View Full Version : How do open source devs make their money?

June 12th, 2008, 08:34 PM
Do open source developers make money? And if they do, how? I have been wondering about this for a while now. For example, does the Wordpress creator make any money? I know there are many voluntary projects that are non-profit, but what about the others?

Robux the great
June 12th, 2008, 08:39 PM
I guess a lot of them have paid jobs by day and work on open source in their spare time.

My friend is a Windows sys admin. At home he hacks python.



Kernel Sanders
June 12th, 2008, 08:39 PM
The easiest way is to place ads on their website. For larger projects like firefox they incorporate search engines into their product, a la firefox. Every time you use that box mozilla makes money. When millions use that box they make the millions a year that they are.

The far less common/ethical/legal way is to sell drugs to schoolchildren. Thankfully not many go down that route, if any.

June 12th, 2008, 08:46 PM
First thing. You can sell Free Software

Second, most projects make their money by offering paid support.
An example of this will be Ubuntu. If you want a "professional" 27/7 Help support you can pay Canonical for that.

Here is the link for Ubuntu's Comercial Support (http://www.ubuntu.com/support/paid):



If you want to know in-dept

Third, place some adds.

Fourth: Use your imagination. As long as you abide by the Open SOurce license, it is fine.


Id you want to know inde-pt information on how to use OpenSource software to have an advatage over your competition. If you want to know how Open Source works.

I recommend you to get a book called "The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary" by Eric S. Raymond

I have that book and I testify that it has a great amount of information regarding the history of opensoruce, the power of opensoruce, opensource economy, and other things.

You can read it online, but I recommend you to get a physical book, so you can take it anywhere. This also for preventing eye-sores.

Here are the links:

Buy it at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Cathedral-Bazaar-Musings-Accidental-Revolutionary/dp/0596001088/)

Read it Online that the authors site (http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/)

June 12th, 2008, 08:53 PM
Many open source developers are employed by companies that do business on open source -- like Canonical probably has plenty of programmers on its payroll. Some of these companies also support hobbyist open source programmers, if they are developing something interesting/useful, and Google for example supports several open source projects/developers (check the Summer of Code (http://code.google.com/soc/2008/) for example).

Then there are of course donations. Some open source hosting services (sourceforge.net (http://sourceforge.net) comes to mind) have a nice support for allowing users to donate to developers/projects.

And, of course, there are plenty of people that do it just for fun as a hobby, and don't really mind the money bit.

June 12th, 2008, 09:26 PM
There are fundings for them.. directly through some big time corporates like mentioned above, or via universities, project adoptions etc. I'm mainly a Sabayon Linux user, it's interesting to see how lxnay~Fabio(founder member) has gone about these things. You can check his blogs/project website. Very interesting stuff.

June 12th, 2008, 09:42 PM
If you want a "professional" 27/7 Help support you can pay Canonical for that.27/7, wow, that's better than you get with most non-free stuff! ;)

June 12th, 2008, 09:44 PM
Read How does open source make money? (http://ubuntucat.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/how-does-open-source-make-money/)

June 12th, 2008, 10:00 PM
They don't make all that much.

June 12th, 2008, 10:01 PM
EDIT: Should've check my link first before posting, Aysiu beats me to it :p

Tux Aubrey
June 12th, 2008, 10:05 PM
The far less common/ethical/legal way is to sell drugs to schoolchildren. Thankfully not many go down that route, if any.

Some have been known to auction their body parts on ebay.