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Top 12 Most Popular Open Source Repositories on GitHub [2024]

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1st Oct, 2022
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Top 12 Most Popular Open Source Repositories on GitHub [2024]

In navigating the complex technology, I’ve deeply engaged with Open Source Repositories on GitHub, a critical nexus where innovation intersects with collaborative development. These repositories are not merely codebases but represent pivotal platforms for communal learning, development, and innovation within the software engineering domain.  

Open Software has radically changed the digital ecosystem since its inception. The beginning of Linux as an Open Source, free to use OS served as a launchpad to this disruption. The modern-day scenario of Computer Science includes multi-billion dollar conglomerates, as well as a parallel stream of innovation powered by the community. 

As we explore the Top 12 Most Popular Open Source Repositories on GitHub, I aim to describe the technicalities and the transformative impact these repositories have on the technological landscape. 

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This bustling superhighway where members come together to support each other and create new apps, tools, and Software has become an unavoidable part of Computer Engineering.

1. Open Source Projects and GitHub

Open Source Repositories on GitHub serve as pivotal hubs for developer collaboration and community engagement. The largest of platforms that provide the space for such projects is GitHub.

With hundreds of thousands of projects and millions of devs belonging to all tiers of expertise, it is the most innovative community on the internet. Many people realize their dream projects and propel their own careers based on GitHub.

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There are numerous projects on GitHub, with devs working on many at the same time. These open-source projects are the lifeblood of the internet, and some are bigger than others. With huge companies, individual devs, and small collaborations fuelling this ecosystem, here are some of the biggest draws in the pool.

2. freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp is arguably the biggest repository on GitHub, and it’s easy to see why. In a platform where newcomers arrive to learn the ways of the code, it offers them away, for free. As the name indicates, freeCodeCamp is a friendly, safe environment for coding enthusiasts to learn the craft.

You can build your own projects, learn to code, and earn certificates for your trouble.  HTML5 & CSS, Bootstrap, Express.js, Git, React, and Automated Testing and Debugging are some of the few options available to you on this platform. 

Since its inception, the page has amassed a whopping 317000 stars on GitHub and is one of the best communities on the website. This donor-supported nonprofit organization allows aspiring coders to realize their dreams and evolve into future contributors for GitHub as a whole. This community is the best representation of the spirit of open-source Software—a place where all can learn for free. 

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3. VS Code

Visual Studios Code or VS Code is one of the most popular code editors out there. Released by Microsoft, it is intended to be a simplified all-purpose code editor. It aims to provide devs with a single solution for all their coding needs, including editing and debugging the program.

It provides comprehensive code editing, navigation, support features, and an extensibility model with some light integration and debugging capabilities. VS basic runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

VS Code is a tremendously popular open-source repository on GitHub, with over 107,000 stars and 19,000 contributors. This repository is hosted to work on the code and as a publishing platform for their Roadmap and their monthly iteration plans. They are updated monthly with bug fixes, added features, and performance enhancements.

4. Azure Docs

Another initiative by Microsoft, Azure, is their Cloud Computing service for building, testing, deploying, and hosting applications. It comes with a wide variety of top of the line features essential for cloud computing services, including data analytics, DevOps, and many others. Developers can use Azure to deploy and manage infrastructure, handle data, and launch their products.

The GitHub repository of Microsoft Azure is dedicated to its open-source documentation. The page invites devs to contribute to the project as feedback, report of issues, and other helpful ways. The page has over 7000 contributors and is one of the most active repositories on the platform.

5. Flutter

Flutter is a software development kit (SDK) by Google and is one of the fastest-growing open source communities on GitHub. It allows apps to be developed from a single codebase using a user interface toolkit. The apps created by Flutter are compatible with web, PC, and mobile platforms and are reported to create aesthetic and efficient end-user experiences. 

Flutter is powered by Skia and the hardware-accelerated 2D graphics library under Android and Chrome. It also utilizes a layered architecture for building, which allows devs to seamlessly add text, graphics, video, and animated content as overlays without affecting the source code. It is compatible with witbiOS and Android, offering much-needed flexibility to the developer. 

The Flutter Github page has over 100,000 stars and is immensely popular among users and contributors alike. The open-source projects on the repository offer a wide range of challenges in the area of expertise and difficulty level. This versatile page is rightfully one of the most popular communities on GitHub.

6. First Contributors

As the name indicates, this is an immensely popular page for first-time contributors on GitHub. It is essentially a tutorial or a walkthrough of a real GitHub experience. The page allows you to find your way around a GitHub repository, all the way to make a first-time contribution to a project.

It is a hassle-free way of figuring out the controls before jumping behind the wheel of GitHub. The page, after the tutorial, also redirects you to a list of beginner-friendly repositories you can check out and possibly contribute to as a fledgling developer.

7. TensorFlow

TensorFlow is a popular open-source Machine Learning platform. It contains a multitude of useful libraries, tools, and community resources aimed at availing ML capabilities to devs looking to implement them in their projects. Devs can easily build and deploy top-notch ML models as part of their application and also use them on their devices, on the cloud, or from a mobile platform. 

Originally developed by experts working in the Google Brain team, the system is compatible with many different domains and across all major operating systems. The GitHub page has over 150,000 stars and thousands of active contributors. Due to its flexibility and popularity, it is one of the biggest repositories on GitHub, used by devs worldwide on their projects. 

9. React-Native

React-Native is a JS framework that is used in many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on. This framework allows the user to build Native apps using Javascript. It brings React’s declarative User Interface build to mobile platforms as well, allowing the dev to use these Native UI controls to gain full access to the platforms. 

React-Native has a buzzing Github community with numerous contributors and over 90000 stars. The platform offers declarative views that allow codes to be read, understood, and modified easier.

It also makes it easier to build component-based complex UIs, and allow any local changes to reflect quickly on the project. Many developers use the GitHub community to interact, collab, and contribute to the program, making it a popular choice for JS coders. 

10. Kubernetes(K8s)

Developed by Google, Kubernetes is a platform that allows users to manage containerized apps across platforms. It has automated systems for assisting with the development, scaling, and management of apps, and they offer top of the line services.

K8s is based on the same principles that govern the Global network that allows Google to run its containerized apps and has proven to be reliable in its own right. It is hosted by Cloud Native Computing Foundation(CNCF), which is a global leader in container-packaged and dynamically scheduled services. 

The Github page of Kubernetes boasts over 70000 stars has thousands of active contributors in the community. It is a popular repository for devs looking to work in the lucrative sector, as well as professionals. 

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11. DefinitelyTyped

DefinitelyTyped is a library of high-quality TypeScript type definitions maintained on Github. In this open-source repository, devs can share and maintain TypeScript type definitions for JS libraries. It primarily serves as a translator for JS devs to work with TypeScript. Using DefinitelyTyped and its declaration statements, they can find TypeScript equivalents for existing JS libraries. 

Devs can contribute to the repository by adding definitions, testing, making pull requests, and so on. This is an extremely popular page, with thousands of contributors and many times more users, as it directly assists devs with their work.

12. Ansible

Initiated by RedHat, Ansible is an automation platform that helps devs with configuring systems, deploying Software, managing networks, and schedule activities such as zero downtime rolling updates, continuous deployments, and other advanced IT tasks. Since it was inception in 2016, Ansible has consistently been one of the biggest pages on GitHub.

The simple setup with a small learning curve, along with ease of use and flexibility, has attracted many devs towards Ansible. It has over 5000 contributors on GitHub and continues to grow popular as one of the easiest options available. 

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The variation of open source repositories on GitHub in 2024 reveals a vibrant ecosystem driven by collaboration, innovation, and community engagement. From the educational resources provided by freeCodeCamp to the versatile development environment of VS Code, and the robust documentation offered by Azure Docs, each project serves as a testament to the power of collective effort and shared knowledge.

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Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How do you choose an open source project?

The first step is to find an open source project that you would like to contribute to. It is best to pick up projects which you are really passionate about. The next step is to read the project documentation and familiarize yourself with the project. You can engage the project community through the mailing list, issue tracking etc. Go through the project issue tracker and see if there are any issues of interest to you. If you are a programmer you can start by fixing the bugs. If you are a designer you can start by designing themes or icons. If you feel that you want to take on a bigger responsibility, you can start by proposing a new feature or enhancement. You can also start contributing to the documentation.

2Why should I contribute to open source?

Contributing to open source is a great way to get experience or get noticed. Companies are increasingly looking to hire programmers with experience in open source projects. Being a leader in an open source community will lead to opportunities with big companies. If you don't want a job, contributing to open source is a great way to make friends in the industry, learn a lot, and most importantly make a difference in open source software.

3What are some good open source projects to contribute to?

The following is a list of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects in which you can contribute without having to worry about the payment. It's important to remember that most of these projects will require significant time commitment, so choose your projects wisely. Zimbra is a leading provider of open source messaging and collaboration. Drupal is used by more than 10,000 fastest growing Websites. The Mozilla project is a worldwide community of people who believe that open source is the best way to build more. Ubuntu is a complete desktop Linux operating system, freely available with both community and professional support.

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