What is Open Source?

Mudit Arora
4 min readDec 2, 2019

In simpler language, an ‘Open Source’ refers to something which can be modified and shared because it’s publicly accessible.

Open Source Software

Open-source software (OSS) is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration.

Why do we need Open Source?

Open source software is usually easier to obtain than proprietary software, often resulting in increased use. Some reasons why it is in extensive use because of:

  1. Control. Many people prefer open source software because they have more control over that kind of software. They can examine the code to make sure it’s not doing anything they don’t want it to do, and they can change parts of it they don’t like.
  2. Security. Some people prefer open source software because they consider it more secure and stable than proprietary software. Because anyone can view and modify open source software, someone might spot and correct errors or omissions that a program’s original authors might have missed.
  3. Training. Programmers get an opportunity to learn new things without spending much money. Mostly, students work on open software as they are the young youth who can change future.
  4. Stability. Many users prefer open source software to proprietary software for important, long-term projects. Because programmers publicly distribute the source code for open source software, users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair if their original creators stop working on them.

Some top Open Source Organizations

1. The Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is an American non-profit corporation to support Apache software projects, including the Apache HTTP Server.

It allows website owners to serve content on the web — hence the name “web server”. It’s one of the oldest and most reliable web servers, with the first version released more than 20 years ago, in 1995.

When someone wants to visit a website, they enter a domain name into the address bar of their browser. Then, the web server delivers the requested files by acting as a virtual delivery man.

2. Drupal

The Drupal Association fosters and supports the Drupal content management software project. It helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution, and online collaboration.

3. Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) mission is to promote adoption of distributed computing and “cloud-native” systems, which it defines as being container packaged, dynamically managed, and micro services oriented. A project of the Linux Foundation, CNCF hosts the Kubernetes cloud orchestration system and other cloud-native open source projects.

4. Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) mission is to defend computer users’ freedom and rights. It promotes the “development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation” and campaigns against digital rights management, software patents, and other threats to computer user freedom.

5. Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading technology companies and developers around the world. The Linux Foundation is the nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux.

There are many more Open Source Organizations which can found on internet for different purposes.