Examples of free and open-source software/Some major free and open source software projects

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20px-Logo.png Main Page > Open collaborative design > Free and open-source software > Examples of free and open-source software

See example screenshots below

This is a list of good quality free and open-source software that anyone can download and use no strings attached. There is plenty of other quality open-source software out there – this list is just an introductory sample. Most of these programs are cross-platform, meaning they can be installed on MS Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. (This is not a list of freeware or shareware, which is a different thing altogether).

Free and open-source software logos

Operating systems and Desktop environments

  • Linux 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Operating system kernel
  • Ubuntu 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Linux distribution 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg with full compliment of software for everyday use. See also Kubuntu 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg that runs the KDE desktop which some people find this easier if they previously used MS Windows
  • BSD 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Operating system
  • Darwin 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - The core of Apple's Mac OS X 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg operating system
  • GNOME 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg desktop environment for Linux (and Unix)
  • KDE 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg desktop environment for Linux (and Unix)
  • Xfce 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg lightweight desktop environment for Linux (and Unix)

Graphics and multimedia

  • GIMP - Bitmap graphics editor, similar to Adobe Photoshop
  • Inkscape 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Vector graphics editor
  • Xara Xtreme - Vector graphics editor
  • VNC 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - cross-platform remote desktop utility. For example it enables a Mac to control a Windows or a Linux PC (or vice-versa)
  • Blender 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Advanced 3D modelling and rendering application. Gallery
  • Art of Illusion 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Java-based 3D modelling and rendering application with an intuitive user interface. Gallery
  • VideoLAN 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - cross-platform media player capable of playing most video filetypes
  • Democracy player - cross-platform media player that can automatically download videos from RSS-based "channels" and play videos sequentially from a playlist
  • Songbird - similar to iTunes with built-in browser. Screencast
  • Audacity 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - digital audio editor
  • Ardour - digital audio workstation
  • Scribus - Desktop Publishing (DTP)
  • F-Spot - Photo manager

Office software

  • OpenOffice.org - office productivity software. Comparable to Microsoft Office. As well as having using an open file format it can read and write Microsoft Office files
  • NeoOffice - Mac OS X version of OpenOffice
  • KOffice - office suite for KDE desktop (Unix / Linux)
  • AbiWord - word processor
  • Evolution - personal information manager
  • PDFCreator - creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer (PDFCreater is Windows only)

Internet related software

Content management systems

  • Joomla! - CMS
  • Alfresco - CMS
  • MediaWiki - wiki content management software. AdCiv.org is powered by MediaWiki
  • Drupal - modular content management framework and blogging engine

See more open-source CMS software here


  • Celestia 3D space simulation software. For a tour of its capabilities, select 'Run demo' from the 'Help' menu. Gallery and addons
  • NASA worldwind - virtual Earth / Moon / Mars software
  • FlightGear - flight simulator
  • Second life - virtual world viewer (as in a virtual reality, rather than a virtual Earth model)
  • FreeMind - mind mapping software
  • Stellarium - planetarium software for accurate representations of the night's sky from any location or time
  • K3b - CD and DVD authoring application for Linux
  • phpMyAdmin - web front-end for MySQL database management system
  • Vega Strike - Space flight simulator and trading game
  • Wine - a compatibility layer for computers running Linux that enables them to run many applications that were originally written for MS Windows

Programming related

  • Eclipse - software framework and Java IDE
  • GTK - Popular widget toolkit for the X Window System, for creating graphical user interfaces
  • QT toolkit - cross-platform application development framework
  • KDevelop - Programming IDE for Linux / Unix
  • PHP - server-side programming language
  • PERL - Dynamic programming language
  • Python - programming language
  • GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)
  • MySQL - Database management system
  • Java - Programming language
  • Mono - Free and open-source .NET framework implementation

More comprehensive list of open-source software