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.

With LinuxKit, Docker Learns to Love Open Source Once Again

Thanks to Docker and LinuxKit, Linux and open source are closer to conquering the world than ever—sort of. Here's how Docker hopes to use LinuxKit, a new Linux Foundation project, to sneak Linux into Windows servers, Mac laptops and even IoT devices.

Docker announced LinuxKit earlier this month at DockerCon in Austin. LinuxKit is a set of tools for building a Linux subsystem that can run inside a container.

Fighting the DIY Mentality in the Managed Services Market
Twenty-five years ago, before open source became widespread, it was not possible for most organizations to use in-house resources to create the services that they needed to operate.
Open Source Licenses: How They're Similar, How They're Different

People talk of open source software as if all open source programs were made the same. In fact, there are several dozen different kinds of open source software licenses (some would prefer to call them free software licenses). If you want to understand the open source landscape today, you need to know what the major software licenses are and how they differ.

Microsoft's Docker Strategy: The Future of Windows Containers

In case you haven't noticed yet, Microsoft is placing a big bet on Docker containers. How does Microsoft see Docker fitting into the Windows world? Here's an overview of Microsoft and Docker's past, present and future.

A Brief History of Docker and Microsoft

When Docker containers were born in 2013, they were very much a Linux-only technology. At the time, Docker depended on LXC, a container framework for the Linux kernel, to run.

The Past, Present and Future of Canonical and Ubuntu Linux 2

From a rethinking of mobile strategy to a change in the CEO office, big changes are afoot at Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux. Here's what they could mean for the future of the open source company and the software it produces.

As regular readers of The VAR Guy (which at one time had an entire sister site devoted to Ubuntu) know, Canonical is a relatively major company in the open source space.

MSPs and Managed Services are Key to the Post-DevOps World
DevOps is now mainstream. To continue innovating, organizations will seek to automate all of their IT processes -- in other words, to do NoOps -- and MSPs can help.
Open Source History: Why Didn't BSD Beat Out GNU and Linux? 10

If you use a free and open source operating system, it's almost certainly based on the Linux kernel and GNU software. But these were not the first freely redistributable platforms, nor were they the most professional or widely commercialized.

DevOps Dictionary: A Guide to DevOps Words and Terms
DevOps has spawned a number of new words and terms -- and redefined existing ones -- since it began influencing communities of developers and sysadmins in the late 2000s.
5 Security Tools for Containers and Microservices

Containers and microservices from vendors like Docker and CoreOS offer innovative solutions for running apps and storing data in the cloud without the overhead of traditional virtualization. But they also present special challenges when it comes to security and protecting the data inside containers.

How Docker Containers Help Save Money 1

By now, you probably know how popular Docker containers are with technical folks. But do you understand the business case for Docker? Do you know how containers help save companies money? If not, read on.

Top IT Trends MSPs Need to Know Today
Staying on top of the managed IT services business requires knowing the latest, greatest trends and practices in computing. Here's a recap of the innovations shaping the IT world today.
Docker at Four: The State of the Docker Ecosystem from 2013 to Today

Docker containers turned four years old this month. If you were paying attention to Docker in its early days, you know that the Docker ecosystem today looks nothing like it did then. Here's how the Docker world has evolved since Docker's launch in 2013.

DataOps, ChatOps and More: Offshoots of the DevOps Movement

You know DevOps -- the idea that developers, admins and everyone in between should collaborate constantly on software delivery. But do you know the many offshoot movements that DevOps has helped create?

How On-Demand Computing is Helping Revolutionize IT -- and Beyond

If you want to understand how enterprise IT workloads are being redefined, the on-demand computing trend is a good place to look. Here's how on-demand computing is reshaping the way companies approach IT resources.

Open Source Software and Security: What You Need to Know
Is open source software inherently less secure than closed-source code? Which special security precautions should you take with open source? Keep reading for a primer on open source software security.
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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