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Linux Jargon Buster: What is FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)? What is Open Source?

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OSS

FOSS means Free and Open Source Software. It doesn’t mean software is free of cost. It means that source code of the software is open for all and anyone is free to use, study and modify the code. This principle allows other people to contribute to the development and improvement of a software like a community.

In the 60s and 70s, computers were hardware focused and the hardware were expensive. They were mainly used by academics in universities or researchers in labs. The limited amount of software used to come for free or with their source code and the users were allowed to modify the source code to suit their need.

In the late 70s and early 80s, the manufacturer’s stopped distributing source code in an attempt to not let their software run on their competitor’s computers.

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