Getting Started with Linux : Why Install Linux ?
Curious about Linux, but not ready to dive in head first without a little background? We are on it. As part of our our Night School series, we will be detailing, toruble shooting, and taking a deeper swim into the open-source OS this week. Today, we are offering some encouragement for the hesitant.
Why, in this day of razor – thin and elegant Macs, a solid Windows 7 offering, and cloud-connected gadgets would anyone bother to carve up their hard drive and install Linux, the geekiest of the major perating systems/ Linux will never be everyone’s desktop, but here’s why it might be just perfect for you, as a workorse or a hobby.
In a general sense, the core operating system on your computer is becoming more and more abstract, as more services move onto the web, and as your browser and sites’ own code are capable of doing much more of the raditional heavy lifting of daily work. So if you use a computer for brwsing, email, IM, and some light app functions, Linux can work just as well for you as any other system.
There are many reasons to switc to Linux, as expained by your fellow readers. Here are some of the strongest cases to consider.
Understainding How open Source Software developers makre Money
There are many myths aobut open source software (oss) and perhaps the most common it this : open source and profit are mutually exclusive. Surely there are those who believe that all software shoud be open and free, but they are a minority (not dissimilar to art purists).
The truth is : many OSS developers and projects do generate revenue. Some earn just enough moeny to survive while others produce so much money that they put proprietary alternatives to shame. How’s that for irony?
That being said, profiting as an OSS developer does require a slight paradigm shift. Rather than seeing your software as the product itself, the trick is to see your software as a platform or catalyst that paves the way for othe rrevenue strams.
Offer Support and Services.
By far the most common method of income is to provide a service alongside the OSS prudict. Pick any OSS project from random and there is a good chance that they utilize this method in one way or another.
Compiled bianries. Despite releasing you source coe for free, you can always find potential users who want to use your software but don’t have the knowledge, time, or energy to compile it on their own. These users are often williong to pay you tom compile your own code on their behalf.
Maintencance services. You know your software the best. You can sell that expertise to users in the form of services that save them time and frustration. Most companies value their time more than their money so this is a great way to go, especially for server-based software. Paid installation and setup, or on-call administartive support are two prime examples.
Lectures and workshops. If your software is deeply complex with a steep learning curve, companies may hir you to teach their employees directly. Or, if your software is popular enoguh, you could hold workshops for individuals who want to learn everything from the basics to the most advaced aspects.
Sell Instructional material.
Users of OSS tend to be those who are self-taught lone wolves. They want to pick through your code and discover evertthing at their own pace. For these users, lectures and workshops are of the table; instead, they prefer hands-on material.
You can sell this material to them and they will probably pay for it.
Documentation. Many OSS projects inculd documentation for free and there is nothing wrong with that. However, good documentation is time-consuming to produce and incredibly valuable, so much so that it may deserve a price tag. For those wo don’t want to pay, they can always scour the source code itself.
Tutorials and examples. if paid documentation doesn’t it well with you, you can always release it for free and then charge for tutorial resources. This applies more for compelx framewokrs like game engines and not so much for singular applications.