Transitioning away from corporate and into open source

VicenteMMOS

New Member
Hello all!

I feel like I want to "get off the grid", I believe is the expression. Basically everything I do is dependent on Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple... and I feel like it's all too much. I want to start taking up measures in order to protect myself and my personal information better. I know, starting by using a fake username would be a good start, but at this point, that's the least concerning thing I have to do.

I feel overwhelmed with the amount of measures I'd need to take in order to do this right, I feel intimidated by the task itself. I mean, I have once tried using the Tor browser, and I noticed some big warning messages about not using some kinds of services, I don't even remember which. If I remember well, something about internet cookies, or other things, but given that everything that I have online is so stricktly connected to those corporations I mentioned, I feel like if I were to start using Tor a lot, I'd be involuntarily making myself even more exposed than what I already am. So, I never actually used it with any of my personal accounts.

Still, I feel like I want and should transition away from it all, if not at least start using open source softwares, from the everyday internet browsers, or gaming clients (hole purpose of me being in my home computer to begin with), up to the operating system itself. Just yesterday I had reformatted my hard drives and reinstalled Windows 10, because uninstalling Rollback Rx somehow cause all my desktop's user interface to go black. (I uninstalled it because system images were taking way too much space, and I had little to no control on when and how to make them. It was actually a suggestion from their own customer support).

Anyways, even if I just downloaded right now a good, reliable, user-friendly version of Linux (of which I have no knowledge, not even the name and SP), and somehow miraculously manage to install it, what do I do next? I'm quite sure this is just one step towards being safer and more anonymous on the internet, but surely it isn't enough. I want to better protect my information and access to me from all these bloodsuckers, but so much of me is out there... things I need like Google Spreadsheets I created on Drive, or all other sorts of information... not to mention my cellphone! That's another huge point of weakness with regards to this issue, that even though should be effective immediately, I believe goes a bit beyond the scope of this discussion.

So here's my first question: where do I start? I believe I should start from the OS, deciding which one would be best for me, that would be user-friendly enough to allow me to use my computer as I intend (mostly for gaming on Steam, Battle.net or other assorted clients) and for general use, email, web browsing (also on YouTube and Facebook, even though I can replace Google with say DuckDuckGo or something), open source office tools, etc. If I were to start by the OS, which one(s) would you recommend, considering I'm used to Windows 10, and everything else I said?

This seems like an insurmountable obstacle, from my point of view, not because I'm uncapable, but because I don't know where to find all the information I need to know. I'm hoping this topic will help me get started.

Thank you,
 


VicenteMMOS

New Member
From the point of view of "going off the grid", should I install proprietary drivers? If not, what should I do instead? By the way, my pc specs are: i7-7700k, GTX 1080Ti Strix, MSI z270 Tomahawk, TridentZ 2*8GB DDR4 RAM... I don't know if it's important to mention the hard drives as well, I guess not.

Important detail, I have a 240Hz display, and Always play in as low a resolution as possible so as to max out my FPS from games up to 300 @ 1080p, whenever possible.
 
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VicenteMMOS

New Member
I’ve downloaded Ubuntu Mate, and intend on installing it this weekend. I guess I may be overthinking and worrying a bit too much about privacy, and anonymity... I guess it takes little effort to make this subject escalate to a crazy conspiracy theory level. Still, this was a legitimate question for me, because I started out buying my pc because I wanted to game at 240 fps, and now with all these concerns about online privacy... I think I should probably accept to compromise losing some performance in games in order to be better protected. The article you sent me was very clarifying, thank you. I still have some doubts, but in the end I think I can just install open source drivers and that’s it. Thanks again.
 

LinHappyMan

Member
3) What do you fear from non-proprietary? Your video card and sound card are not going to take over the world...
I hate to rain on your paradise but there are some truth regarding this matter and why people are understandably wishing there were open source hardware.

That is because both Intel and AMD does includes "enterprise" features that basically allow the systems to bypass everything. From the OS, to the software firewall and so on. Of short of being off and/or connected to the internet your PC could very well be "take the world over" if those codes fell in the wrong hands.

The only "good news" I heard is that people are trying to push for open source from AMD end and that opensource hardware are starting to look in being possible options for your "everyday" PCs in years to come.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
I’ve downloaded Ubuntu Mate
Nice choice, Mate, only because it is my preferred choice in Ubuntu over the last 4 years :)

but in the end I think I can just install open source drivers and that’s it.
Possibly no need, most of the open source software is installed along with the Distro. More and more over the last couple of years, drivers are also being incorporated into the Linux kernel.

If you have any problems or questions with same, start a new Thread relevantly titled eg Ubuntu Mate - where are the flippin' drivers ;)

A belated welcome to linux.org, too

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

VicenteMMOS

New Member
@CHRIS Turner Thank you!

And, wow, these have been some intense days since I decided to get far away from proprietary bs! I kinda fell in love with foss, and somehow this experience feels familiar, in a lot of ways. Mostly, in the “freedom of information and expression” kind of way.

I have tried Ubuntu to the best of my abilities, but I confess I already installed another distro! I installed Arch Linux, after about a week of intense research on their Wiki page and forum. I’ve been eating those pages for breakfast ever since, and boy, are those people in the forum uptight! If your question isn’t very specific and profound, they’ll just act condescendingly, regardless of the fact it’s bren not even a month I had started using Linux.

Well, their Wiki is helpful indeed, anyways. Their mentality isn’t at all wrong, they do expect you to spend a good amount of time trying to solve your own problem before you post a question, but still they just seem all so jaded... sometimes even judgmental. I can take all criticism in the world when it’s not veiled in sarcasm and contempt.

Anyways, I’m having fun with it all and definitely learning a lot. Doing all this reading and research sure helps your brain! It’s tiring, and sometimes some problems can drag long hours, but it’s good exercise to learn how to solve them one piece at a time.

Now, I am finishing the last touches in my installation. Namely, I reformatted my storage had, mounted and configured my home folders in it. Just have to review the user access to read-write in it. I’ve installed nvidia drivers, because those are, I believe, the best compatible with 240 Hz refresh rate monitors, so for this one I dropped the foss. For the rest, I’m pretty much all for it! I even kinda regret having installed p7zip because it’s owned by Microsoft, even though foss. I don’t know what I could use in its place. I have installed even an rgb and key controller for my keyboard! That works awesome! Maybe I’ll find a way to a mouse controller as well, that would be neat.

Well, this is my experience so far, I mostly use the pc for gaming, and some internet browsing, email, what not. So, I’ll just try and keep it simple so I don’t break the OS and need to do all over yet again! :p but it was fun, after all the struggle. :)
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Have you chosen and installed a desktop yet, and if so, which one? Or are you still working from the command line?

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, coffee in hand)

You are certainly enterprising, friend :D Arch is not everyone's cup of tea. I have it in a VM running off SwagArch but I have hardly got past installing a MATE DE and a couple of apps, to date.

I run around 80 Distros over 2 computers (30 on this Dell Inspiron and 50 on the Toshiba Satellite) and there is something I like and enjoy about each one, or it does not stay on there.

But some of the one-horse Distro forums can be pretty parochial, some with Ubuntu, some with Linux Mint. The people at Manjaro (Arch-based) are good. Some of the smaller Distros will bend over backwards to help.

The Arch Wiki, however, is like The Ancients' Library of Alexandria - full of knowledge that can be applied across the Linux Families. But you can go through link after link and perhaps fall into a Jumanji and not come out for 20 years :confused:o_O:rolleyes:.

On p7zip - make alternativeto.net your friend. If you Google

alternative to p7zip

... you will quickly find it, and it can be used for many Windows and Mac alternatives under Linux. bzip2 and gzip (aka gunzip) are used a lot under Linux, too.

Anyway, before I go, have you installed your firewall?

If not

Code:
sudo pacman -Syu
sudo pacman -S ufw
sudo systemctl start ufw
sudo systemctl enable ufw
and you can read about it here as well - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Uncomplicated_Firewall

Enjoy your Linux, and we'll hear from you, I expect :cool:

Wizard
 

VicenteMMOS

New Member
Have you chosen and installed a desktop yet, and if so, which one? Or are you still working from the command line?
Yes, I have installed KDE Plasma =)

You are certainly enterprising, friend Arch is not everyone's cup of tea. I have it in a VM running off SwagArch but I have hardly got past installing a MATE DE and a couple of apps, to date.
Thank you =) I believe what caught my eye was the challenge of installing it yourself, for the most part. It was pretty much a personal challenge I put myself into, not to mention that I get to choose everything I want to install or not, which leads both to a unique OS as well as to a lot of research, learning, errors, and then satisfaction when I finally get to fix them =)

I run around 80 Distros over 2 computers (30 on this Dell Inspiron and 50 on the Toshiba Satellite) and there is something I like and enjoy about each one, or it does not stay on there.
That's insane! xD Why would you do that?? xDDD If I were to guess, that's pretty much your hobby and personal satisfaction, right? I mean, 100+ distros in 2 computers... and me here, just wondering if there's a way to install Arch, or even an "easier" install, in my gf's Macbook... silly me.

The Arch Wiki, however, is like The Ancients' Library of Alexandria - full of knowledge that can be applied across the Linux Families. But you can go through link after link and perhaps fall into a Jumanji and not come out for 20 years .
Funny, I was thinking I had fell in a rabbit's hole ever since I started this thread over here! xD And ever since, I've been looking for the White Rabbit, but found Cheshire Cat everywhere. Actually, what inspired me into going out of Windows and corporate software to begin with was a YouTube video from a channel called The Hated One. I know, he sounds pretty much like one of those tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists, but I did find his thoughts insightful.

On p7zip - make alternativeto.net your friend. If you Google

alternative to p7zip

... you will quickly find it, and it can be used for many Windows and Mac alternatives under Linux. bzip2 and gzip (aka gunzip) are used a lot under Linux, too.
Will look into it, thank you =) I don't use Google anymore, but I'll DuckDuckGo it =P (to be honest, this catchphrase isn't catchy at all! Who thought that would be a good name for a search engine anyway? xD)

Anyway, before I go, have you installed your firewall?

If not

Code:
sudo pacman -Syu
sudo pacman -S ufw
sudo systemctl start ufw
sudo systemctl enable ufw
and you can read about it here as well - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Uncomplicated_Firewall

Enjoy your Linux, and we'll hear from you, I expect

Wizard
Thank you for the advice! =D I've just now read the UFW's ArchWiki page, and am done executing those commands. Thanks for the heads up! =)

By the way, would you mind me asking a few other questions? In Windows, I always used CCleaner and Advanced SystemCare softwares in order to "clean up" and maintain my system. Having transitioned into Linux, what would you recommend me do for a system maintenance? I've read the ArchWiki on system maintenance, but I felt like I didn't really know what to do. More specifically, the package cache cleaning section was very abstract, and kind of requires me to know and remember each and every item in the cache before I decide to remove it. I also found a command to list all my broken symbolic links, but I don't know how to remove them. I mean, in that entire page (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/System_maintenance#Package_cache) there's pretty much only one paragraph about actual system maintenance. The rest of it is more about backup, upgrade, software installation… any recommendations?

Thank you so much! =) Happy New Years to everyone.
 
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wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
I've been looking for the White Rabbit, but found Cheshire Cat everywhere
I like that line, I might plagiarise it :D:rolleyes:

By the way, would you mind me asking a few other questions?
Your Thread title is very broad, so there is little chance of us going off-topic.

I'm going to duck over to my Arch VM and I will be back, likely on a Manjaro.

Chris

(Wizard disappears to grab a cup of coffee, New Year's Day 2019 here)
 

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