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List of recommended OS X software

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Revision as of 03:19, 23 January 2016 by Ebay (talk | contribs) (Media converters and rippers: Add MakeMKV logo)
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For a more complete collection of terminal applications, be sure to check the GNU/Linux applications page.

Package Managers

Terminal Applications

File Management

FTP Clients

Transmit for OS X.

Online Storage

Network Monitoring

System Monitoring


nvALT has a customizable interface.

Audio Players

While expensive, Fidelia offers a lot of extra options and features for audiophiles.
  • iTunes is the default audio player. While not very customizable, it features good sorting options and integration. It can't play FLAC files.
  • Cog is a minimalistic but utilitarian playlist-centric audio player (similar to DeadBeeF on GNU/Linux or Foobar on Windows). It is GPL-licensed, with support for an enormous amount of formats. The original developer is MIA, but there are two very active forks: kode54's version, and mamburu's version.
  • Fidelia is $20 and a pretty harsh price for a music player. Unless you really need those advanced features, stick to a cheaper player.
  • Swinsian is also $20, but made by a /g/ user.
  • Sonora has been abandoned by its original developers. It has seemingly no Github activity.
  • Ecoute
  • Enqueue — $10
  • Vox is a minimalistic alternative to iTunes that also has the ability to play FLAC.

Command line players

Video Players

Icon mpv.png mpv

mpv is a fork of MPlayer/Mplayer2 with cleaner code, less bloat, better video scaling, color management, and other high quality video rendering algorithms.

Media Center and HTPC

Kodi.png Kodi

Kodi (former XBMC) is a free and open source GPL software media center featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It is highly customizable via skins and addons. There are even addons available for streaming from internet services like YouTube and Twitch.tv. It plays nearly every video and music format out of the box. The built in scrapers can pull data from sites like IMDB and thetvdb to allow sorting media by actor, genre, rating, etc. It can export this data to local files for offline use.

Plex.png Plex

Plex is a fork of the former XBMC (now Kodi). It has separate front-end (player) and back-end (server) components. Plex Media Server, unlike the free frontend, is a combination of free and proprietary software, with the majority of the code being proprietary. It has many of the same features as Kodi, but focuses more on its web interface. It also excels at on the fly video transcoding to allow playback over slow connections.

Media Converters and Rippers

Handbrake.png HandBrake

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.png MakeMKV

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.

Mkvtoolnix.png MKVToolNix

MKVToolNix is a set of FOSS tools by Moritz Bunkus for working with Matroska files. It can mux, split and merge mkv files with no transcoding or loss of quality. It can also add or remove audio and subtitle tracks, change track order and edit metadata.

  • 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.

Icon Audacity.png Audacity

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.


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.

Web Browsers

For more detailed information see Web browsers.

Safari.png Safari

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.png Firefox

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-icon.png QupZilla

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.png Opera

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.

Software Chromium.png Chromium

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-icon.png Otter Browser

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

Seamonkey-icone-6933-128.png SeaMonkey

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.

Torbrowser.png Tor Browser

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.

Chat clients

  • Adium is a customizable chat client with loads of themes, sound packs and other plugins.
  • Skype

Retroshare.png RetroShare

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) Clients

HexChat.png HexChat

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.


Airmail for OS X.


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


  • Obsidian Menu Bar can change the color of the menu bar to black.
  • 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.

Window Management