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As both an experienced Windows and Linux Mint user, I have to be honest. The free alternatives are good, don't take me wrong. But I have recently switched back from Linux Mint to Windows on my desktop (still have a Linux laptop though) and it really felt like a relief. I really missed the user-friendlyness of most tools running on Windows. Including Paint.NET.

I do not like GIMP, it is overly complex and things like rendering rectangles is a breeze with Paint.NET but a hell of a task with GIMP. And what other alternatives are there? A lot, and I tried near all of them but none really fit my needs. Either they were buggy, complex like GIMP or just lacking features. And with Paint.NET you don't get those issues, it just works plain and easy.

However, I would be lying if I say that I am still using Paint.NET for my day to day tasks as I stumbled on another amazing pixelart editor here on Itch called Pixelorama. I have used it to draw sprites on Linux Mint and I even use it now to draw sprites on Windows.  I only use Paint.NET when I need some more advanced editing for images but other than that, no. I don't use it.

You see, thing is.. While I absolutely support open-source, as I have some open-source projects of my own, it is also its greatest disadvantage. Everyone can take the source, adjust it to their needs, compile another version of it and publish it. And as a result you will get like 100 versions of the same software. And at a certain point finding the right software becomes a needle in a haystack.  So yes, there are good open-source alternatives out there but I agree with dulsi here, you probably won't be as productive. And it is for that reason why I switched back to Windows.


Actually I didn't say you wouldn't be as productive using open source. I said you initially wouldn't be as productive but that as you learned the tools you could be. If Windows works better for you that is fine. I needed to build something with multiple layers so I could easily make variations of the artwork. Gimp works great for that. I haven't used recently but I doubt it would have worked well.

Thanks for your detailed report. Thought there is two different things, the working platform and the set of tools. As long Windows is not open source and not for free, today is actually in the middle way, right? I personally like Windows 10, but the feedback I have from customers is that will work right for some time and than will have some critical issue needing reinstallation, and it is capable to self destruction when you have special hardware and Windows don't know well, it will auto reconfigure and mess with your fine tune - that's a usual complain. On the top (on the bottom really) of all, you have a really old system, insecure etc.. Windows is no good for working, but sometimes is what we got. About the tools, Gimp is not friendly, I know, as most of free open source tools. But I have to say I had more troubles than expected with Adobe apps. The Illustrator environment keep changing and even if for better will take my time to learn how to use it again. The 3D tools are still poor, but Photoshop is still top of the line, specially the capability of working with large files.

At the end of the day, I think worth the try with free tools if the tasks are not too complex or too heavy, I will try.

And if I was you, will work with Linux and a Windows emulated on it, it's easy to backup daily and recover when it crashes.

Finally, I never found a decent backup tool, I still pay for it. Is no good when backup fails! People swear about some free tool working right, it never does to me. Will still paying for backup tools - now working with Carbon Copy.


I can't argue with that as you are entirely right. I have seen the software industry evolve big time over the past decade and I have seen Linux desktop changing from the bugged OS with barely any good software to a quite stable OS with much good software. I mean, we are entering an era where almost all software is becoming available for all platforms. It is not even justified anymore to publish to one OS because if you don't someone else will. That is the issue with software from Adobe too. There are many great alternatives and people are done waiting for a port to Linux or Mac. They'd pick other software that suits their needs. And I am very happy that I can use the same tools on my Linux machine as on my Windows now (except for Paint.NET) I could not do that last decade. And none of them are closed-source with an exception to Paint.NET that is.

Anyways, what I am trying to say is that you should pick the OS you wish to work on and than look for tools that suits your needs. You won't find the ones matching perfectly but still good ones. Open-source or closed-source makes no difference as it does not define quality anymore. There was a time when open-source meant buggy and unprofessional and closed-source meant quality software but that has changed drastically.

As for backups, I don't bother making them anymore on my Windows. From time to time I copy my documents to an external hdd but other than that the files are saved in OneDrive. Everything I work on is stored as git repo on GitHub so should my system crash, I would not lose anything at all.

Still recommend a daily backup of the system or at list a return point so you don't have to reconfigure and reinstall everything again (after a snake bite, the dog fears even sausage).