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Re: [gNewSense-users] Mobile device

From: Michael Dorrington
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Mobile device
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 12:55:33 +0100
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On 06/07/11 18:15, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
> Michael Dorrington wrote:
>> Its the Free *System* Distribution Guidelines not the Free *Software*
>> Distribution Guidelines.
> Yep, my mistake.
>> A system can be fully free software but not
>> comply with the "Free System Distribution Guidelines".
> True, though the difference is not very big. A free system (i.e. distro)
> just has more requirements (e.g. self-hosting) and needs to take care

Rather than trying to summarise it in a few words it would be best just
to provide links to the documents that define "Free Software" and a
"Free System Distribution":

"The Free Software Definition" <>

"Guidelines for Free System Distributions"

It would be good if the FSF could set out a "bullet point" definition,
like with the 4 essential freedoms of Free Software. Perhaps you could
encourage them to do so.

An example of the difference is that 'apt' in the Debian repositories is
Free Software but is not allowed in a Free System Distribution because
it contains an example file which includes non-free repositories:

Of course, the larger example is a Debian Squeeze system installed from
the official installer, without any user intervention to add non-free
firmware or repositories, is a fully Free Software system but not Free
System Distribution system.

>> that it doesn't add non-free stuff (e.g. in its system documentation).
>> Apart from that, I expect free software projects to go by the same
>> guidelines.

Interesting, GFDL licensed documentation with non-licence unmodifiable
parts *is* allowed in a Free System Distribution. Many regard this as
non-free documentation.


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