GPL – Free as in Freedom

On 30/06/2011, in Uncategorized, by Norman Dean


“The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is the most widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. 

The GPL is the first copyleft license for general use, which means that derived works can only be distributed under the same license terms. Under this philosophy, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses are the standard examples.

The text of the GPL is not itself under the GPL. The license’s copyright disallows modification of the license. Copying and distributing the license is allowed since the GPL requires recipients get “a copy of this License along with the Program”.[5] According to the GPL FAQ, anyone can make a new license using a modified version of the GPL as long as he or she uses a different name for the license, does not mention “GNU”, and removes the preamble, though the preamble can be used in a modified license if permission to use it is obtained from the Free Software Foundation (FSF).”

I am a supporter and user of many Open Source programs, here is a list of some of my favorites.


Ubuntu Linux: is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source softwareMark Shuttleworth, a millionaire who gained his wealth in a transaction with VeriSign for his innovations in digital certificates and Internet security, who later founded the UK-based company Canonical Ltd. under which Ubuntu is developed.


Firefox: is a web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite and managed by Mozilla Corporation. As of July 2010, Firefox was the second most widely used browser, with 22.91% of worldwide usage.

Because Firefox generally has fewer publicly known unpatched security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer (see Comparison of web browsers), improved security is often cited as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. The Washington Post reported that exploited code for critical unpatched security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer was available for 284 days in 2006. In comparison, exploit code for critical security vulnerabilities in Firefox was available for 9 days before Mozilla shipped a patch to remedy the problem[update].

There is a portable edition of Firefox for Windows, which can be used from a USB Flash drive. This particular distribution makes it possible to run Firefox (and many of its extensions) on corporate/government networks in lieu of the default browser. This can be especially helpful for any user who does not possess administrative rights on the system being used.


Thunderbird: is a free, e-mail and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. The project strategy is modeled after Mozilla Firefox.


Open Office: is an application suite whose main components are for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases.[6] It is available for a number of different computer operating systems, is distributed as free software and is written using its own GUI toolkit. It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others.


7zip: is a file archive tool. 7-Zip operates with the 7z archive format, and can read and write to several other archive formats. The program can be used from a command line interface, graphical user interface, or Windows shell integration.


Tor Anonymity Network: is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world use Tor for a wide variety of reasons: journalists and bloggers, human rights workers, law enforcement officers, soldiers, corporations, citizens of repressive regimes, and just ordinary citizens. See the Who Uses Tor? page for examples of typical Tor users. See the overview page for a more detailed explanation of what Tor does, and why this diversity of users is important.


Gimp: (short for the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free software raster graphics editor. It is primarily employed as an image retouching and editing tool. In addition to free-form drawing, GIMP can accomplish essential image work-flow steps such as resizing, editing, and cropping photos, combining multiple images, and converting between different image formats. GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in the GIF format.


True Crypt: is used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE), to encrypt the entire operating system while its running. It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or the entire storage device.

Individual algorithms supported by TrueCrypt are AES, Serpent and Twofish. Additionally, five different combinations of cascaded algorithms are available: AES-Twofish, AES-Twofish-Serpent, Serpent-AES, Serpent-Twofish-AES and Twofish-Serpent. The cryptographic hash functions used by TrueCrypt are RIPEMD-160, SHA-512 and Whirlpool.


Portable Apps: is a complete collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, audio player, sudoku game, password manager, PDF reader, minesweeper clone, backup utility and integrated menu, all preconfigured to work portably. Just drop it on your portable device and you’re ready to go.


Comments are closed.