUEL' version for USB support.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing that tip!

  8. Mohamed Tair
    February 21, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Thanks Jessica Cam Wong

  9. Rajeeva
    February 21, 2012 at 3:32 am

    FDM

  10. Rjv23
    February 21, 2012 at 1:58 am

     definitely need to have sketchup from Google ported. running it thru wine is slow and lacks some export features.  really hard getting along without this one.....

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Hmm, haven't tried SketchUp. There's Sweet Home 3D, which is available for Linux. Maybe you'll find it similar to SketchUp?

  11. Albert poemas
    February 21, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Using Linux you will learn more about other SO you have to try new things

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

      That's quite true. :)

  12. John
    February 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I miss Adobe Photoshop Elements. I'm sure Gimp is probably as good but when you've been through a steep learning curve for one prog. its difficult to start again with another.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Have you tried GimpShop? It's a modified version of GIMP that's more user-friendly to Photoshop users.

      • John
        February 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        Thanks Jessica, funnily enough I found this a couple of days ago and tried to download it (deb file) but cannot get it to run. I suspect I need to uninstall Gimp first.
        I'll give this a try later.
        John

  13. Michael Braley
    February 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    This article was dumb, port it yourself if you want it. CUPS supports most any printer I can think is worthwhile. You can use Google docs if it's that important to have a microsoft format. If not just use open or the default in Ubuntu 11.10.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

      All 3 programs I mentioned are currently closed-source software, not exactly easy to port at all...

      And I was talking about a PDF editor or annotator, which Google Docs doesn't have a product for (PDF viewer isn't the same), while AFAIK, CUPS prints documents to PDF, a functionality which Linux Mint already provides out of the box.

  14. Faisal Rehman
    February 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Where there is a will there is a way.

    To help you with blog, you can use its api to create your own tool or use plugins. For me, 'press this' works fine. Even you can blog directly from email client.

    Instead of using evernote, only take notes using tomboy and for other features you want, use specialized tools which may increase your productivity.

    Lastly take some time and learn pdfedit. Or extract the text and copy pictures/figures to your favorite text editor and then export the resultant document to pdf.
     
    If you can't help your self in adopting opensource alternatives and sticking with ms crap then it is your fault. You don't deserve using linux.

  15. JB Chappell
    February 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Skype, Livescribe Desktop, iTunes, and Netflix <--- Those, to me, are the biggest are the biggest program shortcomings in Linux that prevent me from switching away from Windows altogether.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Thanks for your input! I absolutely agree with you on Netflix and Skype!

  16. Joseph Samy Albert
    February 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    How about Xournal for PDF annotation on Linux?

  17. Henry_dias
    February 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I would say Netflix and Multimedia in general (DVD, Blu-ray)... not Linux fault, but sometimes companies are afraid of launching solutions for Linux.

  18. jasray
    February 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    So easy to install, setup VBox with a minimal XP Nlite version.

  19. Alavhar
    February 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    We want Windows-like STABLE skype on linux!

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I, too, wonder when they'll graduate from being beta.

  20. mikiaandy
    February 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    MINT it s number 1

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

      I'm liking Mint myself. :)

  21. Bobsmith
    February 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Since one of Evernote's more recent updates it now works flawlessly in wine for me

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Thanks for the tip! Perhaps it'll work out the same for me!

  22. Thomas
    February 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Have you even tried Libreoffice? You can read and edit PDF files 

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Just read a bit more on the PDF import and export extensions, which give me a lot of hope! Thanks so much for the tip! 

  23. aadam12
    February 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm
  24. aadam12
    February 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm

     Longtime linux user. MixMeister DJ software is one of the few programs that I miss. Mixx doesn't have the same functionality.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Have you tried "Internet DJ Console" or Pacemaker Editor?

  25. Joshua Clarke
    February 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    There are some good alternatives of these out there for Linux users:

    Windows Live Writer: http://blogilo.gnufolks.org/ 
    Evernote: http://nevernote.sourceforge.net/
    PDF Viewer: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/desklinux/

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for the suggestions. I'm currently using Blogilo and Nixnote, but I do wish Blogilo had more keyboard shortcuts and supported pasting of screenshots. I did talk about Nixnote in the article, mentioning how slow it sadly is on my computer.

      Okular is also the PDF viewer I've been using and while it works great, the annotations aren't embedded in the PDF files unfortunately.

  26. StoyanDeckoff
    February 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    OneNote probably... Though I use Springpad and find it even better than OneNote in most aspects - if you got browser, you can run it - it supports Android and iOS and is free. ;)
    Netflix for sure :)
    I would love to see some new mainstream games have their own Ubuntu releases, - even though wine is doing a great job, one still gets the random bug:)

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Hmm, I'm curious. Can you describe some of the ways Springpad is better than OneNote? OneNote is available for iOS and (as of recently) Android as well.

      And thanks for the insight on mainstream games that aren't available for Linux! That's absolutely true!

      • Stoyan Deckoff
        February 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

        Pros for springpad
        It is browser based, so it is not OS dependant
        It is FREE
        the chrome plugin provides offline mode.
        I was never advanced user of OneNote, so there might be some features that are unavailable in springpad, but it perfect for my needs :-)
        I don't know if windows games should be ported. I'd rather see native builds for Linux, humble bundle games are a fine example.

        • Jessica Cam W.
          February 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

          Thanks for the follow-up! Those are great features. When I use Springpad on my mobile, it just doesn't seem to sync everything :(

          I'm glad it's working out for you though.

  27. ???? - www.hyjjr.com|iuvp9n
    February 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    ???????,???….????????.....???(?)???? 2012-2-21

  28. Francisco Altamiranda
    February 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Well, actually Windows Live Writer is very needed to be ported to Linux. There is a project called "nevernote" and it is trying to be a clone of Evernote but it is still being very buggy. Anyway, nice post! Btw I miss the whole Microsoft Office Suit, but I know it will never be ported to Linux 100%

    • aadam12
      February 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

       Try Springpad instead of Evernote/Nevernote. Works in your browser cross-platform. Android and iOS as well.

    • Oli Warner
      February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

      If it ever becomes commercially viable, I'm sure MS will start selling Office for Linux.

      That's essentially what happened for OSX.

  29. Jacobo
    February 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    If your printer don't have Linux support, then change your printer, not your OS.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      February 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

      I recently discovered in Linux Mint that I could use other drivers for my printer as long as they are for the same brand. Ubuntu to Linux Mint wasn't that drastic of an OS change, I suppose.

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