Whaat? you use Linux? aRe yOu sOme hAcKeR?
No, that’s not how I perceive it. People & the mainstream media - confuse the term hacker. I mean ‘hacking’ as in ‘a hacksmith’ someone who is playfully clever. Tinkering stuff, not just computers.
“OPENSOURCE” “LINUX” ❌
Two faulty words which dilutes what I’m trying to convey
Linux is a kernel and not an operating system, it is one part of the operating system and does not do anything by itself. Android uses the Linux kernel and yet no one calls Android users as Linux users. It portrays a different meaning.
Opensource simply means software which has it’s source available for people to read. It does not guarantee anything.
The developer can still use it spy on you and legally prevent anyone from making changes to the software or distribute copies. It is a diluted term often used to misrepresent the goals of free software.
Free (libre) software puts ‘me’, the user in control. A free’d (liberated) OS is a prerequisite to truely own your computer. Ahem - I’m looking at you MacOS, Windows and iOS users 👀
- Here free does not mean free of cost (gratis) or 0 price 💸
- People sell ‘free software’ as well. Rather the word ‘free’ in ‘free software’ implies freedom and liberty (libre) 🗽
- FOSS, libresoftware, freedom software, and other such buzzwords are better used to represent the value of freedom.
I use the ‘GNU’ operating system, the Linux kernel & a ‘desktop environment’
The GNU system is about freedom. You get to modify each and every thing about your system to get your perfect match. I get to run the apps the way I want to, because it’s legally licensed to put the user in control. PureOS, Manjaro and such are examples of such modifications and some are more serious about freedom like PureOS and some include harmful proprietary bits with OS, like Ubuntu and such.
Can you recommend some distros to try out?
- KDE Neon
- Arch Try to stay away from distros like Ubuntu.
GNU/Linux gives me the Freedom to get my perfect look ~ this is what I meant by ‘hacking’ 👨💻
You probably use partially free software operating systems already. Look at Android, it runs Linux (Android+Linux). So it’s not something new or something that is only for ‘geeks’. Android can be setup to remove Google services and ‘degoogle’ your phone plus get apps from the F-Droid store.
Companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple want to have control over you via their proprietary operating systems.
A business model where you ‘rent’ the software running on your Phone or Laptop. Kinda like ‘DRM’. You never get to ‘own’ your copy of MacOS or Windows 10. They control everything through automated updates. Apple and Google can remove apps from your phones because they are bundled with the OS and designed to not respect your freedom.
If you buy a generic computer they run malware like Windows 10 or MacOS out of the box and make it hard to run alternative OSs
Further, teachers at school - tell young students that this is ‘the normal’ and the only OS we run is a proprietary one. Children then have to use these proprietary locked ecosystems.
Jargon used in our everyday speech
- I’ve tried it on ‘Chrome’.
- Writing a document? Use Word and .docx
- A Presentation? send me your .ppt
- A file to share? What’s your gmail? I’ll email it to you.
You get the point. Most users don’t know about libre/open standards like [Matrix], RSS, WebDav and the ODF’s .odt, .odp. and .ods that are designed to work perfectly fine with any software suite. Something everyone should be using.
For me Privacy > Free Software* > Security
Security sucks on GNU/Linux, yeah I know but keeping your guard and having a generic threat model should be fine. Just don’t be dumb. I assume you would be using this as your personal computer and stay away from proprietary software.
*I don’t run 100% free distros yet, or compile everything from scratch. I don’t run the linux-libre kernel. This is what I meant by privacy>free software. Getting to 100% free software is the goal. It’s far better than when I was running Windows 3 years ago!
Here’s a great example.
Apps I use
I run Tor, Brave & LibreWolf.
Electron PWAs>Flatpak>AUR>Arch repo>AppImage>Tarball>Snap
I get apps in this order. AppImages are the best for new users. Flatpaks allow for auto updates and emulate an ‘F-Droid’ like experience. Snaps are the worst, and have no reason to exist.
I chose to use PWAs for most of my stuff when interacting with the internet.
I don’t really use my computer to write documents or make presentations. Sometimes I do, I use ONLYOFFICE for that. LibreOffice needs a lot of UX and UI improvements imho.
Telegram & Element
For videocalls, minimal cloud storage, usually notes, photos and links I keep and of course texting..
- Kdenlive - Video editor
- Lollypop - Music player
- Newsboat - RSS/News reader
- LBRY, MPV and youtube-dl for downloading videos
- Blender (rarely) just to play around
Text editor / IDE
- vsodium-bin from the AUR
- Kate by KDE
Hugo and Git
For this static Markdown/html website
oh & also i use arch btw.
I don’t use Adobe, Apple, Google xyz or any other proprietary equivalent.
That’s about it, enjoy your freedom and happy hacking!