9 Best Free and Open Source Groupware Software

Groupware software (often known as collaborative software) is designed to enable users to collaborate, regardless of location, via the internet or a corporate intranet and to work together in a virtual atmosphere.

The efficiency of a organization can be greatly enhanced by the effective deployment of groupware software. Collaborative applications help to integrate project work so that a group can achieve their tasks and objectives. The term groupware is wide-ranging spanning communications tools (such as email), conferencing tools, and management tools.

Groupware solutions heavy on the feature-set are often not suitable for more than a few hundred users. However, software which offers only basic groupware functionalities, such as e-mail, contact and calendaring, are likely to meet the requirements of large deployments.

This type of software is particularly important to businesses, service providers and email hosters.

The Linux platform offers an impressive set of collaboration software. This type of software often includes messaging functionality, support for the popular mail protocols (such as STMP, IMAP, and POP3), and organisational tools including a calendar.

The standard medium for accessing a groupware account is via a web browser. Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.

Ratings chart

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each program.

Groupware Software
ZimbraFull-featured collaboration suite
KolabSecure, scalable, and reliable groupware server
eGroupwareEnterprise ready web-based groupware suite
SOGoCollaborative software server focusing on simplicity and scalability
CitadelComplete and feature-rich groupware server
OpenMeetingsVideo conferencing, instant messaging, whiteboard, and other groupware
KopanoGroupware application suite originally based on Zarafa
grommunioModern, digital communication and collaboration
HordeGroupwarePopular full-featured groupware server

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

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The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

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interested user
interested user
29 days ago

This is out of date, A lot (most?) of this software has been transitioned from ‘community’ editions to commercial versions and easy to build supported versions replaced by (at best) nightly builds through just source code dumps of components to no absolutely no mention of the original open source nature of the product on the company web pages. Eg: Zimbra top of this list stopped releasing or acknowledging the open source nature of it’s product in 2023. Kopano similarly etc etc.

John Alexander
John Alexander
29 days ago

I haven’t checked the others, but I do know that Zimbra is still maintaining the zm-build for the FOSS edition of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite.