In the past I have always been a favorite of choosing operating system and tools based upon technical merit. However, in today’s world of companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and many others, compromising user privacy, and conducting controversial activities, I don’t believe that to be the right cause of action.
Proprietary operating systems like Microsoft Windows 10, Apple MacOS, and Google Android have become famous for their ill conduct, and even companies like Lenovo is using UEFI boot to inject custom Windows components, so that the system can phone home to Lenovo.
I have been a proponent for the open source alternatives, like GNU/Linux and BSD, for a very long time. Not only that, I also believe that the open source alternatives are much better in many technical areas.
I have also always been very much against The typical discussions about BSD vs Linux, and as I wrote in my article back then, I have always believed that the different open source projects can help each other and cooperate, and that end-users should only debate such issues from a technical stand point rather than personal preference.
Whenever it has been possible, I have proposed people, both private and in the industry, to change the operating systems they use to open source alternatives, and when people have been receptive to my advocacy I have helped them migrate from Microsoft Windows on their workstations to BSD or Linux. And likewise on the server side. This has been a truly successful endeavor and I have honestly never experienced a dissatisfied person or company.
However, things are beginning to change in the GNU/Linux world as more and more corporations want to control the direction of Linux as an operating system. Due to the structure and organization of GNU/Linux as an operating system, it is unfortunately susceptible to these influences, and while it is still open source, and still not anywhere near the bad things that is going on with the proprietary alternatives, some opt-out features have slowly been introduced into both the kernel and systemd.
You can still choose to opt-out of these features and go your merry way, but as an open source enthusiast and proponent, and as a privacy concerned individual, perhaps the better approach is to migrate systems to something where you don’t have to concern yourself with “creepware”.
As a system administrator I don’t want to worry about whether I am going to be surprised the next time I upgrade a system, and I don’t want to keep a list of spyware I have to remember to opt-out of whenever I run one of these systems.
Several Linux distributions have decided (not only because of privacy opt-out issues, but other issues as well) to implement other init solutions than systemd, but with the situation going on in the kernel development, and with many third party applications becoming more and dependent upon systemd, the problems are spreading to other parts of the operating system and I believe this is becoming an uphill battle.
From a community perspective, and from a security perspective, I don’t believe the future of GNU/Linux looks very bright, and as a possible alternative solution I suggest migrating everything (when possible) to something a bit more sane, like one of the BSD projects.