In the 30 years from 1970-2000, open source software began as an assumption without a name or a clear alternative. It has evolved into a sophisticated movement which has produced some of the most stable and widely used software packages ever produced. This paper traces the evolution of three operating systems: GNU, BSD, and Linux, as well as the communities which have evolved with these systems and some of the commonly-used software packages developed using the open source model. It also discusses some of the major figures in open source software, and defines both “free software” and “open source software.”
Bretthauer, David, "Open Source Software: A History" (2001). UConn Libraries Published Works. Paper 7.