Open-Source macOS Apps
1358 words · 7 minutes
macOS & Me
I started using macOS over a year ago, as I wrote about in macOS: Testing Out A New OS.
Over the last year, I have tried out numerous proprietary and FOSS applications and command-line utilities. Throughout this process, I have ended up with a mostly-FOSS lineup of applications.
Before I switch back to Linux in a few weeks, I wanted to pause and save this snapshot of how I was using macOS in 2022.
Read on to see the applications I regularly use, both FOSS and proprietary.
Open-Source macOS Apps
A self-explanatory browser choice - my default choice most of the time.
A more secure alternative browser to Firefox.
A graphical browser for the Gemini protocol.
My personal choice of VPN, supporting both OpenVPN and Wiregaurd configurations.
A small calendar in the menu bar, which gives me great flexibility when needing to see days of the week or future dates.
A simple clipboard history manager, available in the menu bar.
The only logical choice for a terminal on macOS, iTerm2 is phenomenal.
A collection of statistics available in the menu bar that display data regarding the device CPU, GPU, storage, network, etc.
VSCodium is a slimmed-down version of Microsoft's VSCode and has all of the telemetry removed. I enjoy using this IDE simply due to its massive number of add-ons available.
Kate is a simple text editor that allows for quick and easy editing.
A drop-dead simple torrent client.
While FileBot is no longer open-source, it used to be and there is a fork of the most recent source code linked above. This app is incredibly helpful for automatically renaming movies and TV shows using custom templates.
Plex is self-explanatory: a simple desktop client to stream content from your Plex server or from one of Plex's services.
A beautiful RSS feed reader. I use this client on macOS and iOS, using my FreshRSS server.
Files & Cloud Storage
pCloud is my current cloud provider choice. I bounce around cloud providers quite a lot, but iCloud was syncing incredibly slowly lately and caused me to migrate over to pCloud.
For all files saved within a cloud provider, I suggest using Cryptomator to encrypt your files locally before they ever touch the provider's servers. This is one of the only ways to ensure that a third party isn't able to touch or read your personal data.
GPG Tools is the easiest way I've found to manage GPG keys on macOS. This tool allows me to painlessly encrypt emails, decrypt emails, and sign my git commits.
Gramps is a classic genealogy tool, allowing for editing, exporting, and visualization of GEDCOM genealogy data.
Element is the official client for the Matrix messaging protocol. I've tried a handful of clients and haven't found anything as good as Element yet.
Signal is another self-explanatory one. This is the desktop companion app that syncs with the mobile app.
amfora is a command-line browser for the Gemini protocol.
exiftool is an excellent image editing tool for the command-line. I wrote a blog post about it recently: Stripping Image Metadata with exiftool.
Used to extract audio from the
A simple command-line utility to extract audio and video files from video hosting websites.
For example, to extract a video as a
.flac audio file:
Zola is a static-site generator, used to build this website.
Proprietary macOS Apps
Meta is an excellent tag editor for musical files. While the base app costs $5 and the auto-finder + image selector costs an additional $5, this tool is excellent and easy to use. I was able to re-tag a ton of artists and albums with Meta in no time at all.
Pictogram is a simple icon replacement app for macOS. If you have irregular icons in your app drawer or dock, this app is a great tool to replace those icons. Personally, I used this tool by downloading icons from macOS Icons and saving them in an
icons folder to be re-used later.
Little Snitch is a powerful firewall that can set detailed rules on allowing and denying connections per application, URL, or domain. The app has a ton of information dialogs that can visualize where the requests are coming from or going to.
Micro Snitch, made by the same company as Little Snitch, is a small tool to notify you whenever a program on the computer is using your microphone or camera.