Using open-source project management software is the surest way to give your project teams as much customizability and flexibility as they need. With the open-source code that provides the foundation for this type of software, users can benefit from custom project, task, team, and resource management solutions.
In this buyers’ guide, we’ve gathered 10 of the best open-source project management solutions, covering their key differentiators, any other important features, pros and cons, and pricing. Read on to find an open-source project tool that will work for you.
|Our Picks||Best For||Pricing Starts At|
|Best Overall||14-day free trial for paid plans • $0 per user per month for Community plan|
|Best for Lean Project Management||Free for up to three users |
|Best for Ease of Use||$0 per user per month for Taiga Cloud Basic • $0 for self-managed on-premises plan|
Try Orangescrum Open Source
|Best for Bug and Issue Tracking||$0 per user per month for Orangescrum Open Source • Paid, closed source versions are also available|
|Best for Microsoft Users||$0 per user per month|
|Best for User Support Resources||$0 per user per month|
|Best for Agile and DevOps Teams||Community edition: 0€ per user per month for limited features • Paid starts at 6€ per user per month|
|Best for Marketing and Sales Teams||$0 per user per month for unlimited users • Additional costs for teams that require more than one Odoo app|
|Best for Application Lifecycle Management||$0 per user per month for unlimited users and projects in the Community Edition|
|Best for Security Features||$0 per user per month|
Our Picks: Top Open Source Project Management Software
OpenProject provides its users with a project management tool that can be used for classic, agile, or hybrid open-source project management. With an open-source license under GNU GPL v3, the software gives users the freedom to run, share, study, and modify their version of the software with flexibility. Users even have the option to install the software on-premises within their infrastructure, giving them full control and ownership of their data.
This web-based project management tool provides access and easy sharing of information to all team members. It also has robust project planning and scheduling, project portfolio management, time tracking, and custom workflows.
Aside from the Community edition, a self-hosted on-premises edition and an OpenProject-hosted cloud edition are available, with tiered pricing options and advanced capabilities like Agile boards, SSO, intelligent workflows, and additional security features.
- Project portfolio management: PPM features include project hierarchies, custom project fields, reports, templates, and the project overview page.
- Agile, scrum, and kanban features: Alongside a work breakdown structure, several boards are available for Agile project management, including status, team, version, subproject, and task boards. Story Points is a unique Agile feature that helps teams calculate individual and overall effort for project sprints.
- Project scheduling and time tracking: Features include both automatic and manual scheduling modes, date alerts, log management, custom time reports, labor and unit cost management, cost reporting, and budgeting.
Pros & Cons
|Intuitive and user-friendly interface.||Storage requirements may be too much for some businesses.|
|Customizable work packages make it easier to add granular detail to project tasks and subtasks.||The Premium and Corporate versions of this tool are only available on-premises.|
|Advanced features are available for Agile project management and budget management.||This tool can quickly get expensive if you require more features and/or more user seats.|
Why We Picked OpenProject
Comprehensive features are available in the free plan with no minimum user requirements. Many features are available across the board to customize OpenProject to specific teams’ needs, with email features for marketing and sales teams, Agile and Scrum features for developers, and OpenProject BIM for construction and architecture teams. Some of its advanced features that differentiate it from other open source solutions include advanced task and dependency management capabilities, project portfolio management, and product roadmap and release planning support. Special rates are also available for educational institutions and NGOs.
Read more: Compare OpenProject vs. Wrike here
Best for Lean Project Management
Leantime is an open-source project management system that can work for teams of all sizes but is best for small teams and startups. The software provides tools for idea management, strategy development, roadmap planning, and task management. It also includes an idea manager that enables users to store ideas, communicate them with team members, and move from idea to validation without confusing early ideas with established project tasks and goals.
Leantime also has planning tools with roadmaps for tracking milestones, calendars for setting meetings and timelines, and a backlog for breaking tasks into smaller subtasks. Other features include report screens, project dashboards, a timesheet manager, to-do lists, white labeling, and multiple user roles.
While Leantime offers comprehensive features to its users, it relies on a lean project management methodology and focuses on making its user interface organized and streamlined enough so no one loses focus. Leantime specifically differentiates itself by advertising to and creating solutions for individuals with dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, and other unique accessibility requirements.
- Task management: Task management features include subtask management, dependency management, and various project, milestone, and goal views.
- People-driven management processes: Features include client management, role-specific management, timesheets, and retrospectives to better determine performance goals in the future.
- Documentation options: The ideas feature can be used to track and store pre-project and nascent ideas without cluttering up workspace; the Docs feature allows users to embed external documents or build internal documents, depending on preference.
Pros & Cons
|Leantime’s roadmap offers transparent information to users about the direction in which the product is heading.||No mobile app version is available.|
|Retrospectives feature offers a unique opportunity for teams to strategically discuss and reflect on past project performance.||Limited communication and chat capabilities are built in.|
|Visual interface makes milestone and goal-tracking more intuitive.||In its efforts to create a simple interface, some features lack the detail and customization that users might require.|
Why We Picked Leantime
The simplistic and intentional design of Leantime has proven that it helps users focus on the task(s) at hand. It’s also one of the only tools that caters its features to support accessibility for users with ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia. It also has many creative elements, including design-thinking-driven elements, strong visualizations, and in-app video recording, that make it a great option for creative and design teams that want a customizable open-source option for project management. Finally, Leantime offers a compelling vendor roadmap with coming soon features that include task gamification, AI-driven project management, and more.
Read our review of Leantime
Best for Ease of Use
Taiga is open-source project management software that is designed primarily for Agile teams but is regularly used for different use cases like software development, telecommunication, education, and manufacturing. The software supports teams that work across Scrum and Kanban frameworks in particular.
Taiga provides a project planning tool where users can easily define, align, and prioritize deliverables. It supports team interaction and collaboration, providing visibility and insight with clean and easy-to-use dashboards and reports. Other features include integrated issue tracking, customization, and various integrations.
The Basic edition of Taiga is free and allows for unlimited users and projects; for teams that require more advanced and hands-on customer support, a paid Premium Support edition is also available. An on-premises edition, either self-managed or hosted by the provider, is also available.
- Self-service customizations: Users have the option to customize tags, fields, stages, colors, issue types, priorities, severities, and more; administrators can also define custom team roles and permissions.
- Kanban boards: Kanban features include EPICS, subtasks, swim lanes, filter and search functionality, and multiple workflows.
- Scrum boards: Scrum features include EPICS, subtasks, the Taiga Seed estimation tool, sprint task boards, and burndown charts.
Pros & Cons
|The paid version of Taiga Cloud offers little more in the way of features and is expensive for an open-source PM tool.||Limited resource management features.|
|Clean and easy-to-understand user interface.||The paid version of Taiga Cloud offers little more in the way of features and is expensive for an open source PM tool.|
|Taiga is incredibly transparent with its new product and feature developments, especially through its Taiga Diaries.||Taiga is incredibly transparent with its new product and feature developments, especially through their Taiga Diaries.|
Why We Picked Taiga
Taiga is one of the easiest open-source project management tools to use and customize, and that’s partially because it doesn’t go too far into the frills and focuses on the core requirements of Scrum and Kanban users. The tool has strong issue and bug-tracking capabilities, an effective wiki function, and a transparent approach to its releases and product developments. The tool is also available in over 20 languages.
Best for bug and issue tracking
Orangescrum Open Source is a simple open-source project management and task management solution for teams that focus on bug and issue-tracking management. It enables users to organize all information in one place with clarity on progress, allowing team members to assign, manage, and evaluate the progress of all their tasks. It includes subtasks, groups, sprints, Kanban and Scrum boards, custom labels and types, and task linking among its many features.
Orangescrum also offers user role management, a built-in time tracker, a resource utilization tool, Gantt charts, project templates, and reports, but where it really shines is in its core focus area: bug and issue tracking. Its bug and issue tracking features include centralized bug listings, custom value fields for bug origin and other bug classifications, defect trend charts, an open defects aging report, and granular issue classification.
- Time and resource management: Tasks can be assigned based on specific roles and individual teammate’s availability.
- Budgeting and finance management: Reporting, dashboards, and monitoring of resource costs and project expenses are included with Orangescrum Open Source.
- Cybersecurity management: Security features include SSO and role-based access controls, as well as the self-hosted ability to make security customizations on your own.
Pros & Cons
|This tool is always free, so long as you stick to the open source version of Orangescrum.||Few features are ready to be used out of the box; this is a version of Orangescrum that will require a lot of customization and patience.|
|Users can get support and ideas and make contributions to Orangescrum Open Source through Google Forum, Docker, and/or GitHub.||Documentation has some linguistic fluency issues that can make it difficult to understand.|
|Many users compliment the visual design of this tool.||The user interface is occasionally buggy.|
Why We Picked Orangescrum Open Source
Orangescrum Open Source is a straightforward open source solution with strong bug and issue tracking features. Its compatibility with the other versions of Orangescrum, including Orangescrum CRM, make this a highly scalable tool and a great option for teams that aren’t sure if they want to commit to an open source solution or not. Orangescrum offers particularly robust support for teams that move from Orangescrum Open Source to Orangescrum Cloud. Additionally, advanced security features are natively available without too many customizations required.
Read our Orangescrum review
Best for Microsoft users
ProjectLibre is an open-source project management alternative to Microsoft Project. It provides a similar interface and features, so a project team can easily transition to the software after or while using Microsoft products. The project management tool is compatible with Microsoft Project files and can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It includes Gantt charts, network diagrams, WBS, earned value costing, and resource histograms.
ProjectLibre’s current community edition is a free and open-source desktop tool. However, a cloud app users can open with a browser is currently in beta. The cloud version extends the capabilities of the open source software to allow access anytime, anywhere, while also making it easier for teams to manage multiple projects at once.
- Charts and diagrams: Project visualizations and charts include Gantt charts, network diagrams, WBS and RBS charts, and resource histograms.
- Microsoft-like visual interface: The layout of ProjectLibre, including the ribbon of tools at the top, mimics Microsoft 365 tools like Microsoft Excel.
- Multilingual: ProjectLibre is currently available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, Finnish, Galician, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portugues, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Urdu.
Pros & Cons
|Compatibility with Microsoft Project files and other Microsoft tools.||The user interface is dated and clunky compared to many competitors.|
|The open source version of this tool is completely free.||Not a great option unless your business wants to use Microsoft files and tools.|
|The format of this tool will be very familiar to Microsoft 365 users.||Ideally designed for a smaller number of projects; the upcoming ProjectLibre Cloud is expected to be better for managing multiple projects.|
Why We Picked ProjectLibre
ProjectLibre is a great alternative for Microsoft Project users. It includes a surprising variety of charts and visualizations; they’re not too flashy, but they’re very easy to use and derive insights from. In general, the interface looks a little dated, but it’s very user-friendly for customers who are used to working with office suite documents. Additionally, the software has been translated into many different global languages — more than most competitors — and continues to be translated into more.
Best for User Support Resources
Based on a Ruby on Rails framework, Redmine’s an open source project management web app supports multiple projects with Gantt chart and calendar views, multiple databases, and role-based access control. It also supports multiple LDAP authentication from a directory server, like MS Active Directory.
In addition to the features covered above, Redmine offers built-in time tracking and allows the customization of fields for issues, time entries, projects, and users. It supports issue creation by email and integrates with several SCM tools like SVN, CVS, and Git.
One of the main reasons users select Redmine is its extensive collection of customer support resources. An extensive wiki, a user’s and developer’s guide, an FAQ, Redmine forums, a chatroom, and an unofficial Slack workspace are all available, giving users multiple options for self-service problem-solving. If a problem moves beyond the skillsets or knowledge of your team, users still have the option to submit bug reports, patch requests, and feature requests.
- Document and communication management: Features include news management, documents management, files management, feeds, and email notifications.
- Security and administrative controls: Features and resources include multiple LDAP authentication support, role-based access controls, and security advisories.
- Software change management: SCM features are available for SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, and Bazaar.
Pros & Cons
|The Wiki, Forums, and Repository features are all comprehensive and easy to navigate.||Custom fields may not be as granular as custom fields in other tools.|
|The vendor’s roadmap for future iterations of the tool is very transparent.||Limited vendor-driven, hands-on support is available; most support is designed to be for self service.|
|Various forms of self-service and forum-driven support are available to users.||Limited project budgeting features are available.|
Why We Picked Redmine
Extensive documentation, forums, and self-help options are available to Redmine users. The Redmine roadmap is very transparent and shows how the vendor is constantly working out bugs and fleshing out new ideas for the tool. Users also have the option to contribute to the tool and do not have to have software development experience to do so.
Best for Agile and DevOps Teams
Tuleap is an all-in-one open source project management and software development tool for Agile and DevOps teams. It increases the collaboration of multi-functional teams so they can continuously deliver valuable and compliant software. Some of its key differentiators for Agile and DevOps include test management, Gerrit and Jenkins connectors, Git Enterprise, and business continuity and disaster recovery.
Tuleap is modular software with tools for project management, code versioning, code review, continuous integration, test management, document management, requirements baselining, issue tracking, and product management. It provides both a Scrum tool for managing product backlogs, plan releases, and metrics and a customizable Kanban tool that displays updates automatically.
- Test management: Users can manage both automated and manual tests, define test cases, split tests into smaller steps, create campaigns, set up Test Plan strategies, create validation campaigns, group test cases, and export test results.
- Requirement and baseline management: Features include advanced workflows for custom requirements and processes, test case generation based on requirements, and Tuleap Baseline for snapshots and reviewable release scopes.
- Tuleap Document Manager: Document features include built-in approval workflows, document history, role-based access controls, versioning, and notifications.
Pros & Cons
|Native integrations and features are available for various code and software development tools, including Jenkins, Gerrit, and Git Enterprise.||The Community Edition of this tool has limited customer support, security, flexibility, and other advanced features.|
|Offers many comparable code and developer management features to Jira, including Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, and hybrid strategies and features.||Document management features could use some upgrades.|
|This tool makes it easy for both individuals and teams to schedule tasks and monitor sprint progress.||Limited ability for administrators to assign or limit roles, responsibilities, and access in the tool.|
Why We Picked Tuleap
Tuleap offers a similar design and feature set to developer-driven project management tools like Jira. However, its customizable and flexible format actually makes it a better choice for teams that need more test management, document management, and CI/CD features that they can fit to their requirements. The platform also offers a stronger disaster recovery and business continuity approach than most open source competitors. Finally, it’s easy to switch back and forth between Community Edition and paid editions of Tuleap, so teams can easily scale their features up and down whenever needed.
Best for Marketing and Sales Teams
Odoo is a suite of open source business applications that can be used for a variety of business operations and tasks across finance, sales, human resources, marketing, website management, productivity, inventory management, and services like project management. Alone, Odoo’s Agile Project Management app is free to use and includes features like task management, document sharing, graphs and visualizations, and project forecasting.
The Agile Project Management app by itself is pretty simple, however, it’s a great option for teams that want to more seamlessly integrate project management tools with their other business software. It’s a particularly strong option for sales and marketing agencies and teams that want to more effectively manage their digital marketing, marketing automation, point of sale, and customer experience tasks by integrating Odoo Agile Project Management with Odoo’s many sales and marketing apps.
- Availability-driven project scheduling: Team members can be scheduled on projects based on their availability and holiday schedules.
- Communication tools: Users can attach notes and files to project tasks, use a shared notepad, or communicate through a live chat while using Odoo.
- Graphs and visualizations: Project-level and task-level visualizations are available to Odoo Agile Project Management users; users can filter, group, and search through their data to create visualizations that make sense.
Pros & Cons
|Unlimited hosting, support, and maintenance are available in all Odoo plans.||Paid plans can get expensive quickly, especially for teams that only plan to use a handful of Odoo apps; this tool is probably overkill if you only need it for PM functionality, as the PM functionality by itself is somewhat limited.|
|The free plan works for multiple companies.||Switching back and forth between Odoo Online and Odoo Enterprise can be challenging.|
|Users can access a full suite of well-integrated business apps from one vendor when using Odoo.||Some users have had issues with customer support responsiveness and helpfulness.|
Why We Picked Odoo
On its own, Odoo isn’t necessarily the best open source project management solution, but it is one of the best for native integrations with other open-source business tools. E-commerce, marketing, sales, supply chain, and a variety of other teams can benefit from this suite of software that incorporates project management with other useful apps.
Best for Application Lifecycle Management
ZenTao is an open source tool that is primarily used for Scrum and Kanban project management. The tool is also compatible with waterfall frameworks and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your team or methodology. Although the solution is primarily accessible through the ZenTao mobile app, users can also take advantage of the desktop integration for ZenTao Desktop, using this version to continue editing your setup and keep track of notifications.
ZenTao is one of the best options available for application lifecycle management, offering a variety of robust and highly visual features to keep track of products and sprints. The Story/Plan feature and Release/Roadmap feature in particular help to keep everyone on the same page with visual representations of project progress. Other key differentiators from ZenTao include attendance management, source code management, and server room and network topology management.
- Product and feedback management: Features include Story/Plan, Release/Roadmap, feedback on stories and bugs, and reply feedback.
- Sprint management: Features are available to manage at a task, team, and build level; burndown and Kanban visualizations help with sprint performance and time tracking.
- Source code management: Features include integration with Git and SVN, the ability to review and comment on code online, and links to stories, tasks, and bugs.
Pros & Cons
|A variety of program, product and project management features are available in all ZenTao plans.||Certain project-level views and reports are not available except for in the highest tier plan.|
|Release, roadmap, and feedback management features make it possible for teams to manage each step of the application lifecycle effectively.||Per-user pricing for paid self-hosted plans can get expensive quickly; having unlimited users on paid plans is also incredibly expensive.|
|OPS management features are available to manage servers, server rooms, and network topology.||In general, ZenTao’s pricing and packages are confusing to work with.|
Why We Picked ZenTao
ZenTao provides comprehensive application lifecycle management features to its users, making it possible for them to manage the most granular details of product development and release roadmaps. The software integrates with Git, SVN, and SonarQube, furthering its capabilities when it comes to product development and release. ZenTao also offers users strong visualization options, including burndown charts.
Best for Security Features
WeKan is a free open source project management solution that is almost solely designed for Kanban project management. It is licensed under the MIT license, translated into more than 70 languages, and available for a variety of operating systems and CPU platforms. WeKan’s team strongly encourages users to take advantage of one-click installation and self-host the tool on their own computers and servers.
While WeKan is one of the most limited in functionality on this list, it provides users with an effective and easy-to-use Kanban solution. The platform also integrates with many third-party tools and can be customized extensively, so users have the option to add more features as they go.
But what really makes WeKan stand out is its commitment to top-tier security. Users have the ability to disable public boards, WeKan provides transparent security disclosures, and password hashing is also available. WeKan customers have the option to select either Standalone WeKan Security or Sandstorm Wekan Security, depending on their specific requirements. Additionally, users can report security issues in a secure manner, using WeKan’s PGP public key rather than creating a GitHub issue.
- Kanban design: With WeKan’s approach to Kanban, users can access boards with columns, drag-and-drop cards, and customizable labels.
- Burndown charts: WeKan offers a Python burndown chart, a burndown chart Chrome extension, and velocity chart options.
- Swimlanes: To better differentiate individual tasks, WeKan offers the Swimlanes view and allows users to rename, reorder, and archive their swimlanes as needed.
Pros & Cons
|One-click installation is available for a variety of platforms.||WeKan may offer functionality that is too simple or limited for most users.|
|Board-level and user-level access permissions can be set up by administrators; a number of other advanced security features are also available.||WeKan is mostly limited to the Kanban format.|
|Simple drag-and-drop functionality makes this an easy tool to use.||WeKan does not offer an undo feature if bugs, updates, or other unexpected issues delete your data.|
Why We Picked WeKan
It’s hard to get simpler than WeKan, especially if you’re looking for Kanban features. The visual components of this tool are clean and easy to use, and much of the tool relies on drag-and-drop and one-click functionality, etc. Despite its simplicity, WeKan still presents users with a useful tool through an effective UX/UI design, strong security and administrative controls, and a transparent product roadmap.
What Are the Key Features of Open Source Project Management Software?
When looking for the right open source project management software for your business, make sure you look at solutions that offer these key features:
- Source code documentation and availability: With source code documentation, developers on your team can see how the tool is currently set up and determine what changes they want to make and what changes are possible for your own version of the tool. Bonus points if you find a tool that securely stores this information and any changes you make.
- Resource management and time tracking: A number of closed source project management solutions offer resource management and time tracking for an added fee, but if you find the right open source solution, these features are available for free through some customization on your part. With resource management and time tracking, your team can more easily measure performance and time spent across your entire project portfolio, leading to better and more efficient outcomes.
- Collaboration and communication features: Many open source project management solutions natively offer the ability to leave comments on project line items, documents, and more. Others include live chat and/or third-party integrations with communication tools.
- Various project views and customizability: While some open source project management solutions don’t have as many view options as closed source software, they usually have a handful of customizable views that are designed with developer needs in mind. Common project views in open source project management software include Kanban, Gantt, and calendar views.
- Project scheduling and task management: Task and subtask-level management features allow your team to get into the details of a project, scheduling both big picture goals and individual responsibilities and milestones that will get you there.
What Are the Key Benefits of Open Source Project Management Software?
Using open source project management software can introduce a number of benefits into your project management workflow, but these are the top three benefits that come from implementing open source project management software:
- More customizability: With access to the PM too’s source code and documentation, your team is given transparent information about what they can do to customize the tool. Many open source solutions can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premises, as well as across a variety of operating systems; this flexibility makes it so you can use open source tools whenever, wherever, and however works best for your team.
- Affordability: Most open source project management solutions are available in a free plan, or at least through a free trial option. Even paid versions of open source PM software tend to be reasonably priced and lower than most closed source alternatives.
- Strong community support network: Although most open source tools don’t have as much dedicated hands-on support offered by vendors, they have a strong collaborative approach to support that works well for the right user. Community forums, group chats, wikis, and collaborative coding options make it so your team can teach and learn from other users of the tool.
How to Choose the Best Open Source Project Management Solution
Choosing the best open source project management solution can be tricky, especially since there are so many options that suit teams of different sizes and industrial backgrounds. And while open source project management software tends to be affordable, users who do not effectively research their options may end up with a tool that doesn’t meet all of their requirements or costs too much to scale.
If your company prioritizes free software options, choose Redmine, Leantime, or ZenTao. These tools are not only free but also offer comprehensive features in their free plan versions. Additionally, many of these plans give access to unlimited users for unlimited projects at little to no cost.
If your company prioritizes a smooth user experience, choose Taiga, ProjectLibre, Orangescrum Open Source, or OpenProject. Reviewers of these tools frequently talk about their ease of use and even compare them to popular closed source solutions like Jira and Microsoft Project.
Regardless of where your priorities lie when selecting open source project management software, be sure to do your own hands-on research of these tools, especially the ones that offer free versions or trials. You and your team can make a more informed purchasing decision once you’ve had the opportunity to get familiar with a few different open source software platforms.
Featured Partners: Project Management Software
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
Simple and powerful way to track and manage issues. It handles all kinds of issues (bugs, features, enhancements, and tasks) and can be used for bug tracking, development help, project management, or group task cataloging.