GitHub vs. Open Source: Understanding the Differences

GitHub vs. Open Source: Understanding the Differences

A Comprehensive Comparison of GitHub and Open Source: Features, Benefits, and Use Cases

GitHub and open-source software are two terms often misinterpreted; they are not the same thing. While both are essential to software development, the two have significant differences. This post will explore the differences between GitHub and open source and how they work together.

Open-source software

  • Open Source Software is software whose source code is freely available to the public. This means anyone can view, modify, and distribute the code without restrictions.

  • Open-source software is often developed by a community of developers who collaborate and contribute to the project, resulting in continually evolving and improving the software.

  • Some famous examples of open-source software include the Linux operating system, the Apache web server, and the Mozilla Firefox browser.


  • GitHub, on the other hand, is a web-based platform that provides various tools and services for software developers.

  • GitHub is not open-source software but built on top of open-source software. The platform provides features such as version control, bug tracking, project management, and collaboration tools, making it easier for developers to work together on software projects.

  • GitHub allows developers to host their open-source software projects on the platform and make them available to the public.

Differences Between GitHub and Open Source

  • The main difference between GitHub and open-source software is that GitHub is a platform for software development, while open-source software is a type of software.

  • GitHub provides tools and services that can be used to develop open-source software, but it is not open-source software itself.

  • Another difference is that while open-source software is typically free and available to the public, GitHub is a paid platform (having a free tier) that offers additional features and services to paying customers.

  • GitHub is a business that generates revenue by selling services and features to users. At the same time, open-source software is typically created and maintained by a community of volunteers who contribute to the project without receiving any monetary compensation.

In summary, while GitHub and open-source software are related to software development, they are different. Open-source software is a type of software whose source code is freely available to the public, while GitHub is a platform that provides tools and services for software development.

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