Trisquel Turns Ten

Sat, 8 Feb 2014

Although he tells me that he doesn't recall the exact date Rubén Rodríguez started the Trisquel GNU/Linux distribution in the Spring of 2004 which makes it ten year old this year. I've been using it for about four of those years now, when version 3.5 (codenamed Awen) was released in 2010. Trisquel versions are named after Celtic gods. The next release, version 7, is codenamed belenos after a Celtic sun god. A shining release seems perfectly named to coincide with Trisquel's tenth anniversary.

Given that Trisquel is turning ten I wanted to list ten things that I like about it. I don't normally cite practical issues when talking about free software, but here are some.

  • Trisquel is made up of only free software.
  • Trisquel has been endorsed by the FSF as complying with their criteria. While I used to use Debian back in 2007 and they claim that their distro only has free software they are also engaged in the practice of developing and distributing proprietary software as a side activity. I stopped using Debian because I didn't want to be attached to a project engaged in such activities. The Trisquel project doesn't do that so I have no issues with recommending Trisquel to anyone. Everything that the Trisquel project distributes can be installed, modified, and redistributed in freedom.

  • Trisquel is easy to install.
  • The easier it can be for people to escape the jail that is proprietary software, the more people that will be able to make the jump. Trisquel makes it incredibly easy to switch to freedom. Interested people can try Trisquel before installing it by creating a bootable CD, DVD or USB drive or by ordering pre-made media from the website. The installation process doesn't have to wipe someone's existing operating system either; Trisquel plays nicely with other operating systems and creates a dual boot computer that lets them select between Trisquel and the other operating system at the boot menu, making the transition easy.

  • Trisquel is easy to setup.
  • Setup is also easy. A common misconception is that the GNU/Linux operating system is only for advanced computer users. In truth, Trisquel is actually easier to use in a lot of ways than proprietary operating systems. Trisquel easily finds wireless networks, printers, and hardware with few snags. Setting up email is easy with Evolution, which recognizes most common email providers without issue and allows people to manage multiple email addresses from their desktop. Trisquel also comes with plenty of optional free applications that can do everything from weather to word processing.

  • Trisquel looks nice.
  • Free software has come a long way over the last 30 years and Trisquel showcases this very well: The people behind it put a lot of effort into polishing the system and making sure that everything works well. The standard choice of backgrounds are masterpieces of photographic beauty, turning the desktop into the essence of joy. Rubén personally takes the pictures that make up the default wallpaper. I recall him saying that he made one of the Trisquel wallpapers by throwing his camera into the air tumbling about and catching it.

  • Trisquel has great support.
  • Trisquel comes with great documentation and an active community so that problems can be quickly resolved.

  • Trisquel is great for older machines.
  • Unlike proprietary operating systems, Trisquel runs very well on older machines. It doesn't take up as much space or memory to run and so is a great operating system to put on old computers that don't run proprietary operating systems very well. Trisquel is also great for putting on computers to give to others because it will do word processing, email, and web browsing quickly without needing to buy brand new hardware.

  • Trisquel is reliable.
  • I like that Trisquel has long-term support versions. It doesn't break down - it is as simple as that. It is seldom to see people posting on blogs their traumatic experiences with murderous software updates or function seizures when they are using Trisquel.

  • Trisquel doesn't cost anything.
  • An alluring benefit of Trisquel is its price tag. While you can donate or sign up to become an associate member to help support the project (and get some benefits), Trisquel is available without cost including support. Anyone that needs a functioning computer on a budget would do well to install Trisquel instead of spending money on a more expensive (and proprietary) operating system.

  • Trisquel has lots of software.
  • A common misconception is that someone has to give up lots of functionality in order to have software freedom. In truth, Trisquel comes with comes with the "Add/Remove Programs" function where you browse through lots of programs to download and install ranging from education to graphics to productivity software to games and more.

  • Trisquel is faster.
  • Trisquel is a lot smaller than proprietary operating systems, meaning you have more space to deal with what you're dealing with. This is loved by Trisquel users, who post that their computers are also quieter and cooler.

I want give a big "Thank You" to everyone that's worked on the Trisquel project over the last ten years. Here's looking forward to ten more.