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Balage 12-09-2004 04:43 PM

Why supporting Linux?
Developers, supporters!

In order to accomplish a university paper I need Your help.

I would like to know Your opinion about actively supporting Linux.
I would like to know what motivates You when You spend long hours with coding, or when You offer Your resources (e.g. bandwidth and storage space) for promoting Linux, knowing, that You get no financial compensation at all.

Please also mention in Your answer, in what way You support Linux.

Thank You very much in advance:

Balázs Siklós
University of Debrecen, Hungary
Faculty of Economics
Department of Management and Marketing

Ps: If anyone is interested in this topic, the most important research findings can be published here too. :D

ranger_nemo 12-09-2004 05:27 PM

Re: Why supporting Linux?

...knowing, that You get no financial compensation at all.
Not all compensation in the world is financial... I view it much like the central idea in the movie "Pay It Forward", even though I've never seen it. People have helped me, and I do what I can do to help others.

If I were to add up all the hours I spend answering questions, and then multiplied that by some monetary amount per hour, I would prob'ly be financially better off by just buying MS software. But, every hour I spend answering questions is one hour somebody else can put to better use, like improving the software that I download for free.

I also write very minor programs. I run a Linux system and code in Python. If I had to pay what they were worth, I know I couldn't afford either. As a little compensation for the huge library of Python modules I'm using, I allow others to do the same with my programs.

"If I have seen far, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." --Isaac Newton

** EDIT **

Almost forgot... I do supply bandwidth, too. I always download the latest version of Fedora (or Knoppix, or others) straight from a mirror, because I have a 2Mb cable connection. After I burn my discs, I join the torrent and let it run for a week or two. I always upload a bunch of times over the amount I download.

lixy 12-09-2004 07:15 PM

- Learning OS concepts with open source is handy; You actually get to see and (hopefully) understand the code.
- As many smart guys have been helping me, I'm doing my best to pay a debt back to the community.

Have a look at this to get the spirit

Mara 12-11-2004 05:06 PM

There was similar research founded by EU not so long ago (FLOSS). The results should be easily googlable, I think.

I think your thesis is not fully correct, especially the part about no financial compensation. It is, in many cases. Quite many people are hired to work and develop Linux apps, for example. Many receive no direct financial compensation, but in fact, they do in a hidden way. Think about students gaining experience that will result in higher salary.

mortaal 12-19-2004 03:02 PM

I use GNU/Linux because it is Free as in freedom.

pcunix 12-19-2004 03:22 PM

Well, I can't say that I get no financial compensation at all. All of my income comes from Unix and Linux, and nowadays most of it is from Linux.

But.. I also spend many hours answering questions at places like this and writing articles for my website ( ). Now you could certainly argue that the "free" stuff I do all contributes to my income, and you'd be right, but I'd be doing it even if it didn't make me a dime, and it's also true that I could probably do none of that at all and still make just as much money.

So why do it? Because I've suffered through trying to understand stuff myself. When I started "doing" computers, there were darn few books, the Internet did not yet exist, and boy, learning was tough. Over the years, I learned a lot from other people, and I feel an obligation to "pay it forward" when and where I can. If I hit the lottery big-time, you'd still find me doing the same things I do now - just more of it.

And why Linux? Well, I don't Like Windows :) But really, I'll help someone with that too if I know the answers they need. It's just that I know much more about Unix and Linux, so I have more knowledge to offer.

Besides, what can you really LEARN about Windows? You learn "magic" - add this registry entry to get what you want. That's not learning. Unix and Linux stuff is documented, and of course a lot is open source, so you reall can learn.

Zuggy 12-19-2004 03:39 PM

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