15 Best Free and Open Source Software I Found for Linux (2023)

It is time to bring you the best 10 Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) programs I have come across during this year. Some of these programs may not be new in that they weren’t released for the first time in this year, but they are new to me and I have found them helpful.

[ You might also like: 25 Free Open Source Applications I Found This Year ]

That is why I would like to share a brief review in hopes you will find them useful as well.

1. Atom Editor

Without a doubt, this is my top #1 choice. Perhaps it is because I’m not only a system administrator but also a developer. When I found this Linux text editor developed by GitHub I was totally blown away by it.

Atom is easily extensible through extra packages that add new features and provide among other things smart code auto-completion for a wide variety of languages, FTP capabilities, and built-in browser preview.

Also, it allows you to work directly with Git and GitHub from its interface, which is highly customizable, by the way. Atom Editor comes with cross-platform editing, so you can code not only on Linux but also on Windows and macOS.

2. NextCloud

Described as “a safe home for all your data”, NextCloud was started as a separate project by one of their ownCloud’s first collaborators.

Although it raised a few sparks between him and the ownCloud community, NextCloud seems to be here to stay and compete with ownCloud as a private cloud solution to access and share your files, calendars, contacts, and office documents.

Using dozens of third-party apps available on the official App Store, you can equip your Nexcloud instance with new features and turn it into a powerful collaborative environment that cares with respect to your personal data.

3. Celestia

Because even system administrators and developers need a little distraction, you can use Celestia (a free 3D astronomy program) to navigate the universe.

Celestia serves as a 3D planetarium that seamlessly simulates various celestial objects whose position and movement are calculated accurately in real-time. It also comes with a large database of stars, galaxies, planets, asteroids, comets, and other celestial bodies.

As opposed to other planetarium software, Celestia allows you to travel throughout the solar system and the galaxy, not just the surface of the earth. To infinity and beyond!

4. FreeRDP

If your system administration tasks include managing Windows servers via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), FreeRDP is a tool that you will want to try out.

It is described by its developers as an RDP client for Windows Terminal Services. The project is hosted on GitHub and released under the Apache license, so you are welcome to collaborate with it if you wish.

5. Flyspray

Again, I may be a little biased on this one. If you are searching for a bug-tracking and project management solution, don’t look any further Flyspray, a web-based tool powered by Apachehas exactly what you need. And don’t just take my word for it: even ArchLinux uses Flyspray for bug-tracking.

Flyspray is a lightweight bug-tracking system written in PHP that runs on any OS and focuses on a very intuitive design allowing you to handle multiple projects at once.

It supports MySQL or PostgreSQL as database servers and provides voting functionality, email notifications (requires a separate mail server to be installed and configured), and optional Single-Sign-On (SSO) using a Facebook or Google account.

6. GNUCash

If you have been using a spreadsheet to keep track of your personal, family, or business finances, it may be time to try a more suitable solution such as GNUCash.

This FOSS accounting software allows you to keep an eye on your bank accounts, expenses, and income and to create custom, complete reports with this data. Its user-friendly interface is a plus to the solid accounting principles GNUCash uses under the hood.

The official website includes an exhaustive FAQ section, the application Manual, and a Tutorial guide. With these materials, learning how to use GNUCash will be a play in the park. On top of that, you can subscribe to the mailing lists in case you need help or run into any problems with GNUCash.

Like many other open-source projects, GnuCash is entirely developed, maintained, and translated entirely by volunteers and enthusiasts.

7. LogicalDOC

Both available as Enterprise (paid) and Community editions, LogicalDOC is an award-winning, web-based Document Management System (DMS). As such, it aims to provide a high-quality method for sharing business documents and records in a low-cost and secure way.

Additionally, LogicalDOC allows you to control access to these resources via security roles, and to easily track changes through version control. LogicalDOC can be installed both on a single computer in standalone mode, on a dedicated server as a shared service, or as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

LogicalDOC comes with features for content processing and information management that are more suitable for enterprises and businesses but it’s also great for personal use.

8. Blender

If you are into game development, video editing, or 3D modeling, I am sure you must have already heard about this tool. If you are considering any of these activities either as a hobby or a career change and haven’t heard about Blender, it is definitely time to check it out.

As a FOSS solution, it does not come short when compared to commercial tools. On top of it, Blender is cross-platform which means you can not only run it on Linux but also on macOS and Windows.

Among the standard Blender features, you can find rendering, 3D modeling, digital sculpting, video editing, and simulation tools.

9. DVDStyler

DVDStyler is a cross-platform, FOSS DVD authoring tool that allows you to create nice-looking and professional DVDs with your video and image files.

As such, DVDStyler allows you to create your own interactive menus or choose from the built-in ones, add subtitle and audio files, and use video files in different formats. Additionally, you can create photo slideshows and place graphic objects like buttons, text, images, and so on.

In addition, this awesome tool integrates with your DVD burner to burn the disk from within the same application.

10. OSQuery

As its name suggests, OSQuery provides access to real-time system information in the form of tables and events that can be queried using SQL-like syntax via an interactive query console.

With osquery, you can explore your system to perform intrusion detection, diagnose a problem, or just produce a report of its operation – all at your fingertips using a single tool.

If you have at least a basic understanding of SQL, getting details about the operating system using the built-in tables in OSQuery will be a piece of cake.

OSQuery runs flawlessly on Windows, macOS, CentOS, and all other Linux OS released since 2011 and requires no dependencies.

Need yet another reason to convince you to give OSQuery a try? It was developed and maintained by the folks at Facebook.

11. KeyPass

I have to deal with so many programs, websites, and services that I often forget my passwords. There is no doubt that this also happens to other Linux users, so here is the solution – KeePass. It’s a free open-source password manager that allows you to manage and keep your passwords in a secure way.

KeePass stores all of your passwords in a single database locked with a master key. That’s why you need to remember one single master key to access the database.

All passwords are encrypted using the most secure encryption algorithms. In fact, KeePass is compatible with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES, Rijndael) and the Twofish algorithm.

Alternatively, KeePass allows you to use key files instead of master keys. You just need to always have the key file with you. For example, you can carry it on a floppy disk or USB stick.

12. PDF Mix Tool

I don’t often edit PDF files but when I do, I usually use PDF Mix Tool, which is a simple and lightweight open-source program that makes it possible to perform common PDF editing operations, such as file merging and page rotation.

Apart from that, you can also use PDF Mix Tool to generate booklets, delete and add pages to a PDF file, extract pages and even edit the PDF document information.

This tool is good for basic editing operations. If you need a more complex and powerful program, take a look at the best pdf editors for Linux.

13. Mailspring

When it comes to email management, one of my favorite tools is Mailspring, which is an open-source and cross-platform email client that allows you to create a single inbox for all your email accounts.

Mailspring is compatible with all popular email providers, including Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, Office 365, Yahoo!, etc., and supports IMAP/SMTP.

The Mailspring user interface is visually pleasing and there are a few beautiful themes. It also comes with a signature editor that allows you to create custom signatures, even with images and links to social media, which looks great.

14. OpenTodoList

If you work on several projects and have a lot of tasks to do at a time, you definitely need to try OpenTodoList, which is a simple note-taking application that allows you to stay organized.

With this tool, your information is organized in libraries. A library can contain to-do lists, notes, and images that are stored locally.

More importantly, you can synchronize your information with NextCloud, ownCloud, other WebDAV services, or any third-party synchronization tool of your choice. OpenTodoList lets you keep track of your tasks and enhance your productivity in a simple way.


Many Linux users have been lacking a decent Microsoft Office alternative for years. From my point of view, one of the best replacements for the MS Office suite is ONLYOFFICE, an open-source project that revolves around office software and productivity tools.

ONLYOFFICE offers a self-hosted office suite called Docs and a free desktop editor for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Both online and desktop editors are based on the same engine and allow you to create and collaborate on documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and fillable forms in real-time.

The ONLYOFFICE suite is fully compatible with DOCX, XLXS, and PPTX files and also makes it possible to open and view PDF and DjVu files. Conversion to DOCX is available, too.

ONLYOFFICE comes with integration apps for the most popular file-sharing and document management platforms, so you can embed the online editors to enable document editing and real-time co-authoring within Nextcloud, ownCloud, Moodle, WordPress, Seafile, etc.


In this article, I have shared a brief review of the top 15 FOSS programs I have come across during this year. Are there any other programs you would like us to review, or would like to suggest to be a part of a future article? Kindly let us know using the form below and we will be more than glad to take a look.


What is free and open source software in Linux? ›

Linux and open source

Because Linux is released under an open source license, which prevents restrictions on the use of the software, anyone can run, study, modify, and redistribute the source code, or even sell copies of their modified code, as long as they do so under the same license.

What are the open source tools for Linux? ›

The following list of ten key open source tools covers all the bases.
  • Cockpit. Cockpit is software developed by Red Hat that provides an interactive browser based Linux administration interface. ...
  • PCP. ...
  • Puppet. ...
  • AIDE. ...
  • Mcelog. ...
  • Memtest86+ ...
  • Nmap. ...
  • Wireshark.
Mar 10, 2018

What are examples of free and open source software? ›

  • GNU/Linux.
  • Mozilla Firefox.
  • VLC media player.
  • SugarCRM.
  • GIMP.
  • VNC.
  • Apache web server.
  • LibreOffice.

What is free and open source software? ›

Free and open-source software (FOSS) is a term used to refer to groups of software consisting of both free software and open-source software where anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve ...

What is a free software in Linux? ›

“Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

What are 3 examples of open source? ›

10.4 Examples of Open Source Software
  • Firefox—a Web browser that competes with Internet Explorer.
  • OpenOffice—a competitor to Microsoft Office.
  • Gimp—a graphic tool with features found in Photoshop.
  • Alfresco—collaboration software that competes with Microsoft Sharepoint and EMC's Documentum.

What are three common tools generally used to build software on Linux? ›

Basic tools for Linux developers
  • Code editors. – Terminal-based text editors. ...
  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) – Android Studio: the integrated development environment for Android applications. ...
  • GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) ...
  • KompoZer.
Nov 10, 2015

Is Chrome for Linux open-source? ›

Unlike Chromium, Chrome is not open-source, so its binaries are licensed as freeware under the Google Chrome Terms of Service.

What is an open source software with examples? ›

Open source software is different. Its authors make its source code available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. LibreOffice and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are examples of open source software.

What are 3 free software examples? ›

A few examples of free software include GIMP, LibreOffice and Apache HTTP Server.

What are five free software examples? ›

Some of the best-known examples include the Linux kernel, the BSD and Linux operating systems, the GNU Compiler Collection and C library; the MySQL relational database; the Apache web server; and the Sendmail mail transport agent.

What are famous open source software? ›

Top Open Source Technologies for 2022
  • Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source internet browser that offers numerous plugins which can be accessed with a single mouse click. ...
  • LibreOffice. ...
  • GIMP. ...
  • VLC Media Player. ...
  • Shotcut. ...
  • Brave. ...
  • Linux. ...
  • Python.
May 25, 2023

Is Google a free and open source software? ›

At Google, we use open source to innovate and we release open source to share our innovations. We encourage you to browse through our featured projects to find work to use, share, and build on!

What is free software called? ›

The term freeware was first coined by Andrew Fluegelman when he released his PC software program PC-Talk in 1980 as freeware. Fluegelman wanted others to use and enjoy his program without having to pay for it.

Is Microsoft free and open source software? ›

Learn from our enterprise-scale approach Our program & tools

We have worked to develop a strong open source program over the past decade, making it easy for every team at Microsoft to choose to use, contribute to, and release open source software.

Which software is an example of Linux? ›

Linux distributions may be community-developed, like Debian, Slackware and Gentoo. Other distributions are commercial and intended for enterprise use, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Which is free Unix or Linux? ›

Linux is open source and is developed by Linux community of developers. Unix was developed by AT&T Bell labs and is not open source. Linux is free to use.

Where is Linux used? ›

Linux or Linux-based code is used to run web servers and data networks, supercomputers and smartphones, wireless routers and home security cameras, and much more.

What 2 operating systems are open source? ›

Open source operating systems
  • GNU/Linux (various versions or distributions include Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu and Red Hat) - operating system.
  • FreeBSD - operating system.
  • Android - mobile phone platform.

Is Python an open source? ›

Python is developed under an OSI-approved open source license, making it freely usable and distributable, even for commercial use.

Is Microsoft an open source? ›

Microsoft is all in on open source. We believe that power of collaborative development through the open source process can accelerate innovation, and that open collaboration often allows communities to achieve more than their members can do alone.

What are the 5 basic components of Linux? ›

The Kernel, Hardware layer, System library, Shell, and System utility are the main components of the Linux Operating System's architecture.

What is the powerful tool of Linux? ›

Nmap. Nmap is the most well-known network mapper tool in IT circles. It lets you discover active hosts within any network and gain additional information related to penetration testing, such as existing open ports.

How many Linux programs are there? ›

Currently, more than 300 Linux distributions are actively maintained. There are commercially backed distributions, such as Fedora (Red Hat), openSUSE (SUSE) and Ubuntu (Canonical Ltd.), and entirely community-driven distributions, such as Debian, Slackware, Gentoo and Arch Linux.

How do I open Google on Linux? ›

Overview of steps
  1. Download the Chrome Browser package file.
  2. Use your preferred editor to create JSON configuration files with your corporate policies.
  3. Set up Chrome apps and extensions.
  4. Push Chrome Browser and the configuration files to your users' Linux computers using your preferred deployment tool or script.

Is Firefox an open source software? ›

Mozilla Firefox is free and open source software, built by a community of thousands from all over the world. There are a few things you should know: Firefox is made available to you under the terms of the Mozilla Public License. This means you may use, copy and distribute Firefox to others.

What is Chrome called in Linux? ›

Chromium is an open-source version of Chrome. It is present by default in the Linux repositories.

How many open source softwares are there? ›

With more than 180,000 open-source projects available and more than 1400 unique licenses, the complexity of deciding how to manage open-source use within "closed-source" commercial enterprises has dramatically increased.

What is open source software for dummies? ›

What is open-source software? Open-source software is the kind of software whose code is available to see. The code is not hidden and can be freely inspected - and even modified. On the other hand, proprietary or closed-source software is the one whose code remains hidden.

How many open source projects are there? ›

Number of open source projects and versions worldwide 2022, by ecosystem. At the end of 2022, there were 2.06 million JavaScript open source projects in the Maven Central Repository and 29 million JavaScript project versions worldwide.

What are 3 examples of software that you would use today? ›

Examples of Application Software
  • A collection of Microsoft software including MS Office, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Common Internet browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Graphics and designing software such as Canva, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, and AutoCAD.

What is a private software? ›

Private or custom software is software developed for one user (typically an organization or company). That user keeps it and uses it, and does not release it to the public either as source code or as binaries.

What are four examples of software? ›

Application software.

Examples of modern applications include office suites, graphics software, databases and database management programs, web browsers, word processors, software development tools, image editors and communication platforms.

What are 5 examples of software you use everyday? ›

The most common examples of applications used by millions daily are listed below.
  • A suite of Microsoft products such as MS Office, PowerPoint, MS Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Internet browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Graphics and design software such as Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, and AutoCAD.

What is Linux system library? ›

System Library − System libraries are special functions or programs using which application programs or system utilities accesses Kernel's features. These libraries implement most of the functionalities of the operating system and do not requires kernel module's code access rights.

What is a Linux machine? ›

Linux® is an open source operating system (OS). An operating system is the software that directly manages a system's hardware and resources, like CPU, memory, and storage. The OS sits between applications and hardware and makes the connections between all of your software and the physical resources that do the work.

What was the first free open source software? ›

In 1953, Remington Rand's UNIVAC division developed the first instance of free open source software called the A-2 (Arithmetic Language v2 system), which they released to their customers along with the source code. They were also invited to send back their improvements.

What is the most common open source operating system? ›

Ubuntu. It is a Linux-based open source operating system that is free to download, use, and share. It has many features, including an office suite, web browsers, instant messaging, media mapping, etc. One of the most popular open source operating systems and a fantastic alternative to Mac and Windows is Ubuntu.

What is the most popular open source software license? ›

GNU General Public License (GNU GPL)

The GNU GPL is a copyleft license and perhaps the most popular of the open source licenses. It guarantees developers the freedom to take a program and modify it in any way they want, as long as they then distribute that altered version as free software.

Is Zoom an open-source software? ›

Zoom uses the open source software (OSS) components listed below in its products distributions. OSS source code can be found here.

Is Netflix an open-source software? ›

Tools and services to get the most out of your (big) data

We use and contribute to broadly-adopted open source technologies including Hadoop, Hive, Pig, Parquet, Presto, and Spark. In addition, we've developed and contributed some additional tools and services, which have further elevated our data platform.

What is free operating system? ›

What is GNU? GNU is an operating system that is free software—that is, it respects users' freedom. The GNU operating system consists of GNU packages (programs specifically released by the GNU Project) as well as free software released by third parties.

What are the 3 types of software? ›

There are different types of software that can run on a computer: system software, utility software, and application software.

What is software that is created for free use by everyone? ›

Open source software is software develped and maintained via open collaboration, and made available, typically at no cost, for anyone to use, examine, alter and redistribute however they like.

How to open-source code? ›

Android phone or tablet using Chrome

Open the web page whose source code you want to view. Tap once in the address bar and move the cursor to the front of the URL. Type view-source: and tap Enter or Go.

Is Microsoft using Linux? ›

Microsoft developed Linux-based operating systems for use with its Azure cloud services. Azure Cloud Switch supports the Azure infrastructure and is based on open source and proprietary technology, and Azure Sphere powers Internet of things devices.

Is Linux is open source? ›

First, and perhaps most importantly, Linux is open source software. The code used to create Linux is free and available to the public to view, edit, and—for users with the appropriate skills—to contribute to.

Is Android software open source? ›

The Android source code is open, so anyone can use it to build any kind of device. However, if manufacturers wish to use the Android name with their products, or want access to Google Play, they must first demonstrate that their devices are compatible.

What does it mean when they say Linux is open source? ›

First, and perhaps most importantly, Linux is open source software. The code used to create Linux is free and available to the public to view, edit, and—for users with the appropriate skills—to contribute to.

Is Linux an example of an open source? ›

Yes, Linux is an open source software. All underlying Linux source code may be used, modified, and redistributed, for business purposes or otherwise, under the GNU General Public License.

Is Unix free and open source software? ›

Unix is not free. However, some Unix versions are free for development use (Solaris). In a collaborative environment, Unix costs $1,407 per user and Linux costs $256 per user. Hence, UNIX is extremely expensive.

What is the difference between OSI and FSF? ›

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is one such organization keeping a list of open-source licenses. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) maintains a list of what it considers free.

What kind of software is Linux? ›

Linux® is an open source operating system (OS). An operating system is the software that directly manages a system's hardware and resources, like CPU, memory, and storage. The OS sits between applications and hardware and makes the connections between all of your software and the physical resources that do the work.

Which devices use Linux? ›

Linux is used as an embedded OS for a variety of applications, including household appliances, automotive entertainment systems and network file system appliances. Network OS for routers, switches, domain name system servers, home networking devices and more.

Is Chrome for Linux open source? ›

Unlike Chromium, Chrome is not open-source, so its binaries are licensed as freeware under the Google Chrome Terms of Service.

Why should we use Linux? ›

There are several good reasons to use Linux as your operating system, especially if you want an operating system that is open source and secure. If you are a small business you can also save on costs by using Linux since you can install it for free on a desktop computer.

What is an example of Linux operating? ›

Popular Linux distributions include Debian, Fedora Linux, and Ubuntu, the latter of which itself consists of many different distributions and modifications, including Lubuntu and Xubuntu. Commercial distributions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise.

What is Linux programming used for? ›

Web servers, networking gear, smartphones, and even automobiles are critical applications of Linux programming technology. Because Linux is an open-source operating system, it's constantly evolving, which means there's a consistent demand for Linux programming professionals with an up-to-date skillset.

Which is open source Linux or Unix? ›

Linux is an open source, free to use operating system widely used for computer hardware and software, game development, tablet PCS, mainframes etc. Unix is an operating system commonly used in internet servers, workstations and PCs by Solaris, Intel, HP etc.

What is an example of an open-source operating system is Unix? ›

Some basic examples of the open-source operating systems are Linux, Open Solaris, Free RTOS, Open BDS, Free BSD, Minix, etc.

Can freeware be open source? ›

Every free software is open source but not all open-source software is free software. There are many open-source software licenses and some of them are a bit restrictive making that open-source software, not free software.

Is OSI outdated? ›

Despite not being used much in practice today, network engineers and vendors still reference the OSI model to have a complete overview of computer networking and to learn about its functions.

Why free software is better than open source? ›

As one person put it, “Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.” For the Open Source movement, nonfree software is a suboptimal solution. For the Free Software movement, nonfree software is a social problem and free software is the solution.


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