German-born technologist and open source evangelist Atul Chitnis passed away today after a year-long battle against Stage 4 intestinal cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease in August 2012 and was under treatment. Chitnis was 51.


Atul Chitnis's death is a big loss for the Indian open source community

Chitnis was one of the first people in India to champion open source activities and software and spent a lot of his time promoting open source software in India. He was also among the founders of, a conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Initially a series of community-driven conferences known as Linux Bangalore, FOSS.IN has today grown to become one of the largest annual FOSS events in all of Asia. Chitnis has also served as faculty at the National Resource Centre For Free/Open Source Software.

He has also been responsible for the PCQuest Linux Initiative, during his role as Consulting Editor for the monthly tech magazine, PCQuest. The Initiative aimed to introduce FOSS and Linux to the mainstream public and the readers of the magazine.

Also an amateur musician, Chitnis worked with music groups such as Phenom and the Raghu Dixit Project, and wrote about entertainment technologies. True to his open source moorings, he was also a part of RadioVeRVe, an Internet radio station that promoted independent music from India.

In spite of his battle with cancer, Chitnis’s love of technology and passion for all things music shone through on his last tweet on Sunday, which, like much of the Internet, had something to do with a cat. 

Atul Chitnis had a great influence on a lot of people. We would really like it if you could share your thoughts and memories of him. 

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