May 2, 2023

Open source software is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. One of the primary advantages of using open source software is the flexibility it provides. With open source software, businesses can modify and customise the software to meet their specific needs. This means that businesses are not limited to the features and functionality provided by proprietary software. Additionally, open source software often has a large community of developers who contribute to its development and provide support. This community-driven development approach ensures that open source software is continually improving and evolving to meet the needs of its users. Finally, open source software is often more cost-effective than proprietary software. Businesses can save money on licensing fees and support costs while still benefiting from high-quality software. Overall, open source software provides businesses with greater flexibility, community support, and cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive option for many organisations.

Is Open Source software free?

In most cases, Open Source software is free of cost. However, do note that many developers create this software and offer it to you free of charge at the expense of their own time and money. Therefore, we encourage users to donate to projects either with time (by joining the community and forums offering support to other users), or with money. Making a small donation to support the work of Open Source projects will encourage the developers to keep the project alive, and will assist in development costs, and in turn the software will just get better and better!

Some of our favourites!

Linux

Linux is one our favourites. It is the kernel that powers many operating systems – including, but not limited to, Ubuntu, Debian, AlmaLinux, CentOS and more. We also use Linux to power a lot of our infrastructure. It is well known for its rock-solid performance, stability and security. You can also spin up a VPS with us running Linux!

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is a fantastic piece of software – it’s completely free, and is an excellent alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop. It’s an incredibly powerful photo editing software, and is used by us to create some of our graphics and images too!

WordPress

WordPress is an amazing open-source Content Management System, built for building websites and blogs. It has a huge community and there’s lots of integrations, themes and support available, so you can build the website or blog of your dreams with the re-assurance that someone can help you! This website/blog is also using WordPress!

Visual Studio Code

For any coders out there, no matter the programming language, Visual Studio Code has got your back! It was created and is managed by Microsoft, and is a fully-integrated IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It’s completely free. You can even use it to build your own open-source software, and maybe we’ll include that on one of our future blog posts!

Greenshot

For those using MacOS or Windows, you might feel a little underwhelmed by the screenshot utilities built-in to the Operating System (we do too!). Greenshot is a fantastic product that is full of functionality – including the ability to annotate your screenshots, share online via the Imgur service, and much more. We use Greenshot extensively when creating documentation for clients!

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular Web Browsers, and for good reason. It is lightning fast, has been around for decades, and has a fantastic reputation for respecting consumer privacy and security. It’s free to download, and it’s packed with features!

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is often confused as being a Linux-only package. That’s not true. It’s a fantastic Open Source alternative to Microsoft Office, and can be installed on all major Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS and Linux). It’s free to use and includes most of the utilities that you’d expect – an alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.

Shotcut

Shotcut is an Open Source Video Editing software. It’s cross-platform and works on all major Operating Systems. It excells at creating and editing HD videos, and is constantly being updated and improved.

Inkscape

It would be unfair to mention GIMP and not Inkscape. Inkscape is a vector creation and editing software. While it and GIMP have very different use cases, you can use them together to create beautiful images and vector graphics! It’s a fantastic alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Audacity

Last but not least, Audacity is a great audio editing package. You can use it to create, record or edit audio files. It’s open source and has a simplistic user interface, making it easy for any user to get started.

That’s it for this post. There are so many fantastic open source packages out there and this list highlights just a few of our favourites that we commonly use. We encourage you to take a look to see if there are any open source alternatives to any software packages that you’re currently using and paying for. Open source is highly regarded in the technology community, and the open source innovations are growing by the day. After all, most software and hardware will include some open source code or packages in their sources or firmware. We are proud supporters of Open Source!