Business Friendly Alternative To Proprietary Systems for Noobs


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
A layman's guide for laymen; experienced Linux geeks please give this a wide berth, it is not for you.

I have compiled this because these are the things needed by newcomers and it can take very long to find a practical solution. This could save newbies time & effort! :D

Linux is easier to use than some Windows versions. Distro's like Zorin and Mint already include much of what the business user needs, such as Thunderbird mail, LibreOffice, etc. Another office suite that works well is Kingsoft and you can download .deb installer from here.

Email: If you are using a Google account and an Android phone, you can sync email, calendar & contacts with add-ins for Thunderbird, also tasks. Thunderbird as a good mail client supporting POP and IMAP. The Android alternative with enhanced functionality is MailDroid

Calendar: Your Google calendar opens in a tab in Thunderbird and it can be made accessible off-line as well. In Android, I use BusinessCalendar as it works better and it is free.

Notes: I am also using ThunderKeep for which there is an add-in for Thunderbird although you can sync that through a browser app as well. Of course, there is Keep in Android!

Accounting-wise, there is Grisbu or GNUcash that will address most or all of your bookkeeping requirements.

Local sync is possible and you will need a very basic computer to set up as a server to run ownCloud. With this tool, you can sync PIM organizer data, documents, audio, video, etc., between your computer/laptop, tablet and phone without needing to take data off your premises or using the internet. Your own private wireless network will do just fine.

PIM - Personal Information Manager eg MS Outlook.

There are other solutions but the set-up above is aimed at former Windows XP users who need a new home, or others wanting to board the Linux train, but get lost amidst the myriad distro's, strange jargon and too many opinions from geeky enthusiasts. It is not meant as being authorative; just entry level solutions that can be put in place by an average Windows user.

Please do not confuse the issue by posting negative comments or a myriad of "better solutions" which may be well-intended but that will only confuse new users. Only post when you really have a better yet simple solution and when you really have something constructive and positive to contribute. Posts that do not meet this requirement will have to be removed by a moderator.