Linux Equivalents to Windows Software

In Linux, people can accomplish virtually everything which can be accomplished in Windows, or on a Mac. While it is true that many specific programs will not run in Linux on their own, there is a vast selection of free and open source software available to Linux users which are equivalent. For example, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer will not run in a Linux system, but Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Konqueror, and many other internet browsers are available in Linux. Another example is Microsoft Office, which even though it does not run in Linux has excellent equivalents in LibreOfficeOpenOffice, AbiWord, and Gnumeric, though it should be noted that compatibility with Microsoft Office is decent, but not perfect. Additionally, Google Docs is an outstanding online alternative to Microsoft Office. Music libraries can be managed on an iPod TouchiPhone, or iPad through such software as Rhythmbox, Banshee, or Amarok in Linux. One alternative for iPod, iPhone, and iPad users is to use cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive to transfer media to and from these devices to a computer running Linux. To my knowledge, though, updates to the iPhone OS must come through iTunes unless a user is willing to jailbreak their iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. Most of these Linux equivalents mentioned above can also be downloaded for free and run in Windows or Mac OS X systems as well, which allows you to try them out in Windows or Mac OS X before switching to Linux. Click here to see a comparison of iPod managers, many of which run in Linux [1]. Windows-specific software can in many cases be run in Linux, but it requires software such as Wine, VirtualBox, or Parallels to do so. While the Linux-compatible software mentioned above may not always be perfectly equivalent to their Windows counterparts, they should suit most people’s needs. Here are a couple of websites with detailed listings of Windows software and their open source equivalents which can be used in Linux:

A screenshot of LibreOffice Calc:
LibreOffice Calc screenshot


1.    ^ “Comparison of iPod Managers.”
2.    ^ “Linux Software Equivalent to Windows Software.”
3.    ^ “The Linux Alternative Project.

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