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Free software and the environment

Ben O'Neill


Free software is much better than proprietary software in many ways, but this talk is about how it’s also a more environmentally sustainable model for computing. Free software makes it easy to reuse old machines and prevent excess waste from going into the environment. This can't be done with proprietary software because the manufacturer can force updates that slow the machine down, or they could stop supporting the system altogether. This is not a problem with free software, because the source code can be modified.


3 years, 7 months ago

Tagged with

social context · Ben O’Neill · environment · Free the Future · LibrePlanet conference · LibrePlanet 2020 video · LibrePlanet 2020 · LibrePlanet · lp2020 · video · FSF


CC BY 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.