The open-source graveyard: 7 projects that have gone belly-up

An septet of (somewhat) recently deceased open-source projects, for your ghoulish, pre-Halloween interest.

They only look de...no, wait, actually, they're dead.

It happens – the funding dries up, the community loses interest, the maintainers burn out. It is a sad fact that open-source projects are not immune to the vicissitudes of fate. Here, we look back at some of the FOSS world's more prominent recent shutdowns.

Ubuntu Edge

Ubuntu Edge

The high-profile Kickstarter aimed at funding a slick superphone for developers and enthusiasts raised $12.8 million this summer – sadly, the goal was a whopping $32 million, so the Edge never got made. Ubuntu fans oohed and ahhed over the concept, so we could yet see something similar in the future.

 SolusOS
Wikimedia\CC License\Machinebacon

SolusOS

The user-friendly Debian variant shut down just last week, with benevolent overlord Ikey Doherty citing a simple lack of hours in the day. SolusOS could, of course, rise from the dead if some interested parties create a fork of the project, but it's pretty defunct at the moment.

Dreamlinux

Dreamlinux

Brazilian Linux distro Dreamlinux shuttered about a year ago, ending support for the popular XFCE-based operating system. Its icon pack and visual theme remains available for download, however.

QuantOS (kinda)
Sourceforge

QuantOS (kinda)

While QuantOS itself is no more, it has risen from the grave in the form of Mandragora. The hardened Linux operating system, which offers built-in sandboxing, Tor connectivity and a host of other security features, is one of the better options for digital forensics and vulnerability testing.

Diaspora (revived!)

Diaspora (revived!)

The popular Kickstarter did not thrive as a social network, and its creators eventually threw up their hands and passed control over Diaspora to the community. It's now a non-profit under the auspices of the Free Software Support Network, essentially having risen from the grave in a new FOSS form.

MySQL's man pages
MySQL.com

MySQL's man pages

Oracle's move to quietly kill off open access to critical MySQL manual pages – by changing the license from GPL to a proprietary one – came as a nasty surprise to the open-source community this summer, particularly those working on the popular MariaDB fork project. A hue and a cry was raised, and Oracle quickly said the move had merely been an error, and switched the license back.

Chumby platform
Wikimedia Commons\CC License\Andreas Pizsa

Chumby platform

Anyone remember Chumby, the weird little Wi-Fi box that did...kind of not very much at all? Yeah, us either, but a dedicated community of developers managed to keep the gizmo's software afloat for more than a year. Sadly, this too has apparently gone belly-up, though the Verge reports that there may be some interest in reviving it.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.