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20 Popular Free Software and Libraries with Apache License

This list collects twenty popular free software applications and libraries released under Apache License. This is a continuation to our previous list with GNU GPL that unexpectedly became very popular. We hope this helps everybody who studies free/libre open source software to know deeper. Let’s read on!

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Apache Web Server 

The web server (software) everyone in computing knows, Apache, is the best example of software licensed under Apache License. 


The Active Server Pages (ASP) Core web framework based on .NET technology by Microsoft. The naming Core indicates that it is the current successor of the former ASP.NET. We’re aware that MS is a proprietary software company, but in this case they licensed ASP.NET as free software under Apache License 2.0.


There is LLVM, a multilanguage compiler technology, and there is Clang, a front-end software, that takes advantage of LLVM to act as compiler for C/C++ language family. Clang, is now regarded as a strong alternative to GNU GCC. Clang is licensed under Apache License.


CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) is the printing technology inside GNU/Linux and other Unix family operating systems. This technology is developed by Apple and licensed under Apache License 2.0.

DBeaver C.E.

The graphical SQL client and database administration tool, DBeaver, has two choices and the Community Edition (CE) is free software under Apache License. Wih DBeaver, you are allowed to play and manipulate with any database system you have (MySQL, Postgre etc.) with mouse clicks.


The modern decentralized messenger based on Matrix Protocol. It competes now with complete messengers like WhatsApp and Telegram, as it offers same features like them like desktop – mobile – web interfaces, as well as unique features most competitors do not have, like decentralization and self-hostability.


The web-based spreadsheet that is free software. It can be regarded as a simple Excel 365 alternative. It is self-hostable.

Intellij IDEA C.E.

The premier Java programming editor by Intellij, IDEA, has two choices and the Community Edition (CE) is free software under Apache License. 

This is very similar to Jetbrains PyCharm CE below.

Jitsi Meet 

The video conferencing technology that now being used everywhere. It is a very strong alternative to Zoom, along with Big Blue Button, with additional features like self-hostability and wide-availability. For example, Element embeds Jitsi Meet as their video call technology.


It is a web based team work group chat platform. Mattermost markets itself as an alternative to Slack and Microsoft Teams. It was a proprietary software, but since version 1.0 in 2015, it was switched to free software under Apache License.


Meson is a software tool that helps automating the building (compiling) of software. It is a successful newcomer and is now considered as a strong replacement to the older GNU Autotools. Some great free software projects now adopts Meson replacing Autotools, for example, GNOME.


The famous and oldest IDE for Java programming language. It has a long history starting in 1996 from Czech Republic, Europe. It also had been switching between hands initially from the original developer, Sun Microsystems, then Oracle and finally now Apache Software Foundation (ASF).


The library for programming real-time computer vision originally created by Intel in 1999. Now it is responsible for many applied technologies you use everyday like face recognition, augmented reality, motion detection etc. If you study at a university that teaches such things, big chance you will study OpenCV.


OpenMeetings is the video conference technology from ASF also licensed under Apache License.

Apache OpenOffice

There was by Sun Microsystem. There is Apache OpenOffice now under ASF. The former was the default office suite on Ubuntu for years before LibreOffice, has been discontinued and it was licensed under GNU LGPL. The latter is now still in development and is licensed under Apache License.


The security library used everywhere by everybody even though they don’t know it’s OpenSSL. If you visit a website with HTTPS showing in its link, you can be sure the connection is secure because OpenSSL works for it in the server.


The complete software development team platform and ticketing system originally developed by Facebook. 


The monitoring & alerting tool originally created by SoundCloud for their commercial purpose.

PyCharm C.E.

The famous IDE by JetBrains for Python language, PyCharm, has two choices and the Community Edition (CE) one is the free software. It was relicensed under Apache License since 2013. 

This is very similar to IntelliJ IDEA CE above. 


The new system programming language, Rust, has its official compiler software (implementation) released under dual licensing Apache License and MIT.


The new Vim editor, Neovim, is also under Apache License. It’s like Vim, but much smaller.


Tensorflow is one of the main software running behind Google Search (“RankBrain”) to serve you your everyday search results. It is a library for machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) originally developed by Google.


Tesseract is an optical character recognition (OCR) technology. It was proprietary software developed by Hewlett-Packard since 1980’s but they changed it to free software under Apache License since 2005. Now, Tesseract is considered as the most accurate OCR technology from free software.



List of free and open source packages (Wikipedia) 

Category: Software using the Apache license (Wikipedia)

List of free software under Apache licenses (Free Software Directory)

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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