Open source software is any kind of program where the developer behind it chooses to release the source code for free. Whenever software has an open source license, it means anyone in the world can download, modify and distribute it without paying fees to its original creator. This includes everything from games and applications to medical devices, hardware routers like modem controllers or Wi-Fi adapters, web browsers… The list goes on and we could go into far too much detail about what makes a GNU/Linux operating system but basically everyone should have access at some point.
Lets take Ubuntu 12 as our example again because that’s how I personally understand many Linux distributions running them right now. the “unix” distribution with Open Source Licence (OSI) which allows both local users and developers to build their own packages by creating new projects using GPL versions instead just copying existing
Since the open source movement took off as a software development philosophy at the end of the 1990s, it’s changed the world. Estimates even suggest that a mind-blowing 96% of all web servers globally are running on some form of open source Linux operating system, for example.
GIT has also been instrumental in helping other people make and improve their own projects too. GitHub is one of many popular tools designed to let others build from code quickly instead by integrating with existing infrastructure rather than reinventing it themselves. And if you’ve ever used Git yourself, odds have improved your productivity considerably (I hope) when things become more flexible around adding functionality via different branches or commit messages — meaning these changes don’t need extra testing first!
It’s important to remember that open source doesn’t just mean “free”. Lots of companies release their software for free but maintain full copyright ownership of their code, so other developers aren’t able to modify it. By contrast, successful open source initiatives are built on the hard work of potentially thousands of collaborators who have voluntarily given up their time to create something awesome.
Such an accessible development system has some serious advantages. Open source software is often more secure because people from around the world scrutinize new releases and bugs get reported and addressed fast. Also, people are motivated to add cool new features to open source platforms which means open source software is often just as good, if not better, than competing pay-to-use programs. The second major advantage of this approach is that it allows developers to release their work under terms you’d find in any other project on GitHub; no code names, proprietary licenses or disclaimers for GPL violation, etc., so there’s usually little risk your contribution will be rejected at a later date by someone else who doesn’t like what you’ve done.
In the list below you’ll find the world’s best open source software options, sorted by type. Each piece of software is feature-rich and highly customizable.