Some of the best open source applications available for home, school, small business or enterprise users.
If you've never tried open source software, you might think that free applications couldn't possibly be as good as those you pay for. This list might change your mind.
Nearly two years ago, we put together a list of 75 Open Source Tools to Replace Apps You Use Every Day. This year, we made that list a little longer, edited out some of the projects that are no longer actively maintained, updated our descriptions and added some newer projects.
On this list, you'll find a mix of apps for home users, schools, small businesses and enterprises. These applications are all noteworthy for their ease of use and overall quality. In fact, you might even find some that are arguably better than their commercial counterparts.
If you know of other open source projects that you think should be on the list the next time we do an update, feel free to make a suggestion in the comments section below.
1. Amarok Replaces: iTunes
Like iTunes, Amarok helps you manage and play your music. It integrates with a large number of Web services, including Last.fm, Ampache, Magnatune, Echo Nest and others, so that you can discover new music, and it offers a unique dynamic playlist feature that allows you to search for and play songs by typing phrases like "tracks from around the year 1982." Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
2. aTunes Replaces: iTunes
Java-based aTunes offers a customizable, intuitive user interface for organizing large music collections and playing most types of audio files. Notable features include a karaoke function, an easy-to-use navigator for finding songs and artists quickly, multiple playlists, filters, Last.fm integration, podcast support and advanced statistics about songs played. Operating System: OS Independent
3. Jajuk Replaces: iTunes
Critically acclaimed Jajuk has been called "a powerful iTunes replacement" and "the most powerful jukebox out there." Designed for those with large or scattered music collections, it's extremely fast and intuitive and offers helpful functions like the digital DJ rules-based playlist, advanced rating system, smart shuffle, quick copy and more. Operating System: OS Independent
4. Songbird Replaces: iTunes
Because it also comes in an Android version, this iTunes replacement lets you sync your music collection between your desktop and your smartphone or tablet. It boasts an attractive interface, integrated artist info and the ability to purchase tracks or concert tickets right from the app. Operating System: Windows, OS X, Android
5. Amanda Replaces: CommVault Simpana, Arkeia, Barracuda Backup Service, Zetta
Amanda calls itself the "most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world" and boasts more than 500,000 users. In addition to the free open source version, it's also available in a supported enterprise version or as a hosted cloud-based service through Zmanda. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
6. Areca Backup Replaces: Carbonite, Nova Backup, Acronis True Image
Best for home users, Areca Backup offers a simple but flexible interface for backing up a single PC or a network. It offers encryption, compression, Delta backup capabilities, as of date recovery and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux
7. Clonezilla Replaces: Norton Ghost
Clonezilla's developers specifically designed it as a replacement for Norton Ghost. This bare metal backup and recovery program comes in two free versions: Clonezilla Live for backing up or cloning a single PC and Clonezilla Server for backing up networks or cloning multiple PCs at once. Operating System: Linux
8. WordPress Replaces: TypePad
Used by more than 60 million bloggers, WordPress is one of the best known blogging applications available. You can download the software for free and host it on your own Web server or you can use the hosted service available through WordPress.com. Operating System: OS Independent
9. Firefox Replaces: Internet Explorer
Available in both mobile and desktop versions, Firefox offers better speed, personalization and security than Microsoft's browser. Key features include the "Awesome Bar" for easier Web searches, tabbed browsing, one-touch bookmarking and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android.
10. PeaZip Replaces: WinZip
While WinZip creates just one type of files, PeaZip can write to 12 different archive formats and read more than 130 different kinds of compressed files. It also supports self-extracting archives, strong encryption, two-factor authentication, secure deletion and other functions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
11. Alfresco Replaces: Sharepoint
Used by companies like Toyota, Fox, Land's End, Marriott, Merck and many others, this multi-function solution combines document management, records management andWeb content management with a number of other enterprise collaboration features. The core software is available for free, but paid support, training, consulting and a cloud-based version are also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
12. Drupal Replaces: OpenText,Sitecore CMS, Kentico
With more than 630,000 users and developers in its community, Drupal is a tremendously popular Web content management system. Its users include publishers like the New York Observer and Popular Science, universities like Harvard and MIT, and well-known brand names like MTV and AOL. Operating System: OS Independent
13. Joomla Replaces: OpenText,Sitecore CMS, Kentico
Approximately 2.7 percent of all websites use this very popular open source Web content management system. Version 1.7 offers easier installation, one-click version updating, automatic form data validation, batch processing and more. Operating System: OS Independent
14. XOOPS Replaces: OpenText,Sitecore CMS, Kentico
XOOPS (an acronym for "eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System) is a modular, database-driven Web content management system with a large user base and an impressive number of awards to its credit. It also offers excellent personalization capabilities, a skinnable interface, versatile group permissions and support for multiple languages. Operating System: OS Independent
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