Moving to FOSS
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):
- to run the program as you wish, for any purpose;
- 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;
- to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
- 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.
Table of Contents
- Debian 10 “Buster” – OS in the server that hosts this site
- Devuan 4 “Chimaera” – is a Debian-fork OS without systemd in my main computer.
- Fedora Workstation – The first Linux distro I used. First time using a GNOME desktop environment which was nice. It’s also here that I first used a tiling window manager, i3.
- OpenBSD – The one I used in the Old Computer Challenge
- Artix Linux – the first Arch-based Linux I used.
- Windows 10 – the only non-FOSS in here that I use only for gaming; this is more preferred than using Wine on Linux. We also have a dedicated PC for this, the one that my sibling decommissioned because they’re upgrading to a new one.
- Suckless Surf – for lightweight usage, usually includes researching and reading texts and looking at web images.
- Tor Browser – for circumventing not surveillance more than censorship. I don’t regularly use this, but I have this in my computer just in case.
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.
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.
- Searx – the meta-search engine I use daily.
- Startpage – the default search engine I set up in my work computer
Email Clientgo to top ⤒
Set up plaintext in Thunderbird
- In the accounts tab, right click on your account
- Select “Settings”
- Select the “Composition & Addressing” settings
- Disable “Compose messages in HTML format”
- Select “Start my reply below the quote”
- Repeat this for any other email accounts
TUI Clientsgo to top ⤒
- Migadu - paid service with a very affordable price.
- Tutanota - freemium service with end-to-end encryption turned on by default.
Torrent Clientgo to top ⤒
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).go to top ⤒
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.go to top ⤒
- Libreoffice – I only have Writer (word processor) and Calc (spreadsheet) installed.
- neovim – my text editor of choice.
RSS Feed Readersgo to top ⤒
- NewPipe – For watching on an Android-run smarphone
- yt-dlp – Download videos, and watch it with mpv
- PeerTube – Not really YouTube per se. A decentralized alternative to video sharing platforms.
Helpful? Consider supporting me.