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KRUU, open source radio


KRUU in Fairfield, Iowa is a community radio station run on open source software. Richard Poynder recently profiled the station:

Moore’s use of the term “open radio” caught my attention. What, I wondered, did he mean?

Amongst other things, it seems, he meant that KRUU has made a commitment to use only Open Source software. As KRUU founder Roland Wells explained on Open Views, all KRUU’s PCs run on the GNU/Linux operating system, and the audio editing tools (Ardour and Audacity) used by DJs at the station are also Open Source. Likewise, the office suite used by Moore to administer the station (OpenOffice) is Open Source, and the station’s web site was built using Free BSD UNIX, and is hosted on the Open Source web server Apache.

By using Open Source solutions rather than proprietary software, Wells told KRUU listeners, the station has saved “tens of thousands of dollars”.

KRUU’s software philosophy seems to come from Open Views producer Sundar Raman and founder Roland Wells, as explained in the first broadcast of Open Views (which also features a short interview with me on Creative Commons; the program’s third broadcast features an hour on Creative Commons).

Sundar Raman has since interviewed a number of people involved in Open Source, Open Culture, and Open Science, including most recently John Wilbanks of Science Commons (not yet archived). You can also see Raman’s influence showing up in music programming, e.g., Dance Show Friday Night playing CC-licensed music from Jamendo.

Check out KRUU and Open Views!

Station manager James Moore adds:

Just thought you might like to know that since we began broadcasting last September, KRUU has offered a one-hour program seven days a week called The Open Source Radio Hour (5am-6am) featuring Creative Commons licensed material, primarily from or so far.

Posted 04 February 2007