Rabu, 11 Januari 2012

Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to the Ubuntu operating system, and the philosophy that underpins it. The fact you’re reading this book might mean you already know about Ubuntu, but one or two readers might have bought the Print Edition of this book (or downloaded the PDF) on a whim to see what the fuss is all about. These people might lack specifics, and remain unconvinced of the benefits of Ubuntu. So, I’m going to burn through some precious pages of this slim volume to evangelize and explain just a little.

What is Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is a version of the Linux operating system. An operating system is the software that “runs your computer”. Microsoft Windows is the world’s most popular operating system, at least for desktop computers, but Linux is a completely separate endeavor.

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The ball started rolling back in the 1980s, when a hugely talented computer scientist called Richard Stallman decided to create a clone of a venerable operating system called Unix. At the time, Unix ran many of the world’s industrial and academic computer systems.
Stallman did this because Unix was becoming increasingly proprietary—it was no longer permitted to share its source code (thelistings created by programmers), as had happened since the inception of Unix in 1969. This was anathema to Stallman, who believed sharing software was natural and healthy. He decided his version of Unix would always be freely available, and invented the legal and ethical concept of Free Software to ensure this happened. Put simply, Free Software says users should always have the freedom to share software, without restrictions. On a technical level, Free Software guarantees the right to view and also modify source code, or even use it as a basis to make a new program. However, any additions or changes must be released as Free Software too, so others can continue to benefit.

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