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Those who are able to modify and compile computer source code are known as Wizards and those who can't are "non-wizard". Everyone can become a wizard given the right amount of reading, practice and patience.


Rare stallman - behind a gnu.jpg

Richard Stallman provided this quote when we asked if free software with restrictions such as blacklists qualifies as free software in July 2019:

"Someone can publish a modified version which works with any web site, and distros can include that. Then non-wizard users will get around those restrictions."

Introduction to wizardry

The following very simple C program will output "Hello world!" to a terminal.

File: helloworld.c

int main(void)
{ // This is a comment
  printf("Hello world!\n");
  return 0;

This program can be compiled with the GNU C Compiler by running gcc with the filename and -o and a output filename:

gcc helloworld.c -o helloworld

You can then execute your new program by running ./helloworld which will output "Hello world!" and a newline. If you modify the output text "Hello world!" to something else such as "I am now a low-level wizard!" and recompile it then you're a beginner-level wizard. Congratulations.

Famous wizards

Richard Stallman, who wrote the original GCC compiler, is of course a high-level Wizard. Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, and Eric S. Raymond, who has written software all his life, are also a wizards. Katie, Konqi and Beastie are of course also wizards.


Anonymous (473df31984)

3 months ago
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Anonymous (473df31984)

3 months ago
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