for a sustainable digital world

TheAlternative calendar

TheAlternative.ch is the digital arm of the Student Sustainability Commission of VSETH. Our goal is to draw attention to sustainable interaction with knowledge and culture in the digital age, and to encourage the use and comprehension of Free and Open Source Software (aka. FOSS), including but not limited to all things Linux. As such, we have become the primary Linux community at both the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and the University of Zürich. In order to draw interest and spread knowledge about FOSS, each semester we offer courses to introduce students to the basics of the Linux kernel and the various Linux-based operating systems, such as Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, Debian, Arch or even Gentoo. Furthermore, we promote similar open alternatives in other areas (such as Creative Commons, Public Domain, Project Gutenberg etc.) as well as fairness, data protection and privacy on the internet (such as Net Neutrality and Cryptography).

Why is Free Software important? In the 21st century, the significance of digital knowledge has undeniably grown to be of considerable importance and is continuing to find its way into more and more aspects of our everyday life, making it ever the more so essential to be able to freely access and use that knowledge. Most software projects created today are standing on the shoulders of giants, building on and/or utilizing algorithms and tools as components in order to create more complex and better software for the benefit of us all.

However, old intellectual property laws and paradigms, such as patents, copyright rules and Digital Rights Management (DRM) mechanisms, can and do inhibit the potential of software to be used in this way, forcing developers to build components from ground-up instead of being able to reuse previously developed components. To prevent this from occuring, one can use alternative software licenses (such as the GPL), which allow for the free reuse of software under various different conditions.

This, among many other aspects, is why we think it's important to have a sustainable approach to digital life.


LinuxDays

Learn about Linux and Free and Open Source Software, their benefits and potential. We also help you install Linux on your computer and help you make the first important steps.

LinuxDays

Stammtisch

Meet us in a casual atmosphere, have a beer and discuss upcoming technical trends. We also help if you run into trouble with Linux, just bring your computer.

Stammtisch

Contact us

Have any questions, or need help? Want to join the team? Click the button below to contact us. We will gladly answer any questions you might have.
 

Contact us