Free software , freedom-respecting software , or free software   is computer software distributed under terms that allow the software users to run the software for any purpose versions.      Free software is a matter of liberty , not price: users, Individually or Collectively, are free to do what They Want With It, Including the freedom to redistribute the software free Of charge , or to sell it, or charge for related services.  
The availability of the software source code to its users. While this is often referred to as ‘access to source code’, the Free Software Foundation recommends to avoid using the word ‘access’ in this context  because it is misleading and may make people Code unconditionally. This right is conditional only on the person Actually Having a copy of the software, ie being white has software user .
Richard Stallman used the already existing term free software  when he launched the GNU Project -a collaborative effort to create a freedom-respecting operating system -and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The FSF’s Free Software Definition  states That users of free software are free Because They Do not need to ask for permission to use the software. 
Alternatives and context
Free software thus differs from
- Proprietary software , such as Microsoft Office , Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides or iWork from Apple . Users can not study, change, and share their source code .
- Freeware , which is a category of proprietary software that does not require payment for basic use.
For computer programs That are covered by copyright law, software freedom is Achieved with a software license , qui by the author grants users the aforementioned freedom. Software that is not covered by copyright law, such as software in the public domain , is free from the source code in the public domain, or otherwise available without restrictions.
Proprietary software, including freeware, use restrictive software licenses or EULAs. THUS users are Prevented from changing the software, and this results in the user Relying on the publisher to Provide updates, help, and support. This situation is called vendor lock-in . Users often may not reverse engineer , modify, or redistribute proprietary software.   Other legal and technical aspects, such as software patents and digital rights management may restrict users in exercising their rights, and thus prevent software from being free.  Free software may be developed collaboratively by volunteer computer programmers or by corporations; As part of a commercial, for-profit activity or not.
From the 1950s up until the early 1970s, it was normal for computer users to have the software freedoms associated with free software, which was typically public domain software .  Software was commonly shared by individuals who used computers and hardware. Organizations of users and suppliers, for example, SHARE , were formed to facilitate exchange of software. As software Was Often written in year Such As construed language BASIC , the source Was distributed to use a software. Software Was aussi shared and distributed as printed source code ( type-in program ) in computer magazines (like Creative Computing , Softside , Compute! , Byte etc.) and books, like the bestseller BASIC Computer Games .  By the early 1970s, the picture changed: software costs were dramatically increasing, a growing software industry was competing with the hardware manufacturer’s bundled software products, leased machines required software support (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) This is a free, Software bundled with hardware product costs. In United States vs. IBM , filed January 17, 1969, the government charged that bundled software was anti-competitive .  While some software might always be free, there would be henceforth be a growing amount of computer software produced for sale. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the software industry Began using technical Measures (Such As only distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent prevention computer users from being white to reliable study or adapted the software As They saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs. IBM , filed January 17, 1969, the government charged that bundled software was anti-competitive .  While some software might always be free, there would be henceforth be a growing amount of computer software produced for sale. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the software industry Began using technical Measures (Such As only distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent prevention computer users from being white to reliable study or adapted the software As They saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs. IBM , filed January 17, 1969, the government charged that bundled software was anti-competitive .  While some software might always be free, there would be henceforth be a growing amount of computer software produced for sale. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the software industry Began using technical Measures (Such As only distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent prevention computer users from being white to reliable study or adapted the software As They saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs.  While some software might always be free, there would be henceforth be a growing amount of computer software produced for sale. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the software industry Began using technical Measures (Such As only distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent prevention computer users from being white to reliable study or adapted the software As They saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs.  While some software might always be free, there would be henceforth be a growing amount of computer software produced for sale. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the software industry Began using technical Measures (Such As only distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent prevention computer users from being white to reliable study or adapted the software As They saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs. The software industry began using technical measures (such as distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent computer users from being able to study or adapt the software as they saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs. The software industry began using technical measures (such as distributing binary copies of computer programs ) to prevent computer users from being able to study or adapt the software as they saw fit. In 1980, copyright law was extended to computer programs.
In 1983, Richard Stallman , one of the original authors of the popular Emacs program and a longtime member of the hacker community at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory , annoncé the GNU Project , the purpose of qui Was completely Call to Produce a non-proprietary Unix- Compatible operating system, saying that it had become frustrated with the shift in the surrounding computer world and its users. In his initial declaration of the project and its purpose, he specifically cited as a motivation his non-disclosure agreements and restrictive licenses which prohibit the free sharing of potentially profitable in-development software, A prohibition directly against the traditional hacker ethic . Software development for the GNU operating system Began in January 1984 and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Was founded in October 1985. He Developed a free software definition and the concept of ” copyleft “, designed to Ensure software freedom for all. Some non-software industries are used in the development of software applications. Scientists, for example, are more open development processes, and hardware Such As microchips are Beginning to be Developed with specifications released under copyleft licenses (see the OpenCores project, for instance). Creative Commons and the free cultural movement -have beens aussi Largely Influenced by the free software movement.
1980s: Foundation of the GNU project
In 1983, Richard Stallman , longtime member of the hacker community at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory , annoncé the GNU project, Saying That He Had Become frustrated with the effects of the changes in cultivation of the computer industry and Its users.  Software development for the GNU operating system began in January 1984, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded in October 1985. An article outlining the project and its goals was published in March 1985 titled the GNU Manifesto . The manifesto included significant explanation of the GNU philosophy, Free Software Definition and ” copyleft ” ideas.
1990s: Release of the Linux kernel
The Linux kernel , started by Linus Torvalds , was released as a freely modifiable source code in 1991. The first license was a proprietary software license. However, with version 0.12 in February 1992, he relicensed the project under the GNU General Public License .  Much like Unix, Torvalds’ kernel attracted the attention of volunteer programmers. FreeBSD and NetBSD (both derived from 386BSD ) Were released as free software When the USL v. BSDi lawsuit Was-settled out of court in 1993. OpenBSD forked from NetBSD in 1995. Also in 1995, The Apache HTTP Server ,
The FSF recommends using the term “free software” rather than ” open-source software ” because, as they are in a paper on Free Software Philosophy, the last term and the related marketing campaign focuses on the technical issues of software development, avoiding the Issue of user freedoms. The FSF also notes that “Open Source” has a specific meaning in English, “that you can look at the source code.” Stallman states that while the term “Free Software” can lead to two different interpretations, one of them is consistent with FSF’s definition of Free Software.  Stallman has also stated that the practical advantages of free software is like considering the practical advantages of not being handcuffed in that it is not necessary for an individual to consider handcuffed restrictions their freedom.  ” Free ” is often used to avoid the ambiguity of the word “free” in English language and the ambiguity with the older use of “free software” as public domain software;  see Gratis versus free . In English language and the ambiguity with the use of “free software” as public domain software;  see Gratis versus free . In English language and the ambiguity with the use of “free software” as public domain software;  see Gratis versus free .
Definition and the Four Freedoms
The first formal definition of free software was published by FSF in February 1986.  This definition, written by Richard Stallman, is still maintained today and that Freedoms.   The numbering begins with zero, not only a spoof on the common usage of zero-based numbering in programming languages, but also because “Freedom 0” was not initially included in the list. The list as it was considered very important.
- Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
- Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
- Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbor.
- Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
Freedoms 1 and 3 require source code to be imported.
THUS, free software means clustering That computer users -have the freedom to Cooperate with Whom They choose, and to control the Software They Use. To summarize this free software ( free software), the Free Software Foundation says: “Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘ free speech ,’ not as in ‘free beer ‘ ‘.  See Gratis versus free .
In the late 1990s, other groups published their own definitions that describe an almost identical set of software. The most notable are Debian Free Software Guidelines published in 1997,  and the Open Source Definition , published in 1998.
The BSD -based operating systems, such as FreeBSD , OpenBSD , and NetBSD , do not have their own definitions of free software. The purpose of this article is to describe the use of copyleft as restrictive. Generally They advocate permissive free software licenses , qui allow others to use the software as They wish, without being white Legally forced to Provide the source code. Their view is that this permissive approach is more free. The Kerberos , X11 , and Apache software licenses are similar in intent and implementation.
The Free Software Directory maintains a large database of free software packages. Some of the best-known examples include the Linux kernel , the BSD and Linux operating systems, the GNU Compiler Collection and C library ; The MySQL relational database; The Apache web server; And the Sendmail mail transport agent. Other influential examples include the Emacs text editor; The GIMP raster drawing and image editor; The X Window System graphical-display system; The LibreOffice office suite;
All free software licenses must all users freedoms above. However, unless the applications’ licenses are compatible, combining programs by mixing source code or directly linking binaries is problematic, because of license technicalities . Indirectly connected programs may prevent this problem.
The majority of free software falls under a small set of licenses. The most popular of these licenses are:  
- The MIT License
- The GNU General Public License v2
- The Apache License
- The GNU General Public License v3
- The BSD License
- The GNU Lesser General Public License
- The Mozilla Public License (MPL)
- The Eclipse Public License
The Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative both publish lists of licenses that they find to comply with their own definitions of free software and open source software respectively:
- List of FSF approved software licenses
- List of OSI approved software licenses
The FSF is not a prescriptive: free licenses can exist that the FSF has not heard about, or considered important enough to write about. So it’s possible for a license to be free and not in the FSF list. The OSI lists only those licenses that have been submitted, considered and approved. All open-source licenses must meet the Open Source Definition in order to be officially recognized as open source software. Free software on the other hand. Nevertheless, the software can not be considered free software.
Apart from these two organizations, the Debian project is considered to be free from the Debian Free Software Guidelines . Debian does not publish a list of approved licenses, so its judgments have to be tracked by checking what software they have allowed in their archives. That is summarized at the Debian web site. 
It is uncommon That a license annoncé as being white in-compliance with the FSF guidelines does not aussi meet the Open Source Definition , ALTHOUGH the reverse Is not Necessarily true (for example, the NASA Open Source Agreement is an OSI-approved license, intended not -free according to FSF).
There are different categories of free software.
- Public domain software: the copyright has expired, the work was not copyrighted (published without copyright notice before 1988), or the author has released the software on the public domain with a waiver statement. Since public-domain software lacks copyright protection, it may be freely incorporated into any work, whether proprietary or free. The FSF recommends the CC0 public domain dedication for this purpose. 
- Permissive licenses , also called BSD-style because they are applied to much of the software distributed with the BSD operating systems: these licenses are also known as copyfree as they have no restrictions on distribution.  The author retains copyright solely to disclaim warranty and require proper allocation of modified works, and permits redistribution and any modification, even closed-source ones. In this sense, a permissive license provides an incentive to create non-free software, by reducing the cost of developing restricted software. Since this is incompatible with the spirit of software freedom, many people consider permissive licenses to be free copyleft licenses.
- Copyleft licenses, with the GNU General Public License, is the most prominent of all copyright and redistributive licenses under the same license. Additions and modifications by others must also be licensed under the same “copyleft” license whenever they are distributed with part of the original licensed product. This is also known as a viral , protective , or reciprocal license. Due to the restriction on distribution not everyone considers this type of license to be free.  
Security and reliability
There is debate over the security of free software in comparison to proprietary software, with a major issue being white security through obscurity . A popular quantitative test in computer security is to use relative counting of known unpatched security flaws. Generally, users of this method advise avoiding products that lack fixes for known security flaws, at least until a fix is available.
Free software advocates Strongly believe That this methodology is biased by counting more vulnerabilities for the free software, since ict source code is available and Its community is more Forthcoming about what problems exist,  (This is called “Security Through Disclosure” [37 ] ) And posset undisclosed societal drawbacks, such as disenfranchising less fortunate would-be users of free programs. As users can analyze and trace the source code, many people with no commercial constraints can inspect the code and find bugs and loopholes than a corporation would find practicable. According to Richard Stallman, Undefined hidden spyware functionality far more difficult than for proprietary software. 
Some quantitative studies have been done on the subject.    
Binary blobs and other proprietary software
In 2006, OpenBSD started the first campaign against the use of binary blobs in kernels . Blobs are usually freely distributable device drivers for hardware from vendors to developers. This restricts the users’ freedom to modify the software and distribute modified versions. Also, since the blobs are undocumented and may have bugs , they pose a security risk to any operating system including kernel. The proclaimed love of the campaign against the blobs is to collect hardware that allows to write to free software for that hardware, ultimately enabling all free operating systems to become or remain blob-free.
The issue of binary blobs in the Linux kernel and other device drivers in Ireland to launch gNewSense , a Linux based distribution with all the binary blobs removed. The project received support from the Free Software Foundation and stimulated the creation, headed by the Free Software Foundation Latin America , of the Linux-free kernel.  As of October 2012, Trisquel is the most popular FSF endorsed Linux distribution distributed by Distrowatch (over 12 months).  While Debian is not endorsed by the FSF and does not use Linux-free,
Since free software may be freely redistributed, it is generally available at little or no fee. Free software business models  are usually based on adding value such as applications, support, training, customization, integration, or certification. At the same time, some business models that work with proprietary software are not compatible with free software, such as those that depend on the user to pay for a license in order to lawfully use the software product.
Fees are usually charged for distribution on compact discs and bootable USB drives, or for services of installing or maintaining the operation of free software. Development of large, commercially used free software is often funded by a combination of user donations, corporate contributions, and tax money. Depending on the license type, free software can be embedded in commercial products, too.  The SELinux project at the United States National Security Agency is an example of a federally funded free software project.
In practice, the source code , a human-readable form of the program from which an executable form is produced, must be accessible to the recipient along with a document granting the same rights to free software under Which it was published. Such a document is either a free software license or the release of the source code into the public domain .
Selling software is licensed as is. This is true for permissive licenses , such as the BSD license,   or copyleft licenses as the GNU GPL .
The Free Software Foundation encourages selling free software. As the Foundation has written, “Distributing free software is an opportunity for fundraising for development. Do not waste it!”.  For example, the GNU GPL is the Free Software Foundation ‘s licensing states that “[the user] may charge any price or fee for any. 
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated in 2001 that “open source software is open source software, you have to make the rest of your open source software.”  This misunderstanding is based on a requirement of copyleft licenses (like the GPL). This requirement does not extend to other software from the same developer. The claim of incompatibility between commercial companies and Free Software is also a misunderstanding. There are several large companies, eg Red Hat and IBM ,
Under the free software business model [ more explanation needed ] , free software vendors may charge a fee for distribution and offer support and software customization services. This article is about the use of a proprietary software. This license may grant the customer the ability to configure some or parts of the software themselves. Often, the amount of support that is provided in the purchase of proprietary software, but additional support services are usually available for an additional fee. Some proprietary software vendors will also customize software for a fee. 
Economical aspects and adoption
|Free Software runs the world|
Of the world’s five hundred fastest supercomputers , 494 (98.8%) use the Linux kernel.  The world’s second fastest computer is the Oak Ridge National Laboratory ‘s Titan supercomputer(illustrated), qui uses the Cray Linux Environment . 
Free software has a significant share in the development of the Internet, the World Wide Web and the infrastructure of dot-com companies .   Free software allows users to cooperate in enhancing and refining the programs they use; Free software is a pure public good rather than a private good . Companies That contribuer to free software business Increase innovation . 
Official statement of the United Space Alliance , qui marriages the computer systems for the International Space Station (ISS) Regarding Their May 2013 decision to migrate ISS computer systems from Windows to Linux  
The economic viability of free software has-been by wide reconnu Corporations Such As IBM , Red Hat , and Sun Microsystems .      Many companies have a core business in the IT sector. Application packages. Most companies in the software business include free software in their commercial products if the licenses allow that. 
Free software is Generally Available at no cost and can result in Permanently lower TCO costs Compared to proprietary software .  With free software, businesses can make software to their specific needs by changing the software themselves or by hiring programmers to modify it for them. Free software, and more importantly, do not assign legal liability to anyone. However, warranties are permitted between any two parts upon the condition of the software and its use. Such an agreement is made separately from the free software license.
A postponement by Standish Group Estimates That adoption of free software HAS Caused a drop in revenue to the proprietary software industry by about $ 60 trillion per year.  In spite of this, Eric S. Raymond argues that the term free software is too ambiguous and intimidating for the business community. Raymond promotes the term open-source software as a friendlier alternative for the business and corporate world. 
- Free software portal
- Software portal
- Definition of Free Cultural Works
- Digital rights
- Free content
- Free and open-source software
- Free knowledge
- Open format
- Open standard
- Open source hardware
- Outline of free software
- Public domain
- Category: Free software
- List of formerly proprietary software
- List of free software project directories
- List of free software for Web 2.0
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In addition OSS’s development process is creating innovative products that are reliable, secure, practical and high performance. Users are now not only benefit from the OSS revolution but also from the improved proprietary software development.
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