Free Software Directory:Free software replacements

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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.



Although some BSD distros are mostly free software, they all contain binary firmware programs. Some contain other nonfree programs as well.

You may want to check the Runs-on/BSD category for more software.

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
GNU Ring, Linphone
Instant messaging client Pidgin Yahoo! Messenger
Live USB
Media player VLC media player (VLC)
Office suite LibreOffice ( 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



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

You may want to check the Runs-on/Android category for more software.


Type Free program Replacement for
3D computer graphics software
Anonymous P2P uGet
BitTorrent client Tribler BitTorrent
Desktop publishing
Diagramming software PlantUML (requested for F-Droid) 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
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 Adobe Photoshop Express
Text editor Markor
Vector graphics editor
Web browser GNU IceCatMobile (1, 2), Orfox (1) Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox
  1. Some popular apps from F-Droid do not work with Replicant without enabling llvmpipe as software renderer but it is slow. - This is not a problem on Android but it's not entirely free either.
  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.


  • 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.


    • For Replicant
      • Added AndrOpen Office

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.