One thing that interests me when it comes to Linux is the various communities of users built around a philosophy of the platform, its distros and its software.
I have long bemoaned Windows (which I detest in all its forms, though I am a capable user) and customer service experiences with Apple (which I prefer from an OS standpoint) drove me away from it. I entered Linux through my smartphone first, transitioning to a raw, unmodified form of Android that was once available on Motorola phones. I preferred these for years to the bloatware infested offerings from many other highly popular Android makers. For this reason (raw Android and very little or no bloatware), I now find myself using a Google Pixel 6 Pro, my second Pixel phone. So to bring this back to the topic at hand…
I don’t know what my philosophy of use for Linux is.
I don’t care what package manager is used by the Linux distro, as long as it works. Software repositories built into the DE with an app of some sort seem easiest to navigate, though I have done many sudo apt install commands. As long as I can find what I need, no problem there.
I likewise don’t care about systemd, either. If it works, it works. Yes, I understand loading commands into it can make future diagnostics more difficult than having separate process, but I am not going to be tinkering with the coding.
Yes, I prefer FOSS, but I also recognize that commercial purposes are important to funding work. No one can survive on goodwill alone, so if I have to OCCASIONALLY pony up a few bucks for something that makes my world better, I can live with it. I don’t work for free. I do try to live within the confines of FOSS, but I did, in my distro hopping, pay for Zorin’s pro release to open up some options. I think I made a contribution to another distro or two just because.
So with all of this said, why am I in Linux, you may fairly ask.
First is that I am sick of data harvesting. There’s something unholy about the commercial ads that pop up in Google Chrome as I am browsing or in my email folders on Yahoo! and Gmail. They know what I am looking at and they inundate me with offers to prompt me to buy products offered by their advertisers. I am a communications person and former media executive by trade: no top secret work is happening in my world, but I am sick of wondering who is reading my emails, where they are being stored and what information about me “they” are collecting. Like a suspicious letter or package sent in the U.S. Mail, or my carry-on when I fly, I recognize there are safety reasons to check people’s stuff. But there is a line between protecting an individual’s privacy and ensuring national security. MY OPINION HERE and I am not speaking for anyone else, but it seems to me privacy started losing out on that battle in 2001 (or at least that’s when my eyes opened to it). So with this in mind, I have moved out of Google’s ecosystem in favor of a secure and encrypted email, and I am using Firefox.
My ultimate rationale is that Linux allows me to TAKE CONTROL of my OS and DE and not have my OS and DE take control of me. That’s what I tell my friends when they scoff at my OS. Keep living in the dark and mock the light, or step into the light. Linux offers freedom. So many of us have endured the calamity that is Google and Microsoft and Apple because we didn’t know better. Now I that I do know better, it necessitates that I do something about it. I suppose this could lead me to care more about FOSS or systemd or package handling, but, again, whatever I choose, it is my choice in the end, not one thrust on me by the Bill Gates-es of the world.
So what is your philosophy of use for Linux and what do you think I am missing or off the mark about? Just curious to hear from the community about what drives their choices in the Linux world, from apps and distros to programming and more.