[Update] Ubuntu: alternatives to Windows software

In this article we will list some alternatives to windows software, in order to help anyone approaching open source by installing a GNU / Linux distribution for the first time.

the open source world offers a myriad of software that compete, and many times they overcome the closed source equivalent, now the needs of the average user are largely satisfied with Linux distributions: we will try to list software easily available and installable by anyone with just a few clicks , preferring applications preinstalled in Ubuntu.

If you want to report other applications not included in the article, comment on this article, which will be updated periodically; to install the applications select "Ubuntu Software Center" from menu and use the search box to find the desired software.


For burning CDs / DVDs in general, we do not need any additional software as the one already present in Linux distributions does its duty, resulting much more complete than the one integrated in Windows.

Brazier is the burning program integrated in Ubuntu, it allows us to:

  • Create Audio CDs
  • Create Data CDs
  • Create DVD Video
  • Burn 1: 1
  • Burn Images

Furius ISO is one of the alternatives to Daemon Tools, for managing / editing images ISO, I'M G, BIN, MDF e NRG but not only, it also allows you to burn images directly to an optical disc ISO and IMG.


regarding the management of our Email boxes, we find again a, very graphically similar to Outlook and perfectly integrated in Gnome, or we can opt for the very famous Thunderbird developed by Mozilla with the advantage of being multi-platform, therefore installable on all the most famous operating systems.


we already know the alternative to Windows Media Player and it's called VLC, the best multi-platform multimedia software to which we can feed any video or audio format: it reproduces, in fact, most of the encoders without the need for codec packs, if a file is not reproduced by VLC then we can be certain that it will not be reproduced even by windows media player 🙂


for the management of our music we can use Rhytmbox, open source program inspired by Itunes, which has nothing to envy to Windows Media Player, written in GTK, therefore perfectly integrated into Ubuntu with multiple features:

  • Search and reorder music tracks
  • Internet radio support
  • Creation and management of Playlists
  • Transfer and play music from all devices using MTP and USB Mass Storage protocol
  • play, rip and burn audio CDs
  • Buy tracks and music albums online through virtual stores such as Ubuntu One Music or manage our purchased files on Google Play Music

another excellent software for managing music tracks is Amarok, the top of this category, specific to the KDE graphic environment, so if you use a distro that integrates this graphic environment such as Kubuntu for example, the choice is a must!


gthumb is a program for the management / editing of images it allows to carry out in a very intuitive way some basic changes such as:

  • rotation and resizing of the image
  • cropping
  • adding filters to images: color, brightness and contrast adjustment
  • export photo albums on the web by applying various templates


By now we have outlined some excellent alternatives to Microsoft Office that open the way to a possible use of open source also in professional realities

Free Office is the Ubuntu office suite, integrates:

  • Writer - word processor
  • Calc - spreadsheet
  • Impress - software for creating presentations
  • Base - database management software
  • Draw - vector graphics software
  • Math - software for processing mathematical formulas

Libre office supports various document formats, including those owned by Microsoft, so there is no compatibility problem when viewing documents created with Windows and vice versa.


For professional use it is still difficult to find an alternative to photoshop, for editing images on Ubuntu we can surely indulge ourselves with Gimp: cross-platform opensource program that allows you to perform many advanced editing operations; it allows you to manage almost all image formats, including pdf and RAW, also with the addition of some scripts it is possible to further expand its functionality such as adding support to CMYK four-color process or adding additional filters to be applied to images.

Gimp is having more and more success even in certain professional realities and among photography enthusiasts, it does not equal photoshop in every respect but it is certainly the best alternative, let's remember that it is an open source program created by voluntary developers and completely free, which offers the same functionality as a program made by Adobe that costs several hundred euros, which is commendable.

Another advanced graphics program is INKSCAPE, which allows the realization of vectorial drawings: it is opposed to Adobe Illustrator e CorelDraw and it's based on the standard format SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).

 INKSCAPE fully complies with W3C XML, SVG and CSS2 standards and can import from various formats such as EPS, Postscript, JPEG, PNG, BMP and TIFF and export to PNG and other vector-based formats.

For fans of photography who need to work with RAW images will find Rawtherapee a good alternative to the more famous closed source programs like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, like the rest of the other software listed in this article is completely free and has many features, including that of read, edit and convert proprietary RAW formats.


DraftSight is an excellent alternative to Autocad LT: offers all the tools necessary to work with 2D graphics in a professional manner, allows the read / write files in DWG / DXF format, can he export the created files in jpg, png, pdf, svg but for a complete list of its many features consult the official website of Draftsight, to install it instead, select the software version compatible with your Linux distribution from This Page.

for 3D graphics unfortunately, Autocad full, remains the only truly valid software that does not yet have a worthy competitor in the GNU / Linux world due to the proprietary format (DWG) which has now become a standard (not in the strict sense of the word) for CAD design.


Tell us about other alternatives to Windows software, for any other doubts or requests use comments.

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