20 Best Books on Open Source Software

We have compiled a list of the Best Reference Books on Open Source Software, which are used by students of top universities, and colleges. This will help you choose the right book depending on if you are a beginner or an expert. Here is the complete list of Open Source Software Books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of them as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase them. If permissible, you can also download the free PDF books on Open Source Software below.

1. Free and Open Source Software

1."Free and Open Source Software: Policy, Law, and Practice" by Noam Shemtov and Ian Walden
“Free and Open Source Software: Policy, Law, and Practice” Book Review: This book offers comprehensive knowledge on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It delves into the legal aspects of FOSS, including private law agreements, licenses, promises, and community norms. These private law instruments are discussed within the context of a public law framework that grants exclusive rights to creators of intellectual property. The book analyzes the relationship between FOSS and key intellectual property regimes. It explores the commercial implications of FOSS across various components of the supply chain. Additionally, the book examines the impact of FOSS on policy makers.

2."Beginning R: The Statistical Programming Language" by Mark Gardener
“Beginning R: The Statistical Programming Language” Book Review: This book is an introduction to the R language, a free and open-source statistical programming environment. It covers R basics, RStudio, and a collection of R packages that work together to facilitate fast and enjoyable data science. Suitable for beginners, it demonstrates the implementation of basic statistical methods such as t-tests, correlation, and association tests. The book also provides guidance on creating visually stunning graphs, handling complex analytical situations, and manipulating data for easier analysis. It covers regression, model building, curvilinear regression, analysis of variance, linear regression, and more. With simple examples and downloadable companion data, it equips readers from various disciplines to effectively analyze and present their data using R.

3."How to Become an Expert Software Engineer and Get Any Job You Want: A Programmer's Guide to the Secret Art of Free and Open Source Software Development" by Marcus Tomlinson
4."Pro Linux System Administration: Learn to Build Systems for Your Business Using Free and Open Source Software" by Dennis Matotek and James Turnbull
“Pro Linux System Administration: Learn to Build Systems for Your Business Using Free and Open Source Software” Book Review: This book is a valuable resource for small to medium-sized business owners who want to manage their own IT infrastructure. It is also beneficial for system administrators considering a transition to Linux and IT systems integrators. The book focuses on an extensible approach to Linux infrastructure management, covering topics such as building and backing up Linux servers, creating basic networks, implementing network services, and enhancing Linux security. Additionally, it addresses the implementation of various Linux services including mail, web, databases, file, and print. The book also provides insights into resolving performance and capacity planning issues, and it covers popular Linux distributions such as Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian, and CentOS.

5."Free/Open Source Software Development" by Stefan Koch
“Free/Open Source Software Development” Book Review: This book provides a comprehensive overview of current research in the field of free and open source software (FOSS) development. It explores various research approaches used to study the processes and attributes of FOSS development, as well as the dynamics within development communities. Going beyond traditional FOSS development, the book examines the opportunities and risks associated with collaborations between FOSS communities and traditional organizations. It also delves into the implications of this new model for areas beyond software development.

6."For Fun and Profit – A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution (History of Computing)" by Christopher Tozzi and Jonathan Zittrain
“For Fun and Profit – A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution (History of Computing)” Book Review: This book explores the culture of hackers and how it shaped the Unix operating system. It discusses how Unix’s commercialization affected the hacker community and the early development of Linux. The book also delves into the economic boom that occurred as companies invested heavily in products using the open-source operating system. It highlights the clashes between the open-source movement and closed-source software companies, particularly Microsoft, who viewed open-source as a challenge. Furthermore, the book examines the widespread use of open-source software in embedded computing, mobile devices, and the cloud, and its impact on culture and ideas.

7."Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and other Alternative License Models (Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law)" by Axel Metzger
“Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and other Alternative License Models (Ius Comparatum – Global Studies in Comparative Law)” Book Review: This book delves into the comprehensive exploration of the primary legal considerations surrounding free and open-source software (FOSS). It extensively covers various licenses, including alternative models like Creative Commons. The book provides an inclusive analysis of FOSS licenses and alternative models on a global scale, allowing for cross-jurisdictional comparisons. It includes a comprehensive general report followed by 24 national reports, encompassing the most significant IT markets worldwide. The book highlights the common thread of detailed licenses utilized by FOSS projects to govern their communities, despite their diverse origins. Additionally, it sheds light on the variations in how these licenses have been interpreted by courts in certain jurisdictions. Legislators will find valuable insights in this book to address the legal challenges posed by the FOSS license model.

8."Free and Open Source Software for E-learning: Issues, Successes, and Challenges: 1 (Premier Reference Source)" by Betul Zkan Czerkawski
“Free and Open Source Software for E-learning: Issues, Successes, and Challenges: 1 (Premier Reference Source)” Book Review: This book offers a comprehensive exploration of open and free software solutions utilized in the field of e-learning. This book delves into the pedagogical principles that underpin the integration of FOSS in e-learning environments and provides practical insights through real-world examples. It serves as a valuable resource for e-learning designers and instructors, offering guidelines and best practices for leveraging FOSS effectively. With its engaging content, this compilation is an ideal companion for educational and training program developers who utilize FOSS programs. Moreover, it is a suitable textbook for advanced degree programs focusing on instructional technology and related disciplines.

9."Emerging Free and Open Source Software Practices" by Sulayman K Sowe and Ioannis G Stamelos
“Emerging Free and Open Source Software Practices” Book Review: This book introduces the growing practices of free and open-source software (FOSS) as a framework. It includes examples of past and current FOSS projects to showcase its application in various fields. The book discusses the evolution of software practices and highlights emerging trends. It also offers solutions to overcome the challenges associated with the widespread use of FOSS.

10."Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture)" by Samir Chopra and Scott D Dexter
“Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture)” Book Review: This book is an insightful exploration of the potential and implications of free and open-source software (FOSS). The book delves into the history, philosophy, and social impact of FOSS, highlighting its role in promoting freedom, collaboration, and innovation. It covers topics such as the culture of hacking, the economics of FOSS, intellectual property issues, and the relationship between FOSS and social justice. The chapters provide case studies and critical analysis, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in the transformative power of FOSS.

11."Open-Source ESBs in Action" by Tijs Rademakers and Jos Dirksen
“Open-Source ESBs in Action” Book Review: The book is a comprehensive guide to open-source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) technologies. The book offers practical insights and real-world examples of implementing ESB solutions using popular open-source frameworks such as Apache ServiceMix and Mule. It covers essential topics like messaging patterns, service orchestration, integration with external systems, and deploying ESBs in a production environment. With in-depth chapters on message routing, data transformation, and error handling, this book serves as a valuable resource for developers and architects looking to leverage the power of open-source ESBs in their projects.

2. Open Source Programming

1."Open Source Technology" by Bhavyesh Gandhi and Kailash Vadera
“Open Source Technology” Book Review: This book aims to provide a straightforward and accessible understanding of various aspects of Open Source. It presents the content in a clear and simplified manner, covering topics ranging from basic to advanced Open Source Technology. The book explores principles of open source, free software, license providers, software development, freedom, philosophy, hardware, designs, media, and ethics. Additionally, it includes case studies on Apache, Wikipedia, Mozilla Firefox, Linux, and more. The book effectively presents these topics through examples and concludes each chapter with a summary and review questions to reinforce key concepts for readers.

2."Data Analysis with Open Source Tools" by Philipp K Janert
“Data Analysis with Open Source Tools” Book Review: This book serves as an introduction to various aspects of data science, providing insights into the most effective methodologies for each domain. It offers clear explanations on the crucial steps of data cleaning, transformation, and modeling, enabling readers to derive valuable insights for business decision-making. Divided into four parts, the book explores graphics for data visualization, analytics for modeling data, computation for data mining, and practical applications. It covers topics such as developing conceptual models, probability analysis, simulation, clustering, and predictive analytics. Additionally, the book highlights different open-source programming environments for data analysis, including Octave, Python, and Java, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of these tools.

3."Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software" by Joseph Feller and Brian Fitzgerald
4."Ruby For Beginners: Your Guide To Easily Learn Ruby Programming in 7 days" by iCode Academy and Ruby Programming
“Ruby For Beginners: Your Guide To Easily Learn Ruby Programming in 7 days” Book Review: This comprehensive book serves as an easy-to-follow guide for learning the Ruby language, catering to both inexperienced programmers and those looking to deepen their understanding. It covers a wide range of topics, starting from the fundamentals and progressing to advanced concepts in Ruby. Each chapter includes practice programs and exercises to enhance coding skills, with clear explanations and simple instructions. By troubleshooting and noting error messages encountered during programming, readers can effectively overcome future errors. The book covers essential chapters, such as introduction to Ruby, preparations, basics, variables, methods, flow control, iterations, arrays, and hashes. The lessons are presented in a straightforward manner, becoming even more accessible with enthusiasm and dedication. While simple problems may feel familiar, tackling harder and complex challenges provides a true understanding of when and how to apply the concepts effectively.

5."Unix Shell Programming" by Yashavant P Kanetkar
“Unix Shell Programming” Book Review: This book serves as a comprehensive guide for both beginners and individuals seeking a starting point to learn Unix. This book offers a clear and detailed exploration of the Unix world, covering basic and advanced concepts in a systematic manner. With the aim of establishing a strong foundation, the book delves into a variety of topics across its sixteen chapters. It covers essential areas such as shell commands, Unix system services, responsibilities of the shell, loop control structures, interprocess communication, shell metacharacters, vi editor, Unix filters and their applications, practical tricks, system call syntax, conditional expressions in Bourne shell, system administration, file descriptors, fork function, flags, zombie function, and more. Each command is explained with a brief description, usage scenarios, and syntax. Starting from a beginner’s perspective, the book gradually progresses, unveiling the underlying philosophy behind Unix. By studying this book, readers can become proficient professionals in Unix.

6."Linux Kernel Networking: Implementation and Theory (Expert's Voice in Open Source)" by Rami Rosen
“Linux Kernel Networking: Implementation and Theory (Expert’s Voice in Open Source)” Book Review: The book provides a explanation of current Linux networking implementations, covering both theory and practical aspects. It offers a well-organized learning path that enables readers to gain mastery over essential commands. Whether you are a novice seeking to familiarize yourself with Linux or an experienced user looking to enhance your skills, this book serves as an ideal reference. It delves into the concepts underlying Linux internals, making it a valuable resource for those curious about the operating system’s inner workings. The content follows a logical and systematic approach, guiding readers through each step. Quick references at the end of each chapter offer a convenient recap. Additionally, the book explores Linux-based virtualization technologies like Xen and KVM. With its up-to-date information, this guide serves as a reliable reference for Linux kernel networking. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of crucial concepts in Linux server administration and be well-equipped to apply them in real-world scenarios.

7."JavaTM Open Source Programming: with XDoclet, JUnit, WebWork, Hibernate (Java Open Source Library)" by Joseph Walnes and Ara Abrahamian
9."Cross-Platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets (Bruce Perens' Open Source)" by Julian Smart and Kevin Hock with
8."HTML5 and CSS3 Transition, Transformation and Animation (Open Source)" by Aravind Shenoy and Gianluca Daniele Guarini
We have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on Open Source Software and came out with a recommended list and their reviews. If any more book needs to be added to this list, please email us. We are working on free pdf downloads for books on Open Source Software and will publish the download link here. Fill out this Open Source Software books pdf download" request form for download notification.

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Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He lives in Bangalore, and focuses on development of Linux Kernel, SAN Technologies, Advanced C, Data Structures & Alogrithms. Stay connected with him at LinkedIn.

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