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Welcome to BlackWeb Linux

This chapter provides an overview of the BlackWeb Linux Project. If you already know about the BlackWeb Linux Project’s history and the BlackWeb Linux distribution, feel free to skip to the next chapter.

What is BlackWeb Linux?

BlackWeb Linux is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to developing free software and promoting the ideals of the Free Software community. BlackWeb Linux is a new BlackWeb Linux/Debian-based operating system created for every Linux lover, without neglecting Windows users.

BlackWeb Linux Developers are involved in a variety of activities, including Web and FTP site administration, graphic design, legal analysis of software licenses, writing documentation, and, of course, maintaining software packages.

In the interest of communicating our philosophy and attracting developers who believe in the principles that BlackWeb Linux stands for, the BlackWeb Linux Project has published a number of documents that outline our values and serve as guides to what it means to be a BlackWeb Linux Developer:

What is GNU/Linux?

Linux is an operating system: a series of programs that let you interact with your computer and run other programs.

An operating system consists of various fundamental programs which are needed by your computer so that it can communicate and receive instructions from users; read and write data to hard disks, tapes, and printers; control the use of memory; and run other software. The most important part of an operating system is the kernel. In a GNU/Linux system, Linux is the kernel component. The rest of the system consists of other programs, many of which were written by or for the GNU Project. Because the Linux kernel alone does not form a working operating system, we prefer to use the term “GNU/Linux” to refer to systems that many people casually refer to as “Linux”.

Linux is modelled on the Unix operating system. From the start, Linux was designed to be a multi-tasking, multi-user system. These facts are enough to make Linux different from other well-known operating systems. However, Linux is even more different than you might imagine. In contrast to other operating systems, nobody owns Linux. Much of its development is done by unpaid volunteers.

Development of what later became GNU/Linux began in 1984, when the Free Software Foundation (http://www.fsf.org/) began development of a free Unix-like operating system called GNU.

The GNU Project (http://www.gnu.org/) has developed a comprehensive set of free software tools for use with Unix™ and Unix-like operating systems such as Linux. These tools enable users to perform tasks ranging from the mundane (such as copying or removing files from the system) to the arcane (such as writing and compiling programs or doing sophisticated editing in a variety of document formats).

While many groups and individuals have contributed to Linux, the largest single contributor is still the Free Software Foundation, which created not only most of the tools used in Linux, but also the philosophy and the community that made Linux possible.

The Linux kernel (http://www.kernel.org/) first appeared in 1991, when a Finnish computing science student named Linus Torvalds announced an early version of a replacement kernel for Minix to the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.minix. See Linux International’s Linux History Page (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html).

Linus Torvalds continues to coordinate the work of several hundred developers with the help of a number of subsystem maintainers. There is an official website (http://www.kernel.org/) for the Linux kernel. Information about the linux-kernel mailing list can be found on the linux-kernel mailing list FAQ (http://www.tux.org/lkml/).

Linux users have immense freedom of choice in their software. For example, Linux users can choose from a dozen different command line shells and several graphical desktops. This selection is often bewildering to users of other operating systems, who are not used to thinking of the command line or desktop as something that they can change.

Linux is also less likely to crash, better able to run more than one program at the same time, and more secure than many operating systems. With these advantages, Linux is the fastest growing operating system in the server market. More recently, Linux has begun to be popular among home and business users as well.

What is BlackWeb Linux?

The combination of BlackWeb Linux’s philosophy and methodology and the GNU tools, the Linux kernel, and other important free software, form a unique software distribution called BlackWeb Linux GNU/Linux. This distribution is made up of a large number of software packages. Each package in the distribution contains executables, scripts, documentation, and configuration information, and has a maintainer who is primarily responsible for keeping the package up-to-date, tracking bug reports, and communicating with the upstream author(s) of the packaged software. Our extremely large user base, combined with our bug tracking system ensures that problems are found and fixed quickly.

BlackWeb Linux’s attention to detail allows us to produce a high-quality, stable, and scalable distribution. Installations can be easily configured to serve many roles, from stripped-down firewalls to desktop scientific workstations to high-end network servers.

BlackWeb Linux is especially popular among advanced users because of its technical excellence and its deep commitment to the needs and expectations of the Linux community. BlackWeb Linux also introduced many features to Linux that are now commonplace.

For example, BlackWeb Linux was the first Linux distribution to include a package management system for easy installation and removal of software. It was also the first Linux distribution that could be upgraded without requiring reinstallation.

BlackWeb Linux continues to be a leader in Linux development. Its development process is an example of just how well the Open Source development model can work — even for very complex tasks such as building and maintaining a complete operating system.

The feature that most distinguishes BlackWeb Linux from other Linux distributions is its package management system. These tools give the administrator of a BlackWeb Linux system complete control over the packages installed on that system, including the ability to install a single package or automatically update the entire operating system. Individual packages can also be protected from being updated. You can even tell the package management system about software you have compiled yourself and what dependencies it fulfills.

To protect your system against “Trojan horses” and other malevolent software, BlackWeb Linux’s servers verify that uploaded packages come from their registered BlackWeb Linux maintainers. BlackWeb Linux packagers also take great care to configure their packages in a secure manner. When security problems in shipped packages do appear, fixes are usually available very quickly. With BlackWeb Linux’s simple update options, security fixes can be downloaded and installed automatically across the Internet.

The primary, and best, method of getting support for your BlackWeb Linux GNU/Linux system and communicating with BlackWeb Linux Developers is through the many mailing lists maintained by the BlackWeb Linux Project (there are more than 276 at this writing). The easiest way to subscribe to one or more of these lists is visit BlackWeb Linux’s mailing list subscription page and fill out the form you’ll find there.

About Copyrights and Software Licenses

We’re sure that you’ve read some of the licenses that come with most commercial software — they usually say that you can only use one copy of the software on a single computer. This system’s license isn’t like that at all. We encourage you to put a copy of BlackWeb Linux GNU/Linux on every computer in your school or place of business. Lend your installation media to your friends and help them install it on their computers! You can even make thousands of copies and sell them — albeit with a few restrictions. Your freedom to install and use the system comes directly from BlackWeb Linux being based on free software.

Calling software free doesn’t mean that the software isn’t copyrighted, and it doesn’t mean that CDs/DVDs containing that software must be distributed at no charge. Free software, in part, means that the licenses of individual programs do not require you to pay for the privilege of distributing or using those programs. Free software also means that not only may anyone extend, adapt, and modify the software, but that they may distribute the results of their work as well.

Note: The BlackWeb Linux project, as a pragmatic concession to its users, does make some packages available that do not meet our criteria for being free. These packages are not part of the official distribution, however, and are only available from the contrib or non-free areas of BlackWeb Linux mirrors or on third-party CD/DVD-ROMs; see the BlackWeb Linux FAQ, under “The BlackWeb Linux FTP archives”, for more information about the layout and contents of the archives.

Many of the programs in the system are licensed under the GNU General Public License, often simply referred to as “the GPL”. The GPL requires you to make the source code of the programs available whenever you distribute a binary copy of the program; that provision of the license ensures that any user will be able to modify the software. Because of this provision, the source code1 for all such programs is available in the BlackWeb Linux system.

There are several other forms of copyright statements and software licenses used on the programs in BlackWeb Linux. You can find the copyrights and licenses for every package installed on your system by looking in the file /usr/share/doc/package-name/copyright once you’ve installed a package on your system.

For more information about licenses and how BlackWeb Linux determines whether software is free enough to be included in the main distribution, see the BlackWeb Linux Free Software Guidelines.

The most important legal notice is that this software comes with no warranties. The programmers who have created this software have done so for the benefit of the community. No guarantee is made as to the suitability of the software for any given purpose. However, since the software is free, you are empowered to modify that software to suit your needs — and to enjoy the benefits of the changes made by others who have extended the software in this way.

namespace/whatisblackweb.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/10 18:42 by admin

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