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Difference between revisions of "List of recommended OS X software"

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(Clipboard manager/Virtual clipboard)
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=== Clipboard manager/Virtual clipboard ===
=== Clipboard manager/Virtual clipboard ===
*[http://aptonic.com/ Dropzone] — $10
*[https://clipy-app.com Clipy] FOSS clipboard manager, only available in Japanese right now.
== System maintenance/monitoring ==
== System maintenance/monitoring ==

Revision as of 22:55, 15 June 2018

Package manager

  • Homebrew — Free, written in Ruby
  • Cakebrew is a graphical client for managing Homebrew.
  • MacPorts — Free
  • Portage — Originally for Gentoo Linux, but will work on macOS with hacks.

Terminal emulator

For a more complete collection of terminal applications, be sure to check the GNU/Linux applications page.


Web browser

For more detailed information see Web browsers.

Safari is the default web browser in Apple's Mac OS X. It is based on Apple's Webkit layout engine, a KHTML fork.

Firefox is free software developed by Mozilla. It is highly extensible via addons and included as the default browser in many Linux distributions. It is often criticized on /g/ and /tech/ as "SJWfox" because of some Mozilla developers outspoken campaigns on social and political issues.

QupZilla is a FOSS web browser, built on the Qt and QtWebEngine (based on Chromium's rendering engine) frameworks. It supports extensions, ships out of the box with AdBlock, Mouse Gestures, GreaseMonkey, Speed Dial, Click2Flash, and more. It provides seamless integration with most desktop environments, and has several other distinguishing features. QupZilla is licensed under GPLv3.

Opera is a proprietary web browser that has pioneered open web standards for over two decades. It is notable for being the first web browser to sport a tabbed interface. It is developed and maintained by Opera Software.

Chromium is the developer version of Google Chrome. Its tracking features can be easily disabled. Although it is free and open source software, its code is not as well audited as Firefox.

Otter Browser is a FOSS web browser that aims to recreate the best aspects of the classic Opera (12.x) UI using Qt5.

SeaMonkey is a continuation of the Mozilla suite. Unlike most modern web browsers, it is an Internet suite, complete with bundled programs for email, IRC, and web design. It is compatible with most Firefox add-ons.

Tor Browser (formerly known as Tor Browser Bundle) is a package of a modified Firefox extended support release, NoScript, HTTPS-Everywhere, Tor, TorButton and TorLauncher. It automatically routes traffic through the Tor network and deletes history and cookies when closed.

E-mail client

Instant Messenger (IM)

  • Adium is a customizable chat client with loads of themes, sound packs and other plugins.
  • Ricochet IM is and end-to-end encrypted instant messages which uses Tor hidden services.
  • Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.
  • Skype owned by Microsoft, your privacy won't mean anything.
  • RetroShare is an open source decentralized communication platform. It provides secure chat, photo and video sharing using OpenPGP to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

  • HexChat is a popular replacement for the XChat IRC client, a client which offered a free binary for Linux but charges money for the Windows version. HexChat is a continuation of XChat and makes both its source code and binaries available to users of all platforms it's created for. Like its parent software, HexChat is licensed under the GNU GPL. It includes all the basic features one would need, and can be ideal both for new users and IRC veterans.
  • LimeChat user friendly and free as in freedom.
  • Textual –$8

BitTorrent (BT)

  • Transmission is a lightweight torrent client with support for blocklists.
  • qBittorrent is a libtorrent-based BitTorrent client. According to its developers, the aim of the client is to provide a free software alternative to µTorrent. There's also a daemon version called Qbittorrent-nox.
  • Deluge is a libtorrent-based BitTorrent client. It is highly extensible via its plug-ins system. Deluge is notable for having originated the particular method of protocol encryption that is currently in use by every major BitTorrent client.


  • qBittorrent-nox is an advanced command-line Bittorrent client written in C++ / Qt4, using the libtorrent-rasterbar library by Arvid Norberg. qBittorrent-nox aims to be a good alternative to other command line bittorrent clients and provides features similar to popular graphical clients. qBittorrent-nox is fast, stable, light and it supports unicode. It also comes with UPnP port forwarding / NAT-PMP, encryption (Vuze compatible), FAST extension (mainline) and PeX support (uTorrent compatible).
  • Deluge-Console is an ncurses interface for Deluge that generally comes bundled with the main GUI client.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)


Word Processing

  • Bean is a small, easy-to-use word processor that is designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable. Bean is lean, fast and uncluttered. It starts up quickly, has a live word count, and is easy on the eyes. Also, Bean is available free of charge.
  • OpenOffice
  • LibreOffice
  • Pages Part of the iWork suite (competitor to Microsoft Office), now free! Works seamlessly with iDevices and very intuitive, reasonable powerful for casual use.

Text editor

Plaintext/richtext editor

To-do manager

  • nvALT is a modified version of the lightweight note taking app Notational Velocity. It has the option to save notes as plain text files.
  • TodoTxtMac is an open source to-do manager for mac using the todo.txt format.
  • TaskPaper is a plain text to-do list that’s surprisingly adept.

Document Reader

Images and graphics



  • Preview is the default image viewing and editing app. It is a lightweight and functional alternative for simple edits.
  • Skitch is a simple editing program for adding anotations to images.
  • Pixelmator Pro The successor to Pixelmator higher price of ($60), great alternative to Photoshop.
  • Affinity Photo is a good and affordable ($35) alternative to photoshop.
  • Acorn is similar to Pixelmator.
  • Sketch is another alternative to Pixelmator.
  • GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a free and open source image editing program.
  • Camerabag is an easy-to-use photo editing tool.
  • InkScape is a FOSS vector graphic editor.
  • Fotor
  • iMage Tools
  • ColourSnapper Simple colour picker app.
  • Sip Simple colour picker app.
  • ImageAlpha is a program for reducing the file size of PNG files.
  • ImageOptim is software for reducing the size of JPG and PNG files.



3D Modeling

  • Blender is a 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.




  • Shotcut is a free, open source, cross-platform video editor.
  • VideoBlend Very basic video editor.
  • VideoSpec View video meta-data.
  • Final Cut Pro X Expensive, but powerful and easy to use. (Still cheaper than Adobe though)


  • Handbrake is a free and open source video transcoder with an easy to use GUI. It can rip and convert a variety of video formats, but can not break DVD or Blu-ray copyright protection.
  • MakeMKV can convert video from proprietary (and usually encrypted) discs into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way. It can instantly stream decrypt video without intermediate conversion and decrypt Blu-rays and protected DVDs.
  • ProjectX can resync DVB (Digital TV broadcasts) ready for encoding.
  • Youtube-dl is a command line program for downloading videos from Youtube and similar sites.
  • FFmpeg the gold standard for video encoding, command line based.




  • Cog Functional, lightweight, customisable.
  • Swinsian iTunes clone - but more lightweight with less bullshit.
  • Fidelia Posh UI.
  • Ecoute
  • Vox ( Older version of Vox. Less features, barebones UI, but much more lightweight.

Command line players


  • Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder. It has support for LADSPA, Nyquist, VST, Audio Unit effect and VAMP analysis plug-ins.
  • All2MP3
  • Tagr Audio metadata tagger.
  • Yate Audio metadata tagger (more advanced).
  • XLD is the preferred Mac audio disc ripper of what.cd. It can output cue sheets and log files via a plugin. It also supports tagging with MusicBrainz and FreeDB.



  • The Unarchiver or the CLI version
  • The Archive Browser — $4
  • 7zip is a free and open source file archiver developed in C++ by Igor Pavlov. Its primary feature is lossless compression in the 7z format, based upon the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm. In addition to the handful of formats it is capable of creating new archives in, 7zip can retrieve files from archives in virtually any format that one is likely to encounter. Only Windows binaries are provided on the site, but OS X and Linux binaries are available.

Application launchers

  • Alfred is a simple but efficient application launcher. It is best in combination with the Powerpack.
  • Launchbar is a little more complicated than Alfred, but has a few convenient features that Alfred lacks.
  • Quicksilver

File management


  • VirtualBox is free and open source GPL software. It was first developed by Innotek GmbH, then bought by Sun Microsystems and now continually developed by Oracle.
  • Qemu
  • rEFInd Boot manager.
  • Parellels Advanced virtualization software — $80
  • RetroArch, a FOSS emulation program which will emulate over 9000 platforms for you with little tinkering. It doesn't emulate anytging itself but provides a big library of "cores" which do the job.
  • OpenEmu does the similar thing with less core and platform choice but sexy GUI instead.
  • KiGB Gameboy/Gameboy Colour emulator.
  • Boycott Advance Gameboy Advance emulator.
  • BSNES SNES emulator.
  • Dolphin GameCube/Wii emulator. Open-source.
  • Joystick Mapper Not free to purchase.


  • Marble
  • Stellarium is a planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars. It's easy to use, and free.


  • Bartender is a utility to clean up and manage your menu bar.
  • Geektool can add shell scripts and images to your desktop.
  • Übersicht can add widgets to your desktop using coffee script, bash, and CSS.
  • Bowtie is a customizable display for the music you're listening to.
  • BootXChanger Change the boot image. For OSX 10.4 to 10.6.

Window management

Network Monitering

Password managers

  • KeePassX is a light interface and cross platform password manager published under the GNU GPL.
  • 1Password can safely store all your passwords.

Desktop environment (DE) mods

Clipboard manager/Virtual clipboard

  • Dropzone — $10
  • Clipy FOSS clipboard manager, only available in Japanese right now.

System maintenance/monitoring


  • Mactracker provides detailed information on every Apple Macintosh computer ever made.
  • Karabinier can remap the keys on your keyboard and change the key repeat settings.
  • jitouch 2
  • Growl is an alternative notification system with good customization features. It is best in combination with HardwareGrowler. It costs $4 or can be built from source.
  • f.lux is a utility for changing the color tone of your display.
  • EiskaltDC++ is a direct connect client for file sharing.
  • imguru and imgurBar — Free
  • RCDefaultApp — easily configures what app opens what file type.
  • gfxCard Status — provides switching between dedicated/integrated GPU from statusbar. Free
  • Kiwix Offline Wikipedia browser

External links

  • PRISM Break — Lists software for different platforms that respect your freedom (and points out those which do not). Maintained by the EFF.

See also