Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Open Source Software: Top Sites

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Open source software is a type of software that allows anyone to view the code, and then use the code to contribute to or create other projects. Some examples of open source sites include GitHub, AlternativeTo, and SourceForge.

This list of open source sites includes several categories – each of which will be of interest to open source software users. 

The “project hosting” category includes giants who provide server space for open source code and allow downloads. The “directories” category includes sites that have created lists of open source projects. The “best open source lists” sites have made a list of great open source software. And sites that didn’t fall neatly into one of these categories landed in the “miscellaneous” group at the end. 

Best Open Source Sites

Project Hosting Sites

Open source project hosting sites help businesses start projects for their companies or a blog. Here are 13 of the top open source project hosting sites:


The “mother lode” for open source projects, SourceForge hosts nearly thousands and thousands of projects. It serves more than 2 million downloads a day and includes apps and tools in a wide variety of categories.


GitHub hosts both public and private projects that use the open source Git version control system. This “social coding” site currently hosts more than 1.7 million repositories, including many open source projects.


Like GitHub, BitBucket hosts both public and private projects. On this site, open source projects and private projects with fewer than five users are free. It hosts more than 48,000 repositories, many of which are searchable on the site.


Maintained by Canonical, LaunchPad is particularly targeted at projects that run on Ubuntu. It provides hosting for more than 21,000 projects that use the Bazaar version control system.


Savannah describes itself as “a central point for development, maintenance and distribution of official GNU software.” It hosts many official GNU projects.


In addition to the official GNU project site, Savannah also offers to host free software that isn’t part of GNU. It currently has more than thousands of projects in this category.


If you’ve visited either of the Savannah projects, Gna! will feel very familiar as it uses the same software and also focuses on GNU-related projects.


Short for “Open Source Observatory and Repository,” OSOR is a European Union site for open source projects that can be used in public administrations. It currently hosts hundreds of projects and links to nearly thousands more, and the site also contains helpful research and news related to free and open source software.

Google Cloud Source Repositories

Google Cloud Source Repositories searches across multiple projects, files, and repositories to quickly review and debug code in a company’s projects. Google Cloud Source Repositories allow customers to access private Git repositories. Companies can also create unlimited private Git repositories to host and maintain their code.

AWS CodeCommit

AWS CodeCommit creates 1,000 repositories by default and can generate up to 25,000 additional repositories if needed for company growth. Workflows can be implemented including code reviews and feedback, and control who can make changes in the company. AWS CodeCommit allows companies to keep using their preferred plugins, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) systems, and their clients.

Apache Allura

Apache Allura is an open source implementation of software collaboration and community that manages source code repositories, bug reports, discussions, wiki pages, blogs, and individual projects. 


Codeberg is an open source collaboration platform that has Git hosting for free and information on open source software, content, and projects. Codeberg is a nonprofit company, solely based on the users who give advice and information to other customers. Codeberg ensures that user data is not tracked data, sold data, or given third-party cookies to its users.


With the open source company Beanstalk, a company can add files, create branches, and edit directly in the browser. The company’s information can be seen by the entire team, if a company wants, to keep employees on the same page with notifications, email digests, compare views, and a detailed history of commits and files. Each deployment environment can ship code to one or many servers for scalability in their infrastructures, handling infrastructures within any application.

For more information, also see: Best Open Source Software List

Open Source Directories

Open source directory sites help businesses collect the most promising open source software available online.

Here are 13 of the top open source directories sites:


Owned by the same company that owns SourceForge, Freshmeat boasts “the Web’s largest index of Unix and cross-platform software.” Note that while most of the applications listed on the site are open source, not all of them are.

This site aims to provide end users with open source alternatives to well-known commercial software. This directory isn’t as exhaustive as some, but the way it’s formatted makes it easily accessible to open source newbies.


Sponsored by GigaOm, this site provides information and ratings about more than 150,000 open source projects. It includes a helpful “alternatives” tab, which makes it easy to find and compare similar open source projects.

OS Living

This site aims to collect “the Web’s best open source software” in its archive. In addition to a keyword search tool, it also allows users to search by category, making it easy to find the type of software you’re looking for.

Free Software Directory

This site is maintained by the Free Software Foundation (the owners of the GNU project) and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition to a large library of software links, it also includes a lot of information about the philosophy behind open source software.

Open Source Software Directory

Like several others in this category, this site also attempts to filter out the “best” of open source software. It doesn’t provide a lot of data about each application—instead, it primarily provides ratings and links to the project’s Web sites.

The LOOP List

The Ubuntu site includes this helpful list of open source software that runs on Windows. It can be edited by anyone, but it’s limited to the three “best” open source applications for any given category.

This bare-bones site features nothing but a directory of Java-based open source projects. It’s particularly strong on developer tools.

Black Duck Open Hub

Synopsys’s Black Duck Open Hub teams have improved security, development, and legal teams around the world to strengthen their security and compliance programs. Black Duck Software composition analysis (SCA) allows organizations to identify and track open source code and integrate open source policy enforcement across existing development environments. helps companies find new open source packages, modules, and frameworks to match a company’s needs, and keep track of the ones where businesses want visibility. offers around 6.28M packages by license, language, or keyword. encourages the use of data provided in a company’s applications, services, or research.


AlternativeTo is a free open source service that helps a company find alternatives to the products a company likes or does not. Their site is made from contributors from all over the world. The alternatives are crowd-sourced, so a company can see what best fits their needs.

Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro (ACADP)

Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro (ACADP) is a professional and high-quality directory plugin on WordPress that can help create any kind of directory site. ACADP enables companies to organize their categories and subcategories. ACADP gives their users an unlimited amount of custom fields to help a company with any changes in scalability.

Connections Business Directory

Connections Business Directory is another business directory plugin for WordPress. It has a simple design and function with simplicity in design and function with features and versatility. Connections Business Directory can create an address book, maintain a staff directory, and run a business directory. 

Open Source Software Collections

Open source software collections help businesses find projects and have a large number of open source projects that companies can use with a single download. 

Here are 11 of the top open source software collection sites:

Windows users can take some of the best open source apps with them on a portable thumb drive when they download this collection. You can also download portable versions of each included app separately.


From this site, you can download five different collections of open source apps for Windows—2GB, Essential, Game, School, and Web—each of which fits onto a portable thumb drive. The site also contains links to each of the individual apps included.


OSDN grows with open source software development and its uses such as open source projects, source code repositories, website hosting features, a ticket system, web forums, and mailing lists, to give businesses a well-integrated and easy-to-use environment. OSDN provides companies with a file environment for flexible uploads.

Internet Archive

Open source internet (OSI) was formed to be an educational and advocate of the important moment in the history of collaborative development. Internet Archive is known as one of the first open source sites.


FossHub is an open source collections site and platform where companies can download for free many free and secure software titles. FossHub aims to offer a company “a clean website look, easy navigation, only a single ad to help us pay our bills, and no software bundles, adware or anything that can be identified as malware.”


F-Droid is an installable list of free and open source software (FOSS) applications for the Android platform. F-Droid aims to make it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates.

Open Source Software Directory (OSSD)

Open Source Software Directory (OSSD) collects accurate open source and free software on their site. Their focus is on small and medium businesses, software developers, and system administrators.


DownloadCrew is an open source collections site that offers users the best applications for their company. Downloadcrew aims to do the work for their users and gives users apps that they believe the company would benefit from. DownloadCrew can download, install, test, and review each application to ensure all products are safe and to industry standards.


Softpedia is an open source collections site of free software programs for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, games and gaming tools, Windows device drivers, mobile devices, and IT-related articles. Softpedia goes through the open source software options, then reviews and categorizes these products to offer users the exact product they need.


Linux-apps aim to grow and advance free and open source software content. Linux-apps use all libre software for their services while using the platform is completely free.

OSINT Framework

OSINT’s open source framework is focused on gathering and supplying information from free tools or software. Even if sites might include registration or only give more data at a cost, OSINT guarantees that their users should be able to use some of the information with little to no cost. 

See more: Top Open Source Companies 

Best-Of Open Source Lists

Best-of open source lists are rated as accurate and helpful open source lists. Here are 14 of the best-of open source sites:


Datamation publishes “best of” lists for various categories of open source software every couple of weeks or so. Enter “open source software” in the search bar to find some of the most recent.

Open Source Windows

This page offers short, simple descriptions of some of the most well-known open source apps for Windows, with links to each.

Open Source Mac

A slightly longer list that follows the same format as “Open Source Windows”—only highlighting open source apps that work on OS X


OpenLogic supports open source software which can be helpful for a positive company’s impact. OpenLogic by Perforce also provides the technical support a company needs to succeed with open source tools. OpenLogic aims to give their customers technical support and professional services built for the enterprise.

VMware Open Source Blog

VMware is a top software company, and their Open Source Blog is a strong and helpful open source tool. VMware does not only recommend what they do, but they are extremely open to the community and what they wish to share.


Instaclustr aims to help organizations get applications at scale for their business by operating and supporting their data through its SaaS platform for open source technologies.

Open Source Initiative

Open Source Initiative was formed in the late 1990s to be an educational and advocate of an important moment for open source tools in the history of collaborative development. 

Percona Community

Percona is a top open source database software that offers support and services for MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL databases in on-premises and cloud environments. They are “dedicated to helping make your databases and applications run better through a unique combination of expertise and open source software.”


Swagger is an open source software and provides tools for their users. Swagger helps users to develop their APIs with support from Open API, AsyncAPI, JSON Schema, and more.


Maltego is an open source intelligence and analysis tool for gathering information that is best for their users. Maltego aims to help users worldwide through easy data integration in a single interface. They provide many forms of information including podcasts, books, apps, and more.


Shodan is an open source directory that lets users share their questions with the community. Shodan does not store or share users’ search queries. Shodan users share the questions in the search directory to help the community if they have the same questions.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is an open source distribution system with several hundred tools aimed at cybersecurity functions. It provides common tools, configurations, and automation that allows users to focus on the task that needs to be completed.

Hacker Target

Hacker Target is an open source information-gathering tool that contains a reference guide. In addition to the site, there is also the option to ask questions about the tools through their API, and Maltego can be used as a Chrome extension.


The open source tool, Searchcode, allows users to search for any topic or product they need to find for their business. Searchcode makes it easy to search as well, highlighting lines of searches and filtering down using the filter panel.

Miscellaneous Open Source

The listed open source sites use other types of open sources for reference. Here are eight miscellaneous open source sites:


The free and open source community has contributed heavily to the free encyclopedia, and as a result, Wikipedia has a wealth of articles with good information on open source software. The link above has an extensive list of open source projects with articles on Wikipedia. From these articles, you can usually link to the project site or a download page.

Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation currently sponsors nearly 100 enterprise-grade open source projects listed on this site. Many Apache projects, including the well-known HTTP Server, relate to Web-based technologies.


In addition to the well-known desktop environment for Linux, the KDE community has created many different types of applications, many of which run on multiple platforms. The link here will take you to the big list of KDE applications.


The space agency has released the code for several pieces of software its engineers have created. Not surprisingly, several are related to science and space exploration, but many others would be of interest to IT managers or educators.

Open Source Lab by Stanford University

The Stanford Open Source Lab is an open source site created by a group of people across Stanford that “feel that openness matters”. Stanford plans to add even more open source publishing and software development.

Flavours of Open

Flavours of Open, a community-run open source tool, is described by the creator to be “a site of experimentation for exploring open source tools and modes of presentation for open science and open education”. The information can be videos, texts, and code collaboration.


Conda-forge is an open source GitHub organization with repositories of conda-built recipes. There are many providers including AppVeyor, Azure Pipelines, CircleCI, and TravisCI which automatically can build their conda-built recipe on Windows, Linux, and OSX.


On the open source platform, Netdata, a user can find documents and reference material to help find insight into a company’s system, containers, and applications using accurate metrics, visualizations, and more.

Bottom Line: Open Source Software

Open source software is a program where the developer chooses whether or not to release the source code for free. Anyone can download, modify, and distribute it without fees. 

These open source sites are helpful open source resources for every company’s needs.

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