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#1 2018-07-02 00:44:06

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

From time to time similar - wise - questions seem to pop up like "Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts " or "De-Googling the mighty Goog?" or in general: Where to buy Linux laptops? Is there a free alternative to this or that?

There are some good sites on the net with great tips and in threads there are also valuable suggestions to read about. I think it's important for everyone to do the homework and make some research in order to identify the best choices available. For orientation here are some sites with different focus:

Linux laptops
- Linuxpreloaded delivers a list with companies selling machines with linux preinstalled. There are over three dozen vendors.

G alternatives
- This site (google-alternatives) offers tips to the questions in the first and second threads mentioned above: Which services are there as alternatives to mighty Goog? The degooglisons project from framasoft has the same focus.

Open source software
- Here (prism-break) is a long list of open source projects (for different platforms) with all kind of sections like irc, instant messaging, operating systems, web browsers, etc. droid-break.info is similar but this site is focusing on android.
- Localization Lab has a list of over fifty projects.

Blog
- How a blog can be made better: What to use instead of disqus or the G Fonts Service?

Open source services
Libreprojects is a list of open source hosted web services (some good ones, some need polish) and a comprehensive list (awesome-selfhosted) of all kinds of self hosted services.

Tools for photography
- Free/Libre Open Source Software projects related to photography.

Last edited by martix (2018-07-16 17:46:14)

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#2 2018-07-02 09:42:26

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,484
Website

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

i'm glad you decided to create your own outlet, martix.

martix wrote:

droid-break.info is similar but this site is focusing on android.

interesting to see that quite a few apps are paid on google play store, but free on f-droid!
unfortunately the site falls short in reviewing these apps; not all of them are usable.

i also resent the comment "We are still missing some good alternatives here. Know any? Write an email or fork the project on GitHub and add your favourite FOSS email client via pull-request." - why do I resent it? because K-9 mail is hands down the best email client you could ever wish for on android. and because it's more-or-less the only one, it gets a lot of attention and gets developed a lot.
it is not always the case, but here less alternatives is really better.

aside: OsmAnd+ has made huge leaps in development and I heartily recommend it to anyone.
It's feature-packed, stable, and the UI is much less intimidating than it used to be, intuitive searches with drop down lists now Just Work, routes are easily set up even without GPS etc. etc.
And all that offline, if you choose so!
there's even a plugin to edit maps and upload changes (if you have an account), and that, too, was so easy to use.
This one's tagged for a donation. We need this project.

Blog
- How a blog can be made better: What to use instead of disqus or the G Fonts Service?

i was happy to see this one, but the more one reads on the more it's just meh.
it seems this person still relies a lot on third party services, and then posts noncommittal justifications like these:
"(somethingsomething) seems a good citizen: data collection is mainly limited to the amount needed to operate the service."
wtf? that statement has NO definite content; it's just sales talk.
or:
"I don’t have issue with using a CDN like CloudFront: it is a paid service and Amazon AWS is not in the business of tracking users."

well.

thanks for this thread anyway.

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#3 2018-07-02 10:00:30

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,702

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

martix wrote:

Blog
- How a blog can be made better: What to use instead of disqus or the G Fonts Service?

Interesting. I guess the only really 'kind for users' solution is 100% self-hosted stuff.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2018-07-02 10:01:43)

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#4 2018-07-07 23:34:54

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

ohnonot wrote:

because K-9 mail is hands down the best email client you could ever wish for on android. and because it's more-or-less the only one, it gets a lot of attention and gets developed a lot.

Yes, great development. It's even possible to read and write gpg encrypted mails with k-9 mail (there used to be a bounty for this feature). Some email services have their own clients available, like Protonmail or Tutanota. Recently I read about the later that it implemented the "search" feature for emails.


ohnonot wrote:

aside: OsmAnd+ has made huge leaps in development and I heartily recommend it to anyone.
It's feature-packed, stable, and the UI is much less intimidating than it used to be, intuitive searches with drop down lists now Just Work, routes are easily set up even without GPS etc. etc. And all that offline, if you choose so!

Agreed! OsmAnd has a great concept, many features, they even offer an opensource travel guide. There is also offroadosm, which is an OsmAnd port for the linux desktop.


ohnonot wrote:

"(somethingsomething) seems a good citizen: data collection is mainly limited to the amount needed to operate the service." wtf? that statement has NO definite content; it's just sales talk.  or:  "I don’t have issue with using a CDN like CloudFront: it is a paid service and Amazon AWS is not in the business of tracking users."

Yes, those statements are somewhat unfortunate as e.g. Amazon has its tracking business too (they even store every mouse movement, clicked ads, etc). These sites (like the google alternatives or the blog) have at least the advantage that there are often useful tips or corrections in the comments.


@bronto Indeed, self-hosted stuff instead of data-hamstering services seems to be a good solution. There are some services though like Matomo (read about it on the google alternatives site as a replacement for g-analytics). It's open source, certified and uses anonymized visitor IPs. It looks like a solution I could live with.

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#5 2018-07-08 07:54:50

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,484
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Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

ohnonot wrote:

OsmAnd+ has made huge leaps in development and I heartily recommend it to anyone etc.

i forgot to mention that it is a google maps replacement, using openstreetmap data.
afaics, it is fully functional now (previous versions sure weren't).

if you don't know openstreetmap yet, you should: https://www.openstreetmap.org/about
more and more official/professional sites use openstreeetmap nowadays instead of google, for example the official Helsinki Region Journey Planner: https://www.reittiopas.fi/tietoja-palvelusta

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#6 2018-07-08 13:36:18

sleekmason
Member
Registered: 2018-05-22
Posts: 144

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

martix,  Thank you for opening another thread.

I actually gave up thinking that there was a way to maintain anonymity/privacy in this day and age.  Like others here, I shunned Google in favor of anything else that worked.

My initial work on the lg gpad's kernel was to accomplish just this.  I wanted to remove anything that was keeping me tethered to "the system".  Simply rooting your phone and removing individual app permissions just isn't/wasn't enough!

This was 2014, and selinux had already made it's way into existence, landing in some of the kernels I encountered in Linux. This totally unnecessary "feature" developed by the nsa, was easily removed in the linux kernel on a linux box, but could not be removed from android. I'm sure there are excellent reasons for this that I just don't know about.

Remember those contests where people actively try to hack Microsoft, mac, linux, others?  Remember how the Linux boxes were not touched, while windows gets attacked and broken in less than ten minutes?  Nobody even messed with Linux, because ya just weren't going to break in.  That was before selinux.

Anyway, realizing that Google was hardly the main issue here, I pretty much gave up on my allusion of privacy when it came to "the system". And Google is most definitely a part of that system.

Do I like it?  Hell no!! But unfortunately, I see the truth of the matter. (or so I think:)

I now selectively try to pick applications from fdroid on android, and run from anything resembling closed source on my Linux box.

Even though the big boys are keeping track, there is zero reason to give individual companies the same access.

So, of course the problem still exists, in that major companies like Amazon, place different tracking information in their apps/services.

This extends everywhere now.  Walk into a Walmart, and you just got processed into their database.

Anymore, where I live, I try to use small businesses that the corporations are trying to destroy. Better service, real people.

Do you have a recommendation for a hosting service, hopefully free, that I could host a kernel build or two on?
                                            Regards,


"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - Calvin Coolidge

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#7 2018-07-09 13:27:32

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,484
Website

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

sleekmason wrote:

My initial work on the lg gpad's kernel was to accomplish just this.  I wanted to remove anything that was keeping me tethered to "the system".  Simply rooting your phone and removing individual app permissions just isn't/wasn't enough!

This was 2014, and selinux had already made it's way into existence, landing in some of the kernels I encountered in Linux. This totally unnecessary "feature" developed by the nsa, was easily removed in the linux kernel on a linux box, but could not be removed from android. I'm sure there are excellent reasons for this that I just don't know about.

android is very secure by design; which is a good thing i'd say.
but then it transmits your data to google (and other, indidual apps' motherships) securely.
the kernel has really nothing to do with that.

for me, security is a matter of degrees.
it's never 100%, but i'm sure i fare better with no g-apps and a firewall, then without.

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#8 2018-07-10 09:20:51

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,702

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

Nice one imho (and has a very nice gdpr policy as well)

Images.weserv.nl is an image cache & resize proxy. Our servers resize your image, cache it worldwide, and display it.

Imagine for a moment that cdn.scrot.moe hosted image is actually on your low-bandwidth kitchen server, the url may then look like

https://images.weserv.nl/?url=//cdn.scrot.moe/images/2018/05/24/saturns1.png&w=260

Which yields
saturns1.png&w=260

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2018-07-10 09:23:19)

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#9 2018-07-10 11:01:16

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,484
Website

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

^ nice, but:

  • either you host your images on something like scrot.moe, and they already provide thumbnails in, like, 99.9% of all cases. example:
    space-nasa-pictures-photo-saturn-gas-giant-rings-stars-dust-space-saturn-planet-gas-giant-rings-asteroids-belt-satellites-space.th.jpg(i couldn't find your saturn)

  • or you host it yourself, in which case it comes down to "i'm too stupid/lazy/depressed to issue `convert image.jpg -resize 250 thumb.jpg`"

i don't see any sensible usage scenario, except for images found on the web that are too large to post...
actually, that is pretty useful...

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#10 2018-07-10 11:47:00

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,702

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

They will not eat your (usually limited) bandwidth (Thumbails are just extra point) and the experience should be much faster for the user visiting and you can still host all your images on your kitchen server (easier backup).

So this (example)

https://images.weserv.nl/?url=//dt.iki.fi/stuff/blog/twm.t.png

Will only take a single bandwidth hit and then it will be delivered from weserv cache (At least that's how I understand this).

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2018-07-10 12:24:48)

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#11 2018-07-10 12:54:20

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,484
Website

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

brontosaurusrex wrote:

They will not eat your (usually limited) bandwidth

i disagree.
because they need to fetch the full-sized image first, and that certainly eats much more bandwidth than if the client just looks at a localized thumbnail (without choosing the full view).

brontosaurusrex wrote:

Will only take a single bandwidth hit and then it will be delivered from weserv cache (At least that's how I understand this).

ah, i see. so it comes down to outsourcing - "poor man's cloud services".

in any case, my bandwidth isn't that limited and my visitors are few...

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#12 2018-07-10 13:40:34

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,702

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

There is also a possible lag problem and personally I can't take any hits like that while playing slither.io.

edit: The actual speed measurement for ~ 500k png image download:
a. Kitchen server (raspberry) running lighttpd, using wget to dl the image: 2.6 s
b. via weserv, again using wget: 0.06 s

Yeah, I'd go for b. (43.3333 x faster than my raspberry with relatively crappy connection).

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2018-07-10 20:19:24)

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#13 2018-07-16 17:37:27

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

sleekmason wrote:

Like others here, I shunned Google in favor of anything else that worked.

It seems more and more people realize that it's better to avoid big G, like in this article. It's also a good way to learn about new tools and services (and the internet in general).

sleekmason wrote:

Nobody even messed with Linux, because ya just weren't going to break in.

One might to think also about BSD, projects like OpenBSD, but as for phones I like the idea of running Linux on them instead of Android. PostmarketOS (based on Alpine) is a promising project. Librem 5 is interesting too.

sleekmason wrote:

Do you have a recommendation for a hosting service, hopefully free, that I could host a kernel build or two on?

Do you mean hosting based on git, like the service provided by weho.st? The peers community also has a great service (notabug), which is using gogs. For hosting in general there are some services mentioned in the OP or here, e.g. files.inbox or jottacloud tend to have positive reviews.


Added Localization Lab to the OP, which is an interesting collection of services and also a list with linux tools for photography.

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#14 2018-07-16 22:15:01

sleekmason
Member
Registered: 2018-05-22
Posts: 144

Re: Tips: Linux - Open Source - Software - Hosted Services - Alternatives

martix wrote:

Do you mean hosting based on git, like the service provided by weho.st? The peers community also has a great service (notabug), which is using gogs. For hosting in general there are some services mentioned in the OP or here, e.g. files.inbox or jottacloud tend to have positive reviews.

Jottacloud may do the trick. Really just anything where I can host a kernel image and headers in a zip file. Not very large at all, but without all the code. I still have a github account, and also transferred everything over to gitlab for anything in the future. Kinda waiting to see how the github thing plays out over time. Notabug also looks interesting.  Will have to check that out as well.  Thanks for the info!


"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - Calvin Coolidge

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