Avoid nonfree software

From Whonix

Ambox warning pn.svg.png For system security it is strongly advised to not install proprietary [archive], non-free [archive] software. Instead, use of free software [archive] is recommended [archive]. As free software pioneer Richard Stallman [archive] puts it:

  • "... If you run a nonfree program on your computer, it denies your freedom; the main one harmed is you. ..."
  • "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master -- and if you use the program, he is your master.“
  • "To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master. And in the area of computing, freedom means not using proprietary software."

Open Source software [archive] like Qubes, Linux [archive] and Whonix ™ [archive] is more secure than closed source [archive] software. The public scrutiny of security by design [archive] has proven to be superior to security through obscurity [archive]. This aligns the software development process with Kerckhoffs' principle [archive] - the basis of modern cipher [archive]-systems design. This principle asserts that systems must be secure, even if the adversary knows everything about how they work. Generally speaking, Freedom Software projects are much more open and respectful of the privacy rights of users. Freedom Software projects also encourage security bug reports, open discussion, public fixes and review.

Possible risks associated with using Non-free software:

  • Potential advanced malware in the software itself.
  • Privacy breaches. Possible key logger or keystoke deanonymizer?
  • Software that depends on third party servers could access identifying information for payments or logins linked to real identity.

For more information on installing free, third-party Libre software [archive] consult the Foreign Sources page for advice. See also: Is It Ever a Good Thing to Use a Nonfree Program? [archive]

Related: Why Whonix ™ is Freedom Software