Книга: Embedded Linux Primer: A Practical, Real-World Approach

1.3.1. Free Versus Freedom

1.3.1. Free Versus Freedom

Two popular phrases are often repeated in the discussion about the free nature of open source: "free as in freedom" and "free as in beer." (The author is particularly fond of the latter.) The GPL license exists to guarantee "free as in freedom" of a particular body of software. It guarantees your freedom to use it, study it, and change it. It also guarantees these freedoms for anyone to whom you distribute your modified code. This concept has become fairly widely understood.

One of the misconceptions frequently heard is that Linux is "free as in beer." Sure, you can obtain Linux free of cost. You can download a Linux kernel in a few minutes. However, as any professional development manager understands, certain costs are associated with any software to be incorporated into a design. These include the costs of acquisition, integration, modification, maintenance, and support. Add to that the cost of obtaining and maintaining a properly configured toolchain, libraries, application programs, and specialized cross-development tools compatible with your chosen architecture, and you can quickly see that it is a nontrivial exercise to develop the needed software components to deploy your embedded Linux-based system.

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