Project Planning & Finances on Linux

11:59 PM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="It turns out Linux is pretty friendly to project management and financing software."]Tux, the Linux penguin[/caption]

Today I was not so pleasantly surprised to find I had lost my copy of Microsoft Project. With little hope of getting a new copy any time soon, I set out to find some good free project planning software on Linux.


There is a lot of free project planning software on Linux. However,  I did not have time to try it all so I narrowed myself down to three choices:


  • OpenProj - OpenProj claims to be competition for Microsoft Project, which caught my attention because I was hoping it would like OpenOffice is to Microsoft Office.

  • Planner - This is one piece of software that came up in the Fedora Linux repositories and promised to be very easy and intuitive to use. I figured I would see about that...

  • Gnotime - Interestingly enough this was a project planner that claimed the ability to create invoices as well. Intrigued, I wanted to see what this was all about since I was in need of some invoicing software as well.


I was really, really intrigued by Gnotime so I decided to install that first. Unfortunately that's about as far as I made it. In the repositories it had an unmet dependency on a newer version of libgtkhtml than the repositories had to offer. When I tried compiling it, it refused to accept my all too new version of gtkhtml3.


Next I tried Planner, which turned out to mostly be a waste of time. It was so simplistic as to barely be what I would call functional.


OpenProj really impressed me though and it is now my project management program of choice under Linux. It is almost exactly like Microsoft Project, not only in functionality but in the GUI as well, so it's very easy to navigate for someone that is accustomed to using Microsoft Project. I still needed an invoice system, however, and the system offered by OpenProj was just the bare essentials (hours, cost, notes, etc.).


I found that invoicing system in GNUCash, which aims to compete with Quicken's financial software. GNUCash carries a very customizable and complete invoice database system along with a customizable invoice printing system that made it quite easy for me (being a novice to financial software and invoice software in general) to create an invoicing system that matched my needs.


So it was a pretty good day. I got to try out some new software and find some new favorites. Oh, BTW, OpenProj and GnuCash are not just for Linux - they both have Microsoft Windows installers available as well. :)

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