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Certification Course on Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS)

Course Duration


Eligibility Criteria

UG and PG students, Working Professionals


The free and open-source software industry has been growing rapidly, with a growth rate of 18% (2019-2022), accounting for 21 billion US dollars due to allowing anyone to use, modify, or distribute software without any restriction. The course on FOSS introduces students to the key concepts of developing open-source software, modifying software, and using free software. It also covers the successful projects and communities involved in developing and using the FOSS. Students will be exposed to the free and open-source software environment and get an opportunity to use and modify the open-source packages. The course also provides an overview of the case studies dealing with Big Data for smart infrastructure, Machine Learning & Deep Learning applications, Agriculture, and Environmental Applications.

Course Outcomes

  • To provide an overview of free software, which aids students in analyzing and utilising the various software tools for problem-solving
  • Hands-on experience with various tools, which helps to understand the system’s performance, and all the functions related to the computer.
  • Set up and configure various functionalities for specific problem-solving.
  • Students are exposed to utilise various technologies, which helps to address challenges related to the various case studies


Unit – I : The Evaluation of Free/Open-source Software Development [5 hrs]

Open Source, Free Software, Free Software vs Open-source software, History: The Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project.

(Chapter 1, Textbook 1; Online material 1,2)

Standing in Front of the Open-source Steamroller; Has Open-source Software a Future? Open Source Software Development: Future or Fad?; Attaining Robust Open Source Software (Chapter 2, Textbook 2; Online material 1, 2, 3)

Unit – II : Free/Open Source Processes and Tools [5 hrs]

Two Case Studies of Open-source Software Development: Apache and Mozilla; Software Engineering Practices in the GNOME Project; Incremental and Decentralized Integration in FreeBSD; Adopting Open-source Software Engineering (OSSE) Practices by Adopting OSSE Tools

(Chapter 3, Textbook 2; Online material 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)

Unit – III : FOSS for Geoinformatics [5 hrs]

Basic GIS Concepts; GIS Software; Open Source; The QGIS Interface; Adding Vector data; Exploring the Map View; Exploring Features; Adding Raster Data; Geoprocessing Shapefiles; Joining and Mapping Attribute Data; Tabular Data Files for QGIS; Plotting Coordinate Data; Running Statistics and Querying Attributes; Thematic Mapping; Transforming Map Projections

Geoprocessing and Joining; Classifying and Symbolizing Data; Designing Maps

(Chapter 1-4, Textbook 3; Online material 5, 8)

Unit – IV : Case Studies on FOSS [5 hrs]

  • Big Data for smart infrastructure.
  • Machine Learning & Deep Learning applications.
  • Smart Cities Pilot Projects: An IoT Perspective - Pilot Projects
  • Agriculture & Environmental Applications.

(Research papers; Online material 3, 4, 8)

I. Hands-on Training [10 hrs]

II. Mini project implementation & presentation [10 hrs]

Textbooks & Supporting Literature

  • Das, S., 2010. UNIX: Concepts and Applications., Tata McGraw Hill Education.
  • Lakhani, K., Wolf, R.G., Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B. and Hissam, S., 2005. Perspectives on free and open source software. In Perspectives on free and open source software (pp. 1-22). MIT Press.
  • Frank, D., 2019. Introduction to GIS Using Open Source Software.

Other Books

  • Kapur, R., Briggs, M., SAHA, T., Costa, U., CARVALHO, P., Chong, R.F. and KOHLAMNN, P., 2010. Getting Started With Open Source Development. Editora IBM Corporation.
  • Srivastava, G.S. 2014. An Introduction to Geoinformatics. McGraw Hill Education (India) Private Limited. New Delhi. India. ISBN: 9781259058462.
  • Holdstock, D.A., 2019. Smart Geospatial Practices and Applications in Local Government: An Altogether Different Language. CRC Press.
  • Williamson, I.P., Rajabifard, A. and Feeney, M.E.F. eds., 2003. Developing spatial data infrastructures: from concept to reality. CRC Press.

Online Material

The Linux Documentation Project:

Docker Project Home:

Linux kernel Home:

Prof. Arun K. Saraf (2016), Introduction to Geographic Information System. NPTEL.

Open Source Initiative:

Linux Documentation Project:



The Linux Foundation:

  • Course Fee₹ 5000/-