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Best Open Source Tools For Developers 🛠

sarthology profile image Sarthak Sharma Updated on ・3 min read

Are you as excited as I am? In my quest to find some of the best apps for you, I myself discovered some absolutely brilliant tools. The best thing is all the apps below are free and Open Source. Let's get started 🏃🏻‍♂️

1. Screencat 🙀

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: Screencat

This next app makes screen sharing super easy. You can share your desktop with someone else while letting them share your mouse and keyboard remotely. It's built in electron.js.

2. Manta 💸

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: Manta
The most frustrating part of any freelance gig is sending an invoice to the client. Searching a template online and then editing it in a word processor takes a lot of time and the result still looks ugly. Try Manta, a desktop application for creating invoices with beautiful and customizable templates. It will make the work hassle-free for you.

3. Brave Browser

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: Brave

Privacy and security should be everyone's top priority, and that's what I always talk about on my blog also. A browser is the first thing on the list when it comes to changing apps for the sake of privacy. Google tracks a lot of your data from Google Chrome, even if you are using a VPN. Use Brave, it's free and Open Source. Check some other cool apps for online privacy here

4. Mark text 📝

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: Marktext

Markdown is awesome and so are the markdown editors. There are many open source Markdown editors but Mark Text is the coolest I know. It has live preview which is one of my favorite features. Give it a try.

5. IconGenerator 👾

🖥 Platform availability: Only MacOS
🔗 Github Link: IconGenerator

If you have worked on Electron or made an iOS app, you know the pain of generating icons of various sizes. This nifty little app helps you do that very gracefully.

6. VMD 🌁

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: vmd

A simple yet very handy tool. It gives you GitHub themed preview of any README.md file. Can easily be installed using npm. It has some other cool options also, check them out on their Github page.

7. Insomnia 😴

🖥 Platform availability: All Platforms
🔗 Github Link: Insomnia

Insomnia is a cross-platform REST client, built on top of Electron. It has various plugins that you can easily install with npm and increase its functionality.

Conclusion

This is all for now guys. Hope you enjoyed this article. I will post another article soon with more apps, so don't forget to follow.

Please share with your fellow developers if you like it👨🏻‍💻.

One more thing 😜. I'm planning to work on some cool Javascript Projects and if you are too, then let's collaborate guys. Tweet to me at @sarthology.

Discussion

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cjbrooks12 profile image
Casey Brooks

I've never really liked using Postman, the UI just seemed so unintuitive and difficult to use. But I've never needed to use it enough (read: been frustrated enough with it) to go find an alternative. But with just one request sent in Insomnia, I already like it better than Postman, thanks for the recommendation!

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biros profile image
Boris Jamot ✊ /

Insomnia looks pretty simple in comparison with Postman.

But Postman isn't just an HTTP requester with JSON pretty-print.
Postman has variables support, environments support, tests support, load tests support, cloud support, swagger support, and many other essential features for the everyday's life of a developer.

How do you integrate Insomnia in your CI ?

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this.

In Postman, I make an OAuth call, which sets the token value to my environment variables, which then are used to auth all my subsequent calls (which were imported from Swagger). That’s a huge part of my manual testing workflow now that I wouldn’t want to lose.

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gschier profile image
Gregory Schier

You don't lose this with Insomnia. Insomnia supports first-party OAuth authentication. However, if you want to do it manually as you mentioned, you can also use Request Chaining to reference values from other request's responses. support.insomnia.rest/article/43-c...

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gschier profile image
Gregory Schier

Just want to point out that Insomnia also has variables, environments, cloud support (end-to-end encrypted) and even a few other things that Postman doesn't like plugins, GraphQL support, and wider choice authentication methods.

To your point though, Insomnia does not support non-http-client functionality like load testing, testing, or mock endpoints, nor does it plan to support these features in the future (unless through community plugins).

  • Greg (Insomnia developer)
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zemuldo profile image
Danstan Otieno Onyango

Does insomnia support cloud storage/sync of data without premium subscription?

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rob117 profile image
Rob Sherling

Liked the post because of insomnia. Just discovered it, GraphQL support means never having to say you're sorry

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liyasthomas profile image
Liyas Thomas

If you're looking for a much faster, simple postman alternative, you should checkout postwoman.io

  • used by 300k+ developers
  • 20.4k+ GitHub stars
  • 3,000+ daily users

we ❤️ open source: github.com/liyasthomas/postwoman

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panchatcharam profile image
Panchatcharam

The same goes here. I really liked Insomnia over postman. It even retains the response on the response window forever.

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Jacob Samuel G.

I've been using Insomnia for quite some time, since Postman stopped being a Chrome extension. For some reason the native version of Postman worked very slowly on my Windows 10, now I do not miss it. Insomnia supplies the main needs when working with APIs. Something that "I do not like" is that it is updated automatically, but hey, all Electron applications seem to do the same.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Glad could help 😊

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juliankoehn profile image
Julian

Thanks for sharing Insomnia!

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daquyanan profile image
Đá quý An An

Thanks for sharing Insomnia! + 1 =)))

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daviddesloovere profile image
Deef

Might have to give Insomnia another shot. Thanks.

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avasconcelos114 profile image
Andre Vasconcelos

I know right? And I love how you can save frequent requests so that you can have them handy when to test again. Great tool that I just can't live without anymore :)

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seanbolt profile image
Sean Bolton

Some great suggestions above. I recently discovered iTerm2 which is a big improvement over the default terminal on mac, especially when paired with oh my zsh

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mattwaler profile image
Matt Waler

Don't forget fish too! Feels a lot faster and has lots of the plugins zsh needs by default!

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tux0r profile image
tux0r

fish is probably the best compromise between "easy" and "fast". You'll still need a good scripting shell though.

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Daniel Lo Nigro

On Windows, Cmder is a good replacement for the default terminal.

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Mandar Vaze

Or, if you are on Windows 10, get "real" terminal via WSL ?

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daniel15 profile image
Daniel Lo Nigro

WSL is a shell, not a terminal/console. You can run WSL inside Cmder :)

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mandarvaze profile image
Mandar Vaze

umm... Right.

I am a macOS user (considering moving to Windows+WSL+Ubuntu) So you are probably right (Haven't used Windows in several years)

If and when I move to windows, I'll give Cmder a try. Read good things about it (and how people use it with WSL)

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daniel15 profile image
Daniel Lo Nigro

Sorry, I should have posted more details in my comment!

A terminal emulator (sometimes referred to as a "terminal" or "console") is the app that gives you the interface to type commands into and see their output. For example, iTerm2 and Terminal are terminal emulators on MacOS.

The shell is the app that processes the commands. For example, bash and zsh are shells.

You run a shell inside a terminal emulator. When you run iTerm2, it runs bash (or whatever) inside it :)

Technically WSL is neither... It's a compatibility layer that allows Linux apps to run on Windows. It converts Linux API calls to native Windows API calls - Basically the opposite of the WINE project (which lets you run Windows apps on Linux). However, WSL comes with Bash, so when people "run WSL", they're running Bash (the shell) in CONHOST.exe (Console Window Host, the default Windows terminal emulator, the same one that CMD.exe uses).

Cmder is a replacement for conhost/cmd.exe. It can run the default Windows shell (cmd.exe) and WSL within it. Similar to how iTerm2 is an improvement over Terminal.app, Cmder is an improvement over conhost, providing features like tabs. You still run all the same shells (just like how you can run bash in either iTerm2 or Terminal), it's just running within a different terminal emulator.

If you do try Windows, try PowerShell in addition to WSL. It has its own unique set of features, and you may like it. PowerShell can run inside Cmder too. I even use PowerShell on Linux now, due to how powerful it is. The key difference with PowerShell is that it treats command output as objects rather than strings, so you very rarely need to parse command line output using grep/sed/cut like you do on Linux. Instead, you simply access properties on objects.

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dallgoot profile image
dallgoot

i 've set up something (i'm not the only one) that really makes me enjoy CLI on Windows 10 :

  • install Debian as WLS
  • install CMDER

Run Debian WLS, install fishshell.

Run CMDER set up a new task with command "debian.exe"

---> Enjoy Fishshell in a Debian env on Windows 10 :)

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Jack Harner 🚀

I don't think it's open source, but I am a huge fan of LightShot. It takes over the Print Screen key and makes it useful.

Pretty much two clicks and you can have a screenshot of anything

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Tiago de Noronha

Hey, if you're looking for something that takes over the printscreen key, there is an awesome open source app called Katana. If you're looking for a Windows app, i would suggest Screenpresso. ( Yes I know, it isn't open source :) )

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arafel profile image
Paul Walker

I can recommend Greenshot too - open source Windows screen grabber, though that doesn’t really do it justice. Integrated upload to imgur and other places, all that stuff.

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tiagodenoronha profile image
Tiago de Noronha

They already have a mac version aswell! :)

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arafel profile image
Paul Walker

Ah - somehow I'd missed that when downloading the PC version at work. Thanks, I'll go grab it now. :)

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Jack Harner 🚀

I'm pretty happy with LightShot at the moment, but I'll definitely check those out!

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daniel15 profile image
Daniel Lo Nigro

For Windows, I'd highly recommend ShareX. It's open source!

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Nannooskeeska

Just to add to the discussion: I've been using ShareX for a couple years now and I absolutely love it. It's open source, customizable, doesn't bog down my machine, can automatically upload screenshots and videos to almost any site (even Gfycat!) you can imagine, and so much more. I can't sing its praises enough.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

There are plenty of screenshot tools which are open source, though.

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lepinekong

My best except it doesn't have an option for specifying size

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Jonas Strømsodd

If you're into CLI-based tools, httpie, and its partners in crime: http-prompt and jq, are worth checking out 😎

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gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes

If you like httpie, you should definitely try curl! It's just like httpie, except that it is more flexible (not just for HTTP), and leaves things like syntax highlighting up to you (just pipe the output into your favourite program - like jq for instance!).

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Jonas Strømsodd

I use httpie if it happens to be installed, like on my development laptop(s), otherwise it's curl all the way 👍🏻

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Sarthak Sharma Author

Thanks a lot, Jonas 😊

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I just tried Mark Text and I don't like it because of the way it autocompletes closing symbols without being smart enough to let you overwrite them.
For instance, if I type [words it adds a ] after the cursor, and if I want to complete the section I have to use the arrow keys to move past its "helpful" insertion. The convention in most text editing software is that if you do helpful stuff like that, then pressing ] will be handled smartly, but in Mark Text, you end up with [words]] instead. I didn't spend enough time to see whether I could switch it off.

On a Mac, MacDown (which is also open source) gives you separate markdown and preview panes and makes a lot more sense to me if I want to see a preview. Usually I don't care about the preview anyway, though - the point of things like Markdown is that you're writing what you mean, not worrying about how it looks to someone who happens to be using exactly the same renderer as you. I think these "rich" Markdown editors are a step backwards.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

I would say, preferences. 😊

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Rémi Lavedrine

A big thank you for Marktext.
So I get to know mermaid and its flowchart.
And the app I am using to get some notes, Boosnote, supports this.

So it is going to be very useful for me.

I really love that this kind of reading and sharing experiences can lead to great things.

Thank you.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Glad could help 😊

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jdickey profile image
Jeff Dickey

Mark Text has Issues™ on large Retina screens; working in Source Code mode wastes prodigious amounts of screen space.

Alternatives worth consideration:

  • Twig. Just what you need for editing and preview; themes are simply CSS style sheets, and it ships with a lot;
  • MacDown. Install via brew cask install macdown. Featureful and stable under load. Like Twig, also supports side-by-side edit and preview;
  • Markoff. Not an editor, but a great previewer (it's from ThoughtBot, natch) that integrates with your editor.

Several good plugins for Visual Studio Code as well.

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agusarias__ profile image
Agus Arias

Great list, will check out insomnia!

I would like to add Flycut to this list, it's a great OOS clipboard manager.

github.com/TermiT/Flycut

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44r0n profile image
Aarón

I just discovered Mark text. Lots of thanks!!!

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amit_merchant profile image
Amit Merchant

If you're looking for something simple, check Markdownify.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Glad could help 😊

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jodyshop profile image
Waleed Barakat

Awesome! Thanks for sharing such great tools! I already know some of it :)

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kr428 profile image
Kristian R.

Interesting, I really liked reading through this article. Being a rather "old" kid on the blog here, I have been using open-source tools for my development works ever since the late 1990s and so far my toolbox looked considerably different and more "old-school". :) Liked seeing Brave on that list - just out of curiosity: Why Brave and not Firefox? ;)

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Ryan Palo

I didn't know about Mark Text. That's cool! Have you used Typora? How does it compare?

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Well for starters Mark Text is Open Source 😀

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

Didn't know either, seems cool!

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David J Eddy

If a picture is worth a thousand words...how much is a screen cast? Screen casts have saved days of frustration.

I would submit GiT is a great OSS tool for devs as well :)

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Thanks for suggestion 😊

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kip13 profile image
kip

Joplin is a good tool to take notes and is OSS

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Chandu J S

Ill recommend AND.CO for a freelancer. They have many awesome features and its completely free.

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lucagabi profile image
LucaGabi

Hi, are you aware of some tools that can help with code generation in asp net core ? Something that can generate controllers and views and models with relations and in the UI something like PyroCMS or Voyager for PHP ?

Thanks.

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Juan Ignacio Carrozzo

Man! Insomnia 😍😍!! i've been using Postman for at least 3 years and, call me lazy, but never actually looked for alternatives, even when i'm always complaining about it!
Thanks for the post!

PS. Im totally in for some JS projects!.. let me know

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nguyen

Nice article!

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Mary Krivokhat

Sarthak Sharma, thank you for the great article!)

The company I am working at, in January-February 2020 starts the open-source project for Node.js developers (microservices)!
Warm welcome🥳
Spectrum: spectrum.chat/yap?tab=posts (community chat)
GitBook: manual.youngapp.co/community-edition/ (docs)
Twitter: twitter.com/youngapp_pf (News)
GitHub: github.com/youngapp/yap(docs)
(click🌟star to support us and stay connected🙌)

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Adrian Matei

Hey @Sarthak, nice list. I developed a bookmarks manager for developers at bookmarks.dev, it is also open-source and free. Maybe you can have a look. I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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hardy613 profile image
Scott Hardy

I want to try vmd, thanks!

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CHADDA Chakib

Oh man, you save me from this pain when generating icons for the ios.
thx !

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Miguel Ruiz

For markdown I use VIsual Studio Code. It has an option to see md results. It's not the best but just works for the sake of not having too many programs for everything.

Postman sucks ++

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Phil

Thanks man. Now I will look to Manta.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Glad you liked it 😊

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goku132 profile image
Michael

That a great list. Will definitely look into using some of these. Thanks for sharing.

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sarthology profile image
Sarthak Sharma Author

Glad you liked it 😊

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Robin Kretzschmar

I actually contributed to Manta and can confirm that this is very mature and in the meantime there are enough contributors to react fast on errors and enhance it even faster.

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Sarthak Sharma Author

Wow, Must say man a great Application. 👏🏼

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Khoa Pham

Even I have Paw, I still use Insomnia, powerful and open source. And thanks for mentioning IconGenerator ❤️

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arafel profile image
Paul Walker

Some good tools to investigate there, thanks. :) I’ve just started building some web stuff (on my own time), for the first time, so I’m looking for useful tools like Insomnia. 👍🏻

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Jake Varness

I need to try Brave!

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Agustin Navcevich

Great tools! Nice Article