Archive for February, 2008

FOSS Community Inaugurated

Today FOSS(Free and Open Source Software) Community was inaugurated in our college.

A representative, MR. Bharathi Subramanian, working in Midas communications pvt. ltd.(www.midascomm.com) came and delivered his presentation on FOSS about an hour. Rajesh Sola sir and Suyash organized the function, Suyash explained the objectives and activities of the community.

Mr.Subramanian started the presentation with the disadvantages of proprietary softwares, noted two points, one is the cost factor of proprietary operating system and the application softwares we have to buy along with it….this tends to increase the cost of using softwares, secondly we are unable to modify or add the features in to the existing softwares, because the source code is not open to all, it is copyrighted.

So the Perfect choice is Free and Open Source Software, here ‘Free’ in the sense freedom to study and modify the source code, but not free of cost. Distribution of softwares with/without modifications is possible here, it is not copyrighted, anyone can include new features and making the softwares rich and bug free.


Linux is an operating system that was initially created by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linus decided to develop a system that exceeded the Minix standards. He began his work in 1991 when he released version 0.02 and worked steadily until 1994 when version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel was released. The kernel, at the heart of all Linux systems, is developed and released under the GNU General Public License and its source code is freely available to everyone. It is this kernel that forms the base around which a Linux operating system is developed. Now so many companies , organizations and individuals released their own versions of operating systems based on the Linux kernel.

There are several distributors of Linux like Red hat, Fedora, Debian, Mandriva, Ubuntu etc….

Why FOSS is good for education?

  • GNU/Linux has a wide variety of softwares
    • Compilers, linkers, debuggers, IDE
    • Desktop tools, Browsers, File managers
    • Sci-Fi Tools
    • Office Tool
    • Web related Apps
    • Practically virus Free
  • Upgradations are easy.

Issues in FOSS

  • Disadvantages
    • Hardware drivers
      • Many manufacturers don’t supply specs
      • Usually available after 3 or 4 months
    • Migration Time
      • Will be 2 to 3 months for a windows user
      • <1 month for other UNIX users

FOSS and India

  • Adoption of FOSS is a national mission
  • The most unfortunate thing is India still to believe in proprietary solutions
  • In India FOSS will have to be come and stay in a big way for the benefit of our billion people

Indian Linux Users Group — http://www.chennailug.org

FOSS Community at NBKRIST — http://www.fcnbkrist.co.cc

This ended his presentation.


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