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 we 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 "rufus". FossHub team would like to thank for ideas, suggestions, feature requests and bug reports to all Open Source developers that contributed to this community. We would like to thank the following developers for their ongoing support: Mark Straver (Pale Moon) Zenju (FreeFileSync), Moritz Bunkus (MKVToolNix), Antoine Potten (Ant Movie Catalog), Dr. Kovid Goyal (Calibre), Stanley (MediaCoder), Oliver Schneider (WinDirStat), Martin Malik (HWiNFO), Gale Andrews (Audacity), Maximus5 (ConEmu), Okan Özcan (Tencoder), Jan Fiala (PSPad), David Thoiron (FotoSketcher), Cyd (KiTTY), Ricardo Villalba (SMPlayer), Rony Shapiro (Password Safe), Sebastian Schuberth (msysgit), Dominik Reichl (KeePass), Manuel Laggner (tinyMediaManager), Dmitry Koteroff (Light Alloy), Umberto Uderzo (SpaceSniffer), Oleg Shcherbyna (MB Warband Japan OSP - huge thanks for pointing us an important security issue), dim0k (Personal Blog - huge 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 IT's F.O.S.S. 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 fast 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) (beta: OldFoss)
- 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 kind of emails from angry users telling us that we provide "crap." Just 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 project (PLEASE REPORT IT) from our website (unless it's clearly a false positive alert which can happen to any software). Also, if people would donate more money to their favorite projects, they would encourage the authors to continue their work and also to 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 us. Please tell us, give us as much details as possible. If you are right, we will try to follow your suggestion and improve the service we provide.
Certain people accused FossHub of listing several "proprietary" or "closed-source" software. Just because the name of the website is "FossHub", in their opinion we are not allowed to (or we should not) list certain freeware software titles that are well-known, popular and safe such as IrfanView (just an example). 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.
Not satisfied? Why FossHub is hosting free but closed source software?
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 (indirectly) the other Open Source projects by generating revenue that cover some expenses.
The truth is that freeware titles we list have helped us to pay for servers, bandwidth, and other services. We don't even reply to software bundles offers or anything else designed to trick users while other Open Source projects have no problem with that. There are other projects that you need to pay to use them, the Open Source license permits this.
Let it be known that we reserve the right to list a few freeware ("proprietary" or "closed-source" software) that we consider to be safe, trustworthy and represent an alternative to other Open Source apps. It doesn't matter for some people that they can completely ignore downloading a freeware program or that we can move them to a subdomain, perform a redirect to another domain (although this would be confusing), all they want is an endless debate about this.
Note: Theoretically, FossHub could also stand for "Free and Outstanding, Superb Software Hub" or "Free, Outstanding, Super Software Hub" or any other acronym from FOSS list. Also, please search on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo or any other search engine for sites or companies that are named "FOSS" or use the term "FOSS" and you will be surprised how many of them have nothing to do with the phrase "Free Open Source Software". Our name is not FreeOpenSourceSoftware. Our website contains an acronym; please read the definition of an acronym here and although, we have no obligation we use common sense as much as possible. This page is the best proof if you read it carefully.
We acknowledge that a few people might be offended, and we apologize but please remember one thing: FossHub "as-a-service" did more good than other sites and even Open Source projects that disappointed. There was kerfuffle recently, but FOSSHUB DOT COM primary purpose is to offer free, clean software and help other free projects.
This world has a lot of beautiful people, but this manifest isn't about them. It is about the individuals who have different concerns. From time to time we get random questions:
- why FossHub asks for donations
- why FossHub delivers malware
- 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 restriction.
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 the fact that we don't have many software titles, the design that looks like another download site available in 2000. After all, FossHub is a download site like all the other download sites.
The previous 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 anyhow our efforts should concentrate on other things.
As for the software titles, it's true 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, just make sure to 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 when you wish to make a fair comparison, take a look at a few signs and draw your conclusion:
- 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 important but for some, is all about the money).
- Where does the download start? Do they host that file or just a hot linking while they show you a dozen of ads?
- How is the download speed? Do they pay their bandwidth or use an external "free" mirror while you see a bunch of ads?
- Do you have to wait for the download to start while they show you ads? (not cool, right?)
- Does the site need your email address? How many software offers did you receive from them during Christmas, Black Friday, etc.? (spam)
- 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, naïve and being evil or greedy on purpose.
D. Why the download doesn't work
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:
- maybe we ran into a technical issue (rare but it did happen a few times).
- you're using a download manager or an automated tool that attempts to retrieve files automatically from us*
- you tried to download an older version that no longer exists on our site.
*Make sure to check our FAQ section.
E. What's up with this freeware app
We explained this in our "Controversy" section. 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. We believe reality is different and to offer an argue 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 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 again, 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, he trusts 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. Closed source can be as good as Open Source in particular circumstances, plus we do this for a good reason: Freeware helps Open Source. We think we have a good reason to list a few we find trustworthy, popular and safe!
If you like what we do, please recommend us to others: friends, family, other projects, etc. If you hate us, except for listening to your feedback and attempt to improve, there isn't much we can do.
Sincerely yours, FossHub Team