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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Third-party repositories, debootstrap and transiti

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Third-party repositories, debootstrap and transitivity
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:33:39 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.14.0 (2020-05-02)

* Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli <> [2020-09-24 19:37]:
> Hi,
> In the FSDG[1] I see the following:
> > 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.
> What does 'refer' means here?

Good question. If it is hypothetical, maybe !? would serve better.

> Does it means that it is ok to include tools like pip that use third
> party repositories if the repository content is committed to stay fully
> free software?

If pip is free software, it does not influence the free software
distribution. In my opinion, which is not opinion of the FSF/GNU, it
is alright and fine.

You have mentioned pip and if I am not mistaken, that is Python
package manager.

Guess what, any package manager may be used to install non-free

Also browsers, wget and other downloading tools, like torrents and
similar, they are capable of downloading and fetching non-free

How people will use free software it is up to them, they are also
free, if not aware enough of complications and consequences, to
download and fetch non-free software.

> Does it also means that FSDG distributions that include debootstrap
> without removing scripts[2] to install non-FSDG compliant distributions
> are OK if such distributions are fully free software themselves?

In my opinion, that would not be alright, as that would be analogous
to having pacman or apt-get package managers with non-free sources
installed on the system.

> Does having nonfree repositories mentioned or not affect them being
> ok?

File a bug in the distribution bug reporting area, if you find such
issue. I am using Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre and so far I know, the
authors and maintainers do not make such mistakes. So if you have a
bug, file it at proper location.

> What if such distributions have free software meant to install nonfree
> software?

I was thinking about that, but I also changed my opinion during the
time. For example I am using dosbox to install proprietary games which
I played back in time, and wish to play again, like Bluez Brothers or
Elite or similar, and that action does lead to creation of new free

Here is the real world comparable example of how new free software comes to 

You may compare that proprietary games have been replicated and that
new free software games have been made, which could not be done
without using proprietary games. A lot of free software was made by
running first proprietary software and studying at least how it works,
if not the source code.

So I say today "yes" to `dosbox' and other game emulators for which I
have earlier said "no" for this same or similar reason like you are
arguing now.

> More precisely, does someone knows which debootstrap scripts should be
> removed?


I do think that above bug report tells a problem and I did not know it
is taking place in Guix SD. As it is reported and I hope it will be
resolved for Guix SD to become fully free distribution, if such
scripts are found in the Guix SD.


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