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Two more changes to Simplicity Linux!

So, unlike other distros (yeah, we’re looking at you Ubuntu), we listen to the community.  Sometimes they’re not always vocal.  Sometimes they vote with their feet.  Or rather their mouse clicks.  And we have noticed a massive drop off in downloads since we added advertising to the links for the alpha downloads.

Whilst we’ve made some money (11 cents to be precise) from these adverts, we
1) Don’t think it’s paying off and
2) Would rather have lots of downloads rather than any amount of money

So as of now, the ad sponsored alpha links are gone for good.  We might bring them back, as in you can choose to support us, or you can choose not to support us, but either way, you get a choice.  Perhaps that is the model we should have gone for in the first place, but hey ho, you live and learn.

The second change is more dramatic.  As of now, all Simplicity Linux releases going forward, including the 13.7 Beta and Release editions will contain TOR and Polipo.  They will autoboot, and will be running in the background.  We could include Vidalia, but we don’t want to.  The point is this: if you’re fed up of PRISM, Tempura, and general shenanigans going on with your traffic, you can use TOR to hide yourself a little better.  Whilst TOR and Polipo will be running, we will not enable them in Firefox by default.  That is your call to make.  If you want them, the hostname will be 127.0.0.1 and the port will be 8123.  Just pop that into Firefox’s proxy settings, click apply to all connections, then go and be anonymous.

The Simplicity Linux team strongly oppose PRISM and Tempura and any other method of data collection of the general public on a mass scale.  This is our way of sticking two fingers up at those who snoop, and protecting our users from being snooped on.  Plus, since we dogfood Simplicity Linux, and we like TOR, it makes sense for us to have it right there!

Testing something new

Whilst Simplicity Linux is free, has always been free and will always be free, it’s not free to create it.  There are hosting fees, domain name fees, etc.  So we are trying a hybrid of something we saw CheckMate do and our own spin on things.

From now on, if you want access to our alphas and betas, you can have them, free as always, it’s just that there will be an advert before the download.  Full releases will always be available advert free.  It’s just a way of us making a little bit of money to support Simplicity Linux without you, our wonderful users having to do anything or spend anything.

The first bunch of ad supported Alpha images are here:

Simplicity Linux 13.7 Desktop Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Media Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Netbook Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Obsidian Alpha

Why you should use Simplicity Linux

When I tell people I work on a Linux distribution, some people ask me why they should use Simplicity Linux rather than say Ubuntu.  It’s a decent point.  I mean, in the Linux world, Ubuntu is the 400lb gorilla in the room.  Why go with something you might have only heard about on SneekyLinux’s reviews?

We use Simplicity Linux on all our production machines.  We run it from a USB key and it’s very fast.  But we don’t run it because we make it.  We used to run Ubuntu, until the wifi stopped working.  Then we switched to Linux Mint.  Until the wifi stopped working.  But because we need the wifi to work to install packages, find art, and generally do stuff on Simplicity Linux, the wifi works on our machines.  And why would I use a fix or a patch or a hack to get Ubuntu running, when Simplicity is faster and works right out the box?

And if I want to test out the latest version of Simplicity on my machine, I use Unetbootin to install it to a USB key, boot it up, and we’re off.  It’s that simple.  And if I want to do that to a bunch of machines with 1 USB key, I can.

So we might not have the latest and greatest things like Ubuntu does.  But I can’t run Ubuntu quickly on a 5 year old netbook that I carry around with me everywhere.  I know this, because the latest Ubuntu is on it, and it runs really slowly.  Simplicity 13.4 Netbook is on a tiny USB key, and runs quickly.  Guess which one I use?

We have users from Honduras (it’s in Central America, between Guatemala and Nicaragua) to Germany who use Simplicity Linux.  We get e-mails from people telling us that old machines they thought couldn’t work again, do, because of Simplicity Linux.  And we love hearing that.

That is why you should use Simplicity Linux.  Because it just works.