Windows Application on linux

Posted: November 14, 2008 by Narendra Shah in Linux Box
Tags: , , ,

So what after I installed Linux? Where the hell are my applications? What am I doing here? What about my mail reader software, download manager, torrents, browser, office?

Thats what happens when you first install Linux. A Windows user is served with millions (or is it billion ? ) of software. And in the normal world, you won’t see a lot of Linux software on the internet. So what to so? How to get the applications that serve the purpose?

There is the simplest way to install a virtualizer like VMware Workstation, VirtualBox or VMware server and use Windows inside it to get your favorite apps working again. But what good is an OS if it still needs another OS to serve its user? Certainly, Linux is not one of those OSes! It has got its own set of applications which will do the same job (sometimes even better than) that you use in Windows systems.

In this very section I will talk about two things:

1. HOW TO install an application?
2. The list of applications that are available. Here I will list only some applications which are really useful rather than putting up a whole endless list of apps.

How to install an Application under Linux

People accustomed to Windows will find installing software on Linux, a daunting task and yes, it can be one if you do not have an internet connection. Linux distros use their own package management system to handle (install, update, uninstall) software. In Linux, software does not come in a single click install file which will do everything on its own. Every single software needs other LIBRARIES which are once again provided by some other software (which again in turn may need more libraries). So to install an application is not so easy.

However if you have an internet connection, the rest becomes even easier than Windows! Under UBUNTU, all you have to do is to open up your package management software and tell it the package name that you want to install and the rest is done automatically. Under openSUSE, you need to go to and search for the software. If found, you can just use the one-click-install method to get the software installed! Most other distros are gradually developing a similar approach which will make it really easy to install software on system.

And what if you do not have an internet connection? Well, you can still try to download the source files and compile them or better download the RPM or .DEB file which may successfully install the software. A good place to visit is the packman site (just Google for it) and download the software packages from there as you will get the list of the all other packages which you will need (to provide the necessary library) to install the software completely.


Linux is just good at everything. So how can it be bad at the list of software to get you job done? Just as in Windows, you use a lot of tools for different purpose, you will find some really awesome applications under Linux as well. So let us get through the most popular and usable ones in different areas:

———– is the best deal available for free. It is equivalent to MS OFFICE 2003 and has some additional tools available in its suite which you cannot get in MS OFFICE. It comes with the following components:

Writer : Word Processing. Can do the work of MS WORD and FRONTPAGE/PUBLISHER
Calc: Spreadsheet application similar to MS EXCEL
Impress: Presentation Tool similar to powerpoint.
Base: Database application similar to that of MS Access.
DRAW: Vector Drawing. MS OFFICE does not have anything like this
Math: Mathematics formula writing tool. Try to insert a complex mathematical formula in MS word and then use Math. You will come to know of the use of this tool automatically.

Other applications like Koffice and AbiWord are also useful and can do the job of the Office document editing.


The KDE desktop environment as well Gnome, both come with document viewers. The best ones are:

1. Kpdf – PDF Reader for KDE.

2. KGhostView – It can read PS (postscript) files as well. You will have to search for sometime for a PS viewer under windows while Linux users will sit and relax.

3. Adobe Acrobat reader (yes, it is there for Linux as well) – PDF Viewer

4. Gwenview / Eye of Gnome – Similar to Windows picture and Fax viewer but much more advanced.

5. CHMSee: This is not a default application but can be downloaded and installed. It can be used to see the CHM (Compiled Help Material) help files/ ebooks under windows.

Both PIM and Internet features are the most necessary aspect of an operating system which makes it useful. Since most of the things are integrated with the web. So I will name just a few software which made me realize, what INTEGRATION is called (apart from mathematics):

6. Firefox : One of the best Browser for web browsing, is available for Windows and Linux.

7. Konqueror : Much like the WIndow Explorer, it manages the file managemant and can be used as a web browser.

8. Kopete

9. Pidgin (formerly GAIM) : Both the Kopete and Pidgin allow you to chat over Yahoo?, MSN, Google, AIM, ICQ, Jabber and a lot other networks, all at once!

Personal Information Management (PIM)

10: Evolution: Email client + Contact management + calender + Notes + To-do list

11. Kontact: It is for KDE and is as great as Evolution. It can be used as an email client, a contact management tool, a calendar tool, a RSS feed reader, a journal, a notetaker, a to-do list and the application is very very easy to use and is really powerful with its configuration options and the control it allows you to take on any aspect of the Information management you can think of. In short it is “INTEGRATION REDEFINED” .

12: Anjuta : It is a very good IDE for Gnome and can be used for developing C applications.

13: Kate: It actually is a very powerful tool. It can be used as a notepad of Windows (although too much advanced than that one) and can handle many documents in one window at one time, thus reducing desktop clutter. Just configure it the right way and it becomes closer to a C/C++ development environment as well!


14. GIMP : Image Manipulation tool with capabilities similar to that of PHOTOSHOP

15. Krita: Another powerful image manipulation tool

16. InkScape: Vector drawing tool

17: Eye of Gnome: Picture viewer

18: F-Spot : Photo Browser

19: digikam: Photo Management with an intuitive interface. It comes closer to Picasa while keeping it light on computer resources and interface being simple.


20: AmaroK: You cannot understand the power of this application unless you use it. To keep justice to the power of the application and comparing it to Media Players available for Windows, it can be said that AmaroK = Windows Media Player + iTunes + Winamp +More!

21: Mplayer / Kaffeine: Use the Xine libraries (libxine1) and install the Windows codecs and you are bound to forget PowerDVD (just as I did) . . . and thats a bet!!

22: Audacity: a great editor for music files like MP3s etc.


23. K3B : Burn Anything you want. And yes, it is free as well! You need not pay anything for a full featured advanced DVD burning application, which is completely integrated into the Desktop environment.

The list will go on and on and on. But for the most basic tasks, this is a good number of applications that will satisfy you more than others and just to remind you; they are all FREE! Want more.

However Linux is a bit lacking at one feild and this is to be accepted : Video editing. Thats all! The rest is just great.

If you want to install windows exe file to Linux then there is to tool named WINE. You can use it to run any exe in Wine in linux. Yet there are some program which doesnt work with wine also.


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