List Of Open-source Programs (LOOP) for Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

What is the LOOP list?

  • This is a list of the best open-source applications that run on Windows. Feel free to edit this list and add any programs that meet the criteria below. The purpose of this list is to demonstrate the quality of open-source applications and advocate the open source software development model. To learn more, read the FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions.


  • Tell all your non-Linux friends and family about the LOOP list. On this list they will find free, high-quality replacements for the software that they have purchased/pirated. Once they become familiar with these new applications, introduce them to your favorite Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu. Then help them convert to Linux, using the same applications that they became familiar with on Windows.

Rules for adding programs to the LOOP list:

  1. Must be open-source.
  2. Must run natively on Microsoft Windows operating systems.
  3. Only include the best application for each specific purpose. In rare cases, up to three applications may be listed.
  4. Include the names of the top three proprietary applications that provide similar functionality, if known.

Desktop Applications








  • Gantt chart = GanttProject

    • Compare to: Microsoft Project

    Project management = Planner, OpenWorkbench

    • Compare to: Microsoft Project

    Report Creator = JasperReports

    • Compare to: Crystal Reports

    Analisi dei processi = APbyAS

    • Compare to Unknown

    Gestione Attività = PMbyAS

    • Compare to Microsoft Project

    Team Collaboration = Mindquarry

    • Compare to Microsoft Sharepoint

    Human Resource Management = OrangeHRM

    • Compare to PeopleSoft HCM





  • Audio Composition = OpenSebJ

    • Compare to: Ableton Live

    Audio Editing = Audacity

    • Compare to: Adobe Audition

    Audio Player = Coolplayer, Zinf, Songbird

    • Compare to: WinAMP, Windows Media Player, iTunes

    Drum Machine = Hydrogen

    • Compare to: Unknown

    MP3 Ripper = CDex

    • Compare to: Exact Audio Copy

    Piano Sampled Virtual Instrument = vScaleNotes

    • Compare to: Ivory - Grand Pianos

    Volume normalizer = MP3Gain

    • Compare to: Unknown


  • Diagram Editor = Dia

    • Compare to: Microsoft Visio

    Image Editing = Gimp, Pinta

    • Compare to: Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop, Paint.NET

    Vector Drawing = Inkscape

    • Compare to: Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW

    Digital Painting = MyPaint

    • Compare to: Corel Painter



  • Internet TV platform = Miro

    Video Capture = VirtualDub

    • Compare to: Sorenson Squeeze

    Video MPEG-4 codec = ffdshow, XviD

    • Compare to: DivX

    Video Editing = Jashaka, Avidemux,

    • Compare to: Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle Studio, Apple Final Cut


Software Development


Server Applications

Content Management

  • Enterprise Content Management = Alfresco

    • Compare to: Sharepoint, Documentum,Filenet, OpenText, Vignette, Interwoven


File Server



  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS) = Snort

    • Compare to: Unknown

    VPN server = OpenVPN

    • Compare to: Cisco VPN


  • Application server = JBoss

    • Compare to: BEA Weblogic, IBM Websphere

    Rich Internet Application Server = OpenLaszlo

    • Compare to: Macromedia Flex

    Statistics Generator = AWStats

    • Compare to: Unknown

    Web server = Apache

    • Compare to: Microsoft Internet Information Services (ISS)

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

These applications are awesome! I can't believe that they are free! How can I help to support these applications?

  • That is a terrific question. If these programs provide value to you, it makes sense to give something back to the community. The best way to do this may be different for each application, so read more at the project's website. In general, here are ways that you can give back to the open-source community:
    • Install and use the program, then share your experiences (good or bad) with the project mailing list.
    • Subscribe to the project mailing list and answer questions that users are asking.
    • Share any ideas you have about the software, such as features that you would like to see implemented or any changes that you think would improve the project.
    • Create documentation about the project, such as how to install, configure, and use the application.
    • If you are a programmer, look at the code and report any bugs you find and share any improvements that you make.
    • Some projects provide a way to contribute money to the project.
    • Tell everyone you know about the application and help them start using it.

    The great thing about contributing to an open-source project is that you will be helping everyone who uses the software. If users give back to the project, there will be a constant improvement in the quality of the application. Here are some ideas on how to Participate, from Ubuntu.

Why do you only include open-source applications? Why not include applications that are free, but not open-source?

  • The goal of the LOOP list is to demonstrate the quality of open-source software and the advantages of the open-source development model. There are many high-quality free applications, but they do not have the same advantages of the open-source development model.

You keep talking about the advantages of the open-source software development model. What are they?

  • The easiest to explain advantage is the concept of shared cost. In the traditional software development model, many different software companies each create their own version of a software application, such as a word processor. When a customer buys the software, they are only contributing to one of these versions. With the open-source model, all resources that are spent on an open-source project will benefit everyone who uses the application. There are many advantages to open-source, which you can learn about by visiting the links below.

Some of these applications only run on Windows, and not Linux. Why do you include these?

  • The goal of the LOOP list is to demonstrate the advantages of open-source applications. One of those advantages is the ability to port the application to other operating systems. This means that anyone with the time, skill, and desire can port these applications to Linux or any other operating system. It is also likely that these applications will run in Linux using Wine (

Why don't you include applications that only run on Linux? These Linux applications are open-source, so they could be ported to Windows, right?

  • That is true, but an overwhelming majority of people use Windows operating systems. If these people knew they could keep their applications, they would be more likely to switch to a Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu Linux).

I disagree with the applications that were chosen for a particular category. How can I make my case for another application?

  • You can debate the pros and cons of each application on the LoopListDebate page.

Why did you create a new list? There are other lists out there with similar information.

  • This list serves a specific purpose, which is listed at the top of this page. Other lists on the web have good information, but they were not what I was looking for. Here are some projects similar to the LOOP list:

Links to similar projects

Note: These links are not part of the LOOP list. They do not follow the guidelines defined for the LOOP list. Links are included only as a reference to efforts similar to the LOOP list.


Open Source

Compilations on a CD



Open Source Software

Mac OS X

Open Source Software

Compilations on a CD

General Directories

Free and Open Source

ListOfOpenSourcePrograms (last edited 2021-10-20 21:58:12 by sethh)