Linked by David Adams on Mon 30th May 2005 17:30 UTC, submitted by Fiodor Sorex
Linux One of the biggest difficulties in migrating from Windows to Linux is the lack of knowledge about comparable software. Newbies usually search for Linux analogs of Windows software, and advanced Linux-users cannot answer their questions since they may not know much about available Windows software. This list of Linux equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software is based on our own experience and on the information obtained from the visitors of this page on English, Russian, Italian, Spanish, French & German.
Order by: Score:
too technical
by Andrew Z. on Mon 30th May 2005 17:51 UTC

I think newbies will have a hard time understanding parts of the table. Software installation and differences between distributions need more attention.

not bad
by joe on Mon 30th May 2005 17:52 UTC

not a bad list at all....

by Tom on Mon 30th May 2005 18:10 UTC

You've got to love the biased subtleties in the formatting of the table ...

Windows listings: Application, application, application

Linux listings:
1) Application
2) Application
3) Application

At first glance, it looks like the Linux side has 10x more software, when really, it's just because the categories with lots of Windows software are listed on one line.

I'll take one good choice over five shitty choices any day. Choice is good only when all of your choices are of utmost quality.

Just Say No to Microsoft Site
by Eric on Mon 30th May 2005 18:12 UTC
by Anonymous on Mon 30th May 2005 18:17 UTC

Hrrrm... there are things MISSING!!!

Even though Linux doesn't really have viruses, it does have easter eggs! Try "apt-get moo" for example :-)

Sometimes it also seems like the tasks are mainly focused on what a Linux user would want, for example I don't really think there are many people who want to play movies in text-mode...

Try it out before
by Anonymous on Mon 30th May 2005 18:31 UTC

If your hesitant to make a switch. You can try out several FOSS projects before hand.

The 2nd link has recently become unmaintaned; however all the applications listed on the site are still vibrant. Use the links for a quick reference. Keep in mind that these are ports to Windows.

Where's my maliware?
by dillee1 on Mon 30th May 2005 18:42 UTC

Hey, I want my gator/elitebar/shitware on linux. Where's the linux eqv of them?

Those applics are the most important software on my window box, saving me a lot of time to find p0rn/vigra/online-casino.......

by Anonymous on Mon 30th May 2005 18:45 UTC

The list is quite open-minded regarding the quality of the software. In my mind some almost undocumented alpha or beta level software is not real alternative.

List itself doesn't contain any RSS-readers, but personally I had recently hard time to find any decent, actually working, standalone RSS software for Linux. Liferea was only actually functional reader and even that typically crashes couple of times during day. Akregator was otherwise nice, but forgets all read messages if you close program and you end up having next time thousand unread news. Blam works but is really just a reader.

v @dillee1
by Tom on Mon 30th May 2005 18:57 UTC
Re: Unfortunately
by Leo S on Mon 30th May 2005 19:09 UTC

Akregator works fine for me.. Try the version that comes with KDE 3.4. I have no problems with it forgetting read articles.

Also, they forgot Kontact in the Outlook replacement category.

by Anonymous on Mon 30th May 2005 19:14 UTC

Obviously, it is biased.

re: biased
by Finalzone on Mon 30th May 2005 19:24 UTC

Everybody is biased, deal with it.

What about the inverse?
by guy_on_corner on Mon 30th May 2005 19:43 UTC

Seriously, is there something similar for Linux to Windows users? I'm in Linux nearly %100 of the time. But sometimes I need to do some work in Windows and often I'm lost when it comes doing something useful in Windows that I would find trivial in Linux. Not everyone grows up on Windows and then jumps to Linux. More and More people are starting with Linux these days and then having to deal with Windows.I would love to have a site were I could look up a Linux command or common task and find a list of relevent Windows methods for the same thing. It would save many a lot of time. Maybe I'll just have to that.

Old table needs more updating
by The MESMERIC on Mon 30th May 2005 19:53 UTC

The table is like 2 years old.
Even though it states it has been updated in Jan 2005.
There are lots of stuff missing.
Of course, it is probably a matter of emailing the maintainer - so feel free also.

For a proprietory list of application (also in bad need of updating)
check this out:

by Chris on Mon 30th May 2005 19:54 UTC

You'll probably have to do it. There's not a large impetus to leave Linux for Windows.

Sometimes I really hate this site. What's all this biased crap? They put the things on the right and left of the table differently to show help you see which group you are looking at. It's also so that the occasional [prop] makes perfect sense.
It only lists commonly used Windows applications in hopes that people can say, even if they didn't use the program, "oh I know what that does, ok this application is supposed to be similar let me try that."

My God, you people are rediculous sometimes. The least political posting on this site in weeks and people are actually yelling conspiracy and bias!
Of course they're biased! The only people who aren't biased are the ones who are completely out of the loop (it's hard to have no opinion when you know something)!

Grow up.

by Gern on Mon 30th May 2005 20:16 UTC

Choice is good only when all of your choices are of utmost quality.

Nonsense. Choice is good when there is as few as one option in the choices available that is compelling.

table updated
by Oddity on Mon 30th May 2005 20:19 UTC

The table continuously updated. Russian version is newer as English. Now all versions synchronize with fresh Russian version. And now we are going to wiki engine.

Stop complaining and contribute
by oneoh on Mon 30th May 2005 20:22 UTC

"My God, you people are rediculous sometimes."

Yes indeed sir, you are absolutely correct. I'm almost sick of coming here and reading the constant bad comments and/or trolling on this site.

There is always someone out there complaining about an article
introducing politics and just all out trolling.

People, please contribute instead of trolling.

If you feel the list was biased - Make a unbiased one.
If you fell the list is old - help the guy update it.

v @Gern
by Tom on Mon 30th May 2005 20:30 UTC
We need a better list ...
by Darius on Mon 30th May 2005 21:05 UTC

A lot of pro-Linux people may not realize it, but this kind of thing has more potential to convert Windows users to Linux than any amount of anti-MS preaching that you could possibly do in a lifetime. (And if you don't believe me, I am a Windows user myself, so I should know better than anyone).
The problem with this list is, there needs to be something more comprehensive than this. For example, each of the Linux alternatives need to be ranked like on a scale from 1 to 5. 1 means 'This app is pretty shitty compared to the best that Windows has to offer, but if your needs are basic, this will do the trick.' A 5 would mean 'This app is either functionally equivalent or even better than anything you'll find on Windows. Perhaps you could even have contributions from Linux users who can make direct head-to-head comparisons with top-notch Windows apps. However, I don't have any hopes at all that such a list will ever be created, because I think most Linux users understand that for discerning power users (most of which are using Windows anyway), most of these Linux 'alternatives' are a complete and utter joke. That is the only reason why I can conclude why we don't see 'Windows app vs Linux app' head-to-head comparisons, execept for the ones who are comparing things like Open Office vs Wordpad, in which they lose all credability anyway.

Another thing - this list is not nearly as good as it could be. For example, why isn't NVU on the list for Dreamweaver alternatives? Even though it can't touch Dreamweaver with a 10-foot rubber dildo, it's at least better than Composer, which is on the list.

Another thing, concerning package managers ....
by Darius on Mon 30th May 2005 21:10 UTC

Many people on this site and elsewhere continue to assert that package managers in Linux make it so that installing apps in Linux isn't a problem. So, here's a question ...

Is there any distro out there that makes it possible to install the latest stable versions of all the Linux apps on the list, without having to play with apt sources and the like?

Re: Subtleties
by Andaluvian on Mon 30th May 2005 21:45 UTC

"Choice is good only when all of your choices are of utmost quality."

Or when money is no object as it certainly must not be to afford those premium closed source apps.

More sites:
by Anonymous on Mon 30th May 2005 22:17 UTC

It has a few programs, but not all of them

@ Darius
by Finalzone on Mon 30th May 2005 22:31 UTC

Is there any distro out there that makes it possible to install the latest stable versions of all the Linux apps on the list, without having to play with apt sources and the like?

It depends of the distro you use. Some applications are outdated or replaced by another. For example, on Fedora Core 4 (soon to be released on June 6), ggv is replaced by Evince as PDF viewer which is not listed on that table.

As someone pointed, you can email your suggestion to the author so he can update the information.

audio ripper and wave editors
by greg on Mon 30th May 2005 22:44 UTC

What those table don't show is EAC which *is* the better ripper if you have to deal with some problematic CD. Very unfortunately, EAC is not avialable under anything but windows, and I couldn't get it runing using emulators. EAC is one of the few reasons I'm still using windows.

The second item is wave editor. I have Audacity which is cross-platform and fairly good, and yet NGWave which I also have, and which runs only under Windows, is substantially better in many respects. Mind you, NGWave is not free, and I would be willing to pay for Linux version, but to the best of my knowledge, only windows-based version is available.

The third item on my list which will hopefully disappear sometime soon is MikTex, LaTeX distribution with superb package manager, at this time runs only on Windows, but MikTeX roadmap talks about making their package cross-platform. Nice!

Yeah, I have dual-boot on my laptop, but since dealing with audio files and working with LaTeX documents is something I do a lot, I end up spending my time mostly in windows environment. Ultimately it's about applications, you know. and I'm not to use inferior application just to prove something to somebody. If you can't rip some CD with anything but EAC, do you want to make a statement, or do you want to use EAC to rip the bloody CD? Make your choice.

re: audio ripper and wave editors
by Dumbkiwi on Mon 30th May 2005 22:56 UTC

cdparanoia is the equivalent of EAC. In fact, I find it extracts data better than anything I've tried on windows (although I haven't tried in windows for a few years).

Re: dumbkiwi - cdparanoia
by greg on Mon 30th May 2005 23:22 UTC

cdparanoia? you must be kidding.

not supported since 2001 or something like that. can't recognize some of the newer devices, at least that's what I've heard. If you have a problem, whom you're going to talk to. My decision not to use cdparanoia is primarily because it's dead or in limbo, make your choice.

yes, it was a great product at its time, and every once in a while there is a talk to revive it, but nothing ever comes out of it. I have no idea why.

Re: oneoh
by Micko on Mon 30th May 2005 23:31 UTC

Excellent point oneoh.

The list isn't perfect. It's a good start. I'm biased and I don't know enough about Linux to do it justice.
Here are some suggestions on what I would fix.

1: There are programs missing on both sides.
2: On each side the programs should be listed in order of usage. E.g if 99% of linux users use program 5 I want that listed as number 1. As a non linux user I won't know which of the 10 apps to use in some categories. At least if 99% of people have found a program to be easy and stable then I'll try that first.
3: A database like this should be open to be updated by everyone. It can be moderated by one or two guys but everybody should be able to add to the list rather than just post negative comment on other sites.

It's a great idea. I've started using linux over the last year and it's been an uphill battle. I'm still using Windows for a lot of tasks that I can't replace with linux counterparts of equal quality. This is a great place for newbies.

@ Darius
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 30th May 2005 23:42 UTC

"Is there any distro out there that makes it possible to install the latest stable versions of all the Linux apps on the list, without having to play with apt sources and the like?"

I don't have any problem whatsoever with Debian (yes, I do play with apt sources, but you need to do it only once)
I have also converted many rpm packages with alien and they work fine.

re: install the latest stable versions
by Eric on Mon 30th May 2005 23:53 UTC

"Is there any distro out there that makes it possible to install the latest stable versions of all the Linux apps on the list, without having to play with apt sources and the like?"

Using an apt based system and tweaking your /etc/sources.list
is about as close as I have come to that.

Here are a few good basic entries that I use for debian sarge:

deb sarge main contrib non-free

deb sarge/non-US main contrib non-free

# mplayer
deb unstable main

by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 00:55 UTC

some things are missing on the list but not bad at all...

as far as some of the "alternatives being a complete and utter joke" I dont think any of them are! some of them I am sure are not to your liking but others may have different preferences! If you would like to point out specifics then maybe we could assist you with your boggle?

I also dont think I seen anything on that list that wouldnt be included in most any distro... Of course you wouldnt want to install 5 different archive clients, or at least I wouldnt suggest it! ;)

by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 00:57 UTC

download the cds and it will use them as your "sources" and then you just install away..... simple

by Lee Nooks on Tue 31st May 2005 01:14 UTC

Thanks, Fiodor and David, for this post. I didn't notice the table was being updated again.

This table is very important for my work. Kachurov & Artem simply rock.

Thanks a lot, Russian dudes!

Computer Algebra
by ylai on Tue 31st May 2005 01:29 UTC

The list has two issues here:

- The (formerly NAG) Axiom, is probably a better choice than the DOE Macsyma, which has not been maintained for several decades.

- MuPAD is a commercial software, requires a license from SciFace for commercial use, and is definitively not open source!

well geez
by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 01:56 UTC

shut the list down since there is a couple of listings that arent someones pick and cause something is commecial ;)

sorry, a bit rough but couldnt resist ;)

I personally dont use either package and I dont think my grandma does either ;)

Messy list
by C on Tue 31st May 2005 02:37 UTC

The list doesn't say a thing about program quality, or its state of development. As such I'd see it messy coming from a completely Windows world.

As for OSS usability: I can word process, HTML edit, web surf, IM, do the little audio editing I want, play some games, and run a couple Windows apps in WINE. Seems fine to me, eh?

(I'd personally go with Mac if I didn't want to play PC games as well, but that's besides the point (the software selection is a bit nicer with the iLife things, FinalCutPro, etc.) =/)

thank you!
by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 02:58 UTC

So many times people come to Linux/BSD and complain about how app X dosn't exist, after some searching I usually find just that app a month later. This is a big leap forward, the site just needs some cleaning up.

Debian has the most comprehensive packages and apt is generally regarded as the best package manager.

Debian stable is probably too stable ... and stale.

I'd suggest Debian unstable for a comprehensive set of (somewhat ironically) stable and current packages.

Don't go to Debian testing - they are somewhat likely to be unstable.

I'd suggest that a modern Debian-based LivCD with the option to install to hard disk is what you might try - choose between MEPIS, KANOTIX or Knoppix.

You will need to add one or two extra repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list file to get everything:

# mplayer
deb unstable main

# vlc
deb sid main
deb-src sid main

Does anyone care to waste an hour trying to check all those?

Interesting list...
by LC on Tue 31st May 2005 05:55 UTC

Only 5 IDE available under windows ? And the most importatns: Emacs, VIM, Boa Constructor, PythonCard ?

Dev-C++ is a linux-only C++ IDE ????

Only 2 debugger available under windows ?

Netbeans, Eclipse, SUN ONE studio is not available under windows ?

Poseidon also not available under windows ?

IBAccess is not run under windows ?

Is the ORBIT is the only one ORB ?

by jayson knight on Tue 31st May 2005 09:17 UTC

the fact that he has "M$ .Net" for "Platform in dot-net style" speaks volumes. What a biased list.

What is really missing...
by Kramii on Tue 31st May 2005 10:21 UTC

I don't think that the problem with Linux is a lack of general purpose apps, but the lack of the very specialist ones.

Professionally, I support 200 users using 180 apps, all running on MS Windows 2000. At least 80% of the apps are not covered by anything on the list - or any other list - because they are specialist progs. for my client's business.

by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 11:23 UTC

"Does anyone care to waste an hour trying to check all those?"
check what? huh?

considering "testing" is due to move to stable anytime, i think testing would be just fine and it it is fairly "new", not bleeding edge but it wont cut ya either ;)

by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 11:31 UTC

"because they are specialist progs. for my client's business."

could you be more specific? give us more details?

@Kramil RE: What is really missing...
by mark on Tue 31st May 2005 12:49 UTC

If you had a set of specialist programs that only your client used ... then presumably they have the source code.

If they have source code, then most of their specialist applications can be converted to Linux - there are even tools to assist this process.

If you really want to help out and "support 200 users using 180 apps, all running on MS Windows 2000" then what you would do for them is move them onto Linux - especially as Windows 2000 is moving into the end-of-life support phase.

Such a move to Linux would save your client a fortune, avoid viruses worms and other malware on their systems, avoid vendor lock-in, avoid any need for your client to upgrade in the near future to XP or Longhorn, save you from hours of maintenance and upkeep, save your client from the considerable effort needed to keep track of licenses, and completely eliminate any threat of a BSA audit of your client's buisness machines.

v You are all morons
by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 12:58 UTC
make up your mind
by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 13:43 UTC

am i a moron or a idiot, help me out since I am not smart enough to figure it out...

Newsbin Pro equivalent?
by Anonymous on Tue 31st May 2005 16:12 UTC

Does anyone knows a Linux equivalent of Newsbin Pro?
This is a program which lets me view/download binary newsgroups posts.

by joe on Tue 31st May 2005 17:00 UTC
If you think linux nubes can understand those tables...
by Howie S on Tue 31st May 2005 17:10 UTC

That site needs a serious redesign. There's no way a linux newbie will decypher that.

Better still, show what distros that don't include everything but the kitchen sink (like Ubuntu) have chosen for each category, along with a list of alternatives and links to articles that review and rate each app - including "magazine choices", "editor's picks", etc.

Web broswer:
1) Mozilla Firefox
[project page url]

10 of the top 10 distros from distrowatch include it.
Chosen as "editor's choice by ...."

Brief write-up

[download urls for source, deb and rpm, and torrents]
[reviews urls]
[add-on urls]


[link for more web browsers]

Email client:

... etc.

Oh, and include a place...
by Howie S on Tue 31st May 2005 17:11 UTC

... for site visitors to rate each app.

@Mark & Anonymous RE: What is really missing...
by Kramii on Tue 31st May 2005 17:21 UTC

>If you had a set of specialist programs that only your client used ... then presumably they have the source code.

Sadly, the majority of my client's applications are closed-source 3rd party applications.

>>"because they are specialist progs. for my client's business."
>could you be more specific? give us more details?

I work in local government in the UK, where I support and install a wide range of functions for my users, covering several areas of business including Trading Standards, a Print Shop, Pollution Monitoring, Housing Grants and the Environmental Health service.

Around 10% of my client's applications are specialist tools that were supplied with equipment used to capture and analyze the data from environmental monitoring kit - noise monitors, dust monitors etc. There is no alternative Linux software for most of these deivces, and - in most cases - there is no alternative device.

Another 10% run specialist printers and cutters - again, no there is no Linux alternative, and my client can't be expected to replace hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of kit.

Some 20% of my clients applications are MS Access databases. I anticipate that they could be re-written, but my point is that there are no "off-the-shelf" replacements.

Around 20% of our applications are used to assess business, buildings, individuals etc. complience with various aspects of the law. Most of these tools simultaneously handle legislative constraints, technical knowledge and complex mathematical analysis. Examples include a "Chimney Heights Calculator", various risk registers, grants calculators etc. Each of these applications is a closed source 3rd party tool used by no more that 100 people nationally. There is no Linux alternative.

One major application for which we do have the full source code is a GIS application which has taken some 12 years for a team of people to develop using an off-the-shelf toolkit. Admittedly the analysis work could be ported to another GIS, but hundreds of thousands of lines of code would need to be re-written.

I won't go on. My point is that there are not always alternative applications avalable under Linux, and for many of us, the gaps are show-stoppers in terms of migration to that platform.

by joe on Tue 31st May 2005 17:32 UTC

"not always alternative applications avalable under Linux"
well in this case I guess not... these are specialized apps that had they been developed on linux in the first place then you could say that no windows equivalents exist....It isnt a general category of software where a equivalent would exist...

of course
by joe on Tue 31st May 2005 17:42 UTC

there are numerous mathmatical packages, and statistical packages available.... still might could work dpeneding on what type of output the equipment generates and the connection involved... we use to have a "windows" program that controlled our telescope but later found out that it was just a standard connection and that the data followed some standard or another so was able to use open source software which actually worked better....

@Kramii RE:RE: What is really missing...
by mark on Wed 1st Jun 2005 11:45 UTC

My, my, your clients really have managed to piant themselves into a most awkward corner, haven't they?

As a design engineer, I often have to look for alternative candidate solutions to a given requirement - then I evaluate them all against one other. Apart from considerations such as cost and relative performance some of the primary criteria for such evaluations are "obsolesence", "open standard" and "no sole source".

If your client(s) are indeed local government departments, then I think that whoever procured these tools has made some very serious oversights of some fundamental rules of acquisition/evaluation.

re:analog software
by sergevi on Wed 1st Jun 2005 12:38 UTC

nobody noticed the flash creation software line ?
comparing flash editor with DrawSWF.
hahahaha ;)

by joe on Wed 1st Jun 2005 16:26 UTC

personally speaking, flash should die a cruel death.. or at least be used in a better way than doing everything in flash