Why does Trisquel uses own mirrors, bulids own packages?

6 réponses [Dernière contribution]
jeeppler
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/09/2019

Trisquel is based on Ubuntu. However, Trisquel seems to keep their own mirrors with no reference to Ubuntu. See the attached screenshot: own_mirrors.png.

In addition, every package is build by the Triquel project, with no reference to Ubuntu. See the attached screenshot: own_package_builds.png.

Why does Trisquel rebuild all packages. Would it be not enough to simply replace the non-free packages from Ubuntu? It seems like a lot of work to me.

Does Trisquel have it's own build infrastructure to build all the packages? And if so does the Trisquel project use some resources from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to build all the packages?

Fichier attachéTaille
own_mirrors.png27.92 Ko
own_package_builds.png27.99 Ko
jxself
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/13/2010

Trisquel has to have its own repositories for a multiple reasons. Here's one, from https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html to quote:

"A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so. The system should have no repositories for nonfree software and no specific recipes for installation of particular nonfree programs. Nor should the distribution refer to third-party repositories that are not committed to only including free software; even if they only have free software today, that may not be true tomorrow. Programs in the system should not suggest installing nonfree plugins, documentation, and so on."

In the context of Trisquel, Ubuntu would be a "third party repository" because it's neither Trisquel's own repository nor the user's own personal repository.

A second reason to rebuild in replacing the name. As far as replacing the name, I don't imagine Canonical would be happy if Trisquel were going around with the Ubuntu name everywhere, potentially confusing people into thinking that maybe Trisquel *is* in fact Ubuntu? Trisquel doesn't come from Canonical after all. Just like Abrowser is not Firefox, and Mozilla would have a fit if the Trisquel project were going around saying Abrowser is in fact Firefox. What's in a name? One word: Trademarks! I can go make my own hamburger with two all-beef batties, special sauce, lettuce tomatoes, etc. but it will never be a McDonald's Big Mac.

A third reason to rebuild is https://sfconservancy.org/news/2015/jul/15/ubuntu-ip-policy/

"For example, Canonical, Ltd.'s original policy required that redistributors "needed to recompile the source code to create [their] own binaries""

And so since Canonical adds add (non-free) terms to non-copyleft things, that basically makes all non-copyleft stuff in Ubuntu non-free just because they're adding on extra terms to them. (Which as the article says was originally a GPL violation because the GPL doesn't allow people to add extra terms and even though that seems solved for packages under the GPL nothing changed for non-GPL packages and so their non-free terms remain.)

And yes, Trisquel has its own build infrastructure. See https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-trisquel-made The last I heard I think it was in France? Or somewhere in the E.U.; I forget.

andyprough
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> And so since Canonical adds add (non-free) terms to non-copyleft things, that basically makes all non-copyleft stuff in Ubuntu non-free just because they're adding on extra terms to them.

I'm sure this has been debated before by smarter people than me, but wouldn't it make sense in the long run to ditch Ubuntu and their weird practices and just work from Debian packages? I would imagine that for many packages, Trisquel's devs are having to strip out Ubuntu stuff that didn't even exist and wasn't even a problem with the original Debian package.

chaosmonk

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Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I would imagine that for many packages, Trisquel's devs are having to
> strip out Ubuntu stuff that didn't even exist and wasn't even a
> problem with the original Debian package.

Not really. Freedom-wise the differences between Debian and Ubuntu are
(1) Debian's default kernel is blobless and (2) Debian's non-free
repositories are disabled by default. Neither of these differences is
relevant to Trisquel development. Which repositories are enabled by
default only affects users who install Debian or Ubuntu, and the kernel
would still need to be modified anyway for FSDG reasons other than
blobs.

Ubuntu gets most of the non-free software in its apt repositories from
Debian. Ubuntu's snap repository contains additional non-free software
from third parties, but Debian uses Ubuntu's snap repository too, so
this still isn't a difference between Debian and Ubuntu.

Modifications to Ubuntu packages mostly fall under two categories: (1)
removing Ubuntu branding and (2) fixing freedom issues in mostly-free
packages. Both would still be necessary if Trisquel were based on
Debian. Debian packages have just as much Debian branding (occasionally
I'll even come across Debian branding in Trisquel that the Ubuntu devs
missed), and the freedom issues are usually from the upstream developer,
so they are present in both Debian and Ubuntu.

So there wouldn't really be any advantages to basing Trisquel on Debian,
whereas there are advantages to basing Trisquel on Ubuntu: Ubuntu is
more beginner-friendly than Debian, the packages in Ubuntu's LTS
releases are newer than those in Debian's stable releases, lots of
online documentation is written to work with Ubuntu, etc.

andyprough
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> So there wouldn't really be any advantages to basing Trisquel on Debian,
whereas there are advantages to basing Trisquel on Ubuntu: Ubuntu is
more beginner-friendly than Debian, the packages in Ubuntu's LTS
releases are newer than those in Debian's stable releases, lots of
online documentation is written to work with Ubuntu, etc.

I've found quite the opposite over the years - Debian just works, whereas trying to run Ubuntu is usually an endless series of strange work-arounds for dealing with all the unusual decisions Canonical makes. And the online documentation for Debian tends to be more organized than the dog's breakfast of material written up for Ubuntu by its millions of users. In fact, if there's one distribution where you can get an unlimited number of competing opinions on how to resolve a problem - it's Ubuntu. Additionally, Ubuntu is simply basing their versions on Debian testing - if you want the same up-to-date versions, Debian testing is just as available for Trisquel.

Regardless - you are much closer to the kitchen where Trisquel is cooked up and you have seen the process in action, so I'll take your word for it that it's better to work from Ubuntu. I appreciate your feedback.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I've found quite the opposite over the years - Debian just works,
> whereas trying to run Ubuntu is usually an endless series of strange
> work-arounds for dealing with all the unusual decisions Canonical
> makes.

You might be right. I haven't used Debian or Ubuntu extensively, and
I've only directly compared the installation process. I found Ubuntu's
to be better. Ubuntu has a nicer graphical installer, and all of the
hardware worked out of the box whereas the trackpad didn't work in
Debian. Also, I tried multiple Debian live ISOs, but couldn't actually
get to a live session on any of them. I booted straight into the
installer. It's possible that I just had bad luck though, and that
Debian is usually better.

> Additionally, Ubuntu is simply basing their versions on Debian testing
> - if you want the same up-to-date versions, Debian testing is just as
> available for Trisquel.

Debian stable is also based on Debian testing. The difference is that
Debian uses two-year snapshots with a long freeze period for each
release, whereas Ubuntu uses six-month snapshots and uses every fourth
snapshot as an LTS release. It would be *much* more work to base
Trisquel on Debian testing, because Trisquel would have to freeze and
maintain its own snapshots.

> Regardless - you are much closer to the kitchen where Trisquel is
> cooked up and you have seen the process in action, so I'll take your
> word for it that it's better to work from Ubuntu.

Not necessarily better, just not worse. Although Debian's default
configuration is more free than Ubuntu's, the distros are otherwise
equally free. Since Trisquel has its own default configuration, there
wouldn't be any fewer freedom issues to address by switching to Debian
as a base.

jeeppler
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/09/2019

@jxself thank you for the good and in-depth explanation. I really appreciate you taking time to explain it.