Freedom for Human Beings

Linux Ubuntu

Speaking honestly, when migrating to Ubuntu GNU/Linux , I didn’t realize the meaning of word free. I wanted to get rid of the guilt I felt using illegal software, which I used because like many other people from my country I can not afford to buy licenses for an Operating system, anti virus utility and an office suite. I needed something legal and free and this is how I thought about free software at that time. Later, as Free Software Foundation puts it that lots of people come to understand the meaning of word Free in free software when they are totally relying on them. The word free here stands for freedom. It is freedom to do whatever you want to do with your computer and your open operating system. See philosophy of GNU project.

I also came to understand the meaning of word open in open source. Unlike the software sold by closed vendors open source software are open for everyone to modify them, redistribute them and build something totally different around them.

Now I also understand what it means to be a part of Open Source community. It is a very large and diverse group of people who prefer freedom, open and community software development over closed, limited and corporate software development.

Like I had this little problem with Urdu fonts display and I immediately found many people who are also facing the similar problem. I found people who are using different distros and seeing the same symptoms with similar software. Together we have filed bug reports, support requests, we have discussed the problem on our Urdu Forum and found some temporary solutions to our problem. Just because there was a community, eager to help each other, and just because the software we are using are open, we have found temporary solution with in hours. Thats the spirit of Ubuntu, Linux, GNU, Free Software and Open Source movement.

When I first installed Ubuntu, I had this impression in my mind that may be I would be the only person using Ubuntu in Pakistan. Later, I found many other people from my own city and country. We have forums in Urdu and English, we have mailing lists, we have lists of software vendors and much more. Some groups even organize events to create awareness among masses. I am glad that I have become part of such a wonderful community.

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