Yes, you read that right. No matter what the warlords at Apple may tell you, you can run open source apps even if you are using Mac OS, which itself is closed source.
Wondering why you ought to choose open source? Well, for a start, owning a Mac is an expensive proposition, so opting for open source applications on the Mac is one decision your wallet will appreciate. Second, it is common knowledge that open source applications are updated more frequently, are community-driven, and easily customisable. What more can one ask for?
Mozilla Firefox: Seriously, who doesnt know Firefox? It is one of the leading open source Web browsers (and it eats Safari for lunch). Definitely one of the most loved applications, irrespective of your platform!
Chromium: If you are using Mac OS, chances are that youve opted for Google Chrome, instead of its open source sibling, Chromium. However, just for your information, if you need a true open source browser for the Mac, you can take a look at Chromium.
Adium: This is an open source messenger that lets you connect to multiple IM platforms, such as AOL and GTalk (via Jabber). If you are a social networking addict and like to chat with your friends online, Adium can come in handy.
Mozilla Thunderbird: Heres an email suite-cum-calendar-and-planner. It comes loaded with features such as powerful spam filters, easier email management, task planning, and more.
RSSOwl: This is a cross-platform RSS client that lets you easily manage and read your RSS subscriptions.
Vienna: Heres yet another RSS client, modelled along the lines of RSSOwl.
Juice: Do you happen to be a creative artist? If you use the Internet to showcase your work using podcasts, you wont find a better podcasting tool for Mac than Juice. It is totally free and open source, so give it a spin!
Colloquy: This is a free and open source IRC client for the Mac.
Office suites and productivity
Bean: If you need a word processor for general use (creating and editing documents, dealing with multiple file formats like DOC, ODT and RTF, and so on), but do not wish to opt for super-expensive suites like MS Office, Bean should be worth a try. It is an open source word processor for Mac users, and comes loaded with great features.
AbiWord: Heres yet another open source and totally free word processor.
LibreOffice: If a mere word processor wont do for you, instead of burning money on proprietary office suites, take a look at LibreOffice. It’s a full-fledged productivity suite that comes with its own word processor, spreadsheet, drawing program and many other features.
Scribus: This is an open source desktop publishing program. The installation procedure on the Mac is a little complicated, but it is totally worth the effort as Scribus is one of the most impressive DTP tools, no matter what OS you are running!
Freemind: This is an open source note taking application.
Audio and video
Miro: You do get QuickTime with your Mac machine, but sometimes, the default programs just do not suffice (just as Windows users no longer stick to IE, even though it comes pre-loaded). Miro is an open source video player that supports multiple file formats, and even lets you stream and download videos via YouTube.
Miro Video Converter: MVC lets you convert your video files to work on the Mac and other Apple devices, as well as other PCs and Android handsets. You can get it from the Mac App Store for free.
VLC Media Player: This world-renowned media player is also available for the Mac.
MPlayer: While not as good-looking as Miro, and with an interface that does not blend well with the look and feel of a Mac, it does support more video formats than VLC or QuickTimeand thats what matters, at the end of the day!
iPodDisk: Here is an open source utility that lets you copy music to and from your iPodyou do not need iTunes or any other proprietary software.
Audacity: This is a sound-recording and audio-editing application that is both free and open source.
Pictures and graphics
The GIMP: This is one of the best open source photo-editing and image-retouching software. It is available for multiple operating systems, and has its own plugins and extensions repository.
Seashore: This is a photo-editing software based on the GIMP, but it does not require X11 and thus becomes ideal for Mac users.
InkScape: This lets you work with vector images and graphics. You can create logos and other vector-based artwork using InkScape.
Blender: This is a 3D modelling tool that gives even proprietary software a run for their money.
Handbreak: This is a DVD ripper and MPEG-4 encoder for Mac.
Burn: It is a simple and easy-to-use CD/DVD burning app for the Mac OS.
Fugu: An open source FTP client, Fugu can be used only for SFTP.
Cyberduck: This is a good open source FTP client that comes with an impressive set of features.
OneButton FTP: Heres another FTP client for Mac users.
Q Emulator: This lets you run Windows programs on your Mac machine.
Blue Griffon: This is an open source WYSIWYG HTML editor for Mac platforms.
WaveMaker: It lets you develop Web and cloud applications with ease.
jEdit: This is primarily a Java IDE, but with the use of plug-ins, it can also handle Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby. It comes with several formatting tools and features to help you code effectively.
The Unarchiver: It lets you uncompress and open file formats such as RAR, bz2, gzip, 7zip and tar, which are often not supported by the pre-installed archiving tools.
Cabos: This is an easy-to-use peer-to-peer file sharing program for Mac users.
SolarSeek: Another file sharing client for Mac devices.
With this, we come to the end of this round-up of open source tools that you can use to enhance your computing experience on Mac machines.
Sufyan is a 20-year old freelance writer, photographer and graphic artist. He has designed for both the desktop and mobile environments and writes for several tech blogs and magazines. He is a technology enthusiast with a passion for music, philosophy, theology and sports.
Sufyan is also the Founder-Editor of bravenewworld.co.nr.