Free Software Directory:Antifeatures

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Do not modify this page, but please participate in the Discussion page so we can modify the Draft. Also, categories are always reserved so don't remove them even if they don't have anything listed for the moment.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers defines the term feature in IEEE 829 as "A distinguishing characteristic of a software item (e.g., performance, portability, or functionality)". Antifeatures are flags applied to applications to warn of issues that may be undesirable from the user's perspective. Frequently it is behavior that benefits the developer, but that the end user of the software would prefer not to be there.

Team Captain: David Hedlund

The pages of applications which have antifeatures include a prominent warning added to the page source.

Discussion is happening on the talk page and mailing list, and Dev for work in progress. Useful related pages: Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG) and software categories, Free Software Directory:Requirements.


Bait and surrender

Avoid the term freemium.

There are two versions of this software, one free and one proprietary. The proprietary version may have more features, but the free software version is still useful. Users should be careful to use only the free software version of the package, to avoid surrendering their freedom.

1 listed:

 LicenseVersion identifierVersion date

Nonfree documentation

One of the following:

  • Primary documentation is not freely licensed
  • The primary documentation or important related resources (e.g. forum, news), require running nonfree code (e.g. nonfree javascript).

0 listed:

Free fork needed!

The developer has betrayed the community by moving to a proprietary license, but people can continue to use and fork the last free version.

1 listed:

 LicenseVersion identifierVersion date


The software is no longer maintained and has been superseded by another program based on it.

1 listed:

 LicenseVersion identifierVersion date


Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package that automatically renders advertisements in order to generate revenue for its author. Some users may happy to support the author in this way, but many would prefer this feature did not exist or was disabled by default.

1 listed:

Adblock PlusAdblock Plus (ABP)


0 listed:

Name uses a word to avoid

There are a number of words and phrases that we recommend avoiding, or avoiding in certain contexts and usages. Some are ambiguous or misleading; others presuppose a viewpoint that we disagree with, and we hope you disagree with it too.

When considering which free software to use, this anti-feature is less problematic compared to the others so it displayed less prominently in yellow.

"Linux System"

Linux is the name of the kernel that Linus Torvalds developed starting in 1991. The operating system in which Linux is used is basically GNU with Linux added. To call the whole system “Linux” is both unfair and confusing. Please call the complete system GNU/Linux, both to give the GNU Project credit and to distinguish the whole system from the kernel alone.

This tag is reserved for obvious and unambiguous references to the GNU/Linux operating system, not the Linux kernel. This unambiguity includes the context of it's homepage and documentation. Note, software which depends on Linux kernel system calls or features usually do not have unambiguous references in their name.

6 listed:

 LicenseVersion identifierVersion date
Circus LinuxGPLv2
BSD 4Clause

Search the FSD for linux


“Tethering a product or program means designing it to work only by communicating with a specific server.”

We can verify whether the published software is free. The service is likely all free, so saying it is non-free is incorrect. It is more of a philosophical problem where we cannot make a judgement on services being free or not free.

5 listed:

Mozilla VPN
Mullvad VPN
Private Internet Access


This Antifeature is applied to software that track you and/or report your activity to somewhere, either without your permission or by default (i.e. you'd have to actively seek out an option to disable it).

2 listed:

Adblock PlusAdblock Plus (ABP)

See also

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.