Linux Privacy, Security & Libre - Let's Have a Chat


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Jul 25, 2021
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Let me lay some foundations..
I can only speak for myself, but the reason I use Linux is because I don't want anything to do with Microsoft or Apple.
I also use a DeGoogled Android phone - and I am constantly trying and playing around with Linux phones.
I use a VPN, Firefox (recently dumped Brave because my privacy senses are going off). I know Firefox is reliant on Google money, so that sucks too.
So back to Linux: I'm starting to really not like Canonical (and therefore Ubuntu), even though, as like with a lot of people, that's how I got into Linux (about 16 years ago). *I didn't become a full time Linux user until about 4 years ago.
I currently use Zorin OS (on a Dell 7480, i7 - 16GB RAM) - even the PRO version, because I don't use Linux for free stuff. I'm glad to pay. I use linux because it's 'libre' free.
I spent about 2 years distro hopping up until about 6 months ago. I had to give it a rest, because I also bought and sold about 20 laptops to test different stuff. It was becoming an unhealthy, time consuming and costly obsession: To see how 'cheap' of a laptop I can get that will still run Linux fine. And by cheap I mean around $150-$200. Not $50-$100 dinosaurs. Although I did try a couple of those! I could write a book on all that - but that's not what this post is about. Point is, I've tried most of the common distros and spins.
So I recently [re]tried Fedora. It's actually pretty good. Had a few issues trying to get videos to work, but once you hang around the Fedora ecosystem for a week or so, you get used to all that. There are ways to get stuff running pretty well. Still not 100% happy though. The vanilla GNOME is an abomination. There are ways to fix it but yeah.. Still haven't written Fedora off, but I know they get their money from Red Hat, who get their money from IBM. So now I've done a loop back to why I don't like Ubuntu anymore (and why I started investigating Fedora). Ubuntu is getting too corporate. Snaps is turning Ubuntu into Windows 2.0 as far as I am concerned. The whole 'libre' movement is being hijacked. I'm concerned Fedora will take the same route (eventually) because of where they get their money.
So after laying that ground work down and providing a bit of insight into my way of thinking, if we want to get a truly independent distribution, where do we turn?
Straight Debian? What distros are there that run straight Debian with flatpaks? I know Linux Mint currently has a straight Debian version bubbling on a back burner. Why are they doing that? Unless they're also getting suspicious about Ubuntu (which Linux Mint is based on). How about Pure OS? They're all about privacy and security, right? Um, no they're based on Ubuntu. Fail.
Then there's Qubes and Tails and all those type of distros. But I am not an international spy. I don't want to go that far. I use my laptop for work and life.
I just want to align myself with a distro that:
1). Takes 'libre' seriously, like Fedora.
2). Runs on flatpaks (also like Fedora).
3). Isn't controlled or currently being hijacked by 'corporate money' cough Ubuntu cough
4). Just bloody works (Like ZORIN or Linux Mint, my two favorite distros).
I mean, is anyone feeling me? Is it just me, or is there a segment of the Linux community that also thinks along the lines of what I've discussed above?
If we want free, libre, FOSS respecting, non-corporate, pro flatpak, snaps rejecting, privacy and security friendly distros, what are the options?
I am genuinely looking forward to this discussion and sincerely hope to learn more. I know there are heaps of people much more knowledgeable than me.
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