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 page lists good quality free and open-source software that anyone can download at no cost and use or modify freely. Plenty more quality open-source software exists – this 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.

The software below is not freeware or shareware, which are both significantly different to open source.

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. Ubuntu is an easy to use operating system based on and made possible by the Debian 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg project.
  • 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
  • Miro video 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 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - 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 (Windows only)

Internet related software

Content management systems

  • Joomla! 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - CMS
  • Alfresco - CMS
  • MediaWiki 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - wiki content management software. AdCiv.org is powered by MediaWiki
  • Drupal 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - modular content management framework and blogging engine
  • Plone 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - python-based CMS

See more open-source CMS software here 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg


  • 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 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - 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 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - CD and DVD authoring application for Linux
  • phpMyAdmin 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - web front-end for MySQL database management system
  • Vega Strike 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - 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
  • Freemat - environment for rapid engineering and scientific prototyping and data processing

Programming related

  • Eclipse 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - software framework and Java IDE
  • GTK 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Popular widget toolkit for the X Window System, for creating graphical user interfaces
  • QT toolkit 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - cross-platform application development framework
  • KDevelop 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Programming IDE for Linux / Unix
  • PHP 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - server-side programming language
  • PERL 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Dynamic programming language
  • Python 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - versatile, clean and powerful programming language used for cross-platform desktop applications, server-side scripting for websites, and scripting within java and .net environments
  • GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg
  • MySQL 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Database management system
  • Java 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Programming language
  • Mono 11px-Wikipedia_logo.jpg - Free and open-source crossplatform .NET implementation

More comprehensive list of open-source software