So you decided to make the switch to Linux or maybe you still have some doubts and want to know if there is any good software out there to use on Linux. In your search for information you find a lot of open source applications that can be potential alternatives for the applications you know and use now under Windows or macOS. But there is so much information and all this information is scattered over the internet. You hope there is maybe one complete overview of good open source software that supports your decision to make the switch. Well maybe you found it. In this living post I maintain my list of best software for Linux, which hopefully helps others as well in their decisions.
Why a software list
When I first started my interest in Linux and Open Source software and my deepening in its possibilities, I experienced an intensive and sometimes exhaustive search for the best or most usable Open Source applications as an alternative to the mostly closed source software I was using in the past on my Apple iMac. I soon began to see that it was much better for me personally to read about personal experiences than to study dry comparisons of software properties. So I started roaming forums and personal blogs where other Linux users told about their favorite applications and their experiences with them. That information helped me a lot, but it was still very fragmented on the internet. To simplify that search for other beginners I started to review my own favorite applications and collected these in a total list. I hope that this list can easily help others on their new Linux journey.
Keep in mind that this is my personal list. My requirements for software can be completely different from others. For some use cases, like photo raw editing, I need professional grade software, so I selected darktable. But for other purposes I like simplicity, so for my email I prefer Geary instead of Thunderbird, although I know that the latter has far more options. We are all different, so I don’t say you must use the applications mentioned in my list. The list is only there to have a relatively complete overview to make your choices as a beginner a bit more easy.
I always like to receive input on new software, alternatives that are not in the list and use cases that I didn’t mention yet. And if you have other opinions on the content of the list, feel free to let me know. I am always open to learn.
My list of best software for Linux
Below is a list of powerful applications for Linux that in my eyes can compete with their Windows and OSX counterparts and that I use on a regular basis.
Last addition (September 06 2018): Cronopete backup application
My software list
|Software Type||My favorite application||Good alternatives|
|Backup system data||Timeshift||Cronopete|
|Backup personal data||LuckyBackup||Back in time|
|System Optimization and Monitoring||Stacer|
|Laptop battery optimization||TLP|
|Reduce eye strain||SafeEyes|
|Photo and video import||Rapid PhotoDownloader|
|Photo management||Digikam||XN View MP|
|Simple Photo Management||Shotwell|
|Photo raw editing||darktable||RawTherapee|
|Vector dawing||Gravit Designer|
|3d modelling and rendering||Blender|
|Linux distribution||Zorin OS 15||Linux Mint|
|Desktop environment||Zorin OS Gnome||Cinnamon|
|Mobile Integration||Zorin Connect||KDE Connect|
|App development||Android Studio|
|Small business bookkeeping||Manager.io|
|PDF Editor||LibreOffice Draw||Inkscape, Scribus|
|2D Animation||Synfig Studio|
|Digital Audio Recording, Mixing and Production||Tracktion||Audacity, Frinika, Ocenaudio|
|Duplicate file finder||FSlint|
|Script Writing||KIT Scenarist|