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I have Windows 7 and I want to install Ubuntu because it is very useful and I have no worries about viruses.

I want to ask you, as Ubuntu users, if the following programs will work fine if I use PlayonLinux software:

  1. Visual Studio 2010 (I need it for university, I use for C# programming and ASP.NET with MVC 3, too)
  2. Microsoft Office 2007/2010 (I saw here and YouTube that will works fine)
  3. CorelDraw x5

  4. YahooMessenger 11

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Using linux means using free/open source software. There are workarounds like wine (or playonlinux) and virtualbox to install windows programs, but they are limited. Wine/Playonlinux has limited support of applications (means not all will work), whereas in virtualbox they will work (you basically create a windows virtual machine), but you will need some RAM memory to run fine. If you have 2GB of memory, you set 512MB or 1GB for your virtual machine and it should be fine.

If you desperately need these windows programs, then create a virtual machine in virtualbox, install windows there and enjoy your programs as they are meant to be used.

On the other hand, you can check with your professors and discuss the possibilities of free software alternatives:

  1. Instead of Visual Studio 2010 you could try Mono which is cross platform - you can install the package using the ubuntu software center.

  2. Instead of Microsoft Office 2007/2010 you could try out Libreoffice, preinstalled in Ubuntu. You have an option to export documents as PDF, so that everyone can read them.

  3. CorelDraw x5 - Try installing gimp and gimp-data-extras Inkscape, Karbon or Sk1 packages from ubuntu software center

  4. YahooMessenger 11 - Try Pidgin or empathy

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I cannot replace Visual Studio with other software because at every 3 months I have to send to my professor a solution file (.SLN) with other files included in project. Office 2007/2010 works fine in PlayonLinux. But what's about CorelDraw X5 ? You cannot compare, never, Corel X5 with GIMP. There are major differences. – Snake Eyes Dec 23 '11 at 6:13
As I said, perhaps you should discuss with your professor about using open source alternatives. No harm in asking. The cross-platform Mono IDE for example (package monodevelop) gives good tools for working with C# and .NET languages. If you're using coreldraw x5 for vector graphics, then I suggest trying out inkscape (SVG files). It's all about finding the best alternative program, which might not have the same features as the one you're currently using. But it's a good start.If you see that you cannot do what you want with the open source alternatives, then use virtualbox to finish the job. – medigeek Dec 23 '11 at 10:13

Here is the list of supported applications:

That doesn't mean others won't work, but these are the ones known to be working.

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Thanks for the list and the message about others working if not in the list. +1 – Luis Alvarado Mar 2 '12 at 15:04
This should nail it :) – RolandiXor Mar 2 '12 at 15:41

For that kind of software I would really recommend running it inside a Ubuntu virtual box Windows7 guest.

Some of those will work (or there are open-source similar solutions) but you go trough a lot of pain and suffer from performance issues.

Its just much better, simpler and fancier to keep using Ubuntu and if needed open up a virtual box guest in case you need to work on that kind of software.

Virtual Box is free, you can install it in Ubuntu using the Software Center or if you prefer to keep it up to date you can find instructions here.

It will run Windows7 perfectly and all the software listed there will run inside the guest.

You will be able to make easy snapshots (in case you want to go back on a mistake you have done) and you can slowly make the move from using the guest Windows7 to using primarily Ubuntu.

You just need to make a backup of all that is important in your Windows7 system, remove Windows7 form the computer, install VirtualBox on Ubuntu and Windows7 inside the VirtualBox and you will be able to use Windows7 and the software listed there without having to leave Ubuntu.

The main reason for the recommendation is really Microsoft Studio 2010 (since the others have open source alternatives). It will be a pain to to make it work properly and depending on what your development needs are you have no open-source alternative.

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I know that I have to use VirtualBox if I change OS. I wished to hear from you (as Ubuntu users) if there are alternatives. – Snake Eyes Dec 23 '11 at 6:15
What I am trying to say is that the open source solutions for your programs (namely CorelDraw and specially VisualStudio 2010 will be mostly impossible to replace and keep same functionality. – Bruno Pereira Dec 23 '11 at 7:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found the answer to my question.

You and others (who want to use some Windows application and/or Windows games (why not)) can visit

and type there the application name and check if it could be executed with Wine.

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then press tick button to accept this answer – Tachyons Mar 2 '12 at 14:44

(While I realise that I am late to the party) If I were in your shoes, I would refrain from using Visual Studio, C# and similar software in Linux. The open source alternative, Mono is pretty bad (full of bugs, inconsistencies, not 100% compatible with original Microsoft implementation, etc).

While other users have suggested the user of a Windows Virtual Machine, I have to note that I second that. You could run a virtual machine via software like VirtualBox, VMware Player and/or QEMU. Since you are a student, you could easily obtain a legit Windows 7 Professional license via Microsoft's project Dreamspark and be all set to go.

Just one final reminder: In case you actually use a virtual machine, be sure to allocate a hefty amount of memory and hd drive space to the Windows virtual machine, especially if it is a Windows 7 vm, with plans to upgrade to Windows 8.

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Downvoting without explaining the downvote is not constructive and is damaging the community. Please explain your downvotes. – NlightNFotis Sep 9 '12 at 17:47

I am developer, so I can probably help you a little... A while ago I switched to using Ubuntu and since I work for hire, I need to have Visual Studio. I simply created VmWare image and installed Windows XP into it... yes you hear right... XP. You probably ask why... It's because it's requirements are much lower that that of W7. I can now use 2 Gb (that is how much I assigned to VmWare) of RAM and it works great... better that it did on Windows 7 I had installed before (I still have it as dual boot). Please be advised, that you create big enough virtual disk (30 Gb). Even if you don't use it. file will grow with continous use and adding of new files. If you plan to link (as network drives) your existing disk, be advised, that disk on which your source files are, should be also Vmware disk, because network access can be little slow for VS builds...

Good luck, Andy

BTW: I got MS Office running directly on linux with Playlinux, for messaging Pidgin has a lot of plugins for different protocol, even Yahoo one.

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