How To Download Open Source Projects

Contributing to Open Source projects, at least in my experience, can be a little confusing. I know, I know, you’re like, “How can it be confusing?” But believe me–it is. Not because of any fault of the project maintainers themselves, but rather because of all the moving pieces in the whole process. This guide will help make sure you have all the information you need to contribute code back upstream efficiently.

Have you ever wanted to contribute to Open Source, but weren’t sure how? Have you wanted to dip your toes into the sea of open source development, but were afraid to go too deep? There’s no need for fear any longer!


Source Forge is one the most popular websites for hosting open source software

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

SourceForge boasts of hosting over 500,000 projects and has millions of registered users. It sees over 4 million downloads a day from over 30 million monthly users.

You can find featured open source projects on its homepage along with editor’s choice projects. You can also browse software in various categories. A search option is available too.

SourceForge also provides stats on downloads so you can see if the project is popular or not. The project page also shows which operating system is supported and which license is used.

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

SourceForge ran into controversy in 2013-14 when it tried to monetize the downloads with adware. Thankfully, it is now owned by Slashdot Media and its president Logan Abbott has ensured that the software remains free from ads

Logan has also indicated that there will be a redesign of the website soon giving it a more modern look and making it more user-friendly. 



BitBucket is just like GitHub, where users can host their development projects. But it hosts both public and private open source project. So you can understand that it offers a versatile project management system for private uses. But for up to 5 users, it’s free. More than 480000 application repositories are there in the hub of BitBucket, and many of them are searchable.



GitHub aims to empower all developers to work on all open-source projects. It is a sole platform where you can install and work on open-source projects. Users can also find open-source projects for Linux. However, the main purpose of this platform is to host open-sourcing coding and project development using the source code. The user interface of this platform is quite smooth and fascinating. Users can sign in or sign up with a new account to use all the features of this website. Besides, GitHub also does have a search bar that allows you to search all the open-source projects accessible in GitHub.

More than 73 million developers access this platform for open-source development. Not only developers but many organizations are also harnessing the codes to develop new variations. GitHub also offers you cloud storage to keep your development progressing.


Websites to download free and open source software

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

It provides fast worldwide servers and optimized pages for a fast load and download of open source software. They have only direct download links so no further redirection or waiting time there.

Project page lists the total number of downloads. It also shows the 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 selected few closed-source freeware. This may confuse some people as they might expect FossHub to host only free and open source software.



This site mainly focuses on Ubuntu, so I must not miss this versatile open source project hosting site – LaunchPad. It’s maintained by Canonical and allows the Ubuntu developer to manage and support the projects that only run on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based derivatives.



This is a website where you can uncover all the latest and popular open-source software. Along with software, you can also access many active projects. Users on the home page itself can browse and find the projects and software they are looking for. The website is also available in several languages. Users can select the flag option from the top right corner to change the default language of the page. Below every project user can find a description of its working. However, the home page looks quite dull without having many options on it. Users won’t also find any search option to find the desired software.

There are two different sections on the left side of the home page, where users can spot the projects and the users. At the current moment, this website offers you more than 2400 projects.


Websites to download free and open source software

F-Droid is a platform to list and distribute free and open source software for Android. 

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

With F-Droid client, your installed Android app will get updates. If you directly use the APK, it won’t get updates and thus will pose a security risk.



Tigris is a bit different open source software management host site like GitHub or SourceForge. It has a defined small goal – “building better tools for collaborative software development.” You will not find any unrelated and dead projects here. Every software development project is reviewed to test the community commitment towards that specific app development.

 Black Duck Open Hub 

Black Duck Open Hub
Black Duck Open Hub

Black duck Open Hub is another remarkable and useful website to find open-source software. Users can find a plethora of open-source projects from several categories. Users can connect with the project’s primary developers in the open hub and communicate to get more insights. However, the home page of this website is categorized into three different parts, and it includes the most popular, most active, and most active contributors.

 Open-Source Software Directory 

Open Source Software Directory 
Open Source Software Directory 

This is a website where users can find open-source projects and software using a filter. The filter option allows users to streamline their search and find what they need. The directory page of this platform includes every necessary insight about the project that helps the developer learn about the project before working on them. The website also offers users many tools for professional and home use.

There is a division on the homepage that shows you all the latest added projects to the websites. Apart from that, users can also search in categories. It includes businesses and developers. The home page of this website is quite easy to use. There are not many functions, and the user also doesn’t need to log in.



Savannah is a website that will offer you to download a lot of free open source software. It looks like an old-school website, which is not very much user-friendly. However, you can try this website to download the software.

VLC Media Player

An open source media player than can play virtually anything


Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSTODAY’S BEST DEALSVISIT SITE


+Runs well on old hardware+Plays virtually any media file+Optimizes playback


-Complex menu system

VLC (or VideoLAN Client) media player is a lightweight application created by an open source development group known as the VideoLAN project. This video and media player has been leading the industry for years in terms of popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. You can use VLC media player to open audio and video files in just about any format without having to hunt down extra codecs. 

VLC also works for streaming media such as podcasts and online radio stations. But perhaps the greatest VLC media player feature is playback control. You can change almost everything about how your media is displayed from hardware optimization to adding subtitle files from third-party sources. 

Like some of the other amazing open source offerings mentioned here, VLC is constantly being upgraded with new goodies and features to explore.



AlternativeTo is an excellent website to download open source software. It has become trendy to the user in recent years, although it doesn’t host an open source project.


A slick open source program for advanced video editing


Operating system: WindowsTODAY’S BEST DEALSVISIT SITE


+HDMI preview and capture+Hundreds of codecs supported+Advanced effects


-Steep learning curve

Shotcut is open source free video editing software. It’s one of those open source programs that really demonstrates how much a dedicated development community can improve a platform given time. In earlier versions, the Shotcut interface was a little bare, but later releases have added extra dockable panels, an intuitive timeline, and other touches that put Shotcut in the same league as premium video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro.

This video tool supports non-destructive audio and video editing, meaning you can compile effects without any quality loss. You can also use this platform to do color keying and grading operations, as well as more basic clip splicing and trimming. Advertisement

Perhaps the coolest thing about Shotcut is its ability to work with more or less any format of video, audio, or photo media. That’s largely thanks to FFmpeg, an open source video framework that sits under the hood of the Shotcut program. 


If you love something, set it free. This applies to most open source projects, and can make them more accessible to everyone. Whether you’re a developer or a someone who wants to set up a blog on your own server, these instructions will help you manage your own custom packages.


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