Philosophy of use

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.

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Thought provoking.

I think it’s easy to villainize Microsoft and Google and Apple. Some more than others. I didn’t have many objections to Microsoft really. Windows worked pretty darn well on a super wide variety of hardware with a super wide variety of software created by a super wide variety of companies. Apple on the other hand wants a piece of every single piece of that ecosystem. Just out of stubbornness I won’t own an Apple product. Bah on them.

It doesn’t bother me too much the amount of data collected on me by Google. At least I don’t lose sleep over it. Here’s a fun game to play. Turn off all your ad blocking and privacy controls. Then do some searches on Google and Amazon. Click on a few ads you see. Then go back into your “stealth” mode. Watch the next week as any ads on Facebook or wherever follow the breadcrumbs you dropped. :slight_smile:

It is nice that we have the option to choose between several good distros. Then add many good packages for work and play. We can pay a little if we want or nothing at all for the software. I pay for some and not for others. I don’t think this was a very good option only a few years ago. It seems like it’s gotten better and better.

I’m not sure of the sustainability of FOSS. If you don’t get paid to produce the wonderful software you produce, how long will you continue to do it? I’d think there would be a real possibility of burnout. Although I suppose maybe you have a similar chance of burnout when doing it for a living too.

Food for thought.


What in the world is “Philosophy of use”? I have tried using Linux, as the only OS on one of my old machines, just does not work for me. I can live with Linux, as long as I am trying to extend the use of a machine, but that machine will always have Windows installed, why?, because Windows just works.
As for as FOSS, well good luck with that.

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I think my philosophy of use is is emotional. It is a mix of

  • gratitude … for being able to access a whole range of software
  • excitement … I love trying new things
  • control … I feel like I can do anything I want or need to do
  • involvement … I would like to put something back into a system that has given me so much
  • academic interest … a lot of the things Unix and Linux do are clever. I can learn from that. I am sure Win and Apple have some great design too, but it is inaccessible.

Great topic Jeffrey


And just why is that? I’ve been using a computer with nothing but Linux on it for about 10 years and have never felt deprived of any functionality of consequence. All my peripherals work. I can do my banking, pay my bills, pay my taxes, and converse with other Linux users.

I do have a Windows computer. It carries Steam, Ubisoft, and a few other game centers. It has a native browser and Firefox. It’s a console, in practice, because the gaming world ignores Linux. Yes, I know about GOG and Steam/Linux gaming, but they’re not interesting. Windows is only practical as a gaming platform.

Linux does everything else. Better.


There is nothing wrong with that. Its just having a fallback.
I went for years keeping a copy of Win for the same reason. Then it got out of date , updates became difficult, and I realised Debian was just as good a fallback, so I ditched Win, and my fallback is now Debian.

It doesnt matter what you use as a fallback, as long as it works for you.


OK, you guys are really pushing Linux!!! Now let’s get practical! I am now ordering parts for a new rebuild for my wife’s PC, do I spend 500 or maybe 600 dollars for a Linux or Windows machine. I will use some parts from her current PC, like the PSU and GPU. If any of you recommends Linux, then give me one good and practical reason.
The machine will be built to W11 specs and W10 will be installed and then it will be updated to W11.

I was recently in your position, making ready to get my wife a new machine. Her computer life consists of browsing, searching, mahJong, and Facebook. We bought her a Chromebook. She’s very happy. That’s a Linux computer with a Chrome OS skin.

Good and practical reason? It cost about $250. Brand new, full warranty, and a touchscreen to boot. She had no need for Windows. I had no need to spend $500-600.

If your wife needs Windows for some particular software, go for Windows. Elsewise, no.


I wonder why so many are pushing Linux here :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

What hardware difference is there between a Linux machine and a windoze,

Seems you already made your mind up to use windoze instead of free (Libre) and open source so why the friction.

Your life , your choice , your machine ,
every individual computer user to work out and decide what suit them the best.

Having Linux is what it makes the difference between owning a computer and having my own computer.
If you don’t understand that, then you are better off in Windoze


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I agree. What I see happening is that people roll in and out of projects which could lead to sustainability, though at the expense of historical knowledge. I think these ideas start as passion projects and upon seeing they can’t be commercialized and working on them becomes work (not a hobby), people bow out.

But as one example of sustainability, I’d heard of GIMP as soon as I first became aware of Linux, many years ago. It’s still FOSS. I used to do a lot of work in print media and it lacked CMYK support, so it was only partially useful way back then, but it’s still going today, and it’s free. It’s not Photoshop, but it works for a good number of users.

Why you use something versus something else.

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One reason? Free operating software.

I see plenty of real world reasons to hang on to Windows. None of them apply to me except through work. I can’t choose why you should load Linux onto your wife’s computer. I don’t know you or her or what she uses her computer to do primarily, secondarily or occasionally.

If she processes images for print and needs Photoshop’s robust tools, Linux may not work. If she’s an accountant running specialized software, the same may be true. Or if she’s a hardcore gamer…

But if she’s emailing, web browsing, using social media, watching videos on Youtube and paying bills, scanning documents, writing the occasional letter, putting the family budget in a spreadsheet and the like, Linux will serve her very well with the right distro.


Bingo!!! You so far have the only sane option!!! Hardware support is basically the reason for Windows. If Linux is put on this machine it would only be in an Windows account of my own, and only in a VM.
Sorry, but Windows gets the nod!!!

Yup, it’s pure choice. If I may ask, what hardware do you have that requires Windows? I’m shopping 3D printers but haven’t found one that requires Windows. Past that, maybe only antique hardware might not have Linux drivers.

Wife’s requirement is a major factor in keeping Windows. If you knew how bull headed my wife was, you would keep Windows too. She use email and does a little browsing and that’s it on her PC. I had to drag her off of Windows 7 to 10. She does not like change. She is 74.

While on a trip in the middle east, a fellow told me; “Happy wife, Happy life.”


I did the same, only I installed Mint Xfce for her. She is 76.

Never really seen one, there for no “happy life” either…

YUP, That explains it all!!!

  • A Linux machine is better off without an Nvidia card
  • Very new hardware, for which there are no drivers yet, can be troublesome with Linux, but usually OK with Win
  • Very old hardware, for which support has been abandoned , can be troublesome with Linux, but Win is worse unless you use a very old Win version.
  • Printer support in Linux does not cover some brands as well as Win.

Can anyone add to the list?

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Hi Harold,
Introduce wife to Android tablet.
Easier to manintain than Win, and does all she wants.

Upon reading your answer my little grey box is going

  • yep oh yeah yep uhhuh right yep,
    Just the way it is written by @4dandl4 wasn’t clear to me what was what

Thanks for the explanation Neville,

Warm Regards

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