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.

7 Free Operating Systems Not Based on Linux, Windows or OS X 4

GNU/Linux is not the only game in town when it comes to alternative operating systems.

What the Hack? 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.

A Linux User Reminds Himself Why He Stopped Using Windows 9

Last month, I wrote about my life using Linux for the past ten years. This week, I started using Windows again -- and was reminded why I switched to Linux in the first place. Here's what I learned.

What Blockchain Means (Hint: Not Just Bitcoin), and Why You Should Care
If you haven't been paying much attention to blockchain -- the distributed database technology made famous by Bitcoin -- it's time to start.
SDN, Blockchain and Beyond: The Spaces Where Open Source Is Thriving Today

What are the newest frontiers that open source software is conquering? Black Duck's latest open source "Rookies of the Year" report, which highlights areas like blockchain and SDN, provides some interesting insights.

Ten Years as Desktop Linux User: My Open Source World, Then and Now 1

I've been a regular desktop Linux user for just about a decade now. What has changed in that time? Keep reading for a look back at all the ways that desktop Linux has become easier to use -- and those in which it has become more difficult -- over the past ten years.

How Data Storage is Changing - and What It Means for the Channel
Data storage is changing. What was true five years ago about the way you managed databases and storage systems may not hold true anymore.
Why is IoT Popular? Because of Open Source, Big Data, Security and SDN

Why is everyone talking about the Internet of Things (IoT)? It's not because the IoT is a new concept -- it's not -- but rather because the IoT intersects with several other key trends in the tech world, from open source and big data to cybersecurity and software-defined networking.

GitLab's Not Alone: AWS, Google and Other Clouds Can Lose Data, Too

Data stored in the cloud may feel safe. But as GitLab users learned the hard way last week, data loss can occur even on well managed public cloud platforms. Here's a look at five examples of cloud data failures on major public clouds.

The projects are building platforms that are poised to become increasingly impor
Five Open Source Projects that MSPs Should Be Following
If you're in the managed services business, you need to stay on top of the latest technologies. Here are five open source projects that MSPs should be watching.
From Food to Sofas: How Open Source is Changing the World Beyond Software 2

Once upon a time, open source was a term used only within the software world. Today, the open source concept is being extended to many other industries -- from computing hardware to furniture. Here's a look at how the open source idea is eating the world beyond software.

To Keep IT Assets Secure, Pay Attention to the Simple Things 1

What are the greatest threats facing the software industry today? Hint: They're not foreign spies or 400-pound programming prodigies. A look back at some of the biggest cybersecurity attacks of 2016 reveals that the most serious threats remain simple and unsophisticated -- even though people keep falling for them.

Five Technologies and Trends MSPs Should Embrace
How can you make the most of your managed services business? One way is to leverage the best technologies and trends. Here's a list of five technologies and practices to embrace to keep your MSP business lean and mean.
Fission and Effe are some of the first open source serverless computing framewor
Open Source Serverless Computing Frameworks, and Why They Matter

Serverless computing is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in the channel since the cloud. What is the open source ecosystem doing to keep pace with the serverless trend, and why does it matter? Here's a look.

Monitoring, analytics and log aggregation help managed service providers deliver
Why MSPs Need Monitoring, Data Analytics and Log Aggregation
As an IT managed services provider, you supply infrastructure and support services to your clients. But do you also deliver monitoring and analytics? If not, you should. Here's why.
From Food to Sofas: How Open Source is Changing the World Beyond Software
February 3, 2017

"Free software" -- which a lot of people would characterize as similar to, but not quite the same thing as, "open source software" -- originated well before 1998. But the...

Open Source Software's Top Five Challenges for 2017
January 13, 2017

Personal experience :) I am remembering a wireless card I owned (some kind of D-Link -- I forget the exact chip) that only worked with ndiswrapper, and it would crash after an...

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...

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