The best open source software currently available, from e-mail programs to those for video editing, from the best open source graphics programs to those for password management. Not all open source software is the same, you have to choose carefully, especially if you are looking for open source programs in Italian and (…)
The best open source software currently available, from e-mail programs to those for video editing, from the best open source graphics programs to those for password management. Not all open source software is the same, you have to choose carefully, especially if you are looking for open source programs in Italian and free.
Best open source software: what are they?
The term open source refers to software whose source code is freely available for download, modification, use and sharing, without copyright restrictions. There are several open source licenses that offer users different degrees of freedom, but the main goal of open source encourage experimentation, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Open source software offers many advantages over other free options, even if you are not a developer yourself. Usually run by a community and updated frequently to correct vulnerabilities or errors as soon as they are identified; there are no restrictions on commercial use, so you can safely use it for your business and the ability to modify the source means that there is often a large number of useful plug-ins to download.
You'll find open source versions of almost every imaginable software, from office suites to multimedia apps. Here is our selection of the best open source software.
Best Open Source Software Office: LibreOffice
LibreOffice is certainly among the best open source work software. It is a complete suite that includes excellent apps for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. The files that are created are completely compatible with the latest Microsoft file formats, so you will have no problem sharing files that work with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
This means that the formatting of documents correctly stored for printing if you need to import / export files between LibreOffice and Microsoft Office, something that not all office software platforms can do. However, unlike others like Office 365 and G Suite, it is a downloadable product instead of one with which you can work in the cloud.
Documents are as sharp and professional as those created with paid software, and there are hundreds of templates available for download.
LibreOffice's huge community of contributors has compiled a brilliant collection of support materials, including a forum and even live chat if you need help.
Best open source graphics program: GIMP
Powerful, flexible and open source GIMP image editor, the closest to Adobe Photoshop you can get without opening your wallet. Supports levels and features advanced tools to improve photos or create new ones.
You can manually adjust every aspect of the images, or use dozens of customizable filters and effects to get amazing results with just a few clicks. GIMP comes with a wide range of pre-installed plugins and the addition of other simple plugins.
If you don't need the power of GIMP and prefer a simpler interface, try it Paint.NET, another superb open source photo editor that is a bit lighter on features, but easier to master.
Open source media player: VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player one of the most popular free media players in the world and for good reason: able to handle virtually any audio file, video file or media stream, without having to install additional codecs. VLC Media Player offers incredible control over playback, allowing you to optimize video and audio for the specific hardware configuration.
VLC Media Player ideal for streaming podcasts, as well as internet radio stations like Last.fm and TuneIn Radio. There is also a superb archive of extensions and skins and the WYSIWYG Skin Editor allows you to create custom designs.
The latest addition to VLC is 360-degree playback, allowing you to enjoy engaging videos with a VR viewer and other exciting developments are underway to keep up with new video technology.
Best open source video program: Shotcut
If you are looking for a great open source video editor, take a look at Shotcut. At first it might seem a bit bare, but just add some of the optional toolbars and you will soon notice its most powerful and useful features at hand.
Some of its best tools include quick filters for audio and video (which are not destructive and can be layered to achieve different effects), advanced white balance, transitions, color gradation, click-and-drag import and simple cutting and compositing of clip.
Best open source audio program: Audacity
Even if you have the money ready for an audio editor, you could choose to use Audacity as an open source alternative: it has almost all the tools needed to record and refine audio files and all the features that are missing can be linked with its extensive catalog of extensions.
Audacity is the perfect tool for many podcasters, musicians and audiobook narrators thanks to its professional quality results. You can use it to combine clips, copy and paste sections of audio, remove unwanted noises, remove voices from songs, alter frequencies and apply effects like echo and reverb.
Best open source browser: Mozilla Firefox
The browser wars show no sign of peace, but the open source source of Firefox makes it incredibly flexible. Its main strength is its vast collection of extensions. With thousands of plug-ins available at the click of a mouse, it's easy to turn Firefox into the perfect browser.
Firefox is updated every 5-8 weeks and you can get a quick taste of the latest features by installing the beta version or by taking part in the Firefox Test Pilot, a way to try out experimental tools that could be incorporated in future versions.
Among other things, the Firefox source code forms the basis of many specialized projects, including the security-focused Tor browser and speed-focused Waterfox designed for advanced users.
However, despite the increasing popularity of Firefox, the browser has traditionally struggled to manage Flash, with the result that Firefox becomes unstable and consumes processor resources or simply stops unexpectedly in the presence of Flash, even if it is now difficult to come across such technologies of the past.
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird
If you have more than one e-mail account, even with the same provider, the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email client will save you time and problems between browser tabs and logins. Like Firefox, Thunderbird is an open source project published by the Mozilla Foundation and almost infinitely adaptable.
The standard features of Thunderbird include an RSS reader and the ability to link to files that are too large to send as attachments and its optional extras include weather forecasts and Google app tabs.
Password management: KeePass Password Safe
The list of the best open source software cannot be complete without a password manager. Among the many products available, KeePass Password Safe is probably the best open source option. Not flashy, but full of all the tools and functionalities, including AES encryption of the entire database of access data (not only the passwords themselves), two-factor authentication using a master password and a secure and secure generation file password random.
KeePass small and, since it is a portable program, you can save it on a USB stick and, thanks to a vast library of plug-ins, easy to integrate with your favorite browser or cloud storage provider.
Best open source FTP software: FileZilla
If you manage a website, you will probably need FTP software to upload files directly to the server. While there are some good different FTP clients, FileZilla probably the best free version that you can use.
Filezilla does everything you need with a file upload client, which remains relatively simple. In the left pane, FileZilla presents a view of the folder selection (from Windows Explorer, if you are using Windows) where you can make sure to select the file folder to upload: on the right, the box shows the location on the server.
Just make sure you click on the folders in the right pane to where you want to upload your files, as in the Public_HTML folder on many Linux servers. So it's simply a matter of dragging and dropping the files to load them from the left pane in the right pane. Simple, easy and usually painless.
If you need CHMOD permissions for the files, it's as easy as right-clicking on all the files or folders you need to apply them to, and that's how much.
Best open source operating system: Linux
We conclude the list of the best open source software with an operating system. If until some time ago Linux was exclusively reserved for the fanatics of the code and absolute nerds and didn't do much to attract a large user base, today the varieties of Linux have made a great effort to be much more user-friendly for people with little coding knowledge, in order to present a serious rival to Windows and Apple Mac iOS as alternatives for desktop execution.
These efforts have helped to bring Linux towards the mainstream, as pointed out by the giant computer Dell that is moving to sell Linux desktops and laptops directly to the public. Windows remains the target of choice for hackers, so Linux presents itself as a safer alternative, provided that the packages are kept up to date.
Another problem of the old days that most software applications have been developed for Windows, however, with the move to cloud computing and browser-based applications, it no longer matters which operating system is used for many popular applications.
Probably the biggest difficulty in switching to Linux today is actually the choice available. Rather than being an operating system, Linux is now a platform from which various flavors or distros have been born and grown. Although they are all based on the same basic source code, each is programmed to suit different uses: some are great for home use, others are server-focused.
Whatever you want to look at, remember that you don't need to be stuck on any particular aspect of Linux and you can uninstall the ones you don't like and install the ones you would like to try.