Political Linux

Omy.  I’ve written before about how it seems that GNU/Linux and many free open-source projects seem to attract people with a politically left-wing bent.  It’s certainly true on Diaspora /Friendica/Hubzilla/Mastodon etc., where my Stream (feed) was full of anti-capitalism, Trump-hate, Antifa, and even Nazi propaganda.  I blocked and/or ignored many more people on Diaspora than I shared with because of all the politics in that network.  But Linux is supposed to be largely neutral politically, right?

I remember the Great Linux Mint Political Train Wreck and how they quickly tried to bury it after a bunch of people who support Israel (as I do) and saw that part of their donations to Linux Mint may have ended up in the hands of anti-Zionist groups because the Lead Developer donates to them.  Mint is a fantastic distro, and to it’s credit, did not mix it’s lead developer’s political views into the distro’s content.  But Mint suffered a setback when it’s official blog posted an anti-Zionist political piece.  It made it look as though Linux Mint officially endorsed the so-called “Palestinian” cause.

Now we have AntiX, the sister distro of MX-Linux, truly mixing politics into it’s official software distributed to users.  MX-Linux is avoiding that, but because they share the same developers, both distros may suffer from unintended consequences of AntiX’s political mixture.  The lead developer of AntiX calls himself “Anticapitalista,” which suggests he opposes capitalism.  But that’s not enough, not this time.  Now by default, included in the .iso of the distro,  are several anti-Zionist bookmarks!  If you happen to be an avid anti-Zionist, you probably have no problem with that.  But if you install antiX and discover these bookmarks when you open the browser for the first time, you’re going to wonder if this is some kind of malware or something!

Have a look at this reviewer’s take on the matter:

 

This is enough for me never to recommend antiX for older computers anymore.  And it sours me a little bit on MX-Linux as well, though not enough to stop recommending it, since they have remained above the fray, refusing to mix their political views into the actual software of the distribution.  AntiX’s choice is worse than Linux Mint’s!  When any open-source project gets so political that the line between the product and the politics is crossed, they lose my support.  Whether it’s left-wing or right-wing stuff, politics and FOSS projects should never mix.

 

New Computer in Seconds

Okay, so I found this advertisement online: It’s safe to click the link, but not to completely believe everything you find here:

https://thiswentviral.net/make-your-computer-like-new/

It’s just whatever Linux distribution on a bootable USB thumbdrive. I’ve been making those and giving them away to people literally for years! The price is kinda high, and I don’t think a 300% markup is arguably within the terms of the GNU license. And there are going to be booting issues sometimes, no matter what distro they’re using. It’s not some new revolutionary “device” either. Just a thumb drive, available at any corner store for a nickel ninety eight.

However, the idea is kinda clever. People who would never ordinarily consider using Linux might see this and think, “gee, a new computer for twenty bucks? Why not!”

Newly Installed Xubuntu 18.04

Ah, I can relax now. I’m back home, and it’s as warm, cozy, familiar, and easy as I remember. And the neighborhood is lovely, upscale but not snobby and uptight.

Home is Xubuntu, of course. I’ve been away a long time! But this is just exactly the way I remember my home distro, except that it seems a little slower than before. That might be just because the last time I was here was before systemd and all that extra junk was foisted on users. But I think I can speed things up a bit with the usual little things, like turning off services I don’t use, adjusting the “swappiness,” maybe going back to Seamonkey instead of the usual separate Firefox and Thunderbird applications.

This time instead of the usual Xfce panel with launchers on the bottom, I thought I’d throw a liiiiiiiiittle bit of eye candy in, so there’s Cairo Dock with weather applet, analog clock applet, and silly bouncing effects when you mouse over them and click them. Yet it’s lightweight, and just prettier than a plain ol’ Xfce panel. And I like that 3D shelf thing.

Lots less bloat than Linux Lite, and all I added was Synaptic Package Manager, because it’s what I’m used to and I think it’s better than “Software Center.” I added SystemBack and MintStick, just because they’re super-simple graphical tools for formatting and writing images to a USB drive, creating restore points and allowing me to make a bootable and installable copy of my installed system and write it to a pendrive. All done in under 40 minutes. On Debian this would have taken me a few days!

But this is Xubuntu. Almost perfect as-is, right out of the box, saving me lots of work and letting me get right to work, doing what I love.

The Linux desktop’s last, best shot — debexpert

What’s holding the Linux desktop back? Linus Torvalds looks to Chromebooks and Android for the future of the Linux desktop, while Linux Mint developers aren’t happy with each other. Windows 7’s clock is ticking. It has six month left before Microsoft ends free support for it. That’s not news. We’ve known that for ages. But, […]

via The Linux desktop’s last, best shot — debexpert

Xubu instead of Linux Lite

I used to recommend an Ubuntu derivative called Linux Lite. But he idea of putting extra software like Virtualbox service on the Live iso, that is not for the user, but for reviewers (and thereby to benefit the developer) strikes me as kinda putting yourself ahead of the users. Perhaps I have misjudged him, so to be fair I won’t be too critical of that decision other than to say I think it’s weird. But Linux Lite another one of those one-man show distros, and I’m friends with a former developer for the project. That too might be influencing my decision not to recommend Linux Lite anymore. Xubuntu, on the other hand, is community-developed and doesn’t include a lot of “weird” stuff nor a whole lot of cruft. It’s a sweet, fast distro and I will always be a fan of Xubuntu.

Plus, for all it’s “newbie friendliness,” LinuxLite just isn’t “lite” anymore, which kinda concerns me. Xubuntu has been and probably always will be the distro I run back home to after straying off because:

  • I got scared of systemd after reading someone’s panic-post about Robotic Overlords taking over Linux, or
  • This other distro is new and shiny, or
  • some Linux snob scolds me for using “a kiddie distro” (see here), or
  • I got scared about systemd again because of the panicky stuff I read on some other web site

But I always end up back on Xubuntu, because it’s simple, it’s super-fast, perfect right-out-of-the-wrapper, already configured the way I like, and takes only a few minutes to install and/or upgrade. I’m a busy boy lately, and just don’t have time to hop a lot.