In this paper, I will try to talk generally about Open Source versus Closed
Source systems. But when I have to give examples, I will stick to Windows
servers as one of the leading closed source systems and GNU Linux system as one
of the very common open source systems.
Closed Source Operating Systems don't reveal their source code; as a result the
only people who can debug the source code are some of those who work in the
The Open Source systems, as the name indicate, make all their source code
available to the public. Everyone who knows enough programming skills, and is
willing to read the source code, can debug it. They read the source and debug it ...view middle of the document...
Any of the
known and effective IDS solutions are available for large amounts of money.
On the other hand, with the Linux system, there are a lot of firewall solutions under GNU license. And if you go on the internet there are plenty IDS that are free of cost. And now the latest firewall technology is being ported to the GNU Linux kernel; kernels versions
2.4.x have support for stately firewalls which renders your system more
In Closed source systems, since you don't have the source code, then you will
never know what you have on your machine! Actually you have to trust MS or Sun*
or any of these proprietary companies on your life.
In Open source systems, the whole thing is much more under your control. If you have access to the entire source, then you have bigger control. Now you can read the source for yourself and make your own changes (supposing that you are a skillful programmer). Programs are altered for particular reasons and made available over the net.
* Lately Sun has released the source code for their Solaris system, but many
countries are not allowed to download it because US states that these countries
are terrorists! So, it is not accessible to great number of vivid programmers
who are willing to learn and contribute.
In open source systems, you see that many the other users of the community are
friendly and helpful. For example, if I have any problem and can't find the
solution over the internet, all I have to do is to log the IRC server
irc.openprojects.net where I can always find a channel related to my problem. If
you log to sourceforge.net, you will find many great open source projects where
you can either participate in, or just download and use. Many people who use open source systems, feel that they owe this great community and want to contribute back - and each contribute in his own way.
In closed source systems, you cannot expect this kind of help and support.
Actually if you are a Windows server user, then the only real help you can
get is from MS support staff. There are channels and forums and web pages
dedicated to Windows server, but this can't be compared to the help that
you can find concerning GNU Linux. And NO there is no such thing as
linuxdoc.org for MS products!
The more I looked into Microsoft's history, the more I realized that Microsoft has tried every trick in the book to avoid competition up front. From legal battles to company buyouts, to software patents, Microsoft has repeatedly sought to beat down competition before it creeps up on it. Now... finally Microsoft has one competitor that it won't be able to...