Moving to FOSS

Last Update:

Status: ON-GOING

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) aims to improve the quality of our digital lives, whether we know it or not, by maintaining these freedoms (aka Four Essential Freedoms of Free Software):

  1. to run the program as you wish, for any purpose;
  2. to study how it works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this;
  3. to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
  4. to distribute copies of your modified versions to others, and in so doing allows the community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

I’m still trying to migrate all of my software needs to FOSS, but it can be hard, especially if big tech like Google and Microsoft is deeply embedded in our digital lives now, whether we like it or not.

Listed here are the programs I use on a regular basis.

Operating System

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Special Mentions

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Web Browser

Special Mention

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LibreWolf Add-ons

LibreWolf has nice defaults that are centered on privacy, security, and user freedom after all.

I have these add-ons, all of which are available in Firefox Add-ons, to make my web surfing more bearable.

uBlock Origin
is a wide-spectrum blocker (which includes adblocking) with CPU and memory efficiency as a primary feature. Already included in LibreWolf as a default add-on.
automatically redirects content based on user-defined rules. Currently redirecting Medium sites to Scribe, and Twitter to a Nitter instance.
is a crowdsourced extension that skips sponsorships, subscription-begging, intros, outros, and other annoying parts of YouTube Videos.
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Suckless Surf patches

Surf, being a much simpler web browser, requires patches. I use the following to make using Surf more pleasant to use.

allows you to set a homepage to be loaded when you have not set a URI (uniform resource identifier).
clipboard instead of primary
adds a config option (ClipboardNotPrimary) that allows to use the CLIPBOARD selection.
adds a search feature using DuckDuckGo as the search engine, although this can still be modified.
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Search Engines

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Email Client

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Set up plaintext in Thunderbird

  1. In the accounts tab, right click on your account
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Select the “Composition & Addressing” settings
  4. Disable “Compose messages in HTML format”
  5. Select “Start my reply below the quote”
  6. Repeat this for any other email accounts

TUI Clients

In the future, I plan to move to TUI email clients like neomutt or aerc.

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Email Providers

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Torrent Client

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Password Manager

Password managers store all your other passwords, so you won’t have to remember them. You only need to remember one master password to access the vault (i.e., the password manager).

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Instant Messaging

The hardest part of Signal is not even in the UI/UX of the app itself; in fact, dare I say, it’s as intuitive as all the other messaging apps out there. It’s in convincing other people to install another messaging app for that one person who isn’t FB Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter—in this case, that one person is me.

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RSS Feed Readers

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YouTube Alternatives

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