Open Source Tools: Audio/Music1 Amarok Replaces: iTunes
This audio player lets you listen to music, creates playlists, displays lyrics and cover art, and integrates with a number of Web services. The interface seems a little text-heavy, but easy to use, though not as attractive as iTunes. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
2 Songbird Replaces: iTunes
You can't use Songbird on your iPhone or iPad, but you can use it on your PC or smartphone to set up playlists, listen to audio, stream video, and more. It also notifies users of upcoming concerts and allows you to purchase tickets right from the app. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Backup3 Areca Backup Replaces: Norton Ghost
This simple yet flexible backup manager offers both compression and encryption capabilities, and it archives files locally, over a network, or online via FTP or FTPS. It offers most of the same features as Ghost, except it doesn't integrate with a full security suite, and it doesn't support Blu-Ray. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Open Source Tools: Browsers4 Chrome Replaces: Internet Explorer
The big advantage Google's browser offers over the one from Microsoft is speed. It's fast to start up, fast to load pages, and fast to run Web apps. Unlike other browsers, it uses a combination Web address/search bar and simplifies the browsing experience in other ways as well. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
5 Firefox Replaces:
While not as fast as Chrome, Firefox offer faster performance than Internet Explorer, as well as excellent security features. It includes a lot of personalization features and more than 6,000 add-ons so that you can make your browser work the way you want it to. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Compression6 7-zip Replaces: WinZip
While WinZip offers a fancier interface and more menu options, 7-zip lets you create 7z files with a higher compression rate, which means it creates smaller files. 7-zip also reads and writes WinZip files, as well as a number of other popular compression formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
7 PeaZip Replaces: WinZip
Unlike WinZip, PeaZip can save files in seven different formats and reads an astounding 123 different compressed file types. It also includes strong encryption capabilities. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Content Management8 Alfresco Replaces: Sharepoint
Like SharePoint, Alfresco combines document management, web content management, records management, image management, and a content repository. In addition to the free community edition, it's also available as an enterprise subscription with support. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
9 MindTouch Replaces: Sharepoint, IBM Lotus
Forrester research has called MindTouch the "Best product alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Lotus." The Core edition is available for free, while the commercial Standard, Enterprise, and Cloud editions add more features. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Open Source Tools: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)10 SugarCRM Replaces: SalesForce.com
Like SalesForce.com, SugarCRM is cloud-based and combines sales, marketing, customer service and reporting features. While the free community edition include basic functionality, in order to use the more advanced features, you'll need to pay for a subscription to the professional or enterprise edition. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Database11 Firebird Replaces: Microsoft SQL Server, others
It's not as well-known as MySQL (see below), but Firebird also provides an alternative to commercial closed-source RBDMSs. First developed in 1981, it offers a mature, stable code base, but doesn't have corporate backing like MySQL. Operating System: Windows, Linux/Unix, OS X, Solaris.
12 Kexi Replaces: Microsoft Access
Making no secret of it's intended competition, Kexi's Web site boldly proclaims it "Microsoft Access for Linux." In fact, Kexi offers all of the same features and functionality as Access, and it's also available for Windows and OS X, as well as Linux. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
13 MySQL Replaces: Microsoft SQL Server, others
Downloaded or distributed more than 100 million times, MySQL (now owned by Oracle) is the most popular open source database software in the world. It's used by a number of well-known companies, including Yahoo!, Alcatel-Lucent, Google, Nokia, YouTube, and Zappos.com. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X
Open Source Tools: Desktop Publishing14 Scribus Replaces: InDesign, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Office Publisher
While most desktop publishing programs cost a lot of money, Scribus offers professional layout features like CMYK color separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management, and PDF creation—all for free. However, because of the complexity involved in desktop publishing, Scribus cannot open or edit files created with similar programs. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: E-mail/Collaboration/Groupware15 Collabtive Replaces: Basecamp
This cloud-based Web app includes project management, instant messaging, file and document management, timetracking, and reporting. It also imports Basecamp files, and if you don't want to host it yourself, you can purchase hosting and other services from Collabtive. Operating System: OS Independent.
16 Evolution Replaces: Microsoft Office Outlook
Often called "the Outlook of Linux," Evolution combines e-mail, calendar, and addressbook capabilities. However, this app only works with the Linux Gnome desktop. Operating System: Linux.
17 Group-Office Replaces: Microsoft Office Outlook
Group-Office includes a calendar, file sharing, basic CRM capabilities, e-mail, project management, and some billing features. In addition to the free community version, Group-Office also offers a paid professional version, which adds synchronization with mobile phones and Outlook, and a hosted version. Operating System: OS Independent.
18 phpGroupWare Replaces: Microsoft Office Outlook, Sharepoint
This GNU project includes more than 50 applications, most notably e-mail, shared calendar, contact management, Web content management, document management, and project management. It scales for small groups and large enterprises. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
19 Thunderbird Replaces: Microsoft Office Outlook
The Thunderbird e-mail client boasts tabbed browsing and easy search—much like the Firefox browser also made by Mozilla. Unlike Outlook, this app only includes e-mail capabilities, but if you want to add calendar functionality, you can add Mozilla's Lightning/Sunbird. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
20 Zimbra Replaces: Microsoft Exchange
Zimbra messaging and collaboration suite comes in desktop, server, and hosted Web client versions. It includes e-mail, contact management, shared calendaring, and voice communications capabilities. Operating System: Linux
Resource Planning (ERP)21 Open ERP Replaces: SAP
With its modular design, Open ERP makes it easy to add just the functionality your company needs. The Web site also includes comparisons with other open-source ERP solutions, as well as SAP and Microsoft Dynamics. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
22 Openbravo Replaces: SAP
Web-based, Openbravo offers ERP functionality with a minimal upfront investment. While the community version source code is available for download, most enterprises purchase Openbravo as a hosted app from one of the Openbravo vendors. Operating System: OS Independent
23 ADempiere Replaces: SAP
With a very active community and developer group, ADempiere boasts more than the usual amount of documentation and resources for an open source project. However, it doesn't have quite as many features and isn't quite as polished as some of the other ERP solutions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
Open Source Tools: File Transfer24 FileZilla Replaces: CuteFTP, FTP Commander
FileZilla allows users to send large files via regular FTP and the more secure FTPS and SFTP protocols. While the client version works with all operating systems, the server version only works on Windows. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
25 FireFTP Replaces: CuteFTP, FTP Commander
Downloaded more than 13 million times, FireFTP is a Firefox add-on that turns your browser into an FTP client. Like WinSCP (below), it only includes a client, no server software. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
26 WinSCP Replaces: CuteFTP, FTP Commander
For Windows only, WinSCP is an file transfer client only—that is, it allows you to download files securely, but does not allow you to set up your own FTP server. It supports FTP, SFTP, and SCP. Operating System: Windows.
Open Source Tools: Financial Management27 Buddi Replaces: Quicken, Microsoft Money
Extremely simple, Buddi lacks many of the fancy features you'll find in commercial financial software. However, it's easy to use and lets you set up accounts and budgets, enter transactions, and run reports. Operating System: OS Independent
28 Money Manager Ex Replaces: Quicken, Microsoft Money
Although slightly more robust than Buddi, Money Manager still lacks the more attractive interface you'll find in Quicken or Money. However, it does offer the unique feature of allowing you to download the software to your PC and then access it via the Web on your phone or another PC. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
29 TurboCASH Replaces: QuickBooks
TurboCash invites small business owners to compare it to commercial accounting packages with a handy checklist that compares features. While it doesn't have some of the features you'll find in QuickBooks, like check printing and multi-currency capabilities, it offers some features its more well-known competitor doesn't have, like XML support and remote access. Operating System: Windows.
Open Source Tools: Games30 FlightGear Replaces: Microsoft Flight Simulator X
With realistic worldwide terrain, more than 20,000 real airports, and lots of aircraft to choose from, FlightGear provides real competition to Microsoft's Flight Simulator, and it doesn't require as many system resources. In fact, it provides such realistic flight operations that it has been used by universities, aerospace companies, and the FAA for research. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
31 FreeCol Replaces: Civilization
FreeCol doesn't have the intense graphics of the newest versions of Civilization, but then again it doesn't require as much memory or CPU either. It offers a similar style of game play and a similar storyline as the popular series. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
32 Frets on Fire Replaces: Guitar Hero
Frets on Fire is so much like Guitar Hero that you can even import Guitar Hero songs. While you can use a guitar controller if you have one, you can also play the game with your keyboard. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
33 Secret Maryo Chronicles Replaces: Mario Bros. Games
If you've played any Mario Brothers game (and you know you have), you'll find this game very familiar. It has the sort of 2D graphics you might remember from a couple of decades ago, and you progress from level to level by running, jumping, collecting coins, etc. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
34 StepMania Replaces: Dance Dance Revolution
StepMania works a lot like Dance Dance Revolution. If you have dance pads, you can use them (or buy them from the site); otherwise, you use your fingers to tap the keyboard in rhythm to the music. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Gateway Security Appliances35 Endian Firewall Community Replaces: Check Point Security Gateways, McAfee, SonicWall, others
Like the closed-source Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances on the market, Endian combines anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, intrusion detection, and other security functions into a single package. You can download the free community software to turn an old PC into a Linux-based appliance, or you can buy an appliance right from Endian. Operating System: Linux.
36 Untangle Replaces: Check Point Security Gateways, McAfee, SonicWall, others
Similar to Endian, Untangle combines a whole bunch of open-source apps for anti-virus, anti-spam, Web filetering, etc. With Untangle, you have three deployment options: as a router/UTM appliance on a separate PC, as a transparent bridge (if you already have a firewall/router), or as a software solution that runs in the background on any Windows PC connected to your network. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Open Source Tools: Graphics/Drawing37 Archimedes Replaces: AutoCAD
Like AutoCAD, Archimedes creates 2D and 3D design renderings, but Archimedes was designed primarily for architects. Thus, it's not as good for mechanical engineering, but does offer architects some benefits over AutoCAD. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
38 Dia Replaces: Visio
Dia creates diagrams—for flowcharts, org charts, and more. It doesn't have as many options for art work and styles of boxes as Visio, but it's good enough for most casual users. Operating System: Windows, Linux/Unix.
39 Gimp Replaces: Photoshop
Gimp makes it easy to edit photos and other images—just like you would with Photoshop. Suitable for professionals, it includes features like layers, gradients, photo enhancement, color manipulation, digital retouching, and much more. For the Windows installer, see Gimp-win. Operating System: Windows, Linux
40 Inkscape Replaces: Illustrator, CorelDraw
A vector drawing program, Inkscape offers professional-quality features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) for graphic designers. The site now also features an open clip art gallery that you can use in your drawings. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
41 Paint.Net Replaces: Photoshop
While not quite as powerful as Photoshop and The Gimp, PaintNet offers many, many more capabilities than the Microsoft Paint utility it was originally intended to replace. It boasts an intuitive interface, layering capability, and many special effects. Operating System: Windows
Open Source Tools: Instant Messaging42 Adium Replaces:AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger
One of the best reasons to use an open-source IM client is that it lets you talk with friends on lots of different networks at once. Adium lets you connect with AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and others from your Mac. Operating System: OS X
43 aMSN Replaces:Windows Live Messenger
This chat client works almost exactly like MSN Messenger (now known as Windows Live Messenger). Key features include offline messaging, custom emoticons, multi-language support, webcam support, tabbed windows, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
44 Pidgin Replaces: AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger
One of the most popular open-source IM clients, Pidgin connects with 17 different chat networks. While the basic download doesn't offer some of the capabilities that the closed source IM clients have (for example, support for Facebook and Twitter), its large collection of plug-ins fills in most of the missing features. Operating System: Windows, Linux/Unix, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Mapping45 WorldWind Replaces: desktop version for Windows only. Operating System: OS Independent
Open Source Tools: Office Productivity46 AbiWord Replaces: Microsoft Word
The AbiWord word processor offers most of the features you use every day in Microsoft Word, and the interface looks a lot like the older versions of Word. It even opens and saves files in Word and WordPerfect formats. While it lacks some of the more sophisticated features, that means you can run it on an older system, and many of the more advanced features can be added as plug-ins if you really need them. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
47 FreeMind Replaces: MindJet
Both of these mind mapping programs let you create unique diagrams showing the relationship between ideas—kind of like you would with a white board during a brainstorming session. The biggest difference between the two is that the commercial program offers some online collaboration and Sharepoint integration capabilities that aren't available in the open-source version. On the other hand, FreeMind claims to offer faster performance than MindJet. Operating System: OS Independent.
48 Gnumeric Replaces: Microsoft Excel
This spreadsheet app boasts that it includes all of the functions in Microsoft Excel, plus 154 others. It imports files from Excel, Lotus, QuattroPro, and other programs, and it can export to Excel, XML, PDF, and several other formats. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
49 KOffice Replaces: Microsoft Office
Although it's not as popular as OpenOffice.org, this office productivity suite from KDE also offers a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. It includes a word processor/desktop publisher, spreadsheet, presentation, database, project planner, flowchart, vector drawing, and a photo editing app. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
50 NeoOffice Replaces: Microsoft Office
NeoOffice is a variation of OpenOffice.org (see below) that's tailored for the Mac. While OpenOffice.org does work on OS X, NeoOffice menus and features look and feel more like typical Mac software. Operating System: OS X.
51 OpenOffice.org Replaces: Microsoft Office
One of the best applications for people who have never used open-source before, OpenOffice.org includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, and database that read and create Microsoft-compatible files. Unlike Office, it also comes with a drawing program and a mathematical equation creator, and of course, it's free. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
52 StarOffice Replaces: Microsoft Office
For users who would like to try an open-source productivity suite but who don't want to go without support, StarOffice offers exactly the same programs as OpenOffice.org with paid support from Oracle. Prices start at $49.95, with discounts available for volume purchasers. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
Open Source Tools: Operating System53 Red Hat Replaces: Windows
Calling itself "the world's leading open source application platform," Red Hat offers both desktop and server versions of Linux that are designed primarily for enterprise users. One-year subscriptions which include basic support start at $349 for the server version and $80 for the desktop version, or you can get a free, non-supported version that is nearly identical fromFedora.
54 SUSE Replaces: Windows
Novell also targets large business users with it's SUSE version of Linux. Prices start at $349 for the server version and $50 for the desktop version, and free versions are available fromopenSUSE.
55 Ubuntu Replaces: Windows
Because it is so user friendly, Ubuntu is one of the most popular versions of Linux for home users, particularly netbook users. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu (and the other versions of Linux) includes most of the applications you'll need, so you don't have to purchase separate software for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, video, music, etc.
Open Source Tools: Password Manager56 KeePass Replaces: RoboForm, LastPass
Like the other password managers, KeePass stores your passwords in an encrypted database, so that you only have to remember one master password. Its Web site claims that its encryption is so strong that "even if you would use all computers in the world to attack one database, decrypting it would take longer than the age of the universe." However, KeePass does not automatically fill in Web forms for you like the commercial products do. Operating System: Windows.
Open Source Tools: PDF Tools57 PDFCreator Replaces: Adobe Acrobat
With this tool, you can create a PDF file from any application that can print. It also includes digital signature and encryption capabilities, but it lacks some of Acrobat's form creating capabilities. Operating System: Windows.
58 Sumatra PDF Replaces: Adobe Reader
You don't have to use Adobe Reader to open PDF files. Sumatra also lets you view PDFs, and it's extremely lightweight, so it loads and operates much faster. Operating System: Windows.
Open Source Tools: Project Management59 OpenProj Replaces: Microsoft Project
Downloaded more than 1.2 million times, OpenProj provides nearly identical project management capabilities as Microsoft Project and even opens Microsoft Project and Primavera files. It's also available in a cloud-based version called "Projects On Demand" for $20 per month per user. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X.
60 GanttProject Replaces: Microsoft Project
Like OpenProj, GanttProject opens Microsoft Project files and offers much of the same functionality. However, it's not quite as polished as either OpenProj or Microsoft Project. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: School Management61 Moodle Replaces: Blackboard
Both of these course management systems make it easy for instructors to conduct online courses, but Moodle offers the distinct advantage of being available for free. It's currently used on nearly 50,000 sites in more than 200 countries. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
62 openSIS Replaces: PowerSchool
Some school districts claim to have lowered their TCO by 75 percent or more when switching from PowerSchool to openSIS. It includes modules for student demographics, attendance, gradebooks, scheduling, report cards, and more. Operating System: Windows (Linux coming soon).
Open Source Tools: Text Editor63 jEdit Replaces: WordPad
This Java-based replacement for the standard Windows text editor includes a number of helpful features for developers. For example, it indents automatically and highlights syntax for 130 different programming languages, and it has convenient keyboard shortcuts for many functions. Operating System: OS Independent
Open Source Tools: Utilities64 Launchy Replaces: Windows Start Menu
Instead of hunting through your Windows start menu or file manager, just type a couple of letters and Launchy will find the application or file you're looking for. It's fast and very easy to use. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
65 DocFetcher Replaces: Standard desktop search
If you're looking for text in a document, DocFetcher can find it quickly. It doesn't search application and system files, but it does find text within documents very quickly. Operating System: Windows, Linux
66 UltraDefrag Replaces: Disk Defragmenter
This utility offers a couple of benefits over the Windows Disk Defragmenter. Most notably, it offers better speed, lets you schedule your defrag, and can automatically turn off your system when it's done. Operating System: Windows
67 Karsten SlideShow Replaces: My Pictures Slideshow
This screensaver works like the "My Pictures Slideshow" in Windows, except that it lets you decide which pictures should be used. It can also play video clips or run a slideshow as your desktop wallpaper. Operating System: Windows
Open Source Tools: Video Tools68 Avidemux Replaces: Adobe Premiere
Although it doesn't have nearly the wealth of features available with Adobe Premiere, Avidemux performs simple video cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks well. It also includes some scripting and job queue capabilities so that you can automate some repetitive tasks. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
69 VLC Media Player Replaces: Windows Media Player
This meida player supports most audio and video file formats, and it can play from files, physical media (DVDs, CDs, etc.), TV cards, and streaming media. It can also convert files from one format to another and act as a streaming server—all without the need for external codecs. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
70 XBMC Media Center Replaces: Windows Media Player
Winner of numerous awards, XBMC plays nearly all types of audio and video files—and looks great doing it. Designed to work with home theater PCs (HTPCs), it supports most remote controls, and it automatically creates a personal library, including cover art, for all of your audio and video files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: VoIP71 QuteCom Replaces: Skype
Formerly known as "WengoPhone," QuteCom offers free calling to other SIP-based VoIP software users, and if you have a SIP service provider, you can also call landlines, mobile phones, etc. Unfortunately, documentation for QuteCom is scarce, so if you want ease of use, Skype may offer a better option. However, if you want to be able to choose your own service provider, the open-source software is the way to go. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Open Source Tools: Web Site Creation72 Bluefish Replaces: Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web
While it's not quite as user-friendly as its commercial competitors or the other open-source options listed here, Bluefish offers a very fast WYSIWYG HTML editor that doesn't use a lot of system resources. Aimed at coders more than designers, it also includes support for a number of other programming languages. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
73 NVU Replaces: Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web
NVU claims to be "the number one free Web authoring system." While it's definitely aimed more at novices than professionals, it inlcudes many of the same features as the commercial HTML tools, and the Web site also helps newbies register a domain name and find hosting for their sites. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
74 SeaMonkey Replaces: Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web
Loosely supported by Mozilla, SeaMonkey includes a Web browser, feedreader, e-mail client, and IRC chat client, as well as an HTML authoring tool. Unlike the commercial tools, SeaMonkey doesn't offer an easy way to convert graphic files to Web pages, but it does include some advanced CSS capabilities and a built-in Java de-bugger. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
75 XML Copy Editor Replaces: XMLSpy
If you're looking for a basic XML editor with maximum speed, give XML Copy Editor a try. However, if you need a more full-featured solution or integration with SharePoint, Visual Studio, or Eclipse, the commercial software offers a better option. Operating System: Windows, Linux.