get GNU/Linux! community

Frequently asked questions

This topic covers frequently asked questions about the website.

General questions

So, who are you?

The original authors started up as an informal group of enthusiasts, who went on to set-up a non-profit organization, to make sure the project would stay on the right track. GNU/Linux Matters was a small non-profit delivering effective, high quality advocacy for free software. For over a year it promoted this concept to 1,000 newcomers each day in eight languages.

As the non-profit ceased activity in 2010 and the website was no longer online, a bioinformatics student from The Netherlands decided to bring back online and continue the effort.

Why are you doing this?

We find free software to be a very important concept. We could not find a website to present both the GNU/Linux operating system and the philosophy behind it in a clear way. So we made one ourselves.

How do you make money?

We don’t. At the moment, the development of the website is entirely voluntary. The money comes from our own pockets.

Do you hate Microsoft?

No. We simply believe that proprietary software is hurting our society. If Microsoft abandon restrictive licensing clauses and adopt open formats, we will happily remove our Windows page. We are not an anti-Microsoft organization, but instead focus on freedom in software.

I’d like to switch to GNU/Linux but I don’t know if….

Please head over to our More page, where we provide links to some support communities where many friendly techies will help you out and answer your questions about GNU/Linux.

We focus on free software advocacy, so don’t provide technical help or support.


Why do you recommend these three distributions?

Regrettably, this is by far the most frequent input we receive. Typically, the remarks fall into either of the following categories:

  • “The (hear: my favorite) distribution X is far better than the ones you recommend”
  • “There are at least three dozen more distributions you should add, to show newcomers how amazing this is”.

So, yes, we do realize there are many other alternatives, some of which far better in this or that respect. But, everyday users have very different needs and expectations than you and us. They think about software perhaps the way you think about car tires, because they have better things to worry about.

The fact is, the technical difference between one distribution and another will not make much of a difference in terms of market share. Finding a large number of people in many languages will.

As for providing newcomers with a large panel of distributions to choose from, this talk by Barry Schwartz explains well why large choice is not always this good:

We carefully picked a few GNU/Linux distributions. Going through these discussions, modifying our descriptions, updating the contents of a website translated into multiple languages, costs a lot of energy and yields very little. Please help us move on to more effective actions.

Can I earn credits/money for linking to you?

No, there is no advertising revenue, reward credits or air miles to be earned with us.
Link to us nevertheless to receive near-eternal gratitude and multiple blessings – not to mention that warm feeling inside, and the knowledge that you help thousands discover free software.

Why don’t you get yourself a dictionary / grammar book?

English is not our mother language, and errors might subsist. If you spot some typo or awkwardness, please file an issue. Or better even, send us a pull request on GitHub.

Do you take full responsibility for the advice on your websites?

I used to be a billionaire, but then I read something on your website and now I am a complete loser. Can I send you to jail?

No. Please read the Terms of use of our websites, which you have to agree to when you browse our websites. We provide all of this information in good faith, believing it is true and hoping it is useful. But we might be complete morons who don’t know what they are writing – you read this at your own risk and assume full responsibility for your actions.

More questions? Feel free to create a new topic. You may also contact a staff member.