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Don’t use Linux because it’s free, but because it frees you and your hardware. We’re not here to bash Windows, we’re here to give you choice. When you buy a Mac you have to run MacOS. Buy a PC and you’ll be steered in the direction of Windows 10. I’m not even going to mention tablets, phones, TVs and even cars. All are examples of companies attempting to lock-in consumers to a walled software ecosystem. When you own the hardware, why is the software you can run being dictated to you?
The PC is a general-purpose computing engine. It should and usually can run any software you like – though recent examples show even the PC is being walled off through its firmware. That’s where open source Linux-based OSes come into play.
If you believe you shouldn’t be locked out of hardware that you own, then that’s just one reason open source software is so vital to the world. For us older types, another reason is the fun of getting to play with the inner workings of the OS – something that modern devices and their OSes are making increasingly difficult.
Even if you don’t accept the privacy and spying arguments for open hardware and software, surely having full ownership and control over the devices you buy is important? I feel you shouldn’t have to be beholden to huge corporations to do basic computing, worry about what personal information they’re retaining, or forced to use specific types of software.
To help everyone enjoy this freedom this issue we’ve got a huge 16-page guide to installing and using Linux, no matter if you’re a novice or computing expert. We have a guide to configuring the Linux desktop in its many forms, while the rest of the magazine offers a small glimpse of the wide range of open source topics, ranging from security and coding to the Raspberry Pi, training and creative tools. There’s never been so much interest in Linux and open source. It’s never been so widely used before, there’s never been so many opportunities to use it, and the quality of the software has never been so high. Enjoy!