Sure, there are many RAW converters available for Linux, like UFRaw and Raw Therapy. However, they tend to not support the newest camera models. And also, while the programs are quite powerful, they require a lot of competence and time to use.
But there is good news: Panasonic's own RAW converter Silkypix can be installed on Linux, using the Windows emulator Wine. Here's how I did it.
I'm using the Kubuntu 13.10 release, but this should work on most recent Linux installations. First, make sure you have access to the most recent Wine installations by adding the relevant repository. You can do it by issuing this command in a terminal window:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
Second, install Wine like this:
$ sudo apt-get install wine
Now, having installed Wine, we need to download Silkypix. I got it from http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/english/p/support/download/
The version I downloaded was 4.1.1 for Windows, but newer versions may appear later on this download page.
To install Silkypix using Wine, I issued this command in the terminal window
$ wine SILKYPIX4SE4111.exe
This opens up some installation windows, which I am sure you have clicked through a number of times before:
When the installation process finished, an icon appeared on the desktop:
Doubleclicking this icon starts up Silkypix via the Wine Windows Emulator. And it works just like the Windows version.
A comment on the installation process is that I found that my old Wine configuration was causing some problems. I have used Wine on this account for nearly two decades (!), so to overcome these problems, I simply deleted the whole configuration catalogue:
$ rm -r ~/.wine
But only do this if you absolutely need it.
While Linux RAW converter programs are perfectly fine, they some times lack the support for the most recent cameras. And getting good images takes less effort using Silkypix than programs like UFRaw or Raw Therapy, in my opinion.
So for me, being able to use Silkypix in Linux with the Wine emulator was a big relief. All the programs mentioned here are free, in the gratis meaning of the word, to use.