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What Is Open-Source Software?

When the idea of open-source software first came onto the scene in the 1980s, the idea that someone would create and distribute something totally free sounded well, totally crazy! Since then, open-source software has paved the way for the well-known GNU/Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server and the Mozilla Firefox browser. Today, the idea no longer seems radical—instead, it seems only logical.

So what exactly is open-source software and how is it made available for free? Open-source software is software that can be used, changed, and shared by anyone free of charge. Open-source software is typically created by a group of developers and made open to the public via its source code. The software is distributed under GNU GPL licenses.

Open-source software has changed the way that people share and download software today. People who believe in open-source software are passionate that all software should be free to use by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Because of the large following that open-source software has, there are tons of websites you can visit, like GetGIMP.com, that are dedicated solely to providing free software downloads. In addition, you will find numerous free blogs, forums and resources dedicated to teaching people how to use open-source programs.

If you need a particular software program, chances are there’s an open-source program alternative you can download for free!

For an official Wikipedia definition of open-source software click here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

For the open-source definition click here:
http://opensource.org/definition

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