Many Open Tools for Windows

This article was first written in January 2004 for 
the BeezNest technical website (
There's about time relatives of mine don't want to change their operating system to Linux because they fear to be lost, but commonly use a lot of softwares under "test periods" to assist them in Windows because there's a natural lack of some of these functionalities that you would want your computer to have. Here is a list that will become longer with time of tools from the Open Source Community that run under Win32 OSes like a road-runner would run just in front of the bad and evil coyote. The GNUWin II Project tries to do distribute a compilation of such programs and utilities. The project Framasoft (in French) gathers Free Software projects in a huge directory.

Internet browsing and communicating

  • Mozilla (Firefox/ThunderBird/Sunbird) replaces Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Outlook
  • Sylpheed replaces Outlook Express
  • GAIM(now called Pidgin) replaces MSN Messenger, Mirabilis ICQ
  • Exodus replaces MSN Messenger, Mirabilis ICQ

Office suite & Tools

Imaging & Multimedia tools

  • Gimp replaces Adobe Photoshop, Paint, PaintShop Pro
  • imgv replaces ACDSee
  • Dia replaces Visio
  • MPlayer or VLC player replace Windows Media Player, QuickTime, RealPlayer

Backup and Compression

Remote control: SSH, Telnet, X

Relational DataBase Management Systems

  • PostgreSQL replaces Access, Oracle, MS-SQL Server
  • MySQL replaces Access, Oracle, MS-SQL Server
  • Firebird replaces Access, Oracle, MS-SQL Server

Web server

  • Apache replaces IIS (prefer version 2.x+)

Programming tools and languages

Network & Security tools

Comparitech also has a nice list of network tools you can check.