Is Ubuntu commited to free software?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Jun 9 20:08:02 UTC 2010

"Danny Piccirillo" <danny.piccirillo at> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 13:19, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at> wrote:
>> "Danny Piccirillo" <danny.piccirillo at> wrote:
>> >Of course it is! At least according to our philosophy:
>> >
>> >
>> >Still, many people don't think that Ubuntu is truly committed to free
>> >software in practice. These people can and should be our allies. Their
>> >concerns are valid, and they are not difficult to appease. I'd like to
>> >present a short list of simple ways that Ubuntu could show it's
>> commitment:
>> >
>> >1. Offer ways to easily purge all non-free software from one's system.
>> > * This would require supporting the linux libre kernel (it doesn't have
>> to
>> >be by default, but the option should be available.
>> No. It doesn't. That kernel removes the ability to run non-free drivers.
>> The exact same amount of non-free code runs if you don't have any installed.
>> Just about the last thing Ubuntu needs is the maintenance overhead of
>> another kernel that only serves ideological purposes.
>> There is already a free software only install option that not only will not
>> install anything non-free, it also disables the restricted and multiverse
>> repositories so that people who are concerned about this can safely install
>> new packages without fear of contamination.
>Yes, the free software only option is there, but isn't entirely free. That's
>what linux-libre is for. Linux libre should be the kernel for the free
>software install. Mainline Linux is not free because it includes binary-only
>firmwares hidden as source code files (or blobs)
Then these are bugs. They should be fixed. If the effort that's going into a political kernel fork were put into high quality patches more progress would be made. I suspect it's not because the fork is more about taking away people's freedom to run non-free code than it is about fixing problems with inadvertent problems with non-free bits in the kernel. 

Scott K

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