Is the Open-source Software useful for an ordinary user? It’s the most common misconception that open source software is only for techies and not for subtle computer users. Though, this could have been a true statement a few years ago, but not today.
Today open-source software is available for all kinds of works from as simple as letter writing to complicated business automation software.
This free software provides not only excellent performance but also regular developments. In this article, we will discuss ten best open-source software to have in your PC in 2020. But before that, let’s have a basic understanding of what Open-source software is?
What is Open Source Software?
Open-source software (OSS) is software distributed with its source code, which can be read or modified by users by accessing it from the Internet freely.
- Open-source software is distributed freely.
- The source code is included with the software.
- Anyone can improve the open-source software source code.
- Modified versions of the source code can be redistributed.
- Also, an open-source software license does not require the exclusion or interference with the operation of other software.
Now a question arises, why a software developer throws away the outcome of his hard work free of cost? It’s another misconception, as money can also be earned from open source software, but its method is somewhat different than that of proprietary software. And since there are mass attraction and kind of stampede for free software, a minimal margin can make significant profits.
10 Best Open Source Software in 2020
So if you are planning to purchase a new PC or Laptop in 2020 or looking for some alternative of paid software, you must check out these top 10 Open Source Software in various categories.
VLC is an open-source media player and multimedia framework written by the VideoLAN project. It is not only a portable multimedia player but also an encoder and streamer that supports multiple audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVD, VCD, and various other media formats. It is also capable of streaming over networks and transcoding multimedia files and securing them in multiple formats.
The VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries on the Windows platform. VLC also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux using the libdvdcss DVD decryption library.
LibreOffice is a free and open-source ‘Office Suite’ developed by Document Foundation. LibreOffice includes programs for word processing (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), for slideshows (Impress), for drawing (Draw), for the database (Base), and for writing mathematical formulas (Math).
In look and feel it is very much similar to MS Office yet free of cost, plus you also have two additional programs for drawing and math formula, which are a bonus to the entire package in comparison to MS Office. LibreOffice is also compatible with Microsoft Office document formats and also supports PDF natively.
Audacity is an open-source audio editing software that allows you to edit all popular formats of audio files for free. It can easily import sounds and music, makes sound effects against individual tracks, and mixes things like music tracks and podcasts. If necessary, you can also increase the capacity of Audacity with a free plug-in from the manufacturer’s site.
With an array of tools and effects, you can get decent sound quality on small presentations. Just remember that the software requires a little training time and patience to utilize it optimally.
OpenShot is a professional yet open-source video editing software. It is primarily for handling high-definition video. In the most recent version (2.2), unique editing options such as the ability to add title templates have been included. Subtitles can be embedded when necessary.
Recent updates have dramatically streamlined the user interface as well as related editing capabilities. It also supports more than 70 languages. Since it is open-source software, so it is expected to improve further in the near future.
TestDisk is open-source software, with no graphical user interface. TestDisk has been developed to help recover lost partitions and re-boot non-booting disks. All the tools and functions of the program are managed in the DOS window through command line control.
With TestDisk you can fix partition, recover deleted partitions, rebuild boot sectors, recover deleted files as well as perform other disk-recovery related tasks. While TestDisk is undoubtedly a powerful tool, it is suitable only for users with some degree of computer knowledge. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you’d better stay away from this software.
OpenElement is open-source software for website designing. In today’s competitive market, having a website for your business is not enough; your website should also stand out from others. Though there are many attractive Web design applications available in the market, OpenElement is one of the best open-source software.
It features an easy user interface for editing any aspect of a website. There are various reusable style and element packs available with OpenElement for attractive website designing. An SEO and site quality assistant lets you improve the website’s design for better rankings on search engines.
GIMP is a perfect alternative to Photoshop for all kinds of image editing. It is a free and open-source program that has many great features, such as photo retouching, image composition, and much more. It supports layers, which can do a lot of work with images, which is not possible in any other free photo editor.
GIMP acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, with its subsidiary applications such as Scribus, Inkscape, and Swatchbooker, makes it a complete graphic design and image processing package.
GnuCash is an open-source business accounting software. Though there is plenty of free accounting software available in the market, GnuCash is still a better option. GnuCash is a cross-platform accounting software that implements a double-entry bookkeeping system. It also has features for small business accounting. The recent development of the software has also focused on the expense-tracking companion android app, as opposed to a stand-alone accounting package.
GnuCash provides you with tons of accounting features that let you perform all your accounting related works smoothly.
Blender is open-source 2D & 3D Animation software. But it can do much more than what it says. Backed by a large and proactive user community and loads of online tutorials, Blender is one of the most popular open-source software. Apart from that, thousands of user-written useful plug-ins not only improves the functionality of Blender, but they are also an essential part of Blender.
With Blender, you can create and edit 3D Models for videos, animations, and games, apply textures, render scenes, create 2D and 3D animations, apply VFX on videos, can do motion capture and a lot more.
Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open-source based email client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Initially, this project was built on Mozilla Firefox, and Millions of downloads were done within a few days after its launch. However, Mozilla later dropped it from its priority. With some added features, the Thunderbird is again ready to compete with other paid and free email clients available in the market.
Thunderbird can help you manage your multiple email accounts by combining folders such as Inbox, Sent, or Archive folders. So that instead of searching your mails in different inboxes, you can see all of your incoming emails in just one Inbox folder.