Proprietary Linux software: A big dilemma for many Linux users
Recently something came up with one of the other sites I write for. I proposed an article about the Hamachi VPN client which had an outstanding version for Linux. The setup was incredibly simple, the software ran well, it was free, and it could save many a admin a lot of headaches in the setup of VPN servers. Problem was, the software was proprietary. Although there was no cost attached to the software, it wasn’t possible to download the source and do with it what you will.
I understand the point and, after a bit of argument, I relented. Of course I understand that, when given the choice between an open source and non-open source solution, the open source solution will almost always be more appealing. But this stance has one major catch: It hinders companies trying to make a living by creating software for the Linux operating system from doing just that. Let me put it more simply:
You have the choice between using Software A or Software B. Software A is free of charge and open source, but requires a bit of work to get up and running. Software A also has no support (other than forums and community). Software B is also free of charge, not open source, but allows you to purchase a support plan and offers a paid version with more features. Software B is also much easier to get up and running.