Chapter 3. As discussed in the first article in this series (Switching to Linux: The Start), our first real task – after deciding to switch – is to make a list of software and functionality we really need. This should done carefully and with some reserve. The best way I have found is to work with your computer like you normally do for one week and keep a list of all programs you use and what you use them for.
The second part is to take a long, hard look at the list of software that are installed on your computer (Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs in Windows). For each program you need to determine what it does and if you use it. If you really don’t know what an entry is for, then you probably don’t need it.
Next up you have to think about those things you do once a month or even once a year (like filling out your taxes). Do you need specific programs to accomplish these tasks? If so, do not forget to include them in your list.
So here is my list of software, sorted by function. I am also jumping ahead a bit by adding some Linux alternatives. I suggest to skip to “Switching to Linux: The Distributions” and return here when you have an idea about what distribution is best for you.
I must admit that this list is shorter than I imagined. Also note that even though I worked with Windows the last few years, I have put great effort into finding solutions that both work great and are free. A lot of this software also exists for Linux.
> Internet / Mail
Browsers Internet Explorer /
Mozilla Firefox* Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome Google Chrome
Microsoft Outlook Mozilla Thunderbird
File Transfer Filezilla Filezilla
> Office / Work
Microsoft Office LibreOffice Notepad++ Geany
Adobe Reader Evince Document Reader
Media Players Windows Media Player
iTunes Clementine (parts, no shop)
Oracle Virtualbox Oracle Virtualbox
VMWare VSphere Client /
* = this is the default browser I use.
I excluded games, I am keeping those on my Windows machine.
Swithing to Linux series:
- Chapter 1 >> Switching To Linux: The Start
- Chapter 2 >> Switching To Linux: My Reasons
- Chapter 3 >> This Article
- Chapter 4 >> Switching To Linux: The Distributions
- Chapter 5 >> Switching To Linux: The VirtualBox Setup
- Chapter 6 >> Switching To Linux: Expectations and Criteria
- Chapter 7 >> Switching To Linux: Distribution Testing
- Chapter 8 >> Switching To Linux: Testing Distributions On Real Hardware
- Chapter 9 >> Switching To Linux: Ubuntu, The Surprising Winner
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