Open source means less bugs, greater security, no spyware, no ads, no fees, no control, no nonsense.
This post is primarily focused on laptop and desktop applications.
Android users should try the wonderful free software repository named F-Droid.
iOS users should view the Collaborative List of Open-Source iOS Apps.
Windows users can install many of these applications automatically using Ninite.
1. Firefox – This blog article is being written in WordPress using Firefox. Many years ago, web browser pioneer Netscape opened their code just before Microsoft crushed them with their market monopoly. Today, Firefox represents a liberated web. There are countless useful Firefox addons available, which makes this browser extremely valuable.
2. Thunderbird – A companion application to Firefox, Thunderbird is one of the best email clients available. Setting up mail filters can automatically sort your mail, while junk protection eliminates annoying spam.
3. GIMP – This is not someone with a damaged leg, it’s a full-featured Photoshop replacement. Image level adjustments, resizing, cropping, compression, and saturation tweaking are very common photo enhancement tasks. If you need to work with vector graphics, Inkscape is rad. Another great image editing option is Krita.
5. LibreOffice – Who needs bloated, buggy, and expensive Microsoft Office software, when you can enjoy better functionality for free? LibreOffice provides document editing, presentation software, and database tools, essentially an entire office suite. Let’s all use it!
6. VLC – Powerful video player, which can handle nearly any format, and can also manage audio files. Double-click on an playing video for full-screen. Vital, versatile, and flawless program.
7. Audacity – A cross-platform audio editor which works great for recording, clipping sounds, adding effects, and can even operate as a multi-track digital audio workstation. The interface isn’t so attractive, yet Audacity remains a highly useful tool.
8. Mixxx – This is an amazing live DJ music system which can blend tracks, easily shape sound, manage song lists, and trigger samples. Fantastic for any public performance. Beautiful and mature program.
9. Ardour – If you need an advanced multi-track digital recording studio, this is it. Ardour has countless features for professional audio production. We used it extensively when recording Tryad vocals.
10. Audacious – This is my favorite general music player, which is available for Linux as well as Windows. It has a simple intuitive interface, a frequency equalizer, and has some nice visualizations. Another good option is gmusicbrowser, or cmus for the terminal.
11. Kdenlive – The open source world continues to struggle to produce a solid video editor, yet Kdenlive is one of the better ones. Kdenlive is still slightly buggy and can crash, so be certain to save regularly. Other possible options are OpenShot, Pitivi, Shotcut, and DaVinci Resolve. You may need to experiment with some of these to discover what works best for you.
There are simply countless fantastic free applications available, especially when running an open source operating system, such as Linux.
For Linux beginners, Ubuntu Mate is highly recommended.
If you want more complete control over your operating system and learn a ton, Arch Linux is brilliant.
To keep your passwords and logins safe, check out my previous article on KeePassXC.
Also, here is a useful list of Google Alternatives.
May the source be with you!
Anyone else have something to add?