Free software for remote working

A lot of us are now suddenly thrust into fully remote work environments. Purism shared their stack of free and open source tools.

My personal situation is tougher, since my colleagues and I have to agree upon our tools, and some of that conversation is informed by access: both what our college pays for, but also the larger university.

For instance, we’re a Windows shop. Rather impressively, Office 365 allows me to get a ton done in the browser.

I’ve been using the non-free (and perhaps sinister) Zoom for web conferencing because it runs flawlessly on Linux. WebEx is horrific if not impossible. I actually now run WebEx calls in a virtual Windows 10 partition. I’d like to experiment with Jitsi, which is free and open source, and looks as easy as anything. Hacker News had a very useful thread on it.

I spend a certain part of each day in the Windows partition, but if it’s not for WebEx, it’s usually for relatively minor formatting issues, either with Word or Excel. I was using Boxes for virtualization, but while it’s simple, it seemed to run slowly and didn’t handle sound very well. VirtualBox feels much more robust.

My Cowin E7 Bluetooth headphones are fussy. Connecting both audio and mic can take a few tries. I don’t know if that’s Linux or the nature of Bluetooth.

But in general, Linux is getting me through, just like always!

Free software for remote working | Purism