Linux – Is Linux Open Source?

Everyone knows that Linux is “Open Source”! But what does that really mean? Open Source means different things to different people, and more importantly there are different licenses that are covered under the Open Source Banner.


  • 20 years ago a major issue in the technology world was that no one could even see the code that was running on their servers. Technicians wanted the ability to be able to view code, and be able to fix issues themselves.
  • When people say “free” does that mean as in “free beer”, or “free speech”?

Red Hat Subscriptions

  • Red Hat requires yearly subscriptions in order to receive any updates and patches.

If all of your subscriptions expire and you have no other active subscriptions in your organization, you retain the right to use the software under the applicable license terms. However, your entire environment will no longer receive any of the subscription benefits, including:
-The latest certified software versions.
-Security errata and bug fixes.

Virtual Box

  • Virtual Box is Open Source and free for persona and enterprise use, but the Extension Pack is not.

 Oracle grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce, install, execute, and use internally the Product on Host Computers for your Personal Use, Educational Use, or Evaluation. “Personal Use” is noncommercial use solely by the person downloading the Product from Oracle on a single Host Computer, provided that no more than one client or remote computer is connected to that Host Computer and that client or remote computer is used solely to remotely view the Guest Computer(s). “Educational Use” is any use by teachers or students in an academic institution (schools, colleges and universities) as part of the institution’s educational curriculum. “Evaluation” means testing the Product for up to thirty (30) days; after expiry of that term, you are no longer permitted to use the Product. Personal Use and/or Educational Use expressly exclude any use of the Product for commercial purposes or to operate, run, or act on behalf of or for the benefit of a business, organization, governmental organization, or educational institution.

You may not do any of the following: (a) modify any part of the Product, except to the extent allowed in the documentation accompanying the Product; (b) rent, lease, lend, re-distribute, or encumber the Product; (c) remove or alter any proprietary legends or notices contained in the Product; or (d) decompile, or reverse engineer the Product (except to the extent permitted by applicable law).

Hosted Services

  • What does “open source” mean in an SOA world?

Open Source Licenses

  • There are numerous “open source” licenses. these are legally binding licenses and they can have a major impact on your organization if you do not understand what you are agreeing to.

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