Liberating non-free software with Linux-libre
The compelling desire for software that was free of expensive licensing, over the past half century,lead to the development of open source software. However, open source in some of its popular forms such as Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu and the rest of the distros though based on the freely available platform , often comes with certain parts of code or source that are under license. Free Software Foundation the alma mater of all open source software, along with like-minded community volunteers chose to start the Linux-Libre Project, which is dedicated to editing the Linux Kernel to maintain it free of licensed open source software.
How does open source software become free software?
The foundation, essentially reviews software modules for embedded source code (called as binary blobs as these are usually a series of numbers), code that is technically categorized as proprietary or ‘semi-free license’ as well as obfuscated code. These and any other similar ‘source code’ which users cannot use without seeking permission, consents from original coders is eliminated and sewn up to ensure distros that are truly ‘free software’ is every sense.
Such free software is to be available as Free System Distributions and you will not be required to use additional non-free software besides, being able to alter, change and edit the software to your creative satisfaction.
Linux-Libre is therefore, the core of GNU, Linux as well as fully free software. Its present publishers and maintainers is the Free Software Foundation Latin America.
The story of Linux-Libre distro
Released in March 2009, Linux-Libre is in a sense a grandchild of the already established distributions gNewSense and BLAG. Though, UTUTO-e , a Gentto based Linux distro, is credited to have removed licensed linux source code for the first time, Linux-Libre improves considerably on the entire process and is more pro-active in its features.
In the Music domain running on Knoppix is Musix GNU distribution. It is a Linux LiveCD distribution that professional music production houses are exploring given its powerful music production, graphics designing capabilities and the ability to combine it with effective audio as well as video editing.
For institutional use is the Trisquel distros that ensures offices, home users and schools, colleges and similar centres can use this no-fee, no-license open source software.
KDE fans will enjoy using the full-fledged multimedia distribution, VENENUX for KDE desktops along with certain features that resemble Debian.
Dynebolic is another multimedia LiveCD distribution with special features for audio as well as video editing.
Linux-Libre the way forward
It is not only free software that Linux-Libre is passionate about, it raises concerns on Linux images, artwork such as that of Stux a true poster for open source software, that is not for free use.
Linux-Libre is a conscious option for those of us who want to go beyond open source software and explore the true limit of un-licensed, free to use open source for that liberating experience!