This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
Open source point-of-sale (POS) software is adaptable and generally works with any PC or iOS system. Upfront costs of open source POS systems are typically cheaper than those of commercial POS systems; however, open source software can be more difficult to set up and maintain. This makes open source POS systems best for businesses on a budget that are comfortable customizing and maintaining their software or companies with a larger budget that want to develop a customized POS solution.
To find the best open source POS software for small business, we evaluated nine solutions and narrowed our list down to our top four recommendations:
- Odoo: Best overall open source POS for small or growing businesses
- uniCenta: Best for international businesses as it comes with multiple languages, currencies, and a presence in 150 countries
- Imonggo: Best for small stores doing cash-only transactions, such as pawn, tourist, and mom-and-pop shops
- Floreant POS: Best for mobile restaurants
Best Open Source POS Systems Compared
Paid Plan Upgrades
Depends on module; starts at $42.50 per user, per month
None, but paid support subscription plans are £60 (equivalent to $82.21)* and £136 (equivalent to $186)*
$82.18 (Base) and $186 (Plus)
$30 per branch, per month
Add-ons are $9.99 per terminal, per month
25x5 phone, live chat, and email
None; need to subscribe to a paid plan
24x7 live chat for paid users
24x7 live chat
Odoo: Best Overall Open Source POS
Odoo is an excellent POS system that is free with the basic version and offers a multitude of additional programs. While add-ons run anywhere from $12–$24 per user and can add up fast, the free version provides all the features most small businesses need for running a retail shop or restaurant
In our evaluation, Odoo scored a 3.91 out of 5. Odoo’s interface is not as modern as those of other providers on our list, but it’s clean and user-friendly. It also doesn’t have the depth of restaurant and inventory features as others, but it made up for it in breadth—there’s enough of everything for most businesses.
- POS: Multiple registers, compatible with touch-screen devices (tablets or mobile devices), cloud-based with offline mode (for open tickets), run multiple checks simultaneously, barcodes, discounts, customizable with images, prices, taxes, and loyalty programs
- Restaurant features: Split checks, kitchen and bar printing, multiple customers, product sorting, and floor plan with table order status
- Customer management and loyalty programs: Customer history, email marketing, rewards and loyalty programs based on points or discounts (identification is done using cards or barcode IDs), after sales service features—issue refunds, track warranties, and follow-up customer claims (Odoo is listed as one of our best open source CRM software too.)
- Inventory features: Double-entry, immediate updates across all stores, programmable reorder points and automated purchase orders, drop-shipping, multiple warehouses, and inventory reports (Odoo is one of our top-recommended free inventory management software.)
- Invoicing: Quotes-to-invoices and sales analysis reports
- Payment processing: Cash, credit cards, PayPal, Buckaroo, Stripe, Authorize.net, Adyen; Ingenico, Worldline, and Worldpay require IoT Box (an extra charge)
What Odoo Is Missing
As might be expected for a free program, Odoo is basic and charges for when you add other modules like ecommerce or CRM. It lacks employee features and cashier logins. If employee management is essential for your business and your priority is having a free POS system, go with Floreant POS. Most commercial POS systems include this feature in their paid tiers.
uniCenta: Best for International Businesses
uniCenta’s POS software is free to run, copy, distribute, and alter, as it is based on GNU GPL2 licensing. However, you need to pay for customer support, and premium membership gives you access to its knowledgebase and user forum. uniCenta is a highly adaptable software, good not only for retail and restaurants but hospitality and event businesses as well. It supports 17 languages and multiple currencies and uses international payment processors—making it a great choice for tech-savvy retailers with businesses in different countries or needing several languages.
uniCenta earned 3.54 out of 5 points based on our evaluation criteria, in part because we had a hard time finding certain features in its backend. For example, we found no way to program tipping, and we didn’t see any mention of it in its online resources or demos. However, uniCenta remains to be a popular choice among users, based on many user reviews online and almost a million downloads across 150 countries. Its annual fee for customer support is also extremely reasonable compared to other platforms that charge extra for add-on modules. Odoo, for example, is free—but its add-ons can easily stack up and get pricey.
- POS: Bundling, multiple payment types on one bill, vouchers, and barcode scanning
- Restaurant: Table mapping and reservations, kitchen display system, and check-splitting
- Inventory: Track units of measure, purchase orders, and variants
- Online: Ecommerce integration and reservation management
- Payment Processing: Dejavoo and PaymentSense both integrate with uniCenta
What uniCenta Is Missing
We could not find tip management features, which are important to many restaurant and hospitality businesses, and reports specific to payroll. While it updates and monitors supply, it does not seem to offer low-inventory alerts.
Imonggo: Best for Pawn, Tourist, and Mom-and-Pop Shops
Imonggo is a straightforward POS system for small shops that need strong inventory tools and a points-based loyalty program. It is inexpensive—in fact, Imonggo is included in our top picks for best free POS systems—and can work with multiple currencies. This is why it is ideal for small stores, pawnshops, and stores in tourist areas.
Overall, this software earned a 3.40 out of 5. The inability to process credit card payments and limitations in the free plan, plus the lack of payroll reporting (even on the paid plan), hurt its rating significantly (compared to Floreant POS which offers all these under a free plan). However, it is easy to use, has an offline mode, and has remarkable inventory features.
- POS: Browser-based, barcode scanning, discounts (per item or general), split payments, gift cards, can accept different currencies
- Multinational features: Handles multiple currencies, tracks nationalities of customers, and more (this is why it is perfect for multinational stores like tourist shops or border towns where you may deal with different currencies). However, it only runs in English.
- Ecommerce: Free via Imonggo or your own online store; Shopify integration available
- Inventory: Online and in-store inventory tracking, product stock descriptions (like images, prices, barcodes, and stock numbers), low-stock alerts, price adjustments (example: damaged items), kitting and bundling options
- Customer management: Customer information, memberships, special notes for customers such as if they are tax-exempt, nonprofit, and customer groups
- Loyalty programs: Provides a basic loyalty program in its Groups setting, but allows points for purchases
- Employee: Lacks time sheets and tips that is needed for payroll processing
- Payment Processing: Free version does not allow credit card processing—cash/paper check only. All the other software on our list have processors. If you select the paid plan, you have the choice of Authorize.net or Worldpay.
What Imonggo Is Missing
If being under a free plan is a priority, then you might find Imonggo’s free option very limiting. For one thing, it is cash only, so if you need to process credit cards, then consider going with Floreant POS since it integrates with several processors. Imonggo also doesn’t have clock-in/out tools and scheduling. If you need built-in employee scheduling tools, other platforms such as Odoo and Floreant offer this feature.
Floreant POS: Best for Mobile Restaurants Including Food Trucks and Popup Stalls
Floreant POS was specifically developed for a famous restaurant chain, so it comes as no surprise that its features are tailor-made for the food industry. Its minimum system requirements make for a quick local installation and allow for mobile device and tablet use. Customization is limitless (since it’s open source), but upon installation, basic features already include point-of-sale, table service, kitchen control, user-level permissions, and a mobile register.
In our evaluation, Floreant POS earned a 2.73 out of 5. The lack of cloud hosting, 24/7 customer support, and checkout features—such as online ordering and a loyalty program—kept it from getting a higher score. For example, loyalty programs are included in the free plans of Imonggo. It is also the only software in this guide that does not offer hybrid installation (cloud-hosted).
Not sure if Floreant POS is right for you? See our guide to the best food truck POS systems. All the options on this list are commercially available products.
Floreant POS Features
- POS: Cash tracking, loyalty programs, gift cards, and payroll reporting
- Restaurant: Tipping, split check, table mapping, bar tabs, recipe management, special cooking instructions, and pizza ordering system
- Inventory: (Paid add-on) low-stock alerts, inventory counts, barcode scanning, purchase orders, and track stock by ingredients
- Employee: Payroll and productivity (employee attendance—clock in/out)
- Payment Processing: Only Authorize.net as of this writing
What Floreant POS Is Missing
While Floreant POS can be customized as much as you want if you are techie enough, its basic functions still do not include advanced POS features such as customer management, email marketing, a customer-facing display, and an online ordering system integration. These are features that some businesses might deem essential to scale. However, ORO POS, Floreant’s paid version, includes tips payout, more flexible reporting features, and the ability to split tabs.
How We Evaluated Open Source POS Systems
We looked at nine open source POS systems, comparing features that business owners expect from any POS software and considering the advantages of open source platforms—adaptability, community support, and compatibility with different operating systems. We looked for a modern interface, active updates, and depth of features.
Based on our evaluation, Odoo is the best open source POS system for small businesses, scoring a 3.91 out of 5. It stood out from the competition, with the largest number of positive user reviews on multiple sites and a wide range of useful features making it good for retail and restaurant businesses. Inventory management is integrated into the system, and it’s compatible with most POS hardware, so you don’t have to buy specific systems. Plus, Odoo is free.
Click through the tabs below to see our full evaluation criteria.
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Open source POS systems are highly customizable, making them a good choice for small businesses with special needs or the software-savvy owner who likes to customize. Most are free or have minimal charges and are compatible with PC, Mac, Android, or iOS. We found Odoo the best overall because of its breadth of features and clean interface, plus it has an enthusiastic fanbase. Join others who have made Odoo their POS system.