Coworkers collaborating in an office
Coworkers collaborating in an office. Image credit: REDPIXEL.PL/Bigstock.com

If you’re switching from Windows to Linux, you’re going to need to find software that runs on Linux, especially if you want to keep up with coworkers at your office. Thankfully, some of the office software you use probably already supports Linux!

1. LibreOffice (Alternative to Microsoft Office)

LibreOffice is one of the most popular Microsoft Office alternatives, and it really gets the job done, offering:

  • LibreOffice Calc, which is a great alternative to Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets.
  • LibreOffice Writer, a word processor which is a great alternative to Microsoft Word.
  • LibreOffice Impress, an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint for presentations.
  • LibreOffice Draw.

It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, so your friends on Windows can use it as well/share files with you easily.

Installation Difficulty: Easy. You just download the RPM (if you use Fedora) or the DEB file (if you run Ubuntu, Debian, or Linux Mint) and double-click it like you would a Windows installer.

It’s very likely that your distribution already comes with it installed (Fedora is one of them).

Price: Free.

If your Linux distribution has the option, it is recommended to install it from the official repository provided by your distribution instead of using the RPM or DEB files. For example, in Gentoo you could type:

emerge libreoffice-bin

In Ubuntu:

apt-get install libreoffice

2. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is possibly the most advanced, polished text editor around packed with features for programmers, yet it manages to keep system resource usage down and run quite well on budget computers.

One of my favourite Sublime Text features is multiple selections, and the ability to edit all those selections simultaneously. If you need to rename a variable which is used in many places, you can select it in one place and press Ctrl + D to select the other instances of it, then edit them all at the same time.  Another is the ability to jump to problematic lines by pressing Ctrl + P and then typing : and the line number to jump to. In general, this editor makes it easy to jump to whatever you want extremely quickly.

It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, so your friends on Windows can use it as well/share files with you easily.

Installation Difficulty: Reasonable (could be a little more straightforward).

Sublime provides a tarball archive that contains the files necessary to run it directly from its directory without going through the entire installation process (although a shortcut on the desktop or launch bar would be preferred).

Price: $80 USD (On May 29 2018, prices are subject to change). You can download and use the trial version, which doesn’t expire (for now). The developers encourage you to support the development of it by purchasing a license if possible, but aren’t too strict about the licensing requirement.

3. Slack Desktop

Slack Desktop is a feature-rich messenger and collaboration tool for offices. It allows companies to create ‘workspaces’ in which coworkers can collaborate and discuss their activities remotely (or even at the office) on Windows, Linux, or even your Android/iOS smartphone when you’re on the go!

For example, you can create a private workspace for Company X and then create separate channels in that workspace for your marketing department, customer service, etc.

Installation Difficulty: Easy. Just download the RPM or DEB file and double-click it for Fedora or Ubuntu respectively. If using Arch Linux, you may need to get it from an AUR repository with the help of yaourt.

If your Linux distribution has the option, it is recommended to install it from the official repository provided by your distribution instead of using the RPM or DEB files.

Installation Difficulty: Easy.

Price: Free.

4. Evince Document Viewer (Alternative To Adobe Reader)

You can easily view PDF, EPUB, and other documents using the Evince document viewer on Linux, and it has a simple, standard reader layout so Linux migrants can get started immediately.

Price: Free.

5. WebStorm IDE

WebStorm IDE is a cross-platform JavaScript IDE that has Git integration so that you can upload your code to repositories almost effortlessly. It also makes the process of editing JavaScript code very easy with code generation, among other time-saving features. There is also a C++ (CLion), Java (IntelliJ), PHP (PhpStorm), and Objective C (AppCode( equivalent of this IDE.

Installation Difficulty: Reasonable. Installation is done via a tarball.

Price: It starts at $59/year for individuals and decreases in the second and third year.