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Recommendations

On this site I want to list some of FOSS software, services and other things I like and that I recommend to other people.

Operating Systems

    Debian - a trustworthy, rock-solid stable Linux distribution, with a lot of great packages that promotes the use of FOSS software. It's a solid choice in almost any scenario.
    LineageOS for microG - a fork of LineageOS, which in turn is a fork of the Android Open Source Project AOSP. It is available for a broad range of Android devices and it does not include any of Google's proprietary, privacy-violating apps or services. What sets it appart from LineageOS is the inclusion of microG, a FOSS re-implementation of Google's invasive Google Play Services. It still communicates with Google's servers but it's a lot less invasive and completely transparent about the kind of data it sends back to Google.

      Q: Why should I use microG? Why shouldn't I just use LineageOS?
      A: Because it allows you to keep using almost all apps that you may want to or need to use. A lot of apps depend on Google Play Services and may straight up refuse to work without it, like some banking apps for example. microG fills this gap by acting as a drop-in replacement for Google Play Services and because microG is unable to work properly on plain LineageOS, you probably want to use LineageOS for microG instead. But if you know for certain that you do not use any apps that rely on Google Play Services, there is no reason why you should not just use plain LineageOS instead.

Browsers

Desktop

    LibreWolf - a Firefox fork with sane, privacy respecting default settings.
    Firefox - the best web browser base for the current web with suboptimal default settings but with a great deal of customizability.

      Check out arkenfox to further harden Firefox and to turn it into a more privacy respecting browser.

Android

    Kiwi browser - the only FOSS Android web browser that allows its users to install any kind of chromium add-on, that I am aware of
    Mull - a privacy-enhanced version of the mobile Firefox web browser

Both

    Tor Browser - the browser that offers its users the best privacy out of the box of all browsers

Browser Extensions

    uMatrix - a still great (although unmaintained) add-on that allows you to granularly filter all kinds of different requests
    Cookie AutoDelete - an add-on that can be used to automatically delete all kinds of cookies as soon as all tabs of a site have been closed. Websites that you want to stay logged in can be whitelisted too. It's just a great add-on to improve your privacy and to combat long term tracking.
    Dynamic Privacy Redirect - my own add-on that automatically redirects its users away from non-privacy respecting websites to more privacy-respecting front-ends

File Encryption

    VeraCrypt - the best, user friendly general purpose file and full-disk encryption software with plausible deniability. VeraCrypt is a fork of the now defunct TrueCrypt software that is actively maintained and contains fixes to critical flaws present in the TrueCrypt software.
    Cryptsetup / LUKS - the container based general purpose and full-disk encryption stack for Linux
    7-Zip - a great general purpose file compression and encryption tool that achieves great file compression and that not only encrypts the file contents of the files in question but the file names and (probably) other metadata as well
    GNU Privacy Guard - a great tool to sign, and encrypt data of any kind. That can easily be used as part of a script as well.

Instant Messaging

XMPP (Jabber)

    Gajim - a great XMPP desktop client that supports OMEMO end-to-end encryption
    Conversations - a great XMPP Android client that supports and uses OMEMO end-to-end encryption by default
    Prosody - a lightweight, customizable XMPP server

Matrix

    Element - the reference Matrix client implementation that uses end-to-end encryption in private chats by default

Android Apps

    Magisk - the standard, FOSS, rooting tool for android
    XPrivacyLua - an app that allows you to deny other apps access to certain permissions without those apps knowing that they have been denied access. This is particularly useful if an app forces you to give it some kind of permission that it doesn't need and that you do not actually want to give it access to. This app requires a rooted phone and honestly, this app alone is reason enough why I recommend everybody with an android device to root their phones. Under no circumstances should you give root access to any app that doesn't need it or that you do not want to give it to but this app needs it and gives you a significant privacy boost.
    F-Droid - the Android app store for FOSS software
    Aurora Store - a FOSS client for the Google Play Store that does not require a Google account
    Orbot - the tor proxy for Android
    Organic Maps - a privacy respecting maps app that uses the map data from OpenStreetMaps, that allows you to download map data and use it completely offline
Perfect Dark title font by Brian Kent

Last updated: Tue Sep 13 11:38:17 2022