Open Source Software: A Cost-Effective, Secure, and Flexible Option

Open source software is developed and distributed under a license that gives users the right to use, modify, and redistribute the software. When you purchase proprietary software, you don’t own it. In many cases, proprietary software is effectively leased to you for a set period. Many companies force their customers to upgrade to newer versions to continue to have access to their creations. That is not the case with open source software. Open source software is the best value in the market, and here are five reasons why that is so.

1. Lower costs

One of the most significant advantages of open source software is its low cost. This can save businesses a significant amount of money on software licensing fees. I am writing this blog with MarkText , a simple yet elegant editor that’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows.   It saves my work by default in MarkDown, which is an open source format. I can export the file to HTML or PDF or I can copy and paste it directly into LibreOffice Writer or into my WordPress blog. In all cases, I own my work without needing a license for the software.

2. Flexibility

Open source software is often very flexible and customizable. This means that businesses can tailor the software to their specific needs. Businesses and individuals can modify their software or move from one application to another with compatible formats. One of my clients had files written and saved in a proprietary format that was no longer accessible because the proprietary software was no longer on the market. I was able to open and save the person’s files using LibreOffice Writer because it had the filters built into it that allowed that to happen. You can imagine the delight my client felt when her work of many years was made freely available to her in a format that was accessible using a free product.

3. Community support

Open source software often has a large and active community of users and developers. This community can provide support for the software. These communities are responsive to the needs fo users because they have a share interest in the success of the software and are part of a caring community committed to the development of quality software and the maintenance of the communities, many of which are governed by codes of conduct which ensure respect for the users.

4. Security

Open source software is often very secure. This is because the software is constantly being reviewed and audited by a large community of users and developers. This helps to identify and fix security vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. An adequate number of eyes on a project ensures that bugs in the software are quickly identified and quickly fixed.

5. Innovation

Open source software is often a source of innovation. By its very nature open source software frequently leads to rapid innovation as communities form around projects of common interest. With a quick look at Github and Gitlab one can easily find new projects or forks of older projects that are leading to new solutions. The development of the Linux kernel and the subsequent proliferation of nearly six-hundred different distributions, each one customized for its community, is but one example.


There are many good reasons to use open source software. These reasons include lower costs, flexibility, community support, security, and innovation. If you are looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and secure software solution, then open source software is a good option to consider.

Here are some additional resources about open source software:

I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Why Flatpaks on Linux Make Sense for Users


Linux is celebrated for its flexibility and customization options. However, one aspect that has historically presented challenges for users is software installation and management. Thankfully, the advent of Flatpak has revolutionized the Linux ecosystem, offering a solution that simplifies software deployment and enhances user experience.

Streamlined Software Distribution

Flatpak, a universal package management system, allows users to install and update software from a central repository effortlessly—no need to look for the latest package or manually resolve complex dependencies. With Flatpaks, you no longer need to worry about conflicting library versions or package compatibility issues, as applications are bundled with all their necessary dependencies, creating a self-contained environment. This streamlined software distribution ensures a seamless experience, freeing users from the burdensome tasks of dependency hunting and manual installation.

Enhanced Security

Computer users ‘ security is a paramount concern, and Flatpaks significantly boosts this area. By encapsulating applications and their dependencies within sandboxes, Flatpak offers a layer of isolation that helps prevent software vulnerabilities from compromising the entire system. Each Flatpak runs in its container, limiting its access to system resources and ensuring any potential security breaches remain within the sandbox. Moreover, with frequent updates and security patches available through the central repository, users can easily stay protected against emerging threats.

Application Portability

One of the standout advantages of Flatpak is its ability to run applications consistently across different Linux distributions. By packaging applications with their necessary libraries, Flatpaks eliminate compatibility issues and allow users to enjoy their favorite software regardless of the underlying distribution. This application portability level dramatically simplifies switching between different Linux flavors or even sharing applications with friends and colleagues. With Flatpak, you can say goodbye to the frustrating search for software that works on your specific distribution.

Isolated Environments for Testing

Flatpak provides an excellent environment for testing new software without the risk of destabilizing your system. Creating isolated application sandboxes allows you to freely experiment with beta versions, bleeding-edge releases, or even unfamiliar software without worrying about potential conflicts or unintended consequences. This remote testing environment safeguards your system from potential harm and allows you to explore and discover new software confidently.

Community-driven Collaboration

Flatpak is an open-source project that benefits from a thriving community of developers and enthusiasts. This collaborative ecosystem ensures a wide variety of software is available in Flatpak format, with developers actively contributing to the central repository. Moreover, Flatpak empowers users to provide feedback, report bugs, and even contribute to the packaging efforts, fostering a sense of ownership and community participation. By embracing Flatpak, users become part of a more significant movement that aims to enhance the Linux experience for everyone.


In conclusion, adopting Flatpaks on Linux offers users various compelling advantages. From streamlined software distribution to enhanced security and application portability, Flatpak simplifies the once-complex landscape of software management on Linux. With isolated testing environments and a vibrant community-driven ecosystem, Flatpak paves the way for a more user-friendly and inclusive Linux experience. 

This article was written with an assist from ChatGPT.

When the teacher is ready


There’s an old axiom that when the teacher is ready the pupil or pupils will present themselves. Today at work I sat down in our high school library to install software on a new MacBook. A student next to me had an older Dell Inspiron 1100 and I asked him if it was his and how much he’d paid for it. He said he traded an XBox 360 for it. He was running Windows 2000 and was using Microsoft Write to do some word processing. I told him about Software for Starving Students and how I could give him a CD-ROM that had 57 open source programs on it that would help him use a better word processor like Open Office. He seemed somewhat indifferent. Just then some other young boys began to congregate around me and ask questions about the MacBook. Continue reading “When the teacher is ready”