Switching from Windows to Ubuntu-Best Alternatives for Windows Programs

Are you planning to get rid of Windows and switch to Ubuntu? Or just have switched and don’t know where to find all those old applications which you were using before on Windows? Then continue reading…

Last year  I decided to completely switch from Windows to Linux. The reason for doing this was none other than PIRACY! For a long time, my inner-self  was cursing me for using pirated stuff. And there was nothing which I could do at that time. Simply because I don’t want to pay for all those programs which I were using. Programs such as converting software, anti-viruses, download managers, video players, anti-spy-wares and the list goes on… Then I came to know about Ubuntu (A free linux based  OS). Knowing the fact that Ubuntu had many hardware’s drivers related issues, I still switched and hoped for the best. I found Ubuntu very impressive. Much better and easy to understand interface than Windows. With lots of amazing effects with the help of additional software (such as Compiz Fusion). Ubuntu Software Center helped me finding lots of applications and installation of these applications was only a single click away. And all of these stuff for only 0 rupees!!!! Ya you hear me right! Its absolutely FREE!

But still I had some difficulty in finding the exact match for my former favorite applications which I previously used on Windows. But at last Ubuntu really satisfied me without demanding a single PAISA!!! ;)

So right now I’ve compiled a list of my favorite applications on Ubuntu which are actually alternatives to what I used previously on Windows!

Internet Download Manager (aka IDM):

Internet Download Manager was indeed my favorite application on Windows which I used to download lots of Videos and Huge ISO files. After switching to Ubuntu I had difficulty finding the exact match for it. In fact a lot of people still face the same problem. But not anymore.

Presenting the new plugin for Firefox “downTHEMall!” It supports many features such as multiple connections, pause/resume, auto-downloading/single click download. Plus it can download all of the files present in a webpage. You can apply a filter to download specific file types such as .jpg only. :)

You can get this plugin from:


Or visit its official website: http://www.downthemall.net/

Adobe PhotoShop

If you’re a designer or web developer then you know better than anyone that how much this software is important for designing and editing images. Well Ubuntu have solution for this too:

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. It comes built-in with Ubuntu. But you can also install it on Windows too! :) Though it is very easy to understand and use, many users after using Photoshop find it very difficult to adopt to GIMP’s interface. To solve this issue, the open source community developed hack for GIMP which provides the interface of Photoshop but functionality of GIMP. It is called the GIMPSHOP.

Windows Movie Maker

From filming a small video clip for YouTube to editing a large ceremony video, Movie Maker helped me a lot because of its simplicity and ease of use. Lets see what Ubuntu has to offer:

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. I was waiting for such simple application for years!! Atlast!! :) Now I can easily edit my video clips without rebooting to Windows! ;)

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

My favorite application for developing advanced web pages.  It was the primary tool which aided me for developing PHP files. Creating a database connection was only some clicks away. Dreamweaver is a very advanced application program and development of such applications is very costly. Interestingly, Open Source Community again beats this commercial app:

For quick and effortless web development – Quanta Plus is steadily becoming a worthwhile competitor to the commercial web editors on the market. Quanta Plus’s features include multi-document interface, WYSIWYG editing and templates. Among the advanced features your will find team development, plug-in support and a PHP debugger. The objective of the team behind Quanta Plus is simply to developer the best tool for web development.

Macromedia Flash Professional CS3

To attract and retain more users, many web developers are using animations which are not only effective but also fast and low in size. Flash was originally made to create multimedia for the web where HTML was not enough – and being vector-based it provides high quality graphics. In some terms it even competes with Java’s applets since both lets you run applications in your through your web-browser. Lets see what open source has to offer:

OpenLaszlo is an open source development platform for web applications. It’s main target today is generating macromedia flash files (swf)and AJAX/DHTML for use on web pages and sites. OpenLaszlo is script based with it’s own LZX programming language – and eventhough it does not provide a wysiwyg user interface it a still simple to use and applications are easy to build. For building rich internet applications OpenLaszlo is a great tool. And recently OpenLaszlo and SUN made a joint announcement to make OpenLaszlo available on Java micro edition (J2ME), which includes mobilephones and set-top boxes.


No need to introduce this one. Its the most famous compressing tool. WinRAR is a popular shareware file archiver and data compression utility. It is one of the few applications that is able to create RAR archives natively, because the encoding method is held to be proprietary. WinRAR itself is free for Windows but unfortunately WinRAR for Linux is based on a command-line interface. But don’t worry linux users! Here comes the solution:

Install WinRAR on WINE:

WINE is Windows Emulator for linux which can run Windows executable programs on Linux. If you want to use the GUI version of WinRAR on linux then simply first install WINE and then install WinRAR on it. To unrar any RAR file simply open it with WINE>WinRAR.

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