Free Software Directory:Free software replacements

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[list is not an endorsement for the use of non-free software. The tools below should be used to migrate to [//www.gnu.org/distros/ free/libre system distributions. After successfully using these software, it's recommended that you remove the non-free system because someone else exercises unjust power over the users of non-free software.]]

Here is a list of popular free software applications that run on Microsoft Windows — along with the proprietary applications they replace. If you are still a user of a nonfree operating system like Windows or iOS, you can take a first step towards free software by installing these applications on your platform.

When we say these application programs are free software, we're talking about freedom, not price. It means that you are free to use these programs constructively, either alone or in a community, while respecting the freedom of others. The source code is available, so that you can study the software, adapt it to your needs, fix bugs, and release versions with new features. You can also convince or pay others to do these things for you. You are also free to give away and free to sell copies, under the terms of the applicable free software license. These programs are free software because you have freedom in using them. Free software develops under the control of its users.

Microsoft Windows is a clear and instructive example of nonfree software. Its source code is a secret, so programmers cannot learn from it, fix it, adapt it to their clients (your) needs, or even verify what it really does. If you share copies with your neighbors, you will be called a “pirate”, and users have been threatened with imprisonment for this. Nonfree software is completely controlled by its developer, who also has power over the users. We started the free software movement because this power is unjust.

Using free software on Microsoft Windows (or any nonfree operating system) is the first step towards freedom, but it does not get you all the way there. You're still under Microsoft's power as long as you use Windows.

So the next step is to replace Windows with a operating system such as GNU/Linux.

However, on this page we're concerned with the first step.

Software with external links do not have GNU/Linux support so they will not be added to Free Software Directory as required by the policy.

OS

GNU/Linux

Common distros usually provides a repository of nonfree software. Free GNU/Linux distros do not permit non-free software.

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender Autodesk Maya ("Maya")
Anonymous P2P GNUnet ?
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent ?
Compiler Mingw-w64 ?
Desktop publishing Scribus ?
Diagramming software Dia ?
Document viewer Evince Adobe Reader
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird ?
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher, Ubuntu Live USB creator UNetbootin
Media player VLC media player (VLC) ?
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork) ?
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP ?
Text editor Emacs, Gedit, Vim ?
Vector graphics editor Inkscape ?
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox

BSD

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender
Anonymous P2P GNUnet ?
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent ?
Compiler Mingw-w64
Desktop publishing Scribus ?
Diagramming software Dia ?
Document viewer Evince
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone
Instant messaging client Pidgin Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB UNetbootin
Media player VLC media player (VLC) ?
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork) ?
Online storage ownCloud (client only)
Raster graphics editor GIMP ?
Text editor Epsilon, Vim ?
Vector graphics editor Inkscape ?
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork)

Replicant

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software
Anonymous P2P uGet
BitTorrent client Tribler BitTorrent
Compiler
Desktop publishing
Diagramming software PlantUML Lucidchart
Document viewer MuPDF Adobe Acrobat
Email client, news client, feed reader K-9 Mail
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin Facebook Messenger, ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC) ?
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork)
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor XGimp Image Editor
Text editor Markor ?
Vector graphics editor
Web browser Orfox Firefox

IceCatMobile cannot run on Replicant: Firefox 52 has an opengl 2.0 dependency which replicant can't do because it requires nonfree software (at least on the galaxy s3).

Apple

macOS

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender Autodesk Maya ("Maya")
Anonymous P2P GNUnet ?
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent BitTorrent
Compiler Mingw-w64
Desktop publishing Scribus Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress
Diagramming software Dia
Document viewer Evince Adobe Reader
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird Apple Mail (included)
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone Apple iMessage
Instant messaging client Pidgin Facebook Messenger, ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher UNetbootin
Media player VLC media player (VLC) Apple QuickTime
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork) Microsoft Office
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP Adobe Photoshop
Text editor Emacs, Vim Notes
Vector graphics editor Inkscape Adobe Illustrator
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) Apple Safari (included), Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox

iOS

We urge all iOS users to switch to a mobile device that supports Replicant (or a free GNU/Linux distribution) as soon as possible.

Windows can be easily replaced with a free operating system on most PCs, but not iOS: there are ways to install Android on some iThings, but its free counterpart, Replicant, cannot be installed on any of them.

You may want to check the Runs-on/iOS category in our Free Software Directory for more software.

If you are technically minded, you may find it interesting to build these apps from source code rather than download them from the App Store.

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender
Anonymous P2P GNUnet
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent
Compiler Mingw-w64
Desktop publishing Scribus
Diagramming software Dia
Document viewer Evince
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone Apple iMessage
Instant messaging client Pidgin ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC) ?
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork)
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP
Text editor Vim Notes
Vector graphics editor Inkscape
Web browser OnionBrowser Apple Safari (included), Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox

Microsoft

Windows

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender Autodesk Maya ("Maya"), Autodesk 3ds Max
Anonymous P2P GNUnet DC++
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent BitTorrent
Compiler Mingw-w64 Microsoft Visual C++
Desktop publishing Scribus Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress
Diagramming software Dia Microsoft Visio
Document viewer Evince Adobe Reader, Microsoft Reader, Nitro PDF Reader
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail (included)
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher UNetbootin, Windows To Go (included)
Media player VLC media player (VLC) PowerDVD, Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork) Microsoft Office
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Apple iCloud, Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP PaintShop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint (included)
Text editor Vim
Vector graphics editor Inkscape CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) Chromium, Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (included)

Windows Mobile

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender
Anonymous P2P GNUnet
BitTorrent client Tribler, qBittorrent
Compiler Mingw-w64
Desktop publishing Scribus
Diagramming software Dia
Document viewer Evince
Email client, news client, feed reader Mozilla Thunderbird
VoIP, telephony, softphone, SIP GNU Ring, Linphone
Instant messaging client Pidgin Facebook Messenger, ICQ
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC) Windows Media Player Mobile
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork)
Online storage ownCloud (client only)
Raster graphics editor GIMP
Text editor Vim
Vector graphics editor Inkscape
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork)

Multi view (outdated, archived as example only)

Replacement for / Available
Free program GNU/Linux GNU/Hurd BSD Replicant macOS iOS Windows Windows Mobile Type
Blender Autodesk Maya ("Maya") Autodesk Maya ("Maya")
  • Autodesk Maya ("Maya")
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
3D computer graphics software
Dia Yes Yes Microsoft Visio Diagramming software
Evince Adobe Reader Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Reader
  • Microsoft Reader
  • Nitro PDF Reader
Document viewer
GIMP Yes Yes Adobe Photoshop
  • PaintShop Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Paint (included)
Raster graphics editor
GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Work in progress
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer (included)
Web browser
GNUnet Yes Yes Yes DC++ Anonymous P2P
Inkscape Yes Yes Adobe Illustrator
  • CorelDraw
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
Vector graphics editor
Iridium (Chromium fork)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer (included)
Web browser
LibreOffice Yes Yes Microsoft Office Microsoft Office Office suite
MinGW Yes Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler
ownCloud (client only) Dropbox Dropbox Dropbox Dropbox
  • Apple iCloud
  • Dropbox
Online storage
Pidgin
  • ICQ
  • Trillian
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Facebook Messenger
  • ICQ
  • Trillian
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Facebook Messenger
  • ICQ
  • Trillian
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • ICQ
  • Trillian
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • ICQ
  • Trillian
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Facebook Messenger
  • ICQ
Instant messaging client
qBittorrent Yes Yes BitTorrent BitTorrent BitTorrent client
QupZilla
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Apple Safari (included)
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Chromium
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer (included)
Web browser
Scribus Yes Yes Yes
  • Adobe InDesign
  • QuarkXPress
  • Adobe InDesign
  • QuarkXPress
Desktop publishing
Signal Yes Yes Apple iMessage Apple iMessage Yes Encrypted voice calling, video calling and instant messaging
Mozilla Thunderbird Yes Apple Mail (included)
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Windows Mail (included)
Email client, news client, feed reader
Tribler Yes Yes BitTorrent BitTorrent BitTorrent client
UNetbootin Yes Apple Disk Utility
  • Microsoft Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
  • Windows USB Installer Maker
  • WinToFlash
Live USB
Vim Yes Yes Yes Notes Notes Text editor
VLC media player (VLC) Yes Yes Yes Yes
  • PowerDVD
  • Windows Media Player
Yes Media player

Log

See also

External links



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.