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SourceForge logo
description Web portal for managing a large number of software projects
Registration Optional
languages English
owner Geeknet, Inc. (1999-2012)
DHI Group, Inc. (2012-2016)
BIZX, LLC (2016-2019)
Slashdot Media LLC
status active

SourceForge ( English literally means "source forge," but here in terms of source code -Schmiede) is a file hosting - service for software projects. Programmers can create and manage open source software projects there . SourceForge has been operated by the American company Slashdot Media from San Diego since 2019 .


The SourceForge software on which the service is based was developed in 1999 by GeekNet (then VA Linux, later SourceForge Inc., among others).

SourceForge was available as free software up to version 3, but was then distributed commercially and proprietarily . In 2007 the SourceForge Enterprise Edition was sold to CollabNet Inc. , California . In addition, a SourceForge programmer developed the software as an open source project under the name GForge . Under the name GForge AS a proprietary software with almost the same name was created again. To avoid the confusion surrounding the name, the free version of the original GForge is continued as FusionForge . The Free Software Foundation presented with Savannah another alternative for proprietary SourceForge software. Savannah is based on version 2 of the SourceForge software.

In June 2012, GeekNet proposed to hand over the re-implementation of the SourceForge software called Allura to the Apache project . Since April 22nd, 2013 the projects at have been migrated to Allura.


The web portal is used to develop open source programs and is used by many software developers to manage their projects. The website uses the SourceForge software Allura and offers different systems for version management , such as Git , SVN or Mercurial . Furthermore, each project can create its own wiki and its own MySQL database can be accessed.

In 2012 the portal was sold by GeekNet to Dice Holdings and taken over by BIZX, LLC from San Diego in 2016. BIZX has been operating under the name Slashdot Media since 2019.

Despite the increasing popularity of alternative portals like GitHub , many large open source projects are still managed with the help of SourceForge, but there are also small or inactive projects. The largest projects include eMule , Vuze and Ares Galaxy , each with several hundred million downloads.

Blocking of access to SourceForge

The Chinese government blocked access to the site as part of the Golden Shield project , but the ban was lifted the following year. In June 2008, the portal was again inaccessible from China, and there was speculation about connections with a programmer from SourceForge who criticized the Chinese government.

Since the US government has been imposing trade bans and sanctions against so-called rogue states for a long time , SourceForge announced in January 2010 that it would ban users from those countries that are listed on the sanctions list of the US State Department . In January 2010, the site was therefore not available in Iran , Cuba , Syria , North Korea and Sudan . As a reaction to the sometimes violent reactions of the user community and as a commitment by SourceForge to the open source principle of the free exchange of information, Sourceforge announced on February 7, 2010 that these countries should no longer be generally excluded from use, but every project administrator Can make restriction for his project himself.


From August 2013 to February 2016 SourceForge offered so-called “Drive-by-Installer” with DevShare, which not only suggests the desired software, but also adware from third parties for installation. The most popular programs include a. the Ask toolbar and the VPN program HotspotShield . These programs are financed by advertising and permanently display advertising banners or collect user data when surfing the Internet. The use of the "drive by installer" was optional and had to be activated explicitly by the developer ( opt-in ).

In 2015 SourceForge also manipulated downloads of various programs. The "Drive-by-Installer" was included by SourceForge in software packages that were not or no longer developed on SourceForge. This happened without the consent of the legitimate uploader. Was affected u. a. the GIMP image editing software . SourceForge has therefore taken control of the data uploaded by the GIMP project and locked out the rightful developers. SourceForge did the same with the projects nmap and VLC media player . The developers concerned expressed their disappointment, especially since SourceForge had broken its promise never to integrate adware into the files without the consent of the software developer. SourceForge had abused their trust. SourceForge has thus become one of many questionable "download sites". The GIMP developers no longer use SourceForge as a source for their official files.

SourceForge was purchased by BIZX, LLC in February 2016. The new owners emphasized in an official blog post that they wanted to restore SourceForge's tarnished reputation and that they had done away with the "drive by installer" as a first measure.

Similar projects

  • Bitbucket is a collaboration / hosting platform for any Atlassian project that uses the Mercurial or Git version control system.
  • CodePlex , a Microsoft hosting website for open source projects. Codeplex was discontinued on December 15, 2017.
  • Freecode is a catalog for open source projects. Like SourceForge itself, it is hosted by the Open Source Technology Group, Inc. (OSTG) (a subsidiary of SourceForge, Inc.). Freecode was discontinued on June 18, 2014. The content remains online but is no longer updated.
  • GitHub , a hosting platform specially designed for the Git version control system.
  • GitLab , also a hosting platform based on Git.
  • GNU Savannah is another hosting platform for open source projects that choose a license that corresponds to the ideas of the Free Software Foundation.
  • Launchpad , a hosting platform for open source projects from Canonical , manufacturer of the Ubuntu Linux distribution .
  • Origo was a system developed at ETH Zurich on which closed source projects were also allowed.
  • RubyForge , another hosting platform, limited to Ruby projects.
  • , was a hosting platform operated by CollabNet , the maker of Subversion.

Web links

Commons : SourceForge  - collection of images, videos and audio files


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  2. Darryl K. Taft: CollabNet Acquires SourceForge., April 24, 2007, accessed February 7, 2014 .
  3. Allura submitted to the Apache Incubator. June 18, 2012, accessed September 9, 2012 .
  4. Final project upgrades push starts April 22nd. April 5, 2012, accessed April 27, 2013 .
  5. What is Source Code Management - sourceforge - supported SCM systems
  6. Sebastian Grüner: Sourceforge and Slashdot are being sold again. In: . January 29, 2016, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  7. ^ Slashdot Media to Merge with BIZX, LLC. In: Markets Insider. December 20, 2019, accessed May 24, 2020 .
  8. Top Downloads - For all time, updated daily. Retrieved May 7, 2010 .
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  12. sourceforge: Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking. sourceforge, accessed on October 10, 2013 (English): “Our action provoked a strong, angry reaction from those it affected and from the community at large. We at SourceForge are fully committed to the ideals of free and open source software, including the principle of free exchange of information. "
  13. SourceForge press release regarding the adware program , accessed on October 2, 2013
  14. Sourceforge: Dispute over adware installers. In: August 27, 2013, accessed February 22, 2015 .
  15. Sourceforge turns evil - THAT warning! In: August 28, 2013, accessed February 22, 2015 .
  16. Gimp withdraws from SourceForge. In: November 8, 2013, accessed February 22, 2015 .
  17. Sourceforge continues to pack malware into Gimp downloads., May 28, 2015, accessed on May 28, 2015 .
  18. Sourceforge bundles adware in Gimp downloads., May 28, 2015, accessed June 1, 2015 .
  20. ^ Sean Gallagher: Black "mirror": SourceForge has now seized Nmap audit tool project. In: Ars Technica. June 4, 2015, accessed February 4, 2018 .
  25. ^ SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans. February 9, 2016, accessed February 4, 2018 .