Many people are reluctant to use Linux for fear of not having access to programs they use within Windows or Mac OS. Indeed, Windows and Mac-based program will NOT run on Linux. However, there is almost always a free, open source alternative to popular proprietary software. For example, the programs in the OpenOffice quite (a freely available Microsoft Office equivalent) are quite adept at editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. OpenOffice usually comes installed with most Linux distributions. There is also a free Windows emulator called WINE that can usually run Windows software.
- FreeCiv - Turn based strategy game that is "just like" Civilization II.
- TuxRacer - Race down a snowy hill on Tux's belly and catch fish.
- OpenOffice.org - Free Office suite comparable to and compatible with Microsoft Office.
- The GIMP - a graphics editing program for Linux comparable to PaintShop Pro.
- Pidgin IM - IM client that can handle multiple protocols (AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks).
- aMSN - a Linux alternative to MSN Messenger
- Mozilla Firefox - A cross-platform web browser replacing Internet Explorer that provides tabbed browsing, increased security and customization (extensions).
- Mozilla Thunderbird - A cross-platform email client replacing Microsoft Outlook.
- Mozilla Internet Suite - the GNU licensed web suite including a web browser, email client, calendar, web debugger, plugins, an IRC chat client and an FTP client.
- VideoLan/VLC - a cross-platform audio/video player which will play just about any format and codec. Replaces QuickTime, Windows Media Player and DVD Player software. VLC also has extensive video/audio streaming and transcoding facilities.
- MPlayer - similar to VLC but without the streaming options.
- xine - another free multimedia player