The word ‘dual boot’ may be a dirty word to some but it remains a practical and often necessary scenario that many people find themselves in. Whether it be for gaming, work or needing capable access to Adobe Creative Suite – the situation exists.

In times like these many users would love to have application consistency across their multiple OSes. Thanks to the flexible nature of open-source applications, many Ubuntu applications can do this, running on Linux, Windows and, increasingly, on OS X too.

You likely already know of several highly successful cross-platform and open-source applications such as IM client Pidgin & popular Photoshop rival The GIMP.

But what about some of users other favourite Ubuntu apps? Do any of those fly the multi-platform flag, too?

Listed below are a handful of Ubuntu apps that, maybe surprisingly to some, also run on Windows and/or OS X.

This list isn’t definitive, exhaustive and doesn’t cover of ones you probably already know about nor does it cover other methods of accessing Ubuntu applications such as virtual machines or that weird ubuntu-desktop-on-windows-thing that crashes whenever you think about using it…

WIth all of the disclaimers out of the way this post may help sweeten the bitter pill of having to select ‘Windows’ in GRUB…


If you use the Windows Live Messenger network almost exclusively chances are that you use Emesene in Ubuntu. It’s a fantastic application on Ubuntu ” but did you know it’s also available for Windows?


Many may question the need to to use Emesene on Windows when you could use the official MSN application itself, but there are definite plus points in Emesene’s favour: in RAM usage, perhaps important for memory-constrained Netbooks, Emesene shows its an ideal ‘lighter’ alternative

  • Emesene 19mb
  • WLM 33mb

Not every feature that works in Emesene on Linux works on Windows, webcam support for example, but Emesene fans will be happy to learn that a large selection of Emesne’s plug-ins are included and work flawlessly.
Emesene can also be run as a portable application making it ideal for installing on a USB stick to take with you wherever you go.

Download Emesene for windows and OS X


Midori is fast becoming one of the most popular browsers with our readers and it’s easy to see why: Fast, simple, uncluttered and GTK.

But how well does that translate to the Windows edition where being GTK isn’t as much a boon?


The first thing you’ll notice about Midori on Windows is that it looks horrible. GTK on Windows don’t have to resemble IE4 if they don’t want to as it’s fully themeable so the decision to ship Midori with an awful theme is questionable.

Thankfully you can easily change this with a bit of hacking as demonstrated in the screenshot above.

Speed-wise Midori holds up well but in resource usage there is very little to recommend it on: –

  • Midori 77mb
  • Firefox 50mb

It does ship with most of the features available in the Linux version including the-ever-popular adblocker, speed-dial and toolbar editor.

Download Midori for Windows 

QT browser Arora also provides a – surprisingly – well integrated and super-fast Windows version but sadly, as with Midori, its resource usage renders it an irreverent oddity rather than a serious contender.


Download Arora for Windows

Clementine music player

Clementine, which casts itself in the image of Amarok 1.4, provides a solid Windows port with every feature in-tact and working.

I applaud the developers for this because not only does it work great, look great and feel great ” it’s lightweight, too!

  • iTunes: 50mb
  • Clementine: 24mb


The very awesome animated tray icon (a Clementine segment that drains of juice) is preserved in the Windows version too – happy days!



Shotwell for Windows is ideal for those with very basic photo managing/editing needs. It’s relatively light compared to Picasa.


That said, and as was the case with the browser in this list, Shotwell for Windows is almost pointless given other cross-platform solutions exist (such as Google Picasa) which work better, look better and, well, are better.

Download Shotwell for Windows


We end this little tour with an app that brings us sort-of full circle: Pinta is a ‘clone’ of a Windows application for Linux…. but is also available on Windows.


Unless you’re dying to use OpenSource applications wherever possible – we’re not zealots here in the OMG! tower, using non-opensource is acceptable – Pinta is far too young to recommend over Paint.Net itself.

Download Pinta for Windows 

These are only a handful of Linux -> Windows applications – what ones do you use? Speak up in the comments and let us know.