Librem 5 concern


Better is subjective. You should always use the right tool for your needs. More features, polish, and functional sounds like more bloat, so if your using something with all the extras you won’t use you will be getting poorer performance.

So I think you should rethink your terms of “better”. Maybe a home hobbiest doesn’t care but when you run enterprise systems bloat can cost 100’s of thousands if not millions of dollars.


Here are three examples:

  • gcc (GNU compiler)
  • apache (web server)
  • Linux (kernel)

Those are FOSS and I think many would say they are “better” than anything proprietary.


Despite the fact that i hate gnome on the desktop personally, it does have great UI consistency compared to proprietary desktops. Each gnome application has a consistent menu layout where you find all the options, which are generally simple and straightforward. Further the Gnome shell UI itself is one of the most simplified UIs out there imo, sticking with very basic menu options and simple toggles or gestures.

Linux desktops in general also have much finer control of settings, such as effects and theming, toolbar positioning, button location, etc. Budgie, XFCE, and Plasma also have much more refined and polished notification history and parsing than windows 10 has.

FOSS software is generally more secure, due to requiring permissions to do important tasks, wayland’s permission isolation, flatpak sandboxing, each distro coming with a firewall enabled by default, Linux kernel security modules, etc. Yes, there has been exceptions to this rule, such as the recent gnome extension vulnerability, snap cryptominers, and plasma’s script vulnerability, however nothing is ever perfect, and that includes security on any system.

Most mainstream Linux desktops (besides gnome) are modular. You can remove each component you don’t like and mix them with another desktop environment’s component. In general each component interacts just fine as well, due to freedesktop specifications and standardized design concepts and toolkits.

FOSS applications generally have more plugins and extensibility. If you don’t like a feature, you can most likely remove it or tweak it. Mobile integration is extremely good for the desktops as well, due to kconnect and forks of it. And screenshots are generally much easier to take compared to windows because you get a popup that lets you manage them as soon as you take them.

FOSS file managers generally offer alot more integration with network sharing and remote servers than windows explorer, and Wayland or Xrandr fractional scaling is often better than windows in terms of applications not misbehaving and looking odd.

Most of what i mention is around linux distros, the kernel, or the desktops… I don’t use many applications on a daily basis, so i didn’t really go much into those. But i can assure you there are many, many things that FOSS applications offer too that proprietary ones have only just started, or still don’t offer, and that are very much useful.


I’m not trying to be critical of OSS software. I agree with many that the software you’ve all highlighted is great.

But let’s not nitpick on the subjective.

I’m simply saying you can’t say that OSS is better than proprietary because the reality of the situation doesn’t support the claim.


Instead of sidetracking this thread an regurgitating all the arguments that have been exchanged before, how about excavating this old thread? :slight_smile:


You’re right of course. I guess what happens, is I bring it up, get the same kinds of responses, but no real concrete answers. I get tired because it’s like talking to an echo chamber. Things die down, and then I see more people talk about how great it all is, and that reignites the question.

The short and simple is I should know better.

The Librem 5 is most excellent and I genuinely look forward to getting it.


You’ll never get satisfactory answers because your questions are already wildly biased:

I thought it did. But maybe I dreamed that the majority of MS Azure servers run Linux.
Whenever somebody gives good reasons, you either dismiss it, or you accept it and later seem to forget you accepted it (above thread).

Funny. I thought that about your initial statement how proprietary software is consistently better.
@supermammal put it best.
If you follow their advice, create a new thread with new, non-subjective categories / definitions of “better”, then take a dozen of software (kernel, OS, desktop, DTP, Browser, etc.) and give your examples of the best proprietary software in each, and rate them according to that standard. Else, this will go nowhere :slight_smile:


FOSS is also used in 100% of supercomputers (At least that was true at the beginning of the year). It’s doing consistently well imo.


So because a subjective response to a subjective question is not accepted, I’m ignoring responses? Come on, I think that is a bit unfair.

When I talk about adoption of a system, I’m talking about the average user. Not enterprise and not commercial users. When OSS becomes more popular than proprietary then I’ll believe the claims it makes.

My will to continue fades, because it is not that I don’t hear what I want, but that the crowd of response are so clearly one sided. I talk about this stuff because I want someone to genuinely convince me I’m wrong. I want to believe. I just can’t based on the rational hangups I see with the model.

But I’ll let it die, and promise to not bring it back up.


I’ll be ‘100% Librem 5 proof’ as soon as i can get rid of whatsapp :smiley: Everything else was abandoned a long time ago.

Believe it or not, I have No F—ing Idea what “WhatsApp” is.


Super popular in Europe. It’s signal before signal. Good piece of software that was bought by FB, and absolutely can’t be trusted now.


I’m honestly convinced you cannot be convinced because you’re not even sure yourself what the actual question is.
You were asking for “better” and it was pointed out to you that professional users are very aware of advantages of free software.
Now you are basically asking why average users who grew up with proprietary software don’t feel the urge to switch to something different that they most likely don’t even know about.
It’s the reason why many want WhatsApp on the L5: they can hardly convince loved ones to switch to an alternative (matrix), even though it’s free, doesn’t spy on them, cannot effectively be force-backdoored by governments, has bridges to other messengers and even allows to use an account on multiple devices.
I realize that C++ and bash are ugly, but I lack the willpower to learn alternatives.
People stick to what they know.
MS and Apple know that, and that’s why they make sure their hardware and software is used in schools.

Your new question is no longer about quality, it’s more about human nature, psychology, advertising, peer pressure, monopolies and walled gardens.

Your old question was more like “how come well funded software has more features than weakly funded software” - which also is not about free software.


I first heard of it only as a criticism to what it had become after FB acquisition. There are different niches and bubbles, in some OSS is considered as under-soft, in others proprietory is considered bloatware. So this is religious war (flame).


The real issue in some cases is that 2disbetter is judging software by one set of criteria (usability, features, and polish) and at some others are judging it by another (libre/free). I wouldn’t expect something developed by lots of dedicated amateurs (and I mean that word in its positive, original sense, “out of love”) to have the polish of proprietary software. So like everything else, it’s a tradeoff.


For the record: C++ is beautiful. My first and preferred language.


Now I know you’re trolling :smiley:

But seriously, how can anyone think C++ looks good? I’ll take straight C over C++.

Edit: also, this thread is woefully off-topic


I guess the problem is, if you’re talking average user the only thing most average users use is a web browser and an office suite. If there’s specific software you’re concerned about mention those and I’m sure the community will chime in on the differences. And difference would be the key word because all options will hold pros and cons alike.

As for browsers, I don’t think there really is any big differences. People usually just gravitate to what they used before or name recognition.

For office products, MS may have some small hidden esoteric function that no average user would ever use (I really don’t know) but otherwise it has nothing that libreoffice or openoffice can’t offer you as an average user.


I agree in specific cases. E.g. in manufacturing, is there really an open source alternative to SAP that competes at the multi-billion dollar level? Why are so many manufacturing companies in the tank with SAP and a so many thousand dollars a year seat license (whether a licensed employee uses SAP or not)?


I’m surprised that in all this banter that no one has raised the point that Microsoft is part of the Linux Foundation and that they are seemingly in the process of migrating to Linux.

They are adapting to survive and they are contributing to FOSS in the process. I have never been a M$ fan, but I do like the direction they’re taking.

This becomes very relevant to @2disbetter in that a lot of proprietary software is going to find themselves porting to Linux.

I’m a strong advocate for using the best tool for the job. Sometimes, the best tool is not the most practical tool. If you have a team of Python developers and you have a project which would best be written in C++, do you fire the team? Make them all learn C++? Or just write the project in Python because you will get something that does the job with minimal effort and be good quality?

I don’t think anyone really questions if Photoshop is better than Gimp, the question is, who is ready and willing to pay the difference. Typically, it’s professionals trained in Photoshop who buy it for themselves or have it provided by their employers. The same goes for many other non-FOSS.

Personally, I have been using Linux as my primary OS for over 20 years. My opinion is that the Librem 5 will mean my smart phone IS finally smart. Most of what I would like to be able to do with my phone requires all manner of weird hacks to “work” in Android. I look forward to having control over what my phone is doing.


It’s called Stockholm syndrome :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Actually I was not referring to aesthetics. More to some of the oddities that you accept or are even proud of having mastered although they make no sense, or some of the backward compatibility stuff that keeps either the sytax restricted or the compiler/linker slower than it could be. But some of that it inherits from C.

I would assume only few C/C++ devs understand this line of code without looking for help. And feeding it to gcc might only increase the confusion:

main() { printf(&unix["\021%six\012\0"],(unix)[“have”]+“fun”-0x60);}

However, this (expressed love for C/++, not the riddle) serves as a nice illustration how we are often blind to the deficiencies of systems we are accustomed to, and thus how we might therfore not even think about how a better system could look, or we misjudge an alternative because we focus on very specific parts, ignoring others.