Monday, 23 April 2012

Distro Developers Need Dollars!

Sabayon Linux Donation Page
These are hard times, and a lot of people are hurting financially. Jobs and money are hard to come by, and many folks are just getting by. It turns out that even your favorite distro developers could use a few bucks to help them keep churning out new & updated distros for desktop use.
I write a lot of distro reviews, as you can imagine, and I often see distro developers soliciting donations to help support their work. As you may already know, an enormous amount of work goes into developing the desktop distros that we all know and love. It takes a lot of time, effort and energy to maintain and improve a Linux distribution.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to discuss why it makes sense to financially help your favorite distro developers. The first page of this column shows why it’s a good idea to contribute to your favorite distro developers, and the second page has a list of distro donation links that you can use to make contributions.

Sabayon Linux Donation Page
Disclaimer: Giving & Volunteering
Please note that I totally understand if some folks are not financially in a position to help by making a donation.
As I noted above, many people are facing tough times. This column is not an attempt to guilt-trip anybody into donating money; I just wanted to explore the issues surrounding donations and to encourage those who really can afford it to give a few bucks to their favorite distro.
So please bear that in mind as you read this column.
If you aren’t able to make a donation, you might also want to consider contacting the developer of your favorite distro and ask him/her if you can assist them with development/documentation/etc. work as a volunteer. That can be a great way to make a contribution too.
Different Kinds of Distro Developers
There are different kinds of distro developers. Some, like the folks that make Ubuntu and other distros, have strong corporate backing and thus don’t require much in the way of user donations.
But others, however, are independent people that give a lot of themselves to the larger Linux community by customizing distros to add extra value and choice. It’s these folks who labor quietly in the background who can probably use a donation or two.
Even a small donation can help defray costs and provide a little compensation to those who do all of the development and packaging work for a desktop Linux distribution.
Pinguy OS Donation Page
Pinguy OS Donation Page
Nothing In Life is Really Free
I know that there are some out there who might scoff at the very idea of giving money to a distro developer and who think “hey, it’s free software! Why should I pay to use it?” Well let’s face it; nothing in life is really free.
It takes a lot of work to create or customize a desktop Linux distribution, and then more work to maintain it over time. While it’s very true that no payment is required by most distro developers, it’s also true that most of them would probably appreciate a little tip here or there from users.
Ads & Ad Blockers
There seem to be a few distro sites that run advertising to help defray the costs of development. If you are running an ad blocker while visiting those sites, I encourage you to turn off your ad blocker or whitelist those sites.
Linux Mint Donation Page
Linux Mint Donation Page
Every little bit helps so if you can let a few ads load in your browser, and even click a few you are interested in then you might be able to help support your favorite distros without even having to make a donation.

Distro Developer Donation Pages
Here’s a list of distro developer donation pages or links for those who want to make a quick donation. This list is in alphabetical order and the links go to either a donation page on the distro’s site or to a PayPal or other donation link.
This list is by no means comprehensive, I consider it just a start. If I missed any particular distro in this list, please feel free to put a link to its donation page or PayPal or whatever in the comments section below. I can add those links to the main list.
Hopefully folks will see these links and make a contribution to their favorite distros.
I am sure that all of these distro developers will appreciate any donation that you make, regardless of the amount.