I am a huge proponent of the Free / Open Source Software movement. I love the communities surrounding free and open source software, attempt to contribute where I can, and continually advocate for more openess in development. Software is one area in which cloud thinking can truly, fundamentally, improve the status quo. More companies need to get behind this movement, and with Unity’s announcement that their 5th installment of their platform has a ‘free but limited’ component, we’re going to start seeing more of a move in this direction.
So, without further ado, here is the state of my FOSS. These are software I use as alternatives to their closed / pay cousins and what I like about them where I have room to compare. I’m going to start with the operating system, and break the rest into chunks I’ll be posting through out the week. See the whole thing as it is built here.
Linux -> replaces MacOS or Windows
my variety: Linux Mint Quiana XFCE
This one is fairly self explanatory. The version of Linux I use is called Mint, and I prefer the XFCE desktop environment, which is very light and out of the way. If you are transitioning from Windows, this is going to be a very easy experience (Ubuntu would be my other recommendation.) The reason there are multiple ‘flavors’ of Linux is simple, it’s open source. Anyone who would like to, can get at the code and develop new branches of it. If you are interested in knowing every single piece of software that runs your computer from the ground up, you should try Arch (experienced Unix operators only.)
The biggest hurdle to overcome here is the concept of Graphical User Interface installs. Though there is a component of this to any Ubuntu based variation (Mint is one of these) the real power of Linux is in learning the command line syntax. Being able to quickly open a terminal and type a few commands to get what you want is really, very powerful. The other challenge is in finding software that works ‘out of the box’ on your machine. The rest of the stuff on this list will work wonderfully, because it is designed with open source in mind, and Linux is top of that list. Most games and commercial software, however, aren’t as nice playing with Linux. Fortunately there are workarounds, like WINE, which take a little effort to set up correctly, but run most Windows programs wonderfully.
More about my stuff coming soon. Comments or questions, be sure to drop them here or connect with me on social media.