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openDemocracy: Open Source Ubuntu

May 23, 2006, 23:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Becky Hogge)

"I have lost count of the many seminars, conferences and talks I've attended recently where that magic phrase 'the-open-source-operating-system-Linux' has resounded. Whether uttered by a New Labour policy wonk or a Polish art historian it has the same effect: the crowd of academics, bloggers and civil servants goes gooey, basking smugly in the image of thousands of bearded geeks quietly subverting the capitalist beast from the comfort of their bedrooms, chewing caffeine gum and trotting out code that rivals Microsoft's.

"But it's a bit more complicated than that. Linux comes in all kinds of different flavours, called distributions or 'distros,' and with each distro the code-base, licensing terms, support model, philosophy and community or company organisation varies..."

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