This page lists Linux equivalents for popular Mac OS X software.

Alternatives to the iLife Suite

Ubuntu offers a number of open source alternatives for users migrating from Mac OS X who use Apple's iLife suite.


Rhythmbox is a music player with similar functionality to iTunes. It also syncs with the iPod. The Magnatune and Jamendo music stores are similar to the iTunes Music store. In addition, DRM Dumpster can be used to remove copy protection from tracks purchased from the iTunes Music Store.

Songbird is also an up-and-coming player in the "iTunes replacement" category. As new versions are released, the GUI and feature set moves closer to that of iTunes. Also, shortly after release they are packaged up at to make installation just a couple of clicks away!

Songbird is "based on" Firefox, so it shares the same kind of Add-on community as Firefox. There are Add-Ons that enable iPod Device Support, provide "Cover Flow" functionality, and album art fetching from Amazon and As an example of how the best Add-ons are rolled into the core software, Album Art Manager will soon become part of the core functionality of Songbird. There is also a very active support community around Songbird, so you never have to feel that you are going it alone. In April 2010 Mozilla announced it could sadly no longer officially support linux versions and although they are still making new releases it is falling far behind the Windows & Mac versions. Nightingale is an attempt to fork from the Songbird project. Our page is hopefully more help.

Kubuntu (or Ubuntu) users can try Amarok, a powerful KDE app built into Kubuntu, or JuK, a program more similar to iTunes.

Information on transferring iTunes media to Linux, and accessing iTunes-only podcasts can be found here.


Thunderbird is a high-quality open-source mail and contacts program. As it is developed by Mozilla you can expand its functionality easily trough addons. You can install all available addons in the application itself, and a few trough the Ubuntu Software Center.

iChat / Adium

Pidgin supports AIM, Jabber (includes GTalk and XMPP), and bonjour (with auto-installed avahi) like iChat. Pidgin also supports MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, GroupWise, SILC, Sametime, Zephyr, MySpaceIM, QQ, and IRC. Adium and Pidgin are built around the same core software.

Pidgin does not support videochat, for that use the free Ekiga.

Kubuntu users can use Kopete, which supports AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, GroupWise, ICQ, Jabber, Meanwhile, QQ, SMS, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Yahoo, and supports videochat.


Shotwell Photo Manager & F-Spot are full-featured personal photo management applications for Gnome. Shotwell is shipped by default with Ubuntu 10.10 replacing FSpot which was used in earlier releases such as Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

Kubuntu users can use the pre-installed DigiKam for similar tasks.


Kino is a basic non-linear video editor which supports AVI files and raw DV files. Basic single-track video editing can be done with Kino. Many audio and video effects, as well as scene transitions are offered. Supports uploading to Kino is available in the Ubuntu Main repository.

Kdenlive is a non-linear video editor for KDE. Kdenlive is intended to be a user-friendly video editor which imports and exports many audio, video, and image formats. It is still early in development and does crash sometimes. Audio and video effects are available. It is often a good idea to capture footage with kino and then edit using kdenlive. kdenlive can be installed from synaptic.

If you have data in MPEG4, MP3, AAC or other proprietary formats you may need to install restricted codecs to view, edit, or transcode them.


DeVeDe is a basic DVD authoring tool for creating DVDs from video clips that will play in PAL and NTSC DVD players. DeVeDe is available in the Ubuntu Universe repository. See DVD Authoring for details on other solutions for DVD creation.


Jokosher is a multi-track audio recorder and editor. Jokosher offers a user-friendly interface with essential audio editing features such as splitting, trimming, moving, copying, and pasting clips. Jokosher is available in the Ubuntu Universe repository. It does not offer MIDI-tracks and its development is discontinued.

Qtractor is a real-time multi-track audio recorder and editor with MIDI-Tracks. It supports plugins in LADSPA,DSSI and LV2 for synthesizers and effects. VST-support can be compiled into it. Its intuitive user-interface offers tools that look and work as known from several other programs like this.

Rosegarden and Linux MultiMedia Studio are more complex GarageBand-like applications, available in the Ubuntu Universe repository.

iWeb / Dreamweaver

Ubuntu doesn't ship with any pre-installed web editing software. However, many are available. Kompozer and Nvu are probably the most popular. You can download and install Kompozer for Ubuntu here.

Archive Formats

In OS X, the main types of compressed archives for files and folders are .dmg (Disk Image) and .sit/.sitx (Stuffit). Ubuntu cannot natively read .dmg archives, but the dmg2iso utility can convert a few .dmg archives to .iso. Peazip can also open Mac archives.

Alternatives to Professional Creative Applications

Adobe Photoshop

There is no native software that is quite like Photoshop, but The GIMP and Krita are decent alternatives for most people.

If you really need it, Windows Photoshop CS2 works well in WINE, but CS3 does not.

Final Cut Pro

LiVES and Cinelerra are advanced non-linear video editing programs.


Blender is a 3D modeling and animation program.

Alternatives to Software Integral to the OSX Experience

Spotlight / Quicksilver

Initial stab: KRunner Gnome Do Katapult Launchy

Time Machine

  • Déjà Dup (Ubuntu's default desktop backup manager) is similar to Time Machine and has a simple user interface

  • Back in Time works similar, with nice GUIs for Gnome and KDE.

  • rsnapshot doesn't have any GUI, but it's easy to configure because of its very good documentation.

  • KDE timevault it's a promising project, more similar to Apple's Time Machine in its functionalities, but seems incomplete right now (look here for more info)

  • GRsync


In the system settings as explained by techblogger08 here and a forum thread here. They explain, you first need Compiz.


OSXApplicationsEquivalents (last edited 2014-08-03 01:01:31 by cpe-72-230-92-226)