Open Source Software: Top 59 Sites

Open source software download sites as well as "best of" collections of open source software.
Posted February 23, 2011

Cynthia Harvey

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Frequently, Datamation puts together lists of top open source software. This time we've done something a little different and made a list of top open source Web sites.

Of course, literally thousands of sites and forums provide news and information about open source software. To narrow things done, we focused on sites that provide a lot of links of open source applications – the top places to download open source software.

These sites fall into several categories. The "project hosting" category includes giants like SourceForge that provide server space for open source code and allow downloads. The "directories" category includes sites that have created lists of open source projects and update those lists regularly, but that don't actually host the code themselves.

Sites that made a list of great open source software at some point in time but that don't update those lists on an ongoing basis are in the "best of open source lists" category. In the "collections" category, you'll find projects that have rolled a large number of open source projects into a single download. Because these sites also contain links to the individual applications they contain, they provide an excellent resource for finding good open source software.

And finally, sites that didn't fall neatly into one of these categories landed in the "miscellaneous" group at the end.

As with our other open source lists, if we missed some top sites that should be on our list, feel free to note them in the comments below.

Project Hosting Sites

1. SourceForge

The "mother lode" for open source projects, SourceForge hosts nearly 280,000 projects (at last count). It serves more than 2 million downloads a day and includes apps and tools in a wide variety of categories.

2. GitHub

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.

3. Google Code

Google offers free hosting for open source projects using the Subversion or Mercurial version control systems. It offers 2 GB of storage, integrated code review tools, a wiki, and an issue tracker. The Google Code site also provides links to Google's many publicly available APIs and other developer tools.

4. Eclipse Labs

Also hosted by Google Code, Eclipse Labs is a searchable repository of projects built on the Eclipse platform. Note that these are not official Eclipse Foundation projects.

5. BitBucket

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.

6. LaunchPad

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.

7. Codehaus

Codehaus describes itself as "a collaborative software development environment for projects with opensource (but business friendly) licences." In order to be hosted on the site, projects must pass muster with a review board which determines whether they meet the criteria laid out in the site's manifesto.

8. RubyForge

As you might guess from the name, RubyForge hosts open source projects written with the Ruby programming language. It currently serves as a home to more than 9,000 projects.

9. Tigris

Unlike many of the more general project hosting sites, Tigris has a very narrow focus: "building better tools for collaborative software development." It includes nearly 700 projects of particular interest to developers.

10. BerliOS Developer

Home to more than 4,600 projects, BerliOS offers free hosting for open source projects of all types. Note that although it has a German Web address, the site is available in a number of languages, including English.

11. Savannah—GNU

Savannah describes itself as "a central point for development, maintenance and distribution of official GNU software." It hosts 410 official GNU projects.

12. Savannah—non-GNU

In addition to the official GNU project site (above), Savannah also offers hosting for free software that isn't part of GNU. It currently has more than 2,800 projects in this category.

13. Gna!

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. It currently hosts 1350 projects.

14. CodePlex

Hosted by Microsoft, CodePlex provides a home both to open source projects developed by Microsoft and some community based projects. It offers downloads for more than 20,000 projects.

15. Java.net

Originally founded by Sun Microsystems, Java.net hosts or links to a large number of Java-related projects. In addition, it also includes a number of blogs, forums and other resources for the Java community.

16. Gitorious

Gitorious offers free hosting for open source projects that use the Git version control system. It provides a home to some well-known projects, including several projects related to OpenSUSE and Qt.

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Tags: Linux, Linux downloads, open source software, SourceForge, open source apps

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