Open Source

Open source [ˌoʊ.pənˈsɔːrs]: a type of software, whose source code can be edited by anyone.

Open source software is software that everyone can contribute to. For example, the software of the broadly used Linux distribution Ubuntu is open sourced and everyone in the vast community of Ubuntu users can fix bugs or add new features to it.

Although it often is, open source doesn’t necessarily mean the software is free to use. Companies can let the coding community test and improve their code, but charge users for their product nonetheless. Or, as is often the case, they use parts open source software and parts proprietary software to build a product, which is non-free. That is why it is important to differentiate between open source and free software.