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Finding the Linux version of your favorite App {Google 101}

The Ultimate Guide for the rest of us

Finding the Linux version of your favorite App {Google 101}

Postby LeadFingers » Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:27 am

We've all got that favorite Windows App that makes life easier and we want to find it's *Nix equivalent,
OR maybe you're new to Linux and just don't know which apps do what.
This guide is for you.

There are 3 ways to finding that elusive App
1) Google it
2) Look in the Ubuntu Repo's (Ubuntu Package List)
3) Ask someone in any Linux forum (Should be your last resort)

Google 101
Since Google is written in Linux, is the leading Linux proponent AND one of the largest developers of Linux commercial gear, There is VERY little Linux related things you can't find with Google.
If you're new to *Nix, consider Google your new best friend.

When I'm searching for something in Google, I try to start out simple.
Lets say we wanted to be able to read our mail and we also have a hotmail account
In the Google search box Linux pop mail
You can see the results are mostly for setting up a mail server (just by reading the brief descriptions), NOT what we were searching for,
So lets shift our search.
I like using ThundreBird for my mail, so lets see if there are any add-ons to make Thunderbird check my Hotmail.
In the Google search box Thunderbird hotmail
The very first site on the search results gives me 2 add-ons, Web Mail & Hotmail, that I can use to check most Web based mail accounts.
We also see from reading the Web Mail site that there are several different Plugins available, not just Hotmail

While Synaptic does sort of have categories (the left hand column) it's vague at best, so I like to use Google to find the Linux equivalent of my old M$ Apps. (instead of searching through Synaptic and hoping I don't fall asleep and miss that one golden App) Once I have a candidate, I use the Synaptic search function to see if it's listed in the Repo's and easy to install.
Lets use Gtalk (Google Talk) for an example this time
In the Google search box Linux Gtalk
On the 1st page we see Tapioca but that looks a little old.
On the 2nd page we see Prism twice, and guess what, It's listed in synaptic so installing it's a breeze.

See the pattern here?
In the Google search window Type Linux plus Name of the Windows App
Chances are pretty good there is either a Linux app out there that will do the same thing, or a Plugin for a App you already have

Ubuntu Repo's
If you just want a huge list broken down by category to look in, try the Ubuntu repository.
The 1st google search result for Ubuntu Repository gives us "Ubuntu package search" which gives a list of distro's to choose from.
Choosing Hardy brings us to a page of categories.
Choosing any of these categories brings us to an alphabetical list of programs/packages and a brief description. All of these should be listed in Synaptic since we also use the Ubuntu Repos in addition to others. If you want more detail than the brief description provides... You guessed correctly if you said
Google it.
1st Box: Ultimate Edition 2.0 x64/ 1.8 x64
2nd Box: XP (dusty)
3rd Box: Stable Media box Ultimate Edition 1.8 x64 with XBMC

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