Appendix A. Getting to Know Linux Software

Contents

A.1. Office
A.2. Network
A.3. Multimedia
A.4. Graphics
A.5. System and File Management
A.6. Software Development

The next few sections introduce some of the most powerful Linux counterparts of common Windows software. Each section is dedicated to one particular field of application and lists the tasks, Windows applications, and Linux equivalents. These applications are then discussed in further detail and links to more information are provided. This list is by no means complete, because software development is an evolutionary process and new applications are being created every minute.

[Tip]Missing Applications

In case one of the listed applications is not installed by default on your SUSE Linux system, use YaST to install the missing packages. Use the search function of the YaST package management tool to find the package names.


A.1. Office

This section features the most popular and powerful Linux office and business software solutions. These include office suites, databases, accounting software, and project management software.

Table A.1. Office Software for Windows and Linux

Task

Windows Application

Linux Application

Office Suite

MS Office, StarOffice, OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, KOffice

Word Processor

MS Word, StarOffice/OpenOffice.org Writer, WordPerfect

OpenOffice.org/StarOffice Writer

Spreadsheet

MS Excel, StarOffice/OpenOffice.org Calc

OpenOffice.org/StarOffice Calc, Gnumeric, KSpread

Presentation

MS PowerPoint, StarOffice Presentation, OpenOffice.org Impress

OpenOffice.org Impress, StarOffice Presentation

Data Plotting

MS Excel, MicroCall Origin

OpenOffice.org Calc, Gnuplot, Grace (Xmgr), LabPlot

Local Database

MS Access, OpenOffice.org + MySQL

OpenOffice.org + MySQL, Rekall, kexi, Mergeant, PostgreSQL

Financial Accounting

MS Money, Quicken, moneyplex

GnuCash, moneyplex

Project Management

MS Project

Planner, Taskjuggler

Mind Mapping

MindManager, Free Mind

VYM (View Your Mind), Free Mind

OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org is the open source equivalent of MS Office. It is a very powerful office suite including a word processor (Write), a spreadsheet and database manager (Calc), a presentation manager (Impress), and a drawing program (Draw). Users familiar with the MS Office family of applications find a very similar application interface and all the functionality to which they are accustomed. Because OpenOffice.org is capable of importing data from MS Office applications, the transition from one office suite to the other is very smooth. A Windows version of OpenOffice.org even exists, enabling Windows users to switch to an open source alternative while still using Windows. Find more information about OpenOffice.org at http://www.openoffice.org/ and read Chapter 1, The OpenOffice.org Office Suite (↑Applications) for an introduction to OpenOffice.org and a short guide to migrating your data from one office suite to the other.

StarOffice

StarOffice is a proprietary version of OpenOffice.org and is distributed by Sun Microsystems. It is available on multiple platforms including Windows and Solaris. It includes certain advanced features not available with the free version (OpenOffice.org). Find more information about StarOffice at http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/.

KOffice

KOffice is an integrated office suite for the KDE desktop. It comes with various modules like word processing (KWord), spreadsheets (KSpread), presentation (KPresenter), several image processing applications (Kivio, Karbon14, Krita), a database front-end (Kexi), and many more. Find more information about KOffice at http://www.koffice.org/.

Gnumeric

Gnumeric is a spreadsheet solution for the GNOME desktop environment. Find more information about Gnumeric at http://www.gnumeric.org.

Gnuplot

Gnuplot is a very powerful and portable command line controlled data plotting software. It is also available for MacOS and Windows platforms. Plots created by Gnuplot can be exported to various formats, such as PostScript, PDF, SVG, and others, allowing you to process these plots easily. Find more information about Gnuplot at http://www.gnuplot.info/index.html.

Grace

Grace is a very mature 2D plotting tool for almost all flavors of Unix including Linux. Plot creation and editing can be done via a graphical user interface. Grace supports an unlimited number of graphs per plot. Its export formats include JPEG, PNG, SVG, PDF and (E)PS. More information can be found at http://plasma-gate.weizmann.ac.il/Grace/.

LabPlot

LabPlot is a program for creating and managing two or three-dimensional data plots. Graphs can be produced both from data and functions and one plot might include multiple graphs. It also offers various data analysis methods. More information about LabPlot can be found athttp://labplot.sourceforge.net/.

Rekall

Rekall is a tool for manipulating databases. Supported databases include MySQL, PostgreSQL, XBase with XBSQL, IBM DB2, and ODBC. Use Rekall to generate different sorts of reports and forms, design database queries, or import and export data to various formats. Find more information about Rekall at http://www.thekompany.com/products/rekall/.

Kexi

Kexi is a database front-end to various different types of databases. It supports connections to MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite database servers. Kexi can be used for manipulating data in tables and creating and storing queries. Find more information about kexi at http://www.koffice.org/kexi/.

Mergeant

Mergeant is a database front-end for the GNOME desktop. Find more information at http://www.gnome-db.org.

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system that supports an extended subset of the SQL standard, including transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, and user-defined types and functions. Find more information about PostgreSQL at http://www.postgresql.org/.

GnuCash

GnuCash is a software tool to control both your personal and business finances. Keep track of income and expenses and manage your bank accounts and stock portfolios all using one piece of software. Learn more about GnuCash at http://www.gnucash.org.

moneyplex

moneyplex is a tool to control your finances. All tasks from managing incoming resources and expenses and monitoring your stock portfolio to online transactions via the HBCI standard are handled by moneyplex. Keep track of your financial transactions over time using various analysis options. Because this tool is also available for Windows, users can migrate very easily without having to learn a whole new application interface. More information about moneyplex can be found at http://www.matrica.de.

Planner

Planner is a project management tool aiming to provide functionality similar to the project management tools used under Windows. Among its various features are Gantt charting abilities, different kinds of views on tasks and resources, and much more. Find more information about Planner at http://www.imendio.com/projects/planner/.

Taskjuggler

Taskjuggler is a lean, but very powerful project management software. Take control of your projects using the Gantt charting features or by generating all kinds of reports (in XML, HTML, or CSV format). Those users who are not comfortable with controlling applications via the command line can use a graphical front-end to Taskjuggler. Find more information about Taskjuggler at http://www.taskjuggler.org.

VYM (View Your Mind)

VYM is a software for visualizing your thoughts by creating and manipulating mind maps. Most manipulations do not require more than one mouse click. Branches can be inserted, deleted, and reordered very easily. VYM also offers a set of flags allowing you to mark certain parts of the map (important, time critical, etc.). Links, notes, and images can be added to a mind map as well. VYM mind maps use an XML format, allowing you to export your mind maps to HTML easily. Find more information about VYM at http://www.insilmaril.de/vym.