great alternative if you seek software freedom as GNU/FSF defines https://guix.gnu.org

Jonny
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Very interesting, will give it a shot when I find the time🙂👍

Looks interesting, but to what extent is it compatible to other distributions, allowing for package-related or other reuse?

As much as an Ubuntu fork that removes that semi-proprietary snap stuff would be in a good position to build a user base quickly, so would now a Debian fork that keeps the on-device code licenses clean.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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compatible to other distributions, allowing for package-related or other reuse?

Guix package manager theorerically can run in any distro so you can use Guix packages in any distro; I run it on NixOS for example. Some distributions have a dedicated package for installing it, or use the official instructions https://guix.gnu.org/en/manual/en/html_node/Binary-Installation.html#Binary-Installation

Just as NixOS, GNU Guix System cannot just run any arbitrary binary built in another GNU/Linux distribution because it does not follow File Hierarchy Standard and so on… But there are workarounds, like patching the binary to change the dynamic loader path.

But one can use Flatpak just fine on GNU Guix System and NixOS.

Appimage requires patching because it is not portable.

As much as an Ubuntu fork that removes that semi-proprietary snap stuff would be in a good position to build a user base quickly, so would now a Debian fork that keeps the on-device code licenses clean.

There are already PureOS and Trisquel https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.en.html

I suggested GNU Guix System because it is innovative in a very useful and joyful way.

I didn’t mean running on the top of some distro, but “native” compatibility to existing packaging. Snap/Flatpack/Nix etc. can also more or less run on the top of arbitrary distros, but I think more acceptance can be achieved if the packages are (at least source-level) compatible to something existing and widespread and run as first-class citizens there.

Not saying that Guix isn’t innovative, useful or joyful, though. Just thinking that it might not work as an alternative for Debian in every case.

Will look into PureOS and Trisquel. Are their releases roughly corresponding to some releases of Debian or Ubuntu, respectively (e.g. package-version-wise)?

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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I didn’t mean running on the top of some distro

i wrote that 1st paragraph just in case.

but “native” compatibility to existing packaging

2nd paragraph

if the packages are (at least source-level) compatible to something existing and widespread and run as first-class citizens there.

Traditional package managers and formats are so bad… Well Unix, GNU/Linux is a mess.

no current better way around it other than the Nix and Guix way. Flatpak is the 2nd better current model for portability. Today I only package to Nix and Guix; sometimes Flatpak as well.

Sigh.

wonder who and why

Cyclohexane
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Free software is failing and getting co-opted because they thought getting a bunch of enthusiasts to boycott proprietary software was enough to win. As long as the means of production is owned by the ruling class, their interests will be favored. Our boycotts will cause little but inconveniences for ourselves.

Boycotting efforts against digital souvereignty alone is not enough. But the efforts to build a regulative solution won’t work without enough people willing to continue the boycott.

So true

Important step to sink the boat…

Filipi Limi
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@cypherpunks oh

fuck

fuck!

craigevil
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It has never made any sense to make a normal user(newbie) to have to search for drivers for wireless or video. The vote has probably made quite a few FSF/GNU zealots upset. I see it as a good thing. Drivers in the installer will make Linux adoption easier.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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First, you confuse firmware with drivers.

Second, I am annoyed because I see this as a lack of respect for my digital rights. There was option to maintain both images or showing visibility to the other one.

Third, projects such as H-Node show that integration and help with the ecosystem could have worked by showing compatible hardware in first hand.

Forth, Debian was never for newbies and not for that, but because people don’t read manuals. A different aproach would have been educational promotion of the existing Debian manuals before even downloading and even focusing on usability and accesibility to them. Maybe even creating simple English version or a reduced set by chapters.

Fifth, any user should know which hardware is using and get familiar with it. The out of the box concept many people promote leads to the believe of black boxes as solution. A mixed approach is also an option by using H-Node for example.

This could have contributed to the following:

  • showing visibility to other projects working towards getting hardware work with free software.
  • helping new users to find such a hardware instead of falling in the fallacy of “If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist”.
  • contributing to the digital illiteracy lacked by even medium range users of GNU/Linux family and almost all in a general sense using a computer.
  • respecting the digital rights of people instead of making a false declaration of failure.
  • this also derivates in being example for other projects towards getting or developing free software used in hardware such as firmware.
  • you still fit the purposes of the other part by setting the additional image in the most needed cases.
poVoq
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This is not how on boarding of new users works. If you put up a RTFM wall and intentionally make their installation fail they either just stick with Windows or use another more newbie friendly distro.

And Debian is a community driven distribution. It needs new users (who to a small percentage become contributors) all the time or it can’t survive.

Edit: also I don’t see how this is disrespecting your digital rights. If you feel so strongly about the issue you surely made your homework and only run hardware with libre firmware, so this has absolutely no effect on you.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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If you think I am throwing a RTFM I think you are not even reading the first part of my comment. So, in order to understand me correctly, I recommend you to read it carefully part by part.

I don’t see how the second parragraph applies wrongly here.

About your edition, I am unsure if you understand how rights exist. A right, or mostly a natural right while not being guaranteed, is deducible from inalienable interests. These are interests born of aware individuals and are as basic as “I need to eat”.

In this digital world, other inalienable interests are born, and new rights deduced from them. The “4 freedoms” about the software are no more than a build of these rights in the same way the letter of the human rights try to do the same. That is all, no more complex than that.

Rights are also not based on claim. An individual should not claim every time they want their right guaranteed, that is plainly impossible with all individuals. Rights are guaranteed first and get available even before you need them.

By loading, trying and executing propietary software in the devices I use you are violating these rights.

There are manufacturers doing that? Sure. That makes my fight useless because I already could have that being executed? No and pointing to that is a Nirvana fallacy itself: “as you are in shit, doesn’t matter what you do because everything would be like that”.

poVoq
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No my last point was different. At no point is Debian forcing you to use these non-Free firmwares. They are a purely optional inclusion in their installer for those people that do need to use them to get a functional system. Thus your digital rights are not negatively impacted at all.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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First of all, thank you for the clarification.

Related to the inclusion of the installer, that is not what they meant AFAIK. The idea is loading and executing it when applicable, even if it is not needed (RTL 8188EE is an example) as was discussed previously in other voting or mailing list which I need to check.

Edited: it is also supported because, in offers to load the firmware, you must do it at boot time for the initialization of the hardware.

poVoq
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Granted there are some rare edge cases where both options exist, but after installing Debian you are free to revert any such non-Free firmware on your actual system.

you are free to revert any such non-Free firmware

That is not how granting a right works. Damage of it is already made and no, there is no such thing as rare cases.

Additionally, the big part of the hardware in H-Node has non-free firmware available in the respective package, also embedded on boot.

poVoq
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I think you somehow maneuvered yourself into a illogical position without realizing it?

Including some optional firmwares in the install boot-medium infringes zero rights of yours and none of the 4 software freedoms are impacted by this.

Complain with the hardware vendors for making these firmwares a requirement if you will, but better not buy such hardware in the first place. But Debian absolutely did the right thing here to their current and future users by optionally including these non-free firmwares regardless of what some ideological demagogues say.

regardless of what some ideological demagogues say

I never pointed to you with ad hominems. Refrain to do that next time.

It is not my fault that you think that I am backed or not by some people like that, nor I should be the victim for such a case.

poVoq
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I didn’t mean you personally with that, sorry if that was not clear.

It is okay then :3

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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Including some optional firmwares in the install boot-medium infringes zero rights of yours and none of the 4 software freedoms are impacted by this.

Loading at boot time the firmware involves execution in applied hardware of software I have no power in.

Complain with the hardware vendors for making these firmwares a requirement if you will, but better not buy such hardware in the first place.

Doesn’t exclude that Debian did the worse thing. Options existed as I introduced before, and very obvious ones. If they needed help, I have no issues to provide it.

poVoq
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Only if you run hardware that requires it. That is not the fault of Debian and making this hardware available for use is better than not doing it.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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poVoq, I already explained how that works. Almost all the hardware can load it and it is done automatically, not based on an H-Node list to know if it works without it or not, which could be an option. If it is available, will be loaded and executed with compatible hardware.

Debian doesn’t have the fault for what the hardware vendors do, but has the fault for enforcing the situation when other options existed.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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Rewording this:

A proposal I would accept is loading based in H-Node list to know if it works with it or not (a similar thing has been done with Linux-Libre but for enforcing not loading it). I would accept that, and I would give the option at boot time itself.

poVoq
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The majority of the hardware either requires it, or it doesn’t. It is the rare edge case that it can also work in a degraded mode using only Free software, and you are free to not use such firmwares on your system after installing Debian on it. But yes in the 30 minutes or so that you use the installer it will be auto-loaded helping a lot of users actually install an running system and inflicting no damage to you at all.

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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I think you don’t understand what is even an inalienable interest, a right and which are the rights violated here. Yes, there is damage, in freedom.

There is no rare thing for hardware in H-Node working. I would like you to check it and availability. It is less, but it is not a rare case.

The option may exists based on such a list and any of the both sides would be affected negatively. In the same way it saves you time or impossibility in some cases, it would prevent my rights being harmed and save my time yet.

It would involve an initial effort in development, that is right. This would also help more for these rights that failing in the way is doing right now.

poVoq
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I disagree that it removes any Freedom from you, but even if that were the case the damage would be so minuscule compared to the massive improvement for others that literally could not even install Debian on their system before.

And sure, there might be possible complicated work-arounds, but this issue has existed for years and no one bothered to implement them. So finally the silent majority took the right step to make this minimal impact change, and now the ball is really back with those complaining about this change. I am sure Debian will not be opposed to include some sort of selection in the boot process if someone would actually implement it, but that is far from trivial to do.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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The vote has probably made quite a few FSF/GNU zealots upset. I see it as a good thing.

It certainly made proprietary software stakeholders/companies very happy indeed.

Drivers in the installer will make Linux adoption easier.

No. That would be debian-only. Adoption-front is generally Ubuntu, Mint, …

I understand the point, but I was thinking that there were already Linux distributions fitting into that niche…

poVoq
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Not really. They are either not very beginner friendly or have other issues that make then objectively worse, like Ubuntu pushing their Snap crap etc.

Debian made some nice efforts to improve userfriendlyness in recent years, but their installer just failing to work on common hardware was a major sticking point. This should largely resolve this issue at no detriment to anyone.

poVoq
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Yeah, all it did was make newbies choose Ubuntu over Debian and that is just objectively the worse choice.

I believe there’s a lot of misunderstanding of what’s freeSW, what’s openSW, and what debian repos have been providing all along.

Debian has been providing a “non-free” repo for all versions they keep in their repo servers (experimental, unstable, testing, stable) since I can remember.

And to me it’s important to make a difference of what’s freeSW vs. what’s not freeSW, and I prefer to use freeSW, unless I’m forced to use something it’s not freeSW and there’s no way to overcome that.

This is one of the things openSW movements (remember, IBM, MS, Google, and several other corps all are part of, or contribute to openSW fundations, but never had supported the idea of freeSW) have influenced to, and convinced most into. Now the value of freeSW means almost nothing, and most are just happy with openSW. I can’t judge anyone, but just say, this is really sad. And once again I see people treating those defending principles as 2nd class citizens, :(

@Echedenyan@lemmy.ml
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Can you point to the new version.

I see that this is the 2004 one and I don’t find a way to see the new version that is supposed to be mentioned here.

At least, I didn’t find it with a quick search with C-f and some links attached.

Edited: Ah, the information is in the mailing list yet.

Lvxferre
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This link is relevant for context. It’s a small blog post from Steve McIntyre identifying the problems he sees with firmware in Debian and proposing solutions. Eventually McIntyre’s views led to this general resolution.

Quoting from that link:

In my opinion, the way we deal with (non-free) firmware in Debian is a mess, and this is hurting many of our users daily. For a long time we’ve been pretending that supporting and including (non-free) firmware on Debian systems is not necessary. We don’t want to have to provide (non-free) firmware to our users, and in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to. However, it’s very clearly no longer a sensible path when trying to support lots of common current hardware.

With his proposed solution being to

[…] split out the non-free firmware packages into a new non-free-firmware component in the archive, and allow a specific exception only to allow inclusion of those packages on our official media. We would then generate only one set of official media, including those non-free firmware packages.

So basically the same that was voted now, “Change SC for non-free firmware in installer, one installer”.


In my humble opinion, as a literal nobody on the internet: sometimes you need to take a step back to take two forward. This inclusion looks undesirable but necessary, and I feel like giving differential treatment to non-free firmware vs. non-free software was the right move here, to minimise the ideological damage caused by promotion of non-free code.

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