First of all you need to understand what we mean by "Free". There is an oft used quote by Richard Stallman that says...
“Free” here means free as in “free speech,” not free as in “free beer.”
The theory goes something like this.
- I need some software that I can't find anywhere or don't want to buy.
- That means I'll have to write it. So, I write it.
- Now I'll donate this software to the world, so that the world can use it and maybe even improve it.
- Other people fix bugs and improve the software, also giving the new code to the world.
- Now I have a better piece of software than I started with and everyone gets to use it.
- The world is a happier place.
Well, something like that anyway. And of course, you get to use the software even if you have never coded or done anything for free software.
One of the most famous pieces of free software is Linux. Linux is what makes the RasPi run. Ubuntu, Fedora, Raspbian and openSUSE are all different version of Linux distributions that were created this way. The vast majority of the software that runs on them is also free software.
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