Find Open Source Alternatives to Commercial Programs

Last Updated Oct 12, 2009 11:36 PM EDT

Need an office suite? A graphics program? Security software? Everyone knows the big names that rule the commercial space for each of those areas. But there are plenty of smaller commercial options and even a goodly number of open source alternatives to choose from too. Wouldn't it be great if someone rounded up all the options for you to peruse at once?


Someone has. Osalt.com -- "Open Source as alternatives" -- lets you browse open source software in a variety of categories.

The directory includes business, communications, databases, graphics, networking, security & privacy, system utilities, and Web development. Within each category, you'll find a slew of commercial apps and open source alternatives listed with sort descriptions and links to the publisher's Web site.

This isn't the only online resource for open source alternatives -- we've previously told you about AlternativeTo, for example. But Osalt listed options I haven't run across before.

On the downside, you can't get a list of alternatives by selecting a specific commercial app like Word or Photoshop -- you're limited just to browsing by general categories like business or graphics. But you can filter the results to show just Windows, Mac, Linux, commercial, or open source if you prefer.