Getting to know Linux [Ubuntu]

[I’ll be focusing on Ubuntu 10.4 with Gnome]

Linux will be frustrating at first for Windows and Mac users but it’s ok, the greatst journey it’s not the easiest journey.

So what are some basic things to get you going with Linux?

Most used applications/alternatives:

Windows Explorer / Find – Nautilus

Winamp or iTunes – Rhythmbox / Amarok

Internet Explorer / Safari / Opera / Firefox – Firefox / Opera

Windows Media Player / bsPlayer etc. – VLC or any frontend to MPlayer

Microsoft Office – Open Office (can edit MS Office files)

Yahoo Messenger / MSN Messenger / Facebook – Empathy / Pidgin

Skype – Skype for Linux or Empathy or Pidgin via plug-ins

Photo organize/view like ACDsee / Irfanview – F-Spot / g-thumb

Nero burning ROM – K3B / Brasero

Specific applications/alternatives:

  • The mighty and cried for Adobe Photoshop – The GIMP (it’s very powerful and if you’ve worked alot with Photoshop around version 7 and CS1, GIMP will be child’s play) – can edit .PSD files.
  • Corel Draw / Adobe IllustratorInkscape / Xara LT – can export / edit .CDR and .AI files.
  • Adobe Lightroom / Aperture – darktable (still in development but very very promissing)
  • MAYA, Softimage XSI, 3d Studio Max, Houdini, Lightwave, Cinema 4DBlender / Maya, Softimage XSI, Houdini and we hope for Lightwave CORE
  • AutoCAD – QCAD, VariCAD
  • Google Earth – Google Earth for Linux
  • Picasa – Picasa for Linux
  • There are many more Windows apps that can be run on Linux with WINE from

You can do almost anything you can do on Windows or Mac OS with the same ease. One common thing to Mac OS is that it is build on Unix so the terminal (command prompt) and commands are the same like Linux.

Lots of people are scared about the Terminal and the fact that using Linux is like knowing tones of text based commands and arguments to do even simple tasks like watching a movie but this is not true; one thing i really don’t understand is that even now, on the internet, you will get instructions how to do tasks that you can do visually, only by Terminal.

I mean, why if you have a .targz archive, you open up Terminal (Linux Shell), navigate to the location or the archive using cd /path/to/archive and then doing tar [flags] [tar file], when you can simply open Nautilus File Browser, go to the folder wjere the archive is, right click and Extract Here.

Stay tuned …



All over the internet you can find articles about “this vs that”, like “Linux vs Windows”, “GIMP vs Photoshop”, “Nikon vs Canon” etc. but as a versus searcher i can tell you that this is 80% bullshit written by newbies and insecure people or just people who have nothing better to do than brag about stuff…duuuude 🙂

So let me tell you something about this versus wars based on my experience:

  • Linux vs Windows: none is better than the other if the operating system that you are using just works for you. There are people that use Windows and Windows software and are just happy with that and there are people using Linux and Linux software and are just happy with that! PERIOD! If i’m happy with my Ubuntu Linux, i can do my job, the software than i use works great, why should i kick Windows? Why? Or if i’m a huge fan of Windows, and everything on Windows world is just wonderful for me, why should i say something bad about Linux? Why? Is Linux better than Windows, is Windows better than Linux? The answer is NO with two capitals, N and O in both cases! It doesn’t matter if some things works great, faster, smoother on any OS, if one is happy, so be it! FACTS: Windows has a larger user base, more very well built and used software than Linux, so what? Linux is the best for web servers, it’s open source and free, so what? Both Windows and Linux can work on different hardware configurations, they are stable and in the end can get your job done. There are people who don’t care if Linux is open source, because they don’t need an open source OS, don’t care if it’s free because they can afford a Windows license, don’t need open source software because they just don’t know/don’t need to modify their software. The right OS for you is the one you are using.
  • GIMP vs Photoshop: Or is GIMP better than Photoshop. Another astronomical plain bullshit. Photoshop is the most loved software in the world, not cheap, but i can say is the best for what it can do. GIMP is a free alternative (to some extend) to Photoshop, but IT IS NOT BETTER OR WORSE and trust me i’ve seen both in action. GIMP was not created to be equal or better than Photoshop (the creators of GIMP say that)! There are things you can do in both GIMP and Photoshop (and this is not opening a .jpg file:)), there are things you can do better in GIMP and there are things you can do better in Photoshop. So it’s pure preference. There are no 2 pieces of software that were created to do exactly that another one does. So if GIMP does the job for you, very good and if Photoshop does the job for you, very good!
  • BONUS –  Micro$oft is EVIL: go and ask heavy Microsoft Windows users how they felt the evilness of Microsoft.

The other 20% of the Versus wars on the internet are as they all should be (but please keep it under 10 mils), structured compare over specific tasks, made by people who really know what they are talking about.

So start bragging about it and be constructive about it.

What you can do?

As a photographer, you can do on Linux, almost anything you do on other Operating Systems, plus the advantage of using free and open source  software.

If you know programming or you have someone who knows how to program, you can modify, extend, upgrade, make new tools in the software of your choice and why not, make your own Photo editing software.

What you can do ?

  • import photos from your camera directly, through a card reader, USB drive, a scanner and even from your Facebook account.
  • organize, sort, rate photos
  • process all type of RAW files
  • edit/enhance photos (using GIMP, pretty much and in some parts, the same way like in the mighty Photoshop)
  • batch edit
  • export photos in every format known to men, plus Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, iPod, Flash and HTML Galleries etc.
  • print photos
  • and even play Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam 🙂