Tag: GNU

By Raghu Bharadwaj

I would like to introduce you to a chronology of events that happened in the early 80′s and 90′s.

Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project

Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project

For Richard Stallman things started to look bad with the collapse of the free community at the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT in the early 80′s, with modern era operating systems, none of them free software, were coming with a nondisclosure agreement which said, you are not allowed to share or change the software and if you want to get something changed, ask us to do it for you.

This sounded anti-social to the software-sharing community that had existed for many years at the MIT, who enjoyed and agreed sharing their programs with universities and companies. And to see or to change the source code of an unfamiliar program to create a new one was quite common.

After losing his community, Stallman always had the choice of joining the proprietary software world, writing code under nondisclosure agreements, which he believed divided the software society and a means for not helping a fellow hacker (“Someone who loves to program and enjoys being clever about it”) or quitting the computer field, which was rather an unpleasant thing to do as it would have wasted his skills as an operating system developer. Other way round was to build the community back by writing free programs again.

GNU Project

GNU logo

Now the idea was pretty clear, what was needed first is an operating system. With a free operating system, a community of cooperating hackers would be able to use a computer without starting to deprive his or her friend. He chose to make the system compatible with UNIX so that it would be portable, and UNIX users could easily switch to it. The name GNU was chosen for the project following a hacker tradition, as a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix”.

The GNU project started with an objective to create a “free software” society, here the term “free” is often misunderstood and it has nothing to do with price. It is about freedom. It is defined as:

»You have the freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

»You have the freedom to modify the program to suit your needs. (To make this freedom effective in practice, you must have access to the source code, since making changes in a program without having the source code is exceedingly difficult.)

»You have the freedom to redistribute copies, either gratis or for a fee.

»You have the freedom to distribute modified versions of the program, so that the community can benefit from your improvements.

After quitting his job at MIT in 1984 Stallman began writing the GNU software. First he began by writing a compiler from scratch, which is now popularly known as GCC and the GNU Emacs editor for writing and editing his programs.

Free Software Foundation

Free Software Foundation logo

As users of Emacs were growing, more people were getting involved in the GNU project, and this forced Stallman to look for some funding. So in 1985 the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was created, a tax-exempt charity for free software development. Since then Free Software Foundation employees have written and maintained a number of GNU software packages, two notable ones are the C library and the shell.

Gradually more and more programs were added to the GNU system and most of them gained popularity as they could run on the Unix systems, and users began extending them and porting them to the various incompatible versions of Unix, and sometimes to other systems as well.

By 1990 the GNU system was almost complete, with a major missing link, the kernel, which actually does the job of managing the system resources. The decision was to implement the kernel as a collection of server processes running on top of Mach, a microkernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University and then at the University of Utah. This kernel named the GNU HURD (or “herd of gnus”) could run on top of Mach, and do the various jobs of the UNIX kernel.

GNU/Linux System

In 1991, a student from Finland named Linus Torvalds developed a Unix-compatible kernel and called it Linux. And around1992, combining Linux with the not-quite-complete GNU system resulted in a complete free operating system, the GNU/Linux system. It is due to Linux that a version of the GNU system could be run today.

GPL (GNU General Public License)

GNU Public License logo

All the software under the GNU project were distributed under the GPL, which says that you can copy and distribute exact copies of the program’s source code as you have received it. You can make changes or modify the program and again redistribute under the first mentioned condition, with clear notices of your changes and date of that change.

Linux Distributions

linux distributions

Many Linux distributions based on the GNU/Linux system are currently available both as free copies and commercial distributions. Most of these distributors add up their own features, targeting specific areas like Enterprise, Desktop, Multimedia etc., to the existing GNU system, to cater diverse user sections. Some noted ones are RedHat, Fedora (an open project by RedHat), Debian, Suse from Novell, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Sabayon, PCLinuxOS, SimplyMEPIS, Knoppix, Gentoo etc. All these distributions intend to target different set of users. So you, now have the options of choosing the distribution based on your intended use, like suse, ubuntu, PCLinuxOS for user friendliness, debian, fedora for development, RedHat for Enterprise and so on. Least to say programming would be delightful on all of them.

Where do I get Linux?

Most of the Linux distributions are freely available for download from the Internet;

Fedora from download.fedora.redhat.com

Suse from novell.com

Debian from debian.org

There are also other links from where you can pull down these distributions. And if you do not want to waste time downloading, buy them from people like OSDisc.com, LinuxCD.org etc., but I am sure you would definitely find one, among your colleagues.

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Ubuntu Linux – The Best Operating System For Your Computer

By Eve Wilson

Are you looking for a good alternative for your Windows operating system? If yes, you can consider Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution this operating system is distributed as free. This means you don’t need to pay hefty amount for buying this operating system like that of Windows OS. There are plenty of stunning features of Ubuntu Linux that make it one of the best operating systems available in the present days.

Ubuntu Linux is not only much secure than Windows OS, but it also includes free apps and renders safe and fast web browsing. This operating system is super-fast and great-looking. Whether you have a netbook, desktop or laptop, you can easily install this OS. Ubuntu Linux is also ideal for servers. If you want the very best technologies straight to your desktop, Ubuntu Linux is the pick for you. Would you like to install this operating system on your computer? You can consult a computer repair company for Linux Setup.

Working on Ubuntu Linux is a very pleasing experience. Since the operating system includes plenty of stunning features, you can get your job done without paying for third party software. You can seamlessly create professional documents and presentations with OpenOffice.org that comes with this OS. This software is fully compatible with Microsoft Office. This software is very easy to use and you can create professional documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

When it comes to picking any software, the Ubuntu Software Centre is right there to meet your requirements. It allows you instant access to thousands of open-source and carefully selected free applications. You can explore the software categories like, sound and video, graphics, education, games, programming and office and pick the one according to your need. According to The Guardian, “In terms of software Ubuntu is like the iPhone. Almost anything you’d care to do, there’s an app for that.”

You can enjoy social networking very easily with this operating system. There is a new Me Menu which allows you to access your Facebook and Twitter accounts right from the desktop. Here you get the opportunity to connect to all your favorite chat channels and make updates. And the most interesting thing is that you get all these through a single window.

Ubuntu Linux integrates software like Pitivi video editor, and Movie Player which allows you to watch all your favorite contents from YouTube, iPlayer, and MSN Player. Not only watching, you can also edit your videos with Pitivi video editor. There are also plenty of apps that allow the user to fix and share their photos with the world.

Apart from the above mentioned features, there are many more. Considering all these, it could easily be said that Ubuntu Linux is the best operating system for your computer.

Computer repair Houston has Ubuntu Certified Professionals who offer you computer services for installing, uninstalling and reinstalling Ubuntu Linux on your computer. Pick any of their computer repair plan and enjoy hassle-free computing.

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Linux PHP Vs Windows ASP Web Hosting Comparison
By Darren W Chow

One of the first decisions to make while choosing web hosting is – what platform to opt for? Windows or Linux? PHP or ASP?

First of all, note that sites with static pages such as blogs can run on either Windows or Linux hosting platforms. These only use HTML and CSS, which are supported equally well by both operating systems.

When you require dynamic content on your website, such as eCommerce facilities, forums or other forms of scripting, then you need to pay attention to your hosting platform.

Traditionally, Linux servers are used for scripts based on PHP or Perl. These scripts include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and many other blogging or content management systems. Windows servers, on the contrary, are used with scripts written in ASP, ASP(dot)Net or Access. MySQL works equally well with both Windows and Linux. Today, cross-platform scripting – that is, scripting with PHP/Perl on Windows or with ASP/ASP(dot)NET/Access on Linux – is permitted by some ISPs.

However, cross-platform scripting will never give the smooth performance that a program does when run on its native platform – it is a bit like using emulators to run programs that are not native to the OS. There is one exception here, though – PHP runs equally well on Windows and Linux, so Linux-based hosting is no longer essential to run PHP-based scripts and applications.

Most computer geeks will advise you to go for Linux hosting, as Unix – on which Linux is based – is a far more secure and stable platform than Windows’ alternative. While this is demonstrably true – think of the millions of viruses for Windows systems, and the rare bug that crops up in Linux – it is also true that efficient server administration can render a Windows system as secure as a Linux one.

Speedwise, there is no clear winner between Windows and Linux. Some things work faster on Windows, while others work faster on Linux. So to choose between operating systems, cost and security would have to be the deciding factors. Linux here is substantially cheaper, as it is an open-source system, and most of its applications are also under GNU public licenses – in other words, free. Windows hosting comes with the added cost of the OS, and certain applications that the hosting company has to continually pay for.

As for the ASP-PHP comparison, ASP is almost universally the winner where speed is concerned. However, the learning curve in ASP or ASP(dot)NET is much steeper than in PHP – something that can backfire for advanced users looking for greater control and freedom. PHP, however, is still one of the most popular scripts around thanks to its versatility and the solid, useful applications being written using it.

In the end, choosing between Windows ASP and Linux PHP as hosting platforms becomes a matter of individual preference and contingent need. Depending on your budget, security concerns and familiarity with the computer language, you can pick either of them and successfully run a dynamic website for a long time to come.

Linux php hosting are generally more cheaper and faster compare to windows ASP hosting. For php hosting, we highly recommend Fatcow hosting offering unlimited storage and unlimited domain hosting. Find more info from our Fatcow Review and coupon website.

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Questions and Answers About the Linux Operating System

By Andrea Tessi

The purpose of this article is to give answers to some basic questions common people may have about Linux. Linux is a free operating system whose popularity is increasing day by day and passed from being the toy of a small geek group to a robust and mature piece of code so much as to start challenging Microsoft Windows leadership.

Q. What is exactly Linux?
A. Actually three different things yet belonging to the same environment are named Linux. Originally it was used to name the kernel of the Linux Operating System (whose complete name should be hence “GNU Linux”) and eventually it was used to simply refer to the Linux Operating System. Finally, a lot of application software was added both by spontaneous programming groups and by software companies, creating software collections also known as distributions. So nowadays the name Linux is used for three different things: the kernel, the operating system and the distribution.

Q. Who created Linux?
A. The author of the Linux kernel is basically Linus Torvalds, a finnish computer science expert who developed it as an experiment during his university career. Later, a team of volunteers helped him improving and enhancing it.

Q. Are Unix and Linux the same thing?
A. No, though Linux has been written from the Unix code. Anyway, it is so similar to the operating system family known as “Unix” to the point that experts use to refer to Linux as “Unix like”

Q. How much does it cost?
A. Linux is free and it comes with a licence known as “GNU GPL”, which grants free use, free access to the source code (Linux distributions often come with both binaries and the source code), freedom to copy, modify and distribute it.

Q. Are there many people using Linux?
A. Nowadays Linux is becoming very popular. There are many people that neither are geeks nor computer experts turning to Linux every day. During the last 5 years Linux evolved to become very user friendly, and for some tasks even more than Microsoft Windows.

Q. Can I run a Windows program on Linux?
A. Basically no. Linux and Windows are so different that a program written and compiled for Windows won’t run on Linux and vice versa. An exception may be done for Java programs, provided that the Java Virtual Machine is installed in the system. However, a few developer groups and software companies are committed in developing emulators that make possible, under certain circumstances, to run some Windows programs on Linux.

Q. Are there programs for linux similar to those running on windows?
A. Yes. For the most common tasks we can say that every Windows program has its free equivalent on Linux. In many cases Linux offers more than one alternative. The most famous are Firefox for internet surfing, Open Office for office automation (wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, html pages, database and more), Evolution as an e-mail client, The Gimp for photo and image manipulation.

Q. Can I run Microsoft Office on linux?
A. No. Microsoft announced that they will never port (i.e. make it compatible) Microsoft Office to Linux. However, it is possible to run the original code (with some limitations, I guess) using a Windows emulator.

Q. Is Linux easy to learn?
A. Linux has become very user friendly nowadays. For a normal user the learning curve is not steeper then for learning Windows or MacOs.

These are some basic answers to questions people ask me when I tell them I use Linux. It still seems strange to most of them that somebody nowadays can use an operating system that neither is Windows nor MacOs.

Andrea is a software developer and writes articles online about computers, software and other interesting topics. Come to visit his new website that helps people find the best cappuccino machine and discusses the 10 top selling cappuccino machines available in the market.

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Beginners Under Gnu – Linux? There Are Five Errors to Be Avoided
By Didier Pradel

To give the desire for testing linux so that it is one day your operating system, is one of the objectives of this site. The new users of GNU/Linux often make the same errors when they test GNU/Linux for the first time. The reasons of these errors are numerous: because GNU/Linux is a different OS; because Windows gives bad habits; because the user chooses the bad distribution and much of other possibilities. Here some solutions with five current problems under GNU/Linux.

1- To choose its distribution:

There is much opinion on the GNU/Linux distribution with which you will have to start, and the majority are not relevant.

After having to seek, to study, read the opinions of users, with the wire of time, on many distributions, two points arise:

the first: GNU/Linux Bureau is a question of taste,

the second: not a distribution does not join together the whole of the best options.

For start with GNU/Linux, it is to advise to choose among the following distributions, without small-sol-figure02-icon-montageorder:

Professional SUSE and, in the future, openSUSE

Linspire Xandros

Fedora Core

Mandriva (in the past Mandrake)


2- Is Linux free?

Some claim that all that is related to Linux is free. A good software deserves that one pays for him it is obvious, but the price must be reasonable the majority of the commercial distributions GNU/Linux for the office costs less than $100 and is really very rich. The term distribution meaning that a great number of software are gathered they also contain thousands of applications for the office. The commercial distributions GNU/Linux include word processing softwares, P2P, spreadsheet, presentation on transparency, edition file sharing of video, binary compatibility with Windows, virtual machine, reading of DVD, Web server, Web navigator, and much of others.

3- The partitions:

With Windows, you are accustomed to only one partition on your hard disk. It contains the operating system, the applications, the data, and a great space for your file of Windows exchange (the software uses space on the hard disk when the read-write memory is not enough any more). GNU/Linux functions differently. In order to obtain the best performances of the system, the file of exchange is on a separate partition. If you have 512 MB or 1GB of read-write memory the size the partition of exchange (swap) should not be lower than 512 MB, and not lower than 1GB if you have less than 512 MB of read-write memory.

It is useless to make a larger partition if you use your machine only for office automation applications. With this solution you can safeguard the remainder of your personal and software data on a second partition. It is a good solution if you never change hard disk or operating system. But if you wish to preserve your data and the preferences of the applications which you use, it is to better do two other partitions for the operating system, the other for your data and your adjustments. that thus gives 1 partition root “/”, 2 partition “/home”. 3 swap the size depends on the number of software which you install, but 20 GB are more than sufficient for the partition root “/”root, the largest part of your disc must be to hold has” /home “, because it is there that you will store images, films, and other large files. It is wise to give 75% of the total disk space to the repertory /home, the majority of the GNU/Linux distributions can make the partitions for you, but they have all various ideas on the number of partitions to create and their size. you must decide if you want to change the default values. You can preserve your Windows partition and thanks to the dual-boot to choose to start your computer either under Windows or under GNU/Linux. You must install Windows in first to make only one partition but not too large not to obstruct the installation of GNU/Linux after. And if you want to exchange files between the Windows partition and the GNU/Linux partition, use the filing system FAT32 to format your Windows partition (Window does not read the partition linux and linux does not read partitions NTFS whereas it can read and write easily on a system FAT32).

4- The Permissions:

With Windows, you are in general either an administrator, or a user with the rights of administrator. With GNU/Linux, you are in general connect as a user to restricted access, and you pass as a root (i.e. administrator under Windows) when you must change important parameters of the system or regulate the hardware configuration or add or remove a program. This organization based on the permissions makes your system protected and one is accustomed quickly, although that is strange at the beginning.

5- To give up with the first problems:

GNU/linux is not Windows thus you enter a new world with new rules. To learn has to evolve/move in this new world will take time, it is normal. It will be necessary to learn from new software, a new interface, with a new manner of making. but once passed this stage hardest is made. The community the forums are sources of support as well as the site of your distribution if you chose a distribution commercial. To learn an operating system is a challenge. Essayer Linux is not in fact so hard and a thing is sure in any case: more you are frustrated with Windows and its problems, more the transition to GNU/Linux will be easy. Good luck! Those which want to install linux on a laptop will find here The linux laptop support a list of the laptop on which that was already done.

Didier Pradel is the webmaster of laptop support and The linux laptop support where you can find many useful informations, and help for your lovely laptop.

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Milestones in the creation of Linux

+1960s No one can argue that with the introduction of Unix in the 1960s we would not have Linux today. It was originally developed by AT&T employees at Bell Labs

History of UNIX systems

History of UNIX systems

+1983 The GNU project was started with the purpose of creating a free UNIX style operating system consisting of free and open source software (FOSS)

+1980s BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) was a free operating system project developed from AT&T’s 6th edition of Unix.

+1991 Linus Torvalds realized his terminal emulator based on Minix was turning into an operating system, and this was the makings of today’s Linux kernel

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

+1992 Linus suggested releasing the kernel under the GNU General Public License. He first announced this decision in the release notes of version 0.12. In the middle of December 1992 he published version 0.99 using the GNU GPL.

Linux and GNU developers worked to integrate GNU components with Linux to make a fully-functional and free operating system. Torvalds has stated, “making Linux GPL’d was definitely the best thing I ever did.”

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