5 Reliable Websites to Download Free and Open Source Software

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In short: if you are looking for free and open source software, here are some websites from which you can download freeware.

Where can I download open source software?

I’ve been asked this question many times and I usually get the same answer. So, I thought that instead of responding to individual emails, I would put a list of sources in an article for everyone to check out.

You can always find software in the software center of your Linux distributions, the description usually states if it is open source. You can also explore the software available on Flathub and Snapcraft.

But aside from them, if you are in browse mode and just looking for cool software to download, there are several websites that list and host open source software.

Best Websites to Find and Download Open Source Software

Some websites offer a way to collaborate effectively for open source software development, but that’s not our goal here. We will focus on web portals that host and distribute open source projects.

Just to clarify, the list is not in any specific order. So, here we are with the list of websites that host or list open source software. You are welcome to bookmark them.

1.SourceForge

sourceforge
SourceForge

SourceForge is one of the first portals to host and distribute open source software. Over the years, SourceForge has become one of the main resources for open source projects.

SourceForge boasts of hosting over thousands (maybe close to a million or more) of projects and has millions of registered users.

You can find featured open source projects on its homepage, as well as Editor’s Choice projects. You can also browse software in different categories. A search option is also available.

SourceForge provides download statistics, so you can see if the project is popular or not. The project page also indicates which operating system is supported and which license is used.

Registered members can also rate and review software, like what you see on Play Store and App Store.

SourceForge faced controversy in 2013-2014 when it attempted to monetize downloads with adware. Fortunately, it is now owned by Slashdot Media and its president Logan Abbott has ensured that the software remains ad-free.

2. OSDN

osdn
Open Source Development Network

OSDN stands for Open Source Development Network. It provides a set of free services for open source software developers. These services include SVN/Git/Mercurial/Bazaar/CVS repositories, mailing lists, bug tracking system, message board and forum, website hosting, release file download service, file archiving, full backup, shell environment, etc.

More than 55,000 projects use OSDN services. As an end user, you can use OSDN to find and download open source software. Their download page has a list of software categories that you can browse and download.

3. Foss Hub

fosshub
Fosshub

FossHub was founded in 2007 with the goal of becoming a “reliable place for users to download their favorite software and as a trusted partner for some free projects”.

It provides fast global servers and optimized pages for good user experience and fast download speeds. They provide you with direct download links without the need to redirect to multiple pages.

The project page lists the total number of uploads. It also shows supported operating systems.

You can also rate and review the software, even if you are not a registered member.

Just to be clear, FossHub also hosts some select freeware. This may confuse some people, as they might expect FossHub to only host free and open source software.

It would be better if they clearly mention whether the affected software is FOSS or not on each project page. But you can rely on software descriptions to know more about what you are downloading.

4. GitHub

github
GithubGenericName

GitHub is slightly different from the two mentioned above. GitHub focuses more on hosting the source code and collaborating with the development of the project. But it is also widely used for software distribution.

Projects can create their own web pages on GitHub and can provide a direct download from there. You can also find the latest versions of software in the project releases section.

You’ll have to navigate a bit to be able to download software packages, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.

5. F-Droid

android
F-Droid

F-Droid is a platform for listing and distributing free and open-source software for Android.

You can browse FOSS Android apps in different categories. You can also download the APK files directly from the website, but it is recommended to use the F-Droid client to install the apps.

With the F-Droid client, your installed Android app will receive updates similar to the Play Store. If you use the APK directly, it will not receive updates and therefore pose a security risk.

What else?

I would like to mention Savannah from GNU to download free and open source software here. It’s an old fashioned FSF (Free Software Foundation) website which I don’t find very user friendly. However, you can be sure to get 100% free and open source software here.

alternative to is also a good place to find open source alternative software recommendations. You can filter by platform and licenses to make sure you get the right recommendation. However, it does not host the projects themselves.

alternativeto and savannah
Alternativeto and Savannah

Now, this list may not be everything, and you may know of other such websites that host and distribute open source software. If so, please mention them in the comments section below.

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