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can i use linux as a substitute of windows? i mean Can i use MS Office, Photoshop and other softwares which i usually use in windows?

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closed as not constructive by João Pinto, dv3500ea, Stefano Palazzo, Jorge Castro, htorque Jan 14 '11 at 16:25

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your main question is argumentative and subjective, if you want narrow the scope and ask if you can use windows apps on Linux then please update the question accordingly. – João Pinto Jan 14 '11 at 14:02

You're asking this in a place where almost all of us use Ubuntu instead of Windows as our main operating system. The obvious answer is: yes.

You cannot simply install Microsoft Office and Photoshop as their programming is for Windows (or Mac). However you can install a "virtual" install of Windows under something called VirtualBox. This is like running a small computer inside of Ubuntu and it'll give you access to everything you need from Windows. Because you're running two operating systems at once you need a slightly beefier computer to get away with this.

There is also a compatibility layer called Wine that allows you to install Windows software. This often gives better performance applications with a lower resource overhead but this is traded against software support; not everything will run and what does might be buggy. You can check specific applications on

Then there's alternative software. OpenOffice and GIMP are often touted as the open-source alternatives for MS Office and Photoshop. In my opinion OpenOffice will get the job done for most things. GIMP is also fine but if you're using advanced features in Photoshop, you'll probably miss a lot.

You should also consider perhaps moving certain tasks onto the web. For most of my word processing and spreadsheets, I now use Google Docs. It's completely cross platform and has some nice collaborative features. It's not as powerful as OpenOffice or MS Office but I don't need it to be.

I personally need Photoshop for my work (I'm a web developer when I'm not answering questions here) and I use VirtualBox to run a Windows XP install when I need it.

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Just an additional note...some versions of Photoshop/Adobe suite rewrite the MBR and kill grub if you dual boot. Thought it was worth noting. – RobotHumans Jan 14 '11 at 15:08
Are you serious? Isn't it an offense to manipulate a foreign computer without reason? – maaartinus Feb 15 '11 at 20:02
@maaartinus What? – Oli Apr 12 '11 at 9:15
What what? When you hack a foreign computer, you can have a problem with law. When a OS rewrites the MBR, it may have a reason for it, so it may be OK, when Photoshop does it, there's no reason. – maaartinus Apr 13 '11 at 10:44
@maaartinus I didn't know who you were replying to and therefore no idea what context you were talking in. It's true that Photoshop has no good reason to do anything to your MBR but I'd be mortally shocked if there weren't something in the EULA where you give it permission to destroy your computer, sell all your personal files to criminals, and sell one of your kidneys on the black market. – Oli Apr 13 '11 at 10:54

Actually, you can use other open source (and free) sofwares that substitute those, too... for instance: MS Office -> OpenOffice or LibreOffice Photoshop -> GIMP

Those programs, in general lines, do the same things as the ones you were using. On the other hand, if you need a specific program that has no substitute for linux, you can always setup a Virtual Machine, install Windows on it, and install only the programs you need. That's what I do.

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Excuse me for this question, but... do you own a license for MSOffice, other for Windows and another one for Photoshop? If so (I do hope so!), you should stick to Windows (pretty clear, isn't it). Other else... well... let's view it from another point of view ;)

  • MS Office --> OpenOffice / LibreOffice : not the same, but almost
  • Photoshop --> GIMP: not the same, but pretty good indeed!
  • Windows --> Ubuntu: no doubt! ;)

Any way, if you do own all those licenses, you could also use a VirtualMachine (both VMWare and VirtualBox have FREE versions) in your Ubuntu to install Windows and all that software.

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Why are you questioning whether somebody owns a license for something? – Oli Jan 14 '11 at 12:42
I know 'that' hurts, but the truth is that we all know how this works. So, I reaffirm my questions. – perseo22 Jan 17 '11 at 15:47

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