Switching to Linux: 2

Before switching to Linux full time, you need to consider situations where you can not switch to Linux:

1. If you depend on Microsoft Office or any other Microsoft products or for that matter any proprietary software like Adobe products, AutoCAD, financial / accounting software etc. etc.. Or your organization needs you to use Windows/ Mac.

2. You are not willing to give may be a weekend to learn how things work in Linux.

3. If you expect Linux to work like Windows or Mac. Please note that Linux is not Mac or Windows and there is a good reason for that. Actually that is the reason why people have switched to Linux.

Now let us see- if we can’t use MS Office / Adobe products – how can we accomplish the our day to day work in Linux? Here is how:

1. Microsoft Office Alternative: There is LibreOffice – which come normally pre-installed with most Linux distribution which can accomplish practically everything you do with MS Office – except MS Outlook. The MS Outlook, which is a mail client has its own alternatives – one of the most popular alternative is Mozilla Thunderbird. There are some advanced alternatives too like Evolution or Kmail. MS Excel alternative is called LibreOffice Calc, MS Word alternative is called LibreOffice Writer, MS Access alternative is called LibreOffice Base and MS PowerPoint alternative is called LibreOffice Impress. You existing MS Office documents will open just fine in corresponding LibreOffice application. However do note that your macros of MS Office suite will not work on LibreOffice or any of the other alternates available in Linux (Calligra is one of them).

2, MS Publisher / Adobe InDesign/ Pagemaker alternative is Scribus, there are others too but Scribus is the most popular.

3. Adobe Photoshop alternatives are Krita and GIMP. And they both are almost as capable of Photoshop and there is a large community of professionals who use them full time.

4. Adobe Lightroom alternatives are Rawtherapee and Darktable. Again, they are as capable as Adobe Photoshop for your daily workflow in case you are a photographer.

5. MS Photos alternatives are software like Gwenview, Digikam, Eye Of Gnome.

6. MS Edge/ Safari alternatives are Firefox, Librewolf, Brave, Chromium.

In most Linux distributions, you will also get proprietary software like Skype / Zoom/ Google Chrome. However some distributions are simply against using any proprietary software or make it a bit difficult to install them for new users (for example Debian/ Fedora) – so before choosing your distribution – just do a simple google search like ‘Is zoom available on Debian’ to ensure that you get the application you want is available.

A reminder, once again – do not expect these alternatives to work exactly like their proprietary alternatives. So, there is a small learning curve – but trust me a weekend is more than enough to get your day to day work done. At the same time – there may be some specific feature lacking in these applications which you need – but there is always alternate ways of doing them.

There are people who will tell you Linux is difficult or for geeks or for tech savvy people or it is unstable. Trust me, it is a blatant lie.

There is always a saying that you need to learn command and work in the terminal to use Linux. This again is a lie. You can live your life on Linux without ever opening the terminal. Yes it will be helpful if you know basics of terminal, but is a lie to say that it is mandatory. I personally use terminal to get works done faster – not because I HAVE to. In all the modern Linux distributions – there is a way to get the same thing accomplished through ‘point and click’.

Always remember that every operating system and the application in them work in a different way than the other. You don’t expect Mac to work like Windows or Android and vice versa. Same applies to Linux and its set of software suites. But unlike proprietary software – the FOSS software available with your Linux distribution does not track you or your data (Try using Windows 10 or a Mac or Chrome OS without a Microsoft or an Apple ID or a Google ID).

Related Post: Switching to Linux: 1 / Why switch to Linux?

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