Linux & Open SOurce Licensing
Posted on 2004-11-24
This is a question about the licensing aspects of Linux. I wasn't sure whether to post it here or under the Administration sub topic.
Well, basically the enquiry is about Open Source & the GNU license.
As a newbie, I understand that Linux is free to download and free to use right?
But let's say I wanted to set up a business with a Linux server and a few Linux desktops for my staff.
Would this violate the GNU license? I mean is open source also applicable to commercial use? If so, why would anyone consider puchasing Redhat Enterprise Server or SuSE Linux Server.
I appreciate that some thrid party software is bundled in these packages and also they provide technical support.
But, if the idea is to set up a business on an alternate platform, it is obvious that my staff would be thoroughly trained to work in a Linux platform.
So why would I pay Redhat or SuSE for technical support after PAYING to get my staff trained ?
With regards to thrid party software, the Linux downloadble OS from different websites all come with hundreds of alternatives of the same application. I mean Adobe creates Acrobat. But I have found Xpdf for example in SuSE Linux, Mandrake etc.
Open Office is another example for a free office suite.
So, are these software free just for home use, or does the GNU license apply to commercial use as well?
Thanks for your time