24 Free Open Source Applications I Found in Year 2019

It is time to share a list of the best 24 Free and Open Source Software I found during the year 2019. Some of these programs may not be new in that they weren’t released for the first time in 2019, but they are new and have been helpful to me. It is in the spirit of sharing that I’m writing this article hoping you find some of these programs useful as well.

To begin, you may want to search for the program using your distribution’s package manager, like so:

Fedora and derivatives:

# yum search all package
Or
# dnf search all package

Debian and derivatives:

# aptitude search package

OpenSUSE and derivatives:

# zypper search package

Arch Linux and derivatives:

# pacman -Ss package

If your search returns no results, head over to the website of each tool where you will find the standalone package for download and installation instructions, along with information on dependencies.

1. SimpleScreenRecorder

You can use Simple Screen Recorder to make audio and video screencasts (entire screen or selected area). It is easy to install and use, but powerful at the same time.

We already covered Simple Screen Recorder in-depth here: How to record programs and games using Simple Screen Recorder.

Simple Scree Recorder

Simple Screen Recorder

2. Jaspersoft Studio

Jaspersoft Studio is a report designer program that allows you to create simple and sophisticated reports as well with charts, tabs, tables (and everything you can expect to see in a world-class report) and export them to a wide variety of formats (with PDF perhaps being the most common).

With Q&A forums and User groups, plus several samples and examples, the community web site is a great resource of help to master this versatile program.

Jaspersoft Studio

Jaspersoft Studio

3. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code has reached a significant level of popularity among web and cloud developers who are also Linux users since it provides a nice programming environment out of the box that supports extensions to add functionality.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code

4. TuxGuitar

If you’re like me and music (especially the guitar) is one of your passions, you’ll love this TuxGuitar program, which will let you edit and play guitar tablatures like a pro.

TuxGuitar

TuxGuitar

5. Ekiga

An alternative to Microsoft’s Skype, Ekiga is a video conferencing and VoIP solution for GNOME in Linux (but also available for Windows).

Ekiga

Ekiga

6. Childsplay

Great for parents with little children, Childsplay provides fun memory activities to learn sounds, images, letters, numbers, how to use input peripherals (keyboard and mouse) and more.

Childsplay

Childsplay

7. Dia

As you will probably guess from its name and based on the image above, Dia is a versatile diagram editor comparable to Microsoft Visio. Besides the native shapes, others can be added very easily by editing an XML file. Diagrams can be exported to several known formats (EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF, and PNG, to name a few) for sharing and easier visualization.

Dia Diagram Editor

Dia Diagram Editor

8. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a general-purpose 3D Computer-Aided Design program fit for use in engineering and architecture. Given the fact that FreeCAD is FOSS, it is easily customizable and extensible through the use of Python scripts.

FreeCAD

FreeCAD

9. Owncloud

Although not a new kid on the block in any way, I chose to include OwnCloud in this review due to its importance. As an alternative to commercial Dropbox, security, and privacy are achieved without much hassle and allow you to easily set up customized cloud storage and file sharing solution.

We already covered installation about Owncloud in-depth here: Create Personal/Private Cloud Storage Solution in Linux

Owncloud Storage Solutions

Owncloud Storage Solutions

10. MediaWiki

MediaWiki is a program for creating and managing a Wikipedia-like website (in fact, Wikipedia itself is based on MediaWiki) where a community can add, remove, update and revert entries, and authors are notified upon such changes.

MediaWiki

MediaWiki

11. Bleachbit

You can think of Bleachbit as the CCleaner for Linux – but more powerful. It will not only recover disk space by deleting temporary or otherwise unnecessary files, but will also improve Firefox performance and securely destroy unnecessary files to prevent recovery.

We already covered installation about Bleachbit in-depth here: Disk Space Cleaner and Privacy Guard for Linux

Bleachbit

Bleachbit

12. CodeMirror

CodeMirror is a very powerful Javascript-based text editor for the web browser. CodeMirror includes syntax highlighting for over 100 languages and a robust API. If you own a website or blog that provides programming tutorials, you will find CodeMirror to be a very useful tool.

CodeMirror Syntax Highlighting

CodeMirror Syntax Highlighting

13. GNU Health

GNU Health is a free, extremely scalable Health and Hospital Information Platform, which is used by health professionals across the world to enhance the lives of the underprivileged, offering a free technique that optimizes health promotion and disease prevention.

GNU Health - Freedom and Equity in Healthcare

GNU Health – Freedom and Equity in Healthcare

14. OCS Inventory NG

Open Computer and Software Inventory Next Generation, or OCS Inventory NG for short, is a lightweight web application that can help network and system administrators to keep track of 1) all the devices connected to the network, and 2) machine configuration and software installed in them.

The project’s website (listed below) has a fully functional demo in case you want to check it out before attempting to actually install the program. In addition, OCS Inventory NG relies on well-known technologies like Apache and MySQL / MariaDB, making it a robust program.

OCS Inventory NG

OCS Inventory NG

15. GLPI

Often used in conjunction with OCS Inventory NG, GLPI is a multilingual, free IT asset management software that not only provides the tools to build up a database with an inventory of your network devices but also includes a job-tracking-system with mail notifications.

Other distinguishing features include, but are not limited to:

  1. Interventions in history
  2. Solution approval
  3. Satisfaction survey
  4. Exporting inventory to PDF, spreadsheet, or PNG formats

We already covered installation about GLPI IT Asset Management tool in-depth here: Install GLPI IT and Asset Management Tool in Linux

GLPI IT Asset Management

GLPI IT Asset Management

16. Ampache

With Ampache, you can set up your own home media center or online audio and video streaming application and access it from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Although it is designed as a personal application, Ampache allows for public registration if an administrator chooses to enable that feature.

Ampache MP3 Steaming

Ampache MP3 Steaming

17. Master PDF Editor (Paid)

Master PDF Editor is an easy to use pdf editing tool for working with PDF documents that comes with powerful multi-purpose functionality. It helps you to easily add text, create and modify pdf, add images and encrypt the files. Master PDF also allows you to merge files to one or split documents into multiple files.

Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor

18. LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw is an application that is inbuilt in the LibreOffice suite that enables you to create anything from an easy sketch to complex ones and provides you the means to communicate with graphics and diagrams. With Draw you can easily open and edit basic PDF files.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw

19. Lemon POS

If you own a small or medium business you will undoubtedly need a Point Of Sale program. As such, Lemon POS may be a lifesaver for you. It uses a MySQL / MariaDB database for data storage, and thus a single database can be used with multiple active terminals at the same time. On top of all that, Lemon POS also includes a search panel, a price-checker utility, and a tool to create printed reports.

Lemon POS

Lemon POS

20. OpenShot

OpenShot is a FOSS video editor for Linux that can help you create “the film you have always dreamed of” (in the words of its developers) with your home videos, pictures, and music files. It also allows you to add subtitles, transition effects, and export the resulting video file to DVD and many other common formats.

OpenShot Video Editor

OpenShot Video Editor

21. LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger is a multilingual (a language pack is needed) and cross-platform (works in Linux, Windows, and Mac) IM program for communication over a LAN. It provides file transfers, message logging, and event notifications – all without the need to set up a server!

LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger

22. Cherrytree

Cherrytree is a free and open-source hierarchical note-taking program that comes with rich text formatting, syntax highlighting, and advanced customization options. Its advanced search feature enables you to search files across the file tree irrespective of their path.

It comes with keyboard shortcuts, importing and exporting notes, syncing with cloud platforms like Dropbox, and password security to keep your notes secure.

Cherrytree - Note Taking App

Cherrytree – Note Taking App

23. FlightGear

FlightGear is an awesome open-source flight simulator tool, that is used to create a knowledgeable and open flight simulator system for use in experiments or academic environments, pilot training, as an industrial engineering program, for DIY-ers to chase their chosen exciting flight simulation design, and last but surely not least as a fun, practical, and demanding desktop flight simulator for Linux.

FlightGear Flight Simulator

FlightGear Flight Simulator

24. MuseScore

MuseScore is an open-source and free professional music notation application that is used to create, play and print beautiful sheet music using easy to use, yet powerful interface.

MuseScore - Music Notation Software

MuseScore – Music Notation Software

Summary

In this article, I have described 23 free and open source applications that I have found during the year 2019, and hope that it sparks your interest in one or more of them.

Would you like us to cover any of them in greater detail on this site? Have you found another great FOSS application that you would like to share with the rest of the community? Just let us know using the comment form below. Questions, comments, and suggestions are also welcome.

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Gabriel Cánepa

Gabriel Cánepa is a GNU/Linux sysadmin and web developer from Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina. He works for a worldwide leading consumer product company and takes great pleasure in using FOSS tools to increase productivity in all areas of his daily work.

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73 Responses

  1. Flavio Veronese says:

    What about PDFEdit?
    This software was abandoned in 2012.

  2. Erwin West says:

    Great article!

    You forget tmux I think…

    https://github.com/tmux/tmux/wiki

    sorry for my bad English…

  3. Walk The Plank says:

    I like most of the list even though some of the apps are somewhat outdated. Visual Studio Code looks decent but I can guarantee you that absolutely nothing beats JetBrains. It’s used by Valve, Google, NASA and pretty much all of the huge companies you can name.

    I’m using only their PyCharm personally but they have pretty much all the tools you’ll ever need and quite a lot of Git open-source projects that are really useful. Strongly suggest if not switching – at least giving it a try, this is one of the best things you can do to yourself.

    I can’t advise anything else though because this is the one I use exclusively. Here’s a link if you want to check ’em out https://www.jetbrains.com/.

  4. dragonmouth says:

    This must be a list of somebody’s favorite programs. It has remained pretty much the same since it was first published in 2015. While it is possible for 20+ programs to remain the “best” for that long, it is highly improbable.

    I am sure that in the past 4 years more than a few of these programs have been replaced by better ones. Maybe it is time for new “xx best Applications I have found for 2020” article rather than just re-publishing the same one every year.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Dragnmouth,

      I totally agree with you, but we have replaced and added a few new applications in the article. If you feel that this article to be updated with new applications, please suggest few so that we will update the article.

      • Michael Lauzon says:

        Replaced and added new applications? I don’t see anything new, I suggested MuseScore in 2016 because it’s better than TuxGuitar, yet 4 years later TG is still on the list!

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