Want to write a FOSS How-To for my friends

Hi everyone,
I want to write a How-To for my friends. Giving easy tips how they get Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and others out of there lifes. Using GNU/Linux, Services like Disroot, root Android and run it without Gapps etc.
I don’t want to make advertise for only 1 System/Service, so my questions are:

Do you know other services similar to disroot?
Which GNU/Linux OS are beginner friendly?
Do you have usefull tips to get away from unfree Software?

It should be understandable and easy to use for the basic Computer user.
Thanks for your help

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Yes there is plenty of such service providers. Have a lool at https://libreho.st which we are part of also or https://chatons.org (more french speaking organization).

As for OS, I would recommend PopOS. Its ubuntu based with much nicer looking theme and maintained by company called system76 that produces desktops, laptops and server with only linux onboard (interesting to have a look if you want to own linux first machine).

As for tips and all, have a look at https://howto.disroot.org its a community effort to write tutorials on all aspects of disroot, but can be also used and modified easily for your own personal use.


I would recommend against suggesting to your friends that they should switch to a Linux-based operating system. The benefits aren’t immediately obvious, and if they’re already used to using Windows or Mac, they will likely find Linux to be restrictive, difficult to use, and buggy. As someone who’s been a full-time Linux user for over 15 years I’ve seen it over and over again. It’s a big jump, and TBH free graphical applications are much more rough around the edges than their commercial counterparts. Most people who try it will not be happy, and will likely tell others that it’s no good.

Instead, what I do, is to promote free software that people can run in their operating system of choice. Maybe, after a few years of chipping away most of their non-free software stack they might be interested in giving it a go. Maybe they’ll want to setup a server, or play around with an embedded system – and they’ll know who to turn to for advice.

They’ll know free software tends to need a little more massaging to get it to work, but will have worked out the benefits outweigh the occasional hiccup here-and-there They’ll be familiar with some of the software options and won’t get so overwhelmed on day one. They’ll already know what kind of user errors cause problems, and won’t compound the inevitable issues they’ll run into by not making as many “dumb” mistakes.

I put my energy into selling the ideology of free software, not the software itself. We should be able to examine and hack our computers. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to lend a hand improving the software we use every day – whether it’s coding, re-writing a poorly written sentence in the documentation, helping with artwork, or even just showing others how you fixed a PEBCAK issue.

Most people won’t be as interested in in this as you and I, so warm them up slowly and do your best to make good suggestions.

There is one major exception to what i’ve said here – technologically impaired boomers. Unless they’ve been using computers all their lives, every computer is a confusing mess to them. Also, most of them love not having to pay money for something that you usually have to pay for. Set them up with Ubuntu and be prepared to serve as tech support for quite a while…

Hope my 2¢ helps!

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Hi! I’m new to this forum, greetings from Argentina! De-google-ify Internet! There are plenty of ideas and free services out of Google/Facebook, etc.

Hi Moe!

Promoting FOSS towards your friends sounds like a great idea :slight_smile: Over the coming 2 weeks, we’ll be setting up a website with exact this objective in mind: https://gofoss.today

Topics we plan to cover include Firefox, Tor, VPN, end-to-end encrypted email providers & messengers, passwords & encryption, mobile FOSS apps, de-googled Android phones, Linux, trustworthy cloud providers (like disroot!), self-hosting and much more. Feel free to have a look (we add 1 chapter per day until mid-May 2021), maybe some of our suggestions can be helpful to you :slight_smile:


When swittching your friends to over to GNU/Linux… I once got a great tip for the more hesitant ones. It’s more of “long game” process. So, first have them start using Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC, etc. Once you get them to try a distro later on - they will feel more at home from start. The transition will be much easier for them.

I’ve been trying to do this for several years. It’s a big and unrespected job, but it was worth it. Now I have a few friends who use FOSS and a few friends who use Linux too. And all of them are very happy to have broken up with Windows.

I led them from trivial FF to Element (Matrix) and Mastodon. It was hard but now they promote these ideas to their friends. And that pleases me…