Pick a Free OS

Open Source is here to stay!

If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul I am free,

Angels alone that soar above,

Enjoy such liberty.

-- Lovelace.

The Open Source model of software development has churned out some truly

remarkable pieces of software. There are no dearth of examples of

excellent pieces of Open Source software, right from Apache, which is one

of the most widely used web servers, to Sendmail, which is responsible for

transporting billions of email messages around the world, every day. These

are some of the most common and widely used Open Source software that have

found their way into the hearts of many System Administrators world-wide.

In a world dominated by Closed Source, let's take a look at the

significance of Open Source software and the role it plays.

Open Source is one of those things that you either love or hate. The

proponents of Open Source are extremely committed people, for the simple

reason that if you know about Open Source, the way it works and if you

have ever benefited from it in one way or another, you will find yourself

obligated to do something in return to foster the growth of Open Source

and the community as a whole. Let's take the example of the various LUG's

(Linux Users Group) that operate via e-mail in the form of Mailing Lists

world-wide. The concept of the LUG is to bring about awareness on various

issues and provide a forum for discussion on various topics regarding Open

Source with Linux being the central theme. Apart from discussing issues

related to Open Source, quite often LUG members also help out people who

are stuck with a tricky problem on their Linux boxes. The mailing list

has people who are experienced in several fields and that makes the

concept of the LUG all the more interesting. It pools together the

resources of the community to help any Linux user requiring assistance.

Most of the software that is Open Source is distributed under the GNU GPL

license. The GNU GPL license is designed to give the user unrestricted

access to the source code of the application and even the right to

distribute modified versions. The author of application cannot take the

power out of the hands of the end user to view/modify any part of the

original source code. This is one of the most significant aims of the GNU