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Free desktop PC software

Free software for private, non profit or business use 

This is the software I would personally choose if I was to configure a desktop computer running nothing but free software. This software is probably perfect for educational institutions, non profit organisations or for small businesses. If you would like to share your knowledge about excellent free business software, please contact me.

Office software

The fundamentals: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, illustration software, Web browser and an e-mail client.


Open source office suite available in more than 25 languages, with dictionaries for more than 95 languages. File compatible with StarOffice and many MS Office formats. PDF export as well as flash export is possible from within the programs. Learn more...
Screenshots: WriterImpressCalc | Draw

 Open source compatible with Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X etc.

Mozilla Thunderbird
Thunderbird is Mozilla's next generation e-mail client. Thunderbird makes emailing safer, faster and easier than ever before with the industry's best implementations of features such as intelligent spam filters, a spell checker, extension support and more.
Open source for MS Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Solaris, OS/2
Google Chrome

Chrome is a new fast browser from Google. Its build to be as fast and safe as possible and is a good choice for slow computers. Google Chrome automatically updates itself. Build on open source Chromium.

Free. Build on open source Chromium. MS Windows, Linux and Mac OSX

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is Mozilla's next generation browser. Firefox empowers you to browse faster, more safely and efficiently than with any other browser. Firefox 3.5 is faster, safer and easier to use than ever before.

Open source for MS Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Solaris, OS/2

Web authoring, graphic design & DTP

Website and graphic editing: web authoring software, vector graphics editor, image manipulation program and desktop publishing program.

A complete Web Authoring System for Linux desktop users as well as Microsoft Windows users to rival programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver.
Note: Kompozer 0.8 is under development!

Open source for MS Windows, Linux, etc.

Image manipulation program with basic and some advanced capabilities similar to Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro.
Screenshots or Gimp Guru
Open source for MS Windows, Linux etc.
An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator &  CorelDraw. Inkscape supports markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.). It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.
Screenshot or A guide to Inkscape or InkScape on Wikipedia
Open source for MS Windows, Linux etc.

Scribus brings professional DTP to Linux, Mac OS X and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. See this WIKI for more info, HOW-TO's for help, the get started WIKI or go to the official homepage.
 Open source for MS Windows, Linux, Mac OS X etc.
Alternative: Pageplus SE

Productivity software

Misc applications: bibliographic manager, project management


Bibus is a reference management software designed for OpenOffice.org in particular, but also Microsoft Word

A list of other programs (freeware as well as commercial) is available here.


 Open source compatible with Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X etc.

Open Workbench

Open Workbench is the open source successor to Project Workbench, the trusted tool used by more than 100,000 project management professionals worldwide.


Open Workbench is open source, but only compatible with Windows.

Alternatives: GanttProject - Planner for Linux - Planner for Windows

Task Coach

Task Coach is an open source todo manager to manage personal tasks and todo lists. Often, tasks and other things todo consist of several activities. Task Coach is designed to deal with composite tasks.


Open source compatible with Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X etc.


WordNet is a graphical frontend to the WordNet online lexical database. 

 Compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X etc.


Small applications for minor purposes: anti-virus & anti-spam tools, text editors, mail checkers etc.

Avira Antivir Personal Edition

Effective protection against computer viruses for the individual and private use on a single PC-workstation.

MS Windows and Linux (closed source)


Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.

Open source for MS Windows, Linux etc.

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Also works on USB drives (you can adjust this during setup).
Open source for MS Windows


E-mail notifier that can check multiple accounts. Also check out the clone, Popman.


Open source for MS Windows only.


Feedreader is a lightweight open source aggregator that supports RSS and ATOM formats. It works under Windows 95 and later versions.

Open source for MS Windows only.
For Linux news reader, see above (Liferea).
Spamihilator is an email filtering application that works in conjunction with your regular POP3 email program and automatically classifies incoming emails as spam (junk email). Thunderbird has its own anti spam feature, while Spamihilator supports any e-mail client and sports several powerful features.
MS Windows only.
FilZip is a free compression utility that supports zip, rar, tar, etc. For a multi-platform compression utility, I recommend 7-Zip.

MS Windows only.


XNView XnView is a utility for viewing and converting graphic files. It support ICC profiles and ICM monitor profiles, unlike popular programs like Google Picasa 3!

For MS Windows only.


TightVNC is a free remote control software package derived from the popular VNC software. With TightVNC, you can see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer.

Open source compatible with Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

Free PDF document generation

Portable Document Format: It is easy to create PDF documents from any program with PDFCreator!


PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application. With the PDFCreator Printer driver you turn any program into a PDF-machine.

MS Windows only

To merge several PDF files, check out "BeCyPDFAsm" or check out Other free PDF tools

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