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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] PureOS non-free repo

From: Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] PureOS non-free repo
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:32:39 +0100

On Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:16:49 -0800 (PST)
"Jason Self" <address@hidden> wrote:
> Another problematic point seems their statement that "all new laptop
> shipments include Meltdown and Spectre patches, as they will have the
> latest PureOS image (that includes the Meltdown patch) preloaded"
There are Software patches to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre issues in
software like Linux or Firefox based browsers.

As for the microcode, they can ship it to new customers without having
to touch PureOS at all. This can be done in Coreboot by selecting
"Include CPU microcode in CBFS (Include external microcode header
files)" during the compilation.

> I realize that, in the FSF's announcement of endorsing PureOS, they 
> said that it wasn't "a certification of any particular hardware 
> shipping with PureOS" although some people might buy Purism's
> computers thinking that they're getting an FSF-endorsed distro along 
> with it that doesn't have any proprietary junk when -- by Purism's
> own announcement -- they're shipping with it included.
I run PureOS on a Thinkpad X200 that runs a 100% free software Coreboot

There is a PureOS bug tracker where we can report bugs[2], including
freedom issues with PureOS. I've already reported 1 freedom issue and I
hope it is or will be fixed.

I looked for a potential microcode update with "apt search microcode"
and found nothing. So this is good news.

Like with other FSDG compliant GNU/Linux distributions, there might be
some packages that needs to be fixed, and it would be nice to open bug
reports on that.

I'm personally very interested in PureOS because it's is supposed to be
FSDG compliant, and can replace Debian in some cases. I intend to use
it to be able to compile Replicant without depending on Debian, to fix
one of the FSDG-compliance issues Replicant has.

It would be nice if PureOS could run on all architectures that Debian
runs on, as we would have an FSDG compliant GNU/Linux distribution that
would run on more hardware that can function with only free software.

I also didn't find x86 32bit versions of PureOS, which is sad because a
lot of Libreboot compatible hardware is still 32bit only.

So far we have, as general purpose GNU/Linux distribution:
- Parabola that can run on ARM.
- Guix that can also run on ARM.

Trisquel doesn't run on ARM, and as far as I know we have no easy to use
general purpose distribution for ARM.

It would also be nice to have more FSDG distributions, for instance I
came across Hyperblola[3], which claims to be FSDG compliant. I didn't
find it in the official list of FSDG compliant distributions[4].

I also wonder whether all the distributions listed there are maintained
and if not, it would make sense to move the unmaintained distributions
in another section (like "Historic", "Unmaintained distributions", or if
we want new maintainers, "Distributions looking for new maintainers").

[1]Coreboot itself is not entirely free software: The freedom you get
   depends on the hardware and the build configuration you use.
   I use hardware and build configuration that doesn't include any
   nonfree software in the image.


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