Linux Apps Tools

The Best Open Source Software in 2018 (Users’ Choice)

Best Open Source Software in 2018
Written by Martins D. Okoi

Ravi Saive posted a question on Linux Inside FaceBook page asking users to mention the best open source software they found in 2018 and boy did the comments come in.

I have decided to compile the applications our followers mentioned into a list which – since the mentions are still coming in, is non-exhaustive.

1. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite written in C++, Java, and Python. It was first released in January 2011 by The Document Foundation and has since known to be the most reliable open source office suite.

Usually used as an alternative to Microsoft Office Suite, it is regularly updated and is also compatible with doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx files.

LibreOffice - Open Source Office Suite

LibreOffice – Open Source Office Suite

2. Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an open source, self-hosted file sharing platform with support for communicating and collaborating with teams.

Its functionality is similar to that of Dropbox and ownCloud, and you can use it to sync your files, calendars, and other data formats.

Nextcloud - File Share and Communication Platform

Nextcloud – File Share and Communication Platform

3. Adminer

Adminer is a minimalist Database Management System (DBMS) in a single PHP file and it focuses on security, UX, performance, feature set, and size.

It ships with several inbuilt themes and features all the operations you can perform in phpMyAdmin with the promise of offering a tidier UI with high performance and better support for MySQL features.

Adminer - Database Management Tool

Adminer – Database Management Tool

4. Slim Framework

Slim Framework is a PHP micro-framework that enables users to write powerful web applications and APIs in a simpler way.

Fundamentally, it works as a dispatcher that receives an HTTP request, invokes an appropriate callback routine, and then returns an HTTP response.

Slim-Framework - PHP Micro Framework

Slim-Framework – PHP Micro Framework

5. uniCenta

uniCenta is an open source commercial-grade Point Of Sale dedicated to providing business owners with innovative POS applications.

Its features include modules for system control, sales, inventory, suppliers, employees, customers, and reports.

UniCenta - Open Source Tool for Retail and Hospitality

UniCenta – Open Source Tool for Retail and Hospitality

6. Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a free and open source password manager for keeping digital records away from the sight of unauthorized users.

It features a clean minimalist UI with several client applications including one for a web interface, desktop, mobile apps, etc. and can be used by individuals, teams, and organizations.

Bitwarden - Password Management Solutions

Bitwarden – Password Management Solutions

7. The Elastic stack

The Elastic Stack is made up of various open source applications designed to enable users to collect data from any source irrespective of its format and type.

It also enables users to search, analyze, and visualize data in real-time and it can be distributed as Software as a Service (Saas) or installed on-premise.

The Elastic Stack - Group of Open Source Products

The Elastic Stack – Group of Open Source Products

8. Steam

Steam is not open source but it is regarded as the ultimate online gaming platform, is an online community where you can easily search, install, and manage game collections for different OS platforms.

SteamOS + Linux on Steam is the best thing that has happened to gamers in the Linux community.

Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

9. Cockpit

Cockpit is a user-friendly, integrated, glanceable, extendable, and web-based GUI for managing servers. It is designed to have a beautiful, modern UI with support for teams, integration with the terminal, multi-server administration, and built-in troubleshooting tools.

Cockpit - Remote Linux Manager

Cockpit – Remote Linux Manager

10. .NET Core

The NET Core refers to the free and open source general purpose software development framework for Linux, macOS, and Windows Operating Systems. It contains the .NET Native runtime and CoreRT and it can be used in device, cloud, and embedded/IoT scenarios.

.Net Core - Open Source Softweare Framework

.Net Core – Open Source Softweare Framework

11. IPFire

IPFire is a versatile open-source Linux-based firewall that is easy to use and offers high performance in any scenario. IPFire originally started as an IPCop fork but was rewritten from scratch in version 2.

IPFire - Open Source Firewall

IPFire – Open Source Firewall

12. Flameshot

Flameshot is a simple but powerful screenshot application for Linux, that you can use to interact with it via GUI or CLI and perform markup operations on a per-screenshot basis.

Flameshot Screenshot Software for Linux

Flameshot Screenshot Software for Linux

13. Brave Browser

Brave Browser is a free and open source Chromium-based browser that ships with more features than Chrom typically does. It is customizable, security-focused, user-friendly, and ships with an inbuilt ad blocker and password manager among other features.

Brave Browser

Brave Browser

14. Brl-cad

BRL-CAD is a free and open source cross-platform solid modelling system that includes interactive geometry editing, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, geometry libraries for application developers, and high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis.

BRL-CAD - Solid Modeling System

BRL-CAD – Solid Modeling System

15. ssh-chat

ssh-chat is a custom SSH server through which you can hold secure chats with a limited number of users over an ssh connection. It is specially designed to convert your SSH server into a chat service after which you get a chat prompt rather than a typical shell.

ssh-chat - Chat Security in Terminal

ssh-chat – Chat Security in Terminal

16. Photorec

PhotoRec is a CLI utility software for data recovery capable of recovering files with over 480 extensions. It is compatible with various digital camera memory, hard disks, and CD-ROMs.

PhotoRec - Data Recovery Tool

PhotoRec – Data Recovery Tool

17. GParted

GParted is a GUI utility for managing disk partitions and is capable of resizing, moving, and copying partitions without data loss. It is excellent at manipulating file systems including xfs, ufs, ntfs, udf, fat16/fat32, ext2/ext3/ext4, btrfs, etc.

gparted - Partition Editor

gparted – Partition Editor

18. Restic

restic is an open source CLI-based utility for performing backups easily, securely, quickly, and efficiently for free. It uses Semantic Versioning to always allow for backward compatibility within one major version.

Restic - Backup Tool for Linux

Restic – Backup Tool for Linux

19. Rclone

Rclone is a command line-based utility for synchronizing files and directories to and from several storage locations including Dropbox, FTP, Hubic, Dreamhost, OVH, Nextcloud, Yandex Disk, etc.

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Rclone’s features include checking for file hash equality, timestamps preserved on files, one-way sync mode to directories, Union backend, etc.

rclone - Sync Cloud Storage

rclone – Sync Cloud Storage

20. Minio

Minio is a private cloud storage stack that provides scalable and persistent object storage for several infrastructures including Docker, Kubernetes, GCP, etc.

Minio - Private Cloud Storage

Minio – Private Cloud Storage

21. Cmus

Cmus is a powerful but lightweight CLI-based music player app for playing audio files from the terminal on Unix-like Operating Systems.

Cmus - Console Music Player

Cmus – Console Music Player

22. Etcher

Etcher is a cross-platform GUI utility for easily and safely flashing OS images to SD cards and USB drives.

Etcher Bootable USB Creator

Etcher Bootable USB Creator

23. Cargo

Cargo is a package manager for the Rust programming language and it is efficient at downloading the necessary Rust dependencies for your project as well as compiling the packages into distributable packages that it then uploads to crates.io.

Cargo - Rust Package Manager

Cargo – Rust Package Manager

24. Sayonara Player

Sayonara Player is a C++ audio player and library manager for Linux devices. It features several advanced functionalities including extending its features list with extensions, directory view, recording webstreams and podcasts, an inbuilt tag editor, crossfade, equalizer, etc.

Sayonara Music Player

Sayonara Music Player

25. Helm

Helm is a package manager created by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation for Kubernetes and it provides users with the easiest way to discover, share, and built Kubernetes applications.

Kubernetes, also referred to as k8s, is an open source system for automating application management, scaling, and deployment.

Helm - The Kubernetes Package Manager

Helm – The Kubernetes Package Manager

26. ClickHouse

ClickHouse is an open source column-oriented Database Management System for generating analytical data reports in real-time using SQL. It is linearly scalable, fault tolerant, simple to use, and hardware efficient.

ClickHouse - Database Management System

ClickHouse – Database Management System

27. Shotcut

Shotcut is a free, cross-platform and open source video editor with wide support for video formats, and a clean User Interface. It features network stream playback, IP stream, webcam and audio capture, support for 4K resolution, capture from SDI, etc.

Shotcut Video Editor

Shotcut Video Editor

28. Kdenlive

Kdenlive is an advanced free and open source video editing software with support for multi-track video editing, proxy editing, timeline preview, automatic backup, and audio and video scopes.

Kdenlive also features several online resources for users, a titler for creating 2D titles, a configurable UI, etc.

KdenLive Video Editor

KdenLive Video Editor

29. Rufus

Rufus is a lightweight utility for creating bootable USB flash drives and flashing BIOS or other firmware from DOS. It can also be used to format drives and can be run directly from a memory stick as a portable app.

Rufus - Create bootable USB

Rufus – Create bootable USB

30. DSpace

DSpace is a customizable open source dynamic digital repository whose aim is to make information easy to access, use, and manage. It is used in several academic, commercial, and non-profit settings for building open digital repositories.

Dspace - Dynamic Digital Repository

Dspace – Dynamic Digital Repository

31. Stellarium

Stellarium is an open source OpenGL-powered planetarium software that shows a 3D simulation of the night sky in real-time. It also contains details of all the planetary bodies and constellations with engaging visualizations.

Stellarium - Planetarium Software

Stellarium – Planetarium Software

32. Krita

Krita is a cross-platform open-source raster graphics editor for digital painting and creating animations. It is among the most popular digital painting tools with features like native support for CMYK, a clutter-free UI, efficient resource management, a pop-up colour palette, etc.

Krita Painting Tool for Linux

Krita Painting Tool for Linux

33. Tvheadend

Tvheadend (TVH) is a Linux recorder and TV streaming server with support for various streaming formats including ISDB-T, IPTV, SAT>IP, ATSC, DVB-S2, DVB-S, DVB-C, etc.

Tvheadend - TV Streaming Server

Tvheadend – TV Streaming Server

34. OpenShot

OpenShot is a free, cross-platform, and open source video editor created to be incredibly simple, powerful, and efficient. It features unlimited tracks, animations & keyframes, a title editor, slow motion and time effects, support for 70+ languages, etc.

OpenShot Video Editor for Linux

OpenShot Video Editor for Linux

35. GSConnect

GSConnect is an implementation of KDE Connect especially for GNOME shell with Nautilus, Firefox, and Chrome integration. Like KDEConnect, GSConnect allows devices to connect and share notifications, SMS messages, files, etc. e.g. connecting an Android device to an Ubuntu PC.

GSConnect

GSConnect

36. BorgBackup

Borg Backup (short, Borg) is a deduplicating backup program with optional support for compression and encryption. It was built with the main goal of providing an efficient way to securely back data up.

Borg Backup

Borg Backup

37. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is Microsoft’s free, cross-platform, and open source feature-rich code editor. It is in the list top 5 GUI text editors used by developers and that comes as no surprise given its seemingly unending capabilities.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code

38. KeePass Password Safe

KeePass Password Safe is a free and open source password manager that secures all your passwords and files in a single encrypted database. It is lightweight, easy to use, and multi-platform.

KeePass - Password Safe Manager

KeePass – Password Safe Manager

39. Discord

Discord is a proprietary freeware digital distribution platform and VoIP application created for gamers. It is cross-platform and supports both single user and group chats with a speciality in communication via text, image, audio, and video between users.

Discord Instant Messenger for Linux

Discord Instant Messenger for Linux

40. Wine

Wine, which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, is a compatibility layer which enables its users to run Windows applications on any POSIX-compliant OS.

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Wine cleanly integrates Windows apps with Linux desktops by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls in real-time which eliminates the performance and memory repercussions of other methods.

Wine - Run Windows Software in Linux

Wine – Run Windows Software in Linux

41. Synapse

Apache Synapse is a high-performance, lightweight Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) powered by the fast and asynchronous mediation engine that gives it support for Web Services, XML, and REST. It has so many features that you are better of checking its features page out yourself.

42. pix

Pix is an advanced image browser, viewer, organizer, and editor for BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, TGA, ICO, XPM image formats and optional support for  RAW and HDR images.

It has advanced tools for editing images by adding comments, scaling them, finding duplicates, tools for viewing and browsing images such as working with slideshows, performing lossless JPG transformations, etc.

43. Geany

Geany is a cross-platform GTK+ text editor with the basic features of an IDE. It is designed to have few dependencies on external libraries while offering its users a speedy and memory-friendly performance.

Geany - Text Editor

Geany – Text Editor

44. openLCA

openLCA is a free feature-rich Life Cycle Assessment software created by GreenDelta in 2006. With it, you can model and assess any product for the whole duration of its life cycle from resource extraction to production, its usage and disposal.

openLCA - Life Cycle Assessment Software

openLCA – Life Cycle Assessment Software

45. Gophish

Gophish is a free, robust cross-platform phishing framework that enables individuals and organizations to easily test their network for phishing attacks.

It contains customizable templates as well as the ability to import/export them, campaigns which you can schedule to launch and send emails in the background, a real-time results tracker, and a full REST API.

Ghophish - Phishing Framework

Ghophish – Phishing Framework

46. Flutter

Flutter is a mobile app development SDK created and maintained by Google. It allows users to build sleek native applications on both Android and iOS from a single codebase.

Flutter is also compatible with code for the web, React Native, and Xamarin and it features built-in animations, widgets, and OS-specific designs that speed up the development process.

Flutter - Mobile Application Development

Flutter – Mobile Application Development

47. GIMP

GIMP is a feature-rich cross-platform image editing software most commonly used as the Linux alternative for Adobe Photoshop.

Apart from GIMP being capable of doing almost everything Photoshop can, its features are extensible via plugins thanks to its integration with several programming languages, and its files can be used with other media editing software like Inkscape, SwatchBooker, and Scribus.

Gimp Image Editor

Gimp Image Editor

48. Clementine

Clementine is a feature-rich music player and library organizer and it is among the most popular music players for Linux. Its features include being cross-platform, a queue manager, remote control using a Wii remote, CLI or MPRIS, Android device, visualisations from projectM, etc.

Clementine Music Player

Clementine Music Player

49. Mailcow

Mailcow is an open source mail server that makes use of other smaller open source services to provide users with an enjoyable mailing experience.

It features a UI that enables users to complete administrative tasks, use temporary spam aliases, work with KIM and ARC, reset SOGo ActiveSync devices caches, and integrate with Fail2ban-like software, among others.

Mailcow - Mail Server Suit

Mailcow – Mail Server Suit

50. DBeaver

DBeaver is a robust free multi-platform GUI database tool for developers, analysts, DB administrators, and SQL programmers. It has support for all popular databases not excluding MySQL, MariaDB, SQLite, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, MS Access, Teradata, Sybase, Firebird, and Derby.

DBeaver - Universal Database Tool

DBeaver – Universal Database Tool

51. ONLYOFFICE

ONLYOFFICE is an open source office suite that is 100% compatible with the Microsoft Office suite. Its features include an online platform for creating and managing documents, team collaboration, calendar, and project and mail management tools.

ONLYOFFICE can integrate with your Saas or on-premise solution to provide your clients with a branded UI/UX, and web services like Nextcloud, SharePoint, Alfresco, etc.

OnlyOffice Suit

OnlyOffice Suit

52. Mailspring

Mailspring is a customizable cross-platform and open source mail client created to boost users’ productivity and provide them with a more pleasant mailing experience.

It features a beautiful modern UI with several keyboard shortcuts and out of the box with features like click tracking, etc. and tons of other features which users can shell out some cash for.

Mailspring Desktop Email Client

Mailspring Desktop Email Client

53. Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a free and open source email client brought to you with love from the makers of Firefox. It was designed to be easy to set up and customize and it is among the most used email clients in the Linux community because of its rich feature set and it usually comes bundled with several distros.

Thunderbird Email Client

Thunderbird Email Client

54. VLC

VLC is a free, portable, multi-platform and open source media player created by the VideoLAN project. It has maintained its rank as one of the most reliable media players you can use given the fact that it can play with almost any media format you throw at it. And for formats that it doesn’t support out of the box, you can obtain the codecs.

VLC is also a streaming app so you can stream audio and video content online like you would in a browser without leaving the app.

Vlc Player

Vlc Player

55. Stacer

Stacer is one of the coolest Linux system monitoring and optimizing software. It features a clean modern and intuitive interface with an informative dashboard and sleek icons.

You can use it to manage system services, startup process, applications, script, files, etc. and you can work in different modes, limit its CPU and memory usage, customize its look, etc.

Stacer Dashboard

Stacer Dashboard

56. Godot Engine

Godot Engine is a free and open source game engine whose aim is to make the developers be creative with the games they make without reinventing the wheel or strings attached e.g. no royalties.

It is team-friendly, ships with a wide set of common tools to speed up game development, features sleek 2D and 3D graphics, and has its usage simplified. With Godot Engine, the games you build are 100% yours.

Godot Engine

Godot Engine

57. Inkscape

Inkscape is a professional free, cross-platform vector graphics editor for anybody with an interest in digital drawing. You can use it to create illustrations, icons, maps, web graphics, diagrams, etc.

Inkscape

Inkscape

58. Blender

Blender is a free and open source professional 3D creaation suite created with support for the entire 3D pipeline i.e. modeling, simulation, rigging, compositing, motion tracking, game creation, rendering, and video editing.

Blender

Blender

Did you find any cool Linux apps in 2018 that are not on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.