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4 best Microsoft Access Alternatives for Linux users

Microsoft Office comes with Microsoft Access, a database management program that users can use to create databases. Unfortunately, this program does not work on Linux. So, those that have recently switched to Linux but require a robust database program are out of luck.

In this list, we’ll go over some of the best Microsoft Access alternatives for Linux. We’ll also show you how to download them, and talk about some compelling features of each app on this list.

1. LibreOffice Base

Libre Office Base is a fully capable database application that is intended to meet the needs of a variety of different users and use-cases. Namely, keeping databases of customer information, student grade information, curriculum, population data, census information, financial data and much, much more.

The obvious comparison of Base is with Microsoft’s Access: a proprietary database tool with similar features. Microsoft’s tool has a lot to offer, but Base remains competitive and is free and open source.

If you’re looking for a Microsoft Access replacement, Base may not be perfectly identical in features, but it runs on Linux, and will get the job done!

Notable Features

  • Base works with a variety of databases, including some of the most popular backend systems like MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and others.
  • The app integrates well within the Libre Office office suite.
  • Support for LDAP protocol.
  • Can read MS Access database files.
  • Easy to use UI that makes working with it simple, even for average users.

Download – Libre Office Base

The Libre Office suite is standard on most (if not all) Linux operating systems. All of their programs (including Base) can be found pre-installed on your system. That said, if you do not have the Libre Office Suite pre-installed, more information on how to install it is found on their website.

2. Kexi

Kexi is the Database component to the open source Calligra Office suite. Like most database applications, it’s meant to handle a variety of databases (financial, student info, etc.) The developers claim that it’s an excellent alternative to Microsoft Access, and, due to its open nature, a useful set of features (most of which are comparable to MS Access,) and ability to handle multiple database file types from a variety of database programs.

Kexi isn’t the only app on this list that claims to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Access. However, it should be noted that Kexi developers work very hard to make it competitive. For this reason, it’s worth checking out if you need a good GUI database tool for Linux.

Notable Features

  • Lets users choose from multiple database engines for use in projects, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MariaDB, and many others.
  • Database information is stored in a single file, making it easy to share with collaborators.
  • Kexi’s “forms” means that databases aren’t limited to just text. Instead, the app encourages users to add graphical elements for a more rich experience.
  • Integrates well with the rest of the Calligra Office Suite and has an easy to navigate user interface that looks good on most operating systems.

Download – Kexi

Kexi comes with the Caligra Office suite for Linux. While it’s not as popular as Libre Office, some KDE-Based Linux distributions often include it by default.

Don’t have Calligra set up by default? Learn how to install the entire suite by following this guide here.

3. Symphytum

Symphytum is a database management tool. It is open source, and works on MacOS, Linux, Windows and has a mobile app too. The app’s developers don’t specifically talk about how they compare to Access. That said, the primary goal of Symphytum is to empower users to manage and take control of their data both professionally and privately.

The Symphtum database tool comes with some excellent features, like cloud sync, the ability to add more than just text to database fields, a dynamic database layout engine that lets users move and change data on the fly, and more.

Notable Features

  • Symphytum supports “cloud sync,” which means the data stored in your database will be backed up, even if you lose access to your PC.
  • The “fields” feature supports a variety of different types of data input, such as text, numeric, date, images, and more.
  • Symphytum has a companion mobile app that users can use to manage databases on the go.

Download – Symphytum

Getting your hands on the Symphytum application for Linux involves visiting the project’s GitHub page. Once there, you’ll find information on how to get it working on your operating system. Currently, they support Ubuntu, Arch Linux, AppImage and Snap.

4. Apache OpenOffice Base

Apache OpenOffice Base is part of the OpenOffice office suite. The Base tool, similar to LibreOffice Base, is a database program that users can use to map databases to track customer orders, track invoices, store student data, financial information, etc.

It’s no secret that Libre Office Base and OpenOffice Base seem to be almost identical — they even have the same name! Well, they are, because the two Base programs (at one point) were a part of the same project.

Over the years, Libre Office Base has outpaced the Open Office counter-part, by adding many new features, improving usability, program speed, file compatibility and more. Still, it’s not the only program out there, and those looking for an alternative to MS Access might not like the direction it’s gone.

If you’ve tried out the Libre Office version of Base and found it to be lacking your database needs, give Apache OpenOffice Base a shot! You won’t regret it!

Notable Features

  • Support for common database engines, such as MySQL, Adabas D, PostgreSQL, and others.
  • Well integrated within the OpenOffice suite of applications, and is cross-platform.
  • Plays well with the LDAP protocol. Also supports common address book formats such as Outlook, etc.

Download – Apache OpenOffice Base

Want to download  Apache OpenOffice Base on Linux? You’ll need to grab the latest release of the OpenOffice office suite for Linux. Sadly, most modern Linux OSes haven’t carried their packages in a long time, so you must grab it directly from the developer’s website.

Conclusion

Microsoft Access is a useful tool, but it doesn’t work on Linux. Thankfully, the Linux community has come along and created some excellent alternatives that can fill the gap.

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