[Mageia-dev] Non-free firmwares in installer

Buchan Milne bgmilne at staff.telkomsa.net
Thu Mar 24 12:22:44 CET 2011

On Thursday, 24 March 2011 12:48:22 Romain d'Alverny wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 11:39, Wolfgang Bornath <molch.b at googlemail.com> 
> > But I don't think it would be a good idea to include non-free contents
> > in the distribution ISOs at all. That this assumed majority does not
> > care about the issue does not mean we should not care either. We
> > should rather stress the point.
> > 
> > We already made such a difference by using different repositories, we
> > not continue this in our "product line"? We use a different repo for
> > non-free, we also should use a different ISO for non-free.
> Well, that's precisely debatable (and why I'll try to setup a relevant
> survey through marcom). The ISO can be seen as a static commodity
> storage; that it holds core and nonfree makes no such difference as
> that those two media are available from the network without
> discrimination.
> So yes, the ISO in itself would not be free anymore; but as long as
> the install process does not pick into the nonfree media unless the
> user asks to, what does it make an issue (not that I have no idea
> about that, just that I'd like to see it expressed again from a
> different POV of mine - and that will help for the survey definition
> too).

The question is, why do we want to have a free distribution? What are suitable 

The users who want a Free distribution, would probably choose one that adheres 
to the FSF free distribution guidelines:


I think we already don't meet them, with or without a Free DVD, even if we 
were to remove non-free firmware in the kernel, because we have non-free 

> And that would make the case for a consistent installing experience
> that, no matter you're doing an exclusively ISO-based install or a
> network-based install, you get through the same steps (with a
> consistent opt-in or opt-out, clearly explained). It would only happen
> that non-free media is available locally if asked for.
> The alternative, if we're not to mix things on the static media, is to
> have distinct ISOs: free and nonfree/tainted ones. Times the format:
> DVD/CD/arch/USB through which we would have to decide to ease:
> building, qa and distribution (we will have to choose a default one to
> provide to visitors on the download page for instance).

Is there a real benefit? Or, is usability more important? Or, do we want to 
discuss with FSF the guidelines and whether it is possible for a distribution 
project to both meet their guidelines (e.g., if user chooses X media, they 
will never be prompted for non-free software, repositories etc.) and be useful 
for real-world-users who can't always choose hardware based on open-ness 


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