September 26, 2017

Unix to GitHub: 10 Key Events in Free and Open Source Software History

It's easy to take open source software for granted today, but free and open source software as we know it is the product of a long series of developments that stretch back a half-century. Here's a look at some of the big moments in free and open source history -- from the heyday of free Unix, to the birth of GNU and Linux, to the GitHub's democratization of coding, and everything in between.

1969: Birth of Unix

In 1969 programmers at AT&T's Bell Labs began work on Unix. Unix was never a free or open source operating system. It was born before the concept of free or open source software even existed. Until the early 1980s, source code was almost always available to anyone who wanted it. In this respect, Unix played little role in promoting the idea of sharing source code.

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