List of Adobe Open Source Alternatives

Photoshop to Krita Banner

If you are an Adobe user looking to save money or just want to break free from Windows or OS X, open source has you covered. Another great thing about open source tools is the fact that you can be apart of the process, if you so choose. You can contribute in many ways like donating money, assisting in writing documentation or translations, finding bugs or even writing code. This gives the community power that simply buying a product off the shelf cannot. Of course, you can also give back by sharing content or knowledge, just as others might in the Adobe community.

I am not here to pass judgment on Adobe products; although, I consider them damned good. I am offering alternatives only. As a Linux only user I see no reason to use Adobe products and as nice as some features are, I simply do not miss them enough to deal with the headaches of running them in Wine.

Photo Editing, Retouch, and Digital Painting.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
LightroomDarktablePhoto management, correction, and non-destructive raw image post-production.Windows, OS X, Nix.
LightroomRawtherapeePhoto correction, and non-destructive raw image post-production.Windows, OS X, Nix.
PhotoshopKritaPhoto editing and manipulation, digital painting, and 2-D animation.Windows, OS X, Nix, Haiku.
PhotoshopGimpPhoto editing, manipulation, and digital painting.Windows, OS X, Nix, Haiku.
Photoshop (Corel Painter also)MyPaintDigital painting.Windows, OS X via ports, Nix.
Open Source Darktable

Vector Illustration and Desktop Publishing.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
IllustratorInkscapeVector illustration.Windows, OS X, Nix, Hailku
InDesignScribus (I use 1.5 dev)Desktop Publishing.Windows, OS X, Nix, Warp, Hailku

3-D Modeling, Sculpting, Animation, and Rendering.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
Substance 3-D (Covers all Adobe 3-D tools)Blender3-D Modeling and Sculpting.Windows, OS X, Nix, Haiku
Substance 3-D DsMaterial Maker3-D Material authoring and application.Windows, OS X, Nix
Substance 3-D PtArmorPaint3-D Paint Utility.Windows, Nix, OS X (experimental), Mobile
Substance 3-D MdWings 3D3-D Modeler.Windows, OS X, Nix
Blender 3D
Blender 3D

Video Editing, VFX, and VR.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
Premiere ProKDEnliveVideo Editor.Windows, OS X, Nix
After EffectsNatronVideoFXWindows, OS X, Nix
* Premiere & After EffectsBlenderVideo Editing and VFX.Windows, OS X, Nix
VRJahshakaVirtual Reality Worlds, Video, 3-D Environments.Windows, OS X, Nix

Olive could be a good replacement for KDEnlive and Natron in the future.

kdenlive Video Editor

Audio Recording and Editing.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
AuditionArdourDAW, Audio Workstation.Windows, OS X, Nix
AuditionAudacityAudio recording and editing.Windows, OS X, Nix
Ardour DAW

Web Development and Design.

Adobe ProductAlternativeUsageSupport
DreamweaverAptana Studio 3Web-Site Development.Windows, OS X, Nix
XDSeamonkeyInterface Designer.Windows, OS X, Nix
XDLunacyMultiple uses. Compatible with XD.Windows, OS X, Nix
Lunacy Design App

What about Acrobat?

You can use LibreOffice to create PDF files and some of the tools listed here can also export to PDF. If you need to edit PDF files and these tools don’t meet your needs you can give PDFedit a try. There are a ton of commercial PDF Editors available for Linux. See my post on proprietary software for Linux.