What's the main reason why you use free/open source software?

Short URL: http://fsmsh.com/1976

Sun, 2006-12-31 07:58 -- admin
It's free as in cost
9% (14 votes)
It's free as in freedom
36% (54 votes)
It has a great support community
6% (9 votes)
To be part of and support the free software movement
39% (58 votes)
Other reason (please post a comment)
9% (14 votes)
Total votes: 149


admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

Do you use free software because you have a highly developed ethical compass? Or because it’s light on your wallet? Maybe you like the support that's available or like to help people yourself. Tell us what you think!

Raghu Kodali's picture

M$-DOS to Win3.11 to Win 95 to 98, I could see that I was not allowed to do what I want to do with my computer. I can do something with my computer only if some capitalistic pig allows me to do it & that too after I make him more richer.

Hey it is my computer. I will do what I want to do with it. Software should be free (as in speech as well as in beer)

Thats is the main reason that I moved to GNU/Linux initially in a dual boot config & finally kicked the dual boot so that I have only GNU/Linux on my thinkpad.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I use free software ( OpenSolaris ) simply because it's the best performing/most stable/most scalable operating system ever developed, and I'm not legally forced to pay for anything if I don't need to

yale2011's picture
Submitted by yale2011 on

Why use open source? What many "normal users" don't seem to understand about it is that most of it is of better quality than commercial software is. In addition, it is free of cost and free as in freedom, with an excellent support community. Open-source will take over, it is just a matter of educating people on the benefits of open source software and how much open source software is avalible.

tinker's picture
Submitted by tinker on

I prefer Foss because of all of the options given plus the fact that I can modify or help to modify the code to my own way of working not be stuck with having to use my computer the way someone else wants me to

wodisch's picture
Submitted by wodisch on

- I am able to check/verify, it does what I want it to do
- I am able to modify/adapt/extend it to my needs
- I do not expect to fall prey to all those "MS Windows" like loopholes;
and if there are failures, those are usually disclosed and corrected pretty soon,
in any case I can work around the flaw if only I have access to the source

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I use open source, free software because it is vetted and scrutinised by the people who are both interested in it and know what they are talking about, instead of being mislead by biased marketing hype. The support community is wonderful and we all add to the development of freely available, useful tools that actually help us do something, not just line some big corportaions pockets. If I want to add a feature, then it's available to everyone, which makes the end result even better.

Felix Gallegos M.'s picture

It is not the cost.
It is the difficult way of paying on line. Furthermore, my English is poor and I shall never be sure of understanding everything I could agree.

Felix M Gallegos

Jeff Jordan's picture

After having to use windoze programs for most of my adult career, I find that Open Source software, in almost all cases, simply works better than most of the proprietery software that I've used in the past.

quique's picture
Submitted by quique on

I think that free software helps to break the de-facto monopoly that has existed
in software since the days when IBM selected Microsoft as their operating system provider.

Give me freedom or give me death.


chessbear's picture
Submitted by chessbear on

Why purchase inferior commercial software? Open Source provides the quality that has been missing from Microsoft (and other vendors) software from day one. I've not been able to comprehend why so many put up with inferior and buggy products.

Laurie Langham's picture

For all of the above reasons and also because of the vastly improved security as well as never having to read the self-congratulating BS that is part and parcel of every M$ program.

Terry Hancock's picture

Definitely "freedom". I develop free software because I want to support the community, and I want to support the community, because I respect its fundamental commitment to freedom.

I do think that cost has to be figured in as well, though.

There are no real examples of "non zero cost but free" software. When you do pay money "for software", you are really paying for media and/or services -- ancillary products, as it were -- not software. Software can't really be "non-zero cost but free" because cost is a restriction on your freedom.

The closest thing to "non zero cost but free" is when you actually sponsor the writing of the software, but then you're really contracting a programmer to do a service for you (writing the program), not buying the program.

As an individual, it's usually a much better deal for me to learn how to use the software without paying for support services. Most of the time it's more fun, too. However, if I were to need the software in a mission-critical application in a commercial environment, I'd be deciding between paying an employee to learn the software or "outsourcing" the work to the commercial software provider. It's easy to see in that situation why it's generally a better deal to hire the people who already know the software rather than to pay for someone to learn the software on my nickel. ;-)

Hamad Mohammed Hamdati Alshehhi's picture

because of freedom too!

i may create something cool, but u may improve it to better since the source code is open! and the development is faster in open source community rather than private codes, but still all developers are volunteers and the cost of developments sometime drive the project to be cancellation.

silvasteding's picture

And I'm not forced to use any programs or have items installed on my computer that I don't want. Programs do what they say they do without trying to sell me something. And, I learn from the software whereas with win, for example, a user is shielded from knowing how things work. Anyway, I'm no techie, just a recent desktop linux convert who will never use any other operating system again.

seaeagle's picture
Submitted by seaeagle on

I use free software for a variety of reasons. Of course, it being free in cost is a benefit, but that is not the major reason why I use it. I think that FOSS is in most cases of a better quality than proprietary software. It is also a lot easier to participate in the development of it via feedback. The worry about losing a registration key no longer exists, and there is less chance of good software disappearing as someone will usually take over development if the original author is no longer able to.

I've also found that support is a lot better via places like forums than you get with non-free software.

I really just love being a participant in something that is not controlled by mega-corporations such as Micro$oft.

Andrei Protasovitski's picture

I'm free from viruses.
I'm free from paying (it's not a big deal in Belarus, where you can buy or copy any software cracked, but anyway I'm free from compunctions).
I'm free from "features" I don't really need.
I'm free from spending a lot of money on phone calls while guy or girl from the support is asking what is the type, number and terms of my license agreement, if I have switched my PC before using their product, if I do like using the product (Do they really care about that?) and so on.
I'm free from "guru's" advises such as "reinstall windows".

I prefer to manage the system, and I hate when the system trys to manage me.

megaforte84's picture

I spent my freshman year of college as a creative writing major afraid to open her writing projects on her own computer because it had come with student-teacher Microsoft Office and any of those projects might potentially become a profitable enterprise at some point in the future. The next year I discovered OpenOffice and I've slowly been converting over to free bit by bit ever since. I just spent my first grad school Christmas break converting to an Ubuntu/XP dual boot on my own. I like being able to use programs to do things without having to worry about if a personal project turning into a profit project will violate a EULA I couldn't understand with a BA in English.

And, best of all, I can often find what I need online without needing a credit card number.

Luckily I haven't had to ask for support yet, but having the forum archives and a user-generated wiki available when I was trying to set up wireless? Priceless, particularly since others had already tried to set up the exact device I was working with.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

It has a great support community = Depends on the project. Several project also have great documentation.

To be part of and support the free software movement. = No. I am not political.

Great applications and Variety: There are tons of great applications in the world of FOSS.