Saturday, March 04, 2006

Why choose GNU/Linux? The three F's and more...

1. Freedom to use
2. Freedom to modify
3. Freedom to distribute.

Please do note here, I do NOT mean monetary freedom (nor do GNU). GNU/Linux is designed to allow users to use their operating system in the way they desire. It allows them to change the source code to meet their requirements. It allows them to distrubute all GNU copylefted software to anyone they desire, and pass on the same rights provided to them.

An important thing to understand here, is that not all distributions of GNU/Linux provide all three of these freedoms. That is because, along with GNU Free Software, they sometimes add commercial components, or any other software that is not copylefted. Such software restricts its usage. However, you may have the liberty to remove such components from the distribution(uninstall) and use the rest of the OS freely. Whether this can be done varies from distribution to distribution.

Besides the 3 F's, here's why you might want to use GNU/Linux:
-> It is highly customizable
-> It can be made to run on a very wide range of hardware configurations
-> Easy support is available for it online at forums and websites.
-> The updates to software can be made very regularly. You can stay at the cutting-edge of software development
-> Many distributions are also cost nothing. Costs are generally for transfer of media, or maybe support, and not for the product itself.
-> An amazingly large variety of software is available for GNU/Linux.

I could go into details of each of these points, but this will suffice for now, I hope!
Next article will be on How to get GNU/Linux...

No comments: