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FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need

The Debian Project                                https://www.debian.org/
FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the
hardware they need                                       press@debian.org
September 8th, 2014              http://www.debian.org/News/2014/20140908

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Debian project today
announced cooperation to expand and enhance h-node [1], a database to
help users learn and share information about computers that work with
free software operating systems.

    1: http://h-node.org

While other databases list hardware that is technically compatible with
GNU/Linux, h-node lists hardware as compatible only if it does not
require any proprietary software or firmware. Information about hardware
that flunks this test is also included, so users know what to avoid. The
database lists individual components, like wifi and video cards, as well
as complete notebook systems.

The compatibility information comes from users testing hardware on
systems running only free software. Previously, h-node site guidelines
required they be running one of the FSF's endorsed distributions [2].
While the FSF does not include Debian on this list because the Debian
project provides a repository of nonfree software, the FSF does
acknowledge that Debian's main repository, which by default is the only
place packages come from, is completely free.

    2: http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

"Unlike other common GNU/Linux distributions, installing official Debian
by default means installing only free software. As long as Debian users
do not add additional package repositories, their systems are a reliable
source of fully free compatibility information. We're looking forward to
working with Debian to help free software users get the hardware they
need, and encourage the companies who provide it," said FSF's executive
director John Sullivan.

"By collaborating with h-node, Debian for the first time has the
opportunity to join efforts with other free software communities on the
assembly of a database of hardware that doesn't require anything outside
the Debian main archive to work properly," said Lucas Nussbaum, Debian
Project Leader. "Debian is confident that the fruits of this
collaboration will result in the largest, curated database of Debian-
compatible hardware, and invites all Debian community members to
contribute hardware compatibility information to h-node."

H-node was started by Antonio Gallo, who continues to be the project's
lead developer. The FSF now provides infrastructure and support. The
software powering the site is also distributed as free software under
version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

Users can contribute either by running one of the FSF's endorsed
distributions, or Debian with only packages from the default main
archive installed. Developers and translators can contribute by working
on the site's code. Information for getting involved is at

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free
community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the
largest and most influential free software projects. Thousands of
volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain
Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range
of computer types, Debian calls itself the "universal operating system".

More information about the Free Software Foundation can be found at the
FSF website [3].

    3: http://www.fsf.org/about/

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