Debian votes to include non-free firmware in installer

42 respuestas [Último envío]
andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

I'm not surprised, but they've done it:

We will include non-free firmware packages from the "non-free-firmware" section of the Debian archive on our official media (installer images and live images). The included firmware binaries will normally be enabled by default where the system determines that they are required, but where possible we will include ways for users to disable this at boot (boot menu option, kernel command line etc.).
When the installer/live system is running we will provide information to the user about what firmware has been loaded (both free and non-free), and we will also store that information on the target system such that users will be able to find it later. Where non-free firmware is found to be necessary, the target system will also be configured to use the non-free-firmware component by default in the apt sources.list file. Our users should receive security updates and important fixes to firmware binaries just like any other installed software.

https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2022/10/msg00000.html
https://www.debian.org/vote/2022/vote_003

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

So passes Debian, son of GNU/Linux.

Long life to her younger offspring, Gnuinos, who has survived the attempted immolation.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

1) A lot of people on this forum for a long time have been saying things like "well Debian is really free enough". I wonder if that sentiment will still hold true?

b) The other thing I notice is that this means Debian will not be any more free than antiX going forward. So my antiX-libre respins should not be considered second class citizens, at least until people start making Debian-libre respins.

iii) This post did not really need a numbered list at all, but people adore them.

IV) Gnuinos is suddenly a much more important project.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

IV)-bis-Theta: I would not be surprised if Gnuinos suddenly got extra workforce.

Jorah Dawson
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se unió: 12/13/2020

I strongly believe that this is a consequence of the wave of popular security actors and webs promoting this life facet as the most important need. They finally succumbed to the trending pressure that some closed-source and/or blobbed firmwares are essential for our security.

I could mention, among others, privacyguides, Madaidan, Micay and so on.
They say, for example, that Linux distros are so extremely insecure that the surveillance issues and the lack of user freedom on the proprietary platforms are insignificant compared to the security issues of the libre platforms.
According to them privacy and freedom are lost causes, so we should become security activists instead.

I also reckon, when Fuchsia OS arrives, it will be the straw that will break the camel’s back.
Those above people and others will praise its secure features. Linux will probably decline, little by little because of spyware mobile devices that will run Zircon microkernel instead of Linux.
For instance, Micay is really keen on replacing Linux for a microkernel.
https://grapheneos.org/faq#roadmap

In my view, we need to enhance and promote GNU/Hurd before it’s too late (Hurd is also a secure microkernel)
Before Google becomes a synonymous of internet and pollutes everything.
I’m watching this in slow motion, the destruction of privacy and freedom and it seems almost nobody cares...

iShareFreedom
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/20/2021

Sorry, but Linux is a kernel, not a operating system- so the distros, are of the GNU operating system, with some kernel, for freedom the gnu-linux-libre is the goal. https://gnu.org/software/linux-libre

Jorah Dawson
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2020

Oh, you're right.
But now, I can't edit my previous message...

Greetings.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

Our blue Linux-is-not-GNU parrot has been flitting around in the forum again. Mind the droppings.

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

Is this what free software activism is?

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

> According to them privacy and freedom are lost causes, so we should become security activists instead.

I don't think these people were ever concerned about software freedom, they are only concerned about security. I don't think you should necessarily pay much attention to what they say unless you're interested in security.

Regardless, I doubt that this firmware decision has anything to do with security. I think it's more because Debian users had trouble getting their hardware working. Most of them are not as concerned about software freedom as Trisquel users.

PublicLewdness
Desconectado/a
se unió: 03/15/2020

Who does this really effect ? Most people that were willing to go the extra mile and want to rid themselves of blobs weren't using Debian anyway. They were using Trisquel; Hyperbola; Guix; Parabola; etc. Most people that I know that use Debian the first thing they would do after install was go after the non free blobs so their hardware would work properly. I'm not saying this is good news, more that it caters to the majority of people who are currently using Debian and that isn't people with the same priorities as the people on this forum.

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

> Who does this really effect ?

Trisquel won't be maintained on i686, parabola is not in good shape on i686 (I tried), so what else than Debian can we use?

The olinuxino lime2, officially supported by parabola, still has a u-boot package that does not work with the board revisions sold for the last 3 years, so one needs to compile u-boot patched to be able to use it. How to do it? Instructions from Debian on Debian.

Also, besides Debian, I haven't found how to install a system on my rockpro64.

Besides, freedombox is updated and developped on Debian, with regular backports for Debian only.

In theory, Guix supports all that except that there are usually no subtitutes and the massive amount of compiling required to update Guix is unlikely to be feasible on these machines.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Well, a lot of us have said for a lot of years that Trisquel being based on Ubuntu was going to have some really bad unintended effects. I guess those chickens are going to start coming home to roost soon.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

As far as I understand, there will be no impact whatsoever on Trisquel, which uses Ubuntu's installer, not Debian's. Well, except for the further-reduced incentive for manufacturers to have their firmware free: the news is terrible for that reason.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

So there is actually going to be a strong negative impact on Trisquel users in the foreseeable future, since Trisquel has to be run on hardware of some sort.

jxself
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/13/2010

This seems more dire than the conclusion that Magic Banana is arriving at. It's been difficult already to locate suitable hardware that can be used in freedom. Debian's decision isn't directly affecting hardware availability and isn't making that more difficult, at least not within a "foreseeable future". This is the decisions of hardware manufacturers releasing source code under an appropriate license, not a distro's willingness to accept their junk. It could be a factor in hardware manufacturer's decision as Banana but it's just that: A factor. It's not the thing holding up the tent. In any event it made sense to begin evacuating the Titanic and remains so. https://jxself.org/titanic.shtml

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

It is certainly not sending the right signal, to say the least, and this is probably what MB meant. Many Trisquel users cannot afford the luxury ships currently available to bypass the Titanic, so any and all efforts to free what can be freed are welcome. Any lack of such effort or any move in the opposite direction is potentially just harming everybody here.

Maybe I should have written "not so distant" instead of "foreseeable"? I thought MB was foreseeing it, but I may have misinterpreted his post, or underestimated his foresight. I, for one, do not foresee potential new Trisquel users throwing such amount of money on fully free machines without going through the usual learning process. I see them attracted by the Debian merpeople instead, and drowning into the non-free software maelstrom.

Parodper
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2020

Note that this only affects *future installers* (how far away that future is is not known). Current installers, and installed systems, will not be affected by this. And besides, this only affects downloading non-free firmware, not running it.

To Jorah Dawson:
> I strongly believe that this is a consequence of the wave of popular security actors and webs promoting this life facet as the most important need. They finally succumbed to the trending pressure that some closed-source and/or blobbed firmwares are essential for our security.

Don't need to speculate. You can just read Steve McIntyre's mail linked in the proposal A (https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2022/08/msg00001.html). Quote:

> TL;DR: The way we deal with (non-free) firmware in Debian isn't
> great. For a long time we've got away without supporting and including
> (non-free) firmware on Debian systems. We don't *want* to have to
> provide (non-free) firmware to our users, and in an ideal world we
> wouldn't need to. However, it's no longer a sensible path when trying
> to support lots of common current hardware. Increasingly, modern
> computers don't function fully without these firmware blobs.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

>"And besides, this only affects downloading non-free firmware, not running it."

In America, we call this "moving the goalposts", an idiom from our silly American football game. It's a very effective debate strategy. Makes your debate opponent think you were debating some other completely different point.

Parodper
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2020

There are no goalposts here, and this is not a debate. I'm just clarifying some points that might get lost in the sea (actually, with the number of users on this forum, it's more like a pond) of cries of «the Death of Debian». The issues of non-free firmware are only a problem if you actually *run* the programs. Code that is not executed is just dead weight.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

>"The issues of non-free firmware are only a problem if you actually *run* the programs. Code that is not executed is just dead weight."

Wow, those goalposts are making a lot of noise and starting to move very far from where they started!!!

jxself
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/13/2010

Yes they are. They're so far away that I can barely see them. Hold on; I need to get my binoculars out but if they keep moving I may need to move to a telescope...

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

> this only affects downloading non-free firmware, not running it

The default will be to run the non-free firmware, so this is what most people will do and what will guide maintenance work.

So if you choose not to run them, you may end up with a broken system.

Parodper
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2020

> The default will be to run the non-free firmware, so this is what most people will do and what will guide maintenance work.

Most people already used the non-free image.

> So if you choose not to run them, you may end up with a broken system.

Yes, that is the issue. New users were getting confused because they downloaded an ISO from the big button on the front page that did not work on their systems.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

>"Most people already used the non-free image."

Which "most people"???

I thought we were talking about Trisquel forum members!!! Man, you are putting those goalposts on a rocket ship to Jupiter, aren't you now?

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

What was the original goalpost??

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

This is the Trisquel forum, not reddit. Do you need me to acquaint you with the goals of the Trisquel project? Or are you sufficiently capable of informing yourself of those goals after your 9 years of being an active part of this community?

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

I honestly don't know what you're talking about or what reddit has to do with anything, sorry. Someone merely provided some additional information and now you're just making snarky comments. Maybe stop trying to turn everything into a debate. I've actually contributed to the Trisquel project and I have nothing against it, I just stopped using it because of technical concerns.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

Why don't you and your friend start your own thread where you can talk about how cool it is that more people will be locked into using non-free firmware? Rather than attacking me for simply commenting on a news item.

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

When did I say it's cool that people will be locked into nonfree firmware?? Maybe you're mistaking me for some other user.

You're the one who started making snarky comments. I merely asked a clarifying question because I wasn't following the discussion, and you attacked me.

Parodper
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2020

> Why don't you and your friend start your own thread where you can talk about how cool it is that more people will be locked into using non-free firmware?

Nobody said that. I myself don't like the result of this vote, although the fact that the «Have two installers» option lost by 6 votes makes me hopeful that the libre installer will continue to be supported.

> Rather than attacking me for simply commenting on a news item.

Nobody is talking about you, and you are the one who started responding to my comment.

Parodper
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2020

> I thought we were talking about Trisquel forum members!

I thought it was obvious from the context, but yes, I was talking about Debian users.

And, we are actually on the «*General* Free Software Talk», not the «Trisquel Users» forum, and certainly not the «Troll Lounge» forum.

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

I'll probably keep using Debian, personally. As long as it's possible to run it without nonfree firmware, and the main section of the repo is entirely free. I just wish they would keep the free installer as an option.

I'm not surprised that they made this decision because most users want a functional computer. At this point basically no new computer works well without proprietary firmware, unfortunately. So while I'm personally disappointed, I understand why they did it.

Edit: If Debian doesn't provide a free version of the installer, I could probably make one if anyone here is interested.

Jorah Dawson
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/13/2020

I'm afraid that in a near future Debian could automatically install microcode CPU updates even using main repo.

I would install Trisquel if I could use unstable/sid packages so maybe I will be forced to jump to Parabola...

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

Well, the social contract still says that everything in the main section of the repo has to be free, so I'm not too worried at this point.

As a side note, I also quit using Trisquel because the software was too old for me. There were several stretches of time when it wasn't even getting security updates, and it kept happening. I believe the situation has improved since then, but I'm happy with Debian for the time being.

jxself
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/13/2010

"Well, the social contract still says that everything in the main section of the repo has to be free, so I'm not too worried at this point."

I don't recommend putting too much stock in their social contract to be able to protect against anything. One thing this whole matter shows is that the social contract isn't very limiting to them in terms of any type of a commitment, since they can change it at will to be able to do whatever the popular opinion is. (Think of how some have raised a concern with "What might FSF do with a future GPL version? Oh noes; have to to use GPL version X only" and yet very little into "What might Debian do in a future social contract"?)

That they get a 3:1 majority to change it showed just how popular this firmware matter was within Debian. A commitment to free software should be just as strong to push back, so as to avoid losing further ground. An example could be having restrictions on what sort of amendments can be made to the social contract. Just something I randomly made up off the topic of my head, like: "Any alteration or amendment that changes the underlying principles or spirit of this Social Contract, or that changes the project's commitment to free software shall be prohibited at any time." It's not perfect and needs work but still. :)

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

Yeah, of course they can change it in the future. If you want to have a say, you'll have to become a Debian developer. But packaging software for Debian is boring, tedious work so I don't think anyone here will do it. I'm lazy too, so I would rather just switch to a different distribution in that case. (More than packaging software, it would be nice if free software advocates actually wrote software, for example actually trying to write free drivers or firmware. But most people here seem to be all talk and no action)

The FSDG distros that are available currently don't do it for me. Trisquel is OK but the software is too old, GuixSD's package manager is very slow, and the rest are either too strict (having stricter criteria than the FSF) or abandoned. For the time being, I will stick with Debian.

Edit: I forgot PureOS. I believe it has newer packages than Trisquel, but still kind of old as it's based on Debian stable.
By the way, I've barely seen anyone raise concern over the FSF making bad changes to the GPL. I'm a big fan of the GPL, and I've used the "or later" on software that I've written.

andyprough
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/12/2015

>"t would be nice if free software advocates actually wrote software, for example actually trying to write free drivers or firmware. But most people here seem to be all talk and no action)"

As you know very well already, jxself does more to keep hardware running on free software than anyone. I lost track of the huge number of architectures he maintains Linux-libre for.

Now let's hear from you your great plan for all of us Trisquel users to gang up on several million different devices and write free drivers for all of them. I'm ready to get working on your great and brilliant project, you lead the way.

antidoto

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 10/20/2020

"Pragmatism" is always the Trojan horse against freedom.

There are many examples in human history, where such compromises led to destruction. In some ways this is the way that human oppression exists.

"People aren't mature enough for real democracy"

"People need a leader to guide them"

"it would be chaos if there is too much democracy"

Excuses like that, are way worse in groups that they claim they support human emancipation.

Trying to change the system from within, is just an illusion and it lead us in many ways to this mess of a world we live in.

From environmental groups or individuals that tried to make business with corporations to politicians that started as the voice of the people, all went rotten at the end.

It's another thing to compromise for cooperation and another thing to surrender to corporate greed.

And the latter is exactly what Debian does with this move. And this was not unexpected. Look who sponsor Debian at https://debconf22.debconf.org/sponsors/. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, they are all there. And they give loads of toxic money to have control over the project.

Google's computers run Debian (https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-moves-to-debian-for-in-house-linux-desktop/) and they need non free firmware to have better control of their hardware as well as their users.

Just like others in the past, (ex.RedHat & Canonical, they all reassured us in the beginning that they will remain true to free software. Step by step, day by day, the went deeper to the rabbit hole of corporate greed. I really fear Debian is heading to this hole as well...

Lastly, I do not share the opinion that only developers must have a say. Democracy is not a cult's job, but concerns everyone. There is a plethora of wonderful software in Debian's repos from teams or individuals that created it only to support public interest and freedom. There are many non programmers (like me) that promote free software and donate as much money as they can. We also give many of our free time to help others install free software and give free (as in beer) support to people in our community. Even the users that deprive themselves from many of the "luxuries" of modern non-free tech world have the right to have a say.

If real democracy only happens in an "ideal world" let's just make this world a reality!!!

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

> "it would be chaos if there is too much democracy"

I must admit there seems to be some truth in this, at times. Just look at Debian.

Debian users should not be blamed for the utter debacle of the Debian people reneging on their own principles, though. After all, anyone would also probably feel enraged, or at least very cross, if they found themselves in a similar situation. We should sympathise with them, try to understand why they have been sticking to Debian and help them move to a really fully free distro, like Trisquel.

antidoto

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 10/20/2020

That is the difficult part in real democracy, you can never control the outcome.

In Debian's case only around 1000 developers voted. Not the users, so of course they are not to blame.

> We should sympathise with them, try to understand why they have been sticking to Debian and help them move to a really fully free distro, like Trisquel.

Yes I totally agree!

iShareFreedom
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/20/2021

Debian distribute nonfree software since 1997, i dont see why you guys are so impacted with more nonfree software, as debian have nonfree repo since 1997, distributing malware since old times. Since late 90's

iShareFreedom
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/20/2021