A while back I came across InfoWorld’s list of the best open source Windows software. I thought I’d redress the balance by listing the best open source apps for the Mac!
These are apps that I’ve used myself and consider to be among the best. What do you think? Are there any other open source Mac apps that deserve to be added to the list?
One of the best Web browsers out there, with all sorts of useful plugins.
Very capable email app along the lines of Mail.app.
Nice, easy-to-use FTP software. Just drag and drop files and folders between Cyberduck and the Finder.
Decent WYSIWYG Web page editor. A bit rough around the edges but does a good enough job, and doesn’t screw up your HTML as much as some editors do!
Instant messaging client that supports MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, Facebook, Twitter and more. Looks great and is very customisable.
Nice-looking Twitter client with a cool transparent background. Easy to use (but then again, it’s hard to make a difficult-to-use Twitter app!).
Fully-fledged office app, featuring word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing tool, and database.
Graphics and Media
Comprehensive image editor along the lines of Photoshop. The interface is a bit quirky, and it requires X11 to work, but it’s fine for most photo editing purposes.
A simplified, easy-to-use version of GIMP designed for the Mac. (No X11 required.)
A powerful photo panorama maker. Bit of a learning curve, but it produces great results.
Movie player that can play virtually any video and audio format under the sun, including AVI, WMV, OGG, Real, FLV (Flash), DVDs, and lots more.
A movie player that’s designed for watching Internet TV. You can subscribe to a feed then download episodes to watch at your leisure. Looks great and is easy to use.
Not an app, but a QuickTime component that lets your Mac (QuickTime, Quick Look, Front Row etc) play practically all popular video formats.
Very easy-to-use DVD ripper that can convert DVDs to a variety of formats. Very handy for converting for iPhone.
Hugely impressive 3D modelling software along the lines of Maya and LightWave. The interface is challenging but it can do some very cool things!
Handy sound recording/editing app. Support multiple tracks, looping, trimming, and lots more.
Lets you create time-lapse movies using your iSight or external camera. Really easy to use and produces great results.
Fly around in space and explore stars, planets, space stations and more. Looks beautiful and the level of detail is amazing.
A planetarium app that shows you the night sky from any point on earth. It’s so good that it’s actually used in real planetaria!
Screen saver that collaborates with other computers to generate stunning hypnotic animations over time. Takes a while to get going but it looks simply amazing.
Lets you run other operating systems (such as Windows and Linux) at the same time as Mac OS X. Free, open-source equivalent to VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop.
These stacks are a really quick, easy way to get Web apps up and running on your Mac. You can install a basic Web server environment (e.g. Apache/PHP/MySQL) using their “infrastructure stacks”, or complete Web app stacks for running things like WordPress, Drupal or Trac.
More Free Mac Apps
Has this list whetted your appetite? Try the following:
- Free Mac Games: My Top Ten (many of these are open source)
- Mac Apps for Toddlers contains a couple of great open source apps
- Ten fun Screen Savers for the Mac (some of these are open source)
- Open Source Mac is a great list of Mac open source software
- Free Open Source Software Mac User Group has a large directory of apps
Do you know of any other top-quality open source Mac apps? Please feel free to post them below!