Educational Free Software

The GNU project maintains a list of high quality free programs for education at all levels that we recommend.

Before addressing the subject in this section, we would like to remind our readers that the word “free” in “free software” does not refer to price but to liberty. Free software is software that grants you freedom, namely the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. To learn more, see the free software definition.

What you will find in this section

This page does not constitute an exhaustive listing of available educational free programs. Our aim is to present some examples so as to illustrate how educational institutions can put into practice and effectively apply the freedoms that free software grants them. For each program described, we will show how those freedoms were actually applied.

The following are the examples that we present:

 GCompris   GIMP   Tux Paint 

Some of the programs presented here, like GCompris, are part of the GNU Project. This means that developers of these programs agree to pay attention to making the program work well with the rest of the GNU System. A GNU program uses the latest version of the license that the GNU Project recommends in order to protect the users' fundamental freedoms. A GNU program does not recommend the use of any nonfree program, and it does not refer the user to any nonfree documentation for free software, as defined in our campaign for free documentation.

People who wish to migrate to free software or are looking for a free libre program to accomplish a particular task, should refer to the Free Software Directory, which consists of a catalog of more than 6,000 free programs that run on free operating systems. In particular, the Education section of the Directory lists programs inherent to different levels of education, from pre-elementary school to highly specialized levels, including university and research.

Freeduc-USB is a bootable USB stick that contains useful applications for the classroom.

If you know of a free software program that is being used by an educational institution for specific purposes, or has been modified or otherwise adapted by its users to meet their own educational needs, please let us know by sending an email to <>.

We are looking for free educational games, or information about free games that can be used for educational purposes. Contact <>.