What is Linux?
There are two things that are usually referenced by the name "Linux". The first is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The kernel is the interface between the applications and the hardware on a computer. The second thing usually referred to by the name "Linux" is a family of operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. This includes Ubuntu, RedHat Linux, Fedora, and Debian.
So what's GNU/Linux, then?
GNU/Linux is an alternative name for most of the operating systems referred to as Linux. I chose to name our group the GNU/Linux User Group instead of the Linux User Group to respect the role of the GNU Project in the development of these operating systems, and to emphasize our focus on free software.
What's a GNU?
There are two things that are usually referenced by the name "GNU". The first is the GNU Project. Started by Richard Stallman in the 1980s, the GNU Project is an effort to create a completely free operating system. The second thing usually referred to by the name "GNU" are wildebeests.
What is free software?
Free software is software that respects your freedom. Specifically, free software is software that protects its users' four essential freedoms as defined by the Free Software Foundation:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Who's behind MasonLUG?
President: Mark McCaskey
Vice President: Luca Estinto
Treasurer: Ivan Diaz
Secretary: David Morris
Systems Administrator: Bryan Hoyle
Wiki Maintainer: Ivan Diaz