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#1 Re: DIY » Linux ports of OpenBSD's ksh » 2019-04-11 13:39:34

Having a conflicts stanza in the control file, which you should have if you want to distribute this (I haven't checked) is not going to work as a long term solution.  You will be better served with some renaming (prefixing) of binaries and perhaps an install target in /usr/local - end user can then just set up aliases as necessary and there's much less danger of your 3rd party package clobbering anything from official repos.

#2 Re: Devuan » What happened at » 2019-04-05 10:54:44

It would seem that some here haven't seen many "pwned" sites, nor that many such sites are cracked by so called "script kiddies"...

There are a few notable issues with this:  Just because it's April 1st, doesn't mean a website which appears to have been cracked on that date hasn't actually been cracked and that simply because it appears to be an April 1st hoax, doesn't mean that it automatically is one, simply by virtue of it being April 1st.

Social engineering, i.e. lulling victims into a false sense of security or simply playing to their greed, arrogance / self importance are all more important in stealing data than the actual exploits / tools used.

I don't see the main problem as being with the prank page, but in how the whole prank was perpetuated on the project's mailing lists, at the expense of many of those around the world who may not see the significance of April 1st.

#3 Re: Devuan » What happened at » 2019-04-03 08:09:32

In my opinion he doesn't need to go.  He might need a talking to, but to me it's not really clear as to who was actually responsible.  To me at least it appears that the (three?) main devs knew about this prank and are now being rather silent.  I personally don't use/read twitter, don't care about twitter - the apology, the explanation even, for this just needs to be an announcement on the project's main page.  Clear up the confusion - "we were not 'hacked', it was an April fools joke which backfired", etc.  Hoping it just blows over is insulting, it feeds the trolls and damages the project's reputation even more. £0.02

It reminds me of the breach of 2011 (one of the the incidents which led me on the path of abandoning Linux altogether).  Rather than an entirely transparent and honest approach, there was what could be called a "cover up" or a "whitewash", coupled with a period of "radio silence".  The people ordinary running Linux, in many cases, running a business or running something mission critical on it were simply shut out, while the kernel devs hastily cleaned up their mess behind closed doors.

That's not the example to follow.

#4 Re: Devuan » What happened at » 2019-04-02 09:27:16

golinux wrote:

I was not amused.

sgage wrote:

I checked out #devuan. I just want to go on record as saying that this was an extremely shitty April Fool's prank. Not amusing at all. You don't prank your project's main page. For hours. This is arrant foolery. I am very disappointed.

spinlock wrote:

I agree 100%. Not clever, not funny, unprofessional and actively undermining the reputation and trust of the project. Quite unbelievably misjudged.

Lysander wrote:

I personally find this puerile. There are some people [seasoned *nixers among them] who don't view Devuan as a serious project, this doesn't help.

Ron wrote:

This was not harmless humor. I'd still like to know who did this, and how high up the Devuan food-chain they are. Making your own website look like it was hacked? How stupid can you get? If people don't take Devuan seriously, it looks like now they got a reason. Way to go.

ChuangTzu wrote:

Completely unprofessional and amateurish.

I have to say that I agree...

I have always been skeptical of Devuan as a serious project, so while this prank does seem somewhat incredible in it's level of stupidity, this doesn't really surprise me as such - in that it's no shocking revelation to me at least.  I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a project lead by self declared "Veteran 'UNIX' Admins" and just ignore much of the negativity I'd read elsewhere, hence why I joined this forum just to keep up to date with the project and participate in some of the more general threads, etc.

It just reaffirms it for me that this is not a project to be taken seriously.  It really just smacks of a few kewl kids / fanbois who like to call themselves by a collective kewl club name, doing what various others have done, time and time again - take Debian, make some changes, repackage some bits, design a logo, come up with a different name and call it a "distribution".

There's actually nothing wrong with that in itself, but if that's what it is, then its developers need to make it clear and its users need to be informed.

#5 Re: Devuan » Devuan's planetary theming » 2019-03-27 10:52:48

Lysander wrote:

I must admit to finding it very amusing that Debian, the original free software zealot OS, did not only use a brush from proprietary software to make its logo, it was the logo. Just great.

When I did the logo for the DUF forum, I had to use a similar font, as recommended in the project's wiki, as the actual font used in the original logo is proprietary: … /standard/

It's quite a disappointment to see such an iconic "branding" reduced to an Adobe brush and a proprietary font.  On the plus side, the red diamond i dot is at least original... maybe...

I would say that Debian ceased to be the "free software zealot OS" quite a number of years ago.  I don't quite get why "DFSG" is given so much importance, but that's another story.

#6 Re: Devuan » Devuan's planetary theming » 2019-03-26 11:00:47

Yes the copyright on the logo has always been dubious: … 00015.html

An older reference to a mailing list post, which I remember reading some years ago: … 00340.html

(also linked from that posting)

Then there is the small matter of the proprietary font.

That's what happens if you don't create original artwork.  As the Adobe Illustrator brush is used to create the image, with the ragged edges and can reproduce the logo reliably, it simply can't be securely copyrighted.  So just not as defensible as e.g. the Tux, GNU or Beastie logos.

#7 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-21 12:00:45

Panopticon wrote:

I cant speak for this, only those who actually know could tell you, so in my opinion this statement of yours is your own opinion and not really based in any sort of verifable facts is it?

Think of gnome project, to name just a few.  Then consider Red Hat/IBM, Canonical, SUSE, Debian project, et al - all of that is very systemd entangled and it can only get worse...

It's all gone very corporate very quickly in the last decade or so.  Corporations are pulling the strings, paying the developers, paying the bills, etc.  That includes the Linux kernel itself, via the Linux Foundation.

Distributions like Slackware and Devuan are doomed to being a downstream which have to take this, adapt it, package it and distribute it.  The 'BSDs have it little better.  Lennart Poettering once described "BSD" as "irrelevant".  That's probably quite a true statement from his perspective and as a Red Hat employee.  Anything 'BSD derived is not a Red Hat product and a potential competitor in the making.  But it's true mainly because anything 'BSD derived is a tiny fraction of a percent of the server market.  It illustrates that the big corporations funding free software development don't care about "the little man".  It's not such a huge leap from "BSD" to "Devuan" or other niche distributions in terms of perceived irrelevancy.

Again with the 'BSDs as an example - they build small, well put together, base operating systems, which are focused on servers and the specific needs of certain types of users (who are usually developers) - for example you might find OpenBSD running as an "appliance", e.g. a NAT firewall/router or you may come across a FreeBSD or DragonFly box as a file server...  it's inconceivable to some in the Linux camp, that many running these OS don't install much from ports and often don't run X.  For these "veteran UNIX admins" UNIX was and still is a server OS.

But if one wants something close to "the Linux experience" on these platforms (i.e. a desktop) one is faced with installing pretty much the same shit, X11, toolkits, etc, etc, that you'd find on a Linux system.

The *BSD porters have to workaround the specific "Linuxisms" to get things to work.  Even then they have a repository of software nowhere as extensive as Debian's with lots of missing functionality.

Eventually due to lack of man power and time one of two things will happen:

1) They will stop maintaining the port
2) They will introduce the piece of software they had previously been excluding - to make their job easier.

So, eventually this will get much more difficult, as you're dealing with upstream developers whom for the most part really don't share the anti systemd ideology of this project and other similar projects (and certainly couldn't less about any 'BSD).  If some downstream obscure Linux distribution or OS suffers, that's their problem.  This is a big departure from when developers used to write software which was designed to be built from source, to be portable, to be "POSIX" code, etc.

We've already seen the above happening...

You're asking me for "verifiable" facts, I'm asking you for the facts with respect to any upstream developers of major components who are actively avoiding "systemd entanglement" and still building portable software for *NIX systems / and/or are planning to keep doing so for years to come?  I only see *BSD developers doing this and they are swimming against the tide as well.

Devuan has the difficult option of pushing back, or staying in it's corner - that's the point ESR was making (in his unsubtle way), ruffling feathers in the process.  It's up to the Devuan project to decide on that one.  I'm not adverse to either idea - I use an OS which has opted to stay in it's corner, time will tell on that one...

As golinux has insinuated - I really have no business here, that's true, but can't say the same for another one of golinux's insinuations, i.e. that I'm somehow trolling (and should be ignored!).

But as I don't use Devuan and don't plan to, I have to admit that whilst it's been fun at times, my time here is up and I really have nothing more to add.  It has been good to be in an environment where all of the defects and obvious problems with systemd are recognised - the same cannot be said elsewhere, where the typical apologists shout the loudest.

I sincerely wish all of you and the Devuan project well.

#8 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-20 16:04:17

Panopticon wrote:

Here is an example, i own a Harley Davidson motorcycle, i go to the dealer and say well you know, the starter motor on this is shit, you should really replace all of your stock because i believe it is shit and doesn't work and all the hard work you did in R/D amounts to sfa, id help out with more information on why but im selling this pos and buying a Honda, nevermind the suzuki I came here on!


The problem here is:  you=customer, "the dealer"=the supplier.

(Also the automobile analogies were bad enough...)

This is very different to the supplier/customer relationship.

It's software and there is no analogy you can make that will make any sense, unless it is related to software...

The software is free and provided "as is".  The argument of "if you don't like, you can fuck off", definitely applies.  But if a project wants to gain contributors, then that is not a sound strategy or there needs to be a tad more give and take.

There is also a huge difference between someone like ESR and someone who is just a pure end user or sysadmin, who wants the distro to which he is switching to work like his previous distro...

ESR clearly wanted to support and endorse the project and wanted to see reasons as to the viability and longevity of the project.  He is clearly an adversary of systemd.  From my perspective he wanted to "get onboard" with a project which is pushing back against the tide.

This seems to be a project (as with OpenBSD) which is happy enough to sit in it's corner and do it's own thing, working around an "upstream" which is going in the opposite direction and which will make things harder and harder for projects like this one as time goes on...

As I hinted at early, OpenBSD also sees many cases of the needy and demanding type who wants the project to change to suit his specific needs, but contributes precisely zero...  I don't think ESR was saying "change your project to suit me" - more so "change your project to be a "player" when it comes to users choosing between Devuan and other Debian/systemd based Linux distributions.

It was posted from the perspective of the "bigger picture" rather than just a "rant" about Devuan not being Mint - as some have received it.

Panopticon wrote:

Edit: I just dont think you cynwulf get what devuan actually is neither does esr.

Perhaps it's not about what Devuan is, but what it could be...?

That's all.

#9 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-20 15:00:40

Panopticon wrote:

@ cynwulf.

What makes you think this comment? Specifically the "dont like it fuck off" approach, i cant see any of that in this thread.

Well ok...

golinux wrote:

We are doing our thing and quite happy doing it.
Not just talk but tangible alternatives.  Whether you stick around or not is a decision you will have to make for yourself.

golinux wrote:

Oh . . . is that all?  Looking forward to your patch.

golinux wrote:

If you want that feature, use Ubuntu or Mint or better yet lobby to have an Ubuntu or Mint Devuan Edition.  Please stop trying to turn us into something we aren't (and hopefully will never be).


Which preceded ESR's fairly predictable exit...  not due to his taking offence might I add, but he has obviously concluded that participating here is a waste of time.

Panopticon wrote:

Im sure ESR made up his mind before even posting a flame thread.

Again, the defensive stuff...

I cannot see how a user coming to this site, making a first post, stating that he wants to use Devuan, that he wants to avoid systemd and then posting some critique, can be considered a "flame thread".

My point is that we all derive certain things from a post.  I have derived something different from his post to many of you.  I personally don't see the post as "that big a deal".  Kalolaz replied admirably, with real reasoning and explanation of the goals and aims of the project, as did a few others.  golinux - as ever - went into the usual kneejerk defensive mode... (too much time on FDN does that to people, they see trolls under every bridge).

I'm actually here in the somewhat vain hope of seeing an actual substantial contribution from golinux, rather than the typical ideological claptrap...

I got tired of reading golinux's funny troll posts (most likely posted when bored or having a bad day...) over at FDN (de facto official Debian forums).  I have to say that having a Devuan project member (and admin of this forum) "stationed" over there to "spread the word", as it were, is a sound strategy.

Footnote: golinux and I have a long and mostly amicable history so I know who I am chiding.  wink

#10 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-19 08:59:32

You should get some more sleep and spend less time on forums like this one.

#11 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-18 16:30:08

But, many here seemed to miss the points he was trying to make...  I'm glad you mentioned Linus Torvalds - a history of some rather outstanding assholery, yet people tend to sit up and take notice if he has something to say about the kernel and just overlook all that.

On the old FDN Debian forums, there were many "assholish" posters and their posts were often, though admittedly not always, worth reading...  the style is one thing, the content something else.  With some of these technical types, you often have to filter through the "attitude" to get to what's important.

Users coming from pre systemd Debian, should not need things sugar coating.

I found the pertinent points in his post - i.e. the firmware situation and replied to those.  Others were simply wounded by the criticism and posted their rebuttals.

You can see his main point in fact - that if Devuan does not "outcompete" the Debian/Ubuntu/systemd side of things, then it becomes almost irrelevant.

To go further, if I want a system-less Linux, I can install from a plethora of systemd free distributions and operating systems - so why bother with this one specifically...?

e.g. I can install Slackware or SalixOS or a 'BSD which will allow complete systemd avoidance.  There are even a few other systemd-less Debian derivatives.

If Devuan is just going to adopt the "if you don't like it you can fuck off" approach, it's going to remain very, very niche - "competing" with the likes of OpenBSD or NetBSD rather Debian or Red Hat.

The current approach is playing into the hands of Debian project, Red Hat, Poettering, Canonical, et al as this will forever remain a niche with no significant funding/backing - forever reliant on Debian as an upstream and just being dismissed by the project - which as an upstream has the power to make things, not impossible, but cumbersome, laborious and complicated for "derivative" distributions like Devuan if it so chooses.

If you want to know what happens to such projects, just read about when OpenBSD couldn't pay their electricity bill, when NetBSD nearly went under for good - or perhaps more significantly what has recently happened in terms of Slackware's revenue stream...

Devuan doesn't need the massive corporate backers (who tend to end up pulling the strings...), but surely attracting some smaller entities and individuals can only be a good thing?

#12 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2019-02-15 16:53:57 wrote:

I agree with many of the points raised here, and am especially happy to see Eric take interest in Devuan.

I somehow doubt ESR will be back...

esr wrote:

I must tell you that level of hostility I'm seeing here against making Devuan more welcoming is not exactly encouraging me to commit to such a project.  Why do it if the core devs not only don't care about the issue but would prefer sitting in their own corner muttering about purity and shuffling the problem off to unspecified derivatives?

I must say that I can see his point.

While his entrance was perhaps a little "bombastic", I don't think all the immediate rebuttals and defensiveness was warranted.

I've seen a lot worse than ESR's comments, elsewhere.  As a 'BSD user, I've seen people who post on the mailing lists asking for features which are in Linux or another 'BSD.  They have a special information thread at the FreeBSD forums for such posters.

So I can absolutely see where the "hostility" has come from - however as I pointed out earlier in the thread, I think the "Devuan still sucks pretty badly" comment has certainly put some posters noses out of joint.  It would have been better to recognise the opportunity presented and just reply to the pertinent points, rather than going down the "submit your patch" / point by point deconstruction route.

ESR would have been a useful ally and proponent for the project - however I think it's safe to say that ship has now sailed.

#13 Re: Devuan » Why are pulseaudio files present in Devuan? » 2019-02-07 12:40:43

thecolorjay wrote:

I think your objections should be considered but I don't agree that OpenBSD is completely free of these things either. It's quite easy to install most of what you mentioned in OpenBSD as well.

The main difference is that they are in ports.  So they are not actually part of OpenBSD's base system and not developed by the project.  People can choose whether to use them or not.

In essence the ports system of any *BSD is what amounts to "almost all the crap you get with a typical Linux distribution".

It's probably important to note that:

1) Many OpenBSD developers/users don't install any of it, or just very little (same applies to any 'BSD).
2) Many OpenBSD developers/users don't run X or care about audio, etc.
3) Many OpenBSD developers/users use a different OS altogether as a desktop, as they don't subscribe to the "GNU ideology" / Linux fanclub, whatever you want to call it.

thecolorjay wrote:

I do agree that Chromium is awful, I don't use it either.

I currently use Iridium, have been doing so for well over 12 months, but I will probably switch back to seamonkey or firefox at some point soon.

Iridium has been good, but I have a growing problem with the "chromium base" and it's dominance of the web browser market - a bandwagon which Microsoft have now jumped on as well in rebasing their Edge browser on it.

In terms of the UI/configuration options, firefox seems to be intent on aping the horrible chromium style.  That's not a good strategy.

#14 Re: Devuan » Why are pulseaudio files present in Devuan? » 2018-12-31 13:51:09

From everything I've read thus far, it would seem that building with alsa support enabled and pulseaudio support disabled is still supported, for now. … refox.html

#15 Re: Devuan » Why are pulseaudio files present in Devuan? » 2018-12-31 00:52:39

As far as I know there is no dependency on pulseaudio with quantum.  I am running it on OpenBSD and I have no pulseaudio installed - and no alsa in fact.

#16 Re: Off-topic » OpenBSD » 2018-12-20 17:21:18

Ogis, you're spewing a continuous stream of bullshit.  It's not getting any better as it goes on.

Your "opinions" are not worth entertaining, as they fall well short of the level to be considered valid opinions.

Ogis1975 wrote:



#17 Re: Off-topic » OpenBSD » 2018-12-20 16:50:34

If you perceive that statement as a "threat", you're clearly an even bigger idiot than I had first assumed.

Just stop making an even bigger ass of yourself and run along and play with your FreeBSD.

#18 Re: Off-topic » OpenBSD » 2018-12-20 16:39:08

You're making an outstanding idiot of yourself and should just stop now before it's too late.

#19 Re: Off-topic » OpenBSD » 2018-12-20 15:52:11

Ogis1975 wrote:

It only proves how advanced their sectarian paranoia is [bla, blah, blah]

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."


siva wrote:

nvidia drivers have always been a pain, foss or otherwise (especially the otherwise).

Well OpenBSD have not ported the reverse engineered nouveau driver, nor does there seem to be any interest in doing so, but that's not to say that it's been expressly prohibited.  There is the nv(4) driver which works for some, for some older hardware (which hasn't been removed), but that's about it.  In all other cases it's the VESA driver or buying supported hardware (hint: as is often the case with any OS).

It's worth noting that FreeBSD haven't ported the Linux nouveau kms driver either.  There was an effort, as I recall, about a decade ago which stalled and there has been little or no interest ever since (partially because there is the well maintained vendor BLOB and partially due to lack of interest/developer time).  I remember reading that early non kms xf86-video-nouveau did kind of half work at one stage as I recall, probably around 7.0-release (just a little before I first started using FreeBSD).

nouveau has been recently ported to NetBSD however and has been enabled by default since 8.0 release.  So some progress and now a real possibility of future cross porting to other 'BSDs (if someone wants to do it).

The nvidia proprietary UNIX (BLOB) driver is available to a particular OS entirely at the discretion of nvidia corporation - so is therefore a moot point and not worth further discussion.

Even if the BLOB were on offer, the OpenBSD project would not sign any NDAs and not permit the loading of the BLOB as a kernel module regardless, as that would be completely at odds with the objectives, history and goals of the project.

#20 Re: Off-topic » OpenBSD » 2018-12-20 10:08:06

MiyoLinux wrote:

Although, I somewhat prefer OpenBSD...I could never figure out how to install it on a single partition on my multiple partitioned hard drive.

Refer to fdisk(8), which has a good explanation of how GPT and MBR partitions are handled by OpenBSD.

OpenBSD can install to either type, but the partition still has a disklabel(8) created.  So in either case the GPT or MBR partition serves only as a "container" for OpenBSD's native disklabel partition layout.

The OpenBSD installer will assume by default that you are installing the OS on a whole block device as the sole OS.  For other scenarios, it's necessary to read the documentation before making any hasty decisions or assumptions.

I'm hardly an authority on multi-booting as I run OpenBSD, on both my computers as the sole OS.

#21 Re: Devuan » Why are pulseaudio files present in Devuan? » 2018-12-14 08:51:26

Whether pulseaudio is bad or not, it's a very different situation to systemd.  The main difference is that it was written as *nix software rather than "Linux proprietary", like systemd.  So it can be installed and run on e.g. the 'BSDs, Illumos, even macOS.

It can be avoided - any software which supposedly depends on it can be recompiled to use an alternative sound system / server.  Many people confuse the choices of distribution maintainers and new defaults with "hard dependencies".

The real story of why pulseaudio got such a bad reputation, is down to Ubuntu about 10 years ago.  They, as ever, released a half baked implementation which caused many users a lot of grief at the time.  Even Poettering described it at the time as the "software which breaks your sound" or some such thing.

#23 Re: Devuan » Why are pulseaudio files present in Devuan? » 2018-12-13 14:58:36

spartrekus wrote:


I think that that Devuan tries to be a *free* distribution, without ads, malwares, spying, NSA, and many beautiful modern Snowden technologies. But, Devuan and Linux kernel running increasingly more and more full of those things.

One of them is Pulseaudio, which makes Devuan not like it is described:

Citation needed.  I would really like to read about pulseaudio with respect to what you're describing...?  Seriously what has Poettering been up to now?

spartrekus wrote:

Chromium has no place here in the distribution.

You didn't mention firefox...?

spartrekus wrote:

Why Wayland? This is not congruent with the *free* software.

Wayland is from the X11 developers ( and released under the MIT licence (as with X11), so what is the problem?

spartrekus wrote:

Devuan is definitely not a Free Operating System, because it contains many Snowden components.

What are these "components"?  Citation, links, etc...?

spartrekus wrote:

Devuan is actually not a free operating system, especially because it contains specific softwares.

Nonsense statement.

spartrekus wrote:

How can Devuan become closer to a free operating system, like Unix (e.g. OpenBSD), and without malwares, ads,... ?

Another nonsense statement.  Most real UNIX are still proprietary.

As an OpenBSD user, I can assure you that chromium, pulseaudio and other software which you may find objectionable, can be installed from ports.

#24 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2018-12-13 11:59:20

esr wrote:

It's not "all" at all, but it would be a good start.

I must tell you that level of hostility I'm seeing here against making Devuan more welcoming is not exactly encouraging me to commit to such a project.  Why do it if the core devs not only don't care about the issue but would prefer sitting in their own corner muttering about purity and shuffling the problem off to unspecified derivatives?

Disclaimer:  I am neither a Devuan user (nor a Linux user for that matter).

So I do perhaps have the benefit of "looking in from the outside", as it were.

I believe you may be judging the Devuan project by the words and opinions of a few users and one or two developers in one thread on this "fan forum".  I call it that not to be derisive, but because in my view forums which are affiliated with a particular distribution fall into the "fansite" category.

I would say that if you go to a given FOSS project's mailing lists or forums and tell them that they essentially need to change how they're currently doing things (seemingly in order to get you on board), but not actually offer any code or real solutions, the answer would be similar.  If you also tell them their project "sucks pretty badly", again the reaction is not likely to be overly positive.

I actually think there is a lot of merit in the "one installer" method, but beyond that we probably don't agree.  For example I would consider a universal live image approach as an unnecessary waste of sever bandwidth.  I also would not see the need to fire up a whole live session and X server just to get an OS installed.  Speaking for myself, I want a simple and comprehensive command line / ncurses driven, installer which just does it all.

That, as far as I'm aware, already exists in the netinst image.  I would just say - forget the blinkered ideologues and include the firmware as standard.

CD1, CD2, DVD... etc should be consigned to history.  There should come a point where they are no longer provided and netinst should be preferred.

While I think the installation images need to be a bit easier to locate on the website - Debian also had this problem - I don't think there is anything wrong as such with respect to how the installers are presented and the form they take - they just need to be better organised.

As someone who is hopeless at navigating "visual" UIs in general, I find most websites confusing, especially modern ones.  So the thing doesn't need a "web 2.0" overhaul, it just needs a few basic things done, like grouping the installation mirrors per country and region (if this is already the case, then apologies, but I just saw a mass of mirrors).

#25 Re: Devuan » A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to » 2018-12-07 10:33:58

esr wrote:

Second major topic: proprietary firmware blobs.

Look, I don't like those any better than the next guy. But you've inherited from Debian a set of practices about them that is counterproductive and insane, and you need to fix it.

I'm glad you brought this up.  I have been banging on about this for years and only come up against blinkered ideologues - essentially people who don't want the firmware because Debian (or GNU) said it's "non-free".  Debian only introduced this silly policy in the Debian 6 squeeze release (2011'ish?), before that you got the firmware as standard and your hardware worked, for the most part.

esr wrote:

Debian practice: Don't install those blobs by default. Require user to explictly opt in or out to proprietary things as a class *before he/she knows whether any are actually needed*.  (At least I think this is Debian behavior. I've never done a Debian install; it could be worse.)  Make a big ideological deal about being "pure".

I understood recently, from another thread here, that Devuan may just install all the firmware - and one user was not particularly happy about that.

Debian treats the binary only firmware images as non DFSG compliant software - the same way it treats Linux binary non free packages (i.e. the "we'll just leave this non-free repository here and pretend it's not part of Debian...  even though we have tons of the developers busily packaging non-free stuff so as to be indistinguishable from free stuff" silliness).

The big difference of course is that the firmware images are not Linux binaries and are never touched if you don't own the hardware.  If you do own the hardware, then presumably you want to use that hardware?!  That hardware is probably already loaded with proprietary firmware in the shape of the BIOS/(U)EFI, video BIOS, CPU microcode, etc.

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