Our entire world is now digital, surrounded by a myriad of apps, and software and services. We’ve become so prone to gadgets and devices that we firmly believe we cannot live without them even for a day. (Yes, it’s true) From ordering food online to watching our favorite movies and TV shows, we certainly are dependent on technology.
Have you heard of the term “open source software”? Well, you may have surely used open source software at least once or more. So, before we proceed towards the software list, let’s get a thorough understanding of this term.
What is Open source Software?
So, what is open-source software? And how is it different from “closed source software” or any other software? You can think of open-source software as a collaborative initiative where anyone can make changes in the code to make it better.
Unlike a closed or proprietary software where only the owners are exclusively allowed to make changes in the source code, open-source can be easily altered by anyone. When an open source software is designed, the authors or developers make the code available to anyone where people can use it to enhance the existing software, study it, or use it; however, they like.
Whether you want to use a media player, create a document, edit a soundtrack or video, there’s an open source software available for almost anything. Using an open-source tool has numerous benefits, which include better control over the code, collaboration, stability for initiating long-term projects, and more. Open source software can be of any type, including open source software for Windows, open-source web browser, open source software for Android, or for any platform or requirement.
So is open source Software Free of Cost?
Well, that entirely depends on the author or initial developers of the program whether they want to roll out the product on a free of cost basis or if they want to charge users for the usage. But yes, a majority of people have a false impression of thinking that all open-source tools are free of charge, and that’s not true.
Some of the most common open source software include VLC Player, Libre Office, Audacity, and more. Open-source tools are available for various platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and more. So, in this post, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best open source software of 2020 that can make our lives simpler.
Also Read: Don’t forget to check out the 8 best open-source apps for Android that are worth your attention.
Let’s get started.
Best open source Software of 2020
Yes, we’ve all heard of this one for sure! VLC Media Player is one of the best open source software used by a mass audience around the globe. Agree or not, but there’s a sense of comfort in VLC’s environment that nothing won’t ever go wrong by using it. The VLC media player supports almost all video file formats, and is undoubtedly one of the most popular cross-platform (Windows, macOS, iOS and Android) media players one can rely upon. Every now and then, VLC Media player keeps on offering new updates and performance improvements, which makes this media player best from the rest.
Next on our list comes Audacity, which is an open-source digital audio editor available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other Unix based operators. Audacity is initially developed by a bunch of teen volunteers, and the software comes loaded with all advanced features and tools needed for multi-track audio editing. Audacity supports almost all major audio file formats, including MP3, WAV, FLAC, MP2, and more. So, whether you want to record live audio, make changes to an existing soundtrack, Audacity open-source editor can get the job done for you effortlessly.
Avidemux is a light-weighted video editing tool that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. It is one of the best open-source tools for video editing supporting a variety of file formats, including AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4, and many more. So, whether you’re newly stepping into the image or video editing or if you’re a professional editor, Avidemux can be your ideal companion.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is next to pop on our open source software list. GIMP is a popular image editing platform that comes loaded with a bunch of advanced editing toolset. If you’re looking for a decent Adobe Photoshop alternative, GIMP can be your pick. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP is equally ideal for beginners as well as creative professionals from any background.
Rediscovering new music with Amarok is a whole new experience. Amarok is a powerful open-source audio editing tool where you can not just play or edit audio tracks but also explore new music of different genres. Amarok is more like an iTunes alternative available for Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms.
Looking for an open-source web browser? Well, TOR is the first name that will strike your mind. TOR is an intuitive web browser that keeps your privacy intact and allows you to surf the Internet without being tracked. As more and more cybercriminal cases are occurring around us, using the TOR web browser can help you in keeping your identity concealed from hackers. TOR offers multi-layer encryption that strictly prevents you against any kind of surveillance and tracking, so you got nothing to worry about.
Apache OpenOffice is a free and open-source office productivity package that offers you various programs, including Writer like MS Word, Calc like MS Excel. Impress like MS PowerPoint and many other productivity tools. Apache OpenOffice can serve as an MS Office alternative and is used by a majority of users worldwide, not just because it comes free of cost but because it includes an advanced set of tools, features, and functions.
Almost similar to MS Office and Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice is another open-source office utility tool available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. LibreOffice has a huge user community who are continually working on it to make this product better with each new update. LibreOffice includes all basic and additional features and extensions that are a must in any office suite utility.
Inkscape is an open-source professional vector graphics editor available for Windows, macOS, and Linux OS. If you’re looking for an Adobe Illustrator alternative, Inkscape can be your fresh change of choice. Inkscape offers you a bunch of flexible drawing tools, supports a majority of file formats, powerful and advanced image editing tools, and many other useful features that are suitable for both beginners and professionals.
Blender is an amazing 3D creation tool that supports modeling, rendering, motion tracking, compositing, and all possible tasks that can be tagged under the 3D pipeline. If you’ve heard of Autodesk Maya, then Blender Graphics tool can compete as a strong contender alternative for 3D animation. On Blender, you can easily create full-length animation films to VFX effects, all for free.
KeePass is a decent open-source password manager pick that is not just easy to use but keeps your security on utmost priority. KeePass comes free of cost, and you can easily rely on this tool for trusting with your passwords. KeePass carefully binds all your passwords in one safe place. So, now you just have to remember one password (master password) to access KeePass. Cool, isn’t it?
We’ve all used WinZip at some point in our lives or other, right? Well, if you’re bored of WinZip or looking for a decent alternative, then 7-Zip can impress you with its sharp features and compression tools. 7-Zip is a cross-platform compression tool available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Mozilla Thunderbird is one of the best open source software which serves as an email client for users. Mozilla Thunderbird can act as an Outlook alternative and comes loaded with a bunch of useful features. On Mozilla Thunderbird, you can manage your entire inbox, chat with your clients, receive RSS feeds, and more. Thunderbird is highly secure and keeps all your emails preserved so that you can have peace of mind.
Looking for a free open-source antivirus security tool for Windows? Well, you’ll be pleased to download ClamWin on your system. ClamWin is an open-source anti-virus utility tool for Windows that can keep your machine safe from viruses and malware of any kind. ClamWin regularly offers new updates that protect your system for any kind of spyware or viruses.
Clonezilla is a free open-source disk cloning and data recovery utility tool available for Windows and Linux OS. Clonezilla can easily get you through with system backup and restore disk cloning, image restoring, and more. Also, to secure all your data backup and restore sessions, Clonezilla uses AES-256 encryption as a security measure.
Yes, you guessed that right. BRL-CAD is an AutoCAD alternative available for Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. BRL-CAD is a powerful application development tool that supports high-performance ray tracing, rendering, geometry editing, and other interactive features that you find on AutoCAD.
Next on our open-source software list comes Bluefish that is an ultimate website creation tool for both beginners and professionals. Bluefish is used by a majority of web developers around the world for writing pieces of code and scripts. Bluefish is available for Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, Windows, OpenBSD, and Solaris.
Taking notes is something that we love to do, whether it’s about creating a grocery list, penning down an important phone number, or any piece of information. Well, NixNote is a light-weighted open-source note-taking tool for Windows and Linux, which you can use for creating and managing your day to day notes. On NixNote, you can not only create notes but also save pictures, documents, audio tracks in a well-organized space.
19. Bleach Bit
We’re all aware what CCleaner does, right? Well, Bleach Bit is an open-source alternative almost similar to CC cleaner that quickly scans your system and frees up disk space by deleting junk files, temp files, cleaning browsing history, cached data and more to optimize your system’s performance.
Octave is an open-source educational tool available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It allows you to perform numeric computations in an easy to use, the interactive platform just like MATLAB.
21. PDF Creator
PDF creator is an ideal PDF creation and reader tool for Windows that comes loaded with exceptional features and tools. On PDF creator, you can compress and resize images, encrypt your PDF docs with AES security, customize and tighten security settings, and more.
So, fellas, this wraps our open source software list of 2020. Here were some of the best open source software of various categories and genres. And yes, do let us know which one is your most favorite open-source tool from this list. We’d be more than happy to hear from you.