What is opensource (Part 1)


The part 1 is dedicated for opensource softwares,hardwares will be discussed in part 2,Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides

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 the most prominent example of open-source development

A little history

In the 1950s and 1960s, computer operating software and compilers were delivered as a part of hardware purchases without separate fees. At this time, source code, the human-readable form of software, was generally distributed with the software providing the ability to fix bugs or add new functions. Universities were early adopters of computing technology. Many of the modifications developed by universities were openly shared in keeping with the academic principles of sharing knowledge, and organizations sprung up to facilitate sharing.

As large-scale operating systems matured, fewer organizations allowed modifications to the operating software, and eventually such operating systems were closed to modification. However, utilities and other added-function applications are still shared and new organizations have been formed to promote the sharing of software.

Little copyright®  stuff

A license defines the rights and obligations that a licensor grants to a licensee. Open-source licenses grant licensees the right to copy, modify and redistribute source code (or content). These licenses may also impose obligations (e.g., modifications to the code that are distributed must be made available in source code form, an author attribution must be placed in a program/ documentation using that open source).

Authors initially derive a right to grant a license to their work based on the legal theory that upon creation of a work the author owns the copyright in that work. What the author/licensor is granting when they grant a license to copy, modify and redistribute their work is the right to use the author’s copyrights. The author still retains ownership of those copyrights, the licensee simply is allowed to use those rights, as granted in the license, so long as they maintain the obligations of the license. The author does have the option to sell/assign, versus license, their exclusive right to the copyrights to their work; whereupon the new owner/assignee controls the copyrights. The ownership of the copyright (the “rights”) is separate and distinct from the ownership of the work (the “thing”) – a person can own a copy of a piece of code (or a copy of a book) without the rights to copy, modify or redistribute copies of it.

When an author contributes code to an open-source project (e.g., Apache.org) they do so under an explicit license (e.g., the Apache Contributor License Agreement) or an implicit license (e.g. the open-source license under which the project is already licensing code). Some open-source projects do not take contributed code under a license, but actually require (joint) assignment of the author’s copyright in order to accept code contributions into the project (e.g., OpenOffice.org and its Joint Copyright Assignment agreement).

Placing code (or content) in the public domain is a way of waiving an author’s (or owner’s) copyrights in that work. No license is granted, and none is needed, to copy, modify or redistribute a work in the public domain.

The proliferation of open-source licenses is one of the few negative aspects of the open-source movement because it is often difficult to understand the legal implications of the differences between licenses. With more than 180,000 open-source projects available and more than 1400 unique licenses, the complexity of deciding how to manage open-source usage within “closed-source” commercial enterprises has dramatically increased. Some are home-grown while others are modeled after mainstream FOSS licenses such as Berkeley Software Distribution (“BSD”), Apache, MIT-style (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), or GNU General Public License (“GPL”). In view of this, open-source practitioners are starting to use classification schemes in which FOSS licenses are grouped (typically based on the existence and obligations imposed by the copyleft provision; the strength of the copyleft provision).

An important legal milestone for the open source / free software movement was passed in 2008, when the US federal appeals court ruled that free software licences definitely do set legally binding conditions on the use of copyrighted work, and they are therefore enforceable under existing copyright law. As a result, if end-users do violate the licensing conditions, their license disappears, meaning they are infringing copyright.

A live example “linux”

as you go through it one of the most prominent example of open source software is  linux and  linus torvalds is called the father and founder of linux os

The history of Linux began in 1991 with the commencement of a personal project by Finnish student Linus Torvalds to create a new free operating system kernel. Since then, the resulting Linux kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout its history. Since the initial release of its source code in 1991, it has grown from a small number of C files under a license prohibiting commercial distribution to the 4.2.3 version in 2015 with more than 18 million lines of source code under the GNU General Public License v2.


linux has been running in number of machines,from calculator to large hadron collider ,from super moterbikes to high speed japanese trains,linux has got covered every ones back.

once you began using opensource softwares you will become a great fan of it.you can experience it by installing linux os in your computer.it comes in different Flavors or you can say distros .some is light ,some is a little heavy with extra fancy features ,you can select one based on your needs,and you can built one,yep you can built your own linux distro too,you can add feature you want.

p.s. linux is free ,you can always download one from the distro website. isn’t it great

open source softwares are the one which will never enforce you to use their feature,they will always welcome you to change them on your needs.



3 thoughts on “What is opensource (Part 1)

  1. Linux is not an operating system by itself, It is GNU/linux where GNU is the operating system and linux is it’s kernel.
    I am really surprised that there is no mention of Richard stallman who “launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman)

    I recommend that you visit “www.fsf.org” to increase your knowledge about open source and free software.
    Add some references too.


    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.i am looking forward to it. I wanted to write a brief blog, that’s why I skipped some things, whereas i will gonna write a comprehensive ones in near future.


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