The Future in Open-Source

This is not a revelation at this point in time, especially to those who have been following the progress of open-source, or have been studying its economic advantages to proprietary software. Our societies have been moving towards open-source for a long time now, to the point where it is not a matter of opinion, it is simply a fact.

Out of all the open-source code there is out there, the one that is expanding the most is Linux, a free as in freedom kernel, which is being used on multiple OS’s in all areas of computing. The most common of which are Ubuntu, Red Hat, Cent OS, and Debian. All these have their specific areas in the economy. Ubuntu does a great job at providing an alternative to Windows and Apple on PC’s, while Debian is mainly used as either a PC OS for programmers, or a server OS, seeing that the Debian community has a version of Debian for servers. Red Hat and Cent OS are often used for super-computers and clusters. Finally, the newest member to the big league Linux OS’s is Android, which has dominated the mobile and tablet markets.

Again, this is not a matter of opinion, these are facts. In the following link, you can see how Android is dominating the mobile market. If you look at the following Wikipedia article (yes, I know Wikipedia isn’t meant to be a valid source, but you can look up the information yourself and you’ll find about the same thing), it shows how Linux has dominated the mobile market, the server market, it’s rising in the tablet market, and it has taken over the supercomputer market (the supercomputer market is no surprise though).

However, open-source is also dominating the gaming mark. The new PlayStation 4 that has recently come out is using FreeBSD underneath as an OS. Recently Steam (a game distribution platform owned by the Valve corporation) is creating their new SteamOS which is based on Debian GNU/Linux, therefore, it must be open-source by law.

However, the reason why Linux and open-source are becoming such an important part of the technological world, is because they allow flexibility and stability. Flexibility because it allows, not only companies and governments, but also every day people, to change the source-code to their own needs, apart from knowing exactly what is in there. This is why the U.S. military uses Linux (specifically Red Hat, which is U.S. owned), because they can modify it and change it to their needs, and know exactly what is in there. So the flexibility makes it very attractive to companies, governments, and individuals alike. And Stability because open-source will always be open-source (especially if it is under a GNU Public License). Even if Linus Torvalds (the creator of the Linux kernel) decided to close the source-code to his kernel, all the people that previously worked on the Linux kernel would then just use the previous source-code and create a new kernel based on Linux, and there will always be an open-source kernel, and there will always be an open-source OS. And because it is open-source, for the most part it is also free. Therefore, companies, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals alike, have a guarantee for life that they will always have a free, and free as in freedom OS.

Western Culture

I wrote an essay for my Social Studies class on Google Drive, and I thought it would be a good idea to share on my blog. Click here to read the document, and you can ask me questions or reply to it here on my blog.


Linux Distributions

I find that most people say they like free stuff, but when I ask them why they run windows or mac instead of a Linux distribution, their responses are either: “What’s Linux?“, “Linux is communist.“, “Linux is free?“, or “Nobody uses Linux.“. Well, to get things straight, Linux is not communist, that’s just something that the windows CEO spread around with this idea that open-source is communism; another, yes, Linux is free, free as in you don’t pay, and free as in freedom; finally, it’s not that nobody uses Linux, it’s that barely any normal users use Linux. Most super computers run Linux, along with 80% of the servers in the world, you know what server runs Linux, here’s a list: Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, etc. If you want, you can go to this website <>, and look at the field called “operating system” and check which operating system your router is running.

There are many different distributions of Linux, some of the most popular being Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora (also known as Red Hat), but there are many others, many of which are available at DistroWatch (here’s the link:<>), a website where people submit their distributions to make it easier for anyone to find them. There is also a search page where you can look for Linux distributions that fit what you are looking for, with many different choices of categories, such as: beginners, desktop, gaming, high performance computing, multimedia, old computers, scientific, security, privacy, education, and more; all for free (here’s the URL for the search page: <>).

Debian, the distribution I am currently using, supports the most architectures, uses very little memory and processing power, runs rather fast, and supports the most amount of desktop environments. Now, for those of you who don’t know what a desktop environment is, it’s the style of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), that is most commonly known as the desktop to most modern day users who are technologically illiterate (no offense meant, it’s just a term), or in other words, how your desktop looks. For example, a windows GUI doesn’t look the same as a mac GUI. I am currently using the gnome interface, which is the default in Debian, but for beginners there are graphical interfaces that look a lot like the windows GUI or the mac GUI, such as Macbuntu (here’s a link: <>),  or Xfce (here’s a link: <>).

Also, there is a Linux distribution from Argentina called Estrella Roja, which was maintained up to version 2.6. The people who made it are a communist group of hackers (reminder, there is a difference between hackers, crackers, and people that make stupid posts on your Facebook account while you are logged in and not looking) who made this distribution to be able to work on relatively old computers, that may not even have a hard drive. This is because they have written it to be able to run on a CD, all you need is a computer that can read CD’s and you can run it. This operating system is also hard to find, now that the group has left the project for another one called EcuRed, which is a project to spread open-source and free software (here’s a link: <>). But there is still a place where you can find version 2.6 of the Estrella Roja distribution, here’s the link: <>.

On other terms, when I went to school in Spain, they used a distribution of Linux called Guadalinex (here’s a link:<>), a distribution made by the Junta de Andalucía for schools to run on their computers. This distribution is meant for education and comes with many educational programs automatically installed. But when I came to the U.S.A. to study, I found that they used mac and windows, both operating systems which they had to pay for, but that’s not the part that gets on my nerves, the bad part is that then they ask the parents to donate money to the school, while I see a bunch of still working 5 year old computers going to the dump, just because mac/windows doesn’t make operating systems supporting its hardware anymore. I have told the teachers that it would save them a lot more money in the long term (and maybe even in the short term) if they switched to a Linux distributions, but their excuses are the same as always, and invalid, when they respond: “Yes, but no one uses Linux.“, “Yes, but we already use this, and it’s easier to continue with what we have.“, or “Yes, but this is what everybody knows.“. The one thing that really gets me about that last excuse, is that the school is the one always saying that they promote variety.

The main reason why I suggest schools to use Linux, is because then the students won’t be as repelled to try using Linux. Now, how is this a good thing? Well, first off, it will help the students become more technologically literate, allowing them to have an easier access to the command line, and more access to the computer itself. Does this mean that they might screw things up a little sometimes, yes, but then they will learn from their mistakes. Now, having this knowledge, they will be able to use Linux at home, this is important because that way students from poor families can get a USB drive that has down to 0.5 GB of space on it, and a really old computer (which you can buy for very little these days), and they will be able to boot into the flash drive running a very small simple version of Linux, such as Finnix, which I run myself on a USB that only has 0.5 GB, and the USB still over half of the space left.

All in all, I think that if we get the newer generations used to using Linux, it will help  greatly in the future. Thanks for reading!