Getting some Linux Functionality Out of Windows 7

2:14 PM

Due to school requiring certain Microsoft software and being tired of using a virtual machine I have decided to keep Windows 7 on my Toshiba Satellite L755D-S5204 laptop, leaving my HP Pavillion DV7-2180US laptop with Ubuntu installed and my MSI Wind U100 with Fedora installed. Of course I immediately started feeling tied down, lacking certain things I get in Linux (like a clipboard manager). So I set out to hunt down some applications that would give me some of my Linux functionality back. This is what I found:

  • Ditto - I actually like this clipboard manager better than the ones I've used on Linux. It has an expansive history and doesn't change formatting when I'm using it to copy and paste my website slogans.

  • Pidgin - The popular Linux instant messaging client is also available for Windows and retains the same functionality. The only catch is it doesn't work with my touchpad scrolling.

  • Windows Live Calendar Gadget - This handy gadget can be used to sync Google Calendar with your desktop. You can find instructions on how to do this here.

  • LibreOffice - This popular Linux office suite is also available for Windows. Functionality is the same for the Windows client as it is for the Linux client.

  • OpenProj - I am happy to report that this native Linux project management application is also available for Windows. Functionality remains the same as it does on the Linux client.

  • Evolution - I was shocked to find out there is an Evolution client for Windows. It isn't official and I haven't tried it out (I use Gmail's webmail client for all my email), but it's nice to know it's available.

  • GIMP - Ok, I admit I already knew GIMP was available for Windows. But it's such a great program I think it deserves mention. The functionality remains the same with this one as well.

  • VLC - VLC doesn't have the glitches in the Windows client that keeps me from using it in Linux. So the functionality I would say is even better.

  • SMplayer - I have grown so fond of this media player and it makes me happy that it is available in Windows. The functionality remains the same here too. :)

  • Banshee - My favorite media player is now available on Windows! It's still in alpha so there are some bugs, but it's great to know it's up and coming. The functionality is not the same as it is in Linux due to its alpha nature.

  • DeVeDe - This awesome DVD authoring software is available for Windows, too. The functionality remains the same.

Of course, this is not a complete list of all the Linux software/Linux-like software available for Windows. Lots of Linux native applications are available for Windows and many more are following in their tracks. We also haven't even touched on the topic of all the Linux-like alternative shells available for Windows.

If you have friends or relatives that are resistant to giving Linux a shot, try introducing them to some of these programs over the holidays to demonstrate what awesome (and free) software is available on Linux! Maybe they won't be as hesitant to try Linux if they are at least comfortable with some of the programs and functionality available in Linux.


xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

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  1. Firefox and Skype are now opened on my computer, that could run on Windows too.

  2. Yeah cool. The only thing missing is a decent stable kernel to run them on. Leaving an unstable, crashing, virus and malware infected resource pig with a couple of good open source apps. No thanks and why bother. Find replacements for the few windows apps you need. Or run vm in seamless mode on top of a solid performing Linux kernel. Why you'd run great software from the unstable foundations of windows rather than the other way around is beyond me. There is NO valid reason.

    Personally I wish they'd stop compiling Linux apps for Windows at all. The platform no more deserves our apps than we want theirs.

  3. To be more specific, I need Riverpoint Writer, a plugin for Microsoft Office. It's impossible to get a VM running on a solid Linux kernel because currently only the newest kernel supports my chipset.

    Additionally, Windows is not as bad as some people want to make it out to be. I did not switch to Linux because I was having problems in Windows. I switched because it was more customizable than Windows.

    And sure, Linux could act like Microsoft and not support multiple platforms. Thank goodness that is not what the open source philosophy is all about though.

  4. Yeah but I wanted to point out some of the less obvious applications. I *think* most people know that Firefox, Skype, Chrome, etc. are multi-platform.

  5. You forgot a very important one. Evince. Getting rid of Adobe bloatware is one of my first priorities when I buy a new Windows computer.

    There's also Sumatra which is FOSS as well.

  6. Some of my school's documents won't open with out Adobe, so that's what I generally use on both Linux and Windows. Thanks for pointing out the alternative though. :) There's also Foxit Reader, which is Windows based but is very lightweight like you would expect a Linux native application to be.

  7. [...] News excerpt from: Getting some Linux Functionality Out of Windows 7 | xjonquilx … [...]

  8. I just found that gedit can be install on windows too:

  9. There are also Emacs and Bash.

  10. There is also KDE for windows. It has many of the default programs included so you do not have to use the native Windows apps. Definitely worth checking out. It was quite refreshing to backup my save game files using Dolphin.
    I didn't know about a Devede client for the other OS. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  11. I've tried KDE for Windows (a while back) and it was very unstable for me. I may have to give it another shot though! Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  12. Three things I always install on any windows machine I am going to have to spend much time on:

    1) 7zip (not really a "linux functionality" program but useful)
    2) gvim - this is a graphical vi, very helpful for anyone used to vi instead of notepad type editors.
    3) cygwin - this is a bash shell and more. Spend some time poking around and you will see that you can install perl, ruby, python, sshd, sed, awk, cron etc. in it. In fact it includes almost any command line program you would expect to find in a stock linux system and some graphical programs. It also has an ok X server so if you are connecting to unix systems and want to forward program display back to your local desktop.

  13. "Leaving an unstable, crashing, virus and malware infected resource pig with a couple of good open source apps"
    I have to agree totally- it IS this bad, especially when you start to really push it's boundaries. The "resource pig" bit is especially pertinent when you run a netbook for it's great portability factor which one typically buys with that product you are complimentary of, only to find that on such a device, it really IS a pig of an OS, and in this day-and-age, I consider it a joke and an insult for MS and HP (or any other manufacturer who ships it installed) to attempt to tie me to it, or expect me to tolerate it.

  14. I use 7zip also but I *think* that started as a Windows program. I didn't know about cygwin though, it sounds awesome! I will definitely check it out!

  15. Ok I'm going to have to pull the plug on this statement: "in this day-and-age, I consider it a joke and an insult for MS and HP (or any other manufacturer who ships it installed) to attempt to tie me to it, or expect me to tolerate it." You talk like in this day and age Linux has all the hardware and application support in the world, which it doesn't. I consider it a joke that you would expect the major computer manufacturers to use an operating system that is still little known and little used by the general public. Work on the hardware and software support, then we'll talk about getting Linux accepted by the major computer manufacturers.

  16. The OpenDisc project has plenty of Windows F/OSS:

  17. I always fall into a weird pattern. First I install Gedit thinking I'm good to go. Then I throw Geany on after a while with the intention of messing around with it a bit more that I have. Then in the end I wind up with Eclipse and neglect everything else. It's strange but convenient being able to have these choices across both platforms. It helps in keeping me productive.