What do you get the open source enthusiast that has everything? More open source, of course! We asked our community of contributors to share their favorite gift ideas. The end of the year is full of holiday spirit, but these gifts are perfect for any reason or season.
I would love to recommend the Digirule2. I want one for myself! Unfortunately, they are out of stock.
The Digirule2 is an 8-bit programmable minimal instruction set computer in the style of the Altair 8800, where you enter a program in machine code. It’s a great way to explore programming, or to teach others how programming works at the hardware level with machine code. Every program instruction is an 8-bit binary code that you enter via switches and LEDs on the ruler. You can enter programs with up to 256 instructions.
Since I was unable to buy one, I wrote an 8-bit programmable minimal instruction set computer for Linux, called the Toy CPU.
Linux screensavers for Windows machines
Give the gift of one of these two Linux distributions that run as screensavers for Microsoft Windows systems.
Price is $0. Download them here:
For java lovers
For the open source developer who loves coffee, the Spinn is amazing.
Raspberry pi alternative
The ODROID-H3 is a single board computer billed as a Raspberry Pi killer. It’s selling for $165.
If you've made the leap to Mastodon, set up a monthly donation to your home server.
Open source router
The open source router Turris Omnio.
- OpenWRT based
- Performant hardware
- Not quite cheap though
Standard Ebooks produces new editions of public domain ebooks with really nice formatting, an open source workflow, have no DRM, and cost $0 to download. They essentially provide the finishing touches for the work started by Project Gutenberg. One of these ebooks could be a nice $0 gift (in the event that you’re strapped for cash) for somebody who loves reading the classics or obscure.
Every open source enthusiast needs a copy of Virus Bomb and Bullseye Breach. Enjoy the fiction. Use the education. Jerry Barkley is just an IT contractor trying to earn a living and feed his family. He never worked for the government. He’s no superhero. But reactions to the cyberattack scenarios he runs up against and the solutions he comes up with are as real as can be. Maybe real superheroes are ordinary people who step up when called.
Music makes a great gift. Think about buying interesting music in open formats - FLAC, or vinyl(!!!) for example - for your friends and loved ones.
Open source essentials
Open source swag from projects like the Open Source Initiative and Freewear would make an excellent gift. Freewear donates proceeds from each t-shirt purchase back to the project.
- A Raspberry Pi
- Stickers from your favorite conference or project
- Project donations and memberships
Another idea is to finally make that code contribution you’ve been putting off. That's a gift to a loved one who uses the software (and to the project’s maintainers).
If you're still unsure of what to get, download and print one of our many eBooks or cheat sheets for that special someone in your life.