Best Free Software for Mac OS


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This list of Best Free Software for Mac OS now includes 206 applications in various categories. To read brief descriptions of the applications, select a Software Category on top of this page or use the box below to view all software items in one massive list.


With the advent of "iDevices", OS X has arguably become one of the fastest growing user bases in the last decade. Not only for graphic design and audio/video editors anymore, OS X, with its simplistic design, has caught the appeal of many more common users who want a system that just works.

One of the largest shortfallings, however, is that enhanced functionality comes at a cost. Many software solutions for OS X are paid options that allow certain functionalities. The goal of this group is to break down that barrier and provide a large database of free software for OS X to enhance your Mac experience.

Ranging from comic book readers to programming editors, chess to media centers, our team has taken the time to review and recommend the best free software for Mac OS.


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This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Sea Mac. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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"... WeeChat is a fast, light and extensible chat client ...":

No. This entry is a bad joke.

There IS NO Macintosh Binary for this APP! You expect my typical reader to Download the Source package/Check the Hashes to see it hasn't been tampered with/Compile this to MAKE a binary copy/Start the compiled App in the Terminal - all for a Command Line program with NO GUI?

I, myself, have never compiled a package to MAKE a Program: and I do NOT expect my readers to do things I cannot. And I do not use command line programs: you must remember a whole bunch of complicated command line sequences and be a good touch typist as well. Frankly, that stuff went out with DOS 5.0: And I do not care to revisit those days. Programs I will use have Menus and can be controlled with a pointing device: like a mouse, or trackpad, or trackball. And my readers expect the same.

Please, in the future do not post any program as a suggestion for this list for which you must compile your own binary! And, I would highly dissuade you from suggesting anymore command line programs: Because I do not intend to post them unless they really fulfill a critical function that no other program (With a GUI) can match. I want the 10 minutes of my life, that it took me to check this useless entry, Back!

Viber for Mac lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country:

("Wait here. I'll Be Back." - Arnold S.)

I'll be back ...

Cuckoo is an automated malware analysis system: a tool that allows you to understand what a given file does when executed inside an isolated environment:


"... fish is a smart and user-friendly command line shell for OS X, Linux, and the rest of the family ...":


dispcal GUI - open source display calibration and characterization:

"... tonight you die is an audio rich first person exploration game. players are abandoned in a desolate brutalist cityscape with only a menacing note as a clue: "tonight you die" ...":


Asciinema - record and share your terminal sessions:


"... Jahshaka is bringing you the future of immersive digital content creation. It delivers a media management and playback platform the is accentuated by compositing, editing and effects modules ...":


"... Kibana is an open source data visualization platform that allows you to interact with your data through stunning, powerful graphics that can be combined into custom dashboards that help you share insights from your data far and wide ...":


"... ScreenCloud makes screenshot sharing easy ...":


"... Apache Directory Studio is a complete directory tooling platform intended to be used with any LDAP server however it is particularly designed for use with ApacheDS ...":


GNS3 - a graphical network simulator to design and configure virtual networks:


"... Jenkins is an award-winning application that monitors executions of repeated jobs, such as building a software project or jobs run by cron ...":

"... Iridium is a free, open, and libre browser modification of the Chromium code base, with privacy being enhanced in several key areas. Automatic transmission of partial queries, keywords, metrics to central services inhibited and only occurs with consent. In addition, all our builds are reproducible, and modifications are auditable, setting the project ahead of other secure browser providers ...":




Xpad - notepad (not maintained anymore):




Telephone is a VoIP program which allows you to make phone calls over the internet:


Buddi is a personal finance and budgeting program:


FreeWRL is an Open Source, cross platform VRML2 and X3D compliant browser, with script, SAI and EAI support:





"... OpenRA is a Libre/Free Real Time Strategy project that recreates the classic Command & Conquer titles. We include recreations of C&C (Tiberian Dawn), C&C: Red Alert, and Dune 2000. These are not intended to be perfect copies, but instead combine the classic gameplay of the originals with modern improvements such as unit veterancy and the fog of war ...":


Terminology for OS X Dictionary:


Disconnect free:


"... Toggl Desktop is a small desktop application that will help you track time more conveniently. It sits quietly in your system tray and when you need it (to start/stop/edit your work), it’s quickly accessible. It does what it’s designed to do best – tracks time ...":


Fluid lets you create a Real Mac App out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps:


"... Hocus Focus automatically hides application windows that have been inactive for a certain period of time, leaving only the applications you’re using visible. It’s a great way to keep your screens clutter free and your mind focused on the task at hand ...":


Desperate Gods is a free online board game that was designed to be played just like a board game in real-life: no rules are enforced by the computer, and all moves are performed in a shared physical space. The game itself is a cross between Monopoly and Diablo, a dark fantasy dungeon crawl for up to four players:


StepMania is a free dance and rhythm game:


Pac the Man X:


Vega Strike is an Open Source 3D Action-Space-Sim that lets you trade, fight, and explore in a vast universe:


VidMasta - a search application to watch and download movies and TV shows:


Enpass takes care of all your life important credentials & online accounts in safe and best way:


Slife makes it impossibly easy to keep track of time and stay productive:




Deeper is a personalization utility for OS X which you can use to enable and disable the hidden functions of the Finder, Dock, Safari, iTunes, login window, and many of Apple’s applications, and more:


Monolingual is a program for removing unnecessary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space:


Colloquy is an advanced IRC, SILC & ICB client:


Skype for Mac:


IPSecuritas is a free IPSec client:


With Tiger Envelopes you can stop snoops from reading your email:


Paparazzi! is a small utility for Mac OS X that makes screenshots of webpages:



Thank you for all the useful suggestions .... but a few of your suggestions are old programs that no longer even launch on Mac OS 10.7 or later, or won't work properly on any recent Mac OS.

Take "Juice", from 2005, for example: it won't even launch!

Or your suggestion for "Burn" - which quits in the middle of a Burn - and is no longer supported by the developer: I removed that from this list 2 weeks ago! (and commented on its removal - so no one would suggest it again - in the editor's forum: in a thread with the words Mac and Gory in the title ... please read it?)

And thank you for all the suggested games. But I don't happen to have a spare year handy in which to check to see if they are still working on Mac OS 10.9 ... nor to even post the 100 games in the "Merry Christmas" list I made (in the "Recent Finds" section in the editors forum) - that I know still work because I pre-tested them out FOR Christmas! This is my first time online this week ... my real life has become way too busy to allow me any time online to post new things ANYWHERE.

Pile 'em On!!! But I will not be posting new stuff until I've checked the whole existing list and removed all the posted things that don't work any longer (like Burn). And that's not going to be soon if I only get 3 hours online a week - only by getting up super early at 4 AM some day ....

After I check the existing things on the list to see if they still work, and weed out the remaining non-functional items, then - and only then - will I start weeding out any non-functioning suggestions and adding them to the list. I seem to be the only editor here with a Macintosh - and half of my friends own Macs too - so it falls on me to see if they still work before they are posted. It is a big responsibility ... and weeks of continuous non-stop working just to test the remaining ones ... and I have less time for the internet now than ever before (I'm not liking the fact I can't be here as much as I wish to be ... ).

My hour is up .... see you next week.

Sorry about that. I got those from Best of Mac lists from the net.

I have 30 more to check/post and then I am done ;)

Yes, those suggestions ... and then I have Another List to dig through (leave that one to me, Please)!

After I get done posting those 100 Games I stored away for later in "Recent Finds", that is ....

And I'll be posting new things for a long time to come .... 

No, it is my bad for failing to list Burn BY NAME in my editing list ... I'm just getting done spanking myself over it in the editors forum. Mea Culpa!!!

OpenClonk is a free multiplayer action game in which you control clonks, small but witty and nimble humanoid beings. The game is mainly about mining, settling and fast-paced melees:


Aquamacs is a user-friendly build of the powerful Emacs text editor:


XMind free:


".. Anxiety is a super-lightweight To-do list application for Mac OS X Leopard that synchronizes with iCal and Mail. Its aim is to provide a streamlined, easily accessible interface to add and check off your tasks, while remaining poised to melt into the background at a moments notice ...":


"... Adapter - the ultimate converter ...":

"... darktable is an open source photography workflow application and RAW developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them ...":


"... Koala is a GUI application for Less, Sass, Compass and CoffeeScript compilation, to help web developers to use them more efficiently ...":


SimpLESS is your easy-to-use LESS CSS compiler:




"... Infinit is the easiest app for sending any kind and size of files to your friends ...":


"... SiteSucker is a Macintosh application that automatically downloads Web sites from the Internet. It does this by asynchronously copying the site's Web pages, images, backgrounds, movies, and other files to your local hard drive, duplicating the site's directory structure. Just enter a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), press return, and SiteSucker can download an entire Web site ...":


"... Enigma is a puzzle game inspired by Oxyd on the Atari ST and Rock'n'Roll on the Amiga. The object of the game is to find uncover pairs of identically colored Oxyd stones. Simple? Yes. Easy? Certainly not! Hidden traps, vast mazes, laser beams, and, most of all, countless hairy puzzles usually block your direct way to the Oxyd stones ...":


Numpty Physics is a drawing puzzle game:


"... Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design applicationthat helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D ...":


Luminance HDR:


Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program:


Dwarf fortress:

"... BetterTouchTool is a great, feature packed FREE app that allows you to configure many gestures for your Magic Mouse, Macbook Trackpad and Magic Trackpad. It also allows you to configure actions for keyboard shortcuts, normal mice and the Apple Remote ...":


"... X Lossless Decoder(XLD) is a tool for Mac OS X that is able to decode/convert/play various 'lossless' audio files. The supported audio files can be split into some tracks with cue sheet when decoding ...":


"... ImageOptim is a free app that makes images take up less disk space and load faster, without sacrificing quality ...":




"... LineIn is a simple application for OS X to enable the soft playthru of audio from input devices. In simpler terms, you can use LineIn to play sound coming in through a microphone or any other device plugged in to your Sound In port, just as was once available with OS 9's "Play input through output device" option ...":


AppPolice is a minimalistic application for Mac OS X that lets you quickly limit the CPU usage of any of the running processes:




"... iTerm2 is a replacement for Terminal and the successor to iTerm ... iTerm2 brings the terminal into the modern age with features you never knew you always wanted ...":


Slate is a window management application:


XtraFinder add Tabs and features to Mac Finder:

xhyve - a port of bhyve to OS X:


"... MacID is a fast, secure way to unlock your Mac without the inconvenience of typing your password over and over ...":


VimR - refined Vim Experience for OS X:


Tiny for Mac:


"... Skynet takes the things you share the most and makes them easier, faster, and more fun. And with support for group conversations, you can send to as many people you'd like ...":


Secret Maryo Chronicles is an Open Source two-dimensional platform game with a design similar to classic computer games:


Spectacle - "... Window control with simple, customizable keyboard shortcuts ...":




CSR Racing:


Pocket planes:


Gas Mask is simple hosts file manager for Mac OS X. It allows editing of host files and switching between them:


MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools:


Hex Fiend - hex editor:


Potrace is a tool for tracing a bitmap, which means, transforming a bitmap into a smooth, scalable image:


Integrity - "... Easily find your website's broken links ...":


Asepsis prevents creation of .DS_Store files. It redirects their creation into a special folder:


KeepingYouAwake is a small menu bar utility can be activated to prevent your Mac from going into sleep:

"... Homebrew Cask extends Homebrew and brings its elegance, simplicity, and speed to OS X applications and large binaries alike ...":


"... The Battle for Wesnoth is a Free, turn-based tactical strategy game with a high fantasy theme, featuring both single-player, and online/hotseat multiplayer combat ...":


"... Comical is a portable CBR and CBZ viewer written in C++ using wxWidgets. It supports multiple image formats and uses high-quality image scaling algorithms to fit pages onscreen ...":




"... Karabiner -  apowerful and stable keyboard customizer ...":


"... Dragand - a quick and simple application to download subtitles of your favorite series ...":






"... Cobook is the unified address book that brings together contact info from your computer, social networks and other sources ...":


"... Vienna is an RSS/Atom reader for Mac OS X, packed with powerful features that help you make sense of the flood of information that is distributed via these formats today ...":


"... GeekTool is an application for Mac OS 10.6+. It lets you display various kinds of information on your desktop via 3 default plug-ins ...":


"... Nerdtool allows you to display many things directly on top of your desktop; weather reports, headline news, and system vitals are just a few uses ...":




Amnesty singles - a drag-and-drop utility that converts Dashboard widgets into standalone applications:


PS3 Media Server is a DLNA-compliant UPnP Media Server:


"... teleport is a simple utility to let you use one single mouse and keyboard to control several of your Macs ...":


"... nvALT is a fork of the original Notational Velocity by Brett Terpstra and ElasticThreads (David Halter) with some additional features (MultiMarkdown preview and source views, public note sharing, customizable colors…) and some interface modifications (bookmarks HUD, fullscreen view and more) ...":

Caddy - the HTTP/2 web server:

Apparently this is a 'Yes, BUT ....' program with hidden catches to it ... I'll list it here: BUT with a few caveats.

First thing upon launch: "Phocus wants to access my contacts.". Well. I cannot think of a legitimate purpose that a big camera company (that only has very wealthy clients) would want the name/address/number/department/ETC of everyone I know (presumably all of their wealthy clients never think twice and freely share this information?) - but I can think of several purposes they might use this information for that I might be unhappy about at a later time.

So, NO: they do not get permission from the system to access my contacts - denied! 

Then this sneaky program tries to "call home" anyway: behind your back! Thank goodness for "Little Snitch" (I have purchased) warning me about bad activities tried over my internet connection!

Now, there are legitimate reasons a program might want to call home: to check for a newer version of itself is the common usage. But a good developer always warns you, with a prompt or two ... something to the effect of "AnyAPP would like to check for updates. (You must be connected to the internet to continue.)" {CANCEL} { OK } before it snatches at your internet connection, and sometimes the part in parenthesis is in a separate notifier box with {CONTINUE} instead of { OK }.

Having already tried to grab up all my contacts personal information: NOW Phocus will try to transmit information through my internet connection without me noticing it - until it is too late. What say you 'Little Snitch'? DENIED!!!!! Do NOT let Phocus call home, I said.

Now Phocus insists I register it - with my Hasselblad camera serial number, and a whole long user profile - 'for support purposes' (marketing support ... I'll bet): good thing there is a {LATER} Button: or I'd have quit checking this software out and given a failing grade to it right then. It will nag you regularly to register it, you bet!

Finally I get to the Welcome dialog. I checked the program out. It is "Adobe Photoshop" complicated in there: just the way I like it. Seems like well written code - just that it acts snoopy without permission. IF you trust Hasselblad will not snoop through your computer for data: go ahead and install this "Free Download" program.

Is there any way I can batch remove 3249 unwanted emails from my ipad. I have mail "ruled" to avoid spam on my syncd mac but the syncing seeme to occur prior to the sorting.

I think so ... but I do not use an iPad or Apple "Mail", myself. Here is how I would theoretically proceed: 1. Get them all in a group. Arrange their sorting order so as to get as many spam messages in a contiguous block as is possible - hopefully they are all marked as junk and you can sort by junk status. You can arrange to sort them by clicking on the tops of the various columns (sender email address/junk status/date/subject/ ... and so on) - which will regroup them by sender or subject ... or whatever. 2. Bulk delete shortcuts On my Mac Desktop I can "Select" a large contiguous block of files in the finder - or messages in my email client (or in quite a few other Mac programs) in one of two ways: Drag Select ... where you hold the left mouse button down while drawing a rectangle that encloses JUST the items you want ... OR Select the first message of the block you want deleted - then HOLD DOWN the Shift Key and click on the last message of the block you want deleted: that selects all messages between the first and last ones. Then click Delete. Go get the iPad Manual: and check page 55 Please. "Delete, move, or mark multiple messages. While viewing a list of messages, tap Edit. Select some messages, then choose an action. If you make a mistake, shake iPad immediately to undo."
Sadly, Xee is not freeware anymore. :-(
Yes, the latest version from the Apple App store DOES cost money .... HOWEVER ... the last free version of Xee - 2.2 - is still freely available, and DOES seem to still work on Mac OS X 10.9.5 ... at least it launched when I tested it, and all of the pieces appeared to be there ... I'm putting it BACK ... it is still of use. "The Last Free Version" is still good enough.
Thank You. I will remove it.
Homebrew - The missing package manager for OS X:
No, that's MacPorts.

Since Bean is no longer being developed, I'd recommend replacing it with Growly Write, which is excellent, small, and very actively supported by its developer Chris Mason, long ago project head for Microsoft Word 5 ("back when Word was fun," as he says).

Also, nothing wrong with FileZilla, but why a separate app installed when you can use the excellent FireFTP add-on for Firefox?

Hey, Hey! Only a Year Late ... Thank you for the GREAT Suggestion!
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll add them to this category in the next few edits.