For almost every task and every domain, you have dedicated software to ease your jobs. While you readily get feature-rich software, there are times when you would want to make certain changes to the software, but you cannot. That is where Open source software comes into the picture.
What is open source software?
Open source software or OSS is a software whose source code can be inspected, enhanced and modified by anyone. With the help of the source code, users can make changes to the parts of the software and add features to it for making the functionality or looks better.
Though an open source program gives freedom of making changes in the source code, there are several open-source licensing agreements a software might follow. So, before using software, it is always advisable to go through a suitable document which would outline all the rights that the developer might offer to the users.
Now that we know what is open source software and what it allows, it might not come to you as a surprise that there is a variety of free and paid open source software.
Let’s have a look at some of the best open source programs-
The Best Free Open Source Software for Windows 2023
LibreOffice needs no introduction. It works just like Microsoft office. It is open source software that has an integrated office suite that consists of apps for all kinds of documents – spreadsheets, text documents, PDFs, databases and other kinds of text documents. All these apps are compatible with all file formats available with Microsoft.
It is based on copyleft licenses and is backed by an independent community of developers, enterprises and other volunteers who share a common goal of making this open source program the best so that personal productivity can be enhanced.
LibreOffice is completely open-source and users are free to download, distribute and use it.
2. Mozilla Firefox
A clean user interface, its collection of extensions, its watchword for security, fast browsing experience, device syncing capability and several others make it one of the most adored browsers.
If you thought that the features alone are making Mozilla gain popularity, here is what you need to know. Mozilla Firefox is a browser which is an open source program.
This means if you wish to build something on the lines of speedy Waterfox or the very secure Tor Browser, Firefox’s source code is exactly what you need.
Nextcloud is a self-hosted file sharing platform that lets you share files with your team members. To elaborate further, with next cloud you get to run a self-hosted cloud storage for storing files, thanks to online sync and collaboration technology.
It is a free open source software that runs on the same lines as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Talking about Nextcloud’s open-source aspect, it is a fork of ownCloud Project and both the platforms have several similarities. The difference though lies in their interface and licensing agreements.
Another popular free open source software is WordPress which is used by approximately 60 million websites across the globe.
There are several reasons that contribute to its popularity, but the two main reasons include –
- It has a variety of themes and plugins that make the user experience better.
- Its ease of accessibility.
- Ease of managing blogs and websites make it the best and the most robust Content Management System available.
From personal to E-Commerce websites to blogs, you’ll find the dominance of WordPress everywhere. WordPress is licensed under GPL (General Public License) or GPLv2 to be more precise)
GIMP is a one-stop solution for illustrators, photographers, graphic designers and everyone who wants to put their imagination to the canvas. It has several customization tools and 3rd party plugins that leave no stone unturned to enhance pictures, create new images or make edits to existing images.
It’s free open source software and you can make amendments to its source and even distribute any changes. GIMP supports languages such as C++, C, Perl, Scheme and many other languages as well.
6. VLC Media Player
Another widely acclaimed open source program is VLC Media Player and reasons are many. You can throw in all kinds of audio and video files and it’ll play them without a hitch. You wouldn’t have to additionally download codecs.
Moreover, VLC Media Player empowers you with control over your video and audio files and even gives you spectacular control over the playback, unlike no other media player.
VLC is wonderful because it runs under the Videolan project which is run by developers residing in over 20 countries.
There are several spectacular password managers available that can help you secure your passwords in many ways. Some of them use vaults and even help you generate strong passwords so that no hacker can easily hack into your precious accounts. These are all the attributes that KeePass possesses.
While KeePass is everything that you would expect from a password manager, it even guards all your login details and of course passwords with a robust AES encryption, two-factor authentication and several other ways and means.
But, that’s just a part of why you would like KeePass. If you wish to create something on the lines of KeePass, you’ll be delighted to know that KeePass is OSI certified open source program. You can easily explore how brilliant and authentic its encryption algorithms are.
To Wrap Up
Open source software gives you a lot of freedom on the product you are using. You can always exercise the modifications that you expect from a software either yourself or through an expert. After all, open source software is backed by a community of developers and enthusiasts of all levels who passionately and dedicatedly work to make software better.
While many might believe that open source programs are beneficial only for seasoned programmers, the fact is learning has no bounds. Every software enthusiast who has a perspective towards software and who wishes to add modifications can easily study the source code. Advanced users and students can upgrade their knowledge of software development or come up with new innovations.