Migrating from Windows, I miss 3 things

Hello people,
As explained in my previous message on this platform,
I’ve migrated definitely from Windows.
I miss 3 things from my old OS:

  • OneDrive & Microsoft 365
  • Pdf-Xchange Pro
  • Affinity Photo

I’ve looked for alternatives.

For OneDrive, I’m currently using Insync. It replaces almost 90% of my habits.

For Microsoft 365, I’m using LibreOffice which is good, but sometimes is much better the cloud version of Microsoft. This is my humble opinion.

For Affinity Photo, I’m using Gimp.

For Pdf-Xchange Pro, I’m using… Pdf-Xchange Pro in a virtual machine. The application runs very well with Wine but misses the advanced OCR engine you have using it under Windows.

Now, opening the VM and using those apps is ok, pretty fast even on my old Asus.
But… It’s not the same as using native applications.

My question is:
You, how managed to use that kind of application?
Do you know good (even commercial) alternatives that are similar to the “original” ones?


Welcome to the club :partying_face:

There are native linux alternatives - https://alternativeto.net/software/pdf-xchange-viewer/?platform=linux . If you absolutely need this app, try run Pdf-Xchange Pro in Bottles, that should be less resource demanding than VM.

When I started using Linux only (that’s ~15 years ago), my approach with applications was to try to find native app/alternative and not to “drag” my SW and habits with me to Linux. I normally tend to use what’s coming with distro/DE of my choice, even if there is some inconvenience related to that decision. E.g., I like GNOME apps, not because those are the best ones, but because it integrates with DE nicely. GNOME Web for daily browsing, but also having Firefox as my backup. Fragments instead of uTorrent, GNOME Connections instead of Remmina, etc. GNOME Circle has nice set native apps I enjoy using, even if some of those apps are single function apps :smiley:
I decided back then to learn doing things “Linux/FOSS way”. But that’s my way :wink:

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There is no Linux alternative to PDF-XChange. Either you are lucky and it runs in Bottles or Wine or you will need a virtual machine with Windows.

Re MS Office: either you are happy with LIbreOffice, or if you purchase an O365 license you can run Office in a browser, or in a Windows VM (I am doing that because I need MS Office)

For Onedrive, you can give GitHub - abraunegg/onedrive: OneDrive Client for Linux or GitHub - jstaf/onedriver: A native Linux filesystem for Microsoft OneDrive a try.

Same here:

  • Used to enjoy Foxit Reader on Windows, but the Linux version is far inferior and appears to be from the pre XP era… GNOME’s pdf viewer is very limited so I picked Okular.
  • Full office suite on Windows was replaced by Libreoffice and it does the trick for me.
  • Windows based circuit design software was replaced by KiCAD and ngspice (ngspice is kinda tricky at first, but it gets easier when you know what you’re doing).
  • Matlab was replaced by Octave, works good enough for my case.
  • The OneDrive sync was replaced with this.
  • KDE connect to replace Window’s phone link (and is way better and works locally without MS intervention).
  • Edge was replaced with Firefox.
  • Most importantly: Simple 2D paint of Windows was replaced by KolourPaint, reminds me of the XP paint.
  • VMWare was replaced by QEMU and libvirt (I know VMWare has a Linux version, but qemu is better).

The only thing that forced me to temporarily dual boot was requiring AutoCAD for a while, then I’m back to single boot.

Again, there is no Linux-native alternative to PDF-XChange Editor.
Okular and the likes are viewers , if you are lucky you can shuffle pages, but not edit them the way PDF-Xchange Editor can, leave alone the ability to measure and draw (and sign, create forms, OCR, …).
@iosonopiero let us know if you find something to replace PDF-XChange Editor.

In my case, I just want to annotate, draw and add notes. Okular can do that.

For editing PDFs (rarely happens for me anyways) I just use LibreOffice draw (or writer). It allows you to edit PDFs, but may affect formatting, so not as good as a real PDF editor.

I own a license so I use the cloud version of Office, too, and a desktop version in the VM.

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19 posts were split to a new topic: Moving to virt-manager

I’m evaluating two trials of commercial applications. Now I’m on a tablet and I’ll write to you as soon as I’ll have my laptop.

For Office stuff:

  • You have LibreOffice
  • OnlyOffice is another choice
  • You can also use the web based version of MS365

PDF-Xchange Pro:

  • I dunno because I haven’t used this before

Affinity Photo:

  • I use this too and I know people on the Serif forums have been getting it working with Wine or Proton
  • Instead of GIMP, you should try Krita
  • I’m not sure what you use AP for, but when I started photography I decided I was gonna do everything with FOSS options. I tried GIMP, Krita, Darktable. Nothing compared to how intuitive Adobe Lightroom and Affinity was for me. My problem was my aging laptop didn’t run them well. Eventually I just switched to a MacBook Pro.
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Yes, I’ve seen the same.
I can’t afford the licence for Photoshop (too much money for the few things I have to do) so I bought Affinity.
Krita, yes, a good app.

I didn’t buy Photoshop or Lightroom. I use their Photography package which is a $10 / month subscription.

Ok, clear.

There’s a Linux application called Insync which can do OneDrive and GoogleDrive and Dropbox.
Not sure what the new pricing structure is, but if you use Drive a lot, then it’s worth it.

EDIT, oh, you’re already using it.
I haven’t found anything else that comes close.

Yes, in the first post I wrote I’m using it.
It it very good indeed.

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For the things that only run on Windows, there’s a seamless mode in VirtualBox that makes windows mix with your Linux windows effectively hiding the virtual machine (even though it is still there using up resources). If you use the virtual machine a lot, then it’s worth enabling.

There’s also PlayOnLinux which comes with preconfigured WINE settings for many applications while also isolating WINE settings for different applications so you can have different runtimes for different windows applications. Many applications just work while others simply don’t. I managed to get my Office suite working with PlayOnLinux and after installing a few additional fonts and upgrading the .NET runtime on WINE, it looked and worked just like the Windows version.

That’s interesting… really!
I’ll look at what you said as soon as I finish my other test.

Outside of Libreoffice look at Onlyoffice as an office alternative. I’ve had some xlsx files that Libreoffice won’t open for some reason. OnlyOffice is an alternative that sometimes works better, sometimes not.

If you don’t need to use MS formats so much (for share-ability) then using the standards based formats ( example .ODS vs .xlsx) You might be all set. The cloud version of the MS Office apps are quite good too.

As far as affinity goes, Gimp is possible but also look at Darktable which is more like lightroom in that it has a catalog built in. Bit of a learning curve (as does gimp)

For onedrive alternatives, i could go on and on but look at Filen.io and Koofr. Koofr lets you double click on a web Office file and have it open in MS 365 web version.

Others? Mega and pCloud have linux clients and may fit the bill.

Thanks! I’ll give them a look!

Of the two recommendations (listed above) I use abraunegg-onedrive to access my files on that server. I download the binary using the Fedora-based link from the INSTALL.MD page (the first link in the 'Documentation and Configuration" section of README.MD - the project’s landing page) and use the file manager to install it (you can also install it in the terminal. I simply find the file manager method easier for me). Once installed and authorized with your Microsoft account, there are two ways you can use it. 1. As a systemd service in which the default is to sync with the server every 5 minutes. 2. Sync with the server manually when needed. I use the latter because I dual-boot GNU/Linux with Windows 11 here. If I were using GNU/Linux as my only OS, I’d opt for running it as a systemd service because it would be more convenient/transparent. You can find the instructions to set that up on the USAGE.MD page (the second link in the 'Documentation and Configuration" section of README.MD).

I hope this helps,