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Re: If Debian support OS certification?

On 05/04/2017 01:56 AM, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 12:17 AM, Ben Hutchings wrote:
>> No, they should not, otherwise this certification becomes meaningless.
> I see these certifications primarily as a service to Debian users and
> not as endorsements of vendors, but as statements of fact. The
> consequences to users should stated as part of the certification
> output. "This system can run Debian main", "This system is missing
> drivers for XYZ", "This system requires non-free firmware", "This
> system requires a custom bootloader", "This system requires a custom
> kernel", "This system requires a custom kernel and must use sysvinit",
> "This system requires an unofficial Debian port", "This system
> requires recompiling Debian from scratch" (CPU requirements bumps or
> CPU bugs). Basically, a more automated version of InstallingDebianOn.

IMO, that certification program should be the best place where to
promote the fact we do want all drivers to be free (ie: without non-free
firmware), with everything from main. It is my view that we should only
accept that a system is compatible with Debian in that case only. In
such case, we should claim compatibility with Debian 8 and above, for
example. In any other case, we may just deny displaying a Debian logo.

> If Debian only certifies systems installed using official d-i images
> then we won't be certifying much, since almost everything requires
> preinstalled or runtime-loaded non-free firmware for some part of the
> system.

I wonder what you call "everything". In the majority of the servers on
which I have installed Debian, no non-free firmware were required. If a
vendor decides to use a WiFi board that requires a non-free blob,
well... too bad for them, IMO, they don't deserve our endorsement.

In my view, a certification Debian logo means we fully endorse. I do
believe a vast majority of the Debian community do not fully endorse the
requirement of non-free blobs.

A certification is different from a compatibility checklist. Let's not
confuse the 2.

> Since we already need two tiers of certifications for main vs
> non-free, is it really that much of a problem to add some more as long
> as our users are informed of the issues they will face? Users are
> going to buy or acquire those problematic systems anyway, especially
> in areas where there are almost zero devices that Debian could be
> certified for (for eg mobile devices). If they do and then decide to
> run Debian, information about what the consequences are would be
> useful.

I agree that it is useful information. But that is not what the
certification program should be about. IMO, a certified hardware should
fully work from main, period.

Otherwise, we'll have to display different types of logo, like "works
with Debian ... but", and then that starts to confuse users, which is

Very happy to share thoughts with you here,

Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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