9 Free Linux Distributions: A Linux Free For All

khess 1 Tallied Votes 2K Views Share

Have you searched for Linux distributions that are 100% free? Did you find more than one that suited your needs? Well, here's a list of nine from which you can choose your favorite. Free means freedom to alter, redistribute, sell or release as a different product with no restrictions on you or your new distribution.

1. BLAG - Blag is an operating system. Blag has a suite of graphics, internet, audio, video, office, and peer to peer file sharing applications. Based on Fedora, Blag has just about everything you'd ever need for productivity and fun.

2. Dragora - Dragora is an independent distribution of GNU/linux based on the concept of the simplicity. It aims to be a multipurpose, stable and powerful operating system while maintaining the simplicity of Unix. The initial release of Dragora was June 13, 2008. Dragora GNU/Linux 1.1 was released October 8, 2009.

3. Dynebolic - A GNU/Linux distro that focuses on audio/video production with a host of applications such as Jack, SuperCollider, Csound, Fluxus and of course Pure Data with a great collection of externals (PDP, PiDiP, Gem, GridFlow, RRadical, PixelTango).

4. gNewSense - a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian and Ubuntu, with sponsorship from the FSF. This is the distribution that Richard Stallman himself uses--so you know it's good because he could use any of them.

5. Kongoni - Kongoni is the Shona word for a Gnu (also known as a Wildebeast) the animal which inspired the name of the GNU operating system. The name represents the spirit and history of Kongoni, a GNU/Linux operating system of African origin. Kongoni is a desktop-oriented operating system with a strong belief in being truly free software. This means that Kongoni will neither include nor ship any software not under a license approved by the Free Software Foundation.

6. Musix GNU+Linux - Based on Knoppix and oriented toward audio production, Musix contains a giant repository of free software. Don't let the website fool you; Musix is available in a variety of languages including English.

7. Trisquel GNU/Linux - Based on Ubuntu, with all proprietary and non-free software removed, Trisquel is a free and easy to use operating system with multi-language support.

8. Ututo - The first fully free distribution recognized by the GNU Project. This one is Gentoo based and is actively developed in Argentina.

9. Venenux - VENENUX GNU/Linux is a free/libre operating system primarily for people in Ibero-America. It aims to cover the needs of any type of user, with software for almost every necessity while remaining fast and easy to install. VENENUX is the fruit of the work of a group of people of different Hispanic countries.

There are a few distributions that come close to free but still contain non-free and proprietary software, allow you to install non-free software or advertise non-free software during the installation process. These will be listed in an upcoming post so watch carefully for that. In the meantime, if you can check out these nine very capable distributions and report back to me on how you like them.

What do you think? Is it important or not for a distribution to be composed of and only allow free software?

theemerchant -2 Junior Poster in Training

I never heard of these distro before, and I use to think these were not available, but I guess I was wrong. I might try them out one day.

Member Avatar for dandart

A concise and comprehensive list! Finally I know what half of them area bout on one page, without fiddling about with links on gnu.org!

Hmm, interesting, I wonder if there are any systems that are purely BSD? (normally BSDs don't count because they include (L)GPL'd stuff, like GNOME)

cwrinn 0 Newbie Poster

I think I read somewhere that Stallman uses gNewSense. I dunno if that's an attractant or a deterrent from one's choosing it, tho. ;)

scpayne 0 Newbie Poster

Mandriva also make a completely Free, as in no proprietary software, version: Mandriva Free. It is 100% free software and 100% free to download.

Member Avatar for dandart

There must be something non-free about it.. perhaps binary blobs? Otherwise they would have included it.

jbennet 1,618 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

I dislike gNewSense, its 'too' free. And i think gNewSense only includes GPLed code whereas others (e.g mandriva free, debian) include BSD-licenced code.

dwhite 0 Newbie Poster

Ok, so Debian offers access to the non-free and contrib archives on install, which may disqualify it from this list, but few distributions have truely been as anal about ensuring software freedom (see vrms - Virtual Richard M. Stallman).

tonyt3 0 Newbie Poster

I can understand the appeal of completely free. On the other hand, if there is a serious desire to have the gnu/linux system become more widespread, there's a need to make the thing as user-friendly as possible, and Ubuntu's roaring success speaks to that quite clearly. All users of gnu/linux will benefit from wider adoption of such a great system.

sureronald 0 Junior Poster

I dislike gNewSense, its 'too' free. And i think gNewSense only includes GPLed code whereas others (e.g mandriva free, debian) include BSD-licenced code.

You may not like gNewSense but it is one of the distros which currently concur with the goals and targets of the GNU project ( a completely free operating system ) when it was started in the 70's by RMS.
GPLed code is what distros claiming to be GNU/linux should actually include in their operating systems or other software such as python which do not use the GNU license but have the same characteristics as GPLed code.

cwrinn 0 Newbie Poster

it is one of the distros which currently concur with the goals and targets of the GNU project

But for how long? Debian used to be the official GNU distro because it held to the same goals. Then they were dropped like yesterday's girlfriend because they allowed users to enable the 'non-free' repository. So, is it "freedom" to deny users the choice of non-free? Where does it end?

debianedu 0 Newbie Poster

Trisquel GNU/Linux Based on Ubuntu。 good.

khess 95 Practically a Master Poster

This is a quote pulled from the Trisquel site:

"Trisquel 3.0 STS "Dwyn", free software only
Trisquel GNU/Linux is a version of the Ubuntu operating system which main goal is to develop a fully free system that is easy to use, complete and with a good language support. It looks like they did it already, as they are endorsed by the Free Software Foundation itself."

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