Free Software has generally been available for a wide range of computing systems, if not actually providing the operating system itself on those systems, then at least providing applications and tools to run on existing, proprietary operating systems. There are very good reasons for trying to use Free Software as much as possible for every role that software plays on a hardware device:

Why Should Free Software Influence Your Choice of Hardware?

The ability to use Free Software means that you can take control.

There is a disturbing trend in the technology realm, particularly around smartphones, where manufacturers prevent users from installing any software other than the applications and updates those manufacturers deem acceptable. By insisting on hardware that can run Free Software, you can prevent other parties from deciding when your purchase will become obsolete, instead deciding for yourself when your purchase no longer satisfies your own requirements.

You can focus on products that offer only what you need and build on top of that.

Even in long-established areas such as personal computing, it can be difficult for those not experienced in technology purchasing decisions to find computers that are not already bundled with proprietary software. Such proprietary software can prove to be an obstacle to the use of Free Software, and it is possible that this trend will worsen as the rapidly growing influence of the smartphone and tablet segment is brought to bear on the rest of the market for computing products. By insisting on hardware without bundled proprietary software, you avoid paying for unwanted products and rewarding those who indulge in such bundling practices, communicate that there is demand for alternatives, and ensure a foundation for your own use of Free Software.

Hardware fully supported by Free Software should provide a more reliable and sustainable computing environment.

When trying to run Free Software on some computing products, it may be the case that some hardware features are not supported. This may be due to the manufacturer of a hardware component not publishing Free Software drivers or libraries to support the hardware feature concerned, or not making adequate documentation of the feature available to Free Software developers. By choosing hardware that is compatible with Free Software, the effort required to make everything work should be reduced substantially, and you get the benefit of support from a wider selection of sources. Hopefully, manufacturers will in time also see that working with the Free Software community can lead to more satisfied users of their products.

Getting Hardware for Free Software

A list of hardware vendors has been provided in order to help those looking for acceptable hardware solutions that run (and favour) Free Software. The intention is to encourage people to exercise their choice to run Free Software whilst reducing the frustration and uncertainty that often accompanies such purchasing decisions.


Activities/Hardware/Hardware_for_Free_Software (last edited 2017-04-01 12:49:29 by sabet)