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[GNU-linux-libre] Checklist for verifying free distros - first version

From: Brett Smith
Subject: [GNU-linux-libre] Checklist for verifying free distros - first version
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 15:01:59 -0400

Hi everyone,

Now that we've gone through this process a few times, and after some
friendly prodding from Ruben ;), I've gone ahead and written down
practical checks that we can make to see whether a new distribution is
doing what it ought to do to comply with the Free System Distribution
Guidelines.  It's up on the LibrePlanet wiki at

Like the page says, these checks do not *ensure* that a distribution is
following the guidelines.  I don't think it's possible to make such
checks.  Instead, these are focused on seeing whether a distribution has
avoided all the common pitfalls.  The goal here is not to document every
little corner case way that developers can go astray; just a list of
checks that are definitely worthwhile to make before a distribution is
added to our list.

All that's on the page right now is what I could come up with after a
thread between RMS, Ruben, and myself, so surely it's incomplete.  If
you're interested, please take a look at it and suggest additional
checks that would be helpful to have -- whether here, on the discussion
page, or even directly in the wiki.  Right now I plan to revisit it next
week and compile any new material together.

Some of the stuff listed on here could be done a lot more easily if we
had small tools to help.  If you've got an itch to work on a brief
project, you can probably find some good ideas in there...

As always, if you have any kind of feedback about this, please don't
hesitate to share.

Best regards,

Brett Smith
Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation

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