The "Fossies" Software Archive
... Fresh Open Source Software mainly for Internet, Engineering and Science ...

Special features of the "Fossies" software archive

The "Fossies" software archive not only allows the "pure" download of software packages but also provides, among many other features, the ability to browse and search within the individual member files of the software packages in order to study for e.g. the READMEs and other documentation or to download selected individual files (e.g. images or libraries). This may avoid unnecessary file transfers and installation effort and may let you detect some otherwise undetected open source software treasures (that we name "fossies").

You may click "simply" on the download icon in front of a package (archive) name in order to transfer that package but the "Fossies" software archive offers the following additional special features to you:

And last but not least: The term "Fresh" (original derived from "FREeware SHareware") is at the same time one of our missions so we have developed different control techniques to archive and support always the freshest releases.

INDEX Viewing archive contents (index) plus browsing archive member files

View the contents of an archive

As an special feature of the Fossies service you may click on an archive name in order to view the contents of that archive within a special page. That page gives you also the possibility to see all archive member files in different sort orders, via a menu line for e.g. like that:

   docs related | original | size (top100) | date | path | name | ext | top-path files

In the standard "docs related" view Fossies tries to assist users to get relevant package information quickly by sorting the member files into the following three categories:

   Basic infos (README, FAQ, INSTALL, ChangeLog, ...)
   Basic docs (manual pages, PDF-,HTML-,/doc/-files, ...)
   All other files (if too numereous at least 50)

The file extension sorted list (index_ax.html) offers at top an extra information line with all found extensions, like for e.g.:

   Found file extensions: 1 bat cfg dot el in jpeg py rc rst txt

If the mouse is over the word "Found" a tooltip with the number of file extensions and member files is shown, over the string "file extensions" the top 10 extensions with their number of occurrences are shown and if the mouse is over an extension a tooltip with a short explanation of the extension type is shown (using Fossies own file extension description file). Clicking on such an extension lets you jump to the first member file with that extension.

Browsing selected archive member files

As an additional - originally (Dec. 1994) probably world-wide unique - feature of the Fossies server you may click within the displayed archive index on any member name in order to browse or download that selected member.

Automatic mode (default):

The server tries to send an appropriate "Content-type" header field ("mime-type") according to the member's file extension (default: text/html). For example clicking on a GIF file (embedded in an archive file) lets see you the image via your browser or an external viewer without downloading the complete, possibly large archive file.

As a further newer special service some documentation-related files are presented more "user-friendly" respectively "readable" by trying a local pre-formatting (only in standard "automatic"-mode):

and - since March 2019 - additionally (with some limitations)

Also pure HTML files are forced to be formatted respectively displayed in rendered format. But some HTML code for e.g. with forms or using PHP or Perl code are forced to be displayed as unformatted but syntax-highlighted source code.

Additionally most programming language, not-formatted markup language and configuration files are shown with line numbering and syntax highlighting.

All line numbers are anchored and directly addressable by adding "#l_<LINENO>" at the end of a member file URL. So for accessing for e.g. line 174 of the README file in the subdirectory foobar-x.y of package foobar-x.y.tar.gz you may just use

As a new feature (Feb. 2016) Fossies source code highlighting now offers optional "code folding" for member files written in curly-bracket languages like C, C#, Go, JavaScript, Java, Lua, Perl, PHP, Ruby and others (JavaScript must be enabled). To selectively "fold" (hide and display) blocks respectively sections of source code you may click on the marked lines that begin a block. Foldable (expanded) blocks are marked by a preceding "" character, folded (hidden respectively collapsed) blocks by a preceding "" character and a red marked line number and the folded block itself by a as placeholder. Alternatively you can use the toggle buttons of the grey transparent box appearing at the bottom right to fold and unfold globally all blocks of different folding levels. See here a simple example:

   Screenshot 1: Code unfolded   Screenshot 2: Code with a folded level 3 block (containing 37 lines)

That feature may allow you to get a better overview of the overall structure of the browsed program code (as seen in your favourite source code editor).

As a further new feature (Dec. 2016) Fossies allows now to select the highlight(ing) style (theme). Out of nearly a hundred different styles you can choose via a tooltip box or a style selection page (with style previews) two different styles (saved by a cookie): One for programming language files and another for plain text files (if both styles are "standard" the according cookie is removed).

Text (raw) mode:

In order to view the "raw" source code file you may force a "t(ext)"-mode transfer ("Content-type: text/plain") by adding the parameter "m=t" to the requested member URL, for e.g.
Remark: For non-text "binary" files (like for e.g. images, videos or executables) the "text mode" is principally meaningless so Fossies tries instead to give out some hopefully interesting meta information about the requested member file!

Binary (download) mode:

In order to force a binary transfer ("Content-type: application/octet-stream") for e.g. to save the file you may click on the member's "file size" field instead of the member's "file name". Or you can use the "b(inary)"-mode directly (adding the parameter "m=b") by calling for e.g.
Remark: This feature uses sometimes on-the-fly expansion so displaying the requested member may take some seconds according to the archive size. But repeated requests are answered immediately.

Media type (download) mode:

If you prefer for some reasons to download a file with the appropriate media (MIME) type you can add the parameter "m=m"
Caution: This may force your browser to call an assigned application.

Different archive download formats

In that page you can see all the member files of an archive in different listing orders, and browse/download that members. That page allows also the archive download in different archive formats respectively newer not yet common but more effective compression types: So you can choose an compression format suited for your environment.

If you move the mouse over the filename of such an alternative compressed archive its size in bytes is shown and also the percentual size decrease compared to the "standard" format. Since March 2017 the "standard" format is no longer only tar.gz or zip but the highest compressed tar file (tar.xz, tar.bz2 or tar.gz) originally available or zip.

To download an archive in a different supported format you may change in a Fossies standard download URL simply the archive file extension, so instead of
you may use
for e.g. to force a faster download by a higher compression.

CLOC ("Count Lines of Code") analysis

As a further special feature you can view a so-called CLOC ("Count Lines of Code") statistics that counts physical lines of source code in many programming languages and in addition comments and blank lines, so you can get quickly an overview about the scale of the project and the used program languages.

Hint (July 2014): Files that are contained within the project packages but are probably generated by "autotools" programs are now excluded since they "distort" in some respects the CLOC analysis.

Hint (June 2020): Additionally to the existing "standard" CLOC analysis (used filename cloc.html) there is now done an alternative CLOC analysis named cloc_cs.html (a.o. better suited for an optional codespell check rating). Perhaps the results are more "realistic" since it tries to exclude third party code but also files containing fonts, codepage or character set definitions, dictionaries, names, SVG or non-English languages.

Doxygen generated source code documentation

As an advanced feature - especially useful for developers - Fossies offers Doxygen generated source code documentation for most archives respectively software packages (cross referencing documentation and code). Although Doxygen isn't package specific customized here we hope that it would be nevertheless helpful for understanding code structures and detecting dependencies - especially for large projects. And it may encourage authors or package maintainers to create her own specific and thereby probably improved Doxygen documentation.

Doxygen generates amongst others a class browser and tries to extract the code-structure also from undocumented source files. This includes dependency graphs (see an example here), class diagrams and hyperlinked syntax-highlighted source code (latter as an alternative to the origin Fossies offered source code browsing using the program "highlight").

Doxygen documentation is extracted directly from the sources, which makes it much easier to keep the documentation consistent with the source code.

The Fossies generated Doxygen documentation can be accessed via the respective package contents pages or more directly via URLs like
Also version-independent URLs are usable. If the specified package exists they are redirected to the documentation of the current version:
So for e.g. accessing the main page of the doxygen documentation of the package "pcre" you may use just
For more information see the Fossies Dox page.

Pkgdiff generated source code and documentation changes

With the beginning of the year 2015 the "Fossies" software archive offers a further new service for most of the provided open source software packages on Fossies: "pkgdiff"-generated reports of source code changes between the current and the preceding version.

This extension may be of particular interest to software authors and developers but also to package maintainers and installers. The service appears to be especially useful for software projects that are not hosted on big code management or repository systems with similar or even more powerful services.

The Fossies generated so-called "diffs"-reports can be accessed via the respective package contents pages or more directly via URLs like
For more information see the Fossies Diffs page.

Software package meta information (with license files overview)

Since end of March 2022 the Fossies software archive offers for all source code packages a "meta" information page. This page collects some package information mostly also available elsewhere on Fossies like a short description, the home page, byte size, modification date and md5 checksum, number of package menbers, and a list of found file extensions with direct access to the according member files. But as a special feature it contains a list of all found license-related files with the attempt to classify them as internal or external ones. Additionally the result of a license type analysis is shown together with some extracted copyright information. If no type could be determined a short hopefully relevant text extract is displayed.

But naturally the offered lists of licences are unofficial and they may be even incomplete. It is just an attempt to provide a first related overview. Although detailed license conditions can be found in the according linked text files and the named license information pages, the user should study the project itself for the relevant licenses.

The Fossies generated so-called "meta"-reports can be accessed like the above described services via the "Fossies services:" line in the respective package contents pages via URLs like<folder>/<package>/meta.html<folder>/<package>/meta.html#l[ic[ense]]  (to jump directly to the license information)
or more generally via URLs like<package><os>/<package><folder>/<package>
If the given package or project information isn't unique an according selection page is shown.

As an alternative and easier to use method (e.g. if the URL is also available in the browser address bar) one can add just the parameter "?M" after a package related URL (but not after a package member related URLs). That leads to a redirect to the according "meta" page.

Source code misspelling reports

Although misspelling corrections are not the most exciting issues - and the spelling errors are rarely true code bugs but mostly contained in the comment and documentation parts - they can still improve the overall quality of a software project a little bit.

So since October 2019 Fossies offers optionally source code misspelling check reports using as basis the command line tool "codespell". The resulting analysis reports are currently per default not linked, on the one hand since they are essentially only of interest to the authors itself, on the other hand to avoid a taste of know-all-manner and snooping around. But if available they will be visible by directly accessing URLs like<folder>/<package>/codespell.html

The codespell analysis reports show the top found spelling error types and a sortable list of all found errors together with the suggested fixes, the error context type (indicated by a single character), the affected member files and the according line numbers. Clicking on a red colored spelling error in the "top" list jumps to the first match in the actual spelling error occurrence list. Clicking on a matching member file lets you browse that file while jumping to the according red marked line (in some cases the matching line may lie in the neighborhood).

Mainly for "big" software packages the list may contain also wrong matches (so-called FPs). Especially variable names, mail addresses and words that directly "touch" some kinds of delimiters or escape characters may be problematic and for some words the correct spelling is even ambiguous. Although after a thorough review done by Fossies most of them should be filtered out (ignored) don't hesitate to send such words (FPs) to the mail address below so that a new improved check can be done if applicable.

More as a gimmick than as a serious rating Fossies assigns to every analyzed package a spelling error grade ranging from "A+" (excellent) til "F" (unsatisfactory) in the hope that motivates the authors to correct the found spelling errors and to report the false positives. And yes, even according codespell report badges are available.

A note: Fossies provides as an information only the source code spelling check reports with the special option to inspect the context of the probably misspelled words in a fast and comfortable way. However Fossies doesn't create for e.g. "diff"-like files usable by the "patch" command or even GitHub pull requests (PRs) since the risk is too high that something would be wrongly corrected (but here you may find some small codespell usage hints). Whether it's worth the effort to correct the misspelling errors manually is a decision of the respective project.

If you - especially as an author or a maintainer - are nevertheless interested in such an analysis report please send us an according email to

Such reports can be requested only once for the current release or generally for the current and all future releases and even additionally or alternatively for corresponding development versions (maybe as part of a CI process). In the latter case according tarballs will be built from cloned repositories (e.g. "master" from GitHub) and put into a special folder named "test" that isn't fully integrated into the Fossies services so the results are not visible for normal users and denied for search engines. On request notification e-mails could be sent if new spelling errors are detected.

An optionally requestable corresponding link would be named "Codespell check" and added to the "Fossies services" line at top of the package contents pages to the other three main special Fossies service links as shown here (this example has only tooltips but no real links):

   Fossies services: Doxygen documentation | Diffs report | Codespell check | CLOC analysis | Meta information

A typical report can be seen here.

UNCOMPRESS Browsing compressed text files

You may click on the icons placed in front of compressed text files of the following type to browse that files forcing on-the-fly expansion.

FILE On-the-fly compression of files before transfer

You may click on one of the optional
strings after the file description of uncompressed files in order to transfer it as a
  Z   = "Unix-compressed" 
  gz  = "GNU-zipped"
  zip = "(PK-)zipped"
file in order to save network bandwidth.

*** NEW ***Marking of new archive files

Files that are recently inserted in the software archive are marked by two small icons:

*** NEW *** file is not older than 7 days
*new* file is not older than 31 days

[new...] button Archive-insertion-time sorted index

Standardally the archive index is sorted by the archive-insertion-time (not the modified time) in order to get in a clearly arranged matter information about recently archived software.

[abc...] button Alternate alphabetically sorted index

Beside the "standard" archive-insertion-time sorted archive index you may select an alternate alphabetically sorted index.

[search] button Advanced search facility

In order to find a given software package or file you may search recursively starting at the current software folder. The optional use of different approximative search modes and the optional inclusion of file description texts into the search space may let you find a match even if you don't remember a filename exactly (e.g. "Firefoks" instead of "firefox") or if you search for a more generic term (e.g. "Web browser").

You may specify the

Within the particular package contents pages now also package specific searches are possible: Either for package member names or - probably more interesting - full text searches for contents of all package member text-like files (thus not only searching the documentation files but also for e.g. all source code files itself). As a small exemplification you may find here a package contents search use case illustrated by some screenshots.

If multiple search space fields are filled the "lowest" one is used with the following exception: The topmost "file names" field may be used to restrict the search space for the other searches.

Searching in the contents of the package internal documentation (or source code) files outputs not only the found files but also a user specified number of matching lines. Browsing a found file displays at the top of the file the first matching lines (default max. 10) with anchors into the file and tries to mark the matches as red-bolded strings.

The total number of displayed matches may be limited. Consecutive requests for the display of suppressed matches - with optionally different limits - are supported.

Attention: The search-syntax is currently NOT "google"-like but supports simple regular expressions. So be aware that some characters like

  ^ $ . ? * + [ ] { } ( ) \
have a special meaning.

So if you want to use any of these characters as a literal you need to escape it with a backslash: For e.g. if searching for something containing the string "gtk+-3" your search input string must be "gtk\+-3" otherwise you would search due to the special meaning of the "+" in regular expressions for "gtk-3", "gtkk-3", "gtkkk-3" with an arbitrary number of consecutive "k" characters.

Here are some simple general examples:

foo bar
would search for a line containing the exact string "foo bar"
would search for a line containing first "foo" and than "bar" for e.g. "foo and bar" (regular expression)
would search for a line starting with "foo" but wouldn't match a line starting for e.g. with "The foo" (regular expression)
would search for a line ending with "bar" but wouldn't match a line ending for e.g. with "bars" (regular expression)

The search string must contain at least four "relevant" characters if searching within the archives internal doc files, three if searching within the archive short descriptions and two if searching for filenames.

Short URLs

To make the finding and download of packages more comfortable and easier Fossies supports also short URLs that are independent of the package version and Fossies folder path. They have just the simple form<package>/
For e.g. the URL
may redirect you automatically to
If the redirect isn't unique Fossies will show you all matches (including the according Fossies folder paths) and you can choose yourself the appropriate link!

The string "<package>" in the short URL may be for e.g. a name like "atool" or "glpk" (with probably unique matches so direct redirects) or "gcc" or "ImageMagick" (with probably multiple matches so redirects to a selection page).

Similar package version independent short URLs exist for the Doxygen-generated source code documentation:<package>/

Archive file descriptions

All packages contain besides a link to the original home page (if known and available) additionally a brief description to make it easier for the user to evaluate the type and intended use of a given archive file respectively software package. In a second step the user can take advantage of the special Fossies browsing features and study available READMEs, FAQ or other appropriate internal documentation like the manual pages.

Legacy folders

Every main Linux folder has a sub-folder named "legacy". That folders aren't intended for normal usage but are just a collection of previous (legacy) releases that were in the past available in the according parent main folder but are now replaced on Fossies by newer production releases. The packages in the legacy folders are offered without any freshness maintenance only as a kind of long-term availability support service for some Fossies referencing external sites. An internal mapping system ensures that the "legacy" packages remain accessible via its old (original) URLs to avoid stale links on external sites. Normally at least the last "legacy" package of a project is kept for 2 months but noteworthy accessed ones even for 6 months.

RSS feeds support

To be always promptly informed about the newest software packages on Fossies you may subscribe to one of the different Fossies RSS feeds.

HTTPS (HTTP) support

Since September 2012 Fossies is also accessible and since October 20, 2016 only accessible via the HTTPS protocol to add the security capabilities of SSL/TLS to standard HTTP communications. For a limited period the Fossies resources are still available via HTTP by using the server name

Archives integrity and safeness

To ensure the integrity of the archive files offered by Fossies they are downloaded almost invariably from the original site respectively home page or its official mirrors.

Of course Fossies also attempts to offer only archives that are virus and malware free. Since Februar 2017 this will be mainly achieved via external checks by the VirusTotal site that let scan the files by multiple well-known virus/malware detecting engines. The results are visible at the top of the particular archive contents page, normally as a green "Ok", but according to the number of matching scanners (N) also like

  (pending)   VirusTotal check: Sorry, no results yet (but expected shortly)
  for N=0    VirusTotal check: Ok
  for N=1    VirusTotal check: Very probably ok    
  for N=2    VirusTotal check: Probably ok
  for N=3-4    VirusTotal check: Maybe ok (but 3 of 56 scan engines found a match)
  for N=5-6    VirusTotal check: Initial suspicion (5 of 56 scan engines found a match)
   ... and probably removed (or to be removed) on Fossies:
  for N=7-8    VirusTotal check: Sneaking suspicion (7 of 56 scan engines found a match)
  for N=9-12    VirusTotal check: Suspicion (9 of 56 scan engines found a match)
  for N=13-16    VirusTotal check: Real suspicion (13 of 56 scan engines found a match)
  for N≥17    VirusTotal check: Strong suspicion (17 of 56 scan engines found a match)

The detailed VirusTotal report can be seen by clicking on the according Fossies short valuation text. Suspicious archives (for e.g. with more than 6 matching engines of typically about 50 scanning engines) should be removed on Fossies.

In addition most of the external links on Fossies (mainly to the archives home pages within the folder contents pages but also links found in the main archive documentation files) are periodically checked against the Google Safe Browsing blacklist.

After a download from Fossies itself you can check the archive integrity by the checksums given at the bottom of the archive contents pages (MD5, SHA1 and SHA256) or by downloading (also for the alternative download formats) via<package>_fossies.<checksum>
   or (shorter but less specific)<package>.<checksum>
with the <checksum> string equal md5, sha1 or sha256, for e.g.

Hint: The checksums are generated on Fossies and are not the original ones that may be exist on the project pages itself (but naturally they should be identical).

The above descripted features are enabled by software written by Jens Schleusener mainly in his spare time - while employed at the Central Division Data Processing of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) which division was later incorporated in the T-Systems Solutions for Research GmbH (SfR). That software consists mainly of two core components:

Furthermore the Fossies software archive itself benefits awfully from many great open source software products. Especially to be mentioned:

and for the basics

Use of the Fossies software archive is entirely at your own risk - no warranty is expressed or implied.

You are encouraged to send your comments and suggestions concerning the Fossies software archive ... or look for some annotations from other users!

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