FedEx Will Pay You $5 to Install Flash on Your Machine
We certainly hope that FedEx shows more concern over the safety of its drivers and pilots than it shows to customers wanting to order printing online.

FedEx is making you an offer you
iCub the Open Source Robot
It occurs to us that the iCub might be the perfect companion for an only child. Probably cheaper in the long run than a little brother or sister, and it can be turned off at night.

The Screening Room

Linux Action Show to End Eleven-Year Run at LFNW
Six more episodes before the popular Linux podcast, Linux Action Show, ends its nearly 11-year run in a live broadcast from LinuxFest Northwest.


Jupiter Broadcasting's long-running
No, Evil Hackers Aren't After You
Humankind has outgrown the need to have monsters hiding under our beds. Now we let them hide in our phones, computers and microwave ovens.

Roblimo's Hideaway

OMG! I think I see a giant camera lens on
Four Things a New Linux User Should Know
When you move from "that other operating system" to Linux, you're going to find that in most ways you'll be in familiar territory. However, that's not always the case. We sometimes do things a little differently
Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?
Should the U.S. armed forces begin releasing software under an OSI approved open source license rather than as public domain?

Roblimo's Hideaway

This question has generated many pixels'
GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath on Open Source
Did you know that the software Stephen Hawking uses to speak is open source and that it's available on GitHub? Neither did we.

The Screening Room

At the Computer History museum, GitHub CEO Chris
October 22nd, 2013

Using FOSS in a Windows-Centric Corporate Environment

FileZilla running on Windows

FileZilla, a free and open source FTP client that can run on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.

You have probably installed Linux on your work laptop and impress your colleagues with the style and performance of your operating systems. You promote Linux! Lucky you! I am envious!

Unlike you, I do not have this opportunity. Neither do many other office workers. That is because medium and large companies have their own policies about the software allowed to be used on their computers. More often than not, the choice of operating systems is Microsoft Windows, unfortunately. That can be because of some specific software required for business or because of management’s numbness. However, that’s not the point of this article.

What can you do when you can’t use Linux at work? You can still promote free open source! The best way to promote FOSS is to use it and to tell people who wonder what you use about free open source alternatives to commercial software.

However rigid the company policy, it often lets users decide on some smaller components of the work environment. Even if the choice of company collaboration platform is not yours, you may have a say in the replacement of Microsoft Exchange with FOSS alternatives.

Moving a grade lower, you might install LibreOffice or OpenOffice instead of commercial analogs. And even if neither of these options is available to you, you still have choices:

7-Zip Windows archive utility.

7-Zip is a free and open source archiving utility for Windows. (click to enlarge)

  • Firefox or Chromium can be your browser
  • FreeCAD or QCAD can be your CAD system
  • Filezilla can be your FTP client
  • GIMP can be your graphical editor
  • Notepad++ can be your simple text editor
  • Pidgin or Empathy can be your instant messaging client
  • 7-Zip can be your archive manager
Notepad++ Windows FOSS text editor.

Notepad++ is a free and open source text editor for Windows. (click to enlarge)

I will not continue the list. There is a special dedicated site that lists open source alternatives. As you can see, choices exist. If you cannot make a huge impact on FOSS promotion, do several smaller steps! As a slogan of a British retailer says, “Every little helps!”

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DarkDuck is the author and the owner of the blog Linux Notes from DarkDuck, which was a finalist in our Best FOSS or Linux Blog competition. In addition, he publishes the site Buy Linux CDs, where you can read more about different Linux operating systems and then order disks with your favorite distribution.

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