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:: Open Source

Because Open Source software isn't normally installed with most users' PCs, there are often many questions about what Open Source is, how it works, and of course: Is it really free?

Here are a few FAQs about Open Source which help to clarify what Open Source is:

What about viruses?

If you're using Windows, you're no doubt familiar with at least a couple of the 60 000 odd viruses available to you, Linux has almost none in comparison. According to Dr Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell in "Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software" prepared for the British government:

"There are about 60,000 viruses known for Windows, 40 or so for the Macintosh, about 5 for commercial Unix versions, and perhaps 40 for Linux. Most of the Windows viruses are not important, but many hundreds have caused widespread damage. Two or three of the Macintosh viruses were widespread enough to be of importance. None of the Unix or Linux viruses became widespread - most were confined to the laboratory."
To be successful and spread effectively, a virus must be reproduced faster than it is killed. The Linux environment is extremely hostile to viruses. The underlying structure of Linux makes it inherently difficult to write viruses that will work.