February 6, 2006 12:08 PM PST

Linux users say OS needs touch-up with Photoshop

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
Adobe Systems' Photoshop has been voted the most important application to port to Linux, according to the initial results of a survey carried out by software company Novell.

The online public survey, running since mid-January, asks people which key applications they need to use in their business that are not yet available on Linux. Scott Norris, the editor of CoolSolutions, the Novell community Web site running the survey, said last week that 10,000 submissions had already been received.

So far, the most-requested applications have primarily been tools for design, Web publishing and multimedia. Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Macromedia Studio, AutoDesk's AutoCAD and Apple Computer's iTunes head the list.

Norris said these results indicate that Linux on the desktop has matured; in the past, there was primarily demand for basic applications such as word processing, e-mail clients and Web browsers.

"As people's needs in those arenas (basic applications) were filled, they wanted media players for their music," Norris said. "An interest in graphic design and manipulation became more apparent. Pretty soon, people not only considered the possibility of Linux as a multimedia platform, but, as we can see, they are now demanding it."

Though Norris said the need for a decent e-mail client on Linux has been "filled rather nicely," with applications such as Thunderbird, KMail and Evolution, a study published by the Open Source Development Labs in November last year found that the lack of a powerful e-mail application could hinder the adoption of Linux on the desktop.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.


Correction: This story incorrectly described the applications under consideration in the CoolSolutions survey. The online survey asks which key business applications are not available on Linux.

See more CNET content tagged:
Novell Inc., survey, Linux, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Systems Inc.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Microsoft Windows Only???
The online public survey, running since mid-January, asks people which Microsoft Windows-only applications they want to use on Linux.

Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Macromedia Studio, AutoDesk's AutoCAD and Apple Computer's iTunes

Don't all these run on a MAC....
Weren't all these ported to Windows from MAC?
Posted by itworker--2008 (130 comments )
Reply Link Flag
just a quick correction and comment
Actually from what I remember, Photoshop and Illustrator for
example, are primarily Mac applications (originally released for
only Mac OS), while Macromedia doesn't "port" it's software to
Apple's Macintosh platform, currently it's a parallel effort along
with PC versions.

But still, considering that Macs are Unix based machines, that
other than Finder's standard GUI, it can run Linux apps through
X11 since 10.2. All you need is a recompile or a bit of tweaking
of the code and there isn't that big of a problem to run them.
And with Apple going to the x86 processor family, porting or
just having ready to run apps should be much easier.
Posted by admford (2 comments )
Link Flag
Just use a Mac!
If you don't want to use WIndows for these apps, just use a Mac.
Making Linux versions seems ridiculous. iTunes for Linux???? Come
Posted by unclewill (1 comment )
Link Flag
No, unfortunately&
AutoDesk does not make a Mac version of AutoCad. I don't know if
it ever did.
Posted by rfelgueiras (189 comments )
Link Flag
Just Gimp It
This Linux and Windows user doesn't agree. Why waste time porting Photoshop when the Gimp(<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://gimp.org/" target="_newWindow">http://gimp.org/</a>) can probably do what 80% of what most people need, maybe even more. Gimp is already available for Linux, Windows, Unix and Mac OSX. It's free but I would pay for it.

AutoCAD used to be available for Macs, DEC and a few other OSs back in the early CAD days. That's a big reason it became so popular, it's files didn't require conversion from one OS to another, a huge deal back then. The Gimp is that way today.

So again, why bother porting Photoshop, Gimp is already there.
Posted by random-rambler (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's about standards
Photoshop is an industry standard. Sure, the GIMP works well (I use it for pretty much everything I do), but unless things have changed, you can't run Photoshop plugins in GIMP. The GIMP is good. So is Photoshop. Why *shouldn't* Photoshop be ported?

Advocating fewer choices sure flies in the face of what Linux is all about in the first place. It's an odd stance to assume.
Posted by Trane Francks (936 comments )
Link Flag
Gimp SUCKS. For professionals, it has nothing on Photoshop. Let's just compare plug-ins alone between Apps.

Photoshop is a pro app, not for everyone else, which is where Elements and I suppose Gimp can come in. But results in Gimp compared to PS are obvious, and PS wins every time.

And let's take a look at those linux users who A: Hate windows and B: "can't afford a Mac." Then how in the hell are you going to buy a 700 dollar applications if you can't afford a Mac? It makes no sense to port PS over to Linux, at all.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
On the money!
GIMP is all you need, its free, its fast and it is very simple to use. The GUI may take a new user some time to master, but it is well worth the effort. If you have questions about using this wonderful tool read the man and help files. Or go on-line to www.gimp.org for the latest news.

Have a great day!
Posted by solarflair (35 comments )
Link Flag
GIMP in my experiences will suite just fine if not better. My guess that these 10,000 people surveyed not only use windows, but if they switched to Linux would just pirate the Adobe Photoshop. There is no need for this product. I don't get why people always think that if you pay for it, it's going to be better.(or steal it for that matter)
Posted by chrisfrary (115 comments )
Link Flag
Horrible UI
I use GIMP when I have to, but I don't like its non-standard UI at all. It just gets in the way. I prefer the app to have all of its toolbars, menus, and dockers in one window - I find that makes it easier to switch between apps.

From this article, I think most other Linux users agree (or at least have other reasons for not liking GIMP).
Posted by just_some_guy (231 comments )
Link Flag
Industries such as the Computer Animation and VFX industries require 16bit &#38; 32bit deep colour channnels, GIMP currently does not support it. Thats why they want photoshop for linux.
Posted by cirus47 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Desktop Linux.....You gotta be kidding
Just what the world and desktop software companies
need........another OS to support, giving less time to innovate on
the platforms they should be supporting.......ie Mac and
Posted by mcthingy2 (64 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not Kidding
Once we get more apps ported to Linux we can dump the overpriced, under secured, bloated, under powered and obsolete system that is Windows, we can rejoice.

It will be like winning the lotto.

As for Macs. Why pay for the same OS with fixed software hardware.
Posted by slim-1 (229 comments )
Link Flag
Desktop Linux
Only someone that works for Microsoft or someone
who is not to Tech Savy would post a comment
like that. I use both Windows and Linux and
find my Linux desktop more secure and reliable
than Windows....and I do not work in IT!
Posted by julesthejackal (3 comments )
Link Flag
Hahahaha ...
Thanks for the morning chuckle. That was one of the more ridiculous posts I've read in a long time.
Posted by Trane Francks (936 comments )
Link Flag
No Kidding
True, Linux isn't for everybody. I happen to like it because it allows me to spend less time rebooting and more time developing, but that's just me. Linux uptime is measured in months and years. Unless the core has been updated or power is lost, Linux just runs.

BTW, Mac OSX is a Unix variant. Even Apple figured out years ago that an OS designed to be multi-tasking and multi-user from ground zero is better.

What the world and desktop software companies don't need is to waste their time supporting an unstable OS.
Posted by random-rambler (11 comments )
Link Flag
Tools !!
I have photoshop and auto CAD running just fine on my FreeBSD laptop it's called a nifty little program called WINE.
Posted by Jinxed22 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
That's great! Maybe you can help me out. I've been fighting with WINE off and on for almost a year now and I can't get anything to run under it.
Posted by rob1249 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Flash is not needed. In my experiences if you need Flash 8.0 its just some advertising piece of sh**. Really, who needs more of that? 7.0 will work just fine. Maybe there should have been a question on the survey about if they currently use Linux and not just at work. There is always WINE. WFL? why?
Posted by chrisfrary (115 comments )
Reply Link Flag
First...I don't use Linux. I learned on Macs in school and now use a Windows machine.

Now you know my state of mind when I say the following:

I have always perceived users of Linux to be all about open source and 'free' software...how would porting/recompiling/whatevering Photoshop to Linux make Adobe any money? Would there not be HUGE resistance in the Linux world because a: it costs alot and b: its not open source?

I just don't understand what Novell is trying to accomplish with this poll?
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Late to the Linux Party Myself
I've made a living(25+ years, yikes has it been that long?) working on non-mainstream computer systems. Many of them were Unix variants of some sort. When Linux first appeared it sounded like the last thing I'd want at home or work. This in spite of the near Unix command line capability. It wasn't stable enough for work applications and the last thing I wanted to do was spend my time at home sorting out more Unix like issues. Even worse, driver support was awful. I had more fun at home messing around with Apple IIes and Commodore Vic20s. Now I'm really feeling old.

Thank goodness others didn't mind sorting out the Linux issues. Over the last few years I have been using it at home and am very pleased. It gives me a nice GUI and the option to do incredible things from a command line if I choose. Driver support has improved immeasureably. If you've got the latest and greatest printer, there might not be a driver for that, my only disappointment. Everything else is pretty well covered. Although I could download any number of free versions, I have actually paid for RedHat and SUSE distributions. I was willing to pay for convenience and because for my needs, Linux distros are superior products to Microsoft offerings. At work we're using Linux machines for incredible data processing tasks and the OS is incredibly reliable.

I typed all that so you would know my state of mind. It's likely so much time spent around oddball computer systems has warped my thought processes. Regardless, here are my responses to your questions.

How would porting Photoshop/anything to Linux make Novell any money? There are those of us that are willing to pay money for an OS if it is better. Linux has gotten very good and to me free is no longer the issue, it is worth paying for. Add to that what some people consider necessary apps to run on Linux and Novell is likely to be able to cash in. That is unless they screw up their Linux distribution and make it proprietary.

What is Novell trying to accomplish? Who knows but it sounds like an honest effort to get more apps ported to Linux. The survey asks what apps you need ported to Linux, not what apps do you need ported to SUSE/Novell. There are plenty of useful apps available on Linux already but why not add some more as others have pointed out.

BTW, a great way to try Linux is a distro call DSL which can be downloaded from <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://damnsmalllinux.org/" target="_newWindow">http://damnsmalllinux.org/</a> . It allows you to create a bootable Linux CD so you can try it out without touching your hard drive. It is also pretty useful for troubleshooting when your PC won't boot to the hard drive. Another great use for it is turning an old PC into a web surfing client since it comes with a browser. So far it has discovered and worked with any number of network cards I have tried.

Whatever you use, have fun. Technology changes so fast we're all really newbies anyway.
Posted by random-rambler (11 comments )
Link Flag
Very Good Point
Just check over on Slashdot and you hear Linuxmeisters ********
about having to buy software! And some boast they are running
pirated copies of Photoshop and Final Cut - products that I
bought fair and square! Call me a law-abiding capitalist sell-out
but isn't it a bit short-sighted not to pay companies for their
innovation? Sure it's a big first payment but when you get on
the upgrade bandwagon, $150 every couple of years is not too
bad. Maybe these folks are just losers and can't afford to buy
Posted by mcthingy2 (64 comments )
Link Flag
You've simply misunderstood...
While there are undoubtedly Linux users who'd
never buy a piece of software (though there are
a lot more Windows users who feel that way),
that doesn't represent the majority.

The company I work for is a large biotech
company and they spend millions on Linux-based
software each year.

What I think you'll find is that Linux users are
not against purchasing software per se, but they
won't buy stuff they don't need. Photoshop is
nice, but you're not going to pay for it if GIMP
is sufficient (and in some cases, superior).
Further, people won't buy it if the vendor
doesn't stand behind it -- Linux users in
particular see commercial software more about
the support than the software itself.

Adobe would not, in the short term, make much
money on Photoshop for Linux. By most accounts,
there are more Linux users than Mac users out
there, but the Mac platform is
disproportionately popular among artists and
designers -- it's unlikely that Adobe would
attract as large a portion of the Linux segment
to their products.

I have no problem running non-open-source
software under Linux. I have a number of
scientific apps like that. However, I do have a
bias towards F/OSS because I've frequently found
issues in software, fixed them, and had the
fixes included in the next release whereas my
experience with having issues addressed in
commercial software has been, by comparison,
abysmal. I've also found that F/OSS tends to
better accommodate more use cases in the design
of software, whereas commercial software does
not -- something that's important in the domain
I work for.

Outside of scientific applications, I've bought
a digital video editing package, several games,
and a financial management package for Linux. If
I thought I needed Photoshop (I don't -- GIMP
and Cinepaint are fine), I'd have no problem
paying for it.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
Secure windows...
I've been using Windows XP for a long time,
attempted to use linux many times, but didn't
like the interface and programs available for it.
As for security, my windows XP has no anti-virus and no anti-spyware installed, but has been running connected to the internet without any problem..
It's just a matter of configuring file permissions, firewall and registry permissions.
It's hard to do for a non-techie, but sure is easier (for me) than learning linux..
Posted by stoicnluv (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
no need to be a techie
you don't have to be a techie to use Linux. You just have to be curious, and willing to take time to get to learn the system.

Linux still has the image to be hard to use and configure, but this is not really true any more.
The current versions of SuSe are very easy to install, insert the DVD/CD in your computer, and you're off.

If you are using your PC for surfing/email/word processing/... (the major things) than you will be fine with Linux.

The only thing that makes Linux difficult is the naming of the applications. But that is why you need to take the time for it.
Posted by Steven N (487 comments )
Link Flag
Windows is not the subject here
Please don't bash "linux sux", Mr Little. That's not the object of discussion and shows poor taste.
You could have written something relavent to the story like...

Several posts here say "why bother, we already have this other program". But that's not acceptable. Not everyone wants the same software. If we as a public didn't have individual tastes, we'd all be driving the same car or using the same operating system. It would be to linux's advantage to have these programs ported over and I would be more willing to consider using it if they were.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
OMG they still speak about viruses
People, you can NOT make professionals use something else
than Photoshop if your product is NOT easy to use, commercially
supported by 1000s of plugin makers, some serious company
behind it which prevents them from getting replies like "RTFM"
when a 40 years photo professional needs support by 16 year
old Linux geeks.

So get these facts straight:

1) Virus etc are not a problem on a professionally used machine
which has gigabytes of RAM to spare and top of the line security
tools installed, professionally managed by an admin and most

2) You should support OpenStep project since it is quite similar
to OS X Cocoa which both roots to NeXT Step.

3) Don't say "virus" in every desktop usability article mentioning
windows. It makes Linux look like unprofessional to
professionals who would be interested to that platform in future.

4) Don't call professionals making $60.000/Month paying $1000
to Adobe for a professional product "Stupid".
Posted by Ilgaz (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please, please, please make a Linux version of Flash and Photoshop
Illustrator would be nice, too. I use Linux desktop at home but I have to use Win for Lin to run my multimedia apps. WFL is emulating Windows 98, which is pretty old. It runs okay but there are a few glitches, such as I can't select and drag in Flash to copy an object.

As for MACs, I'm sure they're lovely, but I can't afford one.
Posted by KittyMartyr (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing wrong with a used Mac
Buy used.
Posted by kirkules (103 comments )
Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.