• Biography

is an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and open source software advocate. He is best known for his work on the Open Source Definition and the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Early Life

Bruce Perens was born in New York City in 1954. He grew up in the Bronx and attended the Bronx High School of Science. He then went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


After graduating from Berkeley, Perens began working as a software engineer for various companies, including Hewlett-Packard and Pixar. In 1995, he founded the Open Source Initiative, an organization dedicated to promoting open source software. He also wrote the Open Source Definition, which is the basis for the open source software licenses used today.

In 1997, Perens joined the Debian Project, a volunteer-run organization that develops and maintains the Debian Linux operating system. He wrote the Debian Free Software Guidelines, which are used to determine which software can be included in the Debian distribution. He also served as the project's leader for two years.

In addition to his work on open source software, Perens has also been involved in the development of several commercial software products. He is the founder of No-Code International, a software development company, and has served as a consultant for several other companies.

Later Life

In recent years, Perens has become increasingly involved in politics. He was a founding member of the Libertarian Party of California and has served as a delegate to the California Republican Party. He has also been an outspoken advocate for the legalization of marijuana and has written several books on the subject.

Perens is also an active member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to protect digital civil liberties. He has served on the organization's board of directors since 2004.


Bruce Perens is a pioneering figure in the world of open source software. His work on the Open Source Definition and the Debian Free Software Guidelines has had a lasting impact on the software industry. He has also been an active advocate for digital civil liberties and the legalization of marijuana. His contributions to the world of technology and politics have been invaluable.

Date modified: Apr 8, 2023
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