About open-source

Open-source: We are seeing this word here and there on the internet.
So, what is open-source? Open source movement is a large movement of programmers and computer users that gives unrestricted access to the ‘source code’ of the software. Now, what is source code? Source code is the set of instructions given to the computer. All the programs are written in a programming language to perform a specific task. For example, let’s take a look at a simple code in the ‘C’ language:


Void main()


Printf(“hi,how are you?”);

If you run this code you will see the text “hi, how are you?” on your screen. So, the task of this code is to print the given text.
Now coming back to open source the biggest strength of open source has been that it is free. Also, it has the advantage of peer-review and sustained innovation in software. People improve it, adapt it and fix the bugs themselves at astonishing speed.
Most of us know about Linux but there are more open-source applications out there like Free BSD(an OS just like UNIX); GNU(mother of all FOSS applications), Firefox( a web browser used as an IE alternative), Thunderbird(alternate email client to Outlook, without security flaws).
Linux is gaining popularity these days. In 1991, Linus Torvaldsof Finland began asking for volunteer programmers over the internet to collaborate on the development of a UNIX like OS for personal computers. The “1.0” release of Linux was in 1994.
Beginning Linux was originally Minix, an educational version of UNIX developed by Andrew Tannenbaum. As an interesting side we might be talking about Minix today if not for the licensing that Minix required. Few people have heard about Minix today, far less than have heard about Linux.
Linux usually comes with a set of utility, desktop and server programs including networking suites, webservers, file systems, compilers and a whole lot more. A number of organisations both commercial and volunteer collect all these programs along with an OS kernel and test if it works together and release it which is called as a Linux distribution. Popular Linux distributions are Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux mint, Linux Mandrake and many more…


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