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Re: Software that requires hardware that requires nonfree software to us

From: David Hedlund
Subject: Re: Software that requires hardware that requires nonfree software to use
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:03:32 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/78.13.0

On 2021-10-10 19:27, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli wrote:
> On Fri, 08 Oct 2021 16:40:52 -0400
> Ian Kelling <> wrote:
>> Ron Nazarov <> writes:
>>> Is software that requires hardware that requires nonfree software to
>>> use allowed in the Free Software Directory?
>>> I think it indirectly has dependencies on nonfree software, as
>>> there is no way to use it without using nonfree software.
>> I think that if the nonfree software is outside of the bounds of the
>> free operating system that the free software is running on, it is ok
>> to be listed. For example, some software to do printing from
>> gnu/linux on a printer that has it's own internal nonfree os is ok.
> This makes sense as even the RYF computers running Libreboot have some
> nonfree software in them that falls into the exceptions allowed by the
> RYF certification.
> For instance:
> - There are nonfree firmwares in almost all mass storage
>   devices like hard disks, SSD, microSD or SD cards, USB keys, etc.
> - The keyboards present in the Libreboot Thinkpads are controlled by a
>   nonfree firmware that also can set some voltage on or off, handles
>   the battery charging, etc. Maybe the trackpad is also controlled by a
>   nonfree firmware.
> - There may be other minor firmwares in the hardware like for the
>   the touchscreen when there is one, the SD card reader on Thinkpads
>   with the GM45 chipset, etc.
> And in some case a given software that interact with nonfree software
> that is out of the bounds of the operating system (like the
> thinkpad_acpi driver) can also be made to work with fully free
> replacements like Libreboot.
> Denis.

Thanks. I suggest that you mention this at

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