Tales of a Linux Switcher – Part 2

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Tales of A Linux Switcher series.

In my search to make the complete switch from the Mac OS (see Tales of a Linux Switcher – Part 1), the biggest research effort has been finding applications that accomplish the same tasks in Linux.  Some of these tasks are pretty obvious, e.g., web browsing or email, while others are not quite so ordinary, e.g., filesystem encryption or software development.

So, with all of that in mind, the subject of this particular post is going to be a discussion of some of the common tasks that I set out to handle and the application I chose to fit the bill.

Chapter 2 – Getting it done

When everything is said and done, the important part of using any desktop (or server really) OS is getting what you need to do accomplished.  The tasks can be office productivity or software development or just casual web surfing.

The arguments about which OS is better, more secure, more extensible, or more “free” are all great and wonderful, but in the end what matters is getting it done.  There are some people that believe that software being free is top priority, while others (like myself) are not as concerned over whether the software is free, cheap, open source, or proprietary, as long as it works to get from point a to point b.

Don’t get me wrong, I like open source software, and it’s even better when it’s FOSS (free, open source software), but when it all shakes out I want a computer setup that I can rely on from day-to-day to do what I need it to do.

Chapter 3 – It’s all about the apps

So in my quest to get to point b, I have found that there are generally any number of application choices to accomplish my tasks in Linux that I did in the Mac OS ecosystem.

Some of the application choices were easy options, like LibreOffice in place of MS Office 2011, while others required more research to replace, e.g., iTunes, 1Password, etc.  With each choice I have tried to find an alternative that gave me the closest experience in terms of usability and feature set of the application being replaced.

When looking for alternatives I used Google for basic searching, but I also found the following sites to be of use:

  1. Alternativeto.net – Alternatives To The Applications You Want To Replace
  2. osalt.com – open source as alternative
  3. Linux App Finder – Windows and OS X Software Alternatives
  4. The Linux Alternative Project

Using those sites in combination with various forum posts and basic searches, I have been able to find software to do most everything I was doing on Mac OS X.  Bear in mind that sometimes it’s not quite as easy to set everything up, but I took that as a challenge.  There are some instances that presented particular challenges.  I will be posting on those individually as time permits.

To see the list I have personally come up, have a gander at my Linux Switcher Software Choices spreadsheet.