Tag Archive for free utilities

5 Great Open Source Utility Tools

Here is a list of great open source utility tools for you to increase your efficiency. They are free but great tools.


A great network monitoring and sniffing tool to track packets, see if there are suspicious activities. This tool makes it easy for you to record network interfaces such as WLAN, Ethernet and capture packet details. You could even find the root cause of a slow internet if some app is sucking the bandwidth. It is available on Linux, Windows as well as Mac.

Open source tools


WinDirStat is a great Open Source disk stats tool that lets you check and see which files are eating your disk. You can see at the graphical interface, colored patterns that let you easily isolate the large, unwanted files and cleanup. Available on Windows. Also available on Mac and Linux. For more visit http://windirstat.info/

open source tool


GParted is a free partition editor for graphically managing your disk partitions. Create partitions easily real time using GParted

open source tools


FileZilla is super easy, secured and robust FTP app that never fails. Very easy to use, powerful and it is open source.

open source tools


ClamAV is an open source antivirus engine designed for detecting Trojans, viruses, malware and other malicious threats. It is the de facto standard for mail gateway scanning. It provides a high performance mutli-threaded scanning daemon, command line utilities for on demand file scanning, and an intelligent tool for automatic signature updates.

Top Free15+ network monitor utilities – alternatives to Microsoft Operations Manager

In the network and server administration world, you need to know what your network and servers are doing at every second of the day or else Sooner or later, you’re going to meet with disaster. Fortunately, there are a lot of good tools, both commercial and open source that can monitor your network environment.

Here is a list of best Free (and Open Source) Network Monitoring software tools that are highly recommended. These are active projects with a lot of Plug-In options to customize. This list is based on the original post by Paul Venezia at InfoWorld but some more players have been added.



  • ZABBIX – ZABBIX is an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution designed to monitor and track performance and availability of network servers, devices and other IT resources. It supports distributed and WEB monitoring, auto-discovery, and more. Developed by Alexei Vladishev, ZABBIX includes support for monitoring via SNMP, TCP and ICMP checks, IPMI and custom parameters. ZABBIX supports a variety of real-time notification mechanisms, including Jabber.

  • Cacti – Cacti is an open source, web-based graphing tool designed as a frontend to RRDtool‘s data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti allows a user to poll services at predetermined intervals and graph the resulting data. It is generally used to graph time-series data like CPU load and bandwidth use. A common usage is to query network switch or router interfaces via SNMP to monitor network traffic.

  • Nagios – Nagios is a popular open source computer system and network monitoring software application. It watches hosts and services, alerting users when things go wrong and again when they get better. Nagios, originally created under the name NetSaint, was written and is currently maintained by Ethan Galstad, along with a group of developers actively maintaining both official and unofficial plugins. Nagios was originally designed to run under Linux, but also runs well on other Unix variants. Nagios is free software licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

  • Ntop – Ntop is a network monitor that shows network usage in a way similar to what top does for processes. In interactive mode, it displays the network status on the user’s terminal. In Web mode, it acts as a web server, creating a HTML dump of the network status. It sports a NetFlow/sFlow emitter/collector, a HTTP-based client interface for creating ntop-centric monitoring applications, and RRD for persistently storing traffic statistics. Ntop is a top-notch network traffic monitor married with simple Web GUI. It’s written in C and completely self-contained; you run a single process configured to watch a specific network interface, and that’s about all there is to it. One of the main uses of Ntop is on-the-spot traffic checkups. Other Network monitors like Cacti, shows a collection of network links running in the red, it tells you that those links exceed 85 percent utilization, but it doesn’t you why. By switching to an Ntop process watching that network segment, You can quickly pull a minute-by-minute report of the top talkers and immediately know which hosts are responsible and what traffic they’re pushing.

  • Snort – Snort is a free, complete intrusion detection system that watches and catalogs network traffic, matching that traffic against predefined rules to monitor network segments for nefarious activity. In fact, it can do much more, since rules can be written to flag traffic that matches any criteria. If you want to check all IM traffic exiting the network that matches a specific internal product code name, that’s certainly possible, right along with standard rules that watch for port scans, virus activity, and so forth. Snort is mostly used for intrusion prevention purposes, by dropping attacks as they are taking place. Snort can be combined with other software such as SnortSnarf, Sguil, OSSIM, and the Basic Analysis and Security Engine (BASE) to provide a visual representation of intrusion data. In most networks, Snort can easily be built on a low-end desktop- or server-class system, depending on traffic levels. The basic rule sets are available for free from Sourcefire with registration, and rules updates are easily managed. And if you want to go with a supported solution, you can buy the official commercial counterpart from Sourcefire. In either case, Snort can quickly become an invaluable addition to any network.

  • Nedi – Nedi (Network Discovery) is powerful network management tool. NeDi can also help you in finding your device location in your network. This really helps and saves time otherwise telnetting and MAC lookup may take few hours you to figure out where the devise is actually located when you have a DHCP which is stray broadcasting! NeDi is a LAMP application that regularly walks the MAC address and ARP tables on your network switches, cataloging every device it discovers in a local database.

  • Ganglia – Ganglia is a scalable distributed monitoring system for high-performance computing systems such as clusters and Grids. It is based on a hierarchical design targeted at federations of clusters. It leverages widely used technologies such as XML for data representation, XDR for compact, portable data transport, and RRDtool for data storage and visualization. It uses carefully engineered data structures and algorithms to achieve very low per-node overheads and high concurrency. The implementation is robust, has been ported to an extensive set of operating systems and processor architectures, and is currently in use on thousands of clusters around the world. It has been used to link clusters across university campuses and around the world and can scale to handle clusters with 2000 nodes.

  • Munin – Munin is a network/system monitoring application that presents output in graphs through a web interface. Its emphasis is on simple plug and play capabilities. A large number of monitoring plug-ins are available. Using Munin you can easily monitor the performance of your computers, networks, SANs, and quite possibly applications as well. It makes it easy to determine "what’s different today" when a performance problem crops up. It makes it easy to see how you’re doing capacity wise on all limited resources. It uses the RRDtool (written by Tobi Oetiker) and is written in Perl. Munin has a master/node architecture in which the master connects to all the nodes at regular intervals and asks them for data. It then stores the data in RRD files, and (if needed) updates the graphs. One of the main goals has been ease of creating new plug-ins (graphs).

  • PandoraFMS – Pandora Flexible Monitoring System, is software solution for network monitoring. Pandora FMS allows monitoring in a visual way the status and performance of several parameters from different operating systems, servers, applications and hardware systems such as firewalls, proxies, databases, web servers or routers. PandoraFMS has remote monitoring (WMI, SNMP, TCP. UDP, ICMP, HTTP, etc) and using agents. An agent is available for each platform. It can also monitor hardware systems with a TCP/IP stack, as load balancers, routers, network switches, printers or firewalls. Pandora FMS has several servers that process and get information from different sources, using WMI for gathering remote Windows information, a predictive server, a plug-in server who makes complex user-defined network tests, an advanced export server to replicate data between different sites of Pandora FMS, a network discovery server and a SNMP Trap console.

  • OpenNMS – OpenNMS is a Java based enterprise-grade network monitoring platform developed under the open source software model. It consists of a community-supported, open-source project as well as an organization offering commercial services, training and support. The goal is for OpenNMS to be a truly distributed, scalable platform for all aspects of the FCAPS network management model, and to make this platform available to both open source and commercial applications.

  • Pancho (Abandoned) – Pancho is a Perl based project which allows network administrators to archive device configurations as well as make changes to these remote nodes through the use of SNMP and TFTP. Pancho is module based in the sense that support for new vendors may be written by users based on a template provided with the distribution and shared with the community via the Pancho Project website.

  • StorageIM – This is slightly off-topic as it mainly monitors your storage network like SAN. StorageIM is an open source monitoring and testing tool for storage systems and storage networks built around standards communities such as SNIA’s SMI-S and is designed for the IT vendor and end user communities. StorageIM is the first storage configuration and resource monitoring tool in the industry to be built with these rapidly emerging standards as its core. As a result StorageIM supports HBAs, Arrays, Switches, and tape libraries across vendor’s products with a high degree of interoperability and reliability.

  • SpiceWorks – Free network management software & IT community. Downloaded more than 1.4 million times.

  • OpenAudit – Open-AudIT now does software license tracking. Open-AudIT is an application to tell you exactly what is on your network, how it is configured and when it changes.

  • Munin – Munin is a networked resource monitoring tool that can help analyze resource trends and network issues.

Fololowing are some of the commercial Open Source Network Monitoring tools that can also be considered.

  • Zenoss – Zenoss delivers a single integrated solution that monitors everything from network devices to applications to virtual machines and their hosts. Supports a lot of OS, resources to monitor. Here is a list of what Zenoss can monitor.
  • Centreon – Network, Systems and Application monitoring. More information is here.

20 Interesting, FREE TO-DO, Stickies, Getting Things Done, Web 2.0 websites

Do you have too many things to do? Do you find it hard to track your day to day activities? Then you may want to try these cool, funny little web apps to boost your memory and productivity!

  1. Doris – Sort out your life with Doris. Doris is a free productivity tool that helps you get things done. You can prioritize your tasks, drag them and group them, organize your tasks and lot more.
  2. HipCal – Online calendar and To-do List. With HipCal you never forget where you need to be or what you have to do. Be reminded of important events via alerts sent directly to your cell phone or email. Join a group for your classes at school or create a group for a club, project team, or group of friends. Link up with friends and colleagues so you always have each other’s contact information. Plaxo has recently acquired HipCal!To Do list
  3. Do it, Do it, Done! – A simple tool for creating and managing your to-do list – all with a bit of fun and flair. A collaborative tool which lets you create to-do lists online, access them from anywhere, share them with your friend with a simple click a lot more
  4. Stickified – Stickified is a service that will allow you to create images of sticky notes, that you can write on, and then update the writing. This is useful for emails, blog posts and forum posts, because it allows you to create a space that is updatable. This means that if you forget to include something in an email, or need to update the first post in a forum then you can simply login to your control panel and update the message on the sticky note
  5. Remember the Milk – Online To-do List and Task Management. With Remember The Milk, you no longer have to write your to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand. Remember The Milk makes managing tasks an enjoyable experience.
  6. Lino – Online Stickies. Manage your tasks (to-do), share your idea with your friends, collect photos from everyone who attended a party, and whatever you want to do with web stickies!
  7. Doomi – A To-Do List Application. Doomi was designed from the ground up to stay out of your way and out of your browser. It has all the features you use, and none of the ones you don’t. Create, edit, set reminders, and keep archives of your old tasks.
  8. TaskBin – Group Task Manager. In TaskBin you are always part of a group. These groups define the context of the tasks. Once you are a part of a group, the other group members can add tasks to your list or edit it. So in a sense, all your tasks are “shared”. TaskBin is not like a calendar or a scheduler, and there is no need to enter specific dates. Tasks can have the following priorities: Now, Today, Tomorrow, Sometime This Week and Sometime Soon. All your tasks have email notifications, which can be turned off.
  9. ReQall – Too Much to Remember? reQall is the a memory tool to integrate your memory with your life, putting more of the things you need to know and remember into one place. Wherever life takes you, reQall is there.
  10. Toodled – A To-Do List to Organize your Tasks. Having a single place where all your to-dos are permanently stored and easily accessible will allow you to relax, knowing that you won’t forget anything. Toodledo’s hotlist, email reminders and sortable to-do list will help you remember to complete tasks on-time.
  11. HiTask – Free Online Task Management. HiTask is a simple task management application that is designed to satisfy both sophisticated followers of David Allan’s ‘Getting Things Done” methodology and anyone who just needs a quick and easy tool to manage their everyday tasks. HiTask gives you maximum comfort with minimum features to make your working day run smoothly and easily.
  12. Nutshell – Search the Web – Take Notes – Manage To-Do’s. Nutshell helps you search the web, take notes, and manage your to-do list quick and easy. Search Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and all your other favorite websites with one super-powered search box. Quickly write down phone numbers, groceries, that song on the radio and other stuff you need to remember. Remind yourself of what you should be doing and get things done with the best task manager in town.
  13. Gubb – Create, Manage and Dhare an Unlimited Number of Lists. Gubb is for any and all the lists you can think of: from every day shopping and to-do lists to wishlists, brainstorming notes, personal goals, group projects and more. Just about as easy as jotting something down on paper, only better. You’ll always know where your lists are; you can edit and organize them any time; and you can share with friends and co-workers in seconds.
  14. Nozbe – Simply Get Things Done. Nozbe will help you get things done. Thanks to Nozbe you will have access to all your to-dos, projects and next actions on any computer connected to the Internet.
  15. Imified – Instant Productivity. Imified is an instant messenger buddy that works across all major IM networks and offers access to a growing number of web applications, as well as productivity tools like notes, reminders, and todo’s. Imified helps you get things done faster.
  16. Zirr.us – Dump your Brain here. Zirr.us – An alternative To Do list for the Web. Zirrus combines cutting-edge Web interactivity, the power of tag clouds, and the simplicity of a whiteboard.
  17. Wishlistr – Let the World know what your Desire. Wishlistr’s simple and easy to use interface lets you edit, delete and sort your list items without ever reloading the page. Let friends and family subscribe to your wishlist via RSS. As soon as you make any changes to your list they will know about it.
  18. Vitalist – When it is Vital to get Things Done. Vitalist is perfect for anyone who is need of getting things done in their everyday life. Vitalist is an excellent choice for managers, accountants, IT professionals, salesmen, contractors, consultants, attorneys, you name it. Basically, if you need to get things done, Vitalist can work for you.
  19. LifeTango – Live Richer, Fuller Life and have Fund doing it. Studies have shown that people who write down the list of things they want to do are more likely to accomplish them. That’s the first benefit of LifeTango, they give you a place to make your Life List, the list of things you want to do in your life.
  20. Monkey on your back – Your To-Do List for things you want other People To-Do. Create a monkey for each task you want to delegate to someone else. The person will get an email reminders about the task, and you’ll get an email reminder when the deadline for the task has expired.

Top Free Open Products for Personal Productivity

InfoWorld’s 2008 Bossies recognize the top free and open products for personal productivity apps:


1. Sound editing – Audacity

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

  • – Record live audio.
  • – Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • – Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • – Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • – Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • – For a complete list of features check the Audacity Feature List


2. 3-D modeling – Blender

Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License. Its a 3-D modeling and rendering suite that runs on Windows, Linux, OS X, Irix, and FreeBSD — a breadth of platform support unmatched by commercial offerings.

For a complete list of features check the Blender Feature List


3. Web Browser – Firefox

Firefox 3 sets the pace with dozens of new features, including the smart location bar, one-click bookmarking and blindingly fast performance. It provides some cool features like Password Manager, One Click Bookmarking and Smart Location Bar.

For a complete list of features check the Firefox Feature List


4. Image Editing – GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

For a complete list of features and capabilities check the GIMP Feature List


5. Productivity suite – OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

For more details on the features check Why OpenOffice.org


6. PDF creation – PDFCreator

PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application.Key features include creating PDF from any program that is able to print, creating encrypted PDF, creating PNG, JPG, TIFF etc.

For a complete list of features check the PDFCreator Feature List



Best of Open Source Software Awards 2008 InfoWorld’s 2008 Bossies recognize the top free and open products for business, IT, and personal productivity

Top 30+ Free Mind Mapping Tools – Best Mindmap

All about Mind Mapping and Freely available Mind Mapping tools.

What is Mind Mapping?

Quoting Wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.


An illustration of a Mind Map on Happiness (Source: http://www.mind-mapping.co.uk)

Why Mind mapping is essential?

The elements of a mind map are arranged intuitively according to the flow of thoughts, and are classified into nodes, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing connections between portions of information. Advantages of Mind Maps are simplicity and the easy graphical representation enables easy understanding and memory retention. Mindmap

Mind maps are perfect for brain storming as it involves presentation of ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner. Though the branches of a mind map represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework. Mind Mapping tools can either be online or offline.

Top 10+ Free Mind Mapping tools

Here we list the best of free mind mapping tools. All of these are really great and worth trying.

  1. FreeMind – FreeMind is a premier open source, free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has turned it into high productivity tool. Operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click ”fold / unfold” and ”follow link” operations. FreeMind is available for Linux, Mac and Windows. Here is a review of FreeMind.
  2. FreePlane – Freeplane is a great free and open source software to support thinking, sharing information and getting things done at work, in school and at home. It helps you with your mind map process.
  3. Edraw Mind Map – Edraw Mind Map is a vector-based freeware with rich examples and templates. Easy to create basic flow charts, mind map, brainstorming diagram and sketch map. Edraw Mind Map is available for Windows.
  4. Blumind – Blumind is a lightweight and powerful mind mapping tool, and it is free.
  5. XMind – XMind, is an open source brainstorming and mind mapping software tool developed by XMind Ltd. It helps people to capture ideas, organize to various charts, and share them for collaboration. Supporting mind maps, fishbone diagrams, tree diagrams, org-charts, logic charts, and even spreadsheets. Often used for knowledge management, meeting minutes, task management, and GTD. XMind is compatible with FreeMind. The latest version is XMind 3. Xmind is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
  6. Bubbl.us – Create colorful mind maps online, Share and work with friends, Embed your mind map in your blog or website, Email and print your mind map
    Save your mind map as an image. Available on all OS/Platforms via browser.
  7. Bookvar – Bookvar is an extremely easy and funny to use mind mapping tool. Creating mind maps with Bookvar is as easy and funny as playing computer games. You can build your mind maps in a matter of seconds by using handy keyboard shortcuts. You can drag files from your computer and drop them in the mind map. Stunning User Experience, Richer user interface built on top of Windows Presentation Foundation – Microsoft’s next generation UI framework. Slick, user-friendly interface based on the Office Fluent Ribbon. Cool 3D animation effects. Create mind maps together with your friends and colleagues. All you need is connection between computers. Each user receives a unique color which identifies topics created by him. Share thoughts and ideas using the integrated chat support. Add images directly in your topics. Embed and play movies. Attach other resources to your topics as files. Bookvar is available for Windows only.
  8. Ekpenso – Create and share mind maps online, Make mind maps public or share them with groups or make them public, Export maps to XML, PDF, image or Freemind-files, Use ekpenso offline; Edit mind maps offline via Gears or Adobe AIR. Available on all OS/Platforms via browser.
  9. Mind42 – Keep track of all your ideas, whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world. Mind42.com is a browser based online mind mapping application. With Mind42.com installing mind mapping tools is no longer needed – for a hassle-free mind mapping experience. Just open the browser and launch the application when needed. Available on all OS/Platforms via browser.
  10. WiseMapping – Create powerful mind maps using the browser as you would with your desktop application. No installation is needed. publish, Share your mind maps and work with friends easily. Available on all OS/Platforms via browser.
  11. Docear – Docear is free and open source, based on Freeplane
  12. Calligra – Braindump is a tool to dump and organize the content of your brain (ideas, drawings, images, texts…) to your computer.
  13. DabbleBoard – Dabbleboard is an online collaboration application that’s centered around the whiteboard. With a new type of drawing interface that’s actually easy and fun to use, Dabbleboard gets out of your way and just lets you draw. Draw with flexible & smart tools. Reuse previously-made drawings. All as naturally as using a marker or a pencil. And now with chat and document sharing, web conferencing with Dabbleboard is easier than ever. Amazingly smooth freehand mind map tool which is worth trying. Available on all OS/Platforms via browser.
  14. MindRaider – MindRaider is personal notebook and outliner. It can also be used to create mind maps. It aims to connect the tradition of outline editors with emerging technologies. MindRaider mission is to help you in organization of your knowledge and associated web, local and realworld resources in a way that enables quick navigation, concise representation and infer referencing. Available on Windows, Linux and Java.
  15. ThinkGraph – ThinkGraph is a 2D Drawing application specialized for Mind Maps and Concept Maps authoring. ThinkGraph lets the diagram to have relations link, Hypertext Links etc. ThinkGraph is available for MS Windows (not available for Linux, Mac).
  16. GnuConcept – GnuConcept is a colaborative mind map tool for complex document creation. GnuConcept lets you draw the document concept map, edit all the concepts content and export it to several formats, like openoffice, xml or html.
    The GnuConcept Interfaz is divided in two frames: the drawarea frame, where you can draw the concept tree; and the textarea where you can write and edit the concept content. Available on Linux.

Other lesser known free Mind Mapping tools

There are lot many other free mind mapping tools available on the internet. here is a partial list;

  1. Semantik – Semantik (previously Kdissert) is a mind mapping-like tool to help students to produce complicated documents very quickly and efficiently : presentations, dissertations, thesis, reports. While targetted mostly at students, Kdissert can also help teachers, decision maker, engineers and businessmen. Semantik is available exclusively for Linux and other free operating systems.
  2. VUE – The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information. VUE is available on Linux, Mac and Windows.
  3. DrawAnywhere – Draw Flowcharts, Process diagrams, Organizational charts online and more. Login from anywhere and modify your diagram. Share your diagram with others or link to your webpage. Export your diagram as an image file (jpg, png etc). No software to download. You just need a web browser with Flash player.
  4. VYM – VYM (View Your Mind) is a tool to generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts. Such maps can help you to improve your creativity and effectivity. You can use them for time management, to organize tasks, to get an overview over complex contexts. Available on FreeBSD, Linux, OS X.
  5. ThoughtEx.Net – Simple software to capture ideas for Windows Vista and XP
  6. Mapul – Mapul is a single web based project allows you to create completely organic looking mind maps. It is based on Microsoft silverlight technology on web.
  7. Text2Mindmap – Text 2 Mind Map is a web application that creates a mind map out of a list of words.
  8. MindNode – MindNode lets you create easy mind map and is exclusively for Mac user. It was created with the user in mind and features a very simple and intuitive user interface that lets the user focus on expressing and developing ideas. Nearly no time is required to learn the interface.
  9. HyperGraph – HyperGraph is an open source project which provides java code to work with hyperbolic geometry and especially with hyperbolic trees. It provides a very extensible api to visualize hyperbolic geometry, to handle graphs and to layout hyperbolic trees.
  10. Chartr – Chartr is another open source mind mapping tool for Linux clones with numerous features like mind maps with curved links, outline, box and color support.
  11. Morcego – Morcego is a 3D network browser written in Java and released under LGPL license. Helps to create 3d Mind maps. Morcego is developed by University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

There are more than 300 (including commercial Mind Map tools) and all are listed in http://www.mind-mapping.org. It is a comprehensive master list of mind mapping tools and a great reference site.

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