Free software for Windows OS

Free software for Windows exists. Here is a list of the best applications from the world of free software that run on the Windows operating system. All of these programs successfully replace their commercial counterparts and are performed at a high professional level.

If you want to improve the situation with the license purity of the software installed at your enterprise, without investing a penny in licenses; or you are tired of depending on the “bumps” of proprietary software suppliers, then this article is for you. Moreover, having mastered these applications, your users will be able to painlessly completely switch to using free software under Linux OS, using already familiar and beloved programs. In this review, we decided to include both “profile” software for readers of “Network Solutions” – server software, databases, network applications, and purely user software. The latter was added out of consideration that a significant part of our readers are sysadmins and heads of IT departments who choose software not only for themselves, but also for the users entrusted to them.

Immediately note that this list does not pretend to be complete, perhaps something very significant is missing. We hope that with your help, this document will develop into a full-fledged database of open software for Windows.

server applications

Database server: Firebird, MySQL, PostgreSQL. Replace Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS): Snort.

VPN server: OpenVPN. Replaces Cisco VPN, GRE/PPTP-based solutions built into Windows.

FTP server: Filezilla FTP server.

SSH server: OpenSSH.

Rsync server: SEREDS.

Email server: hMailServer. Replaces Microsoft Exchange Server, Novell Group Wise Server.

Instant messaging system server: Jive Messenger, ejabberd.

Centralized administration of Firefox: FirefoxADM.

Web server: Apache. Replaces Microsoft Internet Information Services (ISS).

Application Server: JBoss. Replaces BEA Weblogic, IBM Websphere.

Rich Internet Applications Server: OpenLaszlo. Replaces Macromedia Flex.

Content Management System (CMF/CMS): TYPO3.

Project collaboration system: dotProject.

Wiki: WackoWiki, MoinMoin.

Statistics generator: AWStats.

Photo Gallery: Coppermine Photo Gallery, Gallery.

networks and security

Web browser: Mozilla Firefox. Replaces Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera.

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird. Replaces Microsoft Outlook, Becky, The Bat!

Mail notifier: PopTray. Replaces the agent , GMail Notifier.

Instant messaging: Gaim, Miranda IM, SIM-IM. Replace ICQ, Trillian.

IRC client: XChat, ChatZilla (extension for Firefox). Replace mIRC.

Bit Torrent Client: Azureus, BitTorrent Client.

File sharing: Shareaza, eMule Plus, Ares. Replaces Napster, eDonkey, etc.

Webcam: Fwink.

Remote Administration: UltraVNC. Replaces pcAnywhere, Go To My PC, Windows Remote Desktop.

VPN client: OpenVPN client GUI for Windows. Replaces Cisco VPN client, Nortel VPN client.

802.1x client (EAP-TTLS): SecureW2.

HTTP tunnel: httptunnel.

Remote investigation of machines/networks and their security: Nmap.

SSH/SCP/SFTP/FTP client: OpenSSH, WinSCP, PuTTY, Filezilla FTP client. Replaces Smart FTP, Bullet Proof FTP, etc

. RSS aggregator: RSSOwl, Feedreader.

IP telephony: OpenWengo. Replaces Skype.

Network protocol analysis: Ethereal. Replaces Sniffer, CommView.

IP address blocker: PeerGuardian 2.

Antivirus: ClamWin. Replaces Norton Antivirus, Kaspersky Antivirus, etc.

Protection against spyware and fraudulent programs: WinPooch.

Protection against well-known vulnerabilities of Windows XP: xpy.

Password strength Check: Ophcrack 2. Replaces LOphtCrack.

Secure Password Storage: KeePass Password Safe, Password Safe.

Cryptography and digital signature of files and messages e-mail: GNU Privacy Guard. Replaces PGP.

Disk/partition/storage media encryption: TrueCrypt. Replaces Bestcrypt, etc

. Mass/emergency complete data deletion: Darik’s Boot and Nuke. Replaces format c: 😉


Archiver: 7-Zip. Replaces Win Zip, Win Rar.

Running programs with parameters without opening the “command line”: RunWithParameters.

Hard disk space usage statistics: WinDirStat.

Backup: Bacula, NasBackup.

Hard disk partition management: GParted. Replaces Acronis Disk Partition Manager.

Recovery of hard disk partitions and boot record: TestDisk.

File recovery: PhotoRec. Replaces Ontrack Easy Recovery.

Batch search and replace in text files: sed, super sed. Replace Advanced Search and Replace Pro, Advanced Find and Replace.

Linux environment: Cygwin.

Running the Linux kernel as a Windows OS process: Cooperative Linux.

software development

Platform: Mono. Replaces Microsoft. NET Framework.

Integrated development environment: Eclipse, SharpDevelop, Code::Blocks. Replace Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland IDE.

Program Installer: Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, Inno Setup. Replace Install Shield, Microsoft Installer.

Version/Change Control System (CVS/SVN): TortoiseCVS, TortoiseSVN.

Wrapper/converter in .exe for Java/Python bytecode: JSmooth, py2exe. Replace Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications.

Embedded database: SQLite.

office and management applications

Word processor: OpenOffice (Writer), AbiWord. Replace Microsoft Office (Word).

Spreadsheets: OpenOffice (Calc), Gnumeric. Replace Microsoft Office (Excel).

Presentation system: OpenOffice (Impress). Replaces Microsoft Office (Powerpoint).

Databases (desktop): OpenOffice (Base). Replaces Microsoft Office (Access).

Integration of Open Office with third-party software: AutomateIt! Replaces Microsoft Office (OLE/COM).

PDF Creation: PDF Creator. Replaces Adobe Acrobat.

Publishing system: Scribus. Replaces Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Page Maker, Quark XPress.

Scientific word processor: LyX (a LaTeX-based document layout system). Recommended for students and schoolchildren, researchers and publishers. Replaces Scientific Word.

Preparation of publications for the Web: Nvu. Replaces Microsoft Frontpage, Macromedia Dreamweaver.

Taking notes: TreeLine.

Mental maps: FreeMind. Replaces Mindjet Mind Manager, Inspiration.

Simple text editor: Notepad2, Notepad++. Replaces Notepad.

Dictionaries: StarDict. Replaces ABBYY Lingvo.

Translation memory system: OmegaT.

Gantt diagrams: GanttProject. Replaces Microsoft Project.

Project Management: Planner, OpenWorkbench. Replaces Microsoft Project.

Visualization and organization of information: Xebece. Replaces Concept Draw, Mind Map.

Report Generator: JasperReports. Replaces Crystal Reports.


graphic editors

Creating diagrams: Dia. Replaces Microsoft Visio.

Image and photo editing: GIMP. Replaces Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop.

Vector graphics: Inkscape. Replaces Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw.

Creating panoramic photos: Hugin.

Clip Art Library for free use: Open Clip Art Library.

three-dimensional modeling

3D animation: Blender, Wings 3D. Replace Alias Maya, 3D Studio MAX.

3D graphics: POV-Ray.

Development of 3D games: Crystal Space, Ogre3d.


Sound editor: Audacity. Replaces Adobe Audition.

Audio extraction from audio discs: CDex. Replaces Audiograbber, Audio Catalyst.

Audio Player: musikCube, Quintessential Player, Coolplayer, Zinf. Replace Winamp, Foobar 2000, Windows Media Player.

Drum machine: Hydrogen.

Volume normalization: MP3Gain.

A modern format for music and sound with a higher-quality psychoacoustic model and a high compression ratio Ogg Vorbis. Replaces MP3, WMA, AAC.

An open format for compressing music without loss of quality: FLAC. Replaces Monkey Audio.

Karaoke player: Plarpebu, PyKaraoke.


MPEG4-video codec: XviD. Replaces DivX.

Internet TV: Democracy Player.

Video capture: VirtualDub, StaxRip.

Video editor: Jahshaka. Replaces Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle Studio, Apple Final Cut.


HTPC/PVR Media Center: MediaPortal. Replaces Microsoft Media Centre Edition (MCE), Showshifter, Sage TV.

Media Player: VLC media player. Replaces Windows Media Player, Power Link Power DVD, Intervideo Win DVD.

Universal Audio/Video/DVD Player: Media Player Classic. Replaces Windows Media Player, Winamp, BSPlayer, Quick Time, Real Player, PowerDVD, WinDVD.


Educational games: GCompris, Childsplay.

Planetarium: Stellarium.

Simulator of the universe: Celestia.

Flight simulator: FlightGear. Replaces MS Flight Simulator.

Printing Training: Tux Typing. Replaces the keyboard SOLO.

Graphic editor for children: Tux Paint. Replaces Kid Pix.