Unixstickers sells various stickers, clothing, and other merchandise branded with your favorite Linux distribution or featuring programming languages and other nerdy subjects. They’re the perfect provider of nerd laptop decor for the open source and programming enthusiast. I’ve ordered from them a few times, and here is my review of their merchandise.
Unixstickers donates 10 % of every sale to the organization that manages the open source projects that you choose to wear or use as your laptop decor. You can show off your operating system and software stack of choice and support the projects financially at the same time!
I bought the above “Powered by Debian” sticker for my Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro from Unixstickers some 14 months ago. It still looks as good as new on my laptop despite regular wear and tear. I did switch from Debian to Fedora back in December, but haven’t ordered new “Powered by Fedora” stickers until recently.
The photo of Tux (the Linux penguin logo) sticker covering up the Windows key on a laptop keyboard is from the Unixstickers website. (My own keyboard is too worn out to show off to the rest of the world.) My own Debian logo sticker looks just as good as it did for 14 months ago despite the daily use and tear the rest of the keyboard has suffered. I fully expected it to peel off within a few months and be all gross, and I’m genuinely surprised that it keeps on doing it’s job as well as it does.
Unixstickers has a wide range of stickers featuring different Linux distributions , *BSDs, and desktop environments available to cover up the Windows symbol on your keyboard. However, they’re all printed on a black background. Black should work for most keyboards, but I do wish they’d at least have a small selection available with a white or gray background as well to fit more keyboard designs.
While the Debian stickers I ordered over a year back was of excellent print quality, I wasn’t so lucky with my most recent purchase. I ordered a set of Fedora, FreeBSD, and GNOME stickers at the same time and all except the Fedora sticker were of a good quality.
In the above photo, you see two stickers from Unixstickers (left and right side), and a comparison sticker that I bought for thrice the price on eBay (center). This third-party sticker was most likely a unlicensed print of the Fedora logo that didn’t donate to the Fedora project, but I bought this one month before Unixstickers started selling Fedora branded stickers. You can see that the GNOME sticker from Unixstickers has a good print, but the Fedora sticker from them (left side) isn’t nearly as good as the GNOME sticker (right side). The colors are slightly off and although it doesn’t show well on the photo, it seems somewhat out of focus in real life. The off colors and cutting indicate that they may have been rushed a bit in production.
I did order the Fedora stickers within the first week of Unixstickers adding them to their catalog, so it might have been an issue with their first batch. I haven’t seen such quality issues with any other item from Unixstickers. The issues weren’t in any way critical, but it did bring down my overall impression with them just a bit.
Promotional T-shirts are usually made of cheap low-quality fabric and the print rarely survives more than a handful of tumbles in the washing machine. My closet is full of them. Unixstickers’ Ultimate line of T-shirts are on the other hand very soft and made of high-quality cotton. I have bought four of them over the last year, and they’ve become four of my favorite and most worn T-shirts since I got them.
I can happily report that the prints are still clearly discernible, although they have started to fade just a bit. I liked the gray edition of The Ultimate Debian T-shirt so much that I ordered a second one. I’ve worn it at least one day every week for the last year! I think that I will order more T-shirts from Unixstickers the next time I need to refresh the geeky section of my wardrobe. Assuming they add some good looking Fedora T-shirts by then, of course.
Unixstickers is also selling mugs, posters, and some other goods that I haven’t tested. However, based on the products I have bought from them, I’m comfortable with recommending them for all your stickers and other merchandising needs. I appreciate that they donate 10 % of every sale to the projects that you enjoy enough to decorate your valuable possessions and torso with. They offer an easy way to support the projects you like and get cool stuff at the same time.