Minimalists feel that removing life’s clutter creates space for what matters. This is true in the digital world too. Our data may not fill up the area around us, but it can consume our minds.
I’ve been pairing down at home, on my phone, and on my computer. When it comes to that last one, I’ve found that being a Linux users comes with a few advantages. These are some of the ways the freedom of open source software has helped me simplify my digital life. They can help you, too.
1. No Ads or Pop-Ups
Open source software is largely free of commercial influence. You won’t see banners advertising other software or pop-ups trying to sell you stuff. Nor will you have to uncheck boxes when installing apps.
The lack of ads removes extra extra clutter from your workspace, and it liberates you from unwanted distractions. You also get to use software that’s designed explicitly to help you complete a task, rather than to make money off you.
2. Choose a Minimalist Interface
Windows 8 was a big departure from prior versions. Windows 10 dialed that back, but things still aren’t quite the same. In contrast, most Linux distros let you choose your own desktop interface no matter which version you’re running.
Want a small panel? Prefer a dock with icons along the side of the screen? Would you work better if the desktop were entirely blank? Linux lets you set up your workspace however you need to get stuff done.
You won’t find Linux software on store shelves, which means less physical clutter for you to bring home (granted, you’re probably not getting most of your software on Windows or macOS this way anymore). You don’t have to remember or retain any product codes either.
3. Everything Is Free
Most Linux software is free. This is great for the financial minimalist. You don’t need to work more hours or take on more debt to get your hands on an office suite.