Google, Facebook Wouldn’t Have Been Possible Without Open Source

15 Feb

Red Hat is one of the leading companies operating on what is called the open source business model, where the source codes of software are open, enabling more programmers to make adaptations and improvements.

So, unlike proprietary software companies that do not open up the source codes and make money by selling expensive software licenses, Red Hat makes money by selling subscriptions for the support, training, and integration services that help customers in using open-source software.

Open source software has had significant success in many areas, and Red Hat itself has almost touched $1-billion in revenue. The company’s CEO Jim Whitehurst was recently in Bangalore and spoke to TOI.

What excites you right now in the open source world?
User-driven innovation. The Googles, the Yahoos, the Facebooks, who have significant IT challenges, are not looking to pay a vendor for intellectual property, they hire thousands of engineers to do it themselves, and they do it all on open source. They had ‘big data’ problems to solve, but did not have the dollars to solve them when they started off. That is why all the bigdata innovations, such as Hadoop and Cassandra (frameworks for running applications on large clusters built of commodity hardware), have happened on open source.

And now IBM, EMC, Oracle have all announced support around those open source projects. Why didn’t these things come out of the labs at IBM or Oracle? The simple reason is innovation is starting to move to user-driven innovation. It’s the explosion of Web 2.0 companies that’s driving open source.

Also, the pace of innovation at Web 2.0 companies is very rapid. The CEO of one of the big Web 2.0 companies I was talking to said he needed to launch a product in two weeks, so he had engineers working round the clock to ensure he met the deadline. Because it’s happening on open source, it opens up this huge, huge opportunity for Red Hat.

How cost effective is it?
One of the major banks in the US takes every single interaction they have with their customer and analyses it all in real time to take decisions. When they originally priced that system, it was going to be over a $100 million.

But eventually they built it with Hadoop, using Red Hat and commodity X86 servers for less than $2 million. So you are not talking about 20% savings, you are talking about radical savings.

The cost of building even the beginnings of Google, if you were doing that in the traditional IT stack way, would have been prohibitive. Our estimate is that if they had paid traditional license fees, even discounted, they would have paid $10 billion every year in such fees.

How is the cloud impacting you?
All major clouds are built on open source, other than (Microsoft) Azure. They either use ours (Red Hat) or free open source, and they use it right from the hypervisor to the operating system.

To build something on the scale of Amazon on a proprietary platform would be extremely expensive. So it does represent a huge opportunity. But the dollars are still in applications. Cloud as a multi-tenanted, off-premise set up is still a tiny, tiny part of IT infrastructure.

Software-as-a-service vendors are also building on our stack. is built on Red Hat software. So we are in the cloud through that way too.

Do you believe everything will eventually move to open source?
This might be provocative for some people in open source, but no, not everything is moving to open source. Open source works well where there are broad communities of users, where there aren’t clear standards, or there is value in developing clear standards.

I’m willing to bet that IBM has profited a lot more from Linux than Red Hat has — by embracing it early on, offering it across their platforms. Sun Microsystems went the other way, and they almost died before they were acquired by Oracle. Open source is a very powerful developer model, very powerful economic model, but you have to figure out where to work with it.

Microsoft Windows still has the dominant share of server operating systems.

They are still about 60%. That’s because a lot of the applications still used are older ones. If you want to run Microsoft Exchange, you would use Windows. For customers to migrate applications is expensive.

But if it is a new application, we have a disproportionately high share. If you are doing only Web apps, or Java development or any new development, that is disproportionately Linux. In countries like India, where it’s significant new IT infrastructure, we have great opportunity.

You recently acquired Gluster (it has almost its entire engineering team in Bangalore). Where does it fit in?
There’s today an explosion of data, especially of unstructured data. How do you store and manage it? The people working on this problem are primarily the storage companies like EMC,NetApp. These are hardware companies, so for them the solution is a box that sits on the floor in a data centre. The thing that’s great about Gluster is that it’s a software solution to the problem.

You can plug up commodity disk drives to this thing, and you are ready for the application. It looks like one big disk drive. More importantly, because it’s software, you can spool it right up into the cloud. Pandora, the music streaming service, is a customer.

If a million kids show up to listen to a song, they can’t all hit one disk drive, so what this file system does is auto-replicate that song may be 50,000 times so that each one is hit by only 20 people. It can also spool right up on Amazon. When a song goes viral, it can spool up, and when the demand goes down, it can spool down. You can’t do that with a hardware solution.

It’s an open source solution, it’s low cost and modular. Red Hat started with the operating system, then middleware, virtualisation, and now we also have storage. Gluster has 50-60 people, we’ll likely double that this year.



11 Feb

“Humanity to others”

“I am what I am because of who we all are”

These are the meanings of Ubuntu in an ancient African language. But as an operating system, Ubuntu is a complete desktop Linux operating system and distributed as free and open source software, using its own desktop environment,freely available with both community and professional support. The Ubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Ubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit.

  • Ubuntu will always be free of charge, and there is no extra fee for the “enterprise edition”, we make our very best work available to everyone on the same Free terms.
  • Ubuntu includes the very best in translations and accessibility infrastructure that the Free Software community has to offer, to make Ubuntu usable by as many people as possible.
  • Ubuntu is shipped in stable and regular release cycles; a new release will be shipped every six months. You can use the current stable release or the current development release. A release will be supported for 18 months.
  • Ubuntu is entirely committed to the principles of open source software development; we encourage people to use open source software, improve it and pass it on.

As we mentioned before Ubuntu is suitable for both desktop and server use. The current Ubuntu release supports Intel x86 (IBM-compatible PC), AMD64 (Hammer) and PowerPC (Apple iBook and Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures.

Ubuntu includes more than 1000 pieces of software, starting with the Linux kernel version 2.6 and GNOME 2.30, and covering every standard desktop application from word processing and spreadsheet applications to internet access applications, web server software, email software, programming languages and tools and of course several games.

Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK-based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue by selling technical support and services related to Ubuntu, while the operating system itself is entirely free of charge. The Ubuntu project is committed to the principles of free software development; people are encouraged to use free software, improve it, and pass it on.

How It Began?

Linux was already established as an enterprise server platform in 2004. But free software was still not a part of everyday life for most computer users. That’s why Mark Shuttleworth gathered a small team of developers from one of the most established Linux projects – Debian – and set out to create an easy-to-use Linux desktop, Ubuntu. Ubuntu’s first release was on 20 October 2004. Since then, Canonical has released new versions of Ubuntu every six monthswith commitment to support each release for eighteen months by providing security fixes, patches to critical bugs and minor updates to programs. It was decided that every fourth release, issued on a two-year basis, would receive long-term support (LTS). LTS releases were traditionally supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server.However with the upcoming release of Ubuntu LTS 12.04, desktop support is to be extended to a period of five years (April 2017) for LTS releases. On 12 March 2009, Ubuntu announced developer support for 3rd party cloud management platforms, such as for those used at Amazon EC2. The latest release is Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot), released on 13 October 2011.Mark Shuttleworth announced on 31 October 2011 that by Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu will support smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart screens.On 9 January 2012, Canonical announcedUbuntu TV at the Consumer Electronics Show.


The vision for Ubuntu is part social and part economic: free software, available free of charge to everybody on the same terms, and funded through a portfolio of services provided by Canonical.

Ubuntu comes installed with a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice (OpenOffice in versions prior to 11.04), Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird (Evolution in versions prior to 11.10),Empathy (Pidgin in versions before 9.10), Transmission, GIMP (in versions prior to 10.04), and several lightweight games (such as Sudoku and chess). Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded and installed using the Ubuntu Software Center or the package manager Synaptic, which come pre-installed in versions prior to 11.10. Ubuntu allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. End-users can install Gufw (GUI for Uncomplicated Firewall) and keep it enabled.GNOME (the former default desktop) offers support for more than 46 languages.[31] Ubuntu can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), through Wine or using a Virtual Machine (such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox).

What Your System Needs?

Current Minimum Requirements Server Desktop
Processor (x86) with the i686 instruction set 300 MHz 700 MHz
Memory (RAM) 128 MB (128 × 10242 bytes) 384 MB (384 × 10242 bytes)
Hard Drive (free space) 1 GB (1 × 10003 bytes) 5 GB (5 × 10003 bytes)
Monitor Resolution 640×480 1024×768

How To Install Ubuntu?

You can download Ubuntu from

Below, you can find detailed information about installing.


Richard Stallman

2 Feb

Stallman was born in 1953 in New York City. His first experience with computers was in high school at the IBM New York Scientific Center. He was hired for the summer to write a numerical analysis program in Fortran.  Stallman spent the summer after his high-school graduation writing another program, a preprocessor for the PL/I programming language on the IBM System/360.Stallman was also a volunteer laboratory assistant in the biology department at Rockefeller University.In his first year at Harvard University, Stallman was known for his strong performance in Math 55. In 1971 he became a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.He joined the group of hackers at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

As a hacker in MIT’s AI laboratory, Stallman worked on software projects like TECO, Emacs, and the Lisp machine Operating System. He would become an ardent critic of restricted computer access in the lab, which at that time was funded primarily by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


Richard Stallman  is considered to be the founding father of free software. He began thinking about this while he was working in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. The lab used a printer that often broke down, but because the lab workers had the source code of the printer’s driver  at their disposal, they were able to modify the program so that the printer would send an error message to everyone’s workstation every time it broke down and whoever was available would go the the printer room and fix the problem. One day the lab bought a new, more reliable printer from Xerox. Unfortunately, the source code of the printer driver was not included in the package, and they were unable to put in place the same kind of maintenance set-up they had used before. Richard Stallman later heard that another scientific laboratory had a copy of the source code of the Xerox driver. When he tried to obtain it, he was told that the lab had agreed to keep the source code to themseves and not to make it available to anyone else. Stallman was quite offended by this selfish attitude, and it was then that he became aware of the dangers of a proprietary system.


In 1985, Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motivation for creating a free operating system called GNU, which would be compatible with Unix.  The name GNU is a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix.” In 1984, Stallman started the influential GNU project to develop a free operating system called GNU.In February 1984, Stallman quit his job at MIT to work full-time on the GNU project,  so that MIT would not be able to claim the copyright on the GNU software, but the university was kind enough to let him use their computers. In 1985, Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation as a tax-exempt charity for development of free software. Knowing full well that it is impossible to use a computer without an operating system, it became clear that the first project of the foundation should be to put together a complete and free operating system,The GNU Project!!  The operating system would be compatible with Unix, yet different.

In 1989 the first program-independent GNU General Public License (GPL) was released. By then, much of the GNU system had been completed. Stallman was responsible for contributing many necessary tools, including a text editor , compiler , debugger , and a build automator . The notable exception was a kernel. In 1990, members of the GNU project began a kernel called GNU Hurd, which has yet to achieve the maturity level required for widespread usage.


Stallman has devoted the bulk of his life’s energies to political and software activism. Stallman has written many essays on software freedom and since the early 1990s. In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free on-line encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles.The resulting GNUPedia was eventually retired in favour of the emerging Wikipedia, which had similar aims and was enjoying greater success.

Stallman has participated in protests about software patents,DRM,and proprietary software. Protesting against proprietary software in April 2006, Stallman held a “Don’t buy from ATI, enemy of your freedom” placard at a speech by an ATI representative in the building where Stallman works, resulting in the police being called.ATI has since merged with AMD Corporation and has taken steps to make their hardware documentation available for use by the free software community. Stallman has also helped and supported the International Music Score Library Project in getting back online, after it had been taken down on October 19, 2007 following a cease and desist letter from Universal Edition.

After the death of Steve Jobs, Stallman wrote the following:

“Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, “I’m not glad he’s dead, but I’m glad he’s gone.” Nobody deserves to have to die – not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs’ malign influence on people’s computing.Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.”

Richard Stallman, , believes that companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, but are in fact doing the exact opposite because of how they run their social networks. In an interview with RT, he briefly criticized both Facebook and Google+, but then underlined how the former has worse practices than the latter.“Facebook does massive surveillance,” Stallman continued. “If there is a Like button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have Like buttons and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are.”You can watch the Stallman interview, which discusses many issues beyond Facebook and Google+, below.

GNOME Project

1 Feb

GNOME( GNU Network Object Model Enviroment), as part of GNU Project, is a desktop enviroment and graphical user interface runs on top of an operating system which is especially Unix-like systems.

The Project includes creating development frameworks, selecting application sofware for the desktop, and working on the programs that manage application launching, file handling, and window and task management.GNOME was started in August 1997 by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena as a free software project to develop a desktop environment andapplications for it. It was founded in part because KDE, an already existing free software desktop environment, relied on the Qt widget toolkit which at the time used a proprietary software license. GNOME itself is licensed under the LGPL for its libraries, and the GNU General Public License(GPL) for its applications.

The California startup Eazel developed the Nautilus file manager from 1999 to 2001. De Icaza and Nat Friedman founded Helix Code (laterXimian) in 1999 in Massachusetts. The company developed GNOME’s infrastructure and applications, and in 2003 was purchased by Novell

GNOME 2 (the previous major release) was very similar to a conventional desktop interface, featuring a simple desktop in which users could interact with virtual objects, such as windows, icons, and files. GNOME 2 used Metacity as its default window manager. The handling of windows, applications, and files in GNOME 2 is similar to that of contemporary desktop operating systems. In the default configuration of GNOME 2, the desktop has a launcher menu for quick access to installed programs and file locations; open windows may be accessed by a taskbar along the bottom of the screen, and the top-right corner features a notification area for programs to display notices while running in the background. However, these features can be moved to almost any position or orientation the user desires, replaced with other functions or removed altogether.

GNOME 3.0 was released on April 6, 2011.It was announced at the July 2008 GUADEC conference in Istanbul. The code name ToPaZ (standing for Three Point Zero) was introduced around 2005 and for a long time was only a playground for vague ideas. Quite a few mock-ups were created as part of several ToPaZ brainstorming processes.

Though the philosophy around GNOME mandates that changes are incremental, the desktop received a major overhaul with the GNOME Shell.

What is GNOME Shell?

GNOME Shell is the core user interface of the GNOME desktop environment starting with version 3. It provides basic functionality like switching between windows and launching applications. It replaces GNOME Panel and other software components from GNOME 2 to offer a user experience that breaks from the previous model ofdesktop metaphor, used in earlier versions of GNOME.

The functionality of GNOME Shell can be changed with extensions, which could be written in JavaScript.

The GNOME project puts heavy emphasis on simplicity, usability, and making things “just work” (see KISS principle). The other aims of the project are:

  • Freedom — to create a desktop environment with readily-available source code for re-use under a free software license.
  • Accessibility — to ensure the desktop can be used by anyone, regardless of technical skill or physical circumstances.
  • Internationalization and localization — to make the desktop available in many languages. At the moment, GNOME is being translated to 175 languages.
  • Developer-friendliness — to ensure ease of writing software that integrates smoothly with the desktop, and allow developers a free choice of programming language.
  • Organization — to adhere to a regular release cycle and maintain a disciplined community structure.
  • Support — to ensure backing from other institutions beyond the GNOME community.


Jailbreaking Is A Right!

1 Feb

Is it really a crime to break your own Android or Iphone, or is it a right? Read this and decide!

(EFElectronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who wants to protect jailbreakers and users creating remix videos againts Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) has went into action. The lawyer of EFF, Marcia Hotffman said that, DMCA actually aims to prevent copy right misuse, but it is misused for  who wants to make their devices more secure and functional.

The rights that EFF won in 2010 for smart phones and remix videos is about to expire in these days. So, EFF invites Copyright Office not only to renew these rights but also extend them. What EFF wants is to protect cell phones, tablets and game consoles from jailbreak. EFF also wanted legal protection for the artists who creat new videos from internet videos or DVDs.Copyright Office wants to get views from public.

The Final Version Of Firefox Is Released!

1 Feb

Firefox 10, the last determined version of web browser which has enhanced its progress speed since Firefox 4 has become downloadable.
In the new version there are innovations like full screen special API support, some progresses in interface, special recoveries for improvers, better grafic support in transforming 2D objects to 3D animations and anti-aliasing with WebGL. The first thing that leaps our eyes about the appearance of Firefox is that the “forward” button on the left side of the address bar now becomes visible just when it is needed.
Firefox for tablets are going to get profit from these updates.Plus to that, it is going to have some spesific updates too. While Firefox 10 supports multiple finger moves, it is going to be easy to setup and equalize Firefox Sync.

A quick demo through a video is obtained through a Mozilla Blog. Have a look to get to know how the new tools can help developers.

Here is Open Source Tablet!

1 Feb

It’s name is “Spark”, in recognition of it being the start to an even bigger flame.

The Spark is a modestly-specced enthusiast tablet that’s just been announced, and it’s aimed at those who want to run applications on Linux-based open hardware. The creators say it’s the first tablet to come with Plasma Active pre-installed — an open-source UI intended for use in a variety of touchscreen devices

It sports an open Linux stack on unlocked hardware and comes with an open content and services market. The user experience is, Plasma Active and it will be available to the general public.
Like the Kindle Fire, the Spark is a seven-inch capacitive tablet running on a Cortex-A9 processor. However, instead of a dual-core processor, the Spark offers Amlogic’s single-core AML8726-M. The 1GHz system on chip (SoC) includes a Mali-400 graphics processing unit (GPU) and full 1080p video decoding, as detailed on this Amlogic AML8726-M product page.

  •     1 GHz ARMv7 (Cortex A9)  processor with Mali-400 GPU
  •     7″, 800 x 480, 5-point multi-touch capacitive display
  •     512 MB RAM, 4 GB Flash, micro-sd slot
  •     WiFi and 3G
  •     1080p HDMI output
  •     335 grams

KDE Plasma Active, a system you may well have never heard of before, running on top of a completely open source Linux build. Have a peek at some hands-on with Plasma Active to get an idea of what the software will hold:


The Spark is quite the niche product, at least in its current form. Fans of open source software commenting on the announcement post seem quite excited about its release, but at the moment, I personally don’t see the Spark getting much interest outside that group of users. But we’ll keep an eye on its development, and see how it progresses. At the very least, it’s exciting to see the efforts of a small community of enthusiasts result in a decent-looking device.

The Spark tablet will cost users €200, or approximately $265 USD, and should be available for purchase soon.