Types of open source software and Licenses

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Free and Open source software (FOSS) is a very popular term in the world of software because their license distribution terms.

There are many open source software in the market. Many people may think that the most obvious feature of open source software is free, but it is not the case. They widely recognize because the availability of source code of the open source software available for anyone to modify.

It means any developer or community can change the software to improve, adds features, fixing of bugs, distribution under own branding and more. However, the open source system also has copyright, which is also protected by law.

While using/distribution of open source projects for some commercial or personal use, the users should not only indicate the products are from open source software and the name of the source code writer but also submit the modified products to open source software community, otherwise the modified products can be regarded as an infringement. The indifference of copyright awareness is the biggest obstacle to the development of open source.

Following things should be compiled before modifying and distributing open source software

  • When the executable file is distributed, it must be accompanied by the complete source code or the source code can be obtained afterwards.
  • Derived Works can be modified according to this source code and then distributed under the same license terms.
  • The integrity of the Author’s Source Code means the modified version, which needs to be separated from the original code by different version numbers to ensure the original code integrity.
  • Distribution, No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups may not be restricted by gender, group, country, ethnic group, etc.,
  • No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor means no restrictions on commercial use.
  • Distribution of License, if the software is distributed again, it must be distributed under the same terms.
  • If multiple programs are combined into one set of software when an open source program is distributed separately, it must also meet the requirements of open source.
  • When an open source software is distributed with other non-open source software (for example, on the same disc), the license conditions of other software must not be restricted.
  • Open source authorization. The License Must Be Technology-Neutral means that the license terms are not limited to the electronic format, and the license terms of the paper should be considered valid.

Common types of open source operating system:

  1. GNU Project- operating system and a wide collection of computer software.
  2. Linux – a Unix – like operating system kernel
  3. NetBSD – an operating system derived from Unix
  4. OpenBSD – an operating system derived from Unix
  5. FreeBSD – an operating system derived from Unix
  6. OpenSolaris – Unix operating system from Sun Microsystems
  7. Android – open source mobile operating system based on Linux platform

Types of Open source License

Few popular open source license types under which hundreds of open source software have been published.  Each of them has its own terms and conditions of usage

  • Apache License (wiki)
  • GNU General Public License  (wiki)
  • GNU Lesser General Public License (wiki)
  • BSD license (wiki)
  • MIT License (wiki)
  • Eclipse Public License (wiki)
  • Mozilla Public License (wiki)

Popular Known Types of Open-Source Software

Hundreds of open source software can be downloaded from the internet for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Different types of opensource software fall under the distinct category such as Artificial intelligence, CAD, Electronic design automation, Computer simulation, Desktop publishing, Finance, Integrated Library Management Software, Image editor, Mathematics, Reference management software, Science, Networking and Internet, Data storage and management, Educational, File managers, browsers, Games, Groupware, web management, Multimedia, Office suites, Security (Antivirus, Data loss prevention, Data recovery, Forensics,  Anti-forensics, Disk erasing, Encryption, Disk encryption, Database Encryption, Firewall, Network and security monitoring, Secure Shell (SSH),  Password management) and more…

Some of the popular type of open-source software from different categories:

  • FreeCAD, LibraCAD, Blender — open source CAD software
  • Mozilla’s Firefox, Midori, Brave, Waterfox, SeaMonkey, Tor Browser and Chromium– open source web browsers.
  • Scribus– Desktop publishing
  • Adempiere, Bitcoin Core, Bonita Open Solution, CiviCRM, Compiere, Cyclos, Dolibarr, EOS.IO, ERPNext, GnuCash, HomeBank, iDempiere, Ino ERP, jFin, JFire, KMyMoney, LedgerSMB, Mifos, Odoo, Openbravo, OrangeHRM, Postbooks, QuickFIX, SQL Ledger, SugarCRM, Tryton, TurboCASH, Wave Accounting and few more– Open source for Finance relating tasks
  • Apache, AWStats, BookmarkSync, Tomcat web server, curl-loader, FileZilla, HTTP File Server, lighttpd, Nginx, Qcodo, Squid, Varnish, XAMPP, Zope and more– Web applications open source
  • ATutor, Chamilo, Claroline, DoceboLMS, eFront, GCompris, Gnaural, ILIAS, Moodle, OLAT, Omeka, openSIS, Sakai Project, SWAD, Tux Paint and more– Open source educational apps
  • Apache open office and LibreOffice — Open source office suite ( See–  Alternatives to Microsoft office)
  • WordPress, Joomla, Silverstripe, Ghost, Magento, Drupal and more — Open source Content management systems

For more open source explore this link

So, this is a brief info about open source software. Here are a few other resources to ponder upon.


H2S Media Team
H2S is a group of tech enthusiasts those are passionate about latest technology developments. They always like to solve own technical problems and share the same solution with others through this Website.


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