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Linux Guide for Windows Users

It's hard to move from a comfortable operating system to a fresh and new operating system that you've never touched before. This document shows you software applications that are equivalent from one operating system to another.

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Software Included in Microsoft Windows

This section helps you find Linux software to replace your Microsoft Windows software.

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Command Prompt

Were you a DOS guru before you started using Windows? If so, you probably couldn't have lived without the Windows Command Prompt. You are in luck with Linux, because the DOS prompt was a variant of the UNIX shell. Every Linux distribution comes with the UNIX shell built-in. Just look for "Terminal" in the GUI. If you can't find that, try "xterm", "konsole", "aterm", "mlterm", etc.

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File Manager (Windows Explorer)

Window's original File Manager has now became Windows Explorer. This graphics software allows you to view and manage your files in a visual manner. Linux's version is Nautilus. Today, you can simply double click a folder or drive on your Linux desktop to start it. But if you are using command-line Linux with X window, you can start it on the command-line with the "nautilus" command.

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Internet Explorer / Microsoft Edge

The whole Windows interface is based off the Internet Explorer web browser now. So you have, no doubt, lots of experience with it. But once you are on Linux, there aren't any standard browsers to choose from. Today, Linux distributions makes installing software packages easy. So you can practically install any web browser you like--Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, etc.

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Notepad

Notepad is a very basic text editor. Linux comes bundled with lots of text editors as well. My personal favorite is "mousepad" on Gnome. On KDE, you can use "kedit". "nedit" with all the fancy features turned off also makes a good basic text editor. There are plenty of other text editors on Linux. Just search for "Linux text editor" to find them.

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Remote Desktop Connection

Do you use your Windows computer remotely a lot? You are likely using Remote Desktop Connection on Windows. The Linux equivalent is "rdesktop". It works virtually identical to Remote Desktop Connection, except you have to started it on the command-line.

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Snipping Tool

Windows Snipping Tool is now a necessity in the workplace when communicating with anyone. On Ubuntu, you can use the "Take a Screenshot" tool to do the same thing. In fact, you can easily launch this tool with the "Print Screen (prt sc)" key on your keyboard.

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Task Manager

Task Manager is a built-in GUI tool that monitors your system resources, such as processor usage, memory usage, etc. Most UNIX guru prefers the command-line version like "top", "uptime", and "ps". But on KDE, you can find a GUI version that is very similar to Task Manager. It's called "KDE System Guard". GNOME has something similar called the "GNOME System Monitor".

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WinSCP

WinSCP is really hand for manipulating file on the remote Linux server. It's also great for editing text files remotely. Finally, you can move files back and forth between the remote server and your local machine. I'm not aware of a good WinSCP replacement for Linux. But the following are simple solutions to accomplish those three tasks.

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Manipulate Remote Directories and Files

If you have command-line access to your remote server, SSH to it with X11 forwarding. Launch "nautilus" to use as a file manager for manipulating folders and files on the remote server.

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Edit Remote Text Files

Similar to the previous section. In "nautilus", right click on the remote text file you want to edit. Then select "Open With" and choose the text editor to use. When you make and save changes, the file is modified on the remote server.

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Transfer Directories and Files Between Remote Server and Local Machine

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