Re: Auditing free and non-free packages
On Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 03:40:31PM -0400, Andrew J. Barr wrote:
> Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> >On Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 07:44:13PM +0100, andy wrote:
> >>I have, since installing Etch, been downloading packages with regard for
> >>functionality and because I wanted that program, rather than focusing on
> >>whether or not that package was non-free or free (with respect to the
> >>Debian commitment to free software).
> >>I am curious about the packages I currently have installed that aren't
> >>free (I know about the w32codecs and the flashplayer-plugin, for
> >>example). Is there a way of auditing this?
> I would also point out that the Debian definition of free software isn't
> necessarily authoritative. You are welcome to disagree and use a package
> without any moral qualms (if you believe that using free software is
> moral). For example, I do not agree with the exclusion of things like
> fonts, firmware, and some other program data from main -- but the beauty
> of Debian is that these things are still available to us even though the
> project feels they aren't free. For example, the non-free Broadcom
> wireless firmware was a few clicks away for me by simply installing the
> bcm43xx-fwcutter package from contrib. Voila--instant wireless on my
> PowerBook. Not 30 seconds after installing that package, my home
> wireless network showed up in the NetworkManager icon. You don't even
> have to search Google for the Windows driver. Now if they could only
> figure out some way to do something similar for the Intel Centrino radios...
It's been done - but you have to go to the SourceForge site to get the
firmware - which requires you to sign an Intel licence agreement - and then
put this in /lib/firmware or some such: firmware version may be
dependent on kernel/tools version. Then the equivalent Intel drivers
also work - I've a Thinkpad next door using ipw2200 drivers very nicely
thanks. The latest ipw3945 drivers are even more free, as I understand
it, and firmware may be more freely distributable IIRC.
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