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Open Research at Aston: Open Source

What is Open Source?

Open Source involves sharing software, including the source code, in a fully accessible and discoverable way - the code and software can be freely disseminated and adapted.  

For introductory information, including aspects of licencing, see:

Listed below are the most commonly-used 'generic' types of open source software

Community-based resources

Email & communicating

  • Communication-related:

  • Asterisk – Telephony and VoIP server
  • Ekiga – Video conferencing application for GNOME and Microsoft Windows
  • FreePBX – Front-end and advanced PBX configuration for Asterisk
  • FreeSWITCH – Telephony platform
  • Jitsi – Java VoIP and Instant Messaging client
  • QuteCom – Voice, video, and IM client application
  • Slrn – Newsreader
  • Twinkle – VoIP softphone
  • Ring – Cross-platform, peer to peer instant-messaging and video-calling protocol that offers end-to-end encryption and SIP client
  • Tox – Cross-platform, peer-to-peer instant-messaging and video-calling protocol that offers end-to-end encryption

Help & Advice

Please contact

Web browsers/servers

  • Web browsers:

  • Brave – Free and open-source web browser based on the Blink engine
  • Chromium – Minimalist web browser from which Google Chrome draws its source code
  • Firefox – Mozilla-developed web browser using the Gecko layout engine
  • Midori – Lightweight web browser using the WebKit layout engine
  • Waterfox – Alternative to Firefox (64-bit only)
  • SeaMonkey – Free and open-source Internet suite
  • Web Servers:
  • Apache Cocoon – A web application framework
  • Apache – The most popular web server
  • AWStats – Log file parser and analyzer
  • Cherokee – Fast, feature-rich HTTP server
  • FileZilla - FTP
  • Hiawatha – Secure, high performance, and easy-to-configure HTTP server
  • HTTP File Server – User-friendly file server software, with a drag-and-drop interface
  • lighttpd – Resource-sparing, but also fast and full-featured, HTTP Server
  • Lucee – CFML application server
  • MariaDB - open collaboration in the MariaDB ecosystem
  • Nginx – Lightweight, high performance web server/reverse proxy and e-mail (IMAP/POP3) proxy
  • Qcodo – PHP5 framework
  • Squid (software) – Web proxy cache
  • Vaadin – Fast, Java-based framework for creating web applications
  • Varnish (software) – High-performance web application accelerator/reverse proxy and load balancer/HTTP router
  • XAMPP – Package of web applications including Apache and MariaDB
  • Zope – Web application server

Image editors/viewers

  • Image editors:

  • Darktable – Digital image workflow management, including RAW photo processing
  • digiKam – Integrated photography toolkit including editing capabilities
  • GIMP – Raster graphics editor aimed at image retouching/editing
  • Inkscape – Vector graphics editor
  • Krita – Digital painting and sketching application, with a variety of brush engines
  • LightZone - Free, open source digital photo editor software application.
  • Image viewers:

  • Eye of GNOME
  • Geeqie
  • Gthumb
  • Gwenview
  • Kphotoalbum

Data storage/management

  • ​File systems:
  • OpenAFS – Distributed file system supporting a very wide variety of operating systems
  • Tahoe-LAFS – Distributed file system/Cloud storage system with integrated privacy and security features
  • CephFS – Distributed file system included in the Ceph storage platform.
  • Data mining:

  • Environment for DeveLoping KDD-Applications Supported by Index-Structures (ELKI) – Data mining software framework written in Java with a focus on clustering and outlier detection methods
  • Konstanz Information Miner (KNIME)
  • OpenNN – Open-source neural networks software library written in the C++ programming language
  • Orange (software) – Data visualization and data mining for novice and experts, through visual programming or Python scripting. Extensions for bioinformatics and text mining
  • RapidMiner – Data mining software written in Java, fully integrating Weka, featuring 350+ operators for preprocessing, machine learning, visualization, etc. – the previous version is available as open source
  • Scriptella ETL – ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) and script execution tool. Supports integration with J2EE and Spring. Provides connectors to CSV, LDAP, XML, JDBC/ODBC, and other data sources
  • Weka – Data mining software written in Java featuring machine learning operators for classification, regression, and clustering
  • JasperSoft – Data mining with programmable abstraction layer


  • Coding (code generators):

  • Bison - a general-purpose parser generator 
  • CodeSynthesis XSD – XML Data Binding compiler for C++
  • CodeSynthesis XSD/e – Validating XML parser/serializer and C++ XML Data Binding generator for mobile and embedded systems
  • Flex lexical analyser – Generates lexical analyzers
  • Open Scene Graph – 3D graphics application programming interface
  • OpenSCDP – Open Smart Card Development Platform
  • SableCC – Parser generator for Java and .NET
  • SWIG – Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator for several languages
  • YAKINDU Statechart Tools – Statechart code generator for C++ and Java