The FOSSibilities are endless
FOSS stands for “Free and Open Source Software”. Linux is an operating system built with FOSS!
Once you’re comfortable with the power and freedom offered by Linux, you’ll want to discover other open source software opportunities that expand what you can do without restraint.
Find cool new software that suits your needs!
Article by Ankush Das: Must Have Essential Applications for Desktop Linux Users
Try new open source alternatives to your old Windows programs.
If your school or workplace doesn’t mandate using Windows software (check out “Getting Started” to see how you can continue using these tools from your new upgrade), consider trying new open source options!
Type in your old Windows software in the search tool above and check out what open source options you can upgrade to!
Alternatives for Creative Professionals:
Video by Shane Milton: Switch from Lightroom to Darktable
Upgrading to Linux is possible for photographers too! Check out these additional resources to learn how:
- Article by RealLinuxUser: How to setup a Linux and Open Source based workflow for professional photographers
- Article from Linux Journal: Photography and Linux
Need to edit videos, art, music and designs?
Check out these ‘Best of’ lists and find the software perfect for your workflow:
GIMP is the ideal open source alternative to Photoshop. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer or illustrator, GIMP provides an excellent variety of tools, customization options, and 3rd party plugins to optimize your artistic workflow.
Inkscape is an excellent open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape provides flexible drawing tools, broad file format compatibility, text tool options, and bezier and spiro curve support for all your vector design needs.
Kdenlive is an open source studio alternative to Premiere Pro. Edit sound, visuals, text, and clips with a powerful selection of plugin effects for video creation and audio processing.
Social media, messaging, and search tools that are fully open source
Mastodon is a great open source alternative to platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
For more information, we recommend this article from Slate covering Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter and community perspectives from Mastodon leadership.
Chat with other open source users and join the community!
Mattermost is an open source alternative to communication software such as Slack, popular for workplaces. Set up your own instance to chat with friends, or communicate with your team.
DuckDuckGo is an open source alternative to search tools such as Google. DuckDuckGo uses minimal telemetry – providing a secure option for the privacy-minded.
Signal is an open-source alternative to chat applications such as Messenger or WhatsApp. It is the safest and most secure platform for those concerned with privacy, protecting your data from third parties.
BigBlueButton is an open source alternative to video conferencing software such as Zoom and Skype. BigBlueButton also offers the option to record meetings, useful for absent team members or students to stay caught-up, and to refer back to discussions for notes.
Jitsi is another safe, secure, and open source option for video conferencing software.
Upgrade your desktop workspace
LibreOffice is a free, open office suite alternative to Microsoft Office. Software includes tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, databases, charts, and a formula editor.
OpenOffice is another free and open alternative to Microsoft Office, and the predecessor to LibreOffice. Software similarly includes word processing, spreadsheets, presentation building, graphic creation, databases and more.
AbiWord is an open source word processing tool, and alternative to Microsoft Word.
Find (or build) your community!
Linux Clubs provide a community to share knowledge and support for those wishing to learn more about Linux and open source.
For students, Linux compatibility with older devices presents an affordable learning opportunity to explore technology. To read more of the benefits of starting or joining a Linux Club, check out Stu Keroff’s Linux Club Guide!