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Top 10 Weirdest Names for Open Source Projects

In the early stages of developing a new open source project, most developers rarely take the time to think about their future branding strategy. After all, a great idea, top notch code, and a passionate following are the winning formula when you’re getting a project underway.

However the name you choose for your project can play a role in picking up a loyal following and attracting the curious.

Names have power. They indicate tone and the intent. They can, if chosen well, inspire and unify action. They’re an important part of a project’s brand and tone of voice.

Names set expectations. Your project’s name should present its purpose in the ecosystem and explain to potential users what your story is. In the jam-packed open source community, it’s important not to get your eye off the ball and be distracted by other projects. Instead, stick to your roots and do what you love.

The folks behind these creative projects assembled below took the name creation to a new level. In our quest to bring you the latest and greatest in the open source world, we have sought out some of the strangest and cleverest open source project names that you’ve probably never heard of but really should check out.


This Apache project claims to be the “#1 Enterprise Open-Source Spam Filter.” It uses a wide variety of methods to identify and block spam, and it works with nearly all mail servers.


Snort claims to be the “most widely deployed IDS/IPS technology worldwide. They detect a wide variety of attacks, including buffer overflows, stealth port scans, CGI attacks, SMB probes, OS fingerprinting attempts, and much more.


Short for “BackUp And Restore Program,” BURP is a network backup solution based on librsync. It is designed to be easier to configure than some other open source solutions, and it can do delta backups.


Apache Pig is a platform for distributed big data analysis. It relies on a programming language called Pig Latin, which boasts simplified parallel programming, optimization, and extensibility.


This project creates a database that is just as hard to kill as a cockroach — in other words, it’s extremely resilient. It also spreads like cockroaches, pointing to its scalability.

Darik’s Boot And Nuke

Also known as DBAN, Darik’s Boot And Nuke can completely eliminate all data from a hard drive. The open source version is a true member of the open source community as it’s designed for individual developer/hacker use.


JHipster provides tools to generate a project with a Java stack on the server side (using Spring Boot) and a responsive Web front-end on the client side (with Angular and Bootstrap). It can also create a microservice stack with support for Netflix OSS, Docker, and Kubernetes.

Sleepy Puppy

This tool helps Web developers avoid cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. It allows developers and security staff to capture, manage, and track XSS issues.


Devil-Linux began life as a dedicated firewall/router, but over time the project grew to include application server capabilities as well. They support over 500 older and current versions, so you can use it to recycle older hardware.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper is a password cracking software tool. Initially developed for the Unix operating system, it now runs on fifteen different platforms (eleven of which are architecture-specific versions of Unix, DOS, Win32, BeOS, and OpenVMS).

What’s in a Name?

Developers are a creative group that appreciate the weird and cryptic. Just look at all of the inside jokes that nobody else seems to get. While a clever name can grab eyeballs on GitHub, what matters most is whether or not the project offers a valuable service and does it right. So even if the names are complex, make using your project simple to use.

Meet The Author

Adam Murray

Adam Murray is a content writer at Mend. He began his career in corporate communications and PR, in London and New York, before moving to Tel Aviv. He’s spent the last ten years working with tech companies like Amdocs, Gilat Satellite Systems, Allot Communications, and Sisense. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature. When he’s not spending time with his wife and son, he’s preoccupied with his beloved football team, Tottenham Hotspur.

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