Linux Mint has many programs available to use just like Microsoft Windows and with it’s GUI(Graphical User Interface) you shouldn’t have any problems using it.  The most popular and useful programs are already installed like office suites, PDF viewers, and media players. If more are desired, you can download the majority of them from the built-in software repository, Software Manager, under System-Administration. The programs here are safe to download, install and use. When you can’t find the program you need, you have other options.

One of them is running a Microsoft emulation program called Wine. Some people can get Wine working on Linux, but I never have got it to work, I just tried again yesterday and got farther than I ever have, but never got the one program I wanted installed: Quickbooks.

The second option to run Windows programs in Linux is a Virtual machine like Oracle’s VM VirtualBox. This has to be installed from the Software Manager as it isn’t installed in Mint by default.  Once Virtualbox Manager is installed, then you create “Machines” for each operating system you desire. It is required to have the installation media like DVDs or USBs. I’ve done this for various Microsoft OSs like Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 98 and others. But the one which really solved my Quickbooks problem is Windows 7.  Once I got installed and then installed Quickbooks and configured, I didn’t need to run Windows just for Quickbooks. Now I can use Linux as my main operating system with all of its features and then start VirtualBox and Windows 7 and Quickbooks. I can switch back and forth between Linux and Windows without needing to reboot the computer.


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