Is open source free

What is open source software?

Open source software is published under a special license that makes the source code legally available to end users. There are many such licenses, but software is typically considered open source when:

  • It is available in the form of the source code at no additional cost, d. H. Users can view the code that makes up the software and make any changes to it.
  • The source code for other new software can be further used, d. H. anyone can create their own program from the source code and distribute it.

Is open source software free?

Open source software doesn't necessarily mean that executable software is passed on for free. It just means that the Source code is available free of charge.

For example, the source code for Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is freely available to everyone. (See for yourself.) However, converting this source code into executable code takes expertise, time, and server. If a company wants Red Hat Enterprise Linux production-ready code without having to reconstruct it from the source code, it purchases a subscription.

Open source software is sometimes associated with the free software movement, which can lead to confusion as to whether open source actually means “free”. The free software movement emerged from the hacker culture of the 1970s and was officially founded by Richard Stallman as part of the GNU project and the non-profit Free Software Foundation. "Free software" emphasizes the freedom with regard to the rights of end users, but can sometimes be confused with "free".

In fact, neither “free software” nor “open source software” say anything about cost. Both types of software can be legally sold or given away. The main difference between the two has to do with the way the software is shared and shared with others. If you make changes to the source code of free software and then want to share them with others, you need to share those changes with the original project. This limitation usually does not apply to open source software.

Despite the practical differences, free software and open source software also have something in common. In fact, both terms are sometimes grouped under “Free and Open Source Software” (FOSS).

FOSS versus proprietary software

The main difference between proprietary software and FOSS is the availability of the source code. Proprietary or commercial software such as Microsoft Windows and Adobe Photoshop are not available as source code to end users. Free software such as the Linux kernel (the basis of Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and open source software such as Google Chromium (the basis of the Chrome web browser) are available as source code through their respective licenses.

Because Linux is free software, Red Hat shares the changes made in building Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the open source community. Because Chromium is open source software, Google doesn't have to share the changes that are made when Chrome is built with the community.

There are different types of open source licenses. For example, if someone creates new software from your source code, is they required to release it under the same license (as under the GNU GPL) or can they release the software under a different license (as under the GNU LGPL)? The Internet and the increasingly popular cloud computing model would look very different if their origins weren't based on open source software.

Why is open source software important?

Open source software is important to everyone, not just programmers. Because unlike the closed source model, open source offers many more people the opportunity to be innovative themselves. For example, open source communities are organized around open source projects in which anyone can register and contribute code. Just as in teams that develop proprietary software, standards must be adhered to in these groups when contributing to the open source projects. In contrast to the former, however, the projects are available to anyone who wants to make a contribution.

This open source development model has led to some of the most important applications and cloud platforms in use today. One of the most popular is LAMP, a model of service stacks that support much of the web. LAMP stands for:

  • L.inux: an open source operating system (OS) and the largest open source project in the world
  • A.pache: an open source cross-platform web server that played a key role in the early web
  • M.ySQL: an open source relational database management system used by many database driven web applications
  • P.HP: a common scripting language used in software development (sometimes instead of Perl or Python)

Further examples of popular open source technologies are the Android operating system for mobile devices, the Mozilla Firefox web browser, the widely used version control system Git and the two similar office alternatives OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Most innovations in cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence come from open source software projects.

In addition to being instrumental in the early Web and some of the most popular applications in use today, open source software has other benefits for businesses and individual programmers. If the source code is open, anyone can view it and learn new programming skills. With an open source license, pupils and students can edit code, practice programming and exchange ideas with friends and the extended open source community, or even make corrections to existing open source projects.

Open source also offers companies the opportunity to adapt the software to their specific requirements or to develop innovative functions that were not included in the original source code. Another thing that speaks for open source software is the fact that many more developers are looking for security holes because the source code is openly available and supported by an active community.

Open source software is based on the open source development model. This model is decentralized and encourages open collaboration and peer production. It influenced a broad movement in software development, whose core principles are often referred to as "the open source principle".

The open source principle is so efficient that it can bind an enormous amount of technical talent. The majority of all technological innovations today take place in the open source community, and so today people all over the world are using open source software. Behind many popular websites and applications, you'll find projects like Linux, Kubernetes, and Git, and open source browsers like Firefox and Chrome are very common.