Essential Free and Open Source Software

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Meaning of Free and Open Source

Free Software and Open Source are principles that encourage creators to make creative works available to all people, regardless of income, political affiliation, location, etc..

Free Software and Open Source Software allow us the freedoms to

  • access the tools for any reason (commercial, political, creative, etc.)
  • share the tools with a wider community,
  • modify the tools to meet our specific needs, and
  • study or view the sourcecode to learn how the tools work.

These are essential freedoms; not simply in terms of cost, but liberty.

Please review Freedom Defined for more information.

Animation and Simulation

  • Blender 3D - Game design, physics simulation, animation, 3D modeling, architecture, video editing, compositing, etc..


  • Audacity - audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

Creative Coding


  • GIMP - image manipulation, design, web development, and layered graphics.
  • Inkscape - vector illustration, design, layout, web development. Using the SVG standard.
  • Scribus - page layout, design, publishing.


NOTE: Quantum GIS has plugins to integrate GRASS, SAGA, and SEXTANTE into a unified interface!


Software Development

  • Qt Project - cross-platform application and UI framework for developers using C++ or QML, a CSS & JavaScript like language. Qt Creator is the supporting Qt IDE.

Statistics and Data Visualization

  • Gephi Graph visualization, analysis, manipulation.
  • Orange - Open source data visualization and analysis for novice and experts. Data mining through visual programming or Python scripting. Components for machine learning. Add-ons for bioinformatics and text mining. Packed with features for data analytics.
  • R Studio - development environment for the R Language for statistical computing.
  • SOFA - Statistics Open For All is a user-friendly statistics, analysis, and reporting program.


  • VideoLAN Client - video playback, streaming, download, and conversion tool. Swiss-army knife for video processing.