Open Source software has long been the backbone of the internet. In the early days, the open-source ethos of collaboration informed its design. The original architects were very keen on the idea of democratizing knowledge and producing an all-inclusive communication platform. The philosophy of sharing ideas and collaborating is still thriving today in the form of open-source software.
Open-source software is freely available for everyone to inspect, imitate, and adapt to their liking. The idea being that if more people learn and work with certain software, then that software will improve and become more widespread. It powers some of the most familiar aspects of our online lives, and whether you were aware of it or not, you have probably benefited from open-source software.
Below is our list of the best open-source software available to you in 2020.
The Linux operating system, an open-source rival to Windows and macOS, is probably the most well-known open-source project in existence. It was originally popular with only geeks and coders, but it has since become a major competitor to its more well-known rivals.
In the past, people were put off by the perceived technical difficulties that came with Linux software. Nowadays, most major applications and software are as easy to run on Linux as they are Mac and Windows.
With Dell computers now running on Linux, it is destined to become even more popular in the future. It is also less susceptible to hacks than Windows (what isn’t?) which makes it a safer choice as long as you stay pertinent with your updates.
It was Firefox who began the destruction of Microsoft’s browser monopoly and paved the way for browsers like Google Chrome. Firefox’s creator, Mozilla is a non-profit foundation that makes making free open-source software its priority.
Performance-wise, this is a powerful and customizable browser that offers multiple plugins and add ons for almost any purpose. As the competition between browsers heats up it may be firefox’s flexibility that helps it stay relevant. The fact that firefox code is easily customizable also makes it very appealing to many computer users.
Along with Google suite, LibreOffice has arisen as a major competitor to the previously dominant Microsoft Office word processing software. It’s a suite that includes everything you would expect from its paid rivals and in no way does it disappoint.
Many excellent apps come included with the suite, all fully compatible with the latest file formats. This helps users avoid those stressful import/export problems that can exist between file formats.
What really makes this product great is the community of contributors who are always on hand to help.
Remembering passwords is very much a problem with the new age. As the threat of security breaches looms large we are now creating passwords that are basically impossible to remember. It is no surprise then that software arose to deal with this pressing issue.
KeePass is great for storing your passwords, and also has a top-notch password generator. It provides the basic reliability that is exactly what you want when you’re dealing with issues of security. It comes with everything you expect from a password keeper, such as AES encryption, two-factor authentication, and secure random password generation.
As well as getting the job done with a minimum of fuss, It’s small enough for a USB stick. When it comes to integration, it’s an easy fit all browsers…what’s not to like?
This photo editing software is an excellent resource for all you part-time photo editors out there. With social media accounts being slicker and more immersive than ever, it is a good time to get some image editing experience under your belt. This powerful and flexible platform comes complete with an excellent package of tools and accessories. Almost as good as photoshop, GIMP comes with the added bonus that it’s free.
GIMP has the capacity to both enhance and design images. There are some great customizable features and filters available for photo doctoring and you can also work in layers and create masking effects.
A series of updates in 2018 mean GIMP is still the best free image editors on the market.
A free media player that will play practically any file format? Yes please, where do I sign up? VLC has been the media player champ for over a decade and for a good reason, it works with almost every audio or video file you try on it.
As well as playing movies, VLC is a great tool for streaming podcasts and listening to the radio. A new VR feature allows you to view 36o video, and a skin editor allows you to develop great designs. This kind of software is the unsung hero of the internet without which what would we do with our lives?
On the scene since way back in 2004, Shortcut has provided thousands of burgeoning moviemakers the platform they need to get started editing and creating video content for free. This video editing software has everything you need to produce cool-looking video clips for any video streaming platform.
Shortcut more simplistic than its competitors, but comes with a sophisticated bank of toolbar options. All the major features you need for video editing are there, such as white balancing, trimming tools, color grading, and transitions, etc.
It’s available on Windows, Linux and macOS so pretty much universally available. It also supports all the relevant file and image formats, so getting your work published online is not a problem. Shotcut is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Another Open Source offering that is just as good as its paid-for competitors, and with Audacity, that statement rings especially true. This excellent audio editing software has been around for over 15 years now and is the go-to choice for many sound engineers and musicians.
Audacity is popular because it has continuously proven itself to be a great open-source tool for recording and editing music, podcasts, and audio tracks for films. This easy to use editor is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems; all major file formats; and an extensive range of plug-ins and extensions.
If you are looking to create some audacious audio tracks, look no further.
These companies, and the collection of dedicated individuals that contribute to them, are a huge part of what makes the internet such a great resource. Providing free and easy to use software in almost every industry, they provide people with the opportunity to learn new skills and expand their horizons.
Open-source software has long been a cornerstone of the internet, and the philosophy behind it is what keeps people coming back, and allows the software to keep evolving and improving.