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I Love Free Software Day is here: Share your love, software, and a video

by Devin Ulibarri Contributions Published on Feb 13, 2023 02:01 PM
I Love Free Software Day is here: Share your love, software, and a video

ILoveFS 2023

Each year on February 14, we join the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) in celebrating "I Love Free Software Day," the same day as Valentine's Day. It's an opportunity to say thank you for free software as well as express our appreciation for the countless members of our community who work tirelessly to make software freedom possible. This year, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has made a recipe for you that you can use to express such appreciation, as well as celebrate your love of free software online and on social media.

Image of person's profile framed in a heart at right. At left is the text: I love free software because it helps me make #ILoveFS video greeting cards like this one, and I can freely share all the software used to make it, too

Sharing is such a wonderful way to build and strengthen relationships with others. The freedom and ability to share, however, is not something that we can take for granted. Sharing takes effort, compassion, and courage.

The act of sharing takes effort because sharing anything requires us to take time out of our day to share with another person. It takes compassion because we must think of others and what their wants and/or needs may be. It also takes courage. This is because we must fight against our own doubt, battling against any feelings of failure or rejection. We must also courageously defend the freedom to share, as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) threaten to erode people's ability and opportunities to share, even among those living under the same roof.

During our most recent fundraiser, we focused on the "freedom to share." Over this fundraiser, I took a lot of time to consider what this particular freedom means. What does it mean to be able to share software with others? What are the implications for such a freedom in my daily life? I discovered a very detailed scholarly article on sharing that I found insightful. And then, just to put an ear to the ground, the FSF campaigns team asked passersby near our office in downtown Boston their perspectives on sharing and created videos of the most notable responses.

I also asked myself whether I exercise this particular freedom enough. Honestly speaking, even though the software I use on a daily basis is freely shareable, I too often fail to take the courageous step of offering my software to others. Perhaps you can relate?

Considering all of this, in anticipation of this year's I Love Free Software Day, I am sharing a recipe (along with source materials and links to download software) to create an "I Love Free Software Day video." I hope that you benefit from the results.

Here's the sample video:

The recipe

Get your ingredients

And here's how you can make your own version:

Image of a graphical interface of video editing software. At the top are menus; at the left are video clips; in the middle is an image of a person framed by a heart. Click the link to watch and listen to the how to video.

Make your video

With those tools installed, you can now follow these steps to create your own video:

  1. Open the "ilovefs23-with-text.kdenlivetitle" (title template) file with a text editor and edit the following:

a. Change <content url=""/>, to the path of your file (e.g. /home/gracefulgnu/Downloads/ilovefs-1080-just-pic.svg);

b. Change "Graceful Gnu, Free software advocate" (Name, affiliation) to your name and title;

c. Change "because..." to text that describes why you love free software;

  1. Open Kdenlive;

  2. From the "Project" menu, choose "Add Title Clip" and select the "ilovefs23-title-with-text.kdenlivetitle" file;

  3. Record your "I love free software" message, either using Kdenlive or another free webcam capturing software;

  4. From the "Project" menu, choose "Add Clip," find your newly recorded video, select it, and click "ok";

  5. Move the title clip from the "Project Bin" area to the "Video 1" area, and the recorded video from the "Project Bin" area to the "Video 2" area;

  6. Extend the title clip until it is as long as your recorded video;

  7. Do any polishing, effects, and other edits that you like (KdenLive makes this fun and easy);

  8. From the "Project" menu, choose "Render." From the dialogue, choose a free file format like WebM or Matroska, a name for your video, and click "render to file."

How to video

If you would rather watch the instructions than read them, please do so at:


Now that you have successfully created your unique "I love free software" video, it's time to share it! If you share on social media, please add the #ilovefs hashtag.

Special thanks!

This recipe would not have been possible without the work of the FSFE, who started I Love Free Software Day and created the SVGs. Thank you, FSFE! You can check out their celebrations and activities for this year as well as past years on their website.

The tools to create the video would not be possible without the teams of developers and their willingness to make their work fully shareable as free software.

Image and Video Copyright © 2023, Free Software Foundation, Inc., Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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