You should tell your friends to use free(libre) software.

Notice Please bare in mind that the mention of the word free in “free softawre” within this article does not mean free as in “no price tag” it means free as in freedom or otherwise known as the french word libre.


Do that and you benefit not only yourself and your peers but also the entire internet. I understand that most of the people who use the free software are geeks who have the motivation to learn how to use the free software and don’t mind some of the limitations that it has. So take some time to simplify how you are going to explain how to use the free software quickly to your friends and family. Since people have the attention span of a gold-fish these days, you should come up with a quick explanation and let them ask the questions so that you can continue explaining.

What’s the big deal? 🤔😕

Ok with most of the known software out there like

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Discord
  • Zoom
  • Google chrome…,

you cannot know what it does in the background when it runs on your computer. What if it’s screenshoting your display and discreetly sending it to a server somewhere? There is no way to know for sure. But with free software, you can.

How? 😲

Well you see, all the programs that you run on your computer doesn’t just magically get made. There are actual people that sit behind a computer screen for hours and write code that will then become the program later on. And sometimes those people write code that do bad things without the end user knowing. Free software has the code that constitute the program in human readable form. That code is hosted on version control systems that allow for tracking changes done to the code. A well known system is called Git. You may read the code, download it, change it and build the program yourself on your machine.

Why does it matter?

It is important to know what the software that you use does. You wouldn’t want a piece of software using your machine’s resource for the benefit of someone else without your knowledge. It is also better for privacy. Remember anti-virus software? In the days when the internet was just getting popular, people would simply download any software and run them without second thought. People now pirate software and just run them without question. Then came anti-viruses that has the ability to scan the software and tell you if it was ok to run or not. But that would then depend on the people who make the anti-virus to develop it properly and you placing your trust in them. The anti-virus itself could be malware. That is happening with a lot of the well know anti-virus software these days. They are becoming ad-ware that try to sell you additional services such as VPNs, cloud storage and browser addons that you don’t need. They can also be considered as spyware since they can monitor everything that goes on on your computer at an admin level and take according action. This is both good and bad. If the antivirus does what it’s supposed to do, it’s totally ok. But if somehow an application with elevated rights were to get compromised, your computer would be doomed.

But lets go back down to earth now. All I’m saying is know what you are running on your PC and tell your friends. I will admit that I also use some proprietary software here and there because there is not other free solution. But the more people are aware of free software, the more it will encourage the development of that software.


Some good free software

ToC

  1. Video Conferencing
  2. Chatting
  3. Word processing
  4. Photo editing and drawing
  5. 3D Modelling and animation
  6. Sound editing and DAW
  7. Video editing
  8. Media players
  9. Text editor and IDE
  10. Password Managers
  11. Operating systems
  12. Control RGB lights
  13. Social Media
  14. Game Development
  15. Cloud and media server
  16. Scheduled Backup
  17. Development frameworks
  18. Learning management platforms
  19. File sharing

For video conferencing

For Jitsi, remote control for participant sharing their screen is currently unavailable. It can be enabled by using an older or patched version however there are security concerns with that method. Only do this if you either are hosting your own server with clients that trust you or that you know what you are doing.

For chatting

For word processing

For photo editing and drawing

For 3D Modelling and animation

Sound editing and DAW

Video editing

Media players

Text editor and IDE

Password Managers

Operating systems

  • Linux (Recomended for users transitioning from windows and mac) For an easy out of the box experience, i suggest you try these distributions:

  • FreeBSD

Control RGB lights

Social Media

Game Development

Cloud and media server

Scheduled Backup

  • Duplicati Easy to use web UI on localhost:8200

Development frameworks

Coming soon

Learning management platforms

  • Moodle (I’m not sure if this is 100% libre.)

File sharing

  • OnionShare for advanced users, uses The TOR network.

Thanks for the read

If you read that far, TYSM!


Leave a comment below with your suggestions and I shall add them to the list.