My Favorite GNU/Linux Distros

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Sorry about that. I could have done a big deal about this blog post right here, but I have reconsidered that. I have been trying hard over the years to find my favorite distribution(s), but there are so many pros and cons for them, so I have been moving away from finding the utopic and 100% perfect distro. It’s most likely not there. I just give the ones I’m interested in a shot for a while and adapt the installation of the distros to my needs.

One thing that some might think about all the GNU/Linux distros out there is: “they are all the same”. It depends what you put into that, but I see that as more or less false, at least after learning more and more about the technologies put behind a distro and the choices that have to be made. You have to make a lot of decisions and there is a lot of work of maintaining a distro. For example what desktop environment(s) to go for, how to arrange the repositories, if you want to build your distro from scratch or if you want to base it on an existing one, if you want to ship exclusively 64-bit software or not, what installation solution you want to go for, what default software, if you want the distro to be 100% free software or not, release cycle model (rolling release or not), and the list goes on and on. You also have to keep your repositories with software up to date, at least if you run an independent distro.

So let’s get to the point of this post. What are my favorites these days (random order)?

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Quitter, a Twitter Alternative

Quitter is a free software Twitter alternative. It’s based on GNU social, which is the largest decentralized social network on the web (if you believe GNU social themselves). Quitter had a design overhaul late 2014, so it looks and works very well now.

Quitter

On Quitter you don’t post tweets, you post queets or notices. How long the notices can be depends on what GNU social instance you use (quitter.se is just one of them). The different instances/social networks are connected with each other, in a federation-like way. That way you can connect to users of other servers (instances).

The people behind quitter.se are organized in a small Swedish nonprofit organization called En Kompis Kompis. They are the ones designing the UI of Quitter. As a non-profit organization, they need donations, so if you have some coins to spare that would be great.

There are also other instances of Quitter, not just quitter.se. There are quitter.no, quitter.is and quitter.es, to name a few. It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll find Quitter in several different languages.

Other instances of GNU social which isn’t using the Quitter name can be found here.

The drawbacks with Quitter as for now is a bit instability on the services (I had some troubles accessing it today and yesterday). This is because it had a very big increase in the number of users in the last couple of days. And of course, GNU social and Quitter doesn’t have as many users as Twitter, but that’s just a good reason for getting to know the people already there.

You should give GNU social (and Quitter) a try! 🙂

Eight Steps for Increased Privacy and Security

I have been reading up on privacy, computer- and information security and free software for quite a while now. These topics are very broad and can’t be summed up in just one post, so I’m going to write about eight steps that I think will increase your security and privacy while you are doing your computing.

Privacy / Security

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Surveillance Self-Defense

You have most likely heard about the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). They are fighting for your rights in the digital world and writes about privacy, among other things. They also develop software products, like the Internet browser add-on HTTPS Everywhere. They run a project called Surveillance Self-Defense which is what I wanted to share with you.

Surveillance Self-Defense

On Surveillance Self-Defense you find information about how to practice safer computing and online communications. Topics include cryptography, VPNs, creating strong passwords, and recommended software. This is important information for journalists, human rights defenders, activists and protesters, but also for every other person out there, of course.

Please spread the word to help others as well! 🙂

Fedora 21 Workstation with GNOME 3.14

I’m not really a hardcore Fedora fan, but this video of Fedora 21 Workstation with GNOME 3.14 really looks inspiring. Doesn’t it?

I know, Fedora 21 is not today’s news, but I stumbled over this video and wanted to share it. And while we’re at it, why not take a look at a few features from Fedora 21, for those not that familiar with Fedora.

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