A few months back I wrote about PortableApps.com, a site where you can get a whole slew of useful software applications–most of them open source–in one free download. This site has become especially popular with people who like to tote a lot of applications on a USB thumb drive. For now, though, PortableApps.com delivers Windows applications only. For the many Mac-based readers here, MacLibre is an equivalent site.
At MacLibre, one free download gives you a bushel of free open source applications for Mac OS X. You can view the various download options here, and you’ll see from the footprints of the downloads that you can easily put your applications on a portable drive.
The list of applications you get with MacLibre is impressive–some of the best open source applications around. You get GIMP (graphics), Adium (IM), Firefox, Thunderbird (e-mail), Cyberduck (FTP), AbiWord (word processor), ClamXav (anti-virus), and many more. The MacLibre distributions are under the GPL public license.
Since I use a lot of open source software applications as part of writing for the OStatic blog, I’m particularly fond of a few of the applications. AbiWord is a great, lightweight word processor with an interface very much like Microsoft Word’s. Adium is also the instant messenger of choice for many Mac users.
In the case of both PortableApps.com and MacLibre, you may or may not favor the applications you get as your primary ones, but there are lots of other ways you may find these applications useful. If you have a notebook with limited storage, these applications take up very little space, and it’s nice to have a bushel of productivity applications on a USB thumb drive if you happen to carry one.