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Chapter 1. Introducing the Caldera OpenLinux Workstation

Table of Contents
1.1. About Linux, the Free Software Foundation, and the Open Source Movement
1.2. What is OpenLinux?
1.3. Who is Caldera?
1.4. Technical Support
1.4.1. Knowledge Base
1.4.2. Developer Network
1.4.3. Additional Support Options

The Caldera® OpenLinux™ Workstation Release 3.1 provides a comprehensive development environment based on the standard GNU tools and enhanced with optional commercial software. It enables you to successively develop applications for all Caldera platforms and can be customized to satisfy other desktop needs.

The OpenLinux Developer's Guide provides information about the OpenLinux development facilities and advanced configuration and administrative tasks that may be required for Workstation users. See the OpenLinux Workstation Installation Guide and OpenLinux System Administration Guide for additional information.

1.1. About Linux, the Free Software Foundation, and the Open Source Movement

The Linux operating system is a UNIX-like operating system originally developed by Linus Torvalds as a research project when he was a college student in Finland in the early 1990s. Since then, more and more people around the world have contributed to the growth of Linux.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), established in 1984, publishes the GNU (GNU's Not Linux) toolchain that forms the core of the Linux development environment as well as other (primarily non-kernel) utilities.

Linux and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) are at the heart of the open source movement, where source code is freely available and development is shared among thousands of users around the world who cooperate informally to improve the features and quality of the software. The classic exposition of the philosophy of open source development is Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, published by O'Reilly and Associates, with many exerpts and related writings available at the tuxedo.org/~esr/writings web page.

The "free software" movement is closely related to the open source movement but there are significant philosophical differences and the two should not be confused. The full philosophy of free software is available at the Free Software Foundation web site. Quoting from this document:

"Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of `free' as in `free speech,' not as in `free beer.' [...] Free software refers to the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, change, study and improve the software."

The Linux operating system and the GNU toolchain are released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL provides that the source code to the software must be made available and that no one can restrict access to it. With this type of software, anyone can examine and extend the source code, but all such work must be released for public use. Other licenses provide for the inclusion of source code with its associated software, but GPL is the most common Open Source License.

1.2. What is OpenLinux?

OpenLinux is Caldera's self-hosted source code Linux distribution that conforms to commercial software release procedures. OpenLinux is based on the most current stable open source technologies, but subjected to rigorous testing procedures similar to those used for proprietary operating systems.

Linux began as a desktop operating system but achieved its first wide-spread success as a server. It is still strong and still gaining strength in that area. Interest in Linux as a desktop operating system never waned and Linux is now also rapidly gaining ground as the operating system of choice for workstations and desktop systems. Improved installation tools, powerful graphical desktops, and a wide range of applications for productivity and fun, as well as the power and stability of Linux make Linux an ideal workstation environment.

1.3. Who is Caldera?

Caldera is one of the oldest Linux distributors. Caldera's mission is to provide Linux technology in a form that can be easily used by businesses, research organizations, and individuals.

Caldera is an active contributor to many open source activities, especially those that promote portability, stability, and performance in the operating system and development environment.

Caldera also provides the following services:

1.4. Technical Support

Caldera International offers several options for technical support. These are discussed here briefly; for more information, see the Caldera Support web page or send email to the support@caldera.com alias.

1.4.1. Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base is a repository for technical articles developed by the Caldera Support Staff in response to questions raised by customers. It is available on the web and is free to all customers:

1.4.2. Developer Network

Anyone doing any sort of development for any Caldera platforms is strongly urged to join the Developer Network. Registration is free and entitles you to deep discounts on products and services, email updates on topics of special interest to developers, and access to the Developer Lounge webpage.

1.4.3. Additional Support Options

Caldera provides a number of different support packages. These include contracts for installation support (provided for free with some products), telephone support, email support, and pay-as-you-go support contracts.

Special programs are available for ISVs, IHVs, and OEMs. Caldera's Professional Services organization can provide customized engineering work on a contractual basis.

See the Caldera Support homepage for more information and to set up a support contract that meets your needs.