2021-10-02Genre: Articles

My Journey to Linux and Privacy

Butterfly effect of my encounter with KDE.

I first came across linux a couple years ago [In 2017] when I was surfing the internet about customizing the windows desktop, and I saw a video about customizing the KDE Desktop. I clicked on that video and realized that the thing he was using wasn't windows but something else. I quickly searched about KDE and I found Linux. At that time I didn't have my own personal computer that I could modify, not even windows. I was just curious if it was possible to customize computers as I used to customize my smartphone a lot.

Linux isn't something that you understand with a random video especially if the video contains words like 'distro', 'desktop environment',etc. So, I started searching about those things. And as I learnt new things about linux new terms and words kept comming up and I searched about them and got some information about them as well. No sooner I started researching about linux, I realized that it was very vast. I realized almost everything on a linux system can be replaced by an alternative program.

I came to know that the linux operating system is an Open Source operating system. I searched about open source too and got a simple idea that if the source code of a software is visible and changable by any people from anywhere than it is an open source software. (I didn't even know what a "source code" was and did some research about it too.)

I followed linux youtube channals like Chris Titus Tech, The Linux Experiment, etc (Not DT because I didnt like his presentation even though he is my favourite youtuber as of now.) and began to watch their videos regularly. I really liked the concept of open source too, so I gradually started switching my phone apps to open source apps like 'MX Player' to 'VLC', 'Chrome' to 'Brave', 'Google to Duckduckgo', etc.

I researched about Linux and OpenSource for more than two years, then the Corona Virus struck, countries started lockdowns and everyone was trapped inside their houses. First year went without any classes not even online but when the second phase hit every school and colleges starting pushing online classes. And since both of my parents were teachers and a tiny smartphone didn't handle the online classes very well, we had to buy a computer. Then, in the beginning of 2021 we bought a laptop (This is the first ever full-fledged computer that I ever had in my own house.).

Just the day after we bought the computer I was so curious that I wanted to install linux on my computer, I didnt find any pendrive on my house except an old 2GB pendrive that my father had, I backed up the pendrive to the windows and started searching for linux images. All the distros I wanted to try were more than 2 GB in size and then I decided to install arch linux. I read the documentation and watched some videos and sucessfully dual booted (Virtualization was a no-go because this computer had a HDD and 4GB of ram) my computer with Arch Linux and Windows.

I started learning new things, especially the terminal and tested out different Desktop Environments and Window Managers(I couldn't use it). I starting using FOSS and one of the main perks of FOSS was "Privacy". Till then I used to make an account for each and every site I found, that too with my real name and primary email address. I learnt more about privacy and how we cannot trust the propraitory services and softwares. I used to use evernote, I migrated to Joplin. I started hating big tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc.

I started hating the algorithms that showed the feeds of my facebook, Instagram and Youtube. I started hating them for the fact that they collect a lot of information about us and our devices. I hated the fact that the required unnecessary permissions even to use their apps. I hated the fact that the messages were not end to end encrypted. I hated the fact that the posts weren't on a chronological order based on the time of the post published.

I started searching for alternatives but the thing about social media is that I couldn't just find one and start using it because all my friends were on facebook and Instagram and not anywhere else. I couldnt convince the majority to make an account on an unknown platform where there's noone other than me. I made accounts on mastodon and matrix and started using them. I invited some of my friends to these platforms, some are still here and some already deleted their accounts.

I recently deleted my facebook and snapchat account and I will soon be deleting my Instagram account too. Matrix didn't seem to be easy to understand for the normal people so I am beginning to invite them to signal to be in touch with them.

In a few days I will be :

  • Deleting my Instagram Account.
  • Installing a custom rom without google in it.
  • Making list and rss feeds of the people I follow on twitter and youtube.
  • Using as much open source as possible.
  • Backing up my data from google to nextcloud. ...and maybe more