Is Ubuntu commited to free software?
kingj.linuxmlsts at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 20:49:34 UTC 2010
I think that providing a completely free install option with the Linux-libre kernel would be more trouble than it's worth. As a couple have pointed out, it could cause more accessibility issues and would require resources for its upkeep that could be better used elsewhere.
There is a completely free Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distro called Trisquel that uses the Linux-libre kernel and applies a filter to Ubuntu's repos to build its own. It is, from my experience a great, pretty user-friendly distro. I think those that the option would really matter to would and should just use Trisquel. I would love to see it become Canonical-sponsored or promoted, but that's up to them.
Ubuntu is targeted at a more mainstream user; that user more than likely wants his computer to just work, even if that means proprietary software and/or binary blobs. One of those driver blobs could mean the difference between 'Happy Ubuntu Convert' and 'Failed Ubuntu Convert'. Trisquel is aimed at a user who is uncompromising in his/her pursuit of complete software freedom; IMO a great goal and one that we should all work towards, but not one that really encompasses the average computer user at this point.
Danny Piccirillo <danny.piccirillo at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>Upstream linux is not free. That is why LinuxLibre was created.
>I have doubts that this was unintentional. Here's a list of nonfree stuff in
>On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 16:08, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> wrote:
>> "Danny Piccirillo" <danny.piccirillo at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> > On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 13:19, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com>
>> >> "Danny Piccirillo" <danny.piccirillo at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> >> >Of course it is! At least according to our philosophy:
>> >> >http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/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
>> >> 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
>> >> 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
>> >> install anything non-free, it also disables the restricted and
>> >> repositories so that people who are concerned about this can safely
>> >> new packages without fear of contamination.
>> >Yes, the free software only option is there, but isn't entirely free.
>> >what linux-libre is for. Linux libre should be the kernel for the free
>> >software install. Mainline Linux is not free because it includes
>> >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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