As the headlines are filled with companies that abuse our digital liberties and autonomy through proprietary software, it's now more important than ever to dodge these so-called "features" and choose freedom instead. Use our Giving Guide to make an informed decision about that piece of tech you're giving your loved ones -- or yourself!
To minimize ecological waste and encourage free software adoption, we advise you to try running free software on a device you already own.
If you're unlucky enough to get a gift that doesn't respect your freedom, you can still help others avoid it by documenting its ethical pitfalls. And if you're a strongly technical user, the Guide also lists devices that need a little help or development to cross the freedom "finish line."
You can help others know which devices to avoid by documenting hardware you own that does or doesn't work with free software in the h-node database.
Join a growing community of volunteers to help individuals choose hardware compatible with their freedom, even if they don't have Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification.
Freedom is the gift that keeps on giving. By giving your friend or family member an FSF associate membership, you can show them you care and benefit the cause for global software freedom. Or, add it to your wishlist and let your own friends and family know you want to support the FSF!
As a special initiative to make our membership program more accessible to more people, we've launched the friends membership tier, a way to bring yourself or your loved one into our free software community.
Visit the siteReplicant Project
Why it's cool: The Vikings D8 is a robust desktop computer that can be scaled up or down according to your needs, and which is capable of doing everything from simple Web browsing and video playback to intense code compilation.
You can order the Vikings D8 installed with the preferred Trisquel distribution of GNU/Linux, a fully free operating system that removes the user-hostile binary-only blobs lurking in the drivers of many common network and graphics cards, or, if you prefer, you can order the D8 installed with any other free distribution of GNU/Linux.
As it's currently out of stock, consider asking your friendly, neighborhood hacker to install a free GNU/Linux distribution and a free BIOS on your current machine. Better yet, find the D8's motherboard (KMCA-D8) or a Lenovo X200 laptop and ask them to do the same!
Why it's cool: Trying to get closer to 100% free but stuck with a proprietary Wi-Fi card? Just plug this into your USB port and you're ready to go.
Why it's cool: Contrary to popular belief, we do have Bluetooth here in the free world. This USB adapter will help you use your Bluetooth devices without resorting to nonfree firmware.
Each and every day, free software reaches more devices and is used in more interesting contexts. While we haven't evaluated these products specifically in our RYF program, we're including mentions of certain communities who are going in the right direction when it comes to freedom, but who aren't fully there yet. They're already making waves, but need the help of developers or technical users in crossing the freedom "finish line" to full acceptability.
If you know of a project or company we've missed who are earnestly working to free their devices, but who need a little help in doing so, please let us know!
Despite the efforts of companies like Spotify, we can still dance to music in the free world. Thanks to the artists, producers, record labels, and shops highlighted on on our Guide to DRM-free Living, the rights-respecting options are nearly endless. Check out music from great labels and artists, including:
Apple Music is no better, and places heavy restrictions on the music streamed through the platform.
Over the past few years, many people have unfortunately become more dependent on streaming media. But it's important to remember how streaming services can deprive you of important rights. Dis-services like Disney+ and Netflix mandate the use of a hardware-level backdoor called Widevine, giving them permanent access into deep components of your machine. Don't be swayed by them -- even if your access is gratis and "ad-supported."
Widevine prohibits these services from running on many older devices, leaving families who can't afford a new computer or a new television out in the cold.
Try these video services and sites instead:
Visit the Guide to DRM-free Living for more suggestions on how to stay a film lover and keep your freedom at the same time.
The FSF's long-running h-node project has recently seen an uptick in activity, and we need your help to document how well free software runs on common devices.
By registering an account on h-node and filling out listings for your hardware, you can help newcomers to the free software movement select hardware that will make their transition as easy as possible. You can also participate in the h-node community by joining the #h-node channel on the Libera.Chat IRC network.
If you're in the Boston area and would like to volunteer some time in support of free software and the FSF's mission, get in touch with us! We're always in need of help stuffing envelopes, scanning copyright assignments, and more. One great place to get involved in volunteering is our upcoming LibrePlanet 2024 conference.
Do you have a product that you think is eligible for RYF certification? Read our information for hardware vendors to find out.
The Giving Guide is brought to you by the Free Software Foundation. Our associate membership program is the heart of the FSF's work campaigning for computer user freedom worldwide. If you're still looking for a gift, and want to put your money towards digital freedom, please consider becoming a member or donating to another charity supported by your friend or loved one.
We've been fighting for digital freedoms since 1985, and have no plans of stopping. The work we do year-round is work to provide more and better options for gifts: spreading the message of software freedom, as well as helping retailers do the right thing and promoting the work of those who do. It's your support that makes this work possible.
This page by the Free Software Foundation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.
The graphics and photos used on this page have been modified by the Free Software Foundation and are licensed separately under the following terms: