The quick version (scroll down for more)
FossHub is a website and also a platform (for developers and projects) where people can download for free many popular free and *clean* software titles. We strive to offer you a fast download experience, a clean website look, easy navigation, only a single ad to help us pay our bills, and no software bundles, adware or anything that can be identified as malware. If you like FossHub, feel free to get in touch with us if you can't find an answer here or on our F.A.Q. Section.
Important: FossHub lists mostly FOSS software titles, but we also list a few freeware programs. We are also working to offer you more choices so you can filter which kind of programs you would like to see: open source, closed source, or mixed.
The long version - Introduction
FossHub is a part of FOSS (you can read more about F/OSS, FOSS, FLOSS terms here) community focused on providing downloads and hosting for the free projects. We also list a limited number of free software titles that can be categorized as "freeware," "proprietary," or "closed-source" software (please read below the "Controversy" or "Manifest" section). We HATE pop-ups, spyware, and excessive ads.
We are against deceptive/misleading advertising and HATE bundles* (READ THE DISCLAIMER SECTION BELOW).
Please note that we do not modify software binaries, and we strive to be recognized as one of the most trustworthy places when it comes down to free software.
The suggestion for the FossHub name came from Mr. Pete Batard, the author of the free, public utility named "M.B. Warband Japan O.S.P. - enormous thanks for pointing us a critical security issue), dim0k (Personal Blog - enormous thanks for discovering a Vector XSS attack), Marisano James for providing free proofreading, éfrit for recommending us a great app and obtaining the permission, SwiftOnSecurity for recommending us, Steve Wozniak for the generous donation, Chris Hoffman for mentioning us in this article posted on How-To Geek site, John Paul for the kind review at , Gabriela Gonzalez for the beautiful review at Genbeta and many other users as well (this list is incomplete, and we apologize if we missed someone that helped us - please ask to add your name to this list).
- We DO NOT list bundled software that attempts to install adware, spyware, or anything that can be identified as malware.
- Fast worldwide servers and optimized pages for a quick load.
- Direct download links, no further redirection, no waiting time, etc.
- No annoying, deceptive, misleading ads - we use a single ad unit!
- Using ad-blockers? No problem, we respect that!
- We look for high-quality software projects from F/OSS, FOSS, FLOSS, and even a few freeware (exceptions) area.
- We contribute to a better world by offering other free services (e.g., Code.FossHub shut down permanently) (OldFoss integrated into FossHub)
- We do not list demo or shareware software.
We (FossHub Team) HATE bundles, "software installers" or any other crap that ruins the reputation of a program.
Some developers will choose to bundle their software or do whatever they want with their work. When this happens, we are not being informed, and we get all kinds of emails from angry users telling us that we provide "crap." Like everyone else, we consider ourselves regular users, and we feel sad when we read such messages. Most likely, if we receive complaints, we will eventually remove that (PLEASE REPORT IT) project from our website (unless it's a false positive alert which can happen to any software). Also, if people donate more money to their favorite projects, they would encourage the authors to continue their work and avoid any "temptation" from companies interested in making a profit.
If you feel that somehow we did something wrong, we disappointed you; we encourage you to write to us. Please tell us, give us as many details as possible. If you are right, we will try to follow your suggestion and improve the service we provide.
This world has a lot of beautiful people, but this isn't about them. It is about individuals who have different concerns. From time to time, we get random questions:
- why FossHub asks for donations
- why FossHub delivers malware (is FossHub safe 2020)
- compare us with other download sites
- why the download doesn't work
- what's up with this freeware app
We will address each concern.
A. Why FossHub asks for donations
For the same reason, Wikipedia does this OR Ardour, OR most free projects ask for help. We have bills to pay monthly. We have projects to support monthly. It means money, a lot of them, monthly.
The fact that we show a message that can be ignored because you choose not to see ads shouldn't bother you as long as we do not impose any restrictions.
B. Why FossHub delivers malware
In most cases, there is a false positive. You can read more about false positive alerts here. The only time when FossHub delivered malware for 2 hours was when we got hacked. We made a public statement on Reddit here. It happened once in nearly ten years of our existence, but the truth is that we never, ever had any intention to harm our users, and we hate malware as much as you do.
C. Compare us with other download sites
A few folks said they don't like the color of our site or that we don't have many software titles, designs, etc.
The first design we used was made from a free template offered by Andreas Viklund. After this, we hired a few talented web designers that currently work for some famous companies. We think it looks decent and serves the purpose of such a site, and our efforts should concentrate on other things.
As for the software titles, indeed, we don't have many of them, but we will keep adding those that our users and we consider being valuable. Obtaining permission is the most arduous task, and if you wish to help, you might get permission on our behalf, so please ask us so we can check the software (we DO NOT allow software bundles, adware, malware or anything like that).
All download sites are equal, right? We think not!
Next time you wish to make a fair comparison, take a few signs, and draw your conclusion:
- Do you have to wait for the download to start while they show you ads? (not cool, right?)
- How is the download speed? Do they pay their bandwidth or use an external "free" mirror while you see a bunch of ads?
- Where does the download start? Do they host that file or just a hotlinking while they show you a dozen of ads?
- Does the site need your email address? How many software offers did you receive from them during Christmas, Black Friday, etc.? (spam)
- count the number of ads listed on a site (most sites have like five ads/page, we show a single one and that for a good reason).
- count the number of software titles they list (most sites have 1000+ software titles, do you have time to try all of them in a lifetime?)
- count the number of shareware software and look for affiliate links (monetization is essential, but for some, it is all about the money).
- What is the history of that site? Was it always safe and trustworthy? Yes/No? Again, you might be amazed to realize they don't even host individual apps.
- "sell" its community for money: we all need money, but sometimes, people go too far—probably lack of principles, greed, or more.
For the reasons mentioned above, we don't appreciate the fact that you compare us with others. We worked hard to be recognized as a decent download site; we made mistakes for which we will eternally apologize. However, it is a big difference between being stupid, na?ve, and being evil or greedy on purpose.
D. Why the download doesn't work - please check our F.A.Q. section
If you use a regular browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Pale Moon, K-Meleon or any other browser the download should work, if it doesn't you should check a few things:
- you're using a download manager or an automated tool that attempts to retrieve files automatically from us*
- you're using a third-party browser add-on, which prevents you from downloading from us - quick tip: try another clean browser.
- maybe we ran into a technical issue (rare but it did happen a few times).
- you tried to download an older version that no longer exists on our site.
*Again, please sure to check our F.A.Q. Section.
Certain people accused FossHub of listing several "proprietary" or "closed-source" software. In their opinion, we are not allowed to (or we should not) add certain freeware software titles that are well-known, popular, and safe such as IrfanView (just an example). We believe that they are right up to a point, so we hope you will not judge us by the cover.
FOSS is an acronym. There are plenty of companies, registered trademarks that use it long before the Internet or computers exist.
FOSS or FLOSS is an abbreviation for Free Open Source Software, a term well-known and understood mostly by professionals in the I.T. world.
These professionals adopted the term FOSS/FLOSS, and it means "Free Open Source Software."
Proof that what we wrote above is accurate and not invented or misinterpreted but rather reality.
FOSS.com - it is the website of Foss Maritime Company - "For more than a century Foss has set the standard for marine transportation services."
FOSS.ORG - redirects you to seattleflydogs.com
FOSS.net - we have no idea what this website does.
FOSS.info - redirects you to fossanalytics.com - a company from Denmark.
Let's assume that FOSS stands only for "Free and Open Source Software." Can we identify the misleading part of FossHub?
FossHub is composed of the acronym "FOSS" and the word "Hub." The term "Hub" also has a lot of meanings. Let's ignore the .com domain extension because, as a professional, you already know that .com comes from commercial (" Added in 1985, its name is derived from the word commercial, indicating its original intended purpose for domains registered by commercial organizations. Later, the domain opened for general purposes.") - Source Wikipedia
Note: Since we display *one* single ad, we intentionally went for the .com extension instead of .org
Respect for Open Source community is related to a list of actions that we always believed in:
1. Does FossHub provides a list with "Free and Open Source Software"? Yes
2. Does FossHub allow projects and developers to publish the source code of each program? Yes
3. Does FossHub list the file signatures, P.G.P., and other security measures? Yes
4. Does FossHub tries to mislead visitors into thinking that they will find *only* "Free and Open Source Software" published? No
5. Does FossHub publicly recognize that there are a few closed-source software titles listed? Yes
Here comes the most exciting part
6. Does FossHub allow Open Source software to integrate third-party code, often known as bundles, and identified and flagged as adware/malware? NO!
7. Was FossHub ever involved in any action that could harm the Open Source community in any way, shape, or form? NO!
8. Did FossHub go some extra miles to help as much as possible free projects? YES!
Furthermore, we believe in Open Source principles, and that's why we did the following:
- Offering free services, unlike many others that use Open Source as a masquerade to cover a profitable business.
- We are among the first that banned deceptive/misleading ads, right from the beginning, we lost hundreds of hours doing this (each year) when nobody seems to care.
- We kept a single ad to allow us to pay our bills NOT to make a profit. That was our vision, and we are proud of it.
- We never used bundles, and we kindly asked other Open Source projects to stop this practice.
- We invested in our infrastructure to serve developers and visitors; there is a beautiful story behind this.
I am curious why FossHub is hosting free but closed source software?
There are a few reasons why we are doing it:
1. Projects that used to be closed source changed their license model into open source or vice versa.
2. There are projects with the same developer that offers both open and closed source software titles. For the developer, our platform, and most of the users, it does make things easier to find everything in one place.
3. Both developers and users asked FossHub repeatedly to list their software. If the program is popular enough, our visitors will keep asking to list it.
4. No Open Source alternative is available - rare example.
5. The truth is FossHub could not help so many projects without the few closed source programs that we listed.
Many companies have one or more products they sell and give back to the community by offering an Open Source product. FossHub doesn't have any sponsor, investor, or another type of finance available to support our costs. A few, free, closed source projects hosted on FossHub help the other Open Source projects by generating revenue that cover some expenses. Once again, the freeware titles that we listed have helped us to pay for servers, bandwidth, and other services.
For your consideration, we have two problems.
A. FossHub, is that it? Trying to hide behind doing good? The famous "do no evil"? Are you trying to justify the listing of those closed source software on FossHub and attempt to change the way Open Source represents or how it works?
Here are some real-life examples, so let's not pretend that you landed on the evilest website in the world.
1. Corporation A collects your data, knowing everything about you.
2. Corporation B is hacked (usually, they try to hide the incident), and your private information is sold all over the web.
3. Corporation C is cancer for the human race, but you work for it.
Thankfully, corporations A, B, C have the best P.R. experts in the world so no matter what you do or what you say, you don't matter because you belong to the 0.1% of those who are willing to do something about it, so for them, you are just noise.
Transparency and honesty used to be respected not a long time ago.
Over so many years, we have tried to please everyone, listen to constructive feedback, and improve FossHub. Our ideas to find a consensus regarding the dispute of the "FOSS" acronym was this:
- simply ignore the closed source and search only for Open Source software titles.
- improve our filters so we can allow you to see only Open Source software titles if this is what you wish.
- donate the domain name FOSSHUB.org to a community willing to take care of it in the true spirit of Open Source. Not to a business, not to a corporation.
Some made unreasonable offers, such as:
- register FreeGratisHub or whatever crazy name
- move away the closed source software titles to a different domain name
Please be honest. When was the last time you wrote to a website company that uses FOSS word telling them they are misleading visitors?
The domain name FossHub was the suggestion of a beautiful Open Source developer, and there was a vote in which a dozen projects had to vote between multiple domain names. Our small community voted, and FossHub was the winner.
B. It is about the Open Source code; everyone knows that you can check the code and see if it is safe to use or not!
For an unknown reason, some people think that just because the software is Open Source, it is 100% free, 100% clean, 100% safe and much better than freeware software. In an ideal world, we agree, Open Source is superior.
Unfortunately, the reality is different, take a look at the following:
Open Source and Freeware software that included 3rd party software bundles
Open Source apps or sites can be hacked and deliver malware.
Open Source could mean only the source code is available for binaries you need to pay
Note: Those are just a few random examples, the point is: what does this tell you? Except for license agreement terms and the message, comfort, liberty that Open Source brings, it doesn't necessarily mean the product is superior, safer* or better.
*Open Source is supposed to be safer because you can analyze the source code while in closed source code, you can't do that. Still, most people are not able to inspect the code and tell if it is safe or not; they have to rely on other people with such skills (programmers, security experts) or antivirus products that can detect malicious code. For more safety, you are advised to download and compile your source code, but most people will most likely download the binaries and install the program.
Imagine for a second if Bruce Schneier (a renowned security expert) would create a closed source software. Would you trust him? We would, in the same way, Bruce Schneier, trust a closed source program: **"BitLocker is Microsoft's native file encryption program. Yes, it's from a big company. But it was designed by my colleague and friend Niels Ferguson, whom I trust."
**The above statement was copied from the original article "Encrypting Windows Hard Drives" written by Bruce Schneier:
In the same way, we have confidence in other people such as Irfan Skiljan (author of IrfanView, a popular software developed since 1996) and others like him.
The point is; humans make the difference here. A closed source can be as good as Open Source in particular circumstances***
***What particular circumstances? An example: there is no alternative to an Open Source software. No one is willing to inspect the code of a free project, so you really can't tell if it is safe or not unless you can read the code or else you have to rely on an anti-malware tool. Etc.
If you hate us, except for listening to your feedback and attempt to improve, there isn't much we can do.
When it comes to Open Source, our conscience is clean, our actions are neat, and the free service we provide is fast, stable, and reliable. Quite a miracle if you get to compare our resources with the large players. The miracle is possible because of the beautiful community of projects and our generous visitors. Our gratitude and recognition go to all of them; thank you!
If you like what we do, please recommend us to others: friends, family, other projects, etc.
Sincerely yours, FossHub Team