50 Awesome Open Source Apps You've (Probably) Never Heard Of

Open source downloads for audio, video, backup, ecommerce, document management, networking and many other desktop tasks.
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Experts estimate that the number of open source apps available doubles every fourteen months. Sourceforge alone has more than 260,000 projects, and with so many open source apps now available from so many different repositories, it can be hard to keep up.

For this list, we've highlighted some newer open source tools you might have missed. We also included some gems from obscure categories, like Mandelbulbs, gene sequencing, and knitting, to name just a few. Other open source tools on the list are good projects that are overshadowed by older, better-known projects, and at least one is an old favorite that has a new name.

We hope you enjoy our list of open source apps you've (probably) never heard of. And if you've heard of some awesome apps that we haven't, feel free to offer suggestions in the comments section below.


1. Turnkey Linux

First launched in 2008, Turnkey provides pre-configured virtual appliances based on open source applications. Their most recent offering is a backup and migration appliance, and they also offer LAMP stack, Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, File server, Ruby on Rails, and dozens of other appliances. Operating System: Linux.

Audio Tools

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.


5. Redo

Redo Backup and Recovery lets you re-boot from a CD or thumb drive, eliminating the need to re-install Windows if you get hit with malware. Key features include bare-metal restore, deleted file recovery, drive reset and an easy-to-use GUI. Operating System: Windows, Linux.


6. Scheme Maker

For crafty types, Scheme Maker takes photos or graphics and turns them into patterns for knitting or cross-stitching. Hey, these may not be your favorite hobbies, but we bet you know someone who would get a kick out being able to put a picture of their favorite dog on a sweater. Operating System: Windows.

Desktop Enhancements

7. DropIt

DropIt creates a floating icon on your desktop. When you "drop" files on the icon, it moves them to the folder you've previously specified. It's very handy for cleaning up your filesystem. Operating System: Windows.

8. Sticker

Just released this month, Sticker is a Windows 7-compatible electronic post-it note app. Unlike some similar apps, it lets you put notes directly on the desktop as if they were icons. Operating System: Windows.

Developer Tools

9. Sonar

In its first year of release, this Web-based platform for managing code quality quickly racked up 30,000 downloads. Now in its second year, Sonar gets 4,000 downloads per month and is notable for its ease of use and excellent reporting tools. Operating System: OS Independent.

10. Evolutility

With Evolutility, users can build custom Web apps in just minutes, without writing any C#, HTML, CSS, Javascript, or SQL. If you have a database, this app can put it on the Web quickly and easily. Operating System: Windows.

11. Game Editor

If you're not really a programmer, but you think you have an idea for a game that might be the next big hit on the iPhone, this tool might help. It's a cross-platform game creator, and the site offers advice for those just starting out. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, others.

Document Management

12. LogicalDOC

Although it's just two years old, LogicalDOC is a robust, enterprise-class document management system. In addition to the free open source version, it's also available in a commercial enterprise version, which comes with a free trial. Operating System: OS Independent.

Next Page: More semi-obscure open source apps

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Tags: open source, Linux desktop, Linux downloads, open source tools, open source software

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