The power of Open-source

A quick guide for students who want to try open-source solutions

Ever since we’re young and just starting to use a computer, we have and always have been using and accustomed to Windows or Mac computers. This is why most of us used Microsoft and Apple proprietary products or at the very least never have heard about open-source. At some instances, this lack of knowledge about open-source force us to engage in illegal activities, some of us might not even aware of, such as using pirated or “cracked” software just to make things work on our computers. But why do illegal things when we can do it legally and for free?

What is Open-source Software?

Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Open-source is more than just about software and technology, it is an idea and an initiative that makes our lives better. It allows people and community to collaborate and solve problems together with the goal of making things better and available for everyone.

Starting with Open-source

If ever that you have used a trialed software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, you might had experience the frustration when your 30-day trial period ends. So your go to means is to ask your geeky friend for a crack that would patch the expiration of your software. Easy fix but illegal.

One of the most sought-after software for students is an office software that is used for document processing, spreadsheet, presentation and alike. Although MS Office or Google Docs dominate the market, there are many more interesting options with open-source. Here are some of the open-source software that you can try:

1. Apache OpenOffice

Easy to use. Free. Standard compliant.

With a fully open development process, Apache OpenOffice has nothing to hide — the product stands or falls on its reputation

2. LibreOffice

Easy. Quick. Smart.

It is a free and powerful office suite, and a successor to OpenOffice. Its clean interface and feature-rich tools help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity.

Maybe you are a student that does graphic design, illustrations, and video-editing and you want to know if there are some open-source software that can replace your pirated Adobe creative suite. Fret not because open-source wont let you down.

3. GIMP

Free. Easy to use. Could definitely replace Photoshop.

Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.

4. InkScape

Just like Adobe Illustrator ;)

Whether you are an illustrator, designer, web designer or just someone who needs to create some vector imagery, Inkscape is for you!

5. KDenlive

Video editing software that matches the power of Adobe Premiere Pro (no bias intended).

Kdenlive is an acronym for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor. It works on GNU/Linux, Windows and BSD.

Students who do modelling, simulation or CAD wont have to rely on Autodesk products since there is Blender.

6. Blender

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline — modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.

Students who do code and programming task also have lot of choices to choose from for their working environment.

7. VS Code

My personal favorite. Customizable and meets all your development needs. Good job, Microsoft!

Of course, a full open source experience wont be complete without using a open source Operating system, ehem Linux!

8. Ubuntu

There are lot of Linux distributions that we can choose from, but my personal favorite is Ubuntu (only distro I have used yet lol). The environment is very user friendly and transitioning from Mac or Windows along with installation is very easy. It also has supports for most available devices in the market, so compatibility wont be an issue.

There are still many open source software available there that were not mentioned from this blog. Almost every software has a good open-source alternative that we can use.

I hope this blog will make people appreciate open source and make them contribute to its growing community. And that we realize that we don’t have to spend money to an enterprise software when there is an open source solution that does the same, only for free.

Developer