Free Software

FreeSoftware is software which users can freely:

CopyLeft software is FreeSoftware with these additional conditions: The FreeSoftwareMovement was started by RichardStallman of the FreeSoftwareFoundation and the GnuProject ( The GNU Project philosophy area ( has a number of texts about why RichardStallman and others support FreeSoftware.

Note that 'free' here refers to a philosophical notion of freedom, not to price, and that this page is about RichardStallman and the FreeSoftwareFoundation's definition of FreeSoftware.

FreeSoftware is related to, but not the same as, OpenSource software. In the words of RichardStallman:

FreeSoftwareMovement [...] is concerned not only with practical benefits but with a social and ethical issue: whether to encourage people to cooperate with their neighbors, or prohibit cooperation. The FreeSoftwareMovement raises issues of freedom, community, principle, and ethics, which the OpenSource Movement studiously avoids.
-- RichardStallman in a May 2000 SlashDot interview []

Notable FreeSoftware projects include Notable non-CopyLeft FreeSoftware projects (previously included in the list above) include: (There was a long and rambling discussion on this page; I have moved it to FreeSoftwareDiscussion, where it could no doubt do with some more editing.)

(also some at WhyFreeSoftwareWorks, FreeSoftwareWarMap)

If you want to know how eye-candy Free Software can be, check or

FreeSoftware is just palliative. See SovereignComputing.

See FreeSoftwareVsOpenSource, FreeSoftwareIsBadForTheEconomy, FreeHardware.


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