R1: GNUWin-II is a free software distribution for MS-Windows. It includes a large spectrum of programs, notably a whole office suite (MS-Office compatible), Internet utilities, development tools (C, C++, ...), typesetting software (LaTeX), calculus environments, games, ...
Q2: Who made GNUWin II ?
R2: GNUWin-II was made and is still being improved by GNU Generation, a team of students of the EPFL who promote free software and operating systems. It is a collaborative and voluntary project.
Q3: What is the purpose of GNUWin II ?
R3: The purpose of GNUWin-II is to help Windows users discover the free software and Open Source world. After using free software on MS-Windows, it is easier to migrate to a free operating system (GNU/Linux for instance), where the same programs are used.
Q4: How much does GNUWin II cost ?
R4: GNUWin II is free (as a "free beer"). The programs included on the CD are free software (here, free is to be understood as free in "free speech"). The edition work and HTML pages that contain GNUWin-II are themselves copyrighted under a free license.
Q5: Why GNUWin II and not GNUWin 98 ?
R5: Because GNUWin-II is the second version. The first one can be seen here. GNUWin is not a Microsoft product, and we do not count "3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 2000" !
Q6: May I copy this CD ?
R6: Yes, you are encouraged to do so, and to distribute copies of this CD.
Q7: May I lend this CD to a friend ?
R7: Yes, you can give / lend / copy / distribute this CD as often as you want to.
Q8: Where can I get the licenses so that I can use the programs included on the CD ?
R8: You do not need to buy licenses, as all applications on the CD are free software or Open Source software.
Q9: May I use the programs included on this CD for professional or commercial purposes ?
R9: Yes you may. There are no restrictions on the use of the programs.
Q10: What is the difference between the programs included on this CD and freeware that can be found on the Internet ?
R10: Most freeware programs are "free" in the sense that they don't cost you money ("free" as in "free beer"). This is your only freedom. On top of this, these programs are often watered-down versions of commercial products (be it with limited functions or limited time of use). The programs that are included on this CD are "free" in all senses of the term: they are "costless", they are unlimited, you have the right to distribute them, and most important, their source code is freely available, and you may modify it to improve the program or fix bugs.
This ensures that the program will always be costless in the future, and allows to keep the program alive, even if its original developers lose their interest in it.
R11: Source code is a text written in a programming language that was used to create the program. The source code is often kept secret by companies so that nobody can understand how the program works, nor check what it actually does. All programs on this CD are "Open Source", that is their source code is available; thus, everybody can improve, correct or check the program.
Q12: Where can I get the source code for the software included on this CD ?
R12: The source code is available on the Internet on the official program site. The link to the site in available at the description page of the program.
Q13: Can I install the programs included on this CD on my Macintosh computer ?
R13: No you cannot, for technical reasons, unless you have a PC emulator. There is already free software distribution for Macintosh, like fink. In addition, MacOS X can be turned into a full GNU system, using GNU/Darwin.
Q14: Can I install the programs included on this CD on my Linux/Unix computer ?
R14: No you cannot, for technical reasons, unless you have a MS-Windows emulator. But most of the programs included on this CD were initially developed for Unix or GNU/Linux. In this case, you can download the GNU/Linux version or the source code on the official site. The link to the program official site is available at the description page of the application.
Q15: Do I need to install Linux to use GNUWin-II ?
R15: No, you do not need to. On the other hand, most of the programs included on this CD were originally developed for GNU/Linux; if you want to migrate to Linux, you can go on using the same applications on the Linux platform.
Q16: What version of Windows is needed to run GNUWin-II programs ?
R16: GNUWin-II should not require any particular version. But we cannot test all applications on every available Windows version, and it might happen that some programs work badly, or even not at all, on some Windows version. Should this case arise, we would be grateful if you report the problem to us.
Q17: Who can I contact if I have questions or problems ?
R17: Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q18: Why is the XXX software not on GNUWin ?
R18: There might be several reasons for this :
Anyway, GNUWin also holds a list of links to similar projects that cannot be on the CD itself, but deserve attention.
- The software might not be free. It's not enough for a software to be free of charge to be on GNUWin, the source code must also be available to the public.
- There might already be an application on GNUWin that has the same features. There is no need to have half a dozen of FTP clients, for instance.
- The software might have a very specific use. GNUWin is aimed at a wide public who have discovering free software, not at specialists.
Q19: Why is software XXX on GNUWin even though it's not free software ?
R19: GNUWin promotes free software in the sense of the FSF, and advocates use of the GPL. However, we do claim our right to decide by ourselves whether or not an application is "free enough" to be part of GNUWin.
To be part of GNUWin, a software must be free to execute, the source code must be available freely and widely, and redistribution must be authorized without restriction. Freedom to distribute modified Source, although a valuable and esteemed feature, is not required. Thus you can find for instance Scilab and Povray on GNUWin.
Q20: Why do you put a British flag for English while lots of other countries also speak English ? (or same for French, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, etc.)
R20: We think we need some sort of visual sign to signal languages, rather than just writing the name of the language; it's quicker to skim through. The sign that symbolises a language is always arbitrary; we just happen to have arbitrarily choosen the flag of the country from which the language originates.
Choosing one particular flag rather that a mixture of several flags avoids confusion that might arise when one country has several official tongues (such as Switzerland), or when a language is widely spoken (such as French, Spanish or English, for instance).
Q21: Some particular application crashes or behaves strangely on my computer; what's happening ?
All GNUWin applications have been tested and work well on our computers. This doesn't mean it will always work on your computer, however. Even though Open Source software is generally of better quality than proprietary software, running free software leaves you vulnerable to bugs and instability from Windows itself. As it is both extremely difficult to study the system without its source code, and illegal to do so, we cannot tell what is your particular problem. To further avoid such malfunctions, we strongly recommand upgrading to a free operation system, such as GNU/Linux.