corenominal

Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Linux replacements for OS X specific applications

At the beginning of the year, I wrote, “What OS X specific applications am I using?” At the time of writing I was well into my Windows/OS X usage experiment, but now that I’ve reverted to using desktop Linux, I thought it might be interesting to list the Linux alternatives that I’m now using. Also, I did write:

I might take another look at this again in 6 months to a year as it’ll be interesting to see what changes.

So, here is the list:

  • Inkscape (was Sketch) — Sketch was lovely, but I honestly prefer using Inkscape. Having used Inkscape for longer than I used Sketch, it could just be that I’m more comfortable with it. There are definitely some really nice features to admire in Sketch, such as artboards and being able to easily export individual selections. Hopefully these features might make it into Inkscape at some point in the future. Meanwhile, Inkscape remains an excellent piece of software and it comes without any associated crap.
  • GIMP (was Pixelmator) — I said at the time that I don’t do a lot of work with raster images, this hasn’t changed, so GIMP should cover my needs.
  • Fever (was Reeder 3) — to begin with, I was really enjoying Reeder, but then it started slowing down and taking ages to sync, so I stopped using it. I’m currently using Fever, the self-hosted web app that I switched to when Google shutdown their Reader service. Note-to-self: I like Fever, but I’m sure there are better alternatives out there, I should probably investigate.
  • Corebird (was Tweetbot) — this one surprised me as I wasn’t expecting to find a good Twitter client for Linux. Corebird really is quite nice and I love that it supports multiple accounts, just like Tweetbot. Also, you have to love those brains!
  • Google Keep (was Notes) — I’m not super happy about this one as I seem to have swapped one proprietary system for another. I’m consoling myself with the fact that Google Keep is more accessible than Apple’s Notes and Google offer their Takout service. Note (haha), I did use Simplenote for a while, but I wasn’t happy with its lack of checkboxes — there are few things as satisfying as checking off TODO list items.
  • MySQL Workbench (was Sequel Pro) — it’s not pretty, but it’s just as powerful, if not more so. Also, I prefer the way Workbench automatically recalls queries from previous sessions on a per connection basis. Very nifty.
  • Nautilus (was Transmit) — the only reason for using Transmit on OS X was because Finder could not natively mount remove SSH/SFTP drives. Nautilus will happily do this all day long.
  • FocusWriter (was iA Writer) — FocusWriter stomps all over iA Writer, before setting it on fire and floating it down the river.
  • AutoKey (was TextExpander) — AutoKey is easily a match for TextExpander and I love that I can easily create and use my own Python scripts with it. Also, AutoKey comes without any associated crap.
  • XXXXXX (was Icon Slate) — I’ve not found a like-for-like replacement. However, it’s a small app and doesn’t feature in my work-flow very often. I think I only added it as an example of a OS X specific app that does one thing and does it well. If I get time, I may have an attempt at creating a similar tool for Linux.
  • Evolution & Thunderbird (was Mail) — I used Mail on OS X as my email client for both work and personal accounts. On Linux, Evolution is the only client that I have found to work well with Exchange, so I use it for my work account. I could also use it for my personal email account, but I’ve opted to use Thunderbird instead. I thought that having 2 email clients would be a proper PITA, but I actually prefer the degree of separation they provide.

On reflection, I’ve replaced all but one of the OS X specific applications, and the change was painless. As with the previous post, and if I remember, I’ll take another look at this list in another 6 months. I’m wondering if I’ll still be using desktop Linux? I’m thinking that I probably will.

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