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Free Software Foundation Endorses Its First Laptop

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Mike Frett View Post
    To the Linux Foundation: Are you TRYING to turn people away from Linux?. Selling garbage like this is a sure-fire way to do it. It upsets me greatly how manufacturers treat Linux as if it can only run low-end equipment with a crippled OS like Trisquel.
    To Mike Frett:

    1) Its not from Linux Foundation, but Free Software Foundation

    2) The reason why they offer this laptop is because
    2.1) They guarantee it be respecting your freedom and be blob-microcode and proprietary-software free.
    2.2) They can't offer any higher models, because of the manufacturers like Intel, NVidia and co; and users like Sonadow, who buy proprietary, ship proprietary and even see freedom as a bad thing, preventing any support or making it possible only through reverse engineering.

    Trisquel is not crippled, it is free software only. As long as you use free software technologies, it is much more advantageous than "non-crippled" per your definition, but much more crippled (in reality) with fees, malware, bugs, patents, backdoors and obsolescence technologies.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by brosis View Post
      To Mike Frett:

      1) Its not from Linux Foundation, but Free Software Foundation

      2) The reason why they offer this laptop is because
      2.1) They guarantee it be respecting your freedom and be blob-microcode and proprietary-software free.
      2.2) They can't offer any higher models, because of the manufacturers like Intel, NVidia and co; and users like Sonadow, who buy proprietary, ship proprietary and even see freedom as a bad thing, preventing any support or making it possible only through reverse engineering.

      Trisquel is not crippled, it is free software only. As long as you use free software technologies, it is much more advantageous than "non-crippled" per your definition, but much more crippled (in reality) with fees, malware, bugs, patents, backdoors and obsolescence technologies.
      There we go. That.
      Hi

      Comment


      • #43
        I think the RYF certification is too strict, in that it requires second-degree 100% freedom.

        For example, if I were to sell a laptop with 100% free software installed, and said GNU/Linux on my website, I would fill the first-degree requirement. But if the preinstalled distro was Ubuntu, since Ubuntu has proprietary software in its repos, I would fail second-degree.

        I belive the cert would be much more useful if the first-degree was all that was required. Even if Ubuntu encourages closed sw by offering it, I the seller do not (except by proxy by installing Ubuntu), and the hw is still fully free with no BIOS blobs etc.

        Any FSF people here? Did I understand the requirements correctly?


        --

        China is currently making some very nice Macbook Air clones with ARM A9 dual-core + Mali 400 + 720p display, for ~100$. Wondermedia has released the kernel and u-boot for a very similar model. You could probably get 24+ hours battery life out of those.

        I was considering reselling those with proper Linux preinstalled, with the usual hw tweaks to make it nice to use. But it seems I couldn't get the RYF mark for those if I used Ubuntu, even if everything installed on the device and recommended by me was 100% free software.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by dee. View Post
          This has got to be the most batshit crazy post anyone has ever posted on phoronix. Well done!
          Oh, you should read his other posts. That's not his first phoronix account. Hi ParadoxUncreated!

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            So that's the whole aim isn't it? Linux-exclusive hardware.

            If that's what Linux users want, then they better have the balls to admit that 'freedom' was never their goal, and exclusivity is. Lest they forget what is the real meaning of freedom as defined by their own idol Stallman:

            If Coreboot limits me from running any other operating system on a machine that is loaded with it, it is effectively depriving me of the freedom to use it for any purpose. Thus the machine that it is loaded on is not freedom-respecting hardware and by extension, Linux-exclusive hardware are not freedom-respecting hardware.
            Until your posts stop consisting entirely of strawmen, it will be hard to take them seriously.

            Comment


            • #46
              Seems a Bit Expensive

              I think that I could reproduce what this provides at a much lower price. Of course, as has been mentionded several times, a Chromebook with Coreboot could also be converted to an entirely free Linux distribution. Is there a Chromebook with Coreboot and wireless that doesn't require a proprietary firmware (with an Atheros card, for example)?

              Another question I would ask the Free Software Foundation is whether there is any proprietary firmware on the system in ROM chips. To me, there is not that much difference between proprietary firmware loaded from the hard disk and proprietary firmware loaded from a ROM chip.

              As far as the usefulness of the hardware goes. In my experience hardware of that vintage can be extremely useful, especially if you are running Linux on it. I use and give away laptops at home with similar CPUs and less than 2GB of RAM all the time. If they have at least 1GB, they're good machines for typical use (most either have 1.25 or 1.5 GB). The only time I generally wish for more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM is when I'm running virtual machines. I'm fairly sure Xubuntu, for example, would run very happily on this hardware.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by CFWhitman View Post
                I think that I could reproduce what this provides at a much lower price.
                I guess they'd appreciate it.

                Originally posted by CFWhitman View Post
                Is there a Chromebook with Coreboot and wireless that doesn't require a proprietary firmware (with an Atheros card, for example)?
                No. All Intel-based Chromebooks ship with a coreboot port that requires a binary-only component. You could go through the motions to reverse engineer that, but then you're still left with the Management Engine firmware that is mandantory on Intel chipsets starting 5-Series. As you'll note, all x86-compatible Chromebooks are Sandy Bridge or newer. That firmware is (supposedly) signed by Intel, making reverse engineering of that part much, much harder.

                As for their ARM offers, all of them start with a binary only (and also signed) initial bootloader - not much better than their Intel designs.

                Originally posted by CFWhitman View Post
                Another question I would ask the Free Software Foundation is whether there is any proprietary firmware on the system in ROM chips. To me, there is not that much difference between proprietary firmware loaded from the hard disk and proprietary firmware loaded from a ROM chip.
                Once thing they "missed" is the embedded controller firmware. Since there's no documented/reverse-engineered way to change it (even though it looks like it's updatable), I guess it's fine for now, even for the FSF. I half expect some FSF member to work on that next.

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                • #48
                  Linux will live on of course

                  Linux as kernel. HTML5 as the front-end. No?

                  Free laptop, but what is the use if it can't run HTML5 natively?
                  powdigsig
                  Junior Member
                  Last edited by powdigsig; 21 December 2013, 04:18 PM. Reason: html5 stopped being browser-only

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by pgeorgi View Post
                    I

                    guess they'd appreciate it.


                    No. All Intel-based Chromebooks ship with a coreboot port that requires a
                    binary-only component. You could go through the motions to reverse
                    engineer that, but then you're still left with the Management Engine
                    firmware that is mandantory on Intel chipsets starting 5-Series. As
                    you'll note, all x86-compatible Chromebooks are Sandy Bridge or newer.
                    That firmware is (supposedly) signed by Intel, making reverse
                    engineering of that part much, much harder.

                    As for their ARM offers, all of them start with a binary only (and also
                    signed) initial bootloader - not much better than their Intel designs.


                    Once thing they "missed" is the embedded controller firmware. Since
                    there's no documented/reverse-engineered way to change it (even though
                    it looks like it's updatable), I guess it's fine for now, even for the
                    FSF. I half expect some FSF member to work on that next.
                    I also expect hard drive firmware to be non-free. So it's basically same
                    as Lemote Yeeloong combined with FSF accepted GNU/Linux installed with it.
                    However EC in Yeeloong can be patched to free software friendly but I
                    have not tested whatever it works or breaks the laptop.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by powdigsig View Post
                      Linux as kernel. HTML5 as the front-end. No?

                      Free laptop, but what is the use if it can't run HTML5 natively?
                      Goal for free software is not HTML5 it's just freedom. At least HTML5 does not work with youtube because Gnu LibreJS filters non-free JavaScript.

                      The laptop store itself is also incompatible with Gnu LibreJS even if all JavaScript there is claimed to be free software. Payment option for PayPal might not be possible because it uses non-free JavaScript and with credit cards I am not sure.

                      Payment options also lacks free software currency like bitcoin.

                      Comment

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