Purposes and aims

This page describes the purposes and aims on ConnochaetOS. It will eventually become a some kind of manifesto.

Preamble

ConnochaetOS was created in the awareness, that there are millions of old computers out there on which no modern operating system is running smoothly. ConnochaetOS aims to be an operating system based on the principles of Freedom, Lightweight, Simplicity, Actuality, Stability and Security.

Freedom

In 1983 Richard M. Stallman begun the fight for free software by announcing the plans of the GNU Operating System. Soon after, he founded the Free Software Foundation to provide a legal infrastructure for the Free Software Movement. Today free software is a widespread reality. Sadly, most well known GNU/Linux Distributions out there do not care much about freedom. The Linux kernel itself include non-free code, so the freedom of studying and changing the code is compromised. Many popular distributions also include other non-free software, often in order to support proprietary formats or hardware without specifications. We think this is the wrong way. Including non-free software in order to support devices without specifications and proprietary formats are a mistake in multiple sense.

  • Including non-free software means denying users the right to study and change the code.
  • Including non-free software in order to support devices without specifications and proprietary formats means loosening the pressure on hardware manufacturers to open the specification and release free drivers and to keep proprietary formats closed and preventing the spread of free formats.
  • Including non-free software is a security risk. No one can tell what the software is doing or fix bad behavior.

Because of this reasons, ConnochaetOS will only include free software. If we discover non-free software or non-free code in our distribution, we will fix it. We first attempt to replace it with free software or code, and if that's not possible, we will remove it.

Additionally, we will not suggest or encourage to install non-free software, nor will we include software that do suggest or encourage the installation of non-free software (e. g. non-free plugins).

Thirdly we will not include software that itself is free but works only in combination with non-free software, because that would mean encouraging users to install non-free software.

Lightweight

Software is progressing aggressively, and the hardware must suit its needs. Software has a tendency to include more and more features in time. This has the side effect that a short time after one did buy a computer it becomes slow and outdated. As a result this leaves only the options to buy a new computer or run the computer with old software. Both options are unacceptable, the former one for financial reasons, the latter for security reasons. There is no point of dumping an computer that is only a few years old. Common technological devices, like television receivers, have a life time of 10 to 20 years, there is no reason why a computer should have a significant shorter lifetime other than serious technical defects. The dilemma is that ofter some years it is very hard to find software that is still supported and can run reasonably on an aged computer.

For this reason ConnochaetOS comes with software that will run smoothly on an at least 10 year old computer. All software in the base repository will be verified that it requires as few resources as possible in order to support low spec machines.

Simplicity

A good interface is friendly and simple. This means ease of use and not very heavy in design. Being simple in design means to keep a clear structure, so the usage and configuration of the system can be done in a few simple and clear step. It also means, we think our users are not stupid. To change one line in a file using a heavy graphical program is pure senseless.

Doing simple tasks should be done quickly. Therefore you need a light desktop with a good, well desinged interface.

Users who want to understand how a computer and an operating system works, can learn it at best on a system, that has clear structure and which do not hide functionality by obfuscating it.

For these reasons, ConnochaetOS follow the KISS (Keep It Small and Simple) principle. Being small and simple means both the program code, but also the interface.

Actuality

It is essential that software is current and still maintained. Because if users run outdated and unmaintained software they are vulnerable to security holes. This is a high risk, because with security holes the data on the computer can be controlled by unauthorized people and not by the user any more, similar to the risk of running proprietary software.

For this reason ConnochaetOS will only include software that is current ans still maintained.

Stability

No software is perfect, there is no non-trivial program which contains no bugs. Usually free software comes in two branches - stable and development versions. While it is important for free software to be tested by a wide public it is annoying for users to be confronted with development versions that contains more bugs than usual and being unstable - especially when the user has no programming and advanced administration skills.

For this reason ConnochaetOS tries to include only stable versions of free software in its repository. There may be a repository for software in development stage, but this will not be mandatory.

Security

Today most computers are connected with each other. Many network protocols and programs exists so the computer or their users could communicate. If you use a program which has known security holes and vulnerabilities, you may risk loosing the control of your computing. Attackers use known vulnerabilities to break into computers and take control over it. In most cases, this happens through some kind of a network connection. Therefore it is essential, that the software you use is not only free, but secure as well.

For this reason ConnochaetOS tries to provide only software without known vulnerabilities. If someone discovers such an issue, it will be fixed in a reasonable perioid of time.