Some of you (the readers of my blog) might not know very much about this.
Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system (18k characters) every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is more often known as “Linux”, and many users are not aware of the extent of its connection with the GNU Project.
There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is not the operating system. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in a combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU, with Linux functioning as its kernel.
Sometimes I talk about Linux instead of GNU/Linux because it’s shorter and easier to say and because most non-geeks don’t know about the existence of GNU while they might have heard (something) about Linux before.
But we should really credit GNU as well.
FOSS means Free and Open Source Software.
Open source doesn’t just mean access to the source code.
read more about the open source definition
“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.”
read more about The Free Software Definition
Debian and Ubuntu
Ubuntu is based on Debian. Debian, the producers of the Debian GNU/Linux system, have created the Debian Social Contract.
Ubuntu and Debian are closely related. Ubuntu builds on the foundations of Debian architecture and infrastructure, with a different community and release process.
FOSS and Ubuntu
Current GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu are comprised of GNU,Linux and lots of other (mostly FOSS) software.
The Ubuntu software repository is divided into four components, main, restricted, universe and multiverse on the basis of our ability to support that software, and whether or not it meets the goals laid out in our Free Software Philosophy.
read more about the Ubuntu components
Our philosophy is reflected in the software we produce and include in our distribution. As a result, the licensing terms of the software we distribute are measured against our philosophy, using the Ubuntu Licence Policy.
When you install Ubuntu almost all of the software installed already meets these ideals, and we are working to ensure that every single piece of software you need is available under a licence that gives you those freedoms. Currently, we make a specific exception for some “drivers” which are only available in binary form, without which many computers will not complete the Ubuntu installation. We place these in a restricted section of your system which makes them trivial to remove if you do not need them.
Ubuntu is happy to call itself open source. While some refer to free and open source as competing movements with different ends, we do not see free and open source software as either distinct or incompatible. Ubuntu proudly includes members who identify with both the free software and open source camps and many who identify with both.
read more about Ubuntu’s Free Software Philosophy
Ubuntu is a collection of many computer programs and documents created by thousands of individuals, teams and companies. Each of these works might come under a different licence. Our Licence Policy describe the process that we follow in determining which software we will ship and by default on the Ubuntu Install CD.
read more about Ubuntu’s License Policy
read more about the Ubuntu Philosophy on my blog
If you want to know more about Ubuntu you should definitely read this :