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.

The Past, Present and Future of the GPL in Open Source Software

Today, many programmers and companies are passing on the GPL in favor of alternative open source licenses./p>

Everything-as-a-Service Exceptions: Things that Don't Work as a Service 1
There are still a few things in the tech world that don't work well when delivered as a service.
Predictive Policing and Software Freedom: Should the Police Use Open Source?

Open source software is now widespread almost everywhere, from servers to smartphones. But there's one place where open source is still not common: The world of policing.

7 Blockchain Storage, Media and Coin Projects You Should Know

Bitcoin is the most famous blockchain project. But it's hardly the only one. Blockchain technology is reshaping a number of ecosystems -- from finance to digital media to data storage.

Docker Downsides: Container Cons to Consider before Adopting Docker 1

Like any technology, Docker is not a silver bullet. It has its downsides, and it's important to understand them if you're considering migrating to Docker.

DevSecOps, Machine Learning and Beyond: How IT Security is Changing
Cybersecurity threats are changing, and so are the tools and strategies available for combating them.
What Blockchain and Open Source Software Share in Common

Wondering what makes Bitcoin and other blockchain-based technologies so popular?

The History of Ubuntu Linux, Canonical's Open Source OS

Ubuntu, the open source operating system developed by Canonical, will soon officially be thirteen years old.

What Do Open Source and DevOps Have in Common? A Lot, Actually
What Do Open Source and DevOps Have in Common? A Lot, Actually

DevOps and open source are both key trends in the software world today. But they are rarely discussed in tandem. Perhaps that should change, because DevOps and open source have much more in common than their proponents may realize.

Defining DevOps and Open Source

Before discussing how DevOps and open source are related, let's define these two terms.

What Is a Microservice, Anyway? A Primer for MSPs
It's a buzzword that your customers have probably heard by now, but that they likely don't fully understand. As an MSP, it's your job to educate them.
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.

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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