Jul 24, 2023

about 5 min read

Is React Open Source? Top 7 Projects Built With React

Is React open source? Find out the answer and learn more about the pros and cons of using a library like that.


React is the most popular front-end JavaScript library for building user interfaces and web applications. Jordan Walke—a software engineer at Meta—created this library in 2013. Currently, many large companies use it, including Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb.



But is React open source? And what does it mean to developers and users? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.


What Does Open Source Mean?


Before answering whether React is open source, we must define the term. Open-source software (OSS) is software whose source code is available to the public, meaning anyone can view, modify, and distribute it. Thus, you can see how the software works and make changes to suit your needs. One example of an open-source project is JavaScript.

In contrast, the source code of closed-source software is kept secret. Only the compiled program is distributed.

There are many advantages to using OSS. For example, it is often more secure than proprietary software. This is because many people will likely inspect OSS, which can help identify and fix security vulnerabilities.

Another benefit of open-source software, like Node.js, is that it is often more reliable. Since OSS usually has a large community of users and developers, it is constantly being fixed and improved.


Read more: React vs Django: Which One Is The Best?


Is React Open Source?


Yes. React is open source. It is licensed under the MIT license. Thus, you can use, copy, modify, and distribute this library for any purpose. However, you must include the original copyright notice and license terms in their copies.

Its source code is hosted on GitHub, where anyone can view, fork, clone, and contribute. This has led to a vibrant community of developers contributing to the library and creating new tools and resources to make using it even easier. Currently, this library has over 1600 contributors and approximately 210,000 stars on GitHub as of July 2023. 


6 Advantages of OSS


There are many advantages of using OSS like React. Here are some of them:

  • Cost savings. OSS typically does not require you to pay for the software’s use or any additional copies you download. Thus, you save on procurement overhead and license management costs. You can also use OSS on old hardware to extend its lifespan.
  • Transparency. OSS lets you see how the code works and what it does. Thus, you can trust the software provider more and have a sense of stability. You can also find and fix any issues or vulnerabilities faster and more efficiently.
  • Customizability. OSS allows you to modify the code to suit your or your company’s needs. For instance, you can integrate it with other software or technologies. As a result, you are not locked in by a vendor or limited by their features or updates.
  • Agility. OSS enables you to solve problems in multiple ways and adapt to changing requirements or environments. You can also benefit from the frequent updates and innovations from the community.
  • Security. OSS is often more secure than proprietary software because it is inspected by many people who can find and fix any flaws or bugs. Therefore, it usually has faster and more frequent updates that address any security issues.
  • Freedom. OSS gives you the freedom to use it for any purpose without any restrictions or obligations. You can also distribute it or share it with others as you wish.

Is React a Good Open-Source Library?


Yes. It is well-documented, well-maintained, and has a large community of users and developers. It is also very versatile and can be used to build a wide variety of user interfaces. Also, it has many features and benefits that make it an ideal choice for web development. Some of them are:

  • Declarative. The library makes it easy to create interactive UIs by letting you write code that describes what you want to display rather than how to show it. Also, it handles the rendering and updating of the UI based on the state of your data.
  • Component-based. The library lets you build reusable UI components that encapsulate their logic and state. You can compose them together to create complex UIs without repeating code or creating dependencies.
  • Fast. The library uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model) to compare the changes in your data with the previous UI state and only update what has changed. This minimizes the DOM manipulation and improves the performance of your web app.
  • Easy to learn. The library has a simple and intuitive syntax that makes it easy to learn and use. You can write React code using plain JavaScript or JSX—an extension allowing you to mix HTML and JavaScript in the same file.
  • Rich ecosystem. The library has a rich ecosystem of tools, libraries, frameworks, and resources that you can use to enhance your web development experience. For example, you can use: 
    • Create React App to set up a project using this library with minimal configuration;
    • Redux to manage your app’s state;
    • Next.js to create server-side rendered React web apps;
    • React Native to build native mobile apps.

7 Open-Source Projects Built with React


Since React is open source, many projects are built with this library and showcase its capabilities and potential. Here are just some examples:


  • Gatsby. You can use this framework to build fast, modern websites and apps using the library. It leverages the power of GraphQL and static site generation to create blazing-fast websites that can be deployed anywhere.
  • Storybook. This is a tool for developing UI components in isolation. It allows you to browse, test, and document your components in an interactive environment. It supports React, Vue, Angular, and other popular web frameworks.
  • Material-UI. This component library implements Google’s Material Design guidelines. It provides a set of ready-made and customizable UI elements that you can use to create beautiful and responsive web apps.
  • React Router. This collection of navigational components lets you create dynamic routing in your React app. It lets you sync your UI with the URL and handle transitions between different views.
  • React Bootstrap. This library is based on Bootstrap—a popular CSS framework. It allows you to use Bootstrap’s features and styles in your app without any dependencies.
  • Next.js. This React framework is designed to make building server-rendered and static websites easy. Many large companies, including Airbnb and Uber, use it.


  • Recoil. This is a state management library that is built on top of the JavaScript library. It is designed to be simple, efficient, and predictable.

These are just a few of the many projects that are built with the library. If you are looking for one to contribute to or for inspiration for your React project, I encourage you to check out these projects.




In short, React is open source. As a result, there is a vibrant community of developers that contributes to its development and uses it to build a wide variety of web applications and tools. 

With its many advantages and strong community support, it is clear that this library will continue to be a popular choice for front-end development for years to come. 

In this article, we have answered what React is and why to use it. Suppose you are looking for an excellent OSS for building user interfaces. In that case, this JavaScript library is a good option worth considering. Thank you for reading!

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