Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Culture of Free Software

Fedora was born from a culture of free software development and continues to thrive from that culture. The copyright for software included in Fedora systems is covered primarily under the GNU public license. That license, which most free software falls under, provides the following:

• Author rights — The original author retains the rights to his or her software.

• Free distribution — People can use the GNU software in their own software, changing and redistributing it as they please. They do, however, have to include the source code with their distribution (or make it easily available).

• Copyright maintained — Even if you were to repackage and resell the software, the original GNU agreement must be maintained with the software. This means that all future recipients of the software must have the opportunity to change the source code, just as you did.

It is important to remember that there is no warranty on GNU software. If something goes wrong, the original developer of the software has no obligation to fix the problem. However, the Linux culture has provided resources for that event. Experts on the Internet can help you iron out your problems, or you can access one of the many Linux newsgroups or forums to read how others have dealt with their problems and to post your own questions about how to fix yours. Chances are that someone will know what to do — and may even provide the software or configuration file you need.

If you need reliable support for your Linux system, commercial Linux support is available from a variety of companies. Also, many of the software projects that go into Linux offer their own support features, which lets you get help directly from those who are building the code.

NOTE: The GNU project uses the term free software to describe the software that is covered by the GNU license. Many Linux proponents tend to use the term open source software to describe software. Although source code availability is part of the GNU license, the GNU project claims that software defined as open source is not the same as free software because it can encompass semi-free programs and even some proprietary programs. See for a description of open-source software.

Source of Information :  Wiley - Adobe Fedora Bible 2010 Edition Featuring Fedora Linux
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