FOSS can’t be used for business or daily tasks.

I have seen this argument over and over on Facebook, and elsewhere online. I have just created a project, and this is what I have used from hosting the site to producing content.

  1. The Webserver: Using Ubuntu, Nginx, PHP and MariaDB – all Free Open Source
  2. The CMS: WordPress (Obviously) – FOSS
  3. Creating Podcasts: OBS, Audacity and Kdenlive, LibreOffice – Free Open Source Software.
  4. Manipulating images for the podcast and website: GIMP – FOSS again.
  5. Cloud storage/Calander/Contacts/uploading photos from iPhone – Nextcloud – FOSS – see the pattern here…..
  6. Webmail: Yes I do host my own webmail client, it is Roundcube – FOSS.
  7. The OS I’m using – Linux Mint – FOSS, last time I looked.

OK admittedly  – I am a one-man company – so I can get away with this, but that’s not to say, it’s impossible. I wasn’t intending to see if I could produce a project just using FOSS  – it just happened.

If I used proprietary software, this would be the cost:

  • Windows Server 2019 Standard – £699
  • Commerical CMS (craftCMS) – £215 (per project)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud  –  £596
  • Office 365 – £182
  • Windows 10 Pro  – £220

Total cost for a year – £1912 PER MACHINE

I would have achieved the SAME results, but be out of pocket. I will admit this though – I am a pragmatic user of FOSS, not an ideological user, what was interesting when I was creating the podcasts for YouTube, there were online tools to do the job – but thanks to VLC player having visualisation – AND that OBS can record the desktop or even just a window – I was able to make my own – admittedly at the rate of 1 second per second – I was able to do it using VLC – and NOT break the GPL. I was using it for a different purpose than what it should be used for. I was able to get creative on how to use these programs!

The software was free to use and gave me the freedom to use it as I see fit. If I had the technical knowhow – I could have added a visualisation feature in OBS for myself…… and sent the patch upstream to Github.

The TL:DR –

You CAN use FOSS for daily production in business!