By being Open Source, elementary OS can benefit from superior security and privacy over closed source software. When the source code is available to audit, anyone in the community — whether a security researcher, a concerned user, or an OEM shipping the OS on their hardware — can ensure the software is secure and not collecting or leaking personal information.
If your app could benefit from a system API or feature that’s not yet available, you can help write that feature into the OS. Similarly, you might be curious as to how a feature or design pattern in elementary OS was made. Instead of guessing or trying to reimplement it on your own, you can just look at the underlying source code for a definitive answer.
Pantheon Desktop Shell
elementary makes a point to send funds back to the projects we rely on. When you purchase a copy of elementary OS, you're also supporting great projects like these.
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