Full Migration from Windows to Linux - Report #2 Software

What makes or breaks a platform? Software.

What gets people to use your software? Marketing.

Something I've noticed among every group of people, even ones that have some difficulty using a computer. They know the term "Photoshop" and at times it's not even directly related as the program itself in the name, it's now a term or lingo to call something Photoshoped. Pretty sure that there are some out there that use the term without knowing about the software in the first place.

So with that in mind...I'm an adobe junkie, been using Photoshop, Lightroom & Premiere sense the early 2000's moving away from that much to learn a new chunk of software is hard, hell a new workflow. That sounds harder!

But I've made a move and started using Kdenlive on Linux Mint 17.3 to edit videos of my sister and I playing video games (not original sure, but we have fun doing it). The first thing I tried was to simply load in the recorded video plus audio from the mic and dive face first into editing it and attempting to do all the same things I do with my editing style with Premiere. This includes just simple stuff as fading from and to black, audio dips in keyframe moments (when coughing) splicing the video when cuts are needed and fading into other video (example on a video here) and laying video over other video in a lower corner. Simple things sure but I found all of these things and more within Kdenlive, even a few things I wish Premiere had but I guess that isn't a problem any more! As for diving in face first you'll just waste time, find someone who has put up a tutorial (I found this guy who goes into some nice detail but do look at several videos). Even if you know how non-linear video editing works in practice the software is an entirely different tool even if it's doing the same thing.
There are different video editors for linux as well such as OpenShot and Flowblade, in the end you'll have to try them out to see which works best for you.

The video editor was the first thing I looked for to replace the windows end of things and after uploading the finished video it felt fairly easy that it was edited, rendered and uploaded all within some other software that I've never used before.
It's been a long time sense I've had to learn and use new software so this has brought back some old excitement to me from when I was learning all of this stuff back in the early days of windows about the only thing missing is the huge amounts of time I found myself with back in the 90s.

As things are going along now I've actually learned quite a bit more than the video editor but I'm slow to write this stuff. But the above is what I found and felt during all of that. Now to get into stuff that might actually be more useful.

I've been looking into a lot of different software to replace just about everything I do and as the name of some chunk of software is the first tricky step (at least it was for me) I figured sharing everything I found would be helpful to other trying to make a switch.

The left side will be the windows software to be replaced, the right side will have the replacement.
This is my personal list of what I found works for me.

  • Photoshop - GIMP + MyPaint
  • Lightroom - Darktable
  • Adobe Bridge - Shotwell
  • Adobe Audition - Audacity
  • Premiere - Kdenlive
  • Sketchbook - Krita
  • Winamp - Clementine
  • Imgburn - Brasero
  • Illustrator - Inkscape
  • cuetools - Flacon
  • Indesign - Scribus
  • ZBrush - Blender

With Photoshop and Sketchbook it's actually split between GIMP, Krita and MyPaint. With these different tools they are more powerful in the regards of what I'm after in the end.
There was also quite a few tools I used in windows that were already packaged for Linux such as Hexchat, Handbrake and Steam but thats another subject.

Now not everything either works out of the box or just in a different package ready to go. There are two programs I was nail biting over as they are less work-ish but can be seen as work however bring me great joy. FL Studio and Hammer (map making tool for source engine games). But there is good news everbody! They work just fine in WINE, FL studio took installing quite a bit of extras from WineTricks but I loaded up a huge demo project and plays just fine. Hammer was the one I was really freaking over but it ran and compiled a map just fine, the only thing I wasn't able to get going was running CSGO to let hammer see all of the resources but thats because I'm doing all of this testing on a Thinkpad X220 laptop with an Intel GPU and WINE makes fun of the Mesa drivers, however on my main machine with a Nvidia GPU I'm quite sure it will run perfectly fine but even if it doesn't I'll just have to manually tell hammer where to do everything.

I'm sure in time there will be different programs I try or even shift to and with that I'll do my best to post progress on it as I haven't seen very many people document this kind of shift and even as I write this there are other things coming to mind about what kinds of programs that can run on the penguin. Firefox and Chrome for example, sure anyone just loading up about any distro of Linux will see that Firefox or Chrome(ium) is loaded up but it's there and almost taken for granted.

Now for a change of pace. Originally I was going to go with Linux Mint and call it a day but I've been using the same semi-bland looking OS sense the age of time and while Mint is much prettier than windows I wanted some major eye-candy but it still needed to be highly functional. At one point I almost went for Debian and pump it full of themes but I'm lazy and I like PPAs that ubuntu based distro can use. With that I've found that Kubuntu is what calls to me, currently I'm using 15.10 and that has KDE Plasma 5.4.2, I've changed the overall look to Breeze Dark and oh my it sure is pretty.

Yeah I'm a sucker for 75% grey-blues with minimalists look to it. Down the road I'm sure that it will be changed to something more green with simple icons but thats an easy change for when I'm really settled in. There was a part of me that just wanted to load in Ubuntu and roll with it but KDE has everything I need along with that very familiar shart button in the lower left. And I can't get used to the window buttons being on the left, always feels like I'm borrowing another persons computer. One thing to note however is that by default single click acts as a double click when opening files and folders, I tried very very hard for a week to get used to it. Just Can't Do It. However it's an easily changeable setting in the mouse options, along with acceleration for whatever reason is a thing on by default as well.

Currently my plan is to install 15.10 on my main machine then roll it over to 16.04 in April, it seems Linux Mint can't do that sort of self upgrade yet though they did mention version 18 should be able to handle that. I will say for anyone migrating from windows, Linux Mint really is the easiest way to go as it even uses nearly all of the hotkeys I was used to, where as with KDE 5 I'm having to manually put in stuff like Meta+L to lock the desktop when I get up, or even just hit the Meta key for bringing up the shart menu to start typing in a name of something (which I use a lot rather than icon hunting with the mouse, though again this works in Linux Mint out of the box!)

This is everything I've discovered so far, once more things get moving there will be more updates to come. Hope this was helpful or just interesting.