Some Fedora Users Concerned GNOME Software Promotes Proprietary Software With Flathub

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 25 November 2019 at 06:42 PM EST. 36 Comments
The Fedora Workstation working group has been weighing the matter of the GNOME Software "app store" recommending/promoting proprietary software. But this isn't something that is done out-of-the-box but rather when activating Flathub where Flatpaks can be installed for both open and closed-source software.

This stems from this issue report of GNOME Software recommending proprietary software. The principal issue is that when Flathub support is enabled -- the de facto location for fetching Flatpaks -- that GNOME Software can display banners promoting software like Dropbox or Spotify. Those Flatpaks are not open-source software.

There was a suggestion made that Fedora enlist some of their own filtering to prevent such promotions of proprietary software from taking place when Flathub is enabled or any other third-party repository or at the very least making it an opt-in user preference of whether binary-only packages could be "promoted" within GNOME Software. This isn't a Fedora-specific issue but can happen with any other Linux distribution and GNOME Software depending upon the sources enabled.

At today's working group meeting, they acknowledged a lack of consensus on changing the GNOME Software behavior but do express some concerns. For the moment no action is being taken.
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