How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

Do I have to run GNU?

March 11, 2024 — Tatsumoto Ren

If you've made the decision to start AJATT, you might be curious about why it suggests upgrading to the GNU operating system. The answer is quite simple. The GNU system and Libre/free software, by their nature, are inherently more constructive and extensible.

We prefer GNU/Linux because it just makes everything easier. It's more user-friendly, which is great for beginners. This means you won't have to jump through all the hoops like people do on Windows. With more simple and convenient software, you can carry out your everyday tasks swiftly and efficiently. For instance, in i3wm, you can set up key bindings to perform any task with just a few keypresses. Most of the time, you won't even need a mouse. I have a binding that lets me add an image to an Anki card with just one keypress or extract text from a manga page with another keypress.

There's also more software for Japanese available on GNU. Some tools like impd, transformers_ocr, and gd-tools, which are covered in our Japanese guide, only work on GNU. While Windows offers a wide range of software, much of it is either useless or comes with malicious features.

If you're debating whether installing the GNU operating system is worth it, consider that it only takes about 20 minutes to do so. Mastering a foreign language will take years, so this is a good investment. In return, you'll save hours each week on various tasks.

Tags: faq