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Open Source Apps: the Monster List

Nearly 1,000 noteworthy open source downloads, including games, text editors, security apps, document management, SEO, desktop tools and much, much more.
Posted December 19, 2011

Cynthia Harvey

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It's become something of an annual tradition at Datamation to end the year with a gigantic compilation of all the open source software we've surveyed over the past twelve months or so. (See 2010's Open Source Apps: the Ultimate List and 2009's Open Source Software: The Monster List.) This year's retrospective is bigger than ever with 957 excellent open source applications featured.

The complete list is a lot to handle in one sitting, so we've divided it into categories. Also, please note that the projects in each category are listed in alphabetical order, not from best to worst or vice versa.

As always, if you'd like to add a project to list, feel free to do so in the comments section below.


Open Source Apps: Accounting

1. Edoceo Imperium

Web-based Imperium combines some business management features like CRM and job tracking with a full-featured double-entry accounting package. It's built in XHTML/CSS and JavaScript, and it integrates with Google Apps. Operating System: OS Independent

2. FrontAccounting

Like Imperium, FrontAccounting is Web-based and includes some ERP functionality. It prides itself on being powerful, yet simple. Operating System: OS Independent

3. GnuCash

A good option for small business owners, GnuCash combines the features of a business accounting package with the features of a personal financial manager. Key capabilities include double-entry accounting, investment management, invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receiveable, Quicken data import and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

4. Lazy8 Ledger

Best for very small businesses, Lazy8 Ledger offers an alternative to doing your books by hand or with a simple spreadsheet program. However, it lacks the advanced features that larger companies are likely to need. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

5. LedgerSMB

Also designed for small to medium-sized businesses, LedgerSMB includes general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable capabilities. It was originally based on the SQL-Ledger code and also offers some basic ERP functionality. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

6. osFinancials

With an emphasis on simplicity, osFinancials aims to take the complications out of business accounting software. It can track up to 9999 accounts, 1 million creditors and debtors and 1 million stock items. Note: because it is developed by a team in the Netherlands, a lot of the osFinancials Web site and documentation is in Dutch, but English is also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux

7. TurboCASH

This small business accounting package offers many similar features to QuickBooks and Sage. It tracks up to 10 bank accounts, 999 sets of books, 12000 accounts, 40000 debtors and creditors, and 64000 stock items. Operating System: Windows


First released in 1999, XIWA is an older accounting program for Linux only. One benefit for owners of very small businesses is that it offers the option of using double-entry accounting or not, depending on the background of the user. Operating System: Linux


Open Source Apps: Appliances

9. Turnkey Linux

Turnkey offers a variety of pre-configured appliances, including a NAS appliance. In addition, all Turnkey appliances come with TurnKey Linux Backup and Migration pre-installed. Operating System: Linux


Open Source Apps: Anti-Spam

10. ASSP

Short for "Anti-Spam SMTP Proxy," ASSP stops spam at your mail server. Key features include easy browser-based setup, support for most mail servers, automatic whitelisting, virus scanning through ClamAV, Bayesian filters, community-based gray-listing and more. Operating System: OS Independent

11. MailScanner

Downloaded more than 1.3 million times, MailScanner combines the power of two other open source tools—SpamAssassin and ClamAV—to protect mail servers. Extensive documentation is available on the site. Operating System: Linux, Unix

12. SpamAssassin

"The powerful #1 open-source spam filter," SpamAssassin from Apache uses an entire arsenal of techniques to find and block unwanted e-mail. You can deploy it on a mail server or locally on an individual e-mail account, but you will need to be fairly knowledgeable to set it up. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

13. SpamBayes

After you train SpamBayes by showing it which messages you like (the ham) and which messages you don't like (the spam), it will use special algorithms to sort your e-mail for you. It integrates with a wide variety of e-mail clients, including Outlook and Thunderbird. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Open Source Apps: Anti-Spyware

14. Nixory

Nixory's job is to get rid of malicious tracking cookies. The new Active Shield mode removes cookies while your browser is open, without slowing down your surfing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

15. xpy

For the many users still running Windows XP, xpy tweaks the operating system settings to give you better privacy. For example, it disables communication with Microsoft, removes Windows Messenger, and makes some changes to Internet Explorer. Operating System: Windows XP


Open Source Apps: Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware

16. ClamAV

Undoubtedly the most widely used open-source anti-virus solution, ClamAV quickly and effectively blocks Trojans, viruses, and other kinds malware. The site now also offers paid Windows software called "Immunet," which is powered by the same engine. Operating System: Linux

17. ClamTK

Like ClamAV for Windows, ClamTK provides a front end for the ClamAV engine, this time for the Linux OS. It allows you to schedule system scans, but it does not provide real-time scanning for incoming files. Operating System: Linux

18. ClamWin

If you're not on a network, ClamWin can provide good antivirus protection for a single system. It boasts more than 600,000 active users. Simply right-click on a file to scan it or use the scheduler to plan a full scan of your entire system. Operating System: Windows

19. P3Scan

This transparent proxy server works with Clam AV and other anti-virus software to scan incoming and outgoing e-mail for viruses, worms, trojans, spam and harmful attachments. Operating System: Linux

20. Rootkit Hunter

This no-frills tool scans for rootkits and other malware on Linux system. While it does not provide live or scheduled scanning, the Web site explains how to set up your system to scan daily. Operating System: Linux, Unix

21. Viralator

Still getting the occasional network virus even after you install anti-virus software? Viralator supplements the existing anti-virus software on your proxy server to block malware that might otherwise slip in when users access free webmail accounts. Operating System: Linux, Unix


Open Source Apps: Application Firewall

22. AppArmor

Included in both openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell's application firewall aims to secure Linux-based applications while lowering IT costs. Key features include reports, alerts, sub-process confinement, and more. Operating System: Linux

23. ModSecurity

The "most widely deployed WAF (Web Application Firewall) in existence," ModSecurity protects applications running on the Apache Web server. It also monitors, logs, and provides real-time analysis of Web traffic. Operating System: Windows, Linux

24. SELinux

Developed by the NSA, Security Enhanced Linux adds mandatory access control features to the Linux OS. It enforces complete separation of information to make it more difficult to bypass application security mechanisms. Operating System: Linux, Unix


Open Source Apps: Astronomy

25. Celestia

A great app for any space-obsessed kids (or adults) you may have in your house, Celestia lets you fly throughout the known universe seeing astronomical objects as they would appear at any date in history. It uses real images whenever possible to give you the feeling that you really are traveling through space. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

26. KStars

KStars also lets you view the night skies, including "up to 100 million stars, 13,000 deep-sky objects, all 8 planets, the sun and moon, and thousands of comets and asteroids." If you're an amateur astronomer, you'll also like KStars' tools that help you plan your nightly viewing. (Note that in order to use KStars on Windows, you'll have to download KDE for Windows.) Operating System: Windows, Linux

27. PP3

Ideal for educators, PP3 creates detailed star charts for use in PowerPoint presentations or books. Note that in order to use it, you will also need LaTeX. Operating System: Windows, Linux

28. StarChart

This app's website begins with a simple introduction: "There is a sky. There are things in the sky. This program draws maps of things in the sky." While the on-screen graphics on this app aren't as good as some of the other star-charting software, it does a good job of creating printed star charts for study. Operating System: Linux

29. Stellarium

Another educational astronomy app, Stellarium turns your system into a planetarium, displaying the night skies for any time you input. In fact, this app is actually used to power the displays at a number of planetariums. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Open Source Apps: Audio Tools

30. Amarok

KDE's audio player and manager integrates with a number of Web services, including, Ampache, Magnatune, MP3tunes, EchnoNest and others. Other unique features include dynamic playlists, bookmarking and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

31. Aqualung

Aqualung's claim to fame is "gap-free" playback of consecutive audio tracks—which is particularly nice when listening to concert recordings. It plays CDs, podcasts, audio streams and most types of audio files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

32. aTunes

This Java-based application plays CDs and audio files, helps organize your music and rips audio CDs. The interface is fairly basic, but it includes features like karaoke playback, shuffle, repeat, tag editing, playlists, and more. Operating System: OS Independent

33. Audacity

Audacity offers everything most amateur musicians and producers will need to get started recording and editing their own audio tracks. Its capabilities include pitch change, tempo change, spectrogram node, noise removal, import and export of various file types, unlimited undo and a library of built-in effects, like echo, phaser, wahwah, reverse, and others. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

34. AC3Filter

This audio decoder and processor filter allows media players to play AC3 and DTS audio tracks from movies. It also allows you to mix audio tracks and adjust sound quality. Operating System: Windows

35. CDex

Downloaded more than 40 million times, CDex is an incredibly popular CD ripper. Key features include direct recording of multiple tracks, CD-Text support, advanced jitter correction, audio signal normalization and more. Operating System: Windows

36. Cdrtools

Cdrtools includes nine different open source tools for recording, reading and verifying CDs, DVDs and BluRay discs. Note that these are command line tools and do not come with a GUI. Operating System: Linux

37. CoolPlayer

Because of its lightweight size, CoolPlayer offers "blazing fast" performance. Although it does offer some playlist capabilities, this is really just an audio player, not a full audio collection manager. Operating System: Windows

38. DrumTrack

Turn your keyboard into a drum machine with DrumCore. Key features include adjustable volume for each drum hit, randomization of drum hits/volume (to make it sound more like a human is playing), and MIDI import and export. Operating System: Windows

39. EasyTAG

EasyTAG allows users to view and edit the tag fields on MP3, MP2, MP4/AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, MusePack, Monkey's Audio, and WavPack files. It includes a tree-based browser and CDDB support for manual and automatic searches. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

40. Free:ac

Formerly known as "BonkEnc," Free:ac makes it easy to rip CDs so that you can store and listen to them on your desktop, MP3 player or other mobile device. It can convert files to and from MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV and Bonk formats. Operating System: Windows

41. Frinika

In addition to recording and editing your music, Frinika also helps you make music with a built-in synthesizer and midi support. The website includes a number of screenshots and demos so that you can see it in action. Operating System: OS Independent

42. Hydrogen

Designed for professionals, Hydrogen calls itself "an advanced drum machine for GNU/Linux" (although it does also work on OS X and Windows). It boasts an attractive, user-friendly GUI, a pattern-based sequencer with up 192 ticks per pattern, a sample editor, time stretch and pitch functions, timeline with variable tempo and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

43. Jajuk

Aimed at users with large music collections, this powerful audio playback and management tool has been called "the most powerful jukebox out there" by critics. You can download it or using right from the Web interface. Operating System: OS Independent

44. Jukes

Now more than a decade old, Jukes was designed for people who liked to keep their CD collections on their hard drive—back when that was an unusual thing. The interface is basic, but easy to use. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

45. Juice

Juice makes it easy to capture and listen to podcasts, any time, anywhere. It includes a directory of thousands of online podcasts, so it’s also easy to find the one you want. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

46. KMid

Turn your PC into a karaoke player with this KDE app. It also plays Midi files and includes features like pitch control, a visual metronome and a piano player window. Operating System: Windows

47. LAME

Although LAME stands for "Lame Ain’t No MP3 Encoder," the first line on its Web site states, "LAME is an MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder." It was intended as an educational tool for those interested in improving the speed and quality of MP3 files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

48. MMConvert

The "MM" in this app's name stands for "multi-media" and accordingly, it converts both audio and video among various file formats. You can use it from the command line or with a GUI. Operating System: Windows

49. Linux MultiMedia Studio

Suitable for amateur musicians and hobbyists, LMMS lets you use your PC to create musical tracks and then mix them together. Don't let the "Linux" in the name fool you—it's also available in a Windows version. Operating System: Windows, Linux

50. Mixere> Designed for live performance, Mixere's feature set includes dynamic audio looping, auto-triggering, fully automated sliders, gradual mute/solo operations, crossfading and unlimited undo. Operating System: Windows

51. Mixxx

Mixxx's advanced mixing engine gives professional DJs all the tools they need, like hot cues, looping controls and high-fidelity EQs. It also supports MIDI and vinyl controller input for DJs who are used to a traditional turntable/mixer setup. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

52. MOC

Simply select a directory, and the MOC (Music On Console) audio player will play all files in that directory. Supported file formats include MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Musepack, Speex, WAVE, AIFF, and AU. Operating System: Linux/Unix, OS X

53. Moosic

If you prefer your software without a GUI, Moosic might be right for you. It's a simple, client-server jukebox program that runs from the command line. Operating System: Linux/Unix

54. MP3Gain

Tired of constantly adjusting the volume when playing MP3s? MP3Gain uses statistical analysis to gauge how loud songs sound in the human ear, and then modifies the volume appropriately without degrading the quality of playback. Operating System: OS Independent

55. Mp3splt

Mp3splt is an audio utility that does just one thing—it lets you cut mp3 and ogg files into smaller files and rename them. It’s especially useful if you need to split an entire album into individual tracks. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

56. MuseScore

This app makes it easy to create beautiful sheet music. And it plays back your creations with an integrated sequencer and synthesizer. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

57. Pandora Radio Desktop App

You don't have to upgrade to Pandora One in order to get a desktop app to listen to the free Pandora service. This lightweight app minimizes to your system tray and removes banner ads. Operating System: Windows

58. pulpTunes

Want to access your home iTunes library while you’re at work? Install pulpTunes and you can access your music from any Web-connected computer. Operating System: OS Independent

59. Radio Downloader

If your favorite online radio station only offers streaming content, you can turn it into a podcast you can listen to any time with Radio Downloader. It comes with built-in support for BBC content and a helpful "favourites" tab. Operating System: Windows

60. Songbird

This open source iTunes alternative lets you play audio files, manage your music collection and sync across PCs, Macs and Android-based smartphones and tablets. It also features an integrated music store from 7digital, concert notices and ticket purchase, and links to photos, videos and other related information on the Web. Operating System: Windows, OS X, Android

61. StreamRipper

StreamRipper allows you to record and save Shoutcast streams and other Internet audio. Its key feature is the ability to find silences and mark them as possible points of track separation. Operating System: Windows, Linux/Unix

62. TuxGuitar

TuxGuitar is both a tab editor and a player. Create your own multi-track guitar compositions and play them back. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

63. Zinf

Another playback only app, Zinf describes itself as "a simple, but powerful audio player." It supports most types of audio file,s as well as streaming audio, and it integrates with MusicBrainz. Operating System: Windows, Linux


Open Source Apps: Backup

64. Amanda

Protecting more than a half a million systems, Amanda claims to be the "most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world." It's available in a variety of free and commercially supported versions, including a cloud-based solution from Zmanda. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

65. Areca Backup

Ideal for daily backup, Areca is user-friendly and very versatile. It supports compression and encryption, as well as incremental, differential, full and delta backup. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

66. Backit Down

This app synchronizes files and folders so that you can backup or copy your drives. It works across networks or with external hard drives or USB drives. Operating System: Windows, Linux

67. Bacula

For larger businesses, Bacula offers network backup and recovery capabilities. Although it's an enterprise-grade program, it's easy enough to set up and use that it's appropriate for small businesses as well. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

68. Clonezilla

Specifically designed as a replacement for Norton Ghost and other Symantec backup products, Clonezilla is an open-source backup/imaging/cloning app that allows bare metal recovery and has unicasting and multicasting capabilities. It comes in two flavors: Clonezilla Live for backing up a single machine, and Clonezilla SE which can clone more than 40 systems at once. Operating System: Linux

69. Create Synchronicity

When zipped, this extremely lightweight backup utility occupies just 180KB. It offers a simple, very intuitive interface and fast performance. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

70. FOG

FOG creates a Linux-based server that can backup both Windows and Linux systems. It's a good choice for small organizations, because it's very easy to use but also very powerful with a number of advanced features. Operating System: Linux, Windows.

71. Partimage

Partimage is particularly useful if you need to recover from a complete system crash or if you need to install multiple images across a network. It's very fast and can restore to a partition on a different system. Operating System: Linux

72. Redo

While many backup solutions only store your data files, Redo saves a complete image of your system to a thumb drive or CD. It takes a little longer to create these backup files, but it gives you the ability to do a bare metal restore if your system experiences massive failure. Operating System: Windows, Linux


Open Source Apps: Billing

73. Argentum

This Web-based app offers basic client management, invoicing and time tracking functionality. It's free to download and host on your own Web server, or you can use the service in the cloud for $10 per month. Operating System: OS Independent

74. jBilling

Designed for telecoms and companies that offer subscription-based services, jBilling boasts thousands of downloads per month. The software is available for free, but consulting, support and training require a fee. Operating System: OS Independent

75. Simple Invoices

With this Web-based invoicing system, you can easily send your clients PDF invoices or create basic reports that let you track your sales. You can download the free version to a PC or a server, or you can purchase access on an SaaS basis from one of the third-party hosting providers listed on the site. Operating System: OS Independent

76. Siwapp

This Web app was designed to be as simple as possible and offers a very easy-to-use interface. It creates attractive, professional-looking invoices that you can send to your clients and easy-to-understand reports that you can use to manage your small business. Operating System: OS Independent


Open Source Apps: Biology

77. ByoDyn

Scientists building models of biochemical networks or pathways can use ByoDyn to estimate and analyze the parameters underlying these processes. In addition to the downloadable version, it can also be accessed online as a Web app. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

78. GenoCAD

Granted, this is something the average user will likely never download, but the Virginia Bioformatics Institute has made this gene sequencing software available through an open source license. It's helping make possible some cutting edge scientific research. Operating System: OS Independent.


Open Source Apps: Blogging

79. B2evolution

This blog platform/content management system can support multiple blogs, multiple domains and multiple authors. It's extensible with skins and plug-ins, and the site offers a demo and links to sample sites. Operating System: OS Independent

80. LifeType

With built-in multi-user authentication and multi-blog support, LifeType offers a blogging platform suitable for large enterprises. Key features include anti-spam filter, mobility support, integrated media management, easy installation and more. Operating System: OS Independent

81. MovableType

Used by companies like NBC, NPR, Wells Fargo, Oracle and others, MovableType is a blogging platform that can operate as a full-fledged content management system. In addition to the open source version, it also comes in a free pro version for educational institutions or businesses with up to five users, as well as paid pro and enterprise versions for larger organizations. Operating System: OS Independent

82. Nucleus CMS

It bills itself as a Content Management System, but in reality Nucleus is primarily a tool for setting up a blog and hosting it on your own server. Features include a built-in commenting tool, URLs optimized for readers, and multi-lingual support. Operating System: OS Independent

83. WordPress

Calling itself "both free and priceless at the same time," WordPress is the platform of choice for more than 60 million bloggers. It takes just five minutes to get up and running with your own WordPress blog, and a huge library of add-ons and themes makes it easy to customize it to your exact needs. It's also available as a hosted service Operating System: OS Independent


Open Source Apps: Browsers

84. Chromium

Chromium is the open source project behind Google's Chrome browser, and it's also the base for several other, less popular open source browsers. It's best known for being lightweight and fast. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, ChromeOS

85. Dooble

Dooble is a newer browser built with a focus on security. Unlike the better-known browsers, it encodes all of your browsing information for better privacy. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

86. Firefox

One of the most popular open source downloads of all time, Firefox offers excellent security, performance and personalization capabilities. Key features in the most recent version include the "awesome bar," app tabs, desktop and mobile syncing, integrated search and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS

87. K-Meleon

Because both use Mozilla's Gecko layout engine, K-Meleon and Firefox look and feel a lot alike. However, K-Meleon also lets you import your IE Favorites and Opera Hotlist, and it also supports mouse gestures like Opera. Operating System: Windows

88. Qt Web Browser

Based on Nokia's Qt framework and Apple's WebKit rendering engine, this browser was designed to be lightweight, secure and portable. It's just 6MB, and it offers a highly customizable interface and a long list of privacy-protection features. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

89. Tor

Used by journalists, intelligence officers and other individuals who need to remain anonymous, Tor allows you to browse and communicate over the Internet without revealing your identity. It can also help you access Web services that have been blocked in particular countries. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Open Source Apps: Bugtrackers

90. BugTracker.NET

Boasting thousands of users, BugTracker.NET is easy to use and highly configurable. It supports Subversion, Git, and Mercurial, and the website includes a helpful demo and a link to comparisons of various bug tracking systems. Operating System: Windows

91. Bugzilla

Used by thousands of organizations, including Mozilla, Facebook, the Linux kernel, the Apache Project, The New York Times, Yahoo and NASA, Bugzilla makes it easy for software development teams to track issues and code changes. It's Web-based and offers advanced search capabilities, e-mail notifications, reporting, excellent security, custom fields and workflow, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

92. FlySpray

FlySpray describes itself as "an uncomplicated, Web-based bug tracking system written in PHP for assisting with software development." It supports multiple databases, including MySQL and PGSQL, and it's easy to use. Operating System: OS Independent


The GNU project's bug tracking system stores issue and resolution information in a central searchable database and communicates with users via a variety of mechanisms. Although it's usually accessed via the MantisBT

This Web-based bug tracker integrates with most SQL databases and can be accessed with any browser. It's easy to install and has an enormous list of features. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


Open Source Apps: Business Rule Management System

95. JBoss Drools

A competitor to commercial software like Blaze Advisor and JRules, Drools describes itself as a business logic integration platform for rules, workflow and event processing. It includes five separate modules: Drools Guvnor (BRMS/BPMS), Drools Expert (rule engine), Drools Flow (process/workflow), Drools Fusion (event processing/temporal reasoning) and Drools Planner (automated planning). Operating System: OS Independent


Open Source Apps: Bulletin Board

96. phpBB

The world’s most widely used open source forum creation software, phpBB, lets you set up an online community in just minutes. It includes the ability to send attachments, create unlimited sub-forums, add custom BBCodes, and many other features. Operating System: OS independent


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