WHO ARE WE?
We are a bunch of volunteers trying to make everyone aware that the game we play (Game of Trade) is creating most of today’s problems: from corruption to violence, hunger to bad products, data collection to privacy invasion, human made climate change to waste, and so forth. It simply throws people into a Monopoly-kind of game where everyone has to “trade”: do something to obtain something else. This imbalance of power between those who need/want and those who have/provide makes human beings behave very badly (hoard resources, create poor quality products, lie, deceive, abuse, etc.). We explain in detail, and well sourced, all of this line of thinking and solutions to combat this primitive type of society, on www.tromsite.com, since 2011.
We’re not only creating awareness about this issue, but we create solutions (as much as we can). The antidote for a Trade-Based society, is a Trade-Free society, and we are creating trade-free goods and services. In today’s world the notion of “free” has lost all of its meaning. FaceBook proclaims to be “free” but they collect your data in order to let you use their service; YouTube shoves ads into your face and proclaims to be “free”; Android is a promoter for Google products and labels itself in the same manner. These are money-free, cryptocurrency-free, and so forth, but NOT trade-free. They want something from you (a trade). And this power struggle makes these companies lie, deceive, harm. This is why we struggle to make people aware of this confusion. When something is trade-free, it means it wants nothing from its “users”. Like no collection of data, no wanting for people’s attention or currency, and so forth.
And that’s why when we label our stuff as “trade-free” we make sure it is clear that we do not want anything from anyone. We just do stuff. This is the purest form of free and the most honest one.
WHY CUSTOMIZE MANJARO?
Indeed Manjaro can be seen as trade-free since they do not collect people’s data, ask them for money in order to use their operating system, and so forth. However they promote trade-based applications in their default Manjaro installations such as Steam, Microsoft Office, or Skype – and maybe other packages too. These packages want something from people (a trade) – either money, or data, or attention. Steam wants users to give them money in return for accessing games, Skype wants people’s attention (ads) or data, and Microsoft Office engages into similar trades. Therefore we removed all of such packages and only kept (plus added) trade-free packages. On top of this we enabled AUR by default – we want for users to be able to find a lot more applications by default instead of explaining to them how to enable it. We understand that this is a “security” concern in the Linux world, however it pales in comparison to people searching “.exe” files online to install on Windows. AUR is a very safe place from our understanding and from our testing pretty much every application from AUR works in Manjaro. We also have our own repository with a few packages, that’s integrated into TROM-Jaro.
WHAT EXACTLY DID WE CHANGE?
You can access our build profile here (meaning you can build TROM-Jaro yourself). We tried to keep TROM-Jaro as minimalist as possible and let people use our APPS section to install whatever they wish from our curated trade-free package list.
Notable “apps” that TROM-Jaro comes pre-installed with:
- Deja Dup and Timeshift for backups.
- Disk Usage Analyzer, Disks, and GParted for having complete control over “disks”
- Firefox and we tweaked it for privacy concerns to help users stay away from online trades such as data trade and attention trade. We opted out from sending data to Firefox and installed a few extensions for privacy and better usability: Absolute Enable Right Click & Copy (so that users are not forced into this trade-off of not being able to right click a website); Decentraleyes (protects you against tracking through “free”, centralized, content delivery); Firefox Lightbeam (it shows what websites collect about you and how websites are connected with each other in a nice graph – needs to be enabled); Fixed Zoom (to set up page zoom for all pages – for those with very high monitor resolutions); Google search link fix (prevents Google and Yandex search pages from modifying search result links when you click them); HTTPS Everywhere (to force the delivery of encrypted connections); Privacy Badger (blocks invisible trackers); KeePassXC-Browser (to allow for integration of KeePassXC password manager with Firefox); Middle Mouse Button Scroll (for fast scrolling); Open Tabs Next to Current; Reverse Image Search (right click an image to reverse search it – great for research); YouTube Stop AutoPlay Next; uBlock Origin (to remove ads); Video DownloadHelper (to download videos from hundreds of websites – this requires a separate “app” installed on the system and TROM-Jaro comes with it pre-installed – so, all set-up); Wayback Machine (you can find pages that were deleted from the internet, or roll-back and see how a website looked years or months ago, or can archive websites/pages; we use it to archive all sources/links for TROM ebooks); Yay! Another Speed dial! (for when users open a new Firefox tab, to be able to sort our bookmarks/saved websites into folders – we added a few TROM links here for ease of access).
- EOM as image viewer
- GNOME Mpv and SMPlayer to view video files (one is a very simple player and one a very complex one – for all needs) – we also customized SMPlayer to look better and to integrate into the system’s theme.
- LibreOffice for all document needs
- EasyStroke for those who want to transform their mouse into a “gesture power house”
- Cheese for webcam
- Flameshot because it is hands-down the best screenshot tool in the world
- KeePassXC becasue (again) is probably the best password manager in the world
- SyncThing to share files between computers
- MintStick to easily create bootable USB sticks or format USB sticks
- Transmission and WebTorrent to download and view/play torrent files
On top of this we did some tweaks to how the system looks: we use Zafiro icons and Vimix theme. Both are really great and well supported. They fit our “flat” TROM-Jaro design. We also added a bunch of gorgeous flat wallpapers and a few Gnome Extensions (some are enabled some are not):
- Unite (to add a bunch of functionalities like removing the unnecessary top window bar when a window is maximized)
- Volume Scroll (to allow for simple control of the volume by scrolling anywhere on the top bar)
- ToDo (for an easy to use ToDo list – for us at TROM this extension is super useful)
- No Topleft Hot Corner (because this can cause a lot of confusion – it gets triggered by mistake so many times)
- Do Not Disturb Time (because you should have control over notifications – when to show and when not)
- Audio Output Switcher (because you shouldn’t navigate 3-4 menus to be able to switch between audio devices)
- Appfolders Management extension (this one should be default in Gnome itself – it allows you to sort installed applications into folders)
- Desktop Icons (for those who want to add icons to the desktop – you need to enable)
- Notifications Alert (so that desktop notifications stay active until you see/dismiss them)
- Tweaks in System Menu (adding the Tweaks shortcut to the main top-right Gnome panel)
And lastly we added a bunch of fonts to the system that are useful when editing TROM ebooks.