Nothing is free in life

A symbol of the trade behind Linux

The crowd is wondering (and probably you on your PC) how can Linux be free in almost every presentation? If Linux is so good and Windows so bad, why is one free and the other costing you an arm and a half?

Some say: Nothing is free in life, but then what about Linux and free software in general. Is it that they are all high or are they Giles and they don't charge for turkeys what are they?

The paradigm

Since I consider myself poor, when I go to the supermarket or go anywhere to buy anything, I look at all the options and almost always flatly rule out the cheapest ones on the list: the cheapest noodle, the cheapest mp3, the food of cheapest cat. You already know that you are taking risks and that it is most likely that we are throwing money into the garbage can.

But free software does not seem to work with this paradigm, it is strange, because open source programs and GNU / Linux seem to be of quality. ¿What is the difference fundamental if there is?

There is a reward

In my opinion the difference exists and I am going to explain how this works as I understand it:

  • The classic business scheme (buy low and sell high) and its variants are so widespread that we assume that there is no other way to trade.
  • The Linux programmer does not seek the quick payoff of buying and selling, at least in such a simple way. Instead, seek recognition and / or the ability to support.
  • It is like that, he gives us the software and even allows us to modify it, but he sells his knowledge to us and if we accept it we can pay for his help.
  • Others seek recognition, that is, make themselves known with spectacular software and that everyone knows who the creator is.

Thus it has been that in many cases programmers with a stable job and employed by a company X, have started to program in open source to obtain the recognition of their peers and, why not, to help the rest.

But what about big projects?

At this point and if they understand something, they will be questioning how big projects work. Two cases.

Ubuntu: It is initially financed by a South African tycoon named Mark Shuttlework Mark Shuttleworth. Ubuntu is lately dedicating to support for companies and individuals, for which they charge from $ 250 to $ 2.750, not to mention that they have their own souvenir shop (I am fascinated with the ubuntu mug).

Firefox (Mozilla): This is quite a special project as far as financing is concerned. It was born when the code of today disappeared was released «Netscape Navigator«. Today they are financed fundamentally with advertising revenue paid by Google (If you see a search engine at the top right of your Firefox where you see a "G" that was not free). 85% of their income comes from it.

Something else: Participatory work

The greatest grace of open source is not that it is free, because that does not guarantee anything and it is also a selfish argument. The greatest grace of open source is that anyone can collaborate, in fact, that is why many huge projects subsist and most open source projects subsist without any employee.

Conspiracy theory

More than one has said (connected with Linux and communism / socialism) that the development of Linux could not be without the presence of the power of China, Russia and other countries of the communist world that supposedly finance it. And yes, it is not so false, the development of open source in those countries is strongly encouraged by the leaders of power who see with some fear being linked to proprietary software created by the maximum antagonist they have. What if one day Windows does not can it be sold in the communist world?

But definitely nothing is free in life because there was inevitably someone behind who wasted their time ... now that I think about it the same as in LXA! ordo they think that LXA! it was free for us? Now, to pay, it is € 1 to read and € 5 to comment.

(Thank you leandrowsy for suggesting the topic!)

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  1.   viperhoot said

    Very good contribution!
    This will clear up doubts for many who do not understand the basics of linux development, free software and open source.

    A greeting!

  2.   valley without said

    Everything is very correct except the part in which you mix linux and communism, which is already well disproved the false myth of the relationship between communism and free software

  3.   Power said

    Hello !!!, although they are starting, they have done it with the right foot, therefore, I put them as my recommendation of the day of the Blog.

    Happy Blog day! Greetings;)

  4.   f sources said

    Thank you for recognizing the work of a few days, actually and modesty aside, it is the most successful blog in less time than I have seen and I am happy to participate in this.

  5.   leandrowsy said

    Hello, the question that I had asked was who maintained the servers from where the programs are downloaded in Ubuntu? After reading the post I must assume that the money comes from Mark Shuttlework and Canonical income only?
    On the subject of the post, could it also be said that it was "natural" for free software to emerge? Since an invention as great and important as programs and Operating Systems / should / be in the public domain? belong to humanity without restrictions?

  6.   Crow said

    The truth was that everything was going very well until you associate Linux with socialism, nothing to do with it.

    For those who have not realized it, large companies such as IBM or SUN are changing their business vision from selling products to selling services, unlike Microsoft that clings to the sale of products (quite bad by the way)

    In the league it provides, Venezuela, Cuba and China are mentioned, of the three only China has developed a moderately interesting version of Linux and that as a means of obtaining a huge discount from Microsoft and access to the source code.

    Like I said: nothing to see.



  7.   tuseeketh said

    A little note: Mark's last name shuttleworth, not Shuttlework.

  8.   woow said

    This is crazy: D