Everyone loves open source software. After all… its free! Many times I’ve heard the question, “what is the most popular open source application of all time?” So, I decided to find out.
So, I used metrics gathered from SourceForge.net to compile this list. I think the results show some interesting things about computer users the world over. Here they are along with the total number of downloads for each one. NOTE: this list does not include open source projects outside of SourceForge. Enjoy.
1. eMule – 520,970,337 downloads: The most popular open source download of all time is a peer-to-peer file sharing client. What does this tell you?
2. Vuze (formerly Azureus) – 489,705,154 downloads: The second most popular open source download of all time is a Java-based BitTorrent client. Wow!
3. Ares Galaxy – 217,874,303 downloads: The third most popular open source download of all time is also a peer-to-peer file sharing client. Hmmm… I’m starting to see a pattern here.
4. 7-Zip – 86,568,760 downloads: Good ol’ 7-zip has been archiving files since 2000 and continues to be high on the list.
5. FileZilla – 78,252,037 downloads: The world’s most common FTP client rounds out the top 5.
6. GIMP for Windows (with GTK+) – 69,140,671 downloads: This free image editor (and alternative to Adobe Photoshop) is number six on the list. This is a little bit surprising actually.
7. Audacity – 67,176,645 downloads: The iconic cross-platform digital audio recorder and editor comes in at number 7 on the all-time top 10 list.
8. PortableApps – 63,566,590 downloads: the number 8 spot on the list is held by an application that allows you to take other open source applications with you, and run them off a USB flash drive. I guess that makes sense.
9. DC++ – 57,183,915 downloads: Yet another peer-to-peer file sharing client makes it into the top 10. I can’t decide if this is alarming or amusing?
10. Smart package of Microsoft core fonts – 55,374,584 downloads: I’m surprised to see this one in the top 10. This ingenious little app allows Linux-based systems to utilize Microsoft’s core fonts. This is a cool little application, and evidently, it is much more popular than I had imagined.
So, to recap… four out of the top ten are file sharing applications, one is specifically for Linux, two are cross-platform, and the rest are Windows only. I think this is a great metaphor for the world’s base of computer users.
You gotta love that… and you gotta love open source.