The Disadvantages of Open Source Software

Everybody likes free software. What is even better, there is open-source software, the free software you have access to, to its source code. If you know to read code and can understand it, then you will greatly benefit from having access to it.

Other than that, open-source projects are for most people, free programs that they can download and use for as long as they want. This is a very good thing and one would be hard-pressed to find any disadvantages of open-source software.

Here is an attempt to find some.

Open Source is Good But…

Proprietary software tends to be better at some things. When companies lock down a system or software, it is usually for a reason. Yes, some of them are hiding things from us which is not a bad thing. If everyone has access to software, they can also modify it and find cracks in its code.

This is one of the disadvantages of code visible to everybody, which goes for operating systems as well. There are plenty of open-source operating systems such as the many Linux and Unix distributions. Albeit, the risks are almost non-existent, the source code is visible to malicious users.

Open Source May Not Be as Good at a Certain Task

Compared to paid software, for example, video editors like Openshot cannot compare to PremierePro or DaVinci Resolve in terms of features, details, and the level to which you can edit a video. AAA movies were edited in Premiere and Resolve, while Openshot does not have that reputation, not even close.

This is not always the case, because Blender, for example, matches any 3D modeling tool out there, as well as tools used for animations, both 3D and 2D. 

The Costs of A Project – They Can be Large

You may not realize it, but open-source projects cost money. Files have to be stored somewhere and developers often communicate from all over the world, meaning cloud storage for most of the time. That is not an issue, but the hardware may be lacking and open source projects are not paid for, unless backed by a large company or through patrons and supporters. 

The running costs of having an ongoing open-source project can be huge.

Less User Friendly (Sometimes)

Open source projects tend to be rugged, not for the uninitiated, or those who are afraid to get their hands dirty. Forgot a couple of libraries and dependencies on a more advanced Linux system? Too bad, your software now won’t run (albeit it will tell you why).

Open-source software tends to have a learning curve.

Open source projects are great but they can sometimes be really difficult, particularly for newcomers. They can also be lacking in features and very harsh on the developers, should the project fail to take off.