Free Download: 100 Open Source Apps for Windows

Games, office productivity, blogging, money management, and more: While many Windows users don't want to switch to an open source OS, a few free apps won’t hurt. Many apps also work on Mac and (of course) Linux.


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Many Windows users find themselves attracted to the idea of open source software, but aren’t quite ready to go all the way and commit to Linux on the desktop.

However, they might be willing to make a smaller change, like replacing Internet Explorer with Firefox or switching from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. With open-source newbies like these in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 100 Open-Source Apps for Windows.

For this list, we’ve focused on helpful tools for home or home business users, particularly apps that don’t require a lot of technical expertise to download and install. You’ll find a few tried-and-true favorites from our Essential Windows Downloads list along with a lot of new finds that we haven’t featured before.

And if you’re a Linux or Mac user, you’ll be happy to know that many of these apps work on those operating systems as well.

Happy downloading!

Audio Tools

1. Audacity

Audacity lets you record and edit multi-track audio files. It’s not a professional-quality tool, but it does more than most home users will ever need, including recording up to 16 channels at once, converting among multiple audio file formats, and adding effects.

2. Songbird

While still a work in progress, Songbird has been receiving rave reviews as an open-source alternative to iTunes. It has tons of built-in features and services, including artist links, a music store, concert tickets, smart playlists, and much, much more.

3. 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.

4. CoolPlayer

CoolPlayer is a self-described “blazing fast audio player” for Windows. It features a very simple interface and an 8-band equalizer.

5. 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.

6. Mixere

Mixere lets you play and mix an unlimited number of audio tracks during a live performance. Features include dynamic looping, auto-triggering of audio, fully automated sliders, gradual muting, and crossfading.

7. Mixxx

Designed for DJs performing live mixes, Mixxx replaces a traditional turntable and mixer setup. It supports mp3, ogg, wave, and flac playback.

8. SnackAmp

This audio player includes a media manager that lets you choose whether to organize your music with tags or with a traditional file-folder tree structure. It supports mp3, wav, ogg, and other audio file formats.

9. Zinf

Based on the FreeAmp source code, Zinf plays a wide variety of audio file types. It includes a music browser, theme support, and a download manager.

10. 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.


11. 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.

12. LifeType

The LifeType blogging platform supports multiple users and multiple blogs from a single installation. It includes a WYSIWYG editor, integrated media management, a built-in spam filter, and podcasting support.


13. Firefox

Recently updated, Firefox offers fast, safe browsing. It offers one-click bookmarking, a smart address bar, and it will remember your passwords for you.

14. Chrome

Google’s browser aims to combine “a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.” Notable features include a combination Web address/search box, incognito mode, and a new tab page that includes screenshots of recently visited sites.

15. K-Meleon

K-Meleon combines some of the best features of Firefox (tabbed browsing, speed, enhanced security) with some of the best features of Opera (mouse gestures). It also gives you the option of using an Internet Explorer favorites list, an Opera hotlist, and/or a Firefox bookmarks list at the same time.

Content Management

16. Joomla

Downloaded more than 10 million times, Joomla is an incredibly popular content management system. Even if you have very little technical expertise, Joomla can help you keep track of all the pages on your Web site.

17. Drupal

Drupal offers a similar, but slightly different feature set than Joomla. Key features include a unique collaborative book tool, role-based permissions, blogging, friendly URLs, and a very active community for support.

18. TikiWiki

This Groupware/Content Management System supports wikis, forums, blogs, image feeds, newsfeeds, calendars, and much more. It’s won several awards and vast amounts of help are available on the Web site.

19. Family Connections

This app walks beginners through the process of creating a family Web site. It makes it easy to include a photo gallery, message board, calendar, address book, news, recipes, and more on a private site.

Desktop Enhancements

20. WindowsPager

Do a lot of multi-tasking? WindowsPager lets you save multiple desktop setups and switch between them. For example, you can save one desktop with budget software, online banking, and calculator windows open and switch to another desktop with e-mail and a word processor open.

21. Launchy

With Launchy, you may never need your Start menu, desktop icons, or file manager again. Just start typing the name of a document or application, and Launchy will find it for you.

22. PNotes

Do you like to leave yourself yellow sticky notes? PNotes gives you the ability to leave yourself virtual sticky notes on your desktop. Multiple skins are available, including transparent notes.

Desktop Search

23. DocFetcher

DocFetcher is an award-winning, very fast tool for finding search terms in the content of your documents. It does not search photos, videos, music, or programs, but it does search written content in a wide variety of file formats.

Desktop Publishing

24. Scribus

This page layout program makes it easy to create professional-looking press-ready documents or PDF files. Thanks to a very active user community, it comes with tons of support options, including wikis, live chat, a manual (for a fee), and more.


25. Celestia

Boldly go anywhere in the galaxy without leaving your desk. Celestia provides an accurate view of the night sky from any date and time, as seen from any point in the known universe.

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Tags: open source, search, Mozilla

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