The Free CD for Mac

I just gave a talk about FOSS and music and gave out copies of the Fossbox free software CD for mac. Here is the readme file that came with it, with download links. You can also find a bunch of cool free mac software from the website

Welcome to the Fossbox Free CD

The free CD gives you a taster of the free
software options available for the Mac. In this document, you’ll find
a brief description of the software and links to instructions for
installing it. You can find free
tutorials and books to help you get the best from the software
the Fossbox website.

Office and project software

is a free alternative to MS Office. It’s very similar and
most people are able to get started and carry on as usual without any
special training to use it. It has a word processor, a spreadsheet,
presentation and data-base with wizards. Download it here.To get you started
Open Office you’ll find tutorials here
and some
flash tutorials here

If you find Open
Office to be too slow, Neo
is a mac-specific version of it that has fewer features
but quite a bit more speed. You can download
it here

is a PDF viewer that allows you to modify and annotate PDF files, for
example, by filling in forms. Download it here.

is a free Desktop Publisher. Download it here. You’ll
find free
Scribus video tutorials here


is a free email programme
. Download it here. and
follow the on-screen instructions. To get started using Thunderbird
you will find illustrated
tutorials here

If you would like a
calendar, this can be added to Thunderbird. Follow
these illustrated instructions to add a calendar

Browsing the internet

Although the Safari browser is included with OS X,
there’s an alternative browser called Firefox. Download it here.. It
has more features and is more customisable.

Website editor

To help you make simple websites, Kompozer
is a visual HTML editor with formatting buttons. Download it here.You’ll find free
Kompozer tutorials here

These tutorials are for a previous version of
Kompozer called NVU but Kompozer is almost identical so you should be
able to get started:

To upload website files to the internet, you need
an FTP client so check out Filezilla. You can download it here.. (In order to install it, you
may need to first install The Unarchiver utility. Click the link to download it.)
Your ISP will be able to
give you the login information you need to set up FileZilla – ask
the people you rent your website space from.

Instant Messaging

allows you to connect to multiple IM accounts, including Facebook, in
a single app. Download it here.

File Sharing

is a Bit Torrent client. Download it here..


There are two graphics programmes included on the

If you want to do serious photo-editing, you need
the GIMP, a
fully-featured graphics programme
. Download
it here
. Gimp on OS X requires X Windows, which is included with
your system CD or a free version can be downloaded
. Free
GIMP tutorials here

is vector drawing software., which also requires X Windows. Download it here. You’ll
find tutorials
for Inkscape here

that Open Office also
has a vector drawing application.


Multi-media player
a light and versatile movie player which opens more types of movies
than Quicktime. Download it here.

Ripping DVDs
is a DVD ripper. Download it here.

Video Editing
is an open source programming language environment for people who
want to program images, animation and interactions. Download it here..


is a light-weight sound editor. There is a stable version and a beta version. The beta has more and better features, but you will need to save early and often. If that worries you, get the stable version instead. Download the stable version here. or Download the beta version here.

is a a fully-featured Digital Audio Workstation with plug-in support
that can be used for serious audio projects. You can download it here. They will ask you if you want to donate to the project. You can put whatever amount you wish in the box, including $0.
relies on a helper application called Jack,
which is also useful in it’s own right. Download
Jack here

is a real-time graphical dataflow programming environment for audio,
video and graphical processing. It is especially useful for rapid
prototyping and can be used to write reactive music or the iPhone via
the RjDj app.
Download PD here.

is an environment and programming language for real time audio
synthesis and algorithmic composition. It has a bit of a learning
curve, however, it is extremely
powerful and useful. Download
it here

Published by

Charles Céleste Hutchins

Supercolliding since 2003

One thought on “The Free CD for Mac”

  1. Danke! I've heard good things about Inkscape and tried it a bit, but didn't have the patience to learn it when trying to write a paper…that never ended up getting published because I had to go back and take more data. That reminds me to go play with it soon so I will know it well when I get to thesis-land.

    It's not free, but it's relatively cheap and if you have to do lots of work with academic papers, the application "Papers" is really awesome, it's like ITunes for PDF's. I thought years ago that if it didn't exist, I should make it someday, but luckily someone beat me to it. Though if you use latex, bibdesk is good and I think it's free. Also, if you're like me and neurotic about your macbook being stolen, Undercover, also pretty cheap, is a neat program.

    Ok, those aren't free, but they are useful 🙂

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