Another path....

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hayderctee
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Iscritto: 05/02/2015

We believe that "Simple change can make a big difference", which is what made us work to this moment despite all the difficulties that we faced, and keep Uruk project and the Uruk GNU / Linux distribution until now .
Uruk wouldn't have continued had it not been for Trisquel and its community support until now , but it seems that this journey with "Trisquel repositorys" is facing a number of difficulties currently, as it is known that Trisquel 9 based on Ubuntu 18.04, and currently Ubuntu in version 20.04, meaning that it issued more than 4 versions After the current release of Trisquel based version, and when we talk about an operating system, we are talking about something technical that needs updated packages and updated versions of programs and applications, which is not currently available in Trisquel.
And any programmer who works with programs like gcc or a designer that works with programs like gimp or inkscape for example, will know completely What I mean, so we are currently thinking of using the recent Ubuntu repositories to build Uruk (temporarily until the gods of free software sympathize by giving us repositories or lending a helping hand to us, or trisquel make a new versions) while avoiding the reasons why the Free Software Foundation refused Ubuntu as a free distribution, by using the Linux-libre kernel and using Canonical-supported free and open-source software repositories that does not contain non-free packages and closed programs, which is something that we would like to know the community’s opinion about it, and whether there are alternatives for that (don't suggest PureOS)

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

Do you mean Uruk would directly use the Ubuntu repositories in the sources.list? That means would automatically fail https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html

"using the Linux-libre kernel and using Canonical-supported free and open-source software repositories that does not contain non-free packages and closed programs"

Excluding programs is not the only thing. Some need modification, not outright banning.

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

> "using the Linux-libre kernel and using Canonical-supported free and open-source software repositories that does not contain non-free packages and closed programs"

> Excluding programs is not the only thing. Some need modification, not outright banning.

Purism doesn't make these modifications and the FSF endorsed their distro anyway. PureOS doesn't even use Linux-libre. Why should Uruk be held to a different standard?

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

PureOS doesn't even use Linux-libre.

Does it distribute a kernel with nonfree firmware? If so, PureOS looks, freedom-wise, not different from Fedora and I believe the FSF should not endorse it: https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.en.html#Fedora

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

> Does it distribute a kernel with nonfree firmware? If so, PureOS looks, freedom-wise, not different from Fedora

No, it uses Debian's kernel, which does remove firmware blobs. However, removing blobs is not the only thing that the Linux-libre scripts do. From [here][1], mainline Linux "induces you to install additional non-Free Software that it doesn't contain" in the form of messages that appear while booting naming the missing non-free firmware. In addition, Debian's kernel includes a [patch][2] so that the first such message is accompanied by a direction to a [wiki page][3] explaining how to install the firwmare from Debian's non-free repository.

In terms of FSDG-compliance, this is not as bad as Fedora, which includes the firmware by default. However, it is still not good enough for the [FSDG][4], which states "A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so."

Also, note that while PureOS does not include non-free firmware by default *currently*, Purism advertises that the Librem 5 will run PureOS. Since the Librem 5 will probably require non-free blobs, the situation is likely to become more similar to Fedora when it comes time to ship the device.

[1]: https://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/selibre/linux-libre/

[2]: https://salsa.debian.org/kernel-team/linux/-/blob/master/debian/patches/debian/firmware_class-refer-to-debian-wiki-firmware-page.patch

[3]: https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware

[4]: https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

> and I believe the FSF should not endorse it

It should be obvious at first glance to anyone with an understanding of the FSDG and familiarity with Debian-based distros that PureOS does not follow the FSDG. Many of the most basic freedom issues in Debian can be checked and confirmed in PureOS without even installing it.

* There is no "pureos" suffix to the version of their [linux package][1], indicating that they do not modify Debian's kernel. I have already explained why this violates the FSDG.

* It is not just messages introduced by Debian that guide users toward Debian's non-free repo. A while back I was researching a WiFi card, and stubmled onto [this thread][2] in Purism's official forum, in which a Purism employee instructs a user to add Debian's non-free repo in order to install the "firmware-nonfree" package. (Note that these instructions would not work if PureOS used Linux-libre.) I do not frequent Purism's forum so I don't know how common an occurance this is, but after finding this thread I skimmed through the forum I found numerous threads in which the community helps users install non-free software, something forbidden in the Trisquel forums.

* PureOS includes package managers configured to point to repositories containing non-free software, including [snap][3] and [pip][4]. Pip is an understandable oversight, as it is normally used by developers and it is not particularly known for being a source of non-free software, but Snap is just clearly not okay, being targeted toward ordinary users and full of non-free software.

* The PureOS homepage has a [screenshot][5] of something called "Purebrowser", which looks like a redranded Firefox, so it seems likely that Purism is aware of the freedom issues with popular browsers and has their own alternative, which is good. However, Debian's versions of [Firefox ESR][6] and [Chromium][7], both with known freedom issues, are present in PureOS's repo.

* There are many freedom issues already discovered in Debian-based distros and patched by Trisquel. Some of these issues are introduced by Ubuntu, but most apply to Debian as well. Not all of them are obvious, but since Trisquel has already discovered and fixed them there is no excuse not to be aware of them, especially since PureOS used to be based on Trisquel (IIUC). They are visible [here][8]. Many of Trisquel's package helpers are for rebranding or backporting, but I arbitrarily picked a couple that I happened to know address freedom issues present in both Ubuntu and Debian: [hplip][8], which prompts the user to download and install a non-free utility, and [unp][9] whose control file induces the user to install several non-free packages. I was pleasantly surprised to see that PureOS [actually has fixed unp][10], but [hplip is unmodified][11] from its Debian version.

I'm sure I could keep going and find more freedom issues, but neither Purism nor the FSF is paying me to do their job for them, and I think I've gone far enough to prove my point. None of these are obscure issues. With the exception of the [forum thread][2], which I stumbled on by pure chance a while ago, all of these are the first, most obvious things that Purism should have fixed before applying for FSF endorsement and that the FSF should have checked before granting it. It took a little over an hour for me to check these things, without even needing to download a PureOS ISO. It seems hard to argue that Purism has made the "good faith effort" stipulated by the FSDG, or even that the FSF made a good faith effort when evaluating PureOS. I can only conclude that

(a) the FSF is aware of these issues and chose to endorse PureOS anyway, or

(b) whoever at the FSF was responsible for evaluating PureOS prior to endorsement did not apply even a minimal level of scrutiny while doing so.

Either way, the title of "FSF-endorsed distro" has lost credibility for me. If Uruk rebases on Ubuntu, uses Linux-libre, and bans packages with known servere freedom issues, it might not be quite as adherent to the FSDG as Trisquel, Hyperbola, and Parabola, but more so than PureOS. If PureOS gets to keep its FSF endorsement, I see no reason to withhold the same endorsement from Uruk in that situation.

[1]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/l/linux/

[2]: https://forums.puri.sm/t/wifi-not-working/1249

[3]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/s/snapd/

[4]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/p/python-pip/

[5]: https://www.pureos.net/images/screenshot-browser.png

[6]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/f/firefox-esr/

[7]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/c/chromium/

[8]: https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/blob/etiona/helpers/make-hplip

[9]: https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/blob/etiona/helpers/make-unp

[10]: https://source.puri.sm/pureos/packages/unp/-/commit/1746fa3ee48ad69167f3a5d1dc53bf89bfde1652

[11]: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/pool/main/h/hplip/

andyprough
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Iscritto: 02/12/2015

Sounds like my personal libre-tized version of Devuan with jxself's Linux-libre installed and all non-free repos and firmware and microcode and firefox removed (and anything else recommended by vrms) is a lot more free than PureOS.

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

> Sounds like my personal libre-tized version of Devuan with jxself's Linux-libre installed and all non-free repos and firmware and microcode and firefox removed (and anything else recommended by vrms) is a lot more free than PureOS.

Not sure I'd say "a lot more". Firefox is still presumably installable on your system. Purism excludes microcode by default too (it's available in Purism's [non-free repo][1], but this repo is not enabled by default). Of course, the big difference is that your personal setup is your own personal setup. You are a user with enough knowledge to avoid non-free things for yourself, so the fact that they are installable does not impact your freedom, and you are not seeking FSF endorsement for your personal setup as something to distribute to others.

[1]: https://deb.puri.sm/pureos/pool/non-free/i/intel-microcode/

andyprough
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Iscritto: 02/12/2015

I could just add firefox to the apt preferences file and permanently block it, I presume.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

I'm not proposing a different standard. PureOS was an oversight and those problems should be addressed there too.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Pure speculation on my part (but maybe you know): would endorsing PureOS be a (failed) tactic to have Debian officially get rid of non-free and contrib (passing the message: "you are that step away from being FSF-endorsed: look at PureOS")? Contrary to PureOS, Debian matters to fulfills FSF's overall goal of freeing computer users: having Debian stop hosting the contrib and non-free sections and refer to them on its web pages (such as https://packages.debian.org and the documentation) would certainly help far more than insisting on the strict fulfillment of every item in https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

> PureOS was an oversight and those problems should be addressed there too.

It's not just that there are some problems to address. It appears that PureOS has barely even begun to work toward FSDG compliance beyond choosing to start from an already mostly-free base distro. I don't know how the FSF endorsement process works, but if they didn't check the kernel, popular browsers, the forum, and known freedom issues in a similar distro, then I'm honestly not sure what they *did* check.

Sure, Purism could start working on these issues now (several years after receiving FSF endorsement), and I think they probably would if the FSF asked them to. But If that is good enough, and if the FSF continues to endorse PureOS in the meantime while these issues are worked on, then I think it would be fair to endorse Uruk if they promise to fix freedom issues later (by merging packages from Trisquel 10 once it is in development, for instance).

By the way, you were the one who informed me that the Librem 5 will require firmware blobs, and after some searching I concluded that you were probably right (unless something has changed in the last few months or will change before the phone ships). I'm not sure that I've actually seen Purism claim outright that the phone will run blobless, but I have seen many people and articles assume that it will on account of the claim that it will run an FSF endorsed distro. When it comes time to ship this phone, Purism will need to include the necessary blobs, at which point PureOS will be similar freedom-wise to Fedora. Maybe the FSF will finally reconsider their endorsement then, but in the meantime they are participating in a bait-and-switch to get people to preorder a phone under the false impression that it will not require non-free firmware blobs.

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

To be clear, I don't personally see the FSDG as the be-all and end-all, and I would not fault Purism for making some strategic compromises, such as that needed to support the hardware needed for their phone. I just want to see one standard applied consistently and fairly to all distros who want FSF endorsement.