Hi all, I'm Nick, love Linux, love FOSS, though am wondering how realistic it is to go full FOSS. Finally moved away from gmail successfully to but found I still went back for google drive/docs since I can't find a privacy alternative that compares. Anyway, look forward to chatting on here.

Welcome to the fediverse !

Its ok if you can't go full FOSS right now, its just that each step we take brings us closer to privacy/freedom.
However I'll tell you that its possible to go full FOSS if you want. But there might still be things like social media/messengers that some may not be able to avoid, cause everyone uses it and they might even need it for their work or class.

BTW, try out nextcloud as a FOSS replacement for gdrive.

@futureisfoss True. And neat, I do have a raspberry pi sitting under my TV as a webserver (if that hasn't crashed by now), maybe it can also serve my photos/data. Yes it was really how nice google docs etc just works. Say what you want about google, they know how to make web apps that aren't confusing.

There's no shame on using google, in fact everyone uses google except some small number of people. The fact that you have knowledge about privacy/FOSS is all that matters. I don't care if anyone use FOSS or not, at the end of the day, its their choice. But i think its important to let them know about the threats, cause then they won't have that false sense of protection. And it lets them take care of it if and when they feel like they need it.

@futureisfoss @chmod700 Speaking of de-googling, there are also ways to use Google without "Google using you". An example would be using because it uses Google search backend but fully annoymises it. Another would be backup all your files to Google Drive with private key encryption, via tools like Duplicacy. Use YouTube via anonymised 3rd party apps like NewPipe.

One small thing, newpipe doesn't make you anonymous nor does it proxies your connection. It directly connects to google for getting all the data and the videos. But sure, its way better than using the official app and is surely a good recommendation.

For more privacy/anonymity, try out an instance from whichever works for you. Make sure that the proxy videos option is enabled in preferences and you're good to go. Use tor instances for max anonymity 😁

Remember to apply the open-source filter when searching, it shows closed source items too.

@chmod700 You can go full FOSS instantly by not using any computers any more (^-^)

But realistically everyone will only make baby steps towards complete FOSS. The process is faster, if one is willing to make bigger sacrifices.

@chmod700 Also I seem to have a permission issue accessing your profile...

@chmod700 I guess we all go step by step, I recently tried Nextcloud and it's pretty good!

@sotneStatue Yeah I'm only now starting to become aware of a few self-hosted solutions to these sorts of services. It seems if you've got a spare computer or raspberry pi you can almost be your own provider. Which is great.

@chmod700 I made an experiment with self hostinga nextcloud instance, but it not a long term solution for me. But there are hosting options that cost more or less the same that Google drive

@chmod700 It's hard to go full foss, but the aim is to foss as much as possible. Whenever there's a foss solution for your problem, use it :)

@lps @fatboy @chmod700 The way I think about it is that for anything core to my life/lifestyle, I should insist it be FOSS. Otherwise, if I could reasonably just do without, then it can be proprietary if I couldn't get it otherwise but still want it

That said, I will go out of my way to avoid things that are too anti-consumer, so as to not support them. I haven't been playing AAA games for a while now, I refuse to get Disney+, etc

The area I'm doing worst now is my phone

@urusan @lps @fatboy and yes how to replace the phone! Android one stripped as much of google as possible is probably the most I can realistically achieve in the near term :(.


Welcome to fediverse!

It's a long road comprising of many steps to go full free software. We try to take small steps towards freeing ourselves from unjust conputing.

@chmod700 i've never used google docs, but someone on here was saying that #cryptpad replaced it for them.

@ITwrx Thanks, I think I've seen that before. I don't mind paying but what I don't want is to end up having subscriptions to half a dozen services (maybe that's unavoidable). That's why I tried as it has drive and office functionality. But alas it just doesn't cut the cake.

@chmod700 btw, i sent that to you mainly b/c it's FOSS. One benefit being that using their hosting is optional.

@ITwrx Also came across this list, probably from hacker news, for anyone interested.

@chmod700 I'm full FOSS since 1999, so you can be it's possible.

@chmod700 You can buy a Odroid or RaspberryPi and put Nextcloud on it. It works pretty good. I have a Odroid-C2 and an external drive connected to it.

I know Protonmail are building a gDrive alternative. So that might also be a way... Tarsnap is another... but in my mind it is better to host the data yourself.

@shellkr Thanks, yes @sotneStatue pointed out nextcloud, haven't heard of odroids either. Ta. Yeah protonmail seemed a tad expensive. And I don't know how anyone can use email with a calendar! At least since this will be for my own work as well, I need a way to schedule things.

@chmod700 You don't really need "Google Drive" if you have a VPS, use it as an FTP/HTTP server.

@pj Thanks, hadn't heard of VPS. I've got a pi set up so could probably install a bunch of stuff on there. But then I'm relying on my broadband :(

@pj As much as I love Libre Office, sorry I just find it doesn't compare to either MS office for compatibility and usability offline or google docs for online (since you need to host your own libre office software if you want it online).

@chmod700 Are you writing a book or something? Yeah, I guess if you need certain features then your options are limited.

@pj I wish. It's more the work I do needs a somewhat comparable level of functionality as google docs if it's going to be worked on online or it needs near perfect compatibility with MS office formats if it's traditional email back-and-forth file versions with comments (which basically limits one to MS office argh).

@chmod700 I used to have minor problems way back in 2008 with Excel spreadsheet compatibility, but as far as I can tell, Libre Office spreadsheets are 100% compatible with Excel. I don't know about compatibility with MS Word... I must admit Google Docs is a great product, but I don't really trust the company--especially with them censoring people's files.

@chmod700 welcome, we are glad you are here! I use a #selfhosted #nextcloud instance for file syncing and such, it might be worth checking out

@chmod700 @cb

Have you checked out ONLYOFFICE or Collabora?

I've also heard people in this situation use LibreOffice:

The problem is they're all pretty resource intensive so it can be a little expensive to run them on your own server. I've settled for a paid Google Enterprise account or whatever so at least they *claim* they aren't mining my data.

@kaxline @cb Thanks yeah I have ONLYOFFICE and it seems slightly more compatible with MS Office formats. Heard of Collabora from Mastodon folk like yourself.

Yes maybe I should consider enterprise! It seems one needs perfect MS office compatability (so basically you need MS OFfice) or an online suite that lets literally anyone - even without an account - partake in editing a document, so something like google docs. Cry emoji.

@chmod700 Welcome!! I don't really know how much effective it's changing mail provider. In order to really gain some privacy you have to encrypt all your emails and convince your correspondence to do the same, especially if they are still using gmail.

@tech_enthusiast I assume or want to hope it does something. At least google don't crawl all my correspondence anymore. But I feel like my bubble is about to be burst!

@chmod700 getting away from Google services is tricky. I'm in the same boat, got pulled back for Docs. One step at a time though I suppose ✊

@chmod700 Which alternatives have you looked into with regards to the Google services you are currently using?

@Dsapli I was looking for a provider that did mail/calendar/drive and preferably office apps. It was a bit ago but I remember looking at protonmail, posteo, tutanota, and fastmail. was my choice given it provides all of the above and the price wasn't too bad (unlike proton!). But I have to say the site and apps could do with more polish and there are some reliability issues that I find bizzare to have in 2020.

@chmod700 @chmod700 Oh alright, it might be worth looking into and which offer encrypted office tools and drive respectively. I suggest so as they are built on network so your data is decentralised which I think will help with peace of mind when using online services. :ac_bewildered:

@Dsapli Wow arcaneoffice looks like a very neat idea. Free atm while in beta, but no detail on amount of storage etc. Maybe I'll sign up to have a play. Thanks!

@chmod700 could be an alternative to Google Drive worth looking into as well

@chmod700 same here..i just got here ..tryimg to get divorce from google and facebook.. (crosses fingers) :)
Long time linux user

@Codiac @urusan @fatboy @LPS Yeah. I have to admit I haven't even done a reasonably deep dive on the FOSS/open source philosophy. What's driving me is yes wanting to get away from people using my data in non-obvious and deceiving ways. I've got no problem in principle with large companies making large profits. If they make a great product and don't screw people over then great I'll pay. But I guess you rarely get the two, at least for long. So definitely not against paying for software either.

@anders Yes others have mentioned that here. I just upgraded my Pi to Buster, which broke my web hosting by the way, so maybe I should see if it can handle being my own online office. Maybe look into this over xmas break!


Hi, Nick! I'm relatively new here, too, having joined earlier this month.

As for an alternative to #Google Drive and Google Docs, have you considered #CryptPad and #Etherpad? (@cryptpad)

Both options are #FreeSoftware. I use CryptPad a lot and even started self-hosting it with #YunoHost (@yunohost)

@ethan @cryptpad @yunohost Hey Ethan, thanks. I've heard of cryptpad. After hearing about the options on here I like the idea of self hosting, at least I should try it out. Something like nextcloud but with office apps would be good. Or maybe that's basically what cryptpad would be? Argh, need to read more into these!

Nextcloud has OnlyOffice integration. CryptPad adds privacy using encryption and can be self-hosted. It has only sheets as office apps but also kanban, HTML, poll, etc..
@ethan @yunohost

@chmod700 Nextcloud is pretty amazing. It supports calendaring, has a plugin for private location sharing if you're into that. I will admit to not having fully de-googlified yet either but the more Google cancels services I use, the easier it becomes I guess.

@jgoerzen It sounds like nextcloud would be perfect if it had office apps integrated as well. But then I see you can get collabora integrated with it. Maybe that's the path to getting my own google drive/calendar/docs.

@chmod700 yes indeed. I think they are preferring OnlyOffice now, but either way, collaborative editing and it works well.

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