What is FOSS?

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) allows users of the software the freedom to use, share, study and modify the software. This is usually achieved through copyrighting works (software?) yet granting a permissive license for the work. This is sometimes informally referred to as “copyleft”.

Why does Free Geek use FOSS?

Because people have the freedom to use FOSS, people are able to use it without restriction for personal hobbies, their own business, or any other purpose that strikes their fancy.

Because people have the freedom to share FOSS, it becomes effectively free of cost as an interesting side-effect.

Because people have the freedom to study FOSS, it is widely reviewed by expert software developers, and thus many security issues and other bugs can be found and resolved swiftly. It also allows troubleshooting of problems that would otherwise be nearly impossible to solve.

Because people have the freedom to modify FOSS, it and can be customized to improve performance on older hardware.

Like Free Geek, FOSS projects are often community driven projects. FOSS projects are developed by a large community of (mostly volunteer) people all around the world with the goal of improving the software for the users of that software, rather than being beholden to marketing pressures in order to sell a product.

Resources for learning more

The Linux kernel is the core of the GNU/Linux operating system, but the GNU family of software makes Linux usable. The Free Software Foundation provides the philosophy behind the movement.