Design with Linux

I started using Linux as my desktop originally just for fun, but within a few months playing with it, it has now become my full-time desktop, which might seem quite odd for most folks who might still consider Linux to be an OS suitable only for programmers. What a lot of people did not realize is that the Linux environment boosted many wonderful products that although free are either equal to and in some cases surpasses professional equivalent. Hopefully I'd collect enough tips that I would eventually grow this into a larger section.


Vector Editing

One of the best programs out there. Allows certain operations that are not easily doable using Adobe Illustrator. In fact the only thing I can think of where Illustrator can do and Inkscape cannot is the idea of object stacking multiple fill and strokes for the object almost as an internal layer stack - but truth me told, for my entire professional life as a designer, I have also never met another designer who is aware of that functionality even though it was available since Illustrator 8.0 so… anyway. Back to Inkscape. More info soon. :)

Ubuntu packages

$ sudo apt-get install inkscape

XaraXtreme (previously known as XaraLX)
A spin off from the Corel branch. This branch is released open source. Like Inkscape, it is a very mature program but it's not completed yet. Developers from Xara and Inkscape are supposed to be in talks to join efforts. The official branch from Xara is a commercial product available on windows only. Product information for that version can be found at

Ubuntu packages

$ sudo apt-get install xaralx                 # The core program
$ sudo apt-get install xaralx-examples        # examples of works created by XaraLX
$ sudo apt-get install xaralxsvg              # SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) plugin for XaraLX

Bitmap Editing


Adobe Photoshop
If you happen to have Photoshop lying around that you wanna play in Linux, you actually can run it using Wine - but up to CS2 only. After that it's no longer workable on the Linux. Going through virtual environment does work as well. In the worst case scenario you can always RDP to a Windows machine, provided that you're running things locally over LAN, it's actually surprising fast.

Desktop Publishing


Compositions designed using open-source software on Linux.

It's a visual journal of the eye-opening experience as a designer using Ubuntu as my desktop OS. Why people still pay money for software, I have no clue.

Source for some of these are posted on

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