Open Source at Home

Are you thinking about taking the plunge and installing an open source operating system? Or would you prefer to enter open source waters more gradually? Either way, you need to consider a few issues before you do.

You’ve heard of GNU/Linux - it is the most common open source operating system, but it is not the only one. There are three other major systems, all versions of the Unix system developed at the University of California (Berkeley) in the 1970s and 1980s. The “Berkeley Software Distribution” (BSD) was released as open source software in the 1990s, giving rise to FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. There are other open source operating systems available including an effort to recreate the now defunct BeOS, and of course Darwin which is the core of the Macintosh OS X. However this article mostly discusses GNU/Linux because it is the most common open source operating system at the moment.

Beyond the operating system itself, open source software offer a vast selection of programs that are of interest to the home and small office computer user.

This is not intended to be a diatribe against Microsoft. However I assume that most people considering a switch to an open source system will be familiar with Windows, so much of the discussion is about Microsoft products compared to open source products.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5