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[GNU-linux-libre] Parabola GNU/Linux

From: Jason Self
Subject: [GNU-linux-libre] Parabola GNU/Linux
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 15:20:06 -0800 (PST)

Parabola is a GNU/Linux distro that claims to be a fully free copy of Arch. In 
reviewing it I have some concerns:

1. The Parabola developers perform no rebranding of any kind. This results in 
the installer claiming to the "Arch Linux". I've also found that the GRUB menu 
lists it as "Arch Linux" when booting, and so does the login prompt. (There's 
probably more, I imagine but that's where I stopped.)

I wonder how this fits in the the "we will not list a distribution whose name 
makes confusion with non-free distributions likely" in the Free Distro 

I've also discovered this as of this afternoon: "We avoid having a kernel-free 
distro (!) by packaging a vanilla kernel and applying ArchLinux's patches, but 
deblobing everything before compiling and packaging." [2]

I took this to mean the binary has been "freed" but not the source. I then 
grabbed the source from [3] and verified that it does indeed contain all of the 
non-free parts of the kernel. I think that this means their kernel deblobbing 
efforts are insufficent, if anyone is able to go and obtain the non-free bits 
of the kernel in this way.

Has anyone else looked at Parabola?


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