Of course, Linux is open source. Most people mistakenly equate open source with “free,” as in pay nothing. Experienced Linux users know, however, that the open source concept separates the price of the software from the cost of obtaining enterprise-level modifications and support.
The notion of “free” does not mean there’s no cost to get it. Open source licenses prevent anyone from selling or owning the code. They allow the software to be used, modified and shared under defined terms and conditions.
In the open source sense, free software is free of proprietary drivers and related non-open source components. Not all Linux distros are “free” in this sense. ConnochaetOS is.
ConnochaetOS contains only free software; it includes no proprietary, non-free software. The developer removed non-free parts of the upstream distros and — where possible — replaced them with free counterparts.
That is perhaps one of this distro’s strongest characteristics. ConnochaetOS delivers a fully free GNU/Linux distro that is ideal for use on x86 computers with limited resources.
German developer Henry Jensen created the slack-n-free repository for ConnochaetOS. It contains many free replacements for Packages in the upstream distros with non-free parcels. For instance, he provides the Linux-libre kernel and complete free/libre versions of Mozilla’s Icecat, Icedove and Iceape.
Growing Slackware’s Roots
Slackware is the one of the oldest GNU/Linux distros still maintained and in popular use. At its core is a simple administrative design built around the command line interface, or CLI, rather than GUI-driven (graphical user interface) configuration tools.
This can make Slackware distros less user-friendly. ConnochaetOS improves upon this trait considerably. Still, this distro does not fully shed the harder-to-use mantra of other Slackware-based distros.
ConnochaetOS was last updated on May 12, 2015, with version 14.1. You can download it here. ConnochaetOS is a 32-bit only distro.