10 Feb 2021
FOSS stands for Free and Open-Source Software and means that anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study and change the software in any way. The source code, the code which makes the software is openly shared and people are encouraged to improve.
The term “Free” is often misunderstood, confusing it with free of cost, instead it stands for freedom, to use. Software developers with often charge for support, hosting or reply on donates.
Benefits of Free and Open-Source Software include decreased software costs, privacy respecting, increased security and stability, control to the user and education as most FOSS software is free of cost it means there is no buy-in barrier before you can start learning.
If you have found any of these options useful, please consider supporting these projects to help continue their develop.
Microsoft Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system and Apple’s MacOS is the only choice for Apple products, both are not free of cost or open-source. The alternative is Linux which is the underlying code that makes an operating system, the kernel. There are many different distributions of free such as:
The list of Linux distributions is huge with some tailoring to specific tasks such as Kali which targets security application or Sugar which is aimed at young children. Check out DistroWatch.com for more Distributions.
Microsoft Office is the most popular office suite offering a one-off license or subscription model and supporting both Windows and MacOS, but not Linux, here are some popular cross platform options:
Having a privacy first, client protecting browser is important, it can help protect us from all sorts of things on the internet, reducing the amount of advertising and keeping us safe from trackers. Below are a few options but there are many more to choose from:
Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) pretty much owns the market but this also restricts development and the education of people as the buy-in is quite high. I have included some alternatives which are excellent in comparison to Adobe CC and all free of cost.
Below are other categories for software with a few options for FOSS alternatives.