Click to see Apple has convinced millions they can make the switch from Windows to OS X, but those curious about Linux need to see for themselves if they can work or play on a free desktop. The brief response is that, for many halfway tech-savvy men and women who aren’t hardcore gamers, yes, you can. There are positively addictive productivity apps available for Linux, along with tools to create switching between Linux and other systems easy, or only running Windows programs themselves if you want to. Now we’re detailing a Linux desktop that makes it possible to move fast, work with Windows, and just get things done; read on for a few suggestions on setting it up.
Setting up your system
If you’re dual-booting with Windows, there is no reason to construct a wall between the two systems. Most modern Linux distributions can read and write to hard drive spaces made for Windows, free Windows programs can grab files from Linux, and lots of free apps can also share settings. See our guide to using a single information store when dual-booting.
Even if you’re devoting your whole hard drive to Linux, you don’t need to leave Windows behind. Free virtualization applications VirtualBox is a somewhat user-friendly remedy to running Windows inside Linux. I have found that it works great with most flavors of XP, but, as you might imagine, has a few problems using the”house” versions of Vista, and requires a swift system not to sometimes lag a little. 1 pleasant compromise to having just that one must-have Windows program for work is running it seamlessly in Linux. On my own system, VirtualBox is the alternative for Office 2007 programs and, even when I need it, iTunes (without USB/iPod functionality, unfortunately).
Some programs, though, can operate without building entire virtualization machines. The WINE project functions to make a frame that may run many useful Windows programs, such as a fantastic number of matches, Adobe Photoshop, and also the”viewer” programs that let you read and print Office documents. Nowadays, they have even got a working version of Google’s Chrome browser. Check out our guide to installing and using WINE for assistance getting started.
Intelligent hackers have not only copied a few of the coolest tools available for Windows and Mac systems, they have expanded them to work together with different areas of the background in some seriously cool manners. Check out a few of our favorites: Application launchers
GNOME Do: It’s in precisely the same area of Alt+Spacebar launchers as Windows’ Launchy, and strongly styled on OS X’s Quicksilver, however GNOME Do has grown into its own sort of productivity tool. Plug-in designers have taken full advantage of webapps’ APIs, giving you the capability to rapidly write new email messages (in a local customer or in your webmail), search for folders or files, add calendar events, and change music tracks whenever a stinker comes up in shuffle. Oh, and it also finds applications super-quickly as you sort, making desktop icons seem kind of, well, quaint. Here are installation instructions which should work for most Linux programs.
GNOME Do: It’s in precisely the same area of Alt+Spacebar launchers as Windows‘ Launchy, also strongly styled on OS X’s Quicksilver, however GNOME Do has grown into its own sort of productivity tool. Plug-in designers have taken full advantage of webapps’ APIs, giving you the capability to rapidly compose new email messages (at a local customer or in your webmail), search for files or folders, add calendar events, and change music tracks when a stinker comes up . Oh, and it also finds software super-quickly as you sort, making desktop icons look kind of, well, quaint. Here are installation instructions that should work for most Linux programs.
Avant Window Navigator: A lot of individuals prefer OS X’s dock into the cluttered taskbars of Windows, and while most GNOME-based distros come with a top and bottom bar, it only takes a few clicks to ditch them. Like GNOME Do, the Avant Window Navigator (AWN) dock has a big assortment of useful applets, such as easy to-do lists or widgets, email and RSS checkers, a Stacks-style folder launcher, also, of course, shortcuts to your most often launched programs. You can style the bar however you’d like, such as a near-exact replica of the OS X dock. The AWN project’s wiki includes a setup guide which sets the most up-to-date variant of the dock along with its many applets into most popular distributions.
Cairo-Dock: This dock follows the exact same extensible template as AWN, but many prefer its easier-to-tweak configuration and glossy graphic results to the marginally buggier AWN. The project’s download page has compilable origin and Debian-based setup packs, but most Linux users will want to install from their system’s own installer. Productivity tools