Christopher Tozzi


Christopher Tozzi has covered the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis since 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution, is forthcoming with MIT Press.

Reasons Organizations Opt Not to Use Open Source Software

Black Duck's latest open source survey shows that a majority of companies are now using open source. So what's stopping the rest? Here's a look at the reasons why businesses might choose not to use open source, or avoid partnering with companies that do.

Open Source History: Tracing the Origins of Hacker Culture and the Hacker Ethic 4

What inspires open source programmers, defines their culture and sets the open source world apart from that of proprietary software development? That's an important question for understanding what drives the creation of monumental platforms such as Linux, OpenStack and Hadoop.

Mandriva Linux: A Look Back at the Late, Great Open Source OS 2

Remember Mandriva Linux? Once among the most popular Linux-based open source operating systems, it disappeared last year, along with Mandriva, Inc., the company that owned it. Belatedly, here's a retrospective look at late, great Mandriva Linux.

Open Source History Lessons: 5 FOSS Projects That Didn't Pan Out 1

There's no denying the success of free and open source software projects like Linux, Apache and (probably) OpenStack. But what about the FOSS projects and companies that have enjoyed less success? Here's a look at some free and open source software projects or businesses that had good ideas, yet never delivered on them (at least not fully).

Open Source Hardware: What It Means and Why It Matters 2

You've heard of open source software. But what about open source hardware? Here's an overview of what open source hardware is, what the challenges are and why open hardware is poised to grow in importance as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to boom.

Red Hat Shoots to Solve Container Storage with Gluster and OpenShift

Red Hat is the newest organization to take a stab at the persistent storage challenge for containers. Last month, the open source giant announced a new Gluster-based storage option for OpenShift, the company's open source platform for running containerized apps.

Understanding Containers: Docker, CoreOS, LXD and Container Partners

By now, you've probably heard of Docker containers. But what about the rest of the container ecosystem? Which other companies are involved in containers and microservices, and what types of partnership opportunities exist surrounding containers?

5 Open Source Tools in Ubuntu Linux that Make Life Easier

Here's a breakdown of five open source tools or features that are easily available in Ubuntu (OK, most of them are equally available in any other Linux distribution) and save me lots of time and frustration.

Comparing the DevOps and Open Source Movements

DevOps has emerged as one of the next big things in the channel. But in many ways, the DevOps story is a replay of the history of open source software over the past several years. Here's what the DevOps and open source movements have in common.

Open Source in Goverment: A Look at Open Source Adoption around the World

The U.S. government is pushing open source software more strongly than ever. But it's not the first government to adopt open source, and it's certainly not at the top of the list of countries whose authorities have embraced free and open source software.

32-bit Linux is Disappearing: What It Means for the Channel 1

The big news in the Linux world this week is that Ubuntu will drop support for 32-bit processors. Here's what the change means for the channel. (Hint: Hardware now matters less than ever.)

How to Think about DevOps: It's a Journey, not an Either/Or Choice 1

People tend to describe DevOps, the "agile" approach to software development and delivery, as something an organization either does or does not do. Yet in reality, DevOps is a journey, rather than an either/or proposition.

The Growth of the Linux and Open Source Channel since 1989

The Linux kernel was born twenty-five years ago this summer. Since that time a thriving partner ecosystem has arisen around open source platforms built on Linux, GNU and other free and open source software products. Here's a look at milestones in the evolution of the Linux channel and partner ecosystem.

DevOps Advantages: How DevOps Benefits Developers, Admins and Users

Heard of DevOps, but wondering which benefits it brings? Asking why organizations are adopting containers, microservices, Continuous Integration platforms and other DevOps tools?

ODPi Advances Hadoop Standards with Open Source Runtime Specification
The ODPi, a Linux Foundation collaborative project building, has moved one step closer to building a better integrated big data ecosystem based on open source technology. This week, it announced that several major Hadoop distributors have adopted its runtime standard.
5 Ways Open Source Programmers and Companies Make Money
June 10, 2016

Good point. This was drafted a while ago, before the ownCloud kerfuffle in April.

IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today
May 3, 2016

Thanks for the pointer. I am unable to find proof that the Electrolux ever actually made it to market, though. A February 1999 Wired article (

Open Source and Android: A History of Google's Linux-Based Mobile OS
April 29, 2016

Re: the GPL, there is a bigger story I want to tell about the tendency to treat the GPL as an omnipotent solution to all of open source's problems. The quotes are examples of...

Richard Stallman Talks GNU, Linux, Terrorism and French Politics
April 19, 2016

I think few people would disagree that Torvalds and Stallman do not care about freedom "on the same level." Certainly Stallman cares more. But Torvalds's statements (e.g.,...

Understanding LXC and LXD, Canonical's Open Source Container Solution
April 18, 2016

The article says LXC has only started to become more widely known recently thanks to LXD. But it does not say LXC is newer than Docker. On the contrary, it points out that...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×