Why run Windows apps on Linux? Here Are 15 Linux Alternatives

As you may have noticed, more and more people are switching to Linux these days. However, it is still quite common for Linux users to search for apps they are used to using on Windows.


If you want to enjoy the Linux experience to the fullest, we recommend switching to Linux apps to do your daily tasks. This way your journey will come full circle.

So, to help you through this process, here is a list of Linux alternatives to popular Windows apps that you can download and use for free.


1. LibreOffice (Microsoft Office)

LibreOffice is a cross-platform office suite for Linux that supports all major document formats. Allows you to open files from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

The best thing about LibreOffice is that it is open-source and free compared to Microsoft Office, which requires a subscription. The only thing missing is an Outlook alternative, but we’ve covered this list for you.

To download: LibreOffice (Free)

2. GIMP (Adobe Photoshop)

GIMP is an open-source, cross-platform image editing software with powerful functions for processing images, graphics, 3D paintings and artwork. You can add various customizations and plugins to further enhance the features.

GIMP is one of the best alternatives to Adobe Photoshop because it is open source and consumes much less memory and resources. While it’s free and lightweight, it still offers all the tools you need for image editing and design.

To download: GIMP (Free)

3. Inkscape (Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW)

Inkscape is vector editing and design software for Linux and other operating systems that provides powerful technical and artistic illustration tools. You can use it to create illustrations, cartoons, animations, clip art and much more.

Inkscape has become extremely popular as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW because of its rich feature set and because it is free and open source. You’ll learn Inkscape pretty quickly if you’re good at other vector graphics software.

To download: Inkscape (Free)

4. Mozilla Thunderbird (Microsoft Outlook)

Mozilla Thunderbird is one of the best free email clients that you can use instead of Outlook. It allows you to add email IDs from any email provider, including Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others.

Thunderbird allows you to add people to your contacts with one click. It also offers a smart folder feature that filters out unimportant emails such as marketing letters and advertisements.

Unlike Outlook, Thunderbird is free and open-source, and you can ramp it up even further with a plethora of plugins and add-ons.

To download: Mozilla Thunderbird (Free)

5. gedit (Notepad)

gedit is a simple yet powerful text editor for Linux with all Notepad features. It allows you to write both simple text and programming language syntax. In addition, you have syntax highlighting available for major programming languages.

gedit also allows you to print the text files and provides necessary functions such as undo and redo. It also allows you to edit files from a remote location.

To download: gedit (Free)

VLC has been one of the best video playback apps for a long time. Although it is open-source and free, it still offers more robust features than the standard video players available on various operating systems.

VLC Media Player plays most standard video formats. This, along with a ton of other features, including the feature to increase the volume above 100 percent, makes VLC an ideal video player alternative to Windows Media Player on your Linux PC.

To download: VLC Media Player (Free)

7. Slack (Microsoft Teams)

Slack is a renowned communication platform that is now available for Linux. After the pandemic, the world has shifted to virtual collaboration and work platforms, and Slack helps you manage and organize your business through online meetings, team collaboration, and channels.

Slack also allows you to share files with other users and integrates with popular services such as Google Drive. Unlike Microsoft Teams, it is free to use for standard companies and individual users.

To download: flaccid (Free, in-app purchases available)

8. Krita (Microsoft Paint)

Krita is an advanced digital artwork painting app that equips you with various tools to sketch and paint on a digital playground. It is often used by cartoonists as it has excellent tools in its extensive feature set.

Krita is an effective Linux alternative to Microsoft Paint. It is free and open source and has much more advanced features and tools.

To download: Krita (Free)

9. Kdenlive (Microsoft Movie Maker)

Kdenlive allows you to create professional videos and is suitable for both basic and professional video editing. The app is open source and lets you use different media components from different audio and video files in different formats.

Most professional video editing apps are not free, but Kdenlive is. It is one of the best free alternatives to Movie Maker you will ever find because of the powerful features it offers along with a free price tag.

To download: kdenlive (Free)

At some point in your computing experience, you need to create or manage the disk partitions on your hard drive. It is a technical process and data loss is a potential risk, so most users like to have partitioning apps that make it easy to manage the hard drives.

With GParted you can easily create, resize and merge partitions. You can also move partitions and get all the necessary disk management tools. GParted is a solid free alternative to any partitioning software you may have used on Windows.

To download: GParted (Free)

11. Transmission (uTorrent)

Selecting a good torrent client is essential as different clients vary in connection speed, data privacy and performance. Therefore, Transmission is an excellent uTorrent alternative to Linux. It is ad-free, open-source and runs smoothly.

Transmission is also appropriate for your privacy as no user or analytics data is collected.

To download: Transfer (Free)

12. 7-zip (WinRAR)

A file archiving program is an indispensable utility for your PC. WinRAR is the most famous file archiver, but unfortunately it is not available for Linux. Instead, Linux users have found a powerful alternative to WinRAR in 7-Zip.

7-Zip is a fairly lightweight file archiving program. Its small size allows it to deliver much better performance. Moreover, unlike WinRAR, it is free and open-source, and is available for all major Linux distributions.

To download: 7-Zip (Free)

13. EverSticky (Sticky Notes)

EverSticky lets you save quick notes to your desktop, making it a great utility for to-do lists, notes, and reminders. It is an advanced alternative to Sticky Notes.

The app has a unique feature that allows it to sync with Evernote, so you can access your Evernote notes on any Linux device. It also has an autosave feature to automatically save the notes as you type.

EverSticky is free and offers all the necessary features you would expect from a note taking app. In addition, it also supports rich text so you can add tables and checkboxes to your notes.

To download: EverSticky (Free)​​​​​

14. Okular (Adobe Reader)

Okular is a must-have document processing app as it supports all major file formats such as PDF, ePUB, TIFF, Images, DVI, XPS, and ODT. The app has a minimal interface with an interactive sidebar and you can also annotate the content to make reading effective.

Okular is easily available for all major Linux distributions. It is completely free, unlike Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader, which offer a free version with limitations.

To download: Okular (Free)​​​​​

We all need a music player app to play and manage our music collection. Clementine is a music player with a minimal, user-friendly interface. You can search and play your local music and even listen to radio on Spotify, SoundCloud and several other third-party sources.

Clementine offers an automated smart playlist based on your listening history and offers many other powerful features. The app is open-source and available in all major Linux distributions, making it a great Linux alternative to AIMP and Windows Media Player.

To download: Clementine (Free)​​​​​

Install Linux alternatives instead of searching for Windows apps

Linux is an innovative operating system with a huge community of developers. You’ll find an app for every task you can think of, including some powerful but lesser-known alternatives to Windows apps.

If you’re running Linux on an old PC, you may want to install lightweight alternatives instead of resource-hungry apps for Linux.

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