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Is it still possible to build a free operating system while staying free of Microsoft Github? We explore Github-free components here.

If we are remixing an existing distribution, the first thing we would need to do is find one that is systemd-free; systemd is developed on Github. Then among what's left, we would dismiss distros that are developed on Github such as Void Linux or Puppy.

This also applies to any BSD systems, very few of which have the goal of being fully free. LibreBSD was on Github, they may migrate or are hopefully in the process of migrating. HyperbolaBSD is the most promising distribution under FSF approval; the Linux kernel itself is under serious threat of moving to Github eventually (the Linux foundation has no fewer than 4 "Softies" running it-- not even counting Zemlin, who is fairly loyal to Microsoft.)

Note that [OS] means the project claims to be "Open Source", not Free software. This is notable because open source is co-opted by monopolies more often than Free software.

If the growth of this list diminishes your concern about Github, have a look at the Delete_Github page or Entwined_with_Github



  • GNU GRUB (GRUB2) -- thankfully, Github does not control GRUB, so if you have a Github-free operating system, you can use GRUB to boot it.
  • Syslinux (ISOLINUX) -- Syslinux and ISOLINUX let you boot from CD/DVD/USB; Syslinux also includes isohybrid, which lets you convert bootable ISO images to hybrid ISOs that can either be written to CD/DVD or directly with dd to hard drives and USB drives.

Command line utilities


Compilers and related tools

Display servers

  • -- the foundation of graphical GNU/Linux distros and more, is not based on Github.

Init systems

  • busybox-init -- people have used this in systemd-free experiments, possibly Steve Litt among them; like runit, this is a solution for people trying to find the most modest way to handle init.
  • sysvinit -- never defended as the most ideal init, relied on for many years by Debian and defended for another half decade by defenders of init freedom... while others pretend that nobody cares about it anymore.

Programming language interpreters

  • PyPy -- while the Python Foundation uses Github, PyPy not only avoids it but they also maintain compatibility with both Python 2 and more recent implementations.

Server software

Window managers

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