Free software

What is free software?

“Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “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”. We sometimes call it “libre software,” borrowing the French or Spanish word for “free” as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is "a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom."

Current campaigns

The FSF's campaigns target important opportunities for free software adoption and development, empower people against specific threats to their freedom, and move us closer to a free society.

Free software resources

Use these resources to find the free software you need, promote the free software you like, and explain to everyone you know why it's essential to use and support free software.

Various licenses and comments about them

We try to list the most commonly encountered free software license on this page, but cannot list them all; we'll try our best to answer questions about free software licenses whether or not they are listed here.

Software Freedom Conservancy is "a not-for-profit charity that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects."

See also: Free culture