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Re: Making Debian available, non-free promotor

On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 01:38:24PM +0100, Ansgar wrote:
> Yao Wei writes:
> >> We encourage you to get devices that respects your freedom.
> Should this message also be shown when non-free firmware is preinstalled
> in the system for educational purposes?
> Or do devices that have pre-installed non-free firmware respect the
> user's freedom?  As long as the users doesn't look and doesn't hear
> about it, it's not there after all (two-wise-monkey-free / FSF-free?).
> The best example probably are TiVo devices which don't have
> user-upgradable firmware and thus should be called "freedom respecting"
> ;-)
> We could also recommend users to just install Debian in a VM which
> abstracts away the hardware, e.g., in a VM under Windows.  This also
> respects user freedom in the same sense as above as Windows is usually
> preinstalled.  (And AFAIU on modern systems Debian will usually run in
> some partition anyway and not have full hardware access, so it already
> runs in a "VM" of sorts.)

It is to describe the DFSG-freedom we value.  I know that having
upgradable non-free firmware is better than having non-upgradable
firmware in case if there's vulnerability we need to address.  If we
find it not suitable, we can remove the text if that is going to be

Of course it is easier to use Debian inside VM, but that is not the
situation we would like to address.

> iwlwifi does work fine with just free software just like hard disks and
> similar?

This listing is to list the packages that the user needs to download
into the flash drive.  In my case, iwlwifi requires additional firmware
so I picked it as an example.

And, the reason that I am picking networking, is that when system is
installed with networking, the user can then download packages for other
devices that require non-free packages to work.

Usability wise, the message on the non-free firmware loading in
debian-installer is not prominent enough, that people needs to discover
it through manual.  (This is also the case of the behavior in d-i that
it installs sudo when root password is empty.)  I would imagine that
people just download ISO, install, and they would consult search engines
for the problems they encounter, without realizing we have such function
built into our installer.

Yao Wei

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