Which Linux distro is the most "free"?

When meaning “free”, I mean which is the most customizable?
Stereotypically its Archtoo(Arch+Gentoo), but are there any other customizable ones such as one that has:

  • A way you can change Desktop Environments
  • A way you can change Init Systems
  • A way you can change Package mana-(actually nvm for that one, any distro can do that with the alias command

I’m debating it’s probably Devuan, but I haven’t done much research about Devuan’s ability to change dte’s

You have to remove one dte package and install another. There is no switching mechanism. If you install 2 dtes they will clash.

Same goes for init systems. You can remove one and install another, which is quite an achievement for Devuan, but the is no switching mechanism.

How about libraries… musl vs glibc

I’ve loaded Ubuntu (any flavor), and then used Synaptic to load the ‘mega’ desktop package for one of the other dte’s. The login splash page acquires an icon which allows you to determine which session you log into. Some features come and go with different dte’s, but they all work.

That is different to my experience. I had Xfce in Debian. I added the KDE package using apt. I got the login screen choice, like you say, but some things stopped working in Xfce.
On the other hand , I had Void with Xfce, and I added The I3 tiling window manager. They were compatable. No problem,
So I think it depends on which dte’s you mix. KDE is probably a bad choice if you want to mix dte’s

Fedora is supposed to have a mechanism for keeping multiple dte’s separate.

Keep at it Bill. We need to get to the bottom of this

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I once tried Budgie desktop on Ubuntu - decided against it - the only thing it changed (after removing it) was the splash screen after grub ran - everything else in Ubuntu kept working and wasn’t affected…

You are both right. KDE is at one far extreme of DTEs and Budgie is at another. Probably I’ll stay with KDE in most distros because Plasma is very comfortable. Budgie fails for me, much like Chrome OS, Unity, and Gnome3. The others fall in varying degrees of usefulness/uselessness. I guess it’s a spectrum, with KDE in my Goldilocks spot.

Does not phase me. I can work with any dte. I swap around for variety.
Nice having free choice.
“Mankind is at its best when it is free”
Dante Alighieri