In 1999, VA Linux hired four developers, including Tim Perdue, to develop the  service to encourage Open Source development and support the Open Source developer community. SourceForge.net services were offered free of charge to any Open Source project team. Following the SourceForge launch on November 17, 1999, the free software community rapidly took advantage of SourceForge.net, and traffic and users grew very quickly.
As another competitive web service, "Server 51", was being readied for launch, VA Linux released the source code for the sourceforge.net web site on January 14, 2000 as a marketing ploy to show that SourceForge was 'more open source'. Many companies began installing and using it themselves and contacting VA Linux for professional services to set up and use the software. However, their pricing was so unrealistic, they had few customers. By 2001, the company's Linux hardware business had collapsed in the dotcom bust.
The company was renamed to VA Software and called the closed codebase SourceForge Enterprise Edition to try to force some of the large companies to purchase licenses. This prompted objections from open source community members. VA Software continued to say that a new source code release would be made at some point, but it never was.
Some time later, 2002, Tim Perdue left VA, started GForge open source project based on the last publicly released version, 2.6, and merged the debian-sf fork, previously maintained by Roland Mas and Christian Bayle, into the project.
In 2007, Bull announces the first public release of Novaforge based on the GForge open source branch.
In 2007, SourceForge Enterprise Edition was acquired by CollabNet (main sponsor of Subversion) and rebrand as TeamForge.
SourceForge.net was initially powered by SourceForge but, since 2009, it runs on the software that eventually became Apache Allura.
In February 2009 some of the developers of GForge continued development of the old open source code under the new name of FusionForge after GForge Group focused on GForge Advanced Server. One objective is to merge GForge forks into a single project, hence the prefix Fusion.
Shortly after the launch of FusionForge.org the Gforge.org site switched from GForge GPL (4.x) to GForge AS (5.x) and increased the focus on supporting GForge AS. This site change, as a formal response to the FusionForge fork, is believed to signal the end of the GForge GPL branch.
In 2011, FusionForge is selected as part of the Coclico project. It aims to fusion 3 existing trees of forked forges: FusionForge, Codendi & Novaforge.
End 2013, main Savane maintainer Sylvain Beucler joins FusionForge as INRIA contractor for 2 years. Main contributors to FusionForge include indivual contributors such as Roland Mas, small companies such as TrivialDev or major companies such as Nokia
In 2017, FusionForge software is the first forge software to contribute to the Software Heritage initiative, providing a connector to retrieve any information from FusionForge installation.