What is FOSS?

FOSS stands for "Free and Open Source Software." It refers to software that respects user freedom and is open source, meaning that the source code is made available to the public. Let's break down these two components:

  1. Free Software: The "free" stands for freedom (as in "free speech"). Free software respects users' freedom and community. It means that users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve the software. These freedoms are essential in enabling individuals and communities to make the software do what they want it to. Free software doesn't mean that the software is available at no cost (although it often is).

  2. Open Source Software: This means that the original source code of the software is made available without restrictions and may be redistributed and modified. It allows anyone to inspect, modify, and enhance the code, which can lead to a more transparent and community-driven development process.

FOSS promotes sharing, collaboration, community engagement, transparency, and the ability to customize software for individual or organizational needs. Some well-known examples of FOSS include the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, and the Mozilla Firefox web browser.