Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS was released recently and this point release was the trigger for many Ubuntu 18.04 users to receive an upgrade notification. This prompted me to think about Windows and macOS users that may also wish to migrate to Ubuntu but are unsure if their apps and other services will work.

This article is my take on a migration path that could work for both Windows and macOS users but it isn't without some sacrifices.

The majority of macOS users from what I'm aware of use their Macs for content creation and general use like web browsing, document creation, watching videos, social media etc but not too much gaming. Windows users however use their computers for all of this as well as gaming.

Web browsing

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has the rock solid Firefox web broswer builtin and several other popular browsers like Chrome and Opera are also officially available. ubuntupit.com have an excellent write up on 13 different browsers that should help you find the perfect browser that suits your needs. I use Firefox on Windows, macOS and Ubuntu but everyone has their favorite.


Video and photo editing

Video editing on Ubuntu and Windows is easily done using the professional Black Magic Design's DaVinci Resolve. There's a free version that can get you through most tasks but there's also a paid for version that takes things to a whole new level. Be aware that even though Black Magic Design don't officially support Ubuntu, there is a relatively simple way to get it working just fine. danieltufvesson.com have a simple but very effective tutorial to sort out the installation of Da Vinci Resolve on Ubuntu.

DaVinci Resolve

To edit images and create vector graphics, GIMP and Inkscape will take care of that need quite easily. LogosbyNick.com have excellent tutorials on both apps that should get you up and running quickly.



Microsoft's Office suite is the industry leader but it's not the only option out there. OnlyOffice's Desktop Editors suite of office apps is available as a free download and promises full compatibility with Microsoft Office. I love the interface of OnlyOffice since it looks so similar to Microsoft Office and therefore very easy to learn.


Video playback

YouTube works in most browsers but offline videos can be played using the simple but super powerful VLC. It supports just about any codec and is quick and easy to install since it's available for Ubuntu officially. Netflix works on Ubuntu and is supported natively in Google Chrome. Firefox also supports it but the FFmpeg extra codecs must first be installed by using the following command in Terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ffmpeg


Spotify is officially supported with a native Ubuntu app but Apple Music isn't. It is however available via a web browser. I tested Apple Music on Firefox and it worked perfectly. YouTube Music is also available via a web browser but works best in Chrome.


Games are available on Ubuntu with Steam being the most popular way to play games on Ubuntu. The Steam client is available officially and supports hundreds of games including some big name releases that may surprise you. Lutris is another platform that allows you to consolidate your purchased games from multiple sources into one library on Ubuntu. This means that once you link your eg. GOG.com account or Uplay account to Lutris, then all the Ubuntu compatible games will be displayed in your library, ready to download and play.


Streaming your game play is simple on Ubuntu: OBS Studio is available and works exactly like it's macOS and Windows versions. Once you enable Nvidia drivers, NVENC will be made available for hardware encoding.


Thunderbird is the default email client that ships with Ubuntu 20.04. It should suit the needs of most users. However, I prefer the clean interface and simplicity of Mailspring. Just like Thunderbird, Mailspring is available on Ubuntu for free. A paid-for version also exists that provides additional features that I don't use.


Simplenote is in my opinion the best note taking app for Ubuntu. It's free and is also available on Windows and macOS. The interface is clean and notes sync across platforms. You can also import your notes from other platforms using the builtin importer.


There's many more apps that people use on macOS and Windows that have excellent alternatives on Ubuntu. Some apps like the now ubiquitous Discord voice chat app have official Ubuntu versions. The whole point of my write up wasn't to cover everything but to indicate that most usage scenarios are catered for. What do you suggest that's better than my recommendations?