For Linux to meet the requirements of the corporate desktop it needs to have robust, supported desktop office software that is updated on a regular basis. A well established type of business software that helps the desktop corporate world to increase productivity is the ubiquitous office suite. There are a number of competent office suites available for Linux (our article 6 of the Best Free Linux Office Suites, published in December 2010, identified the then noteworthy ones). Open source software can meet the needs of businesses, but there is the risk that if a major corporation possesses copyright of the software it can decide to mothball a project at any time.
One of the biggest controversies was concerns about Oracle’s commitment to the OpenOffice.org open-source application suite. The fear that Oracle may decide to abandon the suite in the same way it dumped OpenSolaris on the scrapheap left many leading developers of OpenOffice.org with a dilemma. Assign copyright of their work to Oracle, or seek to go it alone.
The risk was deemed so serious that many developers decided to form the Document Foundation in September 2010 to manage and develop a fork called LibreOffice. There have already been a number of significant features added to the OpenOffice.org codebase in recent months. However, it is likely that there will be a significant delay before the corporate world readily embraces LibreOffice, in part because of concerns about the Document Foundation itself. Nevertheless, their fork is a comprehensive desktop productivity suite with a number of significant features not found in OpenOffice.org.
Linux also has a good selection of desktop business software that can help to enhance an organization’s efficiency and adaptability to change. To provide an insight into the quality of software available, we have compiled a list of 6 of the best free office software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for both the desktop corporate user and home user.
Now, let’s explore the 6 office software tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources.
|LibreOffice||Feature-packed and mature office suite; fork of OpenOffice.org|
|RedNotebook||Daily journal with calendar, templates and keyword searching|
|GoldenDict||Feature-rich dictionary lookup program|
|KeePassX||Manage your passwords in a secure way|
|PDF Chain||Graphical user interface for pdftk|
|gLabels||Label, business card and media cover creation program for GNOME|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.