Top 8 FREE Open Source Document Management Systems (2023)

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When it comes to choosing a document management system for a company, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What are the top open source document management systems on the market?”

The top free open source document management systems are OpenKM, OpenDocMan, Krystal DMS, LogicalDOC, Kimios, Mayan EDMS, Alfresco Community Edition, and SeedDMS.

Organizations increasingly deal with a large number of documents in their daily operations, and maintaining them has become an exceedingly difficult task for management and personnel.

Managing and organizing documents inside a corporation is no longer a luxury; it is now a must in order to decrease costs, boost productivity, safeguard sensitive information, get insights, and make educated business decisions.

During the COVID19 pandemic, organizations without a proper document management system implementation found themselves unable to conduct business while working from home. Companies realized the need to be able to access their documents from anywhere.

In fact, the number of people searching for “Free Document Management System” or ” Free Document management system open source” on Google has increased by about 900 percent in the previous three months as shown in the picture below.

Top 8 FREE Open Source Document Management Systems (1)

In this article, we’ll explain what an open source document management system is. What are the popular free document management systems available plus table comparison? and what are their advantages?

Check out this article, if you are looking into a DMS for your small business.

What is an Open Source Document Management System?

An open source document management system is a system used to capture, store, manage, and easily retrieve documents within an organization. It is a non-proprietary free document management software that can be downloaded with the ability to obtain the original source code for internal customizations.

The advantage of having the source code available is the opportunity to customize it to meet the demands of your department or company. To do so, you must learn the languages used to develop the software, and any software developer with minimum expertise may tweak or add more connectors with other accessible business line applications.

A licensed DMS, on the other hand, needs one-time or monthly charges based on the number of users and documents and does not allow for in-house customization. When your business requires customization, you must contact the software manufacturer to make the necessary changes, which is normally a chargeable service.

There is a big list of top free DMS software available in the market but choosing the best one for your organization can have a significant impact on how your organization operates.

Most of the available free document management software comes in two versions: Community and Enterprise.

Community Edition

A completely free version that you may download and install on your organization’s internal servers. You are allowed to modify it to meet your own business requirements. However, this version doesn’t include any support from the publishers.

You will very certainly want support down the road if you are experiencing technical difficulties in the deployment, troubleshooting, or even wanting to learn how it works internally in order to personalize it.

Enterprise Edition

An enterprise edition of the free document management software will cost your firm an annual fee in order to receive vendor assistance in the event of a problem in the production environment, help in customization, or troubleshooting.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Open Source Document Management Software?

An open source document management will most certainly minimize your reliance on paper documents, lowering physical storage and printing expenses. Furthermore, it allows employees to discover documents more quickly, and controlling the lifecycle of documents is simplified and managed.

All popular free document management systems have a wide range of benefits that organization can reap in a fast manner.

Let’s take a look at some of the most significant advantages of implementing an open source DMS.

1- Minimum Initial Cost

This is the most essential advantage that companies may require at this time. When you begin a digitization project inside your firm, you usually do not want to commit to a high-priced licensed solution unless it can be demonstrated to management that it would lower overall business operations expenses and enhance productivity.

The first expense of deploying free document management software is the availability of the hardware on which the software will be put.

2- Prepare Employees

At the outset, you may pick key personnel to begin testing and working on the solution in order to learn how the functions operate and how they can be maximized.

(Video) Open Source Document Management System - Papermerge

It is critical to become acquainted with the solution. It allows you to properly test it and get a sense of how easy it is to use and what restrictions you may encounter in the future.

3- Prepare The Proper Plan & Best Practices

Having an open source document management system will give you enough time to prepare of how do you want to implement a proper plan across your organization.

Planning is very essential in document management. Your organization needs to understand how the documents are collected or generated, how they are flowing internally, what type of documents to manage, how to automatically capture information, etc.

I strongly advise you to read the article below for a list of challenges you are likely to face.

11+ Critical Document Management Challenges and Solutions (

4- Ability To Customize

Having an open source DMS, like anything else in life, has advantages and disadvantages. It is quite powerful to have the source code available for your company to alter and adjust features.

Furthermore, you may wish to combine your free document management system with other business line systems that are already in place in your firm. That should be simple if you have a developer with the necessary expertise.

To summarize, employing open source DMS solutions is especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses. Because these types of solutions are free to use, there is little risk for businesses who are just getting started with digitized document management.

I highly recommend to check out the below article for a complete list of benefits

15 Remarkable Document Management Systems Benefits (

Top Free Document Management Software

I’m sure you’ve read this far in order to get to the most crucial section. What choices do we have when it comes to free document management software?

It should be noted that the order of the list does not indicate which option is preferable to the others.

The top open source document management systems are:

1- OpenKM

OpenKM is a document management software that combines all necessary document management, collaboration, and sophisticated search functions into a single user-friendly solution. The system also offers administrative tools for defining multiple user roles, access control, user quotas, document security level, complete records of activity, and automation setup.

I tested this open source dms a while back and found it to have outstanding document management, records management, and document processing capabilities. I highly recommend checking it out.

OpenKM may be used by organizations to manage documents, content, security, document workflow automation, and information obtained from any digital source.

When it comes to open source products, my personal preference is to have well-defined documentation that explains how to configure and utilize the product at the most basic level without having to pay for training. OpenKM includes excellent documentation, videos, and webinars to help you get started.

Another advantage is the availability of Microsoft Office Addons to help you easily import documents with metadata to your repository.

The disadvantage is the small number of users and the limited size of the repository.

It comes with two editions: Community and Professional.


2- OpenDocMan

OpenDocMan is a free, web-based, open source document management system (DMS) written in PHP designed to comply with ISO 17025 and OIE standard for document management. It features web based access, fine grained control of access to files, and automated install and upgrades.

(Video) A better open source File Manager for Windows

OpenDocMan open source DMS includes all of the fundamental capabilities of document management, including the ability to build up document approval cycles. It is incredibly light and simple to deploy and use. What I dislike about it is the crude user interface.

Remember that the younger generation of employees is accustomed to intuitive user experiences, and they will be dissatisfied if you deliver a poor one.

Another point is the lack of clear documentation and training materials

It comes with two editions: Community and Enterprise


Top 8 FREE Open Source Document Management Systems (2)

3- Krystal DMS

You may also use Krystal DMS, which is a highly unique document management free software. The application has complex capabilities such as indexing, thorough auditing, and multilingual support to help you manage your documents with ease.

It is an award-winning free Document Management Software Solution from Primeleaf Consulting, Mumbai, India. It is easy to install, easy to configure and easy to use system that allows you to spend more time on customer facing activities – instead of on tedious administrative and paper-based chores.

The fact that this opensource dms has a large number of well-known clients is a plus. That demonstrates that you may begin with the community edition and then upgrade to a paying license once you tried it out and are ready to scale it up.

It does not, however, support mobile devices or provide document collaborative options.

It comes with different editions: Enterprise, Premium, Standard, and Community.


Check the below link for a detailed comparison between these editions

KRYSTAL Document Management System (DMS) India | Products | Comparison (

4- LogicalDOC

LogicalDoc is yet another excellent free document management software option. The GNU license is used to provide the community edition, which is absolutely free to download. The program provides a variety of functions and makes it simple to manage your documents and files.

It organizes personal or business documents, making it easier to locate prior versions. It allows for content-based searching by utilizing document content indexing. It is presently available in 15 languages.

It supports almost all internet browsers. However, the mobile and tablet application is not available for the community edition.

As you may know, my preferred option for open source document management systems is to have comprehensive documentation and videos, which LogicalDoc does.

It comes with 4 editions: community, business, cloud, and enterprise.

I strongly advise you to check it out.


5- Kimios

(Video) 7 Best Free And Open Source Electronic Medical Records Software Solutions

Kimios is an open source document management program used to store, edit, create and trackdocuments. It offers smart digital workflow solutions and document control.

It was designed to help companies and departments with a large document flow: Human Resources, Financial Departments, Quality Service, etc.

Kimios web application is currently tested on Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari. It has a powerful search engine based on metadata and full-text search, multiplatform and desktop integration, service-oriented support, and an index that can be customized.

It can be accessed via a Web browser, a Windows desktop (with support for Microsoft Office), a specialized interface, or a virtual disk, and it also offers mobile access.

In general, it is very good software, with easy to use interface, and provides workflow capabilities. The only issue is the lack of proper documentation.

It’s worth noting that their website hasn’t been updated since 2020.


6- Mayan EDMS

Mayan EDMS is an open-source software that allows the full lifecycle of documents with quite an impressive feature set. It can save several versions of a document via document versioning. You may download it or return to an earlier version, and you can track its progress with document workflows.

Document versioning, sophisticated security and rights allocation, retention policies, document linking and referencing, document workflows, and a flexible design that works on computers, mobiles, and tablets are all included.

I haven’t tried it myself, but based on their client list, it appears to be a viable option.

To get you started, there is online documentation available.

It comes with two editions: Community and Enterprise. Even their support is reasonably priced.


7- Alfresco Community Edition

If you are a tech enthusiast with the ability to self-support, our Community Edition products are freely available and offer powerful capabilities for non-critical business process or content needs. Alfresco’s open source software is widely adopted for community-driven development and contributions as well as for researching new features.

It helps more than 1,300 industry-leading organizations, including Cisco, Pitney Bowes, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, US Department of the Navy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and NASA, be more responsive and competitive

Alfresco is a very well-known open source enterprise content management system that covered all the functionalities needed to manage your documents and content including a powerful workflow engine.

Community Editions Include:

Alfresco Community Edition: The open source Enterprise Content Management software that handles any type of content, allowing users to easily share and collaborate on content.

Activiti: The open source Business Process Management software with a high-performance business process engine suitable for running a wide variety of processes.

Because Alfresco was just acquired by Hyland, I was hesitant to bring it up because we don’t know what the future of this product would be. Will the community version be made available in the future?

Nothing is obvious as of now, but it will always be an outstanding contender for your firm to utilize.


(Video) Document Management System Open Source

8- SeedDMS

SeedDMS is a free document management system opensource dms with an easy to use web based user interface for small and medium sized enterprises. It is based on PHP and MySQL or sqlite3 and runs on Linux, MacOS and Windows. Many years of development has made it a mature, powerful and enterprise ready platform for sharing and storing documents.

SeedDMS has a lot of capabilities, but it’s also easy to install and use. It has several applications, ranging from private document storage to business use with rigorous and complex workflow control. Users employ it for storing invoices, documentation, learning materials, emails, etc.

It works, and it’s simple to set up and use. However, it is not enterprise-ready! It is not feasible to remove numerous files, you cannot change the original document name, and accessing a document requires too many clicks. Documentation is insufficient. For that, it is best suited to personal and small company requirements.


Top 8 FREE Open Source Document Management Systems (3)

9- OpenProdoc (Bonus Entry)

OpenProdoc is an opensource DMS that enables features such as:

  • Ability to define types of folders/files to structure documents according to the organizational structure, the processes of the business, etc…
  • Define document types for each project or area
  • Store documents in a folder structure
  • Assign metadata to facilitate business use of the documents and subsequent search
  • Create multiple versions of documents
  • Share documents among groups of users, permitting or restricting access based on permissions

It features a completely portable version just for ease of deployment, evaluation, and personal use in addition to good documentation to get you started.

This document management system is developed by Joaquín Hierro.


Top 8 FREE Open Source Document Management Systems (4)

The table below compares the community versions of the above open source document management systems.

The information gathered is research. However, if you wish to seek a specific product, you must contact the merchant directly for confirmation.

Three of the aforementioned products were unable to locate documentation, or only a premium version of the documentation was accessible.

FeaturesOpenKMLogicalDocKrystal DMSMayan EDMS
User Interface
Mobile WebX
iOS App – iPad and iPhoneXX
Document Management
Version Control
Metadata & Templates
Audit Trail
Version ComparisonXXX
Saved SearchN/AXXN/A
Digital WatermarkingXXX
Full Text SearchX
Online EditingXXXX
Digital SignatureXX
File PreviewX
Records Management
Archiving & RetentionXX
Checkout / Check-in
Internal Messaging SystemXX
Workflow EngineXX
Users and Groups
Password ExpirationN/AN/AX
Single Sign-onXX
Files EncryptionXN/AN/A
Basic StatisticsN/A
Standard ReportsN/A
Ms OfficeXXX

Which Free Document Management Software Is Best?

The top 8 open source document management systems are OpenKM, OpenDocMan, LogicalDoc, Krystal DMS, Kimios, Mayan EDMS, SeedDMS, Alfresco community edition.

In general, there is no best free document management software; it all depends on the demands and business requirements of your organization. Each free document management software has benefits and drawbacks.

The comparison above will give you a good idea, but you must conduct your investigation and examine your company’s requirements before proceeding.


Does Microsoft have a document management system?

Microsoft’s document management system is called SharePoint. It is used for storing and retrieving documents. It can be accessed from a variety of devices such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and has an intuitive interface.


What is document management system open source? ›

OpenDocMan is a free, web-based, open source document management system (DMS) written in PHP designed to comply with ISO 17025 and OIE standard for document management. It features web based access, fine grained control of access to files, and automated install and upgrades.

What are open source documents? ›

Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration.

Which is a free web based document creation and storage service? ›

OpenDocMan is a free, web-based, open source document management system (DMS).

Does Google have a document management system? ›

Google Drive allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more within the application.

What is the most popular open source software? ›

List of best open-source software
  • Shotcut. ...
  • LibreOffice. ...
  • Mozilla Thunderbird. ...
  • Mozilla Firefox. ...
  • VLC Media Player. ...
  • GIMP. ...
  • Linux. ...
  • WordPress. WordPress is probably the most popular blogging platform in the world, used by more than 60 million people and organizations.

What are examples of open source software? ›

  • GNU/Linux.
  • Mozilla Firefox.
  • VLC media player.
  • SugarCRM.
  • GIMP.
  • VNC.
  • Apache web server.
  • LibreOffice.

Is Google Docs an open source software? ›

Just to be clear, however: open source is not the same as free. For instance, Google applications like Google Mail and Google Docs may be free to anyone with a Gmail address, but they do not expose their source code to the public for open source development.

Does Microsoft have a document management system? ›

Does Microsoft have a Document Management System? Yes, it does. Microsoft Office 365 provides various software solutions including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics and OneDrive for document management.

What is an example of a document management system? ›

PDF Readers are the best example of a Document Management System through which you can access the PDF file offline and store it to view and even print and publish it anytime at any place.

Is Microsoft SharePoint a document management system? ›

Document management with SharePoint lets users manage common document types, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and create folders to save and manage those documents in customer engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics ...

Which software is used for documents? ›

A software that is used to create text-based documents is called Word Processor.

Which cloud has the best documentation? ›

The best cloud-based document management system for 2022 is PandaDoc owing to its powerful workflow that streamlines the creation, approval, negotiation, and signing of documents. PandaDoc tracks documents and locks legal content to ensure that all your files are compliant with industry standards.

What is a good electronic filing system? ›

So perhaps the best solution comes in the form of today's popular Cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and DropBox. These services let you keep your filing system on your own computer, but then mirror your computerized files onto the Cloud, maintaining the same folder structure and layout.

What are the disadvantages of Google Docs? ›

The biggest drawback to Google Docs is the presentation program. It is not the strongest presentation program and, in my opinion, is not close to being equal to PowerPoint. Google Docs' presentation program does not have a variation of styles/themes, templates, charts/graphs, and slide transitions.

Is Google Drive a file manager? ›

Drive Files Manager - Google Workspace Marketplace. Allows users to list metadata about their drive files and store them in a spreadsheet. They can also edit file names and descriptions and get thumbnails of image files. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

How do you manage documents at work? ›

Effective File Management
  1. Avoid saving unnecessary documents. ...
  2. Follow a consistent method for naming your files and folders. ...
  3. Store related documents together, whatever their type. ...
  4. Separate ongoing work from completed work. ...
  5. Avoid overfilling folders. ...
  6. Organize documents by date. ...
  7. Make digital copies of paper documents.

› blog › free-open-sour... ›

Find and download the best open source and free document management systems. Get the best B2B open source document software for your business with a free consul...
Free and Open Source document management solutions offer better management of sensitive documents, where users can securely archive, and access them in real tim...
Document management platforms are software systems that enable individuals and businesses to control different versions of documents and records, schedule meeti...

What is meant by document management system? ›

Document management is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDFs, word processing files and digital images of paper-based content. Document management can save you time and money.

What is OpenKM used for? ›

OpenKM is a management solution that allows businesses to control the production, storage, management and distribution of electronic documents, yielding greater effectiveness and the ability to reuse information and to control the flow of the documents.

Are DMS free? ›

AWS DMS Fleet Advisor is a free, fully managed capability of Amazon Database Migration Service (AWS DMS). DMS Fleet Advisor accelerates database and analytics migration planning by automating inventory and providing tailored migration advice. Learn more.

Is OpenKM open source? ›

OpenKM is available to Open Source community under the GNU General Public Licence version 2. The OpenKM source code is available for the entire community, which is free to use, modify and redistribute it under the premises of such license.

› ... › SMB Solutions ›

Document management software is a system for storing essential information for your business. Legacy hard copies of documents can be scanned and then uploaded d...


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