There is a staggering amount of open source software available online. Almost every paid, proprietary software has an impressive open source alternative. Whether you need fleet management software or a functional CRM system, finding an open-source solution is not a big deal.
This list, categorised by application, takes you through some of the most popular and useful open source software on the market in for businesses and individuals alike.
Open source CRM software
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM software allows businesses to manage sales, clients and ultimately drive growth/profits. CRM software has changed the way that many companies do business, enabling team members to share customer accounts to collectively manage customer relationships, communicate with partners and keep records of customer interactions.
It’s essential to streamlining and improving businesses’ sales processes, by automating slow processes, compiling all information in an easily accessible place and drawing on analysis of your sales data to provide you with actionable improvements. Many more businesses are now opting for an open source CRM, as they can benefit from customisation based on their sales process and the betterments made by other, similar companies to streamline their operations further.
A comprehensive CRM package is the one offered by SuiteCRM. A real-time dashboard shows you the latest, most up-to-date figures, providing insights into your business’ cash flow and the status of active projects. You can handle your sales, customer service and marketing together in one place and can customise the layout tools and modular format to suit your purposes.
It’s easy to set up and works on almost any operating system, including Windows, OS/X, Ubuntu, Android and iOS. Its intuitive interface is one of the best in the field, making it one of the most accessible CRMs.
Odoo’s community edition is a free, open source CRM. It works on the basis of ‘extensible architecture’, meaning you can add on different features as you see fit. It’s one of the more challenging to set up and implement, but its point of sale app makes it particularly useful for brick-and-mortar enterprises such as retail outlets and restaurants.
Open source project management software
Project management is all about making sure the right people do the right jobs at the right time. Project managers need to be able to oversee all the parts of a project, ensure that the delegated teams are communicating with each other and make sure everyone has access to all the information they need. Using project management software systems can streamline this process, leading to a higher success rate and increased profits.
Easy to install and completely free, TaskJuggler offers a simplistic approach to complex projects. The project management tool comes with a set of libraries and command-line tools, capable of automatically planning individual tasks. It’s also particularly good at resolving conflicting situations, and you can enter specifications such as timelines for the project, resource assignment and a project budget.
It’s one of the more powerful software on the market, making it ideal for serious project managers. It includes a comprehensive range of features, including customisable reporting functions, cost and revenue planning and risk and communication management. The planning tools allow you to visualise a project before you begin and helps you map out the project based on time, cost and resources.
One of the most popular and robust project management software systems is Freedcamp. It offers a responsive, intuitive and smooth design which allows for easy navigation between projects and tasks. You can share your calendar with other team members, track timings and issues and you can access it on the go. It also gives you the option to integrate your Google Calendar, Google Drive and Dropbox.
Freedcamp targets everyone, from serious businesses and companies to members of the public looking to plan a weekend break with friends. This accessibility is reflected in its user-friendly style and design. Freedcamp is used in some of the biggest companies in the world, including Deloitte, Apple and Google.
Open source help desk and ticketing software
Help desk software enables effective communication between customers and businesses over queries, problems and issues they may have had with a product or service. They do this by facilitating various channels of communication such as e-mails, chat support, websites and SMS.
Ticketing management is a crucial part of this: by ticketing incoming customer support queries, the software can manage them by category and order of priority, and it also enables the company to keep track of each query. Ticket management also allows users to set response and problem resolution deadlines for each ticket depending on the issue.
This simple, streamlined software comes with an array of helpful functions, including a customisation feature which allows users to personalise their dashboards to display relevant processes and services. Another highly convenient aspect is HelpDeskZ’s automating pipelining function which helps with e-mail and messaging. Finally, its also multilingual, making it especially useful for international businesses.
Open source point of sale software
A helpful point of sale system is central to the smooth running of any small brick-and-mortar business. Essentially, it allows you to conduct sales, whether that’s through a cash register, computer, or even an iPad. A good POS system communicates with your levels of stock to keep everything in check.
The difficulty with POS systems is that there’s no size fits all. That’s why an open source option is an especially good idea, as you can tailor the software to your specific business needs.
Odoo has a range of helpful open source software tools for businesses, as we’ve seen with their CRM tool. Their POS system comes either as a standalone product or integrated with their other solutions, including their tools for project management, ERP and SCM. It links directly with the Odoo inventory so you can keep track of stock, and also links with their marketing and sales solutions and eCommerce tools, providing a holistic approach to the sales process. It works on both Windows and Linux and is released under the LGPL version 3.
One of the younger open source POS solutions is Chromis, who split from uniCenta in 2015. Chromis offers a range of options for customisation, including receipt layouts and display layouts. This solution is particularly popular among restaurants and foodservice outlets, owing to its option to integrate kitchen screen software, enabling you to send orders back to a separate monitor. Other features include an in-built customer database and product import in CSV format.
Open source accounting software
An absolute business essential is accounting software. It’ll help you manage bills, invoices, debts, stocks and other financial information all in one place.
A flexible, multipurpose and cross-platform OS accounting solution is GnuCash. It works on Linux, Windows and macOS and can be tailored to both small business accounting and individuals’ finance. You can track your business bank accounts, stock levels, income and expenses, and the software can also generate reports and graphs based on the information. It’s a powerful solution but is surprisingly easy to use, with a low learning curve and intuitive interface.
Released in 2006, one of the simplest tools to use is LedgerSMB. Tailored to small and medium-sized businesses, it’s a powerful solution that works across multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux and macOS. From invoicing and sales functions to inventory management and profit and cost centres, LedgerSMB offers a comprehensive set of accounting features. It’s particularly useful for communications businesses, IT services, rental businesses, retail and trade, and comes with 45 languages.
Open source ERP systems
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, which are systems used in all businesses to marry together product planning, finance and accounting, product pricing, managing payroll, inventory lists. ERP software integrates all the disparate elements we’ve covered such as CRM, POS and accounting into one harmonious system, where you can oversee all functions and operations in a business.
Aimed at SMEs, ADempiere was born out of the Compiere ERP software in 2006. ADempiere offers a comprehensive ERP system which helps businesses reconcile a whole range of functions to suit their individual business needs – their ERP suite incorporates a supply chain management (SCM) tool and CRM feature. It’s available on Linux, Unix, Windows and macOS, compatible on both PCs and smartphones.
11. Apache OFBiz
A sleek ERP solution is Apache OFBiz, which provides a common architecture enabling companies to customise the software to their ERP needs. As such, it’s primarily aimed at larger businesses who have the IT resources in-house to adapt, extend and integrate the software into their existing business processes and IT systems.
OFBiz is a seasoned pro when it comes to ERP system, appearing in top enterprises for the last ten years. You can integrate modules for accounting, manufacture, catalogue management, CRM, eCommerce and inventory management. It’s licensed under Apache 2.0 and operates on a range of platforms.
Open source asset management
Many businesses need some sort of asset management software. Asset tracking or management software offers tools to record and track any asset, from its procurement to its disposal. The software allows you to see all the asset-related information in one place, including its location, maintenance schedule, usage and depreciation, as well as other aspects such as when insurance is due. You can track any movable or immovable asset using the software, such as machines, equipment, vehicles, jewellery, you name it.
The goal of source asset management software is to maximise the efficiency of an asset. You can see how much money and time you’re spending on the asset and measure it against its output, to see if you’d be better off selling or disposing of it.
If you’re looking to manage specifically movable assets, that’s to say buildings, plants, technical devices, furniture and other maintenance activities, then you should take a look at OpenMAINT. OpenMAINT is one of the sleeker asset management tools out there, with an intuitive and user-friendly user interface. The application helps you see, organise and update data related to the assets, so you can track scheduled maintenance, monitor spare parts in the warehouse, keep track of your maintenance budget and see how much you’re spending on energy costs.
OpenMAINT not only has the capacity to gather all this related information on the assets, but it can also analyse the data to generate customised reports. These reports are helpful for operations teams and management to make company decisions.
One of the most accessible asset management software packages is AssetTiger, which you can use on the web, on a tablet or even on your mobile. You can, therefore, track your assets from anywhere, at any time. AssetTiger boasts a huge range of impressive features which puts it in the same league as many of its expensive proprietary counterparts. Categorisation functions mean you can quickly sort, track and manage your assets.
It’s also got a lot of scope when it comes to customisation. While an unlimited amount of users can access the account, it’s got the option to personalise the access permissions per user. You can also customise the asset logs to show different information. You can even set alerts on the account for assets that require maintenance, repairs or insurance renewals.
Ralph is a more lightweight option, available under the Apache 3.0 license. It’s created using Django and Python, which allows for easy customisation to suit your own business’ needs. It combines the best features of DCIM, Asset Mgmt, and CMDB systems to create one, easy to use and well-integrated interface.
Using Ralph, you can keep track of assets purchases and use flexible flow systems to monitor the assets’ life cycle. This package is designed specifically for data centres and back offices and includes extra support for these.
This software specifically focuses on digital asset management. It’s sleek and customisable, meaning you can restyle and tailor the app to your business. One of its accessible features allows users to easily share files from one central hub among teams. Advanced privacy settings ensure that only the right people have access to the correct files and data.
Digital assets might include media assets, such as photos and high-definition videos. ResourceSpace allows you to easily manage, sort, archive and preserve collections of these digital assets from a range of sources and in a variety of document formats.
Open source password management software
Cyber security is a pressing issue for any business. Gone are the days when you can store your passwords on a shared excel sheet. Hackers are getting smarter than ever, and a cyber security incident can have enormous ramifications for businesses and individuals. A considerable amount of data breaches comes from poor password habits, whether that’s using the same one for every account or leaving your password database exposed.
The idea behind password management software is that allows you to store all your passwords safely in one place, so you don’t have to use a variation of the same word for all your accounts or try and remember a bunch of unique passwords. They’ll often store your log-in credentials in an encrypted format and a centralised location, which you can retrieve as and when you need. Many software will also create strong passwords for you, using a range of alphanumeric characters and symbols, mitigating the cyber risk of somebody guessing your log-in or brute forcing your information.
KeePass is both a password generator and credential storage tool. It’s easy to use and boasts a comprehensive set of features. By using industry-standard AES encryption as well as two-factor authentication, it aims to keep your log-in details, passwords and credentials secured.
Another key benefit to KeePass is the platform’s portability. Not only can you download it on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as other mobile devices, but you can also store your database and the software on a USB stick for added protection. It’s also one of the lighter-weight options, meaning it won’t clog up valuable space on your PC.
A range of plug-ins also exist for KeePass to extend what is already an impressive set of features. Some examples of plug-ins allow you to sync your KeePass data automatically with your cloud storage facility or your browser, and it’s particularly helpful for businesses who want to share passwords amongst their teams.
17. Password Safe
Password Safe is a convenient and straightforward free open source software package compatible with Windows. It’s one of the more basic password software on the market which is reflected in its slightly more dated user interface. That said, it does the job well – users can create password and username lists which are stored in an encrypted format, accessible with a master password. One of the features is also a password generator, which can create complex, random passwords to enhance your security.
Widely regarded as one of the best open source password management software is Passbolt, particularly for teams and DevOps. It’s specially tailored to SMEs, though it can be used by an unlimited amount of users free of charge, meaning it can cater to larger companies, too. The software allows users to share passwords, to import and export databases in CSV and kdbx formats and easily integrate the software with their browsers.
Open source video/audio editors
Open source software plays a huge role in the creative field, whether that’s professionally or at an amateur level. Some of the best video and audio editors around are open source.
19. Open Shot
What Open Shot has over other open source video editors – particularly Avidemux – is power. Open Shot offers a vast range of features, which makes it one of the few editors comparable with its proprietary counterparts.
With this software, you can cut your footage into separate sections with options to trim or slice your videos. On top of your footage, you can add as many effects as you like in multiple layers. The effects engine offers features such as colour inversion, and you can add animation to your footage such as fade, slide and bounce. You can add audio, control the speed of the footage and add more videos using drag and drop.
Its user interface is one of the better ones on the market, using an intuitive and user-friendly design, making it accessible to anybody. This theme continues with its language availability – Open Shot is available in over 70 languages. Another cross-platform software, Open Shot is supported on Linux, Mac and Windows.
This software started out far shabbier than it is today. The early versions were known for being somewhat sparse, but its devoted community base has developed it into a sleek open source video editing program. With recent additions, it’s even said to rival its premium video editing counterparts such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
The main attraction to Shotcut is its versatility when faced with almost any format of video, audio or other media. Another top benefit is its non-destructive audio and video editing, which allows users to implement multiple effects without any reduction in quality.
This open source video editor is great for simple video editing. Avidemux is free, allowing users to cut and filter video files as well as carry out simple encoding tasks. The software supports a range of file types such as AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF. It also gives you the option to automate tasks, having powerful scripting tools.
Avidemux is compatible on Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It has a GNU GPL license, and its source code comes principally from Mean.
With the rise of digital media and Instagram influencers has come a spike in Podcast creation. Audacity had already tapped into this market 20 years ago and is one of the most widely-used open source applications today. It’s a versatile audio editing tool compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux systems. Amateurs can record, edit and export sound files, and have access to a vast range of third-party add-ons to tap into thousands of extra features.
Audacity is another tool popular among professionals, from podcasters to musicians, owing to its slick interface and top of the range features. It works with almost all audio files and supports direct streaming, too. The only downside is that there’s yet to be a mobile app.
Open source word processors
Almost every commercially licensed software now has an open source counterpart on the market. The open source alternative to Microsoft Office is the aptly named LibreOffice, and is perhaps one of the most useful open source packages on the market. It offers a full range of office-based apps for dealing with documents, spreadsheets, databases, diagrams, presentations and more. It even supports files created in Microsoft.
Many people actually prefer the open source version. LibreOffice boasts some impressive extra features that Microsoft Office lacks, such as a QR code generator tool which allows you to create mobile-friendly links. OpenOffice is another popular alternative to Microsoft Office but tends to have more difficulty preserving Microsoft file formats.
Opensource developer tools
Offering a smooth interface, Notepad++ is one of the most popular tools for coders, allowing them to modify and play around with files and code. Notepad++ automatically organises data into clearly numbered rows, which is particularly helpful for gamers trying to play around with their games’ .ini files, to change things such as graphics and performance.
It’s also super-efficient to use, employing a tab system which allows you to work on multiple files at once. Even after rebooting your computer, the software remembers the tabs you had open, making it especially user-friendly.
This free file transfer protocol (FTP) client allows you to manage server file systems remotely. FTP is what enables you to put your new web pages up onto the internet, transferring your web page files to the computer server so that other people can access them. FTP operations can be fiddly and time-consuming, particularly through a web client. FileZilla offers a sleeker FTP experience than those provided by most web hosts.
As open source software goes, FileZilla has one of the more intuitive user interfaces. It looks a bit dated but is quick and easy to get to grips with. You simply have to drag and drop your files to get them from your local system to your server’s file system.
You’ll also benefit from an array of additional features and advanced control options. You can transfer large files more quickly, synchronise directory browsing and much more. If you’re having any trouble, FileZilla includes a network configuration wizard to help you out.
26. Mozilla Thunderbird
Released in 2004, Thunderbird had 1 million downloads within ten days. Thunderbird is your open source solution to multi-email management, and, like Microsoft Outlook, it allows you to view all your e-mail inboxes in one place. Thunderbird has several additional features which makes it a popular choice over Microsoft Outlook. For example, you can link event updates from your e-mails into an inbuilt calendar.
It’s also an efficient option for anybody dealing with huge files. If you want to e-mail a sizeable file, Thunderbird has got you covered – you’ll have the opportunity to upload the file to a separate server and drop the link into your e-mail message.
Born from Google’s open source Chromium browser, Brave is a web browser aimed at keeping browsing activity private. It automatically blocks ads and disables website trackers. A primary advantage of Brave is that it’s compatible with the majority of Google Chrome extensions, but it offers a faster loading time than you would have in a typical Chrome browser.
Brave also employs a unique revenue system through what they’ve coined Basic Attention Tokens. These give users a 70% share of the revenue generated from looking at ads. They can either gift their earnings to other websites or convert the tokens into real money.
Open source document management software
With more and more business going paperless, document management software (DMS) is more crucial than ever. Employees need the right access to essential information at the right time to ensure business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It enables easy file sharing, quicker task completion, increased accessibility and lets a company take all its organisation digital. And the best part is that some of the best document management software is both free and open source.
OpenDocMan is one of the most user-friendly software to use, with a particularly easy setup and minimalist user interface. You can add any type of file to the system, which makes it particularly accessible to individuals and small businesses. OpenDocMan is under the GPL license, allowing users to make any modifications they need.
The software allows ample freedom for businesses, including a group permissions feature where managers and IT staff can delegate document management duties and restrict or grant access where they see fit. Other features include e-mail notification options, quick search options by category, automated document reviews and powerful document management workflows.
Renowned for being both powerful and efficient, OpenKM offers a range of features making it easy for organisations of any size to manage their documents. OpenKM enables easy sharing of documents as well as collaboration among colleagues on documents. Some particularly helpful features include OpenKM’s advanced search function, the unique document identifier, the options for cataloguing and categorising documents as well as the nifty text to speech converter.
There are three versions of the OpenKM DMS: professional, cloud and community. The first two are commercial versions, but the community plan is entirely free. The community plan comes under the GPL 2.0, allowing users to modify and develop the software as they see fit. That said, the paid versions come with extensive user support that the free version lacks.
One of the most intuitive and sophisticated open source DMS out there is SeedDMS. It supports both MySQL and sqlite3 databases and comes with document scanning software, making it useful for both storing and sharing documents. It’s accessible, adapting neatly to both desktop and smartphone use, and is also powerful: its multi-level directory allows storage of more than 32,000 documents.
Open source recovery software
Of all the open source software on this list, TestDisk is perhaps the one that’s changed the least when it comes to its user interface. It’s a simple, powerful free data recovery software, and represents one of the best tools out there for recovering whole partitions of lost or deleted data, whether that’s down to faulty software, viruses or human error. Its second principal aim is to make non-booting disks bootable again.
TestDisk can be used by novices as well as experts, although its cold and clinical interface can be intimidating for complete newcomers. That said, it can be a useful tool for the non-expert to collect detailed, helpful information about a non-booting drive, for them to then pass on to somebody with the expertise to analyse the data. For pros, TestDisk offers all the features and functions necessary to perform onsite recovery and a multitude of other specialised operations. TestDisk can run on Mac, Linux and Windows, as well as FreeBSD, NetBSD, Open BSD and SunOS.
PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, performing broadly similar functions. However, it focuses primarily on recovering photo files, video files and other digital media. You can use PhotoRec to recover lost files, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-Roms as well as lost photos from digital camera memory.
PhotoRec is free, distributed under the GNU General Public Licence. It targets underlying data, meaning it can still work on computers and devices where the media file system has severe damage or reformatting.
OS design software
Released in 1996, GIMP is one of the most well-loved open source software tools in the field. It’s an open source photo and image editing tool, and when it comes to free software tools, it’s the best you can get in the industry. From automatic photo enhancement to built-in layer support and filters, GIMP offers considerable perks. Its loyal community are continually creating new add-ons and plug-ins to expand its application.
GIMP isn’t for everyone, being somewhat of a specialist platform. It’ll take a while to get to grips with, aimed primarily at professionals, but users rarely turn back once they’ve learnt the ropes.
Krita is one of the lesser-known open source packages on the internet. This comes as a surprise, given its plethora of professional-level graphics editing and digital painting tools. It boasts an impressive number of advanced features, and with a streamlined user interface is accessible to the amateurs as well as professionals.
It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. As it uses a layer-based system, it’s much less heavy on your system than its commercial rival, Photoshop.
stud.io is one of the younger open source software packages available. It’s a fun, intuitive LEGO-building software, allowing users to build and create model using digital instructions. A recent feature also enables you to bring your digital creations into the real world, providing links to stores that sell all the bricks you’ve used in your online creations.
Another pretty young open software package is Dia, just five years old. It’s a fantastic free alternative to the expensive, proprietary Microsoft Visio suite, a diagramming and vector graphics application. It works on Windows, Linux and Mac and comes with an abundance of features for diagram creation, from flowcharts to network architectures.
It’s not one of the most professional packages on the market but is one of the best free options for diagram creation.
Open source music/video players
Another open source music player, Audacious stands out from the crowd by offering high audio quality with low resource use. This means you can play music without using up valuable functioning power from your other computer tasks. Audacious allows users to listen to CDs or stream music online.
It’s a flexible option for those looking to build playlists and libraries. You can drag and drop individual tracks, entire folders and create custom playlists. You can even play around with the sound itself using a graphical equaliser, or use a range of audio effects to modify the dynamic range. It uses a modern interface and works on Linux, BSD derivatives and Microsoft Windows.
One for music lovers, Amarok makes it easy for you to play your favourite music as well as discover new artists. It’s a powerful open source music player and is known for having an intuitive user interface. It’s also an excellent option for any singers as it has a handy feature which shows you the lyrics of the songs as you listen, though this isn’t as effective for songs in languages other than English. Amarok also has a range of fun features, allowing users to add cover photos to their libraries and bookmark their favourite tracks.
39. VLC Media Player
Created by the VideoLAN project, this video and media player is one of the most popular in the industry. The software enables you to open almost any audio and video file in a multitude of formats without the need for extra add-ons or code. It’s also versatile – many users stream podcasts through it or listen to radio stations online.
One of its most popular assets is the amount of playback control offered. Not only can you change the way your media displays, but you can add subtitle files from third-party sources and adjust the playback speed. Recent updates mean it’s now compatible with Chromecasts as well as VR headsets.
Open source computer maintenance & utilities
40. Search Everything
Search Everything is an ultra-efficient and completely free search tool for your PC, allowing you to find almost anything on your computer in a matter of seconds. For such a fast and powerful tool, it has a contrastingly small installation file. It uses minimal resources and updates in real-time and will run on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
It’s accessible to everyone, offering a clear and straightforward user interface. Users can search their entire PCs, add conditions and limits to their searches and view results in a variety of formats. Users are also able to easily share files with others using the tool.
As the name suggests, this package is a clean-up tool. It’s completely free and comes as an alternative to commercially licensed software such as Piriform’s CCleaner. BleachBit quickly frees disk space, by deleting cookies, clearing internet search history, shredding temporary files, deleting logs, freeing cache and much more. It highlights heavy files and shows you where large amounts of cookies are hiding. It’ll delete vast amounts of junk while holding on to your essential data, and is widely regarded as one of the best open source system cleaners on the market.
7-Zip is one of the more popular open source software packages around. It exists for compressing and extracting files, placing groups of files into compressed containers which are known as archives. 7-Zip has its own 7z archive format, but it can also read and write several other archive formats, too.
It was first released over 20 years ago, in 1999, by Igor Pavlov and works on any computer, but primarily only supports Windows. There are some command-line based versions which work for Linux distros, however. Most of the 7-Zip source code is under the GNU LGPL license.
qBittorent was created as an open source alternative to µTorrent. It’s a cross-platform, free BitTorrent client, which are computer programs designed for peer-to-peer file sharing using the BitTorrent protocol, used to distribute data and electronic files. BitTorrent is one of the most commonly used protocols for transferring large files, such as video or audio files.
qBittorent was developed in March 2006. It uses a similar user interface as µTorrent and supports all BitTorrent extensions such as Magnet, BitComet, Peer Exchange and DHT. Other features include bandwidth scheduler and sequential download, as well as advanced control for trackers, peers and torrents. It’s available on Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD and OS/2.
Open source security software
One of the most well-known open source antivirus software solutions is Immunet. The open source development model is crucial for antivirus software, to ensure that companies can stay ahead of cyber threats, which change daily. Some of the features of Immunet include basic networking scanning, detection and removal of viruses, trojans, bots and spyware, file management and production and real-time online protection through the Immunet cloud.
45. Tor Browser
Tor Browser originates from the Firefox ESR browser and is a privacy-centric browser which allows you to search the internet without getting tracked. It’s popular for users who want to remain anonymous on the web and search privately. To maintain the user’s privacy, Tor reroutes the traffic through a free, worldwide overlay network, comprising more than 7,000 relays, to conceal the user’s location. It also deletes cookies and web history when the user finishes searching and closes the browser window, so as not to leave any traces.
The name Tor is the acronym from the original software project, which was called ‘The Onion Router’. It’s received a lot of praise for supporting freedom of expression by providing anonymity to more vulnerable internet users, such as those looking to get around internet censorship and political activists who fear surveillance. The project was initially developed on behalf the U.S. intelligence, and still receives U.S. government funding to this day.
Open source operating systems
Finally, we couldn’t complete a list of open source software without mentioning what is undoubtedly the dominant open source software out there: Linux. Linux first came about in 1991 and since has grown into a vast array of software packages and variants, from Chrome to Ubuntu. Over the last nearly thirty years, Linux has morphed from a somewhat exclusive system into a universal, user-friendly empire.
Linux is unique in that it uses completely different source code from its Windows and OS X counterparts. As a result, several big household names in computer-manufacture have started selling Linux laptops, which receive tend to receive less attention from hackers online, who are more familiar with the code underlying Windows and OS X.
A main drawback of Linux has always been its compatibility with other software manufacturers. Now, however, as we turn increasingly to cloud applications and storage solutions, there’s nothing to stop you prioritising Linux.