Open source software (OSS) is software whose source code can be downloaded, modified, and added necessary features by everyone. It is often released for free, owned by big technology companies, and is predicted to become a trend in the future.

What is Open Source Software?

A computer on a workdesk with the text "CODE" displayed
Open source software is distributed with its source code. Photo: Freepik

Open source is a term referring to software that comes with its source code alongside the traditional binaries, meaning anyone can download, view and use it for free. In addition, users can also modify if necessary, and redistribute the software as long as they comply with the license terms set by the owner.

Open source software is often developed by community-contributed projects and is widely used in many different fields, including office applications, operating systems, web browsers, web servers, databases, and more. Popular examples of open-source software today include Linux, Apache, MySQL, WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, and more.

History and Development of Open-Source Software

Logos of several open source software projects
Today, there are thousands of open-source software projects worldwide. Image: MindsDB

The first ideas about sharing source code began in the 1950s and 1960s when scientists and software engineers collaborated to develop applications at universities and research institutes.

However, the first major shift in the open source movement occurred in the 1980s, when Richard Stallman, a computer scientist at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), launched the GNU Project (GNU is Not Unix) in an effort to create a completely free and open source operating system.

By the 1990s, the movement began to explode with the emergence of important projects such as Linux, a free and open source operating system developed by Linus Torvalds, and Apache.

In the 2000s, the popularity of open source continued to rise with the emergence of projects like MySQL, PHP, and Firefox. Today, it has become an important part of the technology industry.

There are now thousands of open source software projects worldwide, and large organizations such as Google, IBM (International Business Machines), and Microsoft have all become contributors and users of open source software in their products.

Benefits of Open Source Software

With source code that is publicly available and can be used, modified, and distributed for free, open source software has brought many benefits to both developers and users.

Benefits for Users

Illustration of two programmers working together
You can use and modify open source software with fewer restrictions. Image: Freepik

For users, open source provides many useful benefits such as:

  • Completely free: As mentioned above, open source software is completely free. Users can use it for commercial purposes without paying license fees. Additionally, when using open source, users are not controlled by any companies.
  • Easy to share: With open source software, users can freely share with family, friends, or anyone without fear of copyright infringement.
  • Fast and transparent development: With applications that open their source code, fixing bugs is much faster than with proprietary software. Once critical problems are detected, maintainers can find a solution and publish it sooner. In the case of proprietary software, this process typically takes a much longer time, if the bugs get fixed at all.
  • Enhanced security: With the participation of the programming community, finding security vulnerabilities becomes much easier than ever before. Because the source code is always checked by a larger community, there is a higher chance of catching security flaws.
  • Customizability: With open source, users can customize the software to suit their needs.

Benefits for Developers

Using open-source software helps developers save time and cost when developing applications.

For developers, using open source software brings many benefits such as:

  • Time and cost savings: Using open source software helps developers save time and cost when developing applications because they do not have to write code from scratch. Open source software is often free or very low cost, so it is more sought after by businesses as it can reduce copyright and upgrade/development costs.
  • Community support: With open source software, developers can receive support from a global community of programmers to address issues related to open source code.
  • Flexibility and customizability: Open source software allows developers to customize and modify the source code to fit the needs of their applications. Additionally, they can review and modify the source code to improve the software’s quality.
  • Security: Having more people work on the source code makes it easier to detect security vulnerabilities. This is crucial for businesses, as it helps them avoid certain risks.

The trend of Open Source In The Future

Open source will play an important role in the future of the information technology industry and related fields.

Open source has become, and is predicted to continue to be, an important part of the information technology industry and is expected to continue to grow strongly in the future. Some notable predictions of open source include:

  • The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: Open source will continue to play an important role in the development of AI and machine learning. Open source projects such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Scikit-learn will continue to be developed and expanded to support new applications and solutions.
  • The increase of Blockchain projects: Blockchain projects will continue to use open source to develop new solutions. Projects such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple have been successful with open source applications and will continue to thrive in the future.
  • The popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is a rapidly developing field that uses many open source solutions. Projects such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi will also continue to be widely used to develop IoT applications.
  • Open source projects will become part of commercial products: Companies will continue to use open source to develop their products and services. Therefore, open source projects will become an essential part of businesses’ commercial products and services.
  • The open source community will keep growing: The open source community will continue to expand and diversify with the participation of new developers and businesses worldwide. New technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and AI will attract the attention of many new developers to this community.


In summary, open source will continue to develop and play an important role in the future of the information technology industry and related fields. Hopefully, this information has helped readers understand what open source is and the benefits that this software brings. Don’t forget to continue following Locker to update new knowledge about technology and useful security tips.