Five fantastic open source tools for Windows admins

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Open source projects for Windows are growing like weeds. Here's a short list of favorites that blogger Ron Barrett promises will make your network rock -- all at that lovable open source price. Barrett tested each one and offers a longer review of each (plus a list of Honorable Mentions), on his blog, A Better Windows World .

Zenoss Core is a network monitoring system that watches over availability, performance, events. It offers a visual topology, automatic remediation and great reports. It is easy to manage via its web portal and dashboards.

See Ron Barrett's full review

VirtuaWin allows you to have up to nine virtual desktops on a single Windows system. You can easily switch/scroll through your virtual desktops and customize your applications in their own workspaces.

See Ron Barrett's full review

Bochs (pronounced "BOX") is emulator software that allows you to create image files to run various operating systems inside your current platform. It is great for running older Windows versions, Linux or Mac software on a current Windows machine. It will run on just about any hardware, emulate nearly any OS.

See Ron Barrett's full review

Recuva is file recovery software that finds files after they have been deleted from the hard drive and emptied from the deleted items bin. It works for media deleted from media cards, too.

See Ron Barrett's full review

PINs is a secure password management system that is a great alternative to pricey commercial software. It reminds users when passwords have expired, creates password for them and supports more than 25 languages. PINs uses 448-bit encryption.

See Ron Barrett's full review

Windows Open Source legends We'll leave you with the images of some of the most popular Windows open source tools. See any of your favorites?

See Ron Barrett's full review