Converting to Open Source

This is a list of applications I like on Windows (both freeware and commercial) and some Open Source Windows and Posix (Linux, FreeBSD, Cygwin) equivalents. The idea is to eventually use as many cross-platform, open source applications as possible. This allows for easier bug fixing if a problem is encountered. Also, this allows easier switching between operating systems and easier migration towards more Open Source operating system platforms. The list is skewed by my particular preferences as to which applications I find useful or easier to work with. It does not include all applications in a particular category. Where possible, I've tried to list programs that were cross-platform portable and/or worked well on low resource machines.

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(not Open Source)
(usually Windows)
Open Source
Open Source

Word Processor
WordPerfect (Windows, DOS and Linux), Word (DOS freeware)
Lyx, LibreOffice (Portable Apps version available), Scribus, Abiword (Portable Apps version available), wordgrinder Lyx, LibreOffice, Siag Office, flwriter, Scribus, Abiword, wordgrinder, Caligra, focuswriter
Programmer's Editor
PFE, edwin, PEDIT
SciTE, Textadept (console version), FXite, Cream, Nano, Pico, Notepad++ SciTE, Textadept (console version), FXite, Cream, Nano, Pico
Writers' Tools
Gunning-Fogfinder, Grammatick (with WordPerfect)
wc, diction, style, sdcv, goldendict, StarDict (portable version available) wc, diction, style, sdcv (command line version of StarDict), qstardict, goldendict, StarDict,
Document Conversion
ps2pdf (ghostscript), a2ps, enscript, pdftxt, unrtf ps2pdf (ghostscript), antiword, a2ps, enscript, pdftxt, unrtf
Window Manager bug.n script with autohotkey, dwm, emerge desktop jwm, fluxbox, openbox, dwm, mwm
File Manager File Manager (SDL), far manager, midnight commander, pathfinder, ? File Manager (SDL), bash commander, midnight commander, vifm, pathfinder, emelfm2, worker, gentoo, xfe, mfm 0.4
calendar magic, calendar (program with older versions of Windows),
OpenWatcom calendar sample, fltdj (build with mingw), lcal and pcal (build with mingw or djgpp), calcurse, sunbirdportable, cal (command line) cal (command line), fltdj, lcal and pcal, calcurse, sunbird
Clock alarms
Windows (3.1) calendar
fltdj (build with mingw), sunbirdportable, ? fltdj, dclock, sunbird
To Do Lists hyperlist hyperlist
bash, teaJS (formerly v8cgi), phantomJS, jsc (from wkccc), node.js, NW.js, Electron bash, teaJS, phantomJS, jsc (from wkccc), node.js, NW.js, Electron
GUIs for Shell Scripts
lynxui, dplusui, dialog, GUI IT!, yad, xdialog, zenity, gxmessage, NW.js, Electron lynxui, dplusui, dialog, GUI IT!, yad, xdialog, zenity, gxmessage, NW.js, Electron
Preprocessors g++, gpp (general-purpose preprocessor) g++, gpp (general-purpose preprocessor)
Utilities - file viewing
less less, lesspipe
Utilities - file find
dir /s
(FreeDOS offers some of the standard DOS commands as Open Source, but I'd like to find some other user-friendly programs too.)
searchmonkey (0.8.1 build with mingw and gtk+ 2 or use qt version), ? searchmonkey, find, locate, mlocate, ?
Utilities - directory comparison
dirmatch or wmatch
dir with diffh, xrecursediff, winmerge (Portable Apps version available), far manager, File Manager (SDL), midnight commander?, ? ls with diffh, xrecursediff, bash commander, File Manager (SDL), midnight commander?, vifm?, emelfm2?, ?
Utilities - grep with directory search
grep (freeware included with Borland C++ command line compiler)
grep20_d_win (grep 2.0d with directory search), searchmonkey (0.8.1 build with mingw and gtk+ 2 or use qt version) grep -r, searchmonkey
Utilities - disk usage
xdiskusage, windirstat (Portable Apps version available), du, df xdiskusage, du, df
Utilities - hex editor
ncurses hexedit, frhed ncurses hexedit, ?
Utilities - directory deletion
deltree, rmdir /s
deltree (from FreeDOS), rm -r (from mingw project's msys) rm -r
Search and Replace
gsar, sed, minised gsar, sed, minised
Macro Key Playback
autohotkey xdotool, autohotkeyx (with Wine)?
File splitter
HJ-Split (Windows and Linux)
lxsplit lxsplit
Compression zip (Infozip), unzip (Infozip), bsdtar (libarchive), xz, bzip2, bsd gzip, gzip, basic-bsdtar (MinGW), pigz, clzip, minilzip zip (Infozip), unzip (Infozip), bsdtar (libarchive), xz, bzip2, bsd gzip, gzip, pigz, clzip, minilzip
File comparison
fc, examdiff
diffh (build with mingw), xrecursediff, fldiff (build with mingw), fc (from FreeDOS), diff, pardiff (build with mingw), winmerge (Portable Apps version available), zdelta, TDiff (TextDiff) diffh, xrecursediff, fldiff, diff, pardiff, zdelta
Source control
Visual Sourcesafe, TFVC
rcs, git for Windows, fossil, csv, svn rcs, git, fossil, csv, svn
C/C++ Compilers
Borland command line, Microsoft Visual Express (last time I tried it, Visual Express was buggy)
MinGW, OpenWatcom, djgpp (for DOS 32 bit), tcc (Tiny C Compiler), llvm gnu C/C++ compiler suite, OpenWatcom, tcc, llvm, LSB gnu compiler
Web site downloader httrack, curl, wget webhttrack, httrack, httraqt, curl, wget
File downloader
Star Downloader
prozilla (prozgui) Free Download Manager, DownThemAll (Firefox add-on), Video DownloadHelper (Firefox add-on), ? prozilla (prozgui), DownThemAll (Firefox add-on), Video DownloadHelper (Firefox add-on)
ws_ftp le
Filezilla (Portable Apps version available), fireftp (Firefox add-on) ftp, Filezilla, fireftp (Firefox add-on), lftp
Alpine, Sylpheed, Thunderbird (Portable Apps version available), flmail, hermail Alpine (or re-alpine), Sylpheed, Thunderbird, nmh, flmail, hermail
tin (cygwin older version), Alpine, Sylpheed, XanaNews tin, Alpine, Sylpheed
RSS (RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 compatible)
IE 7
quite-rss, Sage (Firefox add-on) quite-rss, Sage (Firefox add-on), nrss
Instant Messaging
Miranda IM (Portable Apps version available), ayttm, xchat, flchat, kashyyyk irc it (ii), sic, tinyirc, bitlbee, ayttm, naim, xchat, centerim, flchat, kashyyyk
Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera
Firefox (Portable Apps version available), lynx (build from source), dplus, netrider, doslynx, links? or links2?, Chrome? Firefox (Iceweasel on Debian, Mint has Firefox), lynx, dplus, netrider, links or links2, elinks, w3m, fifth, Chromium?, arora, uzbl
Web Server Apache, nginx Apache, nginx
XSLT XMLStar (aka XMLStarlet) XMLStar (aka XMLStarlet)
XQuery ? galax?, ?
(Karaoke kar files)
Van Basco, WinKaraoke, Go Sing
Timidity++ (latest version), Kodi (older versions only, uses Timidity++ code)? Timidity++ (latest version with xaw support), Kodi (older versions only, uses Timidity++ code)?, bash karaoke?
(midi files)
Noteworthy Player, XMPlay, Synthfont
Timidity++, Jazz++, Media Player Classic - Home Cinema Timidity++, Jazz++ (if you can find a working version)
(midi sequencer)
Digital Orchestrator
? ?
fische (exe available with zip file of source code), ? fische, flxine
Audacity, Media Player Classic - Home Cinema, VLC, mplayer, sox, gramofile Audacity, VLC, flxine, mplayer, sox, gramofile, qmmp, xine-ui, audacious, xmms
(mod files)
soundtracker 2.0 (DOS), XMPlay
MilkyTracker, Timidity++, modplug, Media Player Classic - Home Cinema MilkyTracker, Timidity++, modplugplay, xmp, xmms (with modplugxmms), mikmod
(Converts abc to and from midi, abc to postscript)
abc2midi, midi2abc, abcm2ps abc2midi, midi2abc, abcm2ps
(Converts midi to and from text)
t2mf, mf2t, midicomp t2mf, mf2t, midicomp
(Soundfont editor)
Viena (freeware, not the same as Vienna)
polyphone, pysf-2, swami polyphone, pysf-2, swami
(simultaneous multitrack playback and recording)
Quartz AudioMaster Freeware
Audacity (if you have a fast enough processor and an audio card that can handle it) Audacity (if you have a fast enough processor and an audio card that can handle it)
Audio - Recorder
Audacity, sox Audacity, sox, GramoFile, flrec, snd
Audio - Editor
tiny wave editor (twe), acoustic
Audacity, apcstudio Audacity (GTK and WXWidgets), apcstudio, snd (X Windows GUI), ecasound (command line), xwave, ecawave, mhwaveedit, sweep
Audio - Converter
(format conversion)
sox, audacity, timidity++ sox, audacity, timidity++
Audio - Converter
(Converts ac3 to wav)
BeSweet (and BeSweetGUI or BeLight)
a52dec (from liba52) a52dec (from liba52)
Audio - Converter
(Converts wav to ac3)
(Note: Some Open Source conversion programs have sound volume issues and are not recommended.)
aften (GUI front ends EncWAVtoAC3 or AftenGUI) aften
Audio - Compression
flac, wavpack flac, wavpack
Audio - Filters normalize, GramoFile, declick normalize, GramoFile, declick
Audio Server
(Feeds output of one audio program to input of another.)
(Note: Good audio cards do this for you.)
jackdmp aka jack 2 jack 2 aka jackdmp
CD Wave ripper
Plextor Tools, PlexTools Professional, Windows Media Player, Exact Audio Copy (only works with some writers)
cdex (only works with some writers), cd-da x-tractor (only works with some writers), cdparanoia (command line), cdda2wav (command line program from cdrtools), icedax (fork of cdda2wav command line program from cdrkit) cdparanoia (command line), cdda2wav (command line program from cdrtools), icedax (fork of cdda2wav command line program from cdrkit), xcdroast (GUI for cdrecord), asunder
CD Music (wave) writer
Plextor Tools, PlexTools Professional, Windows Media Player, Imgburn
cdrecord (only works with some writers), InfraRecorder (GUI for cdrecord, Portable Apps version available), cdrtfe (GUI for cdrecord), ableburn (GUI for cdrecord) xcdroast (GUI for cdrecord), k3b (Gnome GUI for dvd+rw-tools), flburn
Audio CD
bin file audio player
? ?
CD to ISO image
PlexTools Professional, cd2iso, CD DVD to ISO, ISORecorder
readcd (from cdrtools) readcd (from cdrtools)
ISO image to CD
PlexTools Professional, DVD Decrypter, cdburn (Microsoft rktools), Imgburn, ISORecorder
? ?
Files (VOB) to ISO image
mkisofs (command line) mkisofs (command line), genisoimage (fork from cdrkit), xorriso
DVD Ripping
(to MPEG)
DVD Decrypter
vstrip (only works with some writers), ProjectX (only works with some writers), DGMPGDec (VOB file to MPEG) vstrip (command line version), ProjectX (Java based, only works with some writers)
Demultiplex MPEG files
DGMPGDec (improvement over mpeg2dec which may lose frames), mpgtx, avidemux? mpgtx, avidemux?, ?
Multiplex MPEG files
mplex (command line) [example: mplex -f 8 -S 0 -O -66ms -o %1.mpg %2.m1v %2.ac3] mplex (command line)
MPEG 1 Cutter
Cuttermaran (Needs Microsoft .Net 1.1)
? gopchop?
MPEG 2 Cutter
MPEG2Schnitt, avidemux?, ProjectX? gobchop, avidemux?, ProjectX?
Fix audio delays for MPEG
MPEG2Schnitt, mplex, ProjectX (only works with some writers) mplex, ProjectX (only works with some writers)
DVD-R Authoring
GUI for dvdauthor (freeware but not open source)
DVDStyler, DVDAuthorGUI, ? DVDStyler (1.4 uses netpbm, later versions use SVG), ?
Daemon Tools 3.47, Microsoft WinXP Virtual CD Control Panel
WinCDEmu (PortableWinCDEmu) (mount ISO file with loopback) [example: mount -o loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/cdrom]
DVD ISO File Playback vlc vlc, (mount ISO file with loopback and use any DVD player)
DVD Player
vlc, mplayer, Media Player Classic (Home Cinema is latest fork), xine (only with some video cards), flvlc (FLTK), Kodi? vlc, mplayer, xine (flxine, toxine, xineui - fltk, curses and X front ends), flvlc (FLTK) ogle (goggles - Fox front end), Kodi?
DVD ISO Writer
PlexTools Professional, dvdburn (Microsoft rktools), Imgburn
? cdrecord?, dvd+rw-tools?
Video - Converter
(Converts MPEG to AVI)
virtualdubmod, mencoder, avidemux?, ? mencoder, avidemux?, ?
Video - Converter
(Converts AVI to MPEG)
quenc (needs Avisynth or other program to run), mencoder, avidemux? mencoder, avidemux?, ?
Transcode utility rejig transcode?
AVI Editor (with ability to add or mute sound)
Windows Movie Maker
virtualdubmod, avidemux, (anything easier to work with?) avidemux, (anything easier to work with?)
DVD Rebuilder
vamps? (see build fixes at sourceforge site under vamps project, forums page, Open Discussion) vamps?
DVD VOB Blanker
VobBlanker ?
Video - Filters Avisynth, Avidemux Avidemux
Video - Other Tools mjpegtools, ffmpeg (GUI front end winff), cdrtools, dvd-author (in DVDStyler package and used by other authoring GUIs), pgcedit mjpegtools, ffmpeg (GUI front ends winff, winff-qt), cdrtools, dvd-author (used by DVDStyler and other authoring GUIs), pgcedit, vobcopy
Graphics Editor
Photoshop Elements (commercial, sometimes free), Picassa2, 2 Pic, HTML Help Image Editor
grafx2, rendera, Graphicsmagick, Imagemagick, netpbm, tuxpaint, I.mage, flphoto (see build fixes at fltk wiki), mtpaint, Gimp (GimpShop and Portable Apps versions available), RawTherapee, CinePaint grafx2, rendera, Graphicsmagick, Imagemagick, netpbm, tuxpaint, antipaint, mtpaint, flphoto, Gimp, fotoxx, RawTherapee, viewnior, nathive, CinePaint, I.mage
Vector Graphics Editor
sodipodi, inkscape, LibreOffice Draw, winfig, svg-edit figurine, sodipodi, inkscape, LibreOffice Draw, xfig, svg-edit
Icon/Cursor Graphics Editor OpenWatcom Image Editor ?
Graphics Viewer
(Loads a graphic quickly)
Wang Imaging, Paint, HTML Help Image Editor, XnView (Windows and Linux), FastStone MaxView, IrfanView, Picassa2
picaxo, I.mage, nomacs, flpicsee, gqview-win, neonview (build with mingw and some patches), pho picaxo (SDL), neonview, zgv (SDL or libsvga), feh (needs imlib2), nomacs, flpicsee, gpicview, geeqie/GQview, viewnior, gtksee, xzgv, xfi, gliv, pho, I.mage
Graphics Slideshow
Microsoft slideshow in Windows 7
perigee slideshow perigee slideshow, gpe-gallery
Graphics Animation
Microsoft Gif Animator, Unfreez
gifsicle, apngasm, mtpaint, gifsicle, apngasm, mtpaint
Graphics - Other
png2ico, icobundle, giftrans, gif2apng, apng2gif, apngopt, apngdis png2ico, icobundle, giftrans, gif2apng, apng2gif, apngopt, apngdis
Graphics - Graphs
GLE (graphics language editor produces charts) GLE (graphics language editor produces charts)
Graphics - Converter
Imagemagick, Graphicsmagick, netpbm, ? Imagemagick, Graphicsmagick, netpbm, ?
Autocad (commercial), ProgeCAD LT 2006
BRL-CAD, Archimedes, Qcad Community Edition, jwcad, ? BRL-CAD, Archimedes, Qcad Community Edition, ?
Barcodes zbar, zint zbar, zint
Readers - CBR, CBZ mupdf, comical, sumatra mupdf, comical, qcomicbook
Readers - Document Viewers bard, mupdf, fbreader, less, SciTE, autohotkey with ebook reader script bard, mupdf, fbreader, less, SciTE
Font Creation Tool Fontforge Fontforge
Postscript Ghostscript Ghostscript
Postscript - Converter a2ps, enscript, wkhtmltopdf, html2ps, phantomJS, htmldoc a2ps, enscript, wkhtmltopdf, html2ps, phantomJS, htmldoc
PDF - Viewer
Foxit (portable version available)
Ghostscript, mupdf, Sumatra (Portable Apps version available), xpdf, Evince Ghostscript (and gv), mupdf, xpdf, epdfview, green, zathura, qpdfview, Evince
PDF - Browser Embedded Viewer
mupdf (for Firefox 2 and 3), Sumatra, Evince Evince
PDF - Converter Ghostscript, LibreOffice, PDF Creator, SciTE Ghostscript, LibreOffice, SciTE
PDF - Other qpdf, PDFTK, pdftxt qpdf, PDFTK, pdftxt
PDF to GIF Converter Imagemagick (convert, mogrify), Graphicsmagick Imagemagick (convert, mogrify), Graphicsmagick
Screen Capture
HTML Help Image Editor or Printkey
import (from ImageMagick), shutterbug (Fox GUI), mtpaint, OpenWatcom Image Editor (limited ability), Greenshot (use no installer version for portable drives), ? import (from ImageMagick), shutterbug (Fox GUI), scrot (needs imlib2), mtpaint, gpe-screenshot
Video Screen Capture
Wink (Windows and Linux)
CamStudio 2.0 or 2.5, imagemagick and script xvidcap, record my desktop, vokoscreen, imagemagick and script
Windows calc
speedcrunch, flcalc, SciTE_Calculator (lua script for SciTE) speedcrunch, flcalc, SciTE_Calculator (lua script for SciTE)
Control Panel tools
? flsynclient, alsamixergui, jwm theme changer (in the design process)
Password Protectors
ckpass, KeePass (Portable Apps version available) ckpass, KeePassX
Kerio 2.1.5 (my favorite), SPF, Comodo, PC Tools, (Built into Windows Vista and 7), core force?
openfirewall?, ? ipkungfu, vuurmuur, gpe-shield, firehol?, ?
Virus scanner
Kaspersky (DOS), F-prot (DOS), Avira AntiVir, BitDefender (Windows and Linux), AVG, Avast!, Comodo, Microsoft Security Essentials
Clamwin (Portable Apps version available)?, ? ClamAV?, ?
Spyware scanner
Spybot - Search and Destroy
? ?
Emulators xroar, Dosbox, 8086tiny, Mess xroar, Dosbox (needs SDL), 8086tiny, Mess
prevrsi, workrave xwrits, workrave

More Resources

To an article on building some of these applications and patches that may be needed.

To an article on lightweight and cross-platform Open Source programs.

To an article about creating Music on your PC.

To an article about Video on your PC.

To a list with more Writing Tools suggestions.

To a list with more Internet and Web Development Resources.

To an article with tips on customizing the SciTE programming editor.


What's Missing

If the table has a ? next to a program, it's because I'm not sure the application fits the bill. The ? (not by a specific program), indicates that I'm still looking for software solutions for that category.

Along with the missing functionality above, I'm also still looking for the following:

If you know of any Open Source programs that fill in the blanks, please contact me through one of my mailing lists or directly through e-mail.

Sharing Open Source

As I was compiling and building some of the programs mentioned above, it struck me that there were plenty of Open Source archives to share project source code. However, the same wasn't true for sharing executables. In some cases, you can contact the project and send them an executable if it's not currently available, but often, a project is no longer supported or may not be interested in your particular platform. If anyone knows of a place to share Open Source executable programs for specific platforms (along with the source and any patches needed to build, of course), please let me know. I don't think average users like building their own programs, even if it is for the purpose of trying out something new and useful. It would be very nice if people had a place to share some builds of programs if there is no official build for a platform. It would certainly save people time if each person did not have to build from scratch or try to work around operating system specific deficiencies. If you have any ideas on how to better share executables along with their source, please let me know. It would also be nice to have a place for programmers to share cross-platform build scripts and the work involved to create and update them. I'm also working on a build project to help automate building of applications in a cross-platform manner. If you're interested in knowing more or getting involved, feel free to contact me via the CppDesign mailing list.

The webmaster at has been gracious enough to offer space to host some of the Windows programs I've compiled and built that are not already available as executables elsewhere. I really appreciate his doing so. I've uploaded a few programs there.

I've also been using Google Drive to hold some of my patches and programs. Hope to update what's there and add more as time allows. You can find those uploads in my Google Drive archive.


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(c) Copyright 2005,2018 by Laura Michaels
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Last Update: 20180117