Why open source?

Imagine if everything we've learned throughout history was kept hidden or its use was restricted to only those who are willing to pay for it.

Education and research would suffer. Publishing books or sharing information of any sort would become difficult. But that's exactly the mentality behind the proprietary software model. In the same way shared knowledge propels the whole of society forward, open technology development can drive innovation for an entire industry.


The best technology wins

Red Hat® believes open source simply creates better software. Everyone collaborates. The best technology wins. Not just within one company, but for everyone, anyone, around the world. As a result, the open source model builds higher-quality, more secure, more easily integrated software. And it does it at a vastly accelerated pace, often at a lower cost.

We first used this model for developing technology. Then we built a business model around open source and its principles. Openness. Transparency. Collaboration. Diversity. Rapid prototyping.

Open source—the technology powerhouse

Open source has established itself as the most cost-effective way to create high-quality software. Today it's at the heart of software innovation thanks to:

  • Development driven by a wide range of contributors from commercial IT vendors, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs), to customers, academia, and government.

  • Contributors who collaborate to define, design, and implement software that meets their needs.

  • Lower costs because development is amortized across contributors.

  • Open standards, which reduce vendor lock-in.

  • Licenses that give free access to the code.

As the world's leading supplier of open source software, Red Hat is the largest contributor to many open source projects—including the Linux® kernel—and works to drive and support open standards across the industry.

Open source for today's business needs

Because it's written in collaboration with partners and customers, the open source software development model creates software that's meant for the people who use it. Distributed development means lower costs and reduced lock-in.

In contrast, proprietary development has one company doing all of the software development, leading to higher prices, stifled innovation, and customers locked in to one vendor.

Building our business on open source has resulted in an entirely new focus on service and customer value. Classical proprietary software products are typically offered under an End User License Agreement (EULA). Red Hat solutions are offered under a subscription-based service-level agreement (SLA). What's the difference?

Red Hat's trusted, SLA subscription-based, open source solutions are suitable for applications running on the smallest standalone server to the largest compute cloud. You get high quality, supported for the long term, and certified by a wide range of OEM and ISV partners.

Beyond technology

While open source began as a way to describe software source code and a development model, today it's much more. It defines the characteristics of a culture. Red Hat and other open source thought leaders want to show you where open source is headed next. Tell you how to get involved. Help you apply it to your life and the world around you.

Visit opensource.com to see where the open source way is multiplying ideas and effort beyond technology—in business, government, law, education, and your everyday life.

The open source way is about possibility. Open source presents a new way to solve old problems. To share ideas and effort.

The open source way opens doors. Open source offers a new perspective. Open, not closed. Collaboration, not isolation.

The open source way multiplies. Knowledge. Effort. Inspiration. Creativity. Innovation. The impact is exponential.