1 1 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva identi.ca/lxoliva Copyright FSFLA (last changed November 2012) Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.
2 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 2 Summary History Be Free! campaign Liberating Linux (again) Next steps Adoption Challenges
3 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva GNU History 1991 Linux (non-free) 1992 Linux (GNU GPLv2), Yggdrasil Linux/GNU/X 1996 Blobs in Linux (non-free again) 2006 gnewsense: find-firmware and gen-kernel 2007 BLAG: deblob and Linux-libre 2008 FSFLA: deblob-check 2012 GNU Linux-libre
4 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 4 Be Free! Promoting Free Software? Promoting Software Freedom! Social responsibility You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahātmā Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi The more people resist [non-free Software], the more people will be Free, and the more people will be free to be Free. Free Software Foundation Latin America
5 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 5 But how could we Be Free? GNU et al are Free, but Linux isn t! Code without sources, various licenses This [GPLed] file contains firmware data derived from proprietary unpublished source code, Copyright (c) 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 [vendor] Permission is hereby granted for the distribution of this firmware data in hexadecimal or equivalent format, [...] Network driver, 100+Kb of actual binary executable code Notwithstanding the [GPLv2 terms] above, under no circumstances may you combine this software in any way with any other [vendor] software provided under a license other than the GPL, [...] 2008 s network driver from the same vendor, 300Kb data
6 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 6 Liberating Linux Clean up all that doesn t serve (the user): Sourceless code Incompatibly-licensed portions Requests for non-free Software Documentation that recommends it Incomprehensible code/data? Holy Free systems
7 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 7 Liberating Linux Shell scripts deblob-* -main: Untar, deblob-3.*, tar, xdelta, gpg -3.*: deblob-check -d known files, adjust -check: hunts and kills blobs Source files, patches and tarballs Heuristically recognize suspected blobs Leave alone known false positives Recognize known unsuitable sequences
8 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 8 Next steps Integrate in deblob-check: Generic substitutions List of files to clean Compatible but clean git history Support dynamically loading blobs But not inducing their use! Unidirectional cryptographic hashes? Help?
9 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 9 I want GNU Linux-libre! Source tarballs tracking upstream Linux linux-libre-3.*-gnu*.tar.lz Binary builds Several distros (next page) LibrePlanet, Freesh, rt Lemote/gNewSense, Freed-ora (BLAG) Huru-buntu? Freed-ebian, Freedom Shoppe Help?
11 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 11 Challenges Distros want/need popularity Blobs attract more users? Incentive to betray users, weaken communities Prisoners dilemma, iterated Defection feeds the aggressors Tragedy of the commons
12 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 12 How can we change this picture? Break the myth of breakage Lead by example, Be Free! Educate users, to shift the incentives Seek credible commitment among distros Take it upstream, uphill? Suggestions?
13 GNU Linux-libre and the prisoners dilemma Alexandre Oliva 13 Thank you! irc://irc.gnu.org/#linux-libre
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