Best open source stories of 2012

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We shared almost 600 open source stories this year—highlighting how open source is changing the world. And it's not just the technology, it's the community and their passion. The open source community is sharing their stories about how their work is making a positive impact and is helping to amplify those messages. Let's take a look back at 2012 and see what your favorite stories were.

But before we reveal in the top ten and a few honorable mentions, it seems appropriate to highlight a few other things that happened in open source this year.

First, it was a great year for Linux. A short video highlights some of the successes including advancements in the auto industry and Red Hat achieving a billion dollars in revenue.

Our open source friend at Adafruit, Limor Fried, was named Entrepreneur of 2012, by Steam for Linux is becoming a reality, so gamers should get excited. And software patents were a hot topic throughout the year.

As I was looking for common themes in 2012, I saw a few rise to the top. Our audience really likes to take a look behind the scenes whether it's the Mars rover or Twitter, our curiosity gets the best of us.

You like open source gadgets and open source design tools. That is uncontested. And to be honest, you really like doing things differently—using an open approach, sharing what you've learned, and advancing open source in new ways.

And now, your top ten posts from 2012...

Top 10 stories on in 2012

  1. Raspberry Pi, Allwinner, and CuBox in the Linux hardware race to tiniest and cheapest, Ruth Suehle
  2. Typing at 255 WPM shouldn't cost $4000: Plover, the open source steno system, Mel Chua
  3. A billion thanks to the open source community from Red Hat, Jim Whitehurst
  4. The open source technology behind Twitter, Jason Hibbets
  5. Top ten open source gifts for the holidays, Casey Brown
  6. NASA achieves data goals for Mars rover with open source software, Mark Bohannan
  7. A tour through open source creative tools, Máirín Duffy
  8. In Hacker Highschool, students learn to redesign the future, Pete Herzog
  9. Join the M revolution, Luis Ibanez
  10. The day TuxPaint became contagious, Phil Shapiro

Honorable mentions

Something really significant happened on January 18. People and companies across the globe expressed their views about Internet censorship and SOPA. We helped the open source community capture the blackout.

Another great story from 2012 comes from two professors and musicians in Chapel Hill, NC. They want to make an open source beat making tool. While they can't write code, they have an amazing vision. Think about a GIMP alternative to Photoshop but for music. Join their mission.

2012 statistics

  • Almost 1.5 million page views
  • More than 750,000 unique visits
  • More than 7,000 registered users
  • More than 2,000 comments
  • Almost 600 new posts
  • More than 3,300 new Twitter followers
  • More than 2,000 new Facebook fans

2012 was a great year for open source. Tell us what your favorite moments were and if you have any predictions for 2013.


Jason Hibbets is a Community Director at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and community publications.


The link to the NASA Mars rover comes up with a 'page not found' error.

Thanks Stu! I guess it got lost in space. All fixed now.

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