FSF adds PureOS to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions

50 Antworten [Letzter Beitrag]
davidpgil
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Beigetreten: 08/26/2015
chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

I was curious to see if Purism had started conflating this with their non-free hardware yet. They don't yet mention the FSF endorsement, but I had forgotten just how slimy they are.

https://puri.sm/products/librem-15/

No mention of the fact that only the OS is free. They don't even disclose what BIOS it uses. (Last I heard it was Coreboot.) And I love sentences like these:

"Every hardware and software component—and everything we do—is in line with our belief in respecting your rights to privacy, security, and freedom."

They don't say "Every hardware and software component respects your rights to privacy, security, and freedom." because that wouldn't be true, but unless you read very carefully that's how you would interpret it.

"The first 15.6″ laptop designed to protect your digital life" is great too. Let's act like this product is the first of its kind because similar products have different dimensions.

"Purism Key: A powerful key to search your computer and applications" It's literally just a WIN key with a rectangle on it instead. Not a freedom issue, but come on.

"Every hardware chip individually selected with emphasis on freedom-respecting"

Again, they don't say "Every hardware chip freedom-respecting" because that wouldn't be a true, but if you didn't know anything about Purism and had no context you'd read it that way.

"Comes with the most rights-respecting operating system" Pure OS is FSF-endorsed, but how is it *more* rights-respecting than other FSF-endorsed distros?

"The first high-end 15″ laptop that respects your privacy, security, and freedom." Here they start to border on explicitly lying. "Respects your freedom" to many people has a specific meaning that does does not apply to this product.

The end. No where in the entire page do they disclose that this is not a libre product, and every sentence is carefully crafted to mislead the reader into thinking that it is. What a scam.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

It's a shame, because if they were upfront about the freedom issues with their products the way Technoethical is

https://tehnoetic.com/mobile-devices/tet-n2

I might recommend them to people who want a mostly libre system but are willing to make some compromises to have more modern hardware. Unfortunately, their lack of transparency makes them untrustworthy, and I could not direct people to them with a clear conscience.

davidpgil
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Beigetreten: 08/26/2015

Why would the FSF endorse PureOS if Purism was creating a malicious distro? I don't understand your arguments.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

You're confusing PureOS, which is libre and warrants FSF endorsement, with Librem laptops, which are not and do not. This is not your fault, but a result of Purism being intentionally misleading at every opportunity.

Takumi13
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Beigetreten: 07/03/2016

I understand their arguments: They are envy! Because no one is more pure than them and their software whatever Os they are using!
I said in the past, and that's the main reason for me to leave Trisquel community that that thing of free software is just a concept, an ideal... In practical terms it's impossible to be totally free as it is impossible to be totally Good or Bad: total Impossible!
We are interdependent and conjugated with so many things in life that we could not say so, that we are free, that we are 100% goods and so on... It takes being very much credulous to believe in it! This obsession with the concept "free software" then degenerate very quickly to other fields, with people assuming very sect-alike and fanaticism behaviour. I always maintain: "free software" is just a concept, an ideal that doesn't meet the real world.
With that said and referring me to the topic: I am very content that FSF endorsed this OS. Anyway I think they always have to broaden their concept of "free software", and not be so picky on that,or they will not have a list any more in the future... I will try pureOS in one of my machines, or more sincerely I will buy another just to test this very interesting OS. This is

gnush
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Beigetreten: 12/19/2017

It is quite strange. I realize PureOS has been a topic of discussion for a while regarding an addition to the gnu.org recommended gnu/linux distros, but there are so many free as in freedom distributions that I'm sure have been waiting approval at this point.

I also realize the difficulty in deeming a distribution 100% free as in freedom. It is likely quite a bit of work, and they probably don't have many people working on approving distributions.

I was also disappointed to see they are making the move from SysV init to systemd, but I am certainly pleased nonetheless to see that more free as in freedom gnu/linux distributions are being added to the list.

onpon4
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Beigetreten: 05/30/2012

I don't think any other GNU distro is currently seeking endorsement.

Christianity
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Beigetreten: 10/09/2012

Uruk and Hyperbola aren't?

gd_scania
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Beigetreten: 09/13/2017

Uruk and Hyperbola are GNU systems surely, which they are surely committing for our philosophy for freedom.

gnush
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Beigetreten: 12/19/2017

ConnochaetOS, Uruk, Hyperbola, CloverOS, Heads.

I haven't spoken with any of those developers in quite some time, especially ConnochaetOS, but I know the last time I did they were all seeking certification.

Clarification: I am not associated with the community, or development of any of the distributions I listed. I have simply heard at some point or another that all the distributions I listed were at some point seeking certification sometime within the past 3 years.

fbit

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2013

Is there no page to see which distros have requested fsf endorsement? It would be good if there was a transparent "waiting list" which included the dates when each request was made.

gnush
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Beigetreten: 12/19/2017

A page of that sort does not appear to exist, unfortunately.

calher

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Beigetreten: 06/19/2015

A waiting list could be too easy to misconstrue as endorsement.

ryanpcmcquen
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Beigetreten: 12/16/2016

FreeSlack is.

GrevenGull
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Beigetreten: 12/18/2017

What is systemd? And why do you dislike it?

Magic Banana

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010

Please read the thread, which had better stay dead imho. The lengthy discussion about systemd start here: https://trisquel.info/forum/fsf-adds-pureos-list-endorsed-gnulinux-distributions?page=1#comment-125187

davidpgil
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Beigetreten: 08/26/2015

The FSF article states that Purisms hardware is still not approved. I think its just the reality of tryign to run a business that costs millions of dollars to keep afloat. They are AIMing to be pure and I think at least cleaning up the distro is a great step in showing that. Its generally quite difficult.impossible right now to create an appealing computer these days with fully open hardware - See EOMA68. I think the mainstream Linux world is trying to be Libre but they are also trying to survive so they can keep trying. I'm referring to System 76 and Purism basically.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

> The FSF article states that Purisms hardware is still not approved.

Yes, the FSF was very clear. I wish that Purism were equally transparent.

> its just the reality of tryign to run a business that costs millions of dollars to keep afloat.

Minifree manages to survive selling only freedom respecting products. Technoethical sells some products that are not 100% libre, but they are extremely upfront about it so that potential customers are not mislead. Compare the Purism page I linked to to the Technoethical page I linked to.

> cleaning up the distro is a great step

It's Debian based. Once you remove the non-free and contrib repositories from Debian there is no more "cleaning up" to do as far as freedom goes.

> Its generally quite difficult.impossible right now to create an appealing computer these days with fully open hardware

That's why pretending to have free hardware is dangerous. Why would anyone support libreboot or EOMA68 if they don't understand why such efforts are necessary?

0d54770d

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Beigetreten: 04/09/2016

Most of the criticism of Purism that I see on this forum is a textbook example of bikeshedding; rather than focusing efforts on criticizing the people who explicitly, knowingly, and unapologetically make and endorse proprietary software, those efforts are used to criticize a company about whom I can find no clear example of intentional fraud. Fraud is not saying something false; fraud is when you know that a statement is false, but proclaim it to be true anyway. If someone can point out a clear example of Purism doing that, please show me some documentation thereof.

And I don't mean an example of them promising something that they later determined they would be unable to deliver; only those who have been involved in the fabrication of any kind of computing device would be able to fully understand the complexities of funding, designing, sourcing, delivery, and distribution of such items, to the point where they would be able to understand how unforeseen obstacles can derail months of progress.

Quite frankly, they've accomplished more since Purism's inception than the Trisquel project has (in that same amount of time), as far as furthering the cause of free software goes, and this FSF distribution endorsement is further proof of that. More proof comes in the form of the TPM/heads, disabling (not merely "cleaning") the Intel ME, that they have official Debian developers working on PureOS, as well as their own Coreboot port (for which they are working to reverse-engineer the Intel FSP, as well as the VBIOS). There are probably other things that I either forgot, or else don't have the room to mention here (due to space constraints).

No, their laptops are not perfect now, but please show me a place where they state/imply that they are. They are doing the best they can with modern technology, and all of their efforts supporting free software, as well as their progress (not to mention the money and time invested), prove that they aren't just taking everyone for a ride.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

> No, their laptops are not perfect now, but please show me a place where they state/imply that they are.

I already have. The page I linked to

https://puri.sm/products/librem-15/

implies that the laptop has no freedom issues as strongly as possible without making any explicitly false statements. The language tows the line so carefully that it is obvious that the intention is to mislead. If you didn't know anything about Purism you would almost certainly interpret this page has saying that the laptop is libre.

In order to find out what BIOS it uses, you have to click "compare specifications with our other models" which is the last thing on the page. That takes you here,

https://puri.sm/products/

and the second to last thing on that page discloses that it uses coreboot. Even then, their wording is "Say goodbye to proprietary BIOSes, say hello to coreboot," clearly implying that coreboot is not a proprietary BIOS, when they know that it contains proprietary blobs.

You'd have to be deliberately obtuse to argue that Purism is honest.

0d54770d

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Beigetreten: 04/09/2016

Your reply was everything I expected it to be; thanks for showing me that unfair bias is still alive and well!

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

I have no issues with Purism except for the way they promote their laptops, so I don't know what prior experience could be biasing me against the way they promote their laptops.

Have you read the page I linked to yet? It's not like I'm cherry picking a few potentially misleading quotes from what is otherwise transparent and informative. Can you find a single sentence pertaining to freedom that does not falsely imply that the laptop is 100% libre? The closest I can find is this one:

"PureOS, from the bootloader, kernel, through to the hundreds of thousands of software applications available, is built line-by-line with emphasis on your rights to privacy, security, and freedom."

That sentence only makes a claim about the OS, which is libre, so I don't have a problem with it, although it does seem to imply that every line of code in PureOS was either written by Purism or written by another developer motivated by privacy, security, and freedom, neither of which is the case.

I don't see how anyone can look at that page and claim that it isn't misleading, and the misleading language is so consistent, effective, and well-written that I can't imagine that it isn't intentional. Am I just going crazy?

Jabjabs
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Beigetreten: 07/05/2014

I have said for a while that I feel Purism has some good intentions but they mess up the message so badly some times.

Their business interests butt up against the moral ones and they let the business side win.

I'm sure if they could make fully-Libre hardware they will be the first to jump on but so far they are putting out a somewhat misleading image of their products.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

They could make a libre laptop, but the specs would have to be lower. I don't mind that they compromise on freedom for more modern hardware. It's not ideal, but there is a set of people who would be unwilling to use any of the machines supported by libreboot, and I would much rather they use PureOS + Coreboot - Intel ME than a Macbook Pro or some other atrocity.

However, potential users of Purism's products should know exactly how they would be compromising their freedom so that they can make an informed decision, and it is Purism's responsibility to inform them. Otherwise, even if they learn about some of the freedom issues on our own, they won't know how many more there are that they don't know about unless they have the knowledge and time required to investigate.

If, like Technoethical, Purism clearly documented the freedom limitations of their products, I would have no problem with them, and I bet they would still be very successful.

ivanB1975
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Beigetreten: 08/29/2017

I have to agree with you in here, but what do expect from some people that apply the concept of freedom in hardware and software so strictly that some of them use old hardware in the hope (they seem to forget the blobs on the storage...) to have complete freedom? When they call you troll I have to agree with them since you come here with perfectly nice intentions but completely ignoring that nobody here want to listen what you are saying.
I admire people that pursue an ideal of freedom like Mr. Stallman, but at the same time I am questioning the black and white narrow minded behaviours that some time I see here. Time ago I published some post on how to use the me_cleaner on a recent hardware. Apart for some people it got mostly ignored.
At the moment I am writing from the laptop that I freed from ME and it is a quad core i7.
In this post I would have preferred to see people saying: oh ok The FSF endorsed the Pure OS, let's try it, let's see if it is a good system. How the hell can they support recent graphical cards (do they?), and so on. No again the same stuff here, Purism an evil company that makes profit and so on. The post started very nicely with an informative intent and now it is just unreadable, lost, trolled. Guys who of you tried Pure OS? I think I will give it a try. Why not?

calher

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Beigetreten: 06/19/2015

It depends on if that particular hard drive model gets UPDATES.

If it doesn't, it can be exempt from being classified as a computer.

ivanB1975
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Beigetreten: 08/29/2017

yep but the doubts about this should make people be less strict in black and white classifications. You cannot say that a x200 is completely free if you don't know anything about some parts of it. It is nonsense. It is a grayish field where there are many degree of freedom and not just black and white. The perfect free hardware is something you build and design knowing everything of it. Does it exist? no.
Even the bunnie project (https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=2686) in the already far away 2012 is not completely free since you need to use storage disk that you ignore at all what is inside.
A completely free system would be the bunnie project without storage, loading the Os from a cd for example...

Time4Tea
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Beigetreten: 07/16/2017

Your post doesn't do anything to address or refute the claims that Mason made. Purism have a track record of being misleading when it comes to marketing their hardware and their misguided efforts are damaging to the free software movement.

Free computing with modern hardware isn't going to be possible with modern hardware until Intel/AMD remove their spy engines or alternative chips (eg Power9) become available for affordable consumer use. Nothing short of that is good enough for me.

SuperTramp83

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Beigetreten: 10/31/2014

downvoted, in the trollo hollo it needs to go, just like all that pure crap :/

GrevenGull
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Beigetreten: 12/18/2017

Speaking of voting... I can't seem to get my voting through. Do I have to comment/reply to be allowed to vote or something?

onpon4
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Beigetreten: 05/30/2012

Cool. Not one I'll likely be using personally, but it's nice to have another option.

I forget, is this based on Sid, testing, or stable? I seem to recall it being the testing branch, but I'm not entirely sure (the website doesn't say).

0d54770d

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Beigetreten: 04/09/2016

PureOS is based on Debian testing.

onpon4
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Beigetreten: 05/30/2012

Just a note: I don't like Purism either (I think I've made that clear enough), but it's possible to denounce one activity while being in favor of another. There's nothing wrong with PureOS as an OS as long as it's entirely libre, which has been verified to be the case.

jxself
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Beigetreten: 09/13/2010

There seems no community around it. As I go to the website (which seems very basic) I find no reference to mailing lists, IRC channel, forums, or anything at all beyond a bug tracking system.

lloydsmart

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Beigetreten: 12/22/2012
loldier
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Beigetreten: 02/17/2016

Purism are not upfront about their offerings. People might fall for their nice marketing parlance but at the end of the day, it is just that, sugar-coated words without real meaning.

One might give them credit for trying not so hard and failing miserably.

The OS is a separate issue and it might be useful. Endorsed by FSF, it should be genuinely libre.

davidpgil
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Beigetreten: 08/26/2015

All I have to say is characterizing Purism as some sort of lecherous fiend who just lies and would stab you in the back at the first opportunity is so maddening for me. Not to get too philosophical, there is clearly some effort being put into trying to be free as in freedom and you actually see them try even if its just a bit. Why smack that down? Its like smacking down an addict who is trying to get sober. Frankly, people chill out.

Just be watchful of them. I'm optimisic about what they will put out in the future and if they start becoming "more evil" then I'll just give someone else my money. All of us are gulity to some extent of feeding all sorts of societal problems. However, a great deal of us are trying to be better. I see this movement growing more and more. Isn't that something to celebrate?

loldier
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Beigetreten: 02/17/2016

"...there is clearly some effort being put into trying to be free as in freedom..."

To me, it seems like they've put more effort into marketing. Wash a baby and let it go down the drain?

freedom_babies.png
loldier
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Beigetreten: 02/17/2016

Here's Todd's tracking page. Not much to see or read there. I only found two threads he's been involved with.

https://trisquel.info/en/users/todd-purism

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

> there is clearly some effort being put into trying to be free as in freedom

I never said there wasn't. I've been pretty consistent in *not* criticizing them for making freedom compromises for newer hardware. I've only criticized them for intentionally hiding these compromises from potential customers. I haven't heard a single Purism fan deny or defend this, instead deflecting with straw men every time it's brought up. I suspect that if they had a defense of Purism on this issue I'd have heard it by now.

> Its like smacking down an addict who is trying to get sober.

A better analogy would someone selling nicotine gum while using marketing double-speak to trick people into thinking it contains no nicotine. Nicotine gum is a legitimate tool that can be useful for people who want to quit smoking by gradually reducing their dependence on nicotine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling it to people who make an informed choice to use it. However, consumers have a right to know what they are putting in their bodies and how much of it. Hiding that information from them is deeply unethical.

> Frankly, people chill out.

Maybe you don't agree that vendors should disclose non-libre components of products they market as libre. Or maybe you agree that they should but you don't see it as a very important issue, in which case I can understand why it seems like some of us are overreacting. There are many issues pertaining to software freedom and it is fine and healthy for people on the same side to have slightly different priorities. However, I hope you can acknowledge the issue and understand why it is important to some of us, even if you don't see it as a priority.

loldier
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Beigetreten: 02/17/2016

RMS on PureOS giving a slide show. Is it conceivable or likely?

mpv-shot0005.jpg
calher

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Beigetreten: 06/19/2015

On Tue, 2017-12-26 at 08:01 +0100, name at domain wrote:
> RMS on PureOS giving a slide show. Is it conceivable or likely?
>

pfffft! xD

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

That would be crazy.

--
Caleb Herbert
OpenPGP public key: http://bluehome.net/csh/pubkey

0d54770d

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Beigetreten: 04/09/2016

Technically, the Intel ME is not 100% removed from the Libreboot-compatible laptops; there is a small amount of ME initialization code that runs in the CPU's ROM, and cannot be removed, but since that code is read-only (i.e., cannot be modified), it doesn't count as software in the RYF sense.

As far as the ME in the Purism laptops is concerned, they are only a step below Libreboot. In Libreboot, the ME is entirely removed from the SPI flash chip; in the Purism's Librem laptops, some of the code is still left in the flash chip (after me-cleaner is run), but the ME itself is disabled shortly after it's activated, so that code can't do anything. The end result is the same: no ME running, so it is unfair to act as if the Purism laptops are so much worse than the Libreboot ones.

ivanB1975
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Beigetreten: 08/29/2017

I agree with you. The alternatives at the moment are:

- to buy and use old hardware with libreboot for web browsing, some text editing (this could be good for a big percentage of people)
- to use the me_cleaner (https://github.com/corna/me_cleaner) on newer hardware and having a full working modern device to do everything from programming to video editing.. but this require some technical skills that not everybody has. This solution if using a OEM BIOS is a trade off. The BIOS is still from the manufacturer and not opensource.
- to use the me_cleaner together with the coreboot BIOS. This solution is very close to the first one but it requires again a lot of technical skills
- to buy hardware provided with coreboot and with the intel ME neutralized with the me_cleaner. This solution is at the grasp of all (not considering the costs)

In my opinion if I would look for a new laptop now, since I want to use it for everything and not just for web browsing and text editing, I would check on the coreboot website the compatibility with newer laptops, and I would choose a well compatible one. Then I would buy it and install coreboot and use the me_cleaner by myself. This would save me a lot of money. But I have the technical skills to do this.

Since not everybody has the technical skills to do this, I would not demonize a company that is the only one providing this service. Not everybody wants an old hardware only because on the paper it looks better in terms of freedom but functionally is exactly the same as the newer one with coreboot and the intel ME deactivated.

I think that Purism is doing his business and using marketing to do that. We can like or dislike the way they do marketing. But pragmatically speaking, it also provide the possibility for some people to achieve partial freedom with modern hardware. This is a value.

People here should discuss why other companies here don't invest on the same field.

My answer is that this requires money, in particular to place one or two people full time to port coreboot to the mainboard and so on.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

> But pragmatically speaking, it also provide the possibility for some people to achieve partial freedom with modern hardware. This is a value.

I agree with you here. If I understand correctly, your view is that the service Purism provides is important and beneficial enough that in spite of their dishonestly, they do more good than harm, and since there isn't a similar company to support, we should support them. You might be right.

The reason I'm hesitant to reach that conclusion is that, while getting people to use as much free software as possible is important, I think that in the long term it is also important for people to be informed, and I worry that if Purism becomes a dominant voice they will continue to spread ignorance.

Neither the Librem approach nor the libreboot approach is a good long term solution for the same reason: post-2010 Intel chip sets will probably never be liberated. This means that the Librem will always be non-free and librebootable machines will stop being manufactured. (Librebootable machines will continue to become dated, although I disagree that they are to old for normal desktop use now. Even my X60+SSD works fine for everything except games and demanding audio-editing setups that no non-musician would need. I'm sure that an X200+SSD+16G RAM will be more than sufficient for my needs, although newer hardware would be a nice convenience.)

This is why initiatives to become independent of Intel, such as EOMA68, are important. Libreboot and Librem are fine compromises for now, but people need to understand why alternatives are worth investing in. Libreboot is open about the fact that they will probably never support post-2010 chip sets, but Purism spreads a misconception that it is already possible to have freedom with modern hardware.

Perhaps I'm overestimating the potential effect of Purism's marketing tactics, but I generally feel that it is important for people to understand their own computing if they are to take control of it, and I'm skeptical of efforts to prevent this for personal gain.

That said, maybe you're right that Purism is the best we have right now when it comes to as-free-as-possible-with-modern-hardware computing, and that until we do we should not be undermining Purism. I'm not sure, but you've gotten me to reconsider.

> People here should discuss why other companies here don't invest on the same field.

That is a good question. They wouldn't even need to manufacture their own laptops like Purism chooses to. They could have a comparable but less expensive product by doing exactly what you said:

> I would check on the coreboot website the compatibility with newer laptops, and I would choose a well compatible one. Then I would buy it and install coreboot and use the me_cleaner by myself. This would save me a lot of money.

Even a ME cleaning service would be valuable, but selling corebooted, ME-cleaned laptops seems manageable. You know way more about this than I do, though, so I'd like to hear your thoughts. Does anyone know of somebody who does this?

ivanB1975
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Beigetreten: 08/29/2017

Yep you see perfectly the point. Maybe there is even a market for this. And it would be a perfect competitor to Purism. I ignore the numbers that would make this business profitable.

chaosmonk

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Beigetreten: 07/07/2017

> Maybe there is even a market for this.

My macOS-used musician friends have been trained by Wirth's law to think that they always need the most recent hardware. It would be much easier to convince them to use a Corebooted and ME-cleaned laptop less than a few years old than to explain to them that the X200 can be upgraded with more RAM and a SSD and that not all audio software is as bloated and unstable as their proprietary DAWs.

gnush
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Beigetreten: 12/19/2017

I cannot speak for Purism as a business, but I installed PureOS after I found out it received the FSF's blessings. It seems to be a pretty nice out of the box experience with fairly up-to-date packages in comparison to the other FSF certified distributions. I never really liked Gnome3, but I think it's growing on me.

MistahDarcy
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Beigetreten: 03/18/2016

I installed PureOS as a virtual machine the same day the FSF announced its endorsement. Honestly, I like it a lot. I've always been a fan of Gnome and personally can't stand the MATE desktop environment that Trisquel 8 is using. I got rid of that and switched it to Gnome right away.

I took the plunge today and installed PureOS on my desktop. Everything is working great except for WiFi. We'll see how it plays out, but I have high hopes for the future (at least more hope than I do with Trisquel).

sir.jay
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Beigetreten: 02/07/2018

That's very cool, I just wish the Librem laptops were cheaper but that's a great achievement and I wish them the best with regards to keeping that status.