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#1 2018-11-07 16:32:38

Duke Nukem
Member
Registered: 2018-11-07
Posts: 13  

Sources List all Non-Free ?

Hi, I've been using Devuan since the first beta, but only just joined the forum on occasion of installing ASCII.

Looking at the repositories in my sources.list as installed by default, they are all suffixed with "non-free contrib", which is not like in the list on the Download Page here: https://devuan.org/get-devuan.  I don't care much if it is free or non-free, but am I missing something? Should I add the repository addresses without the suffixes (or just remove the suffixes)? What does "contrib" mean? I cannot remember what was in the sources.list in my previous installations. Thanks for any help.

PS : I have just found a previous thread from which I gather that it was a choice I made during installation to allow non-free stuff.  But my question is, does the non-free depository contain the free stuff as a subset, or should I nominate both the free and the non-free repositories in my sources.list?

Here is my sources.list :-

deb cdrom:[devuan_ascii_2.0.0_amd64_dvd-1]/ ascii main non-free

deb http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii main non-free contrib
deb-src http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii main non-free contrib

deb http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-security main non-free contrib
deb-src http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-security main non-free contrib

deb http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates main non-free contrib
deb-src http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates main non-free contrib

Last edited by Duke Nukem (2018-11-07 19:22:32)

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#2 2018-11-07 19:48:56

arnaiz
Member
From: Leon
Registered: 2018-10-28
Posts: 27  
Website

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

- not free: these are redistributable packages but not free according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
- contrib: is free software compatible with the DFSG, but depends on some packages that are not free.
- main: it is the standard repository of devuan and all the software included here includes free software according with the DFSG.

Try to remove contrib and non-free repositories and if you need a package from there, enable it.

DFSG
https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses

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#3 2018-11-07 21:13:57

eric_openssl
Member
Registered: 2018-10-31
Posts: 10  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

hi, does it mean that is a fallout-licence ?

Last edited by eric_openssl (2018-11-07 21:15:03)

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#4 2018-11-07 21:30:22

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,011  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

If you select one of the expert installs (graphical or not) AND select a mirror, then you will be asked if you want contrib and non-free in sources.list.

Without doing those two things, if your hardware requires non-free firmware, then sources.list will include contrib and non-free and the necessary packages will be installed.

The live isos have some non-free wireless firmware installed and a script to remove those packages. Only the main repo is enabled in sources.list.

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#5 2018-11-07 23:36:15

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Not sure how this is implemented, but personally, I find it unacceptable to enable these sources without asking the user for confirmation first (is this really the case?). I was also rather  disappointed to find these repos enabled by default in the embedded builds.

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#6 2018-11-08 00:09:53

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,535  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

kuleszdl wrote:

Not sure how this is implemented, but personally, I find it unacceptable to enable these sources without asking the user for confirmation first (is this really the case?). I was also rather  disappointed to find these repos enabled by default in the embedded builds.

fsmith red explained it very clearly.

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#7 2018-11-08 00:22:22

arnaiz
Member
From: Leon
Registered: 2018-10-28
Posts: 27  
Website

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

eric_openssl wrote:

hi, does it mean that is a fallout-licence ?

That resource explains what licenses are approved and which not. As said before, If a package and dependencies has a compatible license goes to main and in other cases goes to contrib or non-free.

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#8 2018-11-08 00:36:58

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Well, the question that remains open to me is why such an important question is asked only in expert installs? I see a heavy conflict with this behavior of the installer and the statement posted on the website about non free-firmware (at https://devuan.org/os/source-code):

Devuan packages are 100% free software, and belong to the main section.

Devuan also provides contrib and non-free from Debian. We don’t recommend using these though:

    the contrib section contains free code that depends on non-free software.
    the non-free section contains packages distributed under the terms of proprietary licenses that deny you one or more computing freedoms.

But sometimes you don’t have a choice: if your machine requires non-free firmware to run, some computing is better than none. You should be aware that non-free firmware may contain undisclosed functionality that may be used against you (backdoors or spyware), and there’s little chance to discover it, as the source code is not available for review. Using non-free software means to trust the vendor not only to be cooperative, but also to not be coerced into shipping insecure or malevolvent code.

Proprietary software licenses (non-free) may grant the vendor explicit or implicit rights beyond what the law requires from you as a user, such as copyright waivers for content created using the program, or the ability for the vendor to use your image or sell your private information. Please consult a lawyer before choosing to relinquish your freedom.

=> The website warns about enabling these repositories and even recommends consulting a lawyer before using non-free firmware, but the installer loads it by default without asking? I thought this must have been some misunderstanding, but I just actually tested this on a system with Intel 5300 Wifi and indeed the installer does not ask at all and silently loads the non-free firmware. mad

Imho, even if the installer finds hardware that needs non-free firmware, who says the user wants to use this hardware at all? If the Devuan policy is that non-free firmware might be harmful and only enabled with care, the installer imho should not decide this for users only in expert mode.

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#9 2018-11-08 00:59:15

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,535  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

kuleszdl wrote:

Well, the question that remains open to me is why such an important question is asked only in expert installs? I see a heavy conflict with this behavior of the installer and the statement posted on the website about non free-firmware (at https://devuan.org/os/source-code)

The website warns about enabling these repositories and even recommends consulting a lawyer before using non-free firmware, but the installer loads it by default without asking? I thought this must have been some misunderstanding, but I just actually tested this on a system with Intel 5300 Wifi and indeed the installer does not ask at all and silently loads the non-free firmware. mad

That statement was written a long time ago and I agree that section should be updated to explain the current policy.

Imho, even if the installer finds hardware that needs non-free firmware, who says the user wants to use this hardware at all? If the Devuan policy is that non-free firmware might be harmful and only enabled with care, the installer imho should not decide this for users only in expert mode.

I remember the debate but not the details for the decision to install non-free make non-free available to install if needed so have requested clarification of how that came about.  As soon as I know, you will too.

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#10 2018-11-08 01:13:55

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Many thanks, highly appreciate your effort!

Even if the article might be dated, the major selling message "software freedom, your way" is in conflict with the installer's behaviour (or its debconf priority). I realized that the current policy is different from Debian (they only have these explicitly unofficial non-free isos but do not ship non-free firmware in their base distribution), and this makes me sad. However, I know that some users don't care about non-free firmware and, thus, I partially understand that the Devuan devs might argue for shipping non-free firmware by default. Still, I can't understand why the user is asked about enabling/loading it only in expert install mode. This is definitely not software freedom "my way".

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#11 2018-11-08 17:10:38

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,011  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Still, I can't understand why the user is asked about enabling/loading it only in expert install mode. This is definitely not software freedom "my way".

It's a limitation of the installer. We would love to have it ask about non-free in all situations, but we couldn't get it to do that. We do have other ideas about how to solve this problem, so don't count on it being this way permanently.

For now, you have to choose expert install and a mirror to get it your way. The alternative would be to leave the non-free firmware packages off the isos, and then those who need it would not be able to get it their way.

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#12 2018-11-08 18:29:50

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Would it be an option to provide two ISO flavors (free and non-free) in the meantime (i.e. the current way Debian handles this atm) until the issue can be resolved in the installer?

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#13 2018-11-08 19:11:28

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,011  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Separate isos for free and non-free is a possibility. I'm planning to push for a better solution than what we now have when we get to making beowulf isos. There's also been talk of a libre repo (with libre kernel). But at this point, it's just talk. No actual plans yet.

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#14 2018-11-09 00:52:28

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Glad to see that this is actually perceived as an issue that requires action.

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#15 2018-11-09 10:22:46

Duke Nukem
Member
Registered: 2018-11-07
Posts: 13  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

arnaiz wrote:

- not free: these are redistributable packages but not free according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
- contrib: is free software compatible with the DFSG, but depends on some packages that are not free.
- main: it is the standard repository of devuan and all the software included here includes free software according with the DFSG.

Thanks for that, I now understand the definitions.  But with that, and with searching other threads, I still have a simple practical question : is the stuff in the "main" repositories included as a subset in the "non-free" repositories, or does the "non-free" repository contain only "non-free" stuff?

Or putting it another way, if I want free and non-free stuff, should I have both "main" and "non-free" repositories in my sources.list or is just "non-free" enough?

Or putting it third way, does the line :-

deb http://gb.deb.devuan.org/merged ascii main non-free contrib

....  refer to three different repositories ("main" "non-free" and "contrib") that are all included by that statement? Or is it refering to a single block of stuff that contains it all, and there is a separate block, invoked by :-

deb http://deb.devuan.org/merged ascii          main

.... that contains free stuff and only free stuff?

Sorry, I was not intending to start an ideological discussion here :-S

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#16 2018-11-09 17:05:19

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,011  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

You must have at least 'main' on the deb line, or you'll get nothing. If you add contrib and non-free, it makes those packages available, too. You could put main, contrib and non-free on separate deb lines if you wanted, or all three on one line. Either way does the same thing.

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#17 2018-11-09 17:16:00

Duke Nukem
Member
Registered: 2018-11-07
Posts: 13  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

@ fsmithred : Thanks for that, I get it now.

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#18 2018-11-18 08:51:56

KatolaZ
Member
Registered: 2017-03-11
Posts: 76  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

If I can add two cents to the discussion:

The point is not that we don't know how to ask the user if they want to use non-free software or not  at install time:-) Devuan has decided to ship non-free firmware in the install media. Now if a user needs non-free firmware, they ought have contrib and non-free in their sources.list, otherwise their wifi card (or worse, their CPU) will stop working at the first kernel upgrade, effectively nullifying the potential benefits of having non-free firmware available at all. If we provide non-free firmware, and then ask the user if they want non-free software or not, this will just cause breakage.

We could definitely consider providing a version of netinst without non-free firmware. But please, do not assume any "bad will" on Devuan's side: any new little thing that you dream of requires time and effort to be transformed into reality. Devuan does not have hundreds of developers. If you see anything that "should be absolutely done!", please consider whether you can help with that, and shout out on #devuan-dev.

HND

KatolaZ

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#19 2018-11-19 21:37:00

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Devuan has decided to ship non-free firmware in the install media. Now if a user needs non-free firmware, they ought have contrib and non-free in their sources.list, otherwise their wifi card (or worse, their CPU) will stop working at the first kernel upgrade, effectively nullifying the potential benefits of having non-free firmware available at all.

It should be possible to not load it at install time already. If a users then realizes that this or that does not work they still have the option to use non-free firmware or to switch to hardware that runs without non-free firmware.

I am aware of the fact that Devuan does not have that many resources, but I am still confused why it was decided not to keep the stuff as it was in Debian (two flavors) instead of changing it - something that sounds to me like more work, not less.

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#20 2018-11-20 09:28:24

cynwulf
Member
Registered: 2017-10-09
Posts: 224  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

kuleszdl, perhaps you should be more concerned about the plethora of proprietary closed source firmware already present and running on all x86 (and ARM) based hardware?  A few firmware images distributed with the kernel is not going to make a lot of difference.  If you don't have the relevant hardware, then the firmware isn't going to be loaded.  If you do have the hardware, then presumably you're going to want the device to work?

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#21 2018-11-22 22:01:12

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

cynwulf: There are scenarios where a user might have a machine that has some hardware that requires proprietary firmware (e.g. wifi) built-in, but wants to use other hardware instead (e.g. USB-wifi based on ath9k or just wired ethernet). My point is that the installer will inject the proprietary firmware without asking, no matter if the hardware is going to be used at all or not.

You mentioned ARM as well. Well, especially on ARM there are many freedom-friendly boards that are great for server usage except that they have a proprietary wifi/bluetooth chip soldered-on. Apart from that fact that many of these chips are crappy anyways and do not work well in hostapd mode, as a user I would expect to be offered a choice.

Btw.: There is enough older x86 hardware that can be operated without any proprietary firmware except for microcode and (isolated) EC controller firmware.

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#22 2018-11-23 09:16:27

cynwulf
Member
Registered: 2017-10-09
Posts: 224  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

kuleszdl wrote:

cynwulf: There are scenarios where a user might have a machine that has some hardware that requires proprietary firmware (e.g. wifi) built-in, but wants to use other hardware instead (e.g. USB-wifi based on ath9k or just wired ethernet). My point is that the installer will inject the proprietary firmware without asking, no matter if the hardware is going to be used at all or not.

So avoid loading one firmware image, for no apparent reason, but just pretend the rest of devices which already have proprietary firmware on the device, don't exist?  If you don't want to use a device, you can just blacklist the kernel modules (or build a kernel without support for that device).

kuleszdl wrote:

You mentioned ARM as well. Well, especially on ARM there are many freedom-friendly boards that are great for server usage except that they have a proprietary wifi/bluetooth chip soldered-on.

As above, just blacklist those kernel modules and firmware loading never becomes an issue.  Having a module loading and failing during boot up due to missing firmware is just a sloppy way of disabling a device anyway.

kuleszdl wrote:

Btw.: There is enough older x86 hardware that can be operated without any proprietary firmware except for microcode and (isolated) EC controller firmware.

I would really like to see your actual examples of "older" x86 hardware which doesn't have a proprietary BIOS and proprietary firmware loaded onto hard disk controllers, optical drives, onboard NICs, etc, etc...

Last edited by cynwulf (2018-11-23 09:17:09)

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#23 2018-11-23 15:47:59

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 206  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Most linuxers are running non-free computers Kuleszdl, think about it.

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#24 2018-11-23 23:31:26

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 39  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

Again: The whole point is about choice and, therefore, asking users whether they want non-free firmware to be loaded or not. The question whether you have a choice is an essential part about freedom, just like the question whether you can choose your Init system or not. Imho, the choice should happen in an "opt-in" and not in an "opt-out" manner - especially if Devuan considers non-free firmware to be potentially harmful in terms of security or copyright issues (as discussed above).

Some older x86 hardware that does not require running non-free firmware on the main cpu (in kernel space) is listed on the Libreboot page:

https://libreboot.org/docs/hardware/#li … d-hardware

There is also other hardware such as the APU boards from PCEngines that ships with coreboot preinstalled (the older dual-core generation uses a cpu that did not have AMD's PSP built-in). Of course, there is other firmware that runs on auxillary chips (such as optical drives or NICs) but as far as I understood the discussion here is about non-free software/firmware that runs on the main cpu, not elsewhere.

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#25 2018-11-23 23:38:53

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,535  

Re: Sources List all Non-Free ?

@kuleszdl . . . Free software is a DO-ocracy.  You are free to submit a patch to the installer that will do exactly what you want.

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