Free-software (alternative to) Itch?

I love the cool DIY vibes on itch, but it’s troubling how much commercial closed-source tech you see on there. Also itch itself is not a free-software platform. They encourage gamedevs to share their games, but themselves don’t share their software… just as hypocrit as evil Github!

My questions are:

  • is there a free-software itch-like platform? maybe even a federated one where you don’t need a centralized server?
  • is there an itch-like platform dedicated to free-software games?

I remember there were a few projects like that YEARS AGO in the early days of Steam but i don’t remember the names and i don’t know how successful they were.

Anyway, are folks from this community interested in this?

itch is libre, if you don’t like it for whatever reason there is also GameJolt but they aren’t that much different.


That is an alternative client for itch, not the platform’s code itself unfortuantely :'(

Why can’t we have decentralized itch like we have decentralized lemmy? Hypothetically, let me public my games on my instance and you yours on your instance and we can federate comments/subscriptions/etc :)

Tahts the official desktop app, and that organization has a ton of other repositories, what is missing from the whole project to be published?


Well their server-side source code, plus installation instructions. They have published some tiny bits, but not the whole. The closest i found was this which is a fake (mock) implementation of the server-side API.

If you are close to the itch folks, it’d be interesting to see if they’d be interested in making itch free-software and selfhostable, even federated so that authors can choose where to publish their games.

The other day I was actually looking for a federated app store kinda thing, unfortunatelly no luck on that :(


For federated app stores… On Android, there’s F-Droid. On free desktop systems (GNU/Linux, BSD) there’s Flatpak. I don’t know of a cross-platform solution, though. An emerging alternative to Flatpak is GNU guix which is way more reliable/secure/consistent, but it doesn’t have a graphical user interface yet.

For non-federated, but multi-provider software “stores”, there’s gamehub, pegasus, athenaeum, lutris and a bunch of others. I don’t think any of those has a free-software, selfhostable server code (to distribute your own games) yet. But one or two have a Windows/Mac version i believe.

An open standard protocol could help improve the ecosystem, but i don’t know anyone working on that.


O wait, so you are looking that hosts exclusively FOSS games, not something that is a FOSS platform?

Good question. However I believe that it would be very very small niche if you were to exclusively target the FOSS gamedev community.

Good first step towards what you want to see would probably be to develop an aggregator that shows FOSS games that are already available on existing platforms (Steam, Humble, GOG,, GitHub, GitLab, etc)


O wait, so you are looking that hosts exclusively FOSS games, not something that is a FOSS platform?

Ideally, both :)

it would be very very small niche

Indeed. But it could grow. I mean i’m asking on /c/itch_io because there’s a lot of non-profit development taking place on itch. In my view all these developments should be free-software and should encourage cooperation between artists/projects. Like a tiny ecosystem growing horizontally :)


You could start by maybe reaching out to creators on the platform or start FOSS jam of sorts to build interest in FOSS games.


There is Mitch on F-Droid.

I actually once started doing a front-end for a web app store but never finished. Since idk how to use git I never published it on Github/gitea/gitlab so its just sitting on my computer. I guess if anyone wants to use it they can just contact me. is a website for users to host, sell and download indie games. Here you can share games, make reviews, upload updates of your games or even share them!

Similar Communities:

  • 0 users online
  • 1 user / day
  • 1 user / week
  • 11 users / month
  • 11 users / 6 months
  • 70 subscribers
  • 3 Posts
  • Modlog