This enumeration of successful OpenSource projects could be led on and on but the
interested reader is recommended to surf the internet for OpenSource products and
find out his/her own favorites.
Well Known OpenSource Projects
The count of OpenSource projects is hardly to ascertain, there are several
websites which only are concerned to mediate information for a many projects.
First to mention is the Open Source Development
Network. This site give a lot of links to other sites that look after
many projects. Everywhere you can take part in mailing lists and discussion
groups. The following are the main sites to display:
How many projects these sites offer may be found out by the interested reader.
Here more then 68000 projects are shown, they speak of more then 700000
Freshmeat holds about 30000 projects and 116000 users.
Linux is the best known OpenSource project and has many contributors and much
more users worldwide. Mainly Linux is qualified as server operating system,
because Linux shows very high stability and scalability. Scalability in this
case means that Linux is working properly from old personal computers with
less memory up to mainframe machines with many processors.
Linux is a Unix-clone and follows the concept of displaying all system
resources as files to achieve a unified access. The accessrights are organized
as in Unix as well, permissions for Read, Write and Execute can be set seperately
for owner, groupmembers and others for every file and directory.
All configuration data is placed in plain text files and are easyly to
administer, a simple editor suffices.
As Linux is OpenSource, the possibilities to adapt it to different tasks
is very big. Every user can configure the operarting system kernel that it
fits on his own needs. From a small router-pc with several network interfaces
and less memory up to a big cluster, coworking computers with some hundreds
of single computers are possible and well tried.
Many companies have made Linux to be the center of their business and sell
distributions. As we described under
Licenses it is allowed to earn money on providing OpenSource software
on media and with attending support. Linux and OpenSource show up a surpassing
growth, a future market.
As exsample here a few distributors are listed here, this list is not
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.
is well known for the big extent of their Linux distribution, as well as for high
quality manuals and lots of extensions to the Linux kernel and the
simplification of the administration with their tools.
is sited in USA and considered to be the most widespread distribution.
and much more.
Linux distribution that boots from one CD-ROM and contains all necessary
things. From hardware recognition over Office applications up to picture
processing, all runs without tampering with the harddisk.
The Apache webserver is one of the most successful OpenSource projects. Although
often not seen at the surface, it does its work reliably in the background: the
delivery of web pages and further services as crypted data transfer (Secure
Socket Layer, SSL), web forms (Common Gateway Interface) and as interface to
databases and much more. More then 50 percent of the market share is held by
GNU‘s Not Unix|
What would be Linux without GNU? A skeleton without the flesh? Well, that sounds
a bit exaggerated, but a bit of truth is in it: The GNU project provides a lot of
tools that are working behind the view on the graphical desktops. It is a long list,
so only a few of them are mentioned here: gawk (GNU Aho, Weinberger, Kernigan),
grep (global regular expression print), find, locate, ls (list), shell (commandline
interpreter), vim (visional improved editor), mount, date, tar (tape archiver)
and many more. At least the GPL (GNU General Public License) made possible the big
success of OpenSource.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program is a picture processing software. Its capabilities
follow the Adobe Photoshop but extend them further on. GIMP knows a lot of PlugIns
and can be automated via script languages as Scheme and PERL.
With OpenOffice.org the company Sun Microsystems
has given the source code of the
StarOffice5.2 package to the OpenSource community. Since that time OpenOffice.org
is maintained and further developed by volunteers and Sun workers.
OpenOffice.org comes with a text processor Writer, a spreadsheet Calc,
a drawing application Draw, a presentation software Impress and an
editor for formulars Math.
OpenOffice.org easyly imports file formats of other office programs.
XFree86 is the free X-Server and implements the X11 window system release 6. The
X-server is responsible for the graphics device and what is shown on the display.
Originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) allows to
work through the network, the user has not to sit at that computer that is running
his X-server, the clients of the X11 window system can be displayed remotely.
XFree86 cares about further developement and the drivers for new graphics devices.
The secure shell (SSH) makes it possible to work on remote computers with an
encrypted data transfer. OpenSSH is the OpenSource implementation of this
protocol. The keyexchange is done with unsymmetric encryption, the encrypted
data transfer is then symmetricly encrypted, to save resources. Every hour new
encryption keys are negotiated. As well as secure is the copying of data to remote
machines using the scp (secure copy) command which is included in the
The FreeS/WAN project cares for security in the internet protocol. Data encryption
on connections between networks or single computers using the public internet.
This way we setup virtual private networks (VPN) with OpenSource software.
The encryption is done using the AH-Protokoll (Authentication Header) or the
ESP-Protokoll (Encapsulated Security Payload). FreeS/WAN understands
Opportunistic Encryption (OE) that facilitates the administratior's work.
FreeS/WAN has stopped developement but the project lives on under the name of
The name of this projects was created from the three letters SMB which
abbreviate Server Message Block. This is a protocol with which many
computers running the usual operating system offer files and print services.
Samba now allows to connect computers with different operating systems. A lot
of things in a local network get easier. When all client computers use a Samba
server for their private files, only one computer needs to be backed up. With
Samba the server can offer one or more printers to be used by all clients.
KDE - K Desktop Environment|
KDE is the most widespread desktop under Linux. It captivates with its comprehensive
equipment, a big amount of applications is included: from screen-ruler to card games,
from office applications to CD-burner, from vocabulary trainer to sound recorder.
The most important application is the Konqueror, it integrates nearly all
things the user has to do into one application. Konqueror is a file and web browser
which is able to show nearly all file types using plugins. Wenn a file is of type
wave it will open a wave player tool inside its window to play the sound.
The K desktop is highly configurable, even the look of the window system of the
market leader it can look like.