Introduction

I want to tell you a story. No, not the story of how, in 1991, Linus Torvalds wrote the first version of the Linux kernel. You can read that story in lots of Linux books. Nor am I going to tell you the story of how, some years earlier, Richard Stallman began the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system. That’s an important story too, but most other Linux books have that one, as well. No, I want to tell you the story of how you can take back control of your computer.

When I began working with computers as a college student in the late 1970s, there was a revolution going on. The invention of the microprocessor had made it possible for ordinary people like you and me to actually own a computer. It’s hard for many people ...

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