"If you want your favourite distro to last, reach for your wallet and start to contribute"

Article on the importance of £$€ in helping smaller distros in the light of the recent difficulties Void and Korora:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/16/contrinuting_to_keep_small_linux_alive/
Contains some quotes from Clement Lefebvre of Linux Mint.

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Quite understandable. I think too many people think "free as in beer", not "free as in freedom", when they try Linux. The same goes for individual software applications, and even low-level stuff that we take for granted. I'm reminded of the OpenSSL fiasco, where the poor maintainer, all alone, did all that work for free, and corporations took advantage of his work without supporting him in return. Then heartbleed was discovered, and everybody panics. All of us have a responsibility to maintain our infrastructure.

Incidentally, I often find myself saddened that distro maintainers raise the most money. Applications and lower-level, under-the-hood software doesn't get as much financial attention, even though it can be just as much work to create and maintain quality software of any kind. I would love to see more distros do what Elementary OS is doing and put in a software center that has donation buttons. Showcasing non-apps, such as OpenSSL and other forgotten low-level software would also be kind.

People seem to want high-quality software for free (as in grati), but they don't want to pay the creators and maintainers to do the work. We can only do so much in our spare time after our day jobs. If you want better FOSS software--whether a full distro or individual apps--you have to pay us enough to develop it as our full-time jobs. That's just reality. People often don't know what they're asking us to do for free every time they submit a new feature request. They're asking us for our very valuable spare time, and many of us don't have a lot of that. What spare time I do have I'd rather spend with my family.

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Right. Been there, done that. No specific amounts anyway, so giving whatever you can should be fine. Well, some do specify the numbers, and if I use the app, I'll pay as much. My biggest donation was to KDE, though, as it has been my choice of DE since 2007 (first serious Linux encounter), while Manjaro is 5 years later.

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Got to admire Clems enthusiasm though and optimism.
Not easy to have that these days.

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I would be glad to, but I'm on a fixed income. Are there other ways I could contribute?

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A few ways immediately come to mind:

  • Test software.
  • Help on the forum.
  • Hang out on IRC.
  • Edit the wiki.

There are plenty of ways to contribute which have implicit financial value - sending currency isn't the only answer (especially when that's not normally the main issue).

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Thanks. I try to help out as much as I can, but I do want to do other things as well.

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Every bit of help helps. I don't expect everyone to be on here 24/7. :wink:

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Regarding Korora I'm not overly surprised, there's literally a couple of formerly very enthusiastic guys working on it. Recent changes to how the kickstarts, the files Fedora media is built from are processed have made it much more difficult and time intensive to reliably (it fails far too easily) create custom spins with.

I have 1500 packages installed I would love to give every programmer 10 EUR ...

I do value their work, but at the endof the day I find myself donating for distributions, LibreOffice, KDE and Wikipedia (I think there was also an emergency call from Krita recently). If there were a fund for all that basic stuff that drives the underneath, I think I'd donate to that as well.

Since it fits to the topic:

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I think it could be a good idea for certain sites, subreddits, forums, or communities to do short 'campaigns' or 'drives' for software. I recently saw this work out quite nicely in any enthusiastic armenian subreddit seeking to funnel funds from the diaspora to small businesses there.

For example, here on this forum, we could have a monthly spotlight on certain projects.
Maybe this month or June we do a drive for Arch to show our momma some love.
Then next month we do a drive for GIMP, or OpenSSL, whatever.. and so on..
(maybe something like 90 days might be better, but you get the drift)

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I think burnout is a bigger issue than $$$.

Developing, maintaining and supporting a Linux distro is a huge undertaking, corporate distros aside (ie OpenSUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc) all this work is often done in spare time whilst holding down a job. Passion can only last so long if there are not enough team members to share the load, eventual burnout is inevitable.

Financial contributions certainly help, community support is essential, but enough team members to allow life balance without adversely affecting the distro is key.

Small team niche distro forks will always come and go, but as long as core foundational distros like Arch and Debian remain healthy & strong there is no need to fear. Hopefully Solus becomes another foundation distro worthy of interesting niche forks.

I am less concerned about open source software development, if an individual or small team abandons a project the source code is usually available for others to take over / fork if the community demand is there. If a project completely dies there are normally viable open source alternatives.

FWIW I contribute financially to both distro and open source software projects.

Good idea, maybe a separate forum category / section to highlight such projects.

It would need to be monitored closely though, will probably become a magnet for spam bots and / or subjective street hawkers.

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That's why I hope we start getting software app centers that showcase struggling projects with a donate button. The average user might not frequent forums much, unless they need help with something, but they'll install new software.

Sometimes, the amount of little projects that make the whole thing work is so overwhelming, even the list of apps I use, I've been thinking of making a master list of everything and rotating through it every Christmas. But even, then, there's so much under the hood. Struggling projects need a way to let average users across different distros know that they need help. An app center with showcasing would really help that, and distros could share the app center code base and tweak it as needed if they wanted to.

Noted.

How would a newbie help then? since he/she might lack the technical expertise needed to help others?

Or do we need some sort of translation in wikis or whatnots?

Yup.
All the donations can't pay the actual workforce.

donations are important to have, to cover running fees, hosting, whatever, and and some point, it may get you a new server to reduce the need on workforce.

After last update went so well I did donate €20 through Paypal currency exchange. Think most want to but it's not always feasible.
Have donated to Calibre and VLC because couldn't do without those 2.

So where's Jerry Lewis when you need him? Manjarothon sounds good.

A thread with some similarities is here:
https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/t/would-manjaro-benefit-from-a-full-time-developer/52136

Wow. I was looking for this points.

I hope I can contribute to these points in some way.

My Idea is to write a detailed post about ways to contribute back to the community not just financially but with resources, time and skill.

Can someone who have more knowledge about Manjaro community can do this and newbies like me can learn and start contributing in the mentioned methods.

I am currently active on forum and try to reply to question which I think can be answered by my knowledge.

Will try to hangout on IRC also. Editing the wiki I was never aware of, so will looking into that also.

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seeding torrents is another way of contributing

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You mean the ISO Files?

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