Open Source Networking: 60 Replacements for Popular Networking Tools

These open source networking apps can help administrators set up, maintain, secure and manage their networks.
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Open source networking tools can come in handy. Whether you're managing thousands of systems in a large enterprise data center or just connecting a couple of PCs at your home, open source networking tools can help you set up and maintain a low-cost network.

This month, we're updating our list of open source networking tools to make that task a little easier.

On our list, you'll find a lot of tools to help secure your network, as well as open source utilities that simplify troubleshooting, backup, deployment and other networking tasks. As always, if you have additional open source suggestions for this list, please note them in the comments section below.

Open Source Networking: Backup

1. Bacula

Replaces: Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, HP StorageWorks EBS

Boasting that it is "by far the most popular open source backup program," Bacula offers backup, recovery and data verification tools for use with networks. Commercial support, training and services are available through Bacula Systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

2. Amanda

Replaces: Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, HP StorageWorks EBS

Not to be outdone, Amanda also claims to be "the most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world" and says that it currently protects 500,000 networks. In addition to the open source version, it comes in a paid enterprise version or as a pre-configured virtual appliance. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

3. Partimage

Replaces: Norton Ghost, Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, HP StorageWorks EBS

In addition to supporting network backup and recovery, partimage is also useful for installing many identical computer images at once. It offers very fast saves and restores. Operating System: Linux.

Open Source Networking: Diagramming

4. Dia

Replaces: Microsoft Visio

For those times when you need to create a visual diagram of your network, Dia offers a no-cost alternative to Visio. It supports XML, EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF and PNG file formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

5. GraphViz

Replaces: aiSee

Another alternative for creating network diagrams, GraphViz lets you use simple text or GXL (a variant of XML) to describe charts, and then it does the drawing work for you. See the Gallery for examples of the types of graphics it can create. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Open Source Networking: Gateway/Unified Threat Management Appliances

6. Endian Firewall Community

Replaces: Check Point Security Gateways, SonicWall, Symantec Endpoint Protection

With Endian's Community edition, you can create your own gateway security appliance, complete with antivirus support, virus and spam-filtering for email traffic, content filtering of Web traffic and a VPN. Or you can purchase the company's commercial network security products based on the same technology. Operating System: Linux.

7. Untangle Lite

Replaces: Check Point Security Gateways, SonicWall, Symantec Endpoint Protection

Similar to Endian, Untangle offers a "Lite" version that is an open source solution you can use to build your own appliance. In addition, it also offers commercial hardware and software appliances. The website claims that Untangle lets you protect your network with less than 10 minutes of setup. Operating System: Linux.

Open Source Networking: Intrusion Detection

8. Open Source Tripwire

Replaces: Tripwire

Back in 2000, Tripwire released an open source version of its network monitoring software, and development on that project has continued since then. Like the commercial version of Tripwire, it alerts administrators when changes occur in specified files on your network. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

9. AFICK

Replaces: Tripwire

Short for "Another File Integrity Checker," AFICK also offers very similar functionality to Tripwire. It quickly scans files and lets you know when data has changed.. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

Open Source Networking: IT Inventory Management

10. OCS Inventory NG

Replaces: LANDesk Inventory Manager, Systemhound

Find out what hardware is connected to your network and how it is being used. OCS also includes a deployment system for distributing software and scripts across your network. Operating System: OS Independent.

11. GLPI

Replaces: LANDesk Inventory Manager, Systemhound

Many users deploy OCS and GLPI together. OCS finds the resources connected to the network, and GLPI creates a database to help administrators track and manage those assets. Operating System: OS Independent.

Open Source Networking: Log File Monitoring and Analysis

12. Analog

Replaces: Sawmill, TriGeo

The "most popular logfile analyser in the world," Analog is an ultra-fast scalable log analysis tool for use with Web servers. Use it alone or with Report Magic to generate prettier charts and graphs. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

13. AWStats

Replaces: Sawmill, TriGeo

This free log file analysis tool creates graphs from Web, streaming, ftp or mail server statistics. Check out the helpful comparison chart to see how its feature stack up against other open source and commercial applications. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

14. Snare

Replaces: LogLogic, SenSage Log Management

At this site, you'll find numerous open source Snare agents designed to analyze log files from a security perspective. InterSect Alliance, the organization behind the Snare agents, also offers a commercial server that incorporates the open source tools. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.

15. Webalizer

Replaces: Sawmill, TriGeo

This speedy Web log file analyzer claims to be able to process a log file with 2 million hits in 30 seconds. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6, and it is available in dozens of languages. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


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