10 Best Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Programs I Found in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, it is time to bring you the best 10 Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) programs I have come across during this year.

Some of these programs may not be new in that they weren’t released for the first time in 2020, but they are new to me and I have found them helpful.

That is why I would like to share a brief review in hopes you will find them useful as well.

1. Atom Editor

Without a doubt, this is my top #1 choice. Perhaps it is because I’m not only a system administrator but also a developer. When I found this Linux text editor developed by GitHub I was totally blown away by it.

Atom is easily extensible through extra packages that provide among other things code autocompletion for a wide variety of languages, FTP capabilities, and built-in browser preview.

Take a minute to watch this introductory video:

2. NextCloud

Described as “a safe home for all your data”, NextCloud was started as a separate project by one of their ownCloud’s first collaborators.

Although it raised a few sparks between him and the ownCloud community, NextCloud seems to be here to stay and compete with ownCloud as a private cloud solution to access and share your files, calendars and contacts.


3. Celestia

Because even system administrators and developers need a little distraction, you can use Celestia (a free 3D astronomy program) to navigate the universe.

As opposed to other planetarium software, Celestia allows you to travel throughout the solar system and the galaxy, not just the surface of the earth. To infinity and beyond!

Celestia - Explore Our Universe
Celestia – Explore Our Universe

4. FreeRDP

If your system administration tasks include managing Windows servers via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), FreeRDP is a tool that you will want to try out.

It is described by its developers as an RDP client for Windows Terminal Services. The project is hosted on GitHub, so you are welcome to collaborate with it if you wish.

FreeRDP - Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
FreeRDP – Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

5. Flyspray

Again, I may be a little biased on this one. If you are searching for a bug-tracking and project management solution, don’t look any further Flyspray, a web-based tool powered by Apache, has exactly what you need. And don’t just take my word for it: even ArchLinux uses Flyspray for bug-tracking.

It supports MySQL or PostgreSQL as database servers and provides voting functionality, email notifications (requires a separate mail server to be installed and configured), and optional Single-Sign-On (SSO) using a Facebook or Google accounts.

Flyspray - Bug Tracking System
Flyspray – Bug Tracking System

6. GNUCash

If you have been using a spreadsheet to keep track of your personal, family, or business finances, it may be time to try a more suitable solution such as GNUCash.

This FOSS accounting software allows you to keep an eye on your bank accounts, expenses, and income and to create custom, complete reports with this data. Its user-friendly interface is a plus to the solid accounting principles GNUCash uses under the hood.

The official website includes an exhaustive FAQ section, the application Manual, and a Tutorial guide. With these materials, learning how to use GNUCash will be a play in the park. On top of that, you can subscribe to the mailing lists in case you need help or run into any problems with GNUCash.

GnuCash - Financial Accounting Software
GnuCash – Financial Accounting Software

7. LogicalDOC

Both available as an Enterprise (paid) and Community editions, LogicalDOC is an award-winning, web-based Document Management System (DMS). As such, it aims to provide a high-quality method for sharing business documents and records in a low-cost and secure way.

Additionally, LogicalDOC allows you to control access to these resources via security roles, and to easily track changes through version control. LogicalDOC can be installed both on a single computer in standalone mode, on a dedicated server as a shared service, or as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

LogicalDoc Document Management System
LogicalDoc Document Management System

8. Blender

If you are into game development, video editing, or 3D modeling, I am sure you must have already heard about this tool. If you are considering any of these activities either as a hobby or a career change and haven’t heard about Blender, it is definitely time to check it out.

As a FOSS solution, it does not come short when compared to commercial tools. On top of it, Blender is cross-platform which means you can not only run it on Linux but also on macOS and Windows.

Blender - 3D Creation Suite
Blender – 3D Creation Suite

9. DVDStyler

DVDStyler is a cross-platform, FOSS DVD authoring tool that allows you to create nice-looking and professional DVDs with your video and image files.

As such, DVDStyler allows you to create your own interactive menus or choose from the built-in ones, add subtitle and audio files, and use video files in different formats.

In addition, this awesome tool integrates with your DVD burner to burn the disk from within the same application.

DVDStyler - DVD Authoring Tool
DVDStyler – DVD Authoring Tool

10. OSQuery

As its name suggests, OSQuery provides access to real-time system information in the form of tables and events that can be queried using SQL-like syntax via an interactive query console.

With OSQuery, you can explore your system to perform intrusion detection, diagnose a problem, or just to produce a report of its operation – all at your fingertips using a single tool.

If you have at least a basic understanding of SQL, getting details about the operating system using the built-in tables in OSQuery will be a piece of cake.

OSQuery - Shows Real-Time System Information
OSQuery – Shows Real-Time System Information

Need yet another reason to convince you to give OSQuery a try? It was developed and is maintained by the folks at Facebook.


In this article, I have shared a brief review of the top 10 FOSS programs I have come across in 2020. Are there any other programs you would like us to review, or would like to suggest to be a part of a future article? Kindly let us know using the form below and we will be more than glad to take a look.

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35 thoughts on “10 Best Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Programs I Found in 2020”

  1. Can you please tell me more about this FOSS.

    My lecturer asked as to look into because people are now making millions of dollars out of FOSS.

    Tell me more about it, how i can join in FOSS.

    Thank you.

  2. Though I am not expert in game designing. But I use Microsoft version of blender to play and make animations. It does not need 64-bit OS like unity and Unreal. That’s why blender is my favorite.

    Except this, nice post. Thanks for sharing. Few are new to me and I am going to try them.

  3. Hello Mr. Canepa, and to all. It will be interesting to tell to others WHY, all of this foss programs are the best … With out any arguments about this topic … your list has no credibility .

    • Hi – long time no talk! It’s good to hear from you again, now on this site.
      IMHO, I DID explain WHY I included this program on this list. If you don’t agree, please elaborate. Other readers don’t seem to agree with you.

      • Hi, yes, long time ago…..

        You start with this “…it is time to bring you the best 10 Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) “. Ok now, for example, you say:

        “OSQuery provides access to real-time system information in the form of tables and events that can be queried using SQL-like syntax via an interactive query console”.

        So, OSQuery is the best FOSS (in this area) because of SQL-like and so on! There FOSS tools can not do the same ? The same observation about FreeRDP.

        “ownCloud as a private cloud solution to access and share your files, calendars and contacts”. Because of that is the best ? I think is not a valid argument, to be “the best”!

        “Other readers don’t seem to agree with you.” – this is not important if some of the readers are agree or not to me! Maybe they do not have time to wrote about my post, maybe they do not see what I can see, and so on. I see in many occasions, when a lot of people was wrong, and a few of them was on the right path … ;)

        Maybe, a title like “10 Useful/Interesting Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Programs I Found in 2016” was better!

        Anyway, despite remarks, I do realize, that your FOSS list is at least interesting!


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