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Author: fsmithred
To: devuan-dev
Subject: Re: [devuan-dev] Free software question
On 6/15/19 3:18 AM, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> golinux@??? - 15.06.19, 01:50:
>> Someone posted the email copied below to the freedom.devuan.org
>> mailbox. I hoping that someone on this list could pen an answer and
>> post here for me to reply or directly if you have access there. I
>> really don't want to say something that's not quite right especially
>> since FSF is tangentially involved. Thanks.
> This may not be as easily answered as you think, cause ideally it would
> require an agreement on how Devuan project handles this.
> As far as I am aware to qualify the distro must be 100% free of any
> proprietary software and software that comes without source code, that
> includes any firmware blobs delivered with the Linux kernel.
> Also the distro has to have a policy to include only free software.

Oh, THAT list. Thanks for the well-informed explanation. The way things
have been, this is easy to answer - we include non-free firmware in the
installer isos, and if your hardware needs it, it will be installed unless
you tell it otherwise (in expert install).

In the live isos, the firmware is installed, there's a script that will
remove it, and the debs are included in case you remove one you need.

We have discussed the possibility of having a totally free repo available
for those who want it (with libre kernel) but that does not exist at this

> As much as I like to see free hardware, I trying to force the decision
> on whether or not to use non-free firmware onto users does not sound
> exactly like freedom to me either.

True. (Some people get very upset when you point out that bit of irony.)
I'm all in favor of letting the user choose.

> In any way, I see it as a tough ethical decision and can understand both
> sides here.
> Wow, this has been long, probably too long, but I really chose to
> highlight the conflicts behind this.

I thought it was just right. I trimmed a lot in my response, but I'll
leave your links.


> [1] Explaining Why We Don't Endorse Other Systems
> https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html
> Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG)
> https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html
> [2] Debian Social Contract
> https://www.debian.org/social_contract
> [3] GNU Linux-libre, Free as in Freedom
> https://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/selibre/linux-libre/
> Best,