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Linux.com: The Free Software Entrepreneur's Guide

Sep 16, 1999, 15:26 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Alami)

"Some industry observers, skeptical of the Free Software community, like to say that programmers need to eat. They imply that with Free Software, no one makes money, and proprietary software is needed. First of all, these observers neglect that Free Software is about freedom, not price. In any case, there are plenty of ways to make money in the Free Software community. Let's look at a few interesting ways for an enterprising developer to make money with Free Software."

" The most often quoted way to make money with Free Software is to provide support services. Most of the Linux distribution vendors provide support for their customers, including paid support contracts. Some companies, such as Linuxcare, specialise in support services for companies and individuals. Consulting services are also quite common. Someone with knowledge of what Free Software can and cannot do can provide valuable information to clients looking for solutions..."

"Another common way to make money with Free Software is to package it. This involves developing Free Software, and packaging it with a CD-ROM, documentation, and support. The package could be purchased via retail outlets or online ordering. Prime examples of software that could be packaged in this fashion include Linux distributions, large office suites, games, and multimedia applications. Most of these applications are too large to be downloaded, and thus you are providing a service to the marketplace by having it available on CD."

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