First things first: This is not a download directory website. There is only information –brief reviews– about the software titles included in this list, intended to give the reader a general idea of how these applications work and their basic capabilities. Screenshots accompany most of them too, so you can take a quick look at their interfaces before installing. Some of those were taken on an old operating system, since I don’t have access to the files anymore, so chances are they may look different in later versions. If you wish to download and try these generators, I also provide links to their respective web pages.
The applications listed in here are freeware (available free of charge). In no case it should be understood they are public domain, unless if stated explicitly as such by their author(s)—who, in any case, retain all rights over their products. The list does not include shareware; those can be found in the Software section of Fractal.nfo.
By no means this is an exhaustive list (if such a thing could exist). These fractal generators and utilities are the ones I have found while roaming through the Internet, used over the years, and kept because I have liked them for some reason.
Initially this was a Windows-only list, but in later versions I’ve been including Mac and Linux fractal generators, as I’ve been able to test them myself. Right now, I’m trying out and adding a few Android apps to generate fractals as well. MS-DOS or Win3.1x programs that won’t execute in Windows 10 have been moved to a Legacy page; they still run on Win9x/NT/Me/Vista, without long file name support. An Outdated page has also been added for programs that developers have retired from their official websites, but are still listed in other (third party) software collections and available for download. If you don’t want to work or are worried about working with old applications, don’t forget to check the last revision date before downloading.
Linux users can try running any of the Windows-based software using Wine or other similar program loaders, but bear in mind that you do so at your own risk. I don’t guarantee they will execute without problems or even to load at all. Mac users can try Apple’s Boot Camp to install a working copy of Windows, and then run the Windows generators. Windows-exclusive users, for instance, can also install a similar virtual machine software to do the same for non-Windows applications. These suggestions are FOR EXPERTS ONLY. Do not attempt any of these methods if you don’t know what you are doing, if you’ve never tried those programs before, or if you are in doubt. I won’t be responsible if you get into trouble.
This list includes fractal generators, fractal music software and some utilities. It is organized in alphabetical order, not in order of preference. If you decide to download any of these applications, follow the links to their respective web pages. That will usually guide you to information, screenshots, sample images, parameter files, and tutorials on how they work. If no url is given —possibly because a website doesn’t exist anymore or has been offline for some time— you may try to contact its author via e-mail (if you so desire).
There’s a myriad of other fractal generators and related applications out there —already known or waiting to be known—, from the archaic QBASIC app (nowadays usually public domain) to the ultimate GUI multimedia shareware or commercial ensemble, from the oldest/earliest experimentations to the “under development” ones, not to mention those bundled with graphics editor packages or as stand-alone plug-in extras (one of which is also included in this list). It’s simply difficult to list them all, and pretty impossible to keep a directory like this updated… at least for a single person with an ever decreasing amount of free time like me. So, don’t forget to try your favorite search engine with terms such as “fractal” and “software” to find the rest.
Very important: this site focuses on the artistic side of fractals, not on their mathematical study, so these applications are primarily intended for picture or music creation, not for analyzing fractals as mathematical models or for in-depth experimentation (though most of them can do that in any event).
Software predating the year 2000, or that is no longer supported by its author(s), or that has no web page (thus, is no longer available by direct means) have been deleted from this list or moved to the Outdated and Legacy pages. I recommend The Spanky Fractal Database archive to look for other programs and related sources.
A special note for programmers: some of these generators are open source, or its code is available from their authors’ websites or by request. Look for such indication in the reviews.
This list was last revised and updated Monday, 2017.05.02.
- Desktop: A – E • F • G – K • L – Q • R – Z
- Utilities: A – Z
- Android: A – Z