27 Top Open Source Projects

Unlike the usual software and projects, open source projects come with permission that allows anyone with necessary skills to make changes to the project. This has been hugely beneficial to the users, as updates are more frequent and the project itself is free for most aspects.

Here are some of the top open source projects available today.

1. WordPress

WordPress is a popular blogging platform that is based on MySQL and PHP which can be installed on web server to create a blog. Founded in 2003, this blogging platform provides users with the ability to choose their own design and improve the functionality of the blog using plugins. The free and open source code allows the users to change every aspect of a WordPress blog.

2. Mozilla

This is the open source community that has many products like the thunderbird email application, boot to gecko mobile browser, marketplace for apps, and Firefox – the popular browser. Various developer tools like firebug are also present at Mozilla. XUL Runner and Gecko offer platforms for various applications like Firefox. Mozilla accepts volunteers in various fields.

3. Joomla

Joomla is a content management system that is largely used to create and run webpages. This open source project has been around since 2000, and it claims to have more than 200,000 users. Joomla uses PHP and MySQL. It features a dedicated section for developers. Joomla requires little or no technical knowledge to get started.

4. PHP

This is a script language that is primarily used to create webpages and webpage programming (server side scripting). This free and open source language has been around since 1995. The official site of the language contains all the source files that primarily runs on a web server. Currently more than 75% websites use PHP for server side programming.

5. Drupal

This is a content management system that can be used to create websites. The Drupal open source software allows technical person to develop and test the new versions. The project claims to have close to a million users.

6. MySQL

This is an open source relational database management system that has been available since 1995. This open source project supports all the popular platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. There are three different editions of MySQL available.

7. Android

This is the open source project designed mainly for mobile phones and tablet PCs. The project acquired by Google in 2005. Developers can contribute to improving android by reporting bugs, developing apps, and contributing to the code. The complete technical information of android is provided for this purpose.

8. Apache HTTP

This is the open source server project that is designed for the operating systems like Windows and UNIX. It has been available since 1996 and it provides a secure HTTP service. The Apache HTTP Server Project also has many subprojects underneath it.

9. Ubuntu

This is a Linux based computer operating system that is completely free. It has been present since 2004. This operating system also supports cloud-based computing. A special server edition is also available. Ubuntu is run by Canonical Ltd. Other notable linux based OS projects includes Redhat, Fedora project and Debian.

10. OpenCart

OpenCart is a shopping cart open source project that offers free lifetime support and updates. It supports a variety of payment gateways like PayPal and Google checkout. There are various themes are available to change the look of the shopping cart.

11. Presta Shop

Presta Shop allows website owners to create shopping carts for free. This open source project offers more than 2000 templates to change the look and feel of the shopping cart. It claims to have close to 2 million downloads and 125,000 stores across the world.

12. OpenOffice

This is the office productivity software that comprises of spreadsheet, database management, and presentation applications. This open source project claims to have had more than 17 million downloads since its inception in 2002. Writer, Draw, and Base are some of the applications of OpenOffice. Another fork project of OpenOffice is LibreOffice.

13. VideoLAN

This is an open source project that is responsible for popular computer applications VLC media player. VideoLAN has separate projects for professionals, developers, and regular users. The VLC media player project is available for platforms like Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.

14. Audacity

Developed by the Audacity team, this is an open source audio editing application that can be used to record live audio, edit various audio files in the MP3, WAV and other formats. Audacity can also be used to mix sounds. This software has been downloaded more than 75 million times.

15. phpBB

This is an open source package that can be used to create forums. It supports multiple database engines like Oracle and MySQL. phpBB comes with very styles on offer that can be used to transform the look. phpBB has been available since 2000. Developer from wordpress also offer a forum software called bbPress.

16. osCommerce

This is an online shopping cart software which can be installed directly on server, which is available as a free software. It has been online since 2000 and it claims to have close to 13,000 stores online running under this software. It only requires PHP and MySQL to be pre-installed on the server to run. Another shopping cart software forked from osCommerce is Zen-cart.

17. GIMP

GIMP is an image editing open source software that can run on operating systems like Linux, Windows, and Mac. Photo retouching and digital enhancement are some of the options present within this software, while the interface can also be customised.

18. OpenX

This is an open source ad serving tool that can be used to rotate ads from OpenX and also a wide range of third-party advertising networks. There are several different versions of OpenX like the enterprise and market edition. It also provides insights into the advertisement performance.

19. Piwik

This is a software that can be used to analyse website traffic. It is open source and it claims to provide traffic information to more than 300,000 websites. The ability to track unlimited websites and presence of more than 40 languages are some of the features. The software is created to as an alternative of Google analytics.

20. CKEditor

CKEditor is an open source text editor that is meant to be used in websites. It has been available since 2003 and it is extremely lightweight. It is capable of running on various browsers that have been released recently.

21. Ruby on Rails

This is the open source application framework for the programming language, Ruby. This provides the web developer with the ability to query a database, get data from the server. It is not dependent on the server.

22. Symfony

This is an open source framework that is primarily used to improve the speed of applications. The project has been available since 2005. Symfony provides comprehensive professional support and large amounts of documentation.

23. Zimbra

This is a web client and e-mail server, which is available in both commercial and open source forms. It can be used for private, public, and cloud computing. The open source version comes with complete documentation of the project.

24. 7-zip

This is an open source file achiever that has an especially high compression ratio. With regards to both unpacking and packing, it supports a variety of file formats like gzip and zip. It supports an even larger list of formats for unpacking only.

25. PhpList

This e-mail campaign manager and email marketing tool is a completely open source project, which was developed and is run by Tincan. The e-mails can be sent to subscribers depending upon criterion like country of residence. Subscription and unsubscribe requests are completely automated.

26. Elgg

This is the social networking platform that is available for individuals and corporations. This open source software provides microblogging and filesharing amongst many other features. Elgg has been available since 2004.

27. OSClass

This is an open source platform that allows users to create a online classifieds websites. The platform is offered in five different languages. OSClass classifieds can be personalised using themes and plug-ins. The project was started in 2011.

Open source code repository sites like gitHUB (a social coding and hosting platform), sourceforge, Google code and many other hosting facilities allow coders and developers to gather and help them to develop open source projects. They hosts hundreds of open source project and make great free software possible to users like us. There are many small and big projects already on their directories.

7 Responses

  1. Steve
    Steve October 4, 2012 at 3:00 am |

    Great list – I already use 1,2,4,6,8,9,12,13,17,19,24 intensively and they are all best in class – at any price.

    I’ll checkout 22,23,27 which I didn’t know about before. Thanks for those.

    I’ve tried 3,5 and 25 – they are all very good software, but IMHP are strategically the wrong direction:

    – Joomla (Betamax) and Drupal (Phillips) despite their great features have lost the adoption race to WP (VHS) – if you get the analogy.

    – PHPList and other DIY email solutions lost the race to Aweber and GetResponse who achieve WAY better delivery. Also, mass mailing from a shared host is also a pretty sure way to get your account blocked….

    4,6,8 and 9 – are probably better lumped as LAMP with a choice of packages (eg Mint and SolusOS) as user friendly platforms for Ubuntu/Debian. Can’t speak highly enough of SolusOS …

    Not to forget XAMPP (basically LAMP for Windoze) – it’s a mega convenience for build/test of an Apache website on your PC.

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