echo memory bank    
      exploring & collecting history online Science & Technology    
 memory bank > free and open source software
  free and open source software

A Free and Open History of Free and Open Source Software

Almost twenty years ago Richard Stallman quit MIT and founded the Free Software Foundation. Fifteen years ago Michael Lesk published "Can UNIX Survive Secret Source Code?" in Computing Systems. Five years ago a brainstorming session in Palo Alto led to the coining of the term "open source."

Where did these powerful notions come from, where are they now, and what does the future hold? The ECHO Project has compiled an extensive set of resources on the history of free and open source software--the movements, the people, the code. In their spirit we open this site and its contents to all visitors. Feel free to add your own resources, add your views on the articles, books, and sites listed, and tell your own story of how you got started using or developing free and open source software.

Resources on the History of Free and Open Source Software

Add a resource to this list

General Resources

All Things Hackish and Geekish, A Bibliography.

Aronwitz, Stanley, Barbara Martinsons, Michale Menser, and Rich Jennifer, eds. Technoscience and Cyberculture. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Barbrook, Richard. Media Freedom: the contradictions of communications in the age of modernity. London: Pluto, 1995.

Barbrook, Richard and Andy Cameron. The Californian Ideology .

Bell, Daniel. The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society. New York: Basic Books, 1973.

Brunvand, Eric. “Hacker Folklore Page.”

Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Between Two Ages: America's role in the Technetronic Era. New York: Viking, 1970.

Chalmers, Rachel. “Code Critic.” (30 November 1999).

Chalmers, Rachel. “Even better than Slapdash?” (18 July 2000).

Coleman, E. Gabriella. "Hackers and Hacking: Culture, Practice, and History." Syllabus.

Coleman, E. Gabriella. “The Politics of Survival and Prestige: Hacker Identity and the Global Production of an Operating System.” Master’s Thesis.

De Sola Pool, Ithiel. Technologies of Freedom. Harvard: Belknap Press, 1983.

DiBona, Chris, Sam Ockman, and Mark Stone, eds. Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 1999.

Fadia, Ankit. The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking. Boston: Premier Press, 2002.

Fisher, Michael. “Worlding Cyberspace: Toward a Critical Ethnography in Time, Space, and Theory.” In Critical Anthropology Now: Unexpected Contextes, Shifting Constituencies, Changing Agendas, ed. G. Marcus, 245-304. Santa Fe: SAR Press, 1999.

Gabriels, Richard P. Patterns of Software: Tales from the Software Community. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Ghosh, Rishab Aiyer. “Cooking pot markets: an economic model for the trade in free goods and services on the Internet.” first monday 3.3 (1998).

Hacker's Wisdom

Haffner, Katie, and Matthew Lyons. Where Wizards Stay up Late: The Origins of the Internet. New York: Touchstone Books, 1998.

Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162 (1968): 1243-1248.

Harvey, Brian. “Computer Hacking and Ethics.” 1985 (first version).

Hayes, Dennis. Behind the Silicon Curtain. London: Free Asociation Books, 1989.

Hill, Benjamin “Mako”. “The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth: My Story of Unlearning.”

Hiltzek, Michael. Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the dawn of the computer age. New York: Harper Business, 1999.

Himanen, Peka, Linus Torvalds, and Manuel Castells. The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age. New York: Random House, 2001.

Katz, Jon. Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho. New York: Villard, 2000.

Kelly, Kevin. “The Third Culture.” Science 279.5353 (13 February 1998): 992.

Kevin Mitnick Links.

Knuth, Donald. “All Questions Answered.” Notice of the AMS 49.3 (2002): 318-324.

Koch, Stefan. “Free/Open Source Bibliography.”

Lessig, Lawrence. Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

Lessig, Lawrence. The Future of Ideas: The fate of the commons in a connected world. New York: Random House, 2001.

Levy, Steven. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Generation. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press-Doubleday, 1984.

Manuel Delanda Annotated Bibliography.

Nissen, Jorgen. “Hackers: Masters of Modernity and Modern Technology.” In Digital Diversions: Youth Culture in the Age of Multimedia. London: University College London Press, 1998.

Nora, Simon, and Minc Alain. The Computerisation of Society. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 1980.

Plant, Sadie. Zeros and Ones: Digital Women + The New Technoculture. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Premier Press.

Riemens, Patrice. “Some thoughts on the idea of ‘hacker culture’.Cyber-Society-Live. Discussion Group, 31 May 2002.

Rosenberg, Scott. “Mitnick’s Malice, Shimomura’s Chivalry.” (30 December 1995).

Salus, Peter. A Quarter Century of UNIX. New York: Addison Wesley, 1994.

Software History Center.

Stephenson, Neal. In the Beginning was the Command Line.

Sterling, Bruce. “The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier.” Texinfo Edition 1.2, February 1994.

Toffler, Alvin. The Third Wave. London: Pan, 1980.

Ullman, Ellen. Close to the machine: Techophilia and its discontents. San Francisco: City Lights, 1997.

Ullman, Ellen. “Programming Under the Wizard’s Spell.” Harpers 297.1779 (1998): 15-20.

Walker, Christopher. “‘Representative Code’ Language and Politics in Late 20th Century Software Production.” Masters thesis, University of Chicago, 2001.

Walker, Richard. “California Rages Against the Dying of the Light.” New Left Review (January - February 1995).

Wheeler, David A. Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers! Revised 20 January 2003.


Open Source Movement Resources

Augustin, Larry. “Mozilla: Fatal Blow to Open Source.” Linux Magazine 1.2 (June 1999): 16-20.

Bergquist, Magnus, and Jan Lungberg. “The Power of Gifts: Organizing Social Relationships in Open Source Communities.” Information Systems Journal 11.4 (2001): 305-320.

Bezroukov, Nikolai. “Open Source Software Development as a Special Type of Academic Research (Critique of Vulgar Raymondism).” first monday 4.10 (October 1999).

Bezroukov, Nikolai. “A Second Look at the Cathedral and Bazaar.” first monday 4.12 (December 1999).

Bollinger, Terry, Russel Nelson, Karsten M. Self, and Stephen Turnbull. “Open-Source Methods: Peering Through the Clutter.” IEEE Software 16.4 (July 1999): 8-11.

DeLanda, Manuel. “Open Source: A Movement in Search of a Philosophy.” presented at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, 2001.

DeLanda, Manuel. “The Politics of Software: The Case for Open Source.” Dissent Magazine, New York: Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas (Fall 2001).

Dempsey, Bert J, Debra Weiss, Paul Jones, and Jane Greenberg. “A Quantitative Profile of a Community of Open Source Linux Developers.” School of Information and Library Science University of North Carolina, 1999.

Feller, Joseph, and Brian Fitzgerald. Understanding Open Source Software Development. London: Addison-Wesley, 2002.

Fielding, Roy. “Shared Leadership in the Apache Conference.” Communications on the ACM 42.4 (April 1999): 42-43.

Halloween Document I.”

Halloween Document II.”

Halloween Document III.”

Halloween Document IV.”

Halloween Document V.”

Halloween Document VI.”

Halloween Document VII.”

Halloween Document VIII.”

McGowan, David. “Legal Implications of Open-Source Software.” University of Illinois Law Review (2001), 103.


O’Reilly, Tim. “Inventing the Future.” 2002.

O’Reilly, Tim. “Lessons from Open-Source Software Development.” Communications of the ACM 42.4 (April 1999): 32-73.

O’Reilly, Tim. “Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution.” 2002.

O’Reilly, Tim. “Watching the "Alpha Geeks": OS X and the Next Big Thing (Lunchtime Keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, May 8, 2002).”O’Reilly Network. 16 May 2002.

Open Source Initiative (OSI).

Pavlicek, Russell, and Robin Miller. Embracing Insanity: Open Source Software Development. 2000.

Raymond, Eric. The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly and Associates, 1999.

Raymond, Eric. “Eric's Random Writings.” Eric Steven Raymond's Home Page.


Torvalds, Linus and David Diamond. Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. New York: Harper Collins, 2001.

Free Software Resources

“Free Software Project.” Available at

Barr, Joe. “The Stallman Factor.” LinuxWorld (8 May 2002).

GNU’s Not Unix.

Kelty, Christopher. “Free Software/Free Science.” first monday 6.12 (December 2001).

Leonard, Andrew. “Chapter 1: Boot Time, Part 1: Linus Torvalds at the Villa Montalvo.” Free Software Project, 2000.

Leonard, Andrew. “Chapter 2: Free speech and free software, Part 1: Power to the People, from the code.” Free Software Project, 2000.

Leonard, Andrew. “Chapter 2: Free speech and free software, Part 2: Do-it-yourself Giant Brains.” Free Software Project, 2000.

Leonard, Andrew. “Chapter 6: The Rise of the Penguin, Part 1: The lore-masters of Finland.” Free Software Project, 2000.

Leonard, Andrew. “Chapter 7: Worse is better, Part 1: Big Blue and Linux: a love story.” Free Software Project, 2000.

Moglen, Eben. “Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright.” first monday 4.8 (August 1999).

Moglen, Eben. “The Invisible Barbecue.” Columbia Law Review 97 (1997): 945.

Ousterhout, John. “Free Software Needs Profit.” Communications on the ACM 42.4 (April 1999): 44-45. “Table of contents.” Free Software Project.

Stallman, Richard. Free Software, Free Society: Selected Esays of Richard M. Stallman. Boston: GNU Press, 2002.

Stallman, Richard. “Richard Stallman's Personal Home Page.”

Wayner, Peter. Free for All: How LINUX and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans. 2000.

Williams, Sam. Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman’s Crusade for Free Software. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, 2002.

Yee, Danny. “Development, Ethical Trading and Free Software.” first monday 4.12 (December 1999).


UNIX Resources

Garfinkel, Simson, Daniel Weise, and Steven Strassmann, eds. The UNIX-HATERS Handbook. San Manteo, CA: IDG Books Worldwide,1994.

Lesk, Michael. “Can UNIX Survive Secret Source Code?” Computing Systems 1.2 (Spring 1988): 189-199.

Moffitt, Nick. “Nick Moffitt’s $7 History of Unix.” crackmonkey.

Ritchie, Dennis M. “The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System.” AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal 63.6, Part 2 (October 1984): 1577-93.

Ritchie, Dennis, and K. Thompson. “The Unix Time-sharing system.” AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal 63.6, part 2 (October 1984): 1577-93.


Linux Resources

Ananian, C. Scott. “A Linux Lament.” (7 July 1999).

Bollinger, Terry and Peter Beckman. “Linus on the Move.” IEEE Software 16.1 (January 1999): 30-35.

Browne, Christopher B. “Linux and Decentralized Development.” first monday 3.3 (March 1998).

Hall, Michael, and Brian Proffitt. The Joy of Linux. Boston: Premier Press, 2002.

Kuwabara, Ko. “Linux: A Bazaar at the Edge of Chaos.” first monday 5.3 (March 2000).

The Linux Homepage.” Linux Online!

Linux World.

Moody, Glyn. Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001.

Torvalds, Linus. “Interview with Linus Torvalds: What motivates free software developers?first monday 3.3 (March 1998).




Cult of the Dead Cow.

Electronic Civil Disobedience.

Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The Free Range Activism Website..

Koerner, Brendan I. “To heck with hactivism.” (20 July 2000).

Quistgaard, Kaitlin. “Kevin Mitnick supporters plan rallies.” (4 June 1999).



The Center for History and New Media © 2001