Free and open source software (FOSS) powers hundreds of millions of PCs, servers, mobile phones and even microwaves.


How did open source end up being so influential?

Why does software that costs nothing drive billion-dollar businesses?

Why would skilled programmers give away valuable source code for free?

For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution by Christopher Tozzi answers these questions and more. Starting with the early decades of computing, when virtually all software source code was open, and moving up to the present, the book explains how and why most software in the early 1980s became closed, how some software became open again through projects like GNU and Linux, and what the implications of free and open source code are for society as a whole.

This is a book that is serious enough for scholars to love, yet doesn’t require a Ph.D. to understand. It’s based on original research with a range of meticulously documented primary sources, as well as original interviews with Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Mark Shuttleworth and other FOSS figures.