Sales of open source software will grow from $1.8bn last year to $5.8bn in 2011, analyst firm IDC predicts.
Matt Lawton, programme director for IDC's Open Source Software Business Models research programme, typified the current market as "immature" and in the "early stages".
The projected revenue figure is low when compared to commercial, closed source software. But the analyst believes that revenues alone do not reflect the actual distribution of open source software.
Proprietary software typically charges an upfront fee, while open source charges only for support and typically does so on a pay-as-you-go basis.
IDC cited culture and comfort levels as the primary drivers behind open source software.
The development model has gained credibility because venture capital investors are increasingly backing the software.
Companies have become more comfortable with subscription models such as those pioneered by Red Hat.
Australian government to require technology and communications companies to provide access to messages
New bill avoids demanding 'backdoors' in encryption, but includes measures to compel companies to provide access to encrypted communications
Indonesian overclocker Ivan Cupa (with the aid of a lot of liquid nitrogen) achieves record overclock on AMD's latest Threadripper
Ssupermassive black hole is so big it corresponds to four per cent of the galaxy's total mass
Imminent attack will target a single bank with cloned cards used to fraudulently withdraw millions over one weekend