6 Free Powerful Creative Tools for Linux

6 Free Powerful Creative Tools for Linux

Free operating systems based on the Linux operating system are a serious alternative to Windows, not least because of the wide range of open source software available.

PC World compiled a list of creative tools for Linux: graphic, text, audio and video editors, competitors of Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a professional pixel graphics program that provides features for image editing and digital drawing of bitmap graphics. Most major Linux distributions already include GIMP in their base installation, but the following installation is also relatively simple and quick.

Users who want to use this powerful alternative to Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Photo can find the program for download both on the official website and in the package management section of their distribution software.

GIMP is especially popular on Linux, where it has established itself as the standard for digital image editing, also suitable for beginners.


Another powerful graphics tool is Inkscape. Inkscape is a free, platform-independent software for editing and creating 2D vector graphics. The program is suitable for creating single-page documents such as logos, diagrams, posters and flyers, comics, etc.

Inkscape uses the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file format standardized by the W3C Consortium. The developers are positioning their free, open-source graphics program as a direct competitor to paid programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw.

In a YouTube video, the developers demonstrate what the latest version of Inkscape 1.2 is capable of.

Inkscape can also be downloaded from the developer’s official website and installed using the software package manager of all relevant Linux distributions.


The free OpenShot video editor for non-linear video editing and video editing for Linux gets many new features and improvements with its latest version 3.1. In total, the release includes over 1,000 changes that are now compatible with Blender 3.3 LTS.

OpenShot is a very powerful video editing tool for both beginners and professionals.

In particular, the developers worked on real-time editing functions and an integrated timeline, which made the free software even more flexible and versatile. OpenShot 3.1 uses a background cache thread that prepares future frames before they are needed.

The official YouTube channel of the ambitious open source project also contains numerous easy-to-understand instructions. OpenShot 3.1 can be downloaded from the website or from the software package manager of the respective distribution.

Kodi Media Center

Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free cross-platform media player that functions as a media center and can be greatly expanded with numerous plugins.

Kodi can read metadata from local media files and store them in its own media database. The metadata is then displayed in a visually appealing way in your own library. They can be played directly from it or distributed to other devices in the household via a local network.

The open source media center Kodi 20 (Nexus) is a continuation of the previous version Kodi 19 (Matrix) and offers numerous new features.

Kodi 20 (Nexus) – a selection of new features:

  • AV1 hardware decoder for Android.
  • AV1 hardware decoder for Linux via VAAPI.
  • Added ACES/Hable tone mapping for GLES.
  • More BiCubic shaders for GLES.
  • Update to FFmpeg 4.4.
  • Pipewire support.

Also, optical drives are now automatically mounted in Linux using [ udisks]. Unix-like platforms such as Android, Linux, and macOS get WS-Discovery (SMB Discovery) support.

Thanks to a wide range of plugins, internet video portals such as YouTube and the ARD and ZDF media libraries can also be integrated and accessed via Kodi. Integration of video-on-demand services can also be implemented using extensions.

The current version 20.2 of Kodi is available for download on the official website. It can also be installed quickly and easily using many standard distributions.


The free office suite OnlyOffice from Latvia has just been released for Linux in the latest version 7.5.1. It focuses, in particular, on texts, spreadsheets and presentations.

This powerful collection of programs aims to be an alternative to well-known open source office suites such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice, as well as the paid Microsoft Office offering.

OnlyOffice 7.5.1 is an extremely modern office package for creating texts, spreadsheets and presentations. Freeware scores primarily for its fully open source and cross-platform system support, which also supports free Linux-based operating systems.

Developers also want to improve interoperability with Microsoft Office and its XML-based DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX file formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as significantly improve compatibility.

In general, OnlyOffice has no problems with Microsoft Office documents. He can open and edit them.

OnlyOffice is completely free for private users and can be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. The official YouTube channel provides extremely valuable tutorials, tips and document templates, especially for beginners.


Ardour Professional Digital Audio Workstation, an open source software for editing and mixing audio files and recordings on a computer, has been released in its latest version 8.2 and is priced from $1 as open source.

The extremely powerful audio tool is also completely free to use, but then you have to compile it yourself.

Ardor 8.2 is a powerful digital audio workstation (DAW) for Linux, once again under the leadership of lead developer Paul David. It can be downloaded as usual, free as source code, and then compiled for your own system and installed accordingly.

Less advanced users or those who want to receive any updates directly from the software developer will receive the finished software and all updates for the purchased version for a donation of $1.

In terms of user interface and operation concept, Ardor is modeled after the paid professional software Pro Tools, which is often used in recording studios. In terms of volume and performance, Ardour can keep up with all professional solutions on the market, and in some cases even surpass them.

Read also on ProIT: Adobe updated AI in Photoshop and announced neural networks for creating vector graphics in Illustrator and layouts in Express.

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