main page 30 day foss challenge blog

#30DayFOSSChallenge - Week 0


[This is a series: The FOSS Challenge | Week 0 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Reflections]

In about one week, I start my own 30 Day FOSS Challenge. Look here for more information. Today's post is to show where I'm starting from, to set my goals, and to discuss expected pain points.

This is meant to catalog my personal journey with the challenge, yours may look very different. Hopefully you find some of this interesting. If you have any thoughts to share with me, please reach out via mastodon:

Starting Position

I already use Debian Linux for my desktop and laptop, so the majority of my computing is already done on a FOSS platform, tho I do believe I have a proprietary wifi driver running, as well as the official driver for my capture card. There's probably a few other proprietary bits in here, I have not tried to keep it 100% pure.

As far as proprietary software and platforms go, work requires the google suite of tools (namely, Drive, Voice, and Gmail). I will admit I also use Drive for personal usage a lot, so that's going to be a struggle to eliminate. For entertainment I use Reddit as well as many proprietary games. So I'll have to try to keep myself busy a different way.

a list of apps installed on my phone

On my phone I recently switched to GrapheneOS, which itself is also all FOSS. I have a handful of proprietary apps installed right now. This includes Todoist and Discord. Both will also be challenges to replace.


My goal is to get as close to full 100% FOSS as possible. I'm setting this goal because I'm already in a good position to try it, with a FOSS OS on both my phone and computer, and I think it's really important to dive fully into something and struggle with it to deepen your understanding of it.

Naturally, I cannot avoid the software I need for work, that will be exempted only at work, for work purposes. I will try to avoid them otherwise.

Expected Problems

The single biggest issue I anticipate having is with entertainment. I'll admit this is not exactly the most crucial issue. But right now a good portion of my entertainment comes from video games and reddit. The solution to this will have to come from a variety of sources, including some open source games (I've had Xonotic recommended to me recently, and always love OpenTTD), reading more, enjoying the Spring weather, and keeping up with my yoga practice. I think it's going to take some active mental reframing to rework these habits.

Another issue is communication. While I already don't rely much on social media, I do rely quite a bit on Discord to communicate with people. I've already made most of my discord connections aware of the challenge and other ways to communicate with me, but I suspect it'll largely mean I'll hear a bit less from those people. I'll likely be trying to connect more with the people I can reach through other means, as well as applying some friendly peer pressure to people to migrate to things like Signal and Mastodon. I'm also considering trying Mattermost or Matrix, which are closer to full replacements of Discord, but I don't have much experience with either one.

Then there's the few apps I have yet to replace. Google Drive is an invaluable tool for me, as I switch between devices frequently and don't like being pinned down to one device, or relying on a synchronization tool. I'm working on setting up a Nextcloud and Collabora, so hopefully that comes together.

Todoist is tricky as well. Besides being my own personal todo dump, I also use it to coordinate household todos with my partner. To truly replace it I need something as convenient for collaboration. Not sure what fills that role yet. (If you have ideas please let me know!)

Finally there's Google Maps. I know my city pretty well luckily, but I do still need maps sometimes. Organic Maps is helpful, but very lacking. It doesn't seem to know where any private addresses are, and also seems to be missing a lot of smaller shops. I know I can (and should) contribute those, but for now it's definitely an incomplete replacement. Also I've noticed the time estimates are really bad. Looks like I'll be leaving "early" to places often for a while.

Anyway, that's my preemptive thoughts. I'm sure I will discover more issues I didn't dream of along the way, but I'm also hopeful there will be as many positive learning experiences as negative, and I'll come out of this consistently using more FOSS than I began with.

If you've read this far, thank you! I'd love to hear from you, especially if you're joining me in the challenge. The more, the merrier!

PS: Have thoughts about this post? Email me at or message me on mastodon at