10 Best Free Open Source Software For Mac in 2023

If you are Mac user then chances are you’ve spent more money than a typical PC user. The frequency of internet-based attacks on Macs is lower than it is on PCs. Also worth noting is that Macs have a better design than PCs do. This design offers you an unparalleled level of user experience. Interestingly, enhancing this experience is possible. More specifically, you can do that by taking advantage of open source software for Mac. Open Source software are free of cost and as good as many commercial applications.

10 Open Source Software For Mac

Here is a List of the Top 10 Open Source Software for Mac. Also, check our list of best open source software for Windows 10

1. Firefox


Mozilla Firefox is an open source browser. Mac users can get it online at zero cost. Released in 2004, Firefox challenged the dominance of Internet Explorer. Today, more than half a billion people use it worldwide making it the second most popular browser globally. Its strength lies in its speed, reliability and the availability of useful extensions. These strengths outweigh the usefulness of Safari as a web browser.

2. Quicksilver

Having Quicksilver on your Mac is an excellent idea because it helps you work quickly. More specifically, it makes it possible for you to set keyboard shortcuts for various tasks. These tasks include launching apps, sending emails, and manipulating files. Nicholas Jitkoff started the development of this open source software in 2003. Today, this development takes place on GitHub through a team of volunteers referred to as QSApp.

3. Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free open source platform that is available for the user on Macs and PCs. It is an email client, news client, chat client, and RSS. In contrast, Mail is just an email client. Consequently, you can perform more tasks with Thunderbird than you can with Mail. For example, auto-replies to particular messages are possible if you have Thunderbird on your Mac.

4. VLC Media Player

This is an open source media player that can practically handle any file format and one of the world’s most popular free media players. This can handle any audio files, video files, or media stream without the need for installing additional codecs. It also gives you a degree of control over playback, optimizing video and audio for your specific hardware configuration and even screen recording for your desktop.

5. OpenOffice

As the name suggests, OpenOffice is an open source office suite. This suite includes a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a formula editor. It includes several applications as well. These applications deal with database management, drawing, and making a presentation. Use OpenOffice on your Mac instead of opting for Microsoft applications such as Excel and PowerPoint. Remember, this office suite is free, unlike the one that comes from Microsoft Corporation.

6. AbiWord

AbiWord is an open source word processing application. It is freely available, unlike Microsoft Word on PC. Shared features that it has with MS Word include tables, footnotes, styles, headers, and footers. It has templates, multiple views, grammar checks, and spelling checks as well. One unique feature is several users can work on the same file in real time with full synchronization.

7. Seashore

Adobe Photoshop is expensive especially if you are using its Creative Cloud platform. You can use Seashore as an inexpensive alternative to editing images. This editor works on Macs exclusively because the developers wrote it on a native Mac toolkit known as Cocoa. It can edit several graphics formats such as PNG, TIFF, and JPEG. It can also read GIF, PDF, and BMP files.

8. Scribus

Adobe Pagemaker is one of the oldest desktop publishing programs worldwide. In fact, the Aldus Corporation introduced it in 1985, and the last major release was in 2001. Perhaps it is time to replace this old and expensive software. You can do that by opting for Scribus, which is free software. You can use it for creating brochures, newsletters, and posters in addition to producing interactive and animated PDF presentations.

9. Adium

Apple introduced iChat as an instant messaging application for its Mac users. It supported chats over several platforms including AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, and XXPP. Unfortunately, Apple discontinued it. You can replace its functions with Adium. Adium is a free and open source platform for instant messaging. It operates on Macs exclusively, and it supports all the messaging networks that iChat supported.

10. OneButton FTP

Using a memory stick to transfer files from one computer to another may be a cumbersome process. It can also be unnecessary if the two devices are on your home network. In this case, you can use the command line’ FTP. However, opting for the OneButton FTP is the best option for making such a move. More specifically, this process is quick and straightforward when you do it with the OneButton FTP.


Like every other top list article on the internet, this one is also based on an opinion. This software got a huge number of downloads and being updated from time to time. However, there are many great open source software apart from these which couldn’t be added here in my list of top 10. Feel free to share your favorite software in the comment section below.

4 thoughts on “10 Best Free Open Source Software For Mac in 2023”

  1. While the first four are exemplary suggestions, the list becomes suggests outdated options after that.

    OpenOffice is an odd choice.

    LibreOffice is more popular and is updated at a much faster and regular (predictable) rate. In terms of features, UI, stability, and compatibility, LibreOffice is just better.

    Abiword for Mac? If OpenOffice is an odd choice, Abiword is an OLD choice.

    It has languished since version 2.65, which came out in August 2006 and was intended for the PPC processor! Currently, Abiword for Mac is not even available on the Abiword main page.

    Seahorse and Adium WERE both great packages, but, again, neither has been updated in a long time, 2010 and 2014 respectively.

    For a current, powerful, fast, multi-platform, open source Photoshop replacement, Krita is a far more compelling option.

    OneButton FTP over Filezilla?

    I don’t understand that recommendation either. OneButton has not been updated in 3 years.

    • Krita is NOT a replacement for Photoshop. Krita is a replacement for the PAINTING aspects of photoshop, or for a painting program like Corel Painter. Krita’s PHOTO MANIPULATION features are abysmal in comparison and suggesting people use it as an “alternative” to PS makes beginners think that they are getting something that compares to PS in every way with every feature, just leaving them disappointed in the end and running back to PS instead of supporting Open Source.

      If you put Krita and Gimp together you have something CLOSE to Photoshop, but on their own, both only serve as replacements for one aspect of PS.

      • “Krita is NOT a replacement for Photoshop. Krita’s PHOTO MANIPULATION features are abysmal in comparison… If you put Krita and Gimp together you have something CLOSE to Photoshop.”

        I’d concur that Krita is an incomplete “replacement” of Photoshop and pairing it with GIMP makes sense. In that, I regret my use of the word “replacement,” especially over the article’s chosen term “alternative.”


        Still, I’ll defend my response and disagree that suggesting Krita is a route to “leaving [beginners] disappointed in the end and running back to PS instead of Open Source” for three reasons.

        First, Krita is vastly superior to Seahorse, which the article suggested. Suggesting Seahorse is an alternative to Photoshop seems like a more dubious recommendation.

        Two, some of my school’s art teachers recommend Krita to students, colleagues, and others. Accordingly, many have downloaded Krita and happily use it on their own hardware. Some are genuinely excited at what Krita affords them. That seems far from disappointing.

        Three, while, admittedly, Krita doesn’t have the most comprehensive set of tools for photo manipulation, the article mentioned NOTHING about manipulating “photos.” Instead, it spoke of “editing images” (which is broader than photos) and the file types Seahorse could read and write. Again, in that context, recommending Krita is a legitimate, improvement over Seahorse.

  2. Hi Mr. Rao,

    That’s an interesting list, if a little limited, and I already have many of the items on it. I’ve used OpenOffice for years, on both Mac & PC, and it’s a great program. I have LibreOffice too, which is another really good alternative. Unlike some of the comments above, I couldn’t care less if a program is regularly updated or not; if it works well, why fix something that isn’t broken?

    For image manipulation, I recommend GIMP 2, which is very powerful, and has a better (i.e. easier to use) GUI than Photoshop. One of the problems with Photoshop is that there have been around 60 different people writing different sections of it over the years, and they’re inconsistent with each other, hence you end up with the albeit powerful but impenetrable mess that Photoshop is, with half it’s power hidden from view. By comparison, GIMP 2 is slicker and much more coherent, yet with much the same manipulative power for photographs. There’s no problem with there being less “Paint” options either as, in the rare event I want to add some graphics, I’ll just import the edited photograph into the excellent Scribus desktop publisher.

    One of the advantages of Open Source software, is that, even if you would only use a particular program rarely, because you didn’t have to pay for it, you might as well just download it and have it there ready, whereas you wouldn’t have bothered spending a lot of money on something you’d only use occasionally.

    As I said above, it is a bit limiting to only do one top ten across all different genres of software. I would have liked to have seen it broken down into several top tens of different genres, so that your coverage was broader. For example, there were no video editing programs that made the list, even though they do exist. Perhaps you could have created some broad categories, and made top tens in each. So, you could have had a media category, say, that could have included the likes of video editors, audio editors, photo manipulators, video convertors, players, etcetera. Then, say, an internet category that included web browsers, torrent clients, email managers, etcetera. Then, say, an office category, that included word processors, desktop publishers, office suites, messaging, etcetera. There could even have been a games category (maybe two: board and action), and possibly other categories I haven’t thought of myself.

    I’ll illustrate my point by giving you two of my own favoured media programs: Audacity for audio manipulation, and Handbrake for video conversion.

    Thanks for compiling your list, nonetheless, but I would love to see it revamped on the lines I suggest.

    Best wishes,



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