Creating better technology with open source

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As the largest open source company in the world, we believe using an open development model helps create more stable, secure, and innovative technologies. At Red Hat, we’ve spent more than two decades collaborating on community projects and protecting open source licenses so we can continue to develop software that pushes the boundaries of technological ability.

Open source principles

Red Hat exists not only as an enterprise software company but as a catalyst for change, built on the belief that open unlocks the world’s potential. Our commitment is not only to shape the future of open source, but to continuously lay the groundwork to get all of us there, guided by our principles of freedom, community, and sustainability.


We are dedicated to enriching the open source commons with the software we create, extend, or acquire.


We remain committed to guiding change across a network of communities, aligned with a common goal of building better technology the open source way.


We persist as an engine for open source innovation, reinforcing confidence that the software code bases relied upon within the Red Hat ecosystem are continuously developed, maintained, and supported over time.

Explore the meaning behind our principles


  • We release our software under open source licenses that permit a recipient to see, modify, and distribute the code.
  • We pledge that we will never use our patents offensively against free and open source software. 
  • We seek to influence the legal and regulatory framework under which open source operates to maintain its accessibility and viability. We deter, defend against, and resolve patent threats to free and open source software.


  • We make software improvements more accessible through open and iterative collaboration with customers, contributors, competitors, and partners. 
  • We empower Red Hat associates to contribute to any free and open source project within our Open Source Participation Guidelines. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics allows us to participate in projects even where the interests of these projects may be adverse to those of the company.
  • We believe active engagement in open source communities encourages inclusive and diverse perspectives, leading us to discover and integrate the best ideas into upstream repositories.


  • We harden security for community-built code and update features to make it enterprise-ready and scalable allowing the community to benefit from the improvements.
  • We fund the development of freely-licensed and openly-developed components by assembling them into integrated products, pairing them with support, certifications, expertise, and delivery services— all via subscription.
  • We aim to create an impact on open source-focused projects, foundations, and standards—through funding and infrastructure services—by providing maintenance, mentoring, and governance.

Research with open source impacts

From unikernels to privacy-preserving AI to usable security, Red Hat Research helps open source communities innovate and solve real industry problems.

Building enterprise-ready solutions

We create software using the open source way, a set of principles built upon an open forum for ideas where communities can form around solving a problem or developing a new technology. This philosophy affects everything we do at Red Hat. And we’re not alone. Most of today’s IT leaders agree that enterprise open source is important.

Why we work this way

Our commitment to open source

Open source software gains its strength from diverse communities of developers around the world. That’s why we’ve worked for more than 25 years to invest in open projects and technologies, protect and defend open source intellectual property, and recruit developers who actively participate in open projects across the IT stack. This experience helps inform our development model to produce more innovative, iterative, stable, and secure technologies.

Our patent promise

Collaboration beyond our teams

By tapping into the collective talent and innovation of open source communities, we believe we can create better software. This collaboration helps fuel much of the technology we use today, from open source platforms like Linux and Kubernetes to open source browsers like Firefox and Chromium.

Visit our GitHub

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A global volunteer community turns a project that could take years into a usable prosthetic within just three months. Meet the people behind E-Nable, the nonprofit organization that gives kids “superhero hands.”

Discover Open Source Stories

Using a trusted process

Through our unique development model, we start with community-created open source software and build upon each project to harden security, fix bugs, patch vulnerabilities, and add new features. We then contribute these improvements back to each project so the entire open source community can benefit.

See our development model

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