Top 19 Open Source Software Examples – How They Work

We all ask questions, especially things that we don’t know. Maybe that is why you are also looking for open source software examples!

In this article, I will not only list open source software examples but also explain what they are and how to use them. I believe you should know everything about open source software examples. If you are ready, let’s get to it right away.

What Is Open Source Software?

The term open source means something that can be modified and shared by people because its design is accessible publicly. Open source is software with source code that can be inspected, modified and enhanced by anyone.

Source code is the part of the software that a lot of computer users don’t see as it is the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software, application or program works. Programmers with access to a computer program source code can improve such programs by adding features to it or fixing the parts that are not working perfectly.

What Is The Difference Between Open Source Software And Other Software Examples?

Some kinds of software are made with source code that allows only the person, organization or team that created it and maintain exclusive control over it to modify it. It means only the original author can legally inspect, copy and alter such software. This type of software is called closed source software or proprietary software.

For other people to use proprietary software, they must agree that they will not tamper with the software, especially that the author has not expressly permitted. Examples of such software include Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office.

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Open source software is different. The author(s) of the open source software makes the source code available to others who would love to view the code, learn from it, copy it, alter it and share it. Open source software examples include the GNU Image Manipulation Program and LibreOffice.

Top 19 Open Source Software Examples

There are many open source software examples out there but I will only roll out 19 open source software examples here.

moxilla firefox

1. Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a free source software example as it is a customizable internet browser. It provides thousands of plugins that can be accessed by just clicking your mouse. Mozilla holds 4.39% of the worldwide browser market share and it’s available for iOS, Android, Linux and Windows.

CNET writes, “Mozilla reshaped the technology industry and fanned the open source software flames that changed the way operating systems and social networks function.

open source software examples


GIMP is a free and open source software example that is worth mentioning because it is a great photo editing tool. It provides similar features that expensive tools offer. GIMP is available across many platforms including Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems.

It is a free source software anyone can change its source code and distribute the changes. This open source software has many 3D party plugins and customization options. Many graphic designers, photographers and illustrators use it to improve their pictures and enhance their works.

open source software examples

3. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an office suite that provides you with documents, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. Unlike Microsoft Office, which anyone cannot access its source code because of the pricing model, LibreOffice is completely free.

The LibreOffice creator only encourages users to donate to support the company when people download it. So it has a big community of contributors. The open source software is also available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The good thing about this platform is that it has a live chat and a forum you can turn to when you need any help.

open source software examples

4. Linux

A survey by Stack Overflow showed that 83.1% of developers claimed that Linux is the most wanted platform. This open source software is the most user-friendly software on the market. It’s mostly used on desktops and Android devices.

The best thing about Linux is that it is completely free and incredibly customizable. A lot of companies out there love Linux because it is not only secure but also provides support to programmers.

5. VLC Media Player

VLC Media is a popular video player and one of the famous open source software examples you can use for free. It is used for media, video and audio as it plays discs, streams, webcams and devices. It runs on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and more

 A lot of users use VLC Media Player to stream podcasts too. This open source software allows you to optimize your video and audio files for a certain hardware configuration and also provides you with a myriad of skins and extensions which allows you to create customized designs.

6. Blender

Blender is one of the top open source software examples that are completely free. It is an animation and 3D graphics tool that support animation, rendering, video editing, simulation, modeling, motion tracking and more.

Blender also provides you with a set of modeling tools and features including, multi-resolution, real-time viewpoint prereview and support for Tripod solvers and Planar tracking.

open source software examples

7. Python

Python is popular programming and scripting language that is used by custom software developers. In 2019, IEE reported that python is the most popular programing language because it has attracted a lot of new users in recent years.

Its fast-growing field of machine learning is one of the reasons it is popular among custom software developers. Developers also love it because it is easy to use.

8. Shotcut

Shotcut is a powerful video editor that provides features including audio and webcam capture, noise, text, color and counter generators, popular image formats support, EDL export, etc.

Shotcut is a great open source software to edit video and audio files and it’s available for Linux, macOS and Windows. You can also find excellent resources and great tutorials on how to use this completely free open source software.

open source software examples

9. GNU Compiler Collection

GNU Compiler Collection is a collection of compilation tools for software development in Fortran, Ada, C, C++ and other programming languages.

It always releases high-quality updates regularly and works with native and cross targets.

open source software examples

10. PHP

I definitely can’t forget PHP when it comes to top open source software examples. It is a software development language that developers use to create websites and other digital platforms. It’s flexible and fast and powers some of the famous websites including Spotify and Slack.

open source software examples

11. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Debian-based Linux operating system that is developed to increase ease of use and usability. Ubuntu is a free open source software named after the South African philosophy of Ubuntu, meaning “humanity towards others.”

Ubuntu is the choice of many novice users and PC sellers because it is free and committed to the principles of open source development. This software comes installed in many software including Empathy, Firefox, Transmission, LibreOffice and many other lightweight games.

12. Samba

Samba is another free open source software licensed under the GNU General Public License. This software is a free software re-implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol that was originally developed by Andrew Tridgell.

Samba bridges the gap between Windows and Linux/Unix, allowing Linux servers and Unix to provide file and print services to Linux and Unix clients and Windows clients. A samba host can serve as the primary domain controller for a Windows network.

13. MySQL

MySQL is the world’s most famous open source database with excellent read performance, easy administration and transparent support for large text and binary objects. The MySQL has made its source code available under the GNU General Public License terms.

When it comes to web applications, it is a famous choice and it is also a central component of the widely used LAMP open source web application acronym for Apache, Linux, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP. Applications that use MySQL databases are WordPress, MyBB, Joomla, MODx, TYPO3, Drupal, phpBB and other software.

open source software examples

14. Apache

The Apache HTTP Server Project is an effort to develop and maintain an open source HTTP server for modern operating systems such as Windows and UNIX. Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers to provide an efficient, secure and extensible server that provides HTTP services in sync with HTTP standards.

This software is available for many operating systems including Linux, OSX, Novell NetWare, FreeBSD, Solaris, Unix, OS/2, Microsoft Windows, OpenVMS, TPF and eComStation.

open source software examples

15. OpenSSL

OpenSSL is another great open source implementation software package that uses strong cryptography. OpenSSL is a software that gives developers a chance to incorporate TLS or SSL into their internet applications.

OpenSSL is managed by a community of volunteers that uses the Internet to communicate, plan and develop the OpenSSL toolkit and related documentation.

open source software examples

16. BIND

BIND is the most famous open source Domain Name System (DNS) server software on the Internet. This software is the de facto standard that implements DNS protocols for the Internet and it works on Unix-like operating systems.

This software consists, most prominently of the DNS server component, called contracted for name daemon.

17. Alfresco

Alfresco is a collaboration software that competes with EMC’s Documentum and Microsoft Sharepoint. It is an open source code loved by many developers.

18. Zimbra

An open source email software that competes with outlook server.

19. Marketcetera

Marketcetera is an enterprise trading platform for a hedge fund that competes with Portware and FlexTrade.

Is Open Source Software Only Important To Computer Programmers?

No. open source technology benefits both programmers and non-programmers. Early inventors built much of the internet on open source technology such as the Apache Web server application and the Linux operating system. Anyone using the internet today benefits from open source technology.

Every time a computer user views web pages, chats with friends, checks email, play multiplayer video games or stream music online, their mobile phones, computer or gaming consoles connect to a global network of computers using open source software to route and transmit data to the local devices they have in front of them.


There you have top open source software examples. There are thousands of open source examples out there, so you can use anyone you think is useful to your business or lifestyle. Remember that not all open source software is free to use; some are actually not free.

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