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I am a competent computer user who currently uses mac for several main task, (I will cover them in a bit). I am looking into the possibility of transferring over to Ubuntu 12.04. Primarily I want my new set up to act and behave seamlessly, with the added option to tinker play and develop it during my spare time. In no particular order it must:

  • Word processing (compatability with Microsoft office)
  • Presentations and spreadsheets
  • Photo and video editing
  • Software code development (mainly on arduino and RPi)
  • Edit and annotate PDFs
  • Print and scan documents
  • Print to PDF
  • Normal ssh etc options
  • Access online cloud storage, ie Dropbox, Google drive

I have been experimenting with this distro as a virtual machine and am quite happy so far. I will be using this computer during the day at work, I know it'll be far more capable than me. I don't want to keep paying mac prices for fashionable computers that only ever get used in coffee shops and I certainly won't go back to Windows!

Are my expectation too much? Is the above list possible? And will it allow my knowledge to grow?

I have tried to be specific I what I want. Share your opinions and thoughts whether all this is possible.

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closed as too broad by Seth, guntbert, fossfreedom Feb 23 '14 at 9:30

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

with dropbox, you can download the .deb file from here, and install it using 'Software Centre'. –  Wilf Feb 22 '14 at 9:59
Welcome to AskUbuntu. This question is interesting, but could have a gazillion different answers. Most of the functionalities you list are available in Ubuntu out of the box (apart from editing PDF files). Have you tried it and had problems? I would suggest you to break down these problems into individual questions, that way you could get more objective answers. Finally, since you are willing to do this switch, I would strongly suggest you to quit office suites for more powerful tools like LaTeX and R. –  Luís de Sousa Feb 22 '14 at 10:11

4 Answers 4

I can't see why you can't do any of those on Ubuntu, it just takes patience and time to adapt. So your expectations aren't too high - you have survived until now :)

Like any system Ubuntu will have its limitations and you will probably find barriers while trying to expand your knowledge, but they should be minor and negotiable - your effort should mostly dictate your growth of knowledge.

I would personally suggest that you wait until 14.04, which will be released in April, so that you don't have to setup an entire system again in two months time, if you can wait until then ;). You can also switch to 12.04 as an exercise setup 'run' for 14.04.

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"Word processing (compatability with ms office)"

Ubuntu already comes preinstalled with Libre Office(basically a free Microsoft Office that can do "almost" anything that Microsoft Office can do) which is very much compatible(you can save your work as a microsoft office file type and even choose the version of microsoft office when saving your work) and it is or is almost as feature rich as the Microsoft Office equivalents.

"Photo editing"

If you are referring to something similar to Photoshop, then Ubuntu should already come preinstalled with GIMP(which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program) which is very much like Photoshop(basically one of the best if it's not the best free Photoshop alternatives out there).

"Video Editing"

I'll post a Link here with a List of what "they"(the person/people who made the list) deem the "Top 5 Video editors" for linux(their all free):

They also list how to install it from the terminal if you feel you want to try one of them out.

Actually most of what you are asking for seems to be preinstalled or available in the Ubuntu software Center. Just open that up once you've officially installed Ubuntu(outside of your virtual machine) and browse for the software you are looking for :) .

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For word processing and presentations, you can actually install microsoft office through wine. The 2010 works best for me. Libre office is also a very good choice, but if you cannot adapt to it for some reason, or don't like it, there is microsoft office.

For Photo and video editing, there is GIMP and Kden live(my choices, although there are more of them). Adobe photoshop can also be installed, and runs without problems for me through wine.

Libre office has the option to export to PDF.

Printing and scanning experience depends on support for printer and scanner you're using, but is generally good, and I think you shouldn’t have problems.

Dropbox works perfectly, and google drive will be available for linux in future.

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I don't know about editing pdfs, Arduino development and video editing (but I've heard there are good video editing software for linux). But for all the rest, you can pretty much do very easily in Ubuntu 12.04 or later.

For some of the more specialized software (perhaps including Arduino programming) you might need to compile them yourself, but even that is easy nowadays as most sources include an easy-to-follow guide to compile them.

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