Recommended open source software for Linux

LibreOffice & OpenOffice are essentially based on the same software they forked when Oracle took over Sun. LibreOffice is installed on Ubuntu but I suspect OpenOffice is better. These is a free 99% compatible free alternative to Microsoft Office they run on Windows, Linux  & Macintosh & cost nothing.

Blender this is a peice of software which runs on Mac, Linux & Windows it is a 3D art and animation package and you can make Movies like Toy Story with it watch Blender Guru on YouTube for tutorials if you have the patience, you'll be able to make a 3D animation of your name flying around the screen in a few hours playing but expect to spend 300 hours at this to become expert. Scupteo have a 3D printing tutorial for Blender here, however  just in case you want to 3D print Titanium replacement bones or a stainless steel gear with them. 3D printing is really catching on and Porsche are 3D printing rare car parts for their classic car models now. A lesser known fact is Blender can do Video Editing which is useful for Youtube. Propriatory software Autodesk fusion 360 is free to students and educators & I believe hobbists, &, it can do things Blender can't yet, physics simulations of the device in operation, easy design of gears, heat and stress analysis, so these shortcomings are what the Blender developer community need to address next with the help of Mechanical Engineers.

For less ambitious video editing for YouTube I recommend Kdenlive since YouTube were stupid enough to get rid of their fantastic online video editor

RoseGarden a free Midi Sequencing package and sheet music arrangement package, it's complicated to use but very powerful and a good alternative to the Mac's garage band. You need to gain competence with Jack for interfacing midi devices and software & use something like Timidity to play Midi music on a PC if you don't have a keyboard.

Sonic Visualiser tweak this tools options and you can visually see the music on a note/frequency spectrogram. It's good for figuring out tunes if you don't have perfect pitch and there is no good youtube tutorial or music sheets online on how to play a tune.

Gimp Linux's free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Linux's free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. This is different from Gimp in that it doesn't generate pictures as square pixels but as mathematical curves this means than pictures generated with this program wont be blocky even when on billboards and viewed close up.

VLC very good open source video player/recorder & streamer.

Audacity multi track recording studio.

KiCad is about the best open source pcb design tool, it was developed at Cern, the most notable feature I believe it's missing is pcb signal integrity checking for hi speed state of the art designs Orcad has this so does Altium

About the Author

D.J. Barrow is a semi retired Engineer & Linux consultant his website is here, he loves all thing open source

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