Criteria to Choose a GNU/Linux Operating System To Help You and Organization

There are many choices of GNU/Linux operating systems like from A to Z including Arch and Zorin. These criteria are subjective and my own opinions but you may find these useful to you and organization to consider one for long time use by eliminating many of not needed or unfit ones. You can see mine at Hardware page.

Mass Production

Has a distro been mass produced, or not? A mass produced distro is like standard operating systems, such as Windows and Android, which all of them are delivered to the end-users preinstalled on computers and not as separate things. Please not forget that Windows and Android adopted by people because of mass production, otherwise, they would be extremely far less popular. Mass production is a sign of luck of an OS, also seriousness of its developers, which would upgrade it into a platform which people could look into and rely upon. If a distro is/has not mass produced, then it is a distro you can consider not to choose. Excellent examples of mass produced distros are, among others, PureOS (Librem), Ubuntu (Dell, Lenovo), Kubuntu (KFocus), KDE Neon (Slimbook), Ubuntu MATE (Entroware), Pop_Os! (System76), elementary OS and Zorin (Star Labs, LaptopWithLinux), Manjaro (PineBook), Trisquel (Respects Your Freedom, ThinkPenguin), openSUSE (Tuxedo), and Fedora (Lenovo).

User Interface User Can Use

Does a distro have user interface end-user, including kids and grandmas if any, can immediately use, or not? You would not want distro without appearance (black and white like MSDOS) or with appearance but poor in what end-user’s needs, or with appearance end-user cannot use. This means mostly familiarity based on prior experience for the end-users and how good it reduces teaching effort to the teaching users. You would not want distro that resembles no one, not similar to anything, or not clear to use/teach, as it would waste your own time and organization that you want to help. There are several hints, and one of them is, check if the file manager supports file searching like standard search one can do with Google Search, Windows and Android. This criteria involves selecting by considering end-user’s situations. For most computing users are familiar with Windows, and if you are, it is wise to choose KDE (Kubuntu), Cinnamon (Mint), or MATE (Mint and Trisquel). For most mobile device users who are familiar with Android more than Windows, and if you included here, it is wise to choose GNOME (Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, Debian). For completely new users without prior computing experience, and if you are in this group, it is wise to choose KDE.

Survive and Early Birth Date

Is a distro old and surviving, or not? Check your distro’s initial release year. 15 years is a minimum age of a long living, old-enough distro. If one is new, or discontinued, then it is a distro you can consider not to choose. It is wise that you do not tend to choose newly launched distros. You would not want a distro that would be discontinued next year or is in an unclear development state or is already discontinued. Dormant development, lack of developer team members, or even being officially discontinued is not a luck sign you should be aware of. Surviving, matured distros are not many, among them are Slackware and Debian (1993), Red Hat and SUSE (1994), Fedora (2003) and openSUSE (2005), Ubuntu (2004) and Trisquel (2007), Kubuntu (2005) and Linux Mint (2006).

Teacher

Do you have a teacher who teach you the distro, or not? Please not forget that at our earliest days, we receive computing though teachers speaking in our own language, for years, so that we can operate Windows or MacOS. Learning computing is not automatic, not instant either, but is a process. A teacher could be your father, like most other people, your school teacher, or a community, either local or online, or your fellow user friends. It is even better if the teacher really teaches that distro as part of students computing for years at school either local or online. If a distro does not have a teacher you can find, or a community, or a fellow friend that use it near your place, then it is a distro you can consider not to use. You would not want a distro where nobody helps you, nobody you can talk to, nobody to teach you, or nothing you can read from. (On the other hand, if you are a teacher who has been teaching a distro for years to students, then it is wise to choose that distro to end-users and organization you want to help. This is exactly why Mass Production criterion is important. And this is exactly where Practice what you preach! really matters. If you want other people to use a product, you teach them how to use it, not just leaving them alone in the dark.) For your information, the excellent example, real worldwide community here without doubt is Ubuntu family.

Security Team and Advisories

Does a distro have a security team (the people) and a security advisory (the security updates bulletin), or not? If one does not, then it is a distro you can consider to not choose.  You would not want a distro not serious enough to not have its own dedicated security team and advisories. Most distros except just a few does not have these, among them which have are Arch, Debian, Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu.

You can consider a distro that fulfills all or most of these criteria to be the one you choose.

Comments? Please kindly send me email or message it to my XMPP or Matrix as comments are off here.


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Why People May Not Adopt Fediverse Social Networks or Distributed Messengers

I am trying to address the issues of why people may not adopt your products in terms of Fediverse social networks and distributed messengers. Fediverse includes Mastodon, PeerTube, Pixelfed and the others. Distributed messengers includes XMPP, Matrix, Jami and the others. This article is about alternative world where there is a technology society who wants to change people from using Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp to using their hoped alternatives such as Friendica, PeerTube, and XMPP. When you read this, please keep in mind end-users not developers, not technology experts either. This is my personal opinion I write without citing any reference but you can consider it further with your own common senses and experiences. Continue reading

We Are All in Transitions

We are Free Software Community who initially formed thirty years ago in 1984 whom world wide people recognized by characteristics of bringing freedom software and GNU/Linux operating systems. We do a movement we call Free Software Movement. We have goal that is to change people to adopt free software. We demand that all software must be free otherwise we change people to switch to free replacements. What we do? We change people. Some have successfully changed, some changed partially, and many others have not. Thus, we are all in transitions. Let us not expect people could change instantly just like ourselves could not either and everything needs process to be done.

Changing ourselves is difficult. Changing people is also difficult. Thus, we are all in battle in this computing field battling against enemies called nonfree software with a lot of difficulties. Some can do it alone, some others with friends, the rest are practically weak or powerless if nobody helps them. This battle, these transitions, cannot be helped need priorities. We ought to priority things to be done orderly and not lump them together chaostically. Because of that, I present you my own battle, my priority list that I am practicing these years in my Free Software Computing School, and see how far you agree with me and can do useful meaningful things either alone or with team. Continue reading

My Messenger Recommendation

Use free software messenger that works for you. You do not need to use one that does not. By free software it means the program that runs on your own computer or device. There are several choices among many choices I presented to you here to choose. All choices mentioned below feature file sharing as well as voice and video calls. Consider your friends and family and trying out a messenger together with them may help a lot.

This is GNU Operating System logo.

Multidevice Choices

Telegram (GNU GPL) fast and full featured messenger.

   Signal (GPL) secure and private messenger praised by many.

Wire (GPL), Switzerland privacy messenger for teams, phone number optional, awards winning.

Threema (AGPL), Switzerland professional privacy messenger, phone number optional.

Movim (AGPL) a user friendly messenger as well as blogging and social media.

Element (Apache), United Kingdom successful mass messenger.

Jami (GPL), secure serverless cross platform messenger.

Decentralization Choices

Movim, explained above, the XMPP client.

Element, explained above, the Matrix client.

Conversations (AGPL), the Android app for XMPP network.

Jami (GPL), explained above, the GNU operating system’s messenger.

Serverless Choices

Jami, explained above, a truly peer to peer messenger and SIP client.

Afterwords

You need productive communication so use libre software messenger that works. Don’t let your libre software choice be disturbed by anyone else who demand you switching to their choice — otherwise, you will be productive in changing instead of communicating. About software licenses above, learn quickly and effectively from GNU’s Various Licenses. About choices not mentioned, we can expect good things from Delta Chat, Session and Tox (all GPL). I hope this would be useful and see you next time.


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Decentralization is Not Mandatory

Free Software Movement is an effort which the goal is computer users’ freedom. That means for individual person, software running in his/her computing is free. If the software is not, then, the movement changes the people to change the software. This is already hard to accept and achieve by most people. We are all in transition. You do it, I also do it. Some can do it fast, some is slow. If someone uses WhatsApp, not a free software, you can tell him/her to also use a free software of your choice without mocking his/her WhatsApp and that person may change. If one adopts a free software, respect his/her choice without degrading nor insulting. But you cannot force your free software choice to others who already chose another free software. If you support decentralization, I also support it, but it is more of developer’s concerns and not priority for most end users and me, and it is not mandatory. What people need is what’s important as long as software running inside his/her computer is free. Don’t change people forcefully, and don’t forbid people from using Telegram, Signal or Wire just because you have different opinion. Decentralization of instant messenger is not mandatory for most users and you can’t force it to people. If you want to change people, or if you just want friends, please teach and guide people wisely not by force, not by degrading their free software choice either.

About Windows, MacOS and GNU/Linux

This is an explanation of three major computer operating systems in the world namely Windows, MacOS and GNU/Linux. All of the term free software below refers to freedom and not price (the user is unlimited) where proprietary software term refers to owned by the developer not the user (the user is fully limited).

What is Windows?

Microsoft Windows is proprietary software computer operating system made by United States based company Microsoft and mass produced since 1985 in cooperation with almost all PC and laptop manufacturers. It is found in almost all brands of hardware including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and more.  User’s method to obtain Windows is officially either by (mostly) buying a machine bundled with it or by buying the software package then install it later to a machine. This OS is mostly made for x86 computer architecture users. By security, this OS is highly known as the most insecure and proved to be malicious software by its own users. Windows is not free software.

What is MacOS?

Apple macOS (formerly Mac OS, Mac OS X, OS X) is proprietary software computer operating system made by United States based company Apple and mass produced since 1984 by itself under a single brand named Macintosh (with variations namely MacBook, iMac, iPhone, iPad). No MacOS available or sold by brands other than Apple Computers. User’s method to obtain MacOS is only to buy a Macintosh from Apple. This OS is exclusively or only made for Macintosh computers regardless the architecture. By security, this OS is proven to be malicious software by its own community. MacOS is not free software.

What is GNU/Linux?

GNU/Linux (pronounced gnu slash linux) is a free software computer operating system made by combination of GNU OS by GNU Project and Linux Kernel by Linux Project since 1993. It is not mass produced since its inception to mid 2010 until several established as well as new companies started to manufacture and sell GNU/Linux computers worldwide by various brands where Lenovo and Dell as the former while Purism and System76 as the latter followed by other manufacturers like Pine64 later. User’s method to obtain GNU/Linux is varied, including by buying bundled computers (not widely known in the past), as well as by downloading the OS copy from the internet, asking copy from a friend, and more. Different to either Windows or MacOS, the users can obtain it with another names for example Ubuntu, Red Hat, and openSUSE which each one is an individual OS. GNU/Linux is not proprietary software.

Interesting Projects in 2020

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

These are projects I find interesting from our Free Software Community in 2020:

Hardware

  • PowerPC Notebook – I want to see this project success to mass produce GNU/Linux as laptops.
  • Respects Your Freedom – I love to see every new free-software-compatible hardware from this certification by Free Software Foundation.
  • PinePhone – I dislike phones but since they mass produce Ubuntu Touch and KDE Mobile alongside the others, I am firmly interested.

Software

  • Jitsi – I use this everyday since last year to teach. It is the best video call solution for everyone.
  • Element – formerly Riot.im, I use this experimentally as alternative to Telegram for teaching.
  • GNU Jami – formerly GNU Ring, I also use this experimentally as alternative to Jitsi for teaching.

Solutions

  • Mastodon – finally social networking site for me. A place where I connect to people in computing field who are very supportive to software freedom. I cannot find such place elsewhere. I feel it is better than Reddit, and I believe it is already better than Facebook.
  • PeerTube – I love this YouTube-like free video sharing network. Now with central search engine.

 

My Position on Centralized Services

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

I am not against centralized communication service and at the same time I don’t see decentralization as an absolute mandatory. I am against nonfree software, I accept free software, that’s enough. I do not reject centralized services. That’s why I use Telegram (GPLv3) and forget the fact that it is a centralized service. About the server program it does not affect mine and my people’s computing life as this communication is a service, so in other words, I am okay with it just like anybody else is okay with visiting any website without questioning its web server being free or not. Since 2014 I do all my communications especially my teachings over Telegram with thousands of people in Indonesia. I believe everybody will eventually find that Internet is in many respects centralized, whatever you do to decentralize it, and that’s acceptable for most people including me.

Teaching with Free Software

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

I believe education should run with Free Software. I also believe that Free Software itself needs to be taught. So I started my own computer course in my country in 2017 by using nothing but Free Software. All of my classes done via the internet with an exception for some people who meet me in my village. This way, I can train people skills in computing as well as teach them software freedom at the same time. Among things I continuously convey to students are, the basic skills, such as: where to buy a computer, setup an operating system, and start computing life; and at the same time basic software freedom, such as: the definition, saying that nonfree software is bad and forbid them in class; saying that free software is good and encourage their use. My students are from all ages, from all regions in Indonesia i.e. Aceh to Papua, with total 1000 more people attended since the initial days, and many of them do not understand English nor have standard computing skills Westerners have. All students have LibreOffice, use it, learn to open and save as Open Document Format, and I give them assignments to submit also with it because LibreOffice is a requirement to join my course. If you want to know my equipment, please see My hardware, My software and My teaching (in Indonesian), they are so affordable I can run this course almost without money. I achieved success more than everything I initially imagined according to my own considerations and I will still continue this I hope for eternity. I love teaching. Of course I have shortcomings but I believe we are all still in transitions so I’d encounter challenges until it ends. I proof to you that teaching with Free Software is possible and practical. Finally, I invite whoever you are who have capacity, knowledge and patience, to start your teaching (whatever your education field is) with Free Software in your schools, your university, or like me, your own course. Good luck, I wish you and myself success!