Free Software Directory:Free software replacements

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Fork
The lead and the Windows section is fork of https://www.gnu.org/software/for-windows.html that I had to ask the GNU Webmasters to update all the time (which led to limited improvement), the iOS section is a fork of https://www.gnu.org/software/for-ios.html that I requested, see the Log section for changes. I started this page because I think it will do the job better. -- David Hedlund

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.

OS

GNU/Linux

We urge all GNU/Linux users to switch to a free GNU/Linux distribution as soon as possible.

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 Claws Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin, Telegram ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher, Ubuntu Live USB creator UNetbootin
Media player VLC media player (VLC) RealPlayer Basic
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork)
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP
Text editor Emacs, Gedit, Vim (included)
Vector graphics editor Inkscape, Xfig
Web browser GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork), Midori Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox

BSD

We urge all BSD users to switch to a free GNU/Linux distribution as soon as possible.

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software Blender
Anonymous P2P GNUnet
BitTorrent client qBittorrent
Compiler MinGW
Desktop publishing Scribus
Diagramming software Xfig
Document viewer Evince
Email client, news client, feed reader Claws Mail
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
GNU Ring, Linphone
Instant messaging client Pidgin Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC)
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork)
Online storage ownCloud (client only)
Raster graphics editor GIMP
Text editor Emacs, Vim
Vector graphics editor Inkscape
Web browser Midori Chromium, Mozilla Firefox, Opera

Source:

Replicant

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software
Anonymous P2P uGet
BitTorrent client Tribler BitTorrent
Compiler
Desktop publishing
Diagramming software PlantUML DrawExpress Diagram Lite
Document viewer MuPDF Adobe Acrobat
Email client, news client, feed reader K-9 Mail Microsoft Outlook
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Telegram Facebook Messenger, ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC) RealPlayer Basic
Office suite LibreOffice Viewer (LibreOffice port) (1) Microsoft Office Mobile
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor XGimp Image Editor Adobe Photoshop Express
Text editor Markor
Vector graphics editor
Web browser GNU IceCatMobile (1, 2), Orfox (1) Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox
  1. Popular apps from F-Droid that do not work with Replicant by default: https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/Graphics
  2. GNU IceCatMobile: GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) discontinued official IceCatMobile support after version 38.6.0. However many F-Droid users preferred their unofficial IceCatMobile releases even when official releases existed.

Apple

macOS

We urge all macOS users to switch to a free GNU/Linux distribution as soon as possible.

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 Adobe Reader
Email client, news client, feed reader Claws Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird Apple Mail (included), Microsoft Outlook
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
GNU Ring, Linphone Apple iMessage, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin, Telegram Facebook Messenger, ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher UNetbootin
Media player VLC media player (VLC) Apple QuickTime, RealPlayer Basic
Office suite LibreOffice (OpenOffice.org fork) Microsoft Office
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor GIMP Adobe Photoshop
Text editor Emacs, Gedit, Vim (included) Notes
Vector graphics editor Inkscape, Xfig Adobe Illustrator
Web browser Apple Safari (included), Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox

GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) discontinued official macOS support after version 38.8.0.

iOS

We urge all iOS users to switch to a mobile device that supports Replicant.

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
Anonymous P2P
BitTorrent client
Compiler
Desktop publishing
Diagramming software
Document viewer
Email client, news client, feed reader Microsoft Outlook
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
Linphone Apple iMessage, Signal
Instant messaging client Telegram ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC)
Office suite Microsoft Office Mobile
Online storage ownCloud (client only) Dropbox
Raster graphics editor
Text editor Vim Notes
Vector graphics editor
Web browser OnionBrowser Apple Safari (included), Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft

Windows

We urge all Windows users to switch to a free GNU/Linux distribution as soon as possible.

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 Claws Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail (included)
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
GNU Ring, Linphone Skype, Signal
Instant messaging client Pidgin, Telegram ICQ, Trillian, Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB Etcher UNetbootin, Windows To Go (included)
Media player VLC media player (VLC) PowerDVD, Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime, RealPlayer Basic
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 Gedit, Vim
Vector graphics editor Inkscape, Xfig CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer
Web browser Midori Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (included)

GNU IceCat (Mozilla Firefox ESR fork) dropped Windows support after version 38.8.0.

Windows Mobile

We urge all Windows Mobile users to switch to a mobile device that supports Replicant.

Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software
Anonymous P2P
BitTorrent client
Compiler
Desktop publishing
Diagramming software
Document viewer
Email client, news client, feed reader
Instant messaging client, softphone, and videotelephone
(all-in-one)
Linphone
Instant messaging client Telegram Facebook Messenger, ICQ
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC) Windows Media Player Mobile
Office suite Microsoft Office Mobile
Online storage
Raster graphics editor
Text editor
Vector graphics editor
Web browser

Policy

  • 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.
  • Only official or preferred unofficial releases (eg IceCatMobile via F-Droid) added.

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.