Best Open Source Software for Mac

The rising popularity of Mac computers has compelled a massive number of developers to come up with quality open source software for Macs. Open source Mac software is rarely compatible with native software and does not come as close to being as reliable. So here are some of the coolest and best open source software for Mac you should try out.

The Mac is a popular computer, and there are many reasons to love it—unlike proprietary systems, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your Mac will make it into the next upgrade cycle. You also get extra freedoms with Macs that don’t exist on Windows; for instance, you generally have more freedom to choose the software you want to run on your machine. Below is a list of some great Mac open source software applications.


add connection in cyberduck

Cyberduck is an FTP client for Mac. It lets you connect, browse, and manage the content stored on SFTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, and more. The interface works like a browser and mimics common navigation and sorting features.

The outline view lets you browse large folder structures efficiently, while the Quick Look feature can preview files without downloading them. You can also organize bookmarks with drag and drop and check the history of all visited servers.

Uploading files is a one-step procedure. Drag and drop bookmarks to Finder and drop files onto bookmarks to upload. You can even sync local directories with a remote server

The Unarchiver

Unarchiver (src: Unarchiver)

The Unarchiver supports many archived files especially RAR, ZIP, ACE and TAR. It’s totally free and supporting many macOS versions starting from macOS 10.7. It supports also rare archived formats including old formats as well.  


cryptomator vault in cyberduck

One of the best features of Cyberduck is the integration with Cryptomator. It works by creating a vault directory in the cloud storage and encrypts files and folders with AES-256 cipher keys. Anything you put inside this vault will encrypt transparently.

That means no hidden backdoors from third parties, and greater privacy when using cloud services. The app is easy to use. All you have to do is create a new vault and enter a name and passphrase to secure it.


SelfControl A free Mac application to help you avoid distracting websites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. It supports multiple websites, timer, and comes with command-line mode. (I didn’t use it much, but I would recommend it to other macOS users).

Skim PDF Reader

skim pdf reader features

The built-in Preview app has exceptional support of PDFs and images, but alternative PDF reader Skim goes one step ahead. It has built-in support for AppleScript, LaTeX, BibDesk, and more. The left side of the main window lets you view page thumbnails or the table of contents. Meanwhile, the right side has a note panel that allows you to see all the annotations and notes you created.

Skim includes a feature called the reading bar to help you concentrate. And the content pane has a powerful built-in search feature: it highlights the search term on relevant pages and groups them by density and sheet.

If the book has thousands of pages, you can take a snapshot for reference or split the PDF into two halves. In combination with thumbnails/table of contents, you can skim the book faster. And finally, you can export all notes and annotations as a text file.

OnyX (Recommended)

Src: OnyX

OnyX is an up-to-date macOS system maintenance app. It contains many system functions like file cleaning, removing old temporary files, cleaning caches and rebuilding database indexes.


bibdesk interface and citekey customization

Creating a bibliography is a tough job; it’s easy to make formatting errors. That’s where the BibDesk app can help. Just get the BibTeX citation of a source and put it in the app to create a well-organized library. If you work in different LaTeX editors, then you can write and cite with BibDesk effortlessly.

Using the app is easy. Create a library and search for papers on Google Scholar, ACM, arXiv, JSTOR, Springer Link, and more. Every publication offers a cite key with details like the article type, author, year, and more. Copy the cite key, and BibDesk will automatically retrieve all the details.

You can also drag and drop the PDF and fill in the details. The app supports exporting the bibliographic information to various formats, such as BibTeX, XML, HTML, and more. Or if you prefer, simply copy the details and paste them into your documents instead.


Video converted by HandBreak

HandBeak is a video converter and transcoder for macOS, Windows and Linux. It’s free and open source. I have used it several times for my videos it’s really easy to use has built-in preset library, supports multiple input sources and dozens of formats and quality options. Here is some of my videos converted with HandBreak.


katana screenshot app

Katana is a simple screenshot utility that lives in your menu bar. Take a screenshot with a hotkey, and the app will then upload the file to several image hosts, including Imgur and Pomf. If you wish to shorten the link, copy the URL and press another of the app’s hotkeys.



The qBittorrent is a free useful torrent client alternative. Unlike many other torrent programs qBitorrent does not contain spyware, adware or any advertisement for sort. Above all, it helps the user to search dozens of torrent websites without opening them sparing the user from ads and many infected websites.  It has a plugin system but be aware some plugins are not that good as it’ll conflict with other search plugins.


Amethyst: I have been using tiling window managers on Linux for ages (Mainly AwesomeWM and xmonad WM) , Since I start using macOS, I was looking for tiling WM alternative. Amethyst was there, an amazing application, free and easy to use with customizable shortcuts.

30 free and Open-source macOS Apps for Your Daily Use


Mac OS X is a great operating system for your Mac, but sometimes you need something different. Here’s a list of some open source software to help you make the most of your Mac, no matter what task you’re trying to get done.


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