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Re: ISO download difficult

Alf Gaida <agaida@siduction.org> writes:

> I see this a little bit different - hell, no! - non-free is non-free and
> the pure existence of a line

> http://ftp.debian.org/debian $distribution main contrib non-free

> will not pollute a system with not wanted non-free packages. Afaik it
> needs a

> apt install $list_of_non_free_packages

> to do so. So we can leave non-free and all things are good.

It's not quite that simple.  Once it's included in the default
sources.list, those packages show up in apt-cache search and other tools,
or in aptitude browsing.  Then, when looking for a package to solve a
particular problem, one now has to think about whether the package one
finds may be non-free and therefore not usable for either personal or even
legal reasons for some specific purpose.

One of the reasons why people omit non-free from their hosts is to avoid
having to do this analysis each time and to know that every package they
find with normal package searches is guaranteed to satisfy the DFSG.

Separating firmware and microcode and similar packages into another
repository that can be added separately from non-free avoids this problem,
since those packages are not the sort of thing that will crop up in a
search for a package to solve some generic problem.  They're almost always
the sorts of packages that you'll never find unless you're specifically
looking for them or something else prompted you to install them to
complete your hardware support.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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