Freedom, Community & Sustainability

Surprisingly cool GNU/Linux distros

March 2, 2012 -- William
Last modified on August 2018
Linux surprise

There are distributions of GNU/Linux that are really cool although not as popular as Debian or Fedora. The best thing about Free Software is that, with so much freedom and choice, it seems everything is possible... and it is! Here goes a selection of some of these distributions that surprised me in a very pleasant way.

[VIDEO] Mark Shuttleworth talks about Free Software, Open Source, Debian and Canonical

January 24, 2012 -- William
Last modified on July 2018
Mark Shuttleworth

In this interview by Gabriella Coleman at the Debian annual conference of 2006, Mark Shuttleworth, project leader of Ubuntu and founder of Canonical Ltd., talks about Free Software, Open Source, Canonical Debian and proprietary software.

What are GNU/Linux "distributions"? (and how to choose the right distro for you)

January 3, 2012 -- William
Last modified on November 2016
Distributions tree

The concept of “distros” and the incredible number of different distributions available might be overwhelming to the new user. In fact, even before using GNU/Linux users need to choose which distribution to pick. To help you understand, explore and chose the best for you, I will present here an overview and some short explanations of such distributions.

The story of the Hurd kernel

November 1, 2011 -- William
Last modified on May 2018

I find the story of the Hurd really interesting because it goes much beyond the discussions about the kernel, GNU, Free Software, Linux and computers in general. It involves people, relationships, strategies, decisions, work, commitment, random events and many other things that make life so exciting. It is important to see the mistakes of this project to try to avoid them and it's much easier to spot them now that we know the outcome. I believe that the GNU people did the best they could under the circumstances but, of course, they couldn't predict the future.

What is a kernel, what is an operating system?

October 25, 2011 -- William
Last modified on December 2016

Can you tell the difference between a kernel and an operating system? Aren't they both standing between the humans and the machines? Although the term "kernel" is well defined, an "operating system" is not and most of the time there is no reason to differentiate an OS from its kernel. It is interesting to do that though in order to know the difference between Linux and GNU/Linux.