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Old 11-29-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
LXer
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LXer: Proprietary Firmware and the Pursuit of a Free Kernel


Published at LXer:

Knowing when a GNU/Linux distribution is free used to be simple. If all its software had licenses approved by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) or the Open Source Initiative, then a distribution was free. Otherwise, it wasn't. However, the release of the GNewSense distribution a few years ago has complicated the situation, pitting idealists against pragmatists and sending some distributions scrambling for a compromise that is unlikely to satisfy anyone. The GNewSense team was the first to point out that the Linux kernel contained proprietary firmware blobs, and that many kernel drivers depended on external proprietary blobs, and has dedicated itself to producing an operating system with all this material removed.

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