They install closed source programs by default/aren’t free
Well, only Red Hat and Mandrake are bad in Red Hat family. Fedora and OpenSUSE are chill.
Manjaro is Arch but beginner oriented, sacrificing the open source chunk
Ubuntu and derivatives is a whole different story, aside from Zorin which is open source.
In the end, if you want Red Hat/Mandrake, use Rocky Linux/Fedora/OpenSUSE
If you want Manjaro, be brave and go to Arch
If Ubuntu, go to Zorin/Debian
What alternative do you propose?
They do it, because there is no sufficient alternative.
Anything that uses the Linux kernel is Linux, with or without closed source modules.
You can always remove unwanted modules.
Open source is far more important in the GNU bit, than in the kernel.
We need to follow Stallman along with Torvalds. GNU(FOSS) is better than Linux. I prefer a Linux distro that follows Stallman and Torvalds
Agree, but there are very few distros that are strictly free of proprietary code. Kernels also have assembler which requires a separate port for each architecture.
See the current debate on python. The Linux/GNU mix is evolving in a way that makes package management and version control difficult
I actually prefer BSD. It does not totally avoid the above issues, but it is more tightly managed and that helps. BSD is not just a kernel like Linux, it is a full system kernel + apps all managed by the one unit.