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Re: [H-source-users] generalize (or eliminate) the distros white-list

From: Yuchen Pei
Subject: Re: [H-source-users] generalize (or eliminate) the distros white-list
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2021 21:37:47 +1100
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.13; emacs 27.2

Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli <GNUtoo@cyberdimension.org> writes:

On Fri, 29 Oct 2021 13:34:12 -0400
bill-auger <bill-auger@peers.community> wrote:

my main criticism of the distros white-list, is that
"distros-by-release" is not the most informative categorization;
and that there is no reason for the client to discriminate,
based on one specific server's white-list

it seems to me that the kernel is the only significant factor
which determines if some hardware "works with free software"
(which the website shows generically for all entries) (ie: that
really means: "works with _this_ libre kernel") - IIRC, all
client hardware entries carry the kernel and version
information; so distro information reduces to analytics or trivia
I'd add a minor fix here: the kernel is the most significant factor.

We also have userspace drivers for instance in bluez, mesa, modem manager, etc. In the case of bluez, some utilities in bluez-utils can
even load firmwares inside bluetooth chips. In addition the boot
software like the BIOS/UEFI/Libreboot can also play a role.

What kind of role does boot software play here? I notice that some newer laptops are marked platinum because things like Intel ME is not part of the criteria. Is this what you are referring to?

I've in mind a similar model than what you are talking about, where a given hardware (like a WiFi usb adapter for instance) has attached to it several "tests", where each test would record things like the date, the distribution version (if it has one), the distribution, the kernel, and ideally have the ability to add comments for this test. Developers would also have the ability to add more fields later on if needed, like
the bluez version for bluetooth dongles.

For completeness, shouldn't we also add versions of drivers that do not come with the kernel (e.g. nouveau), or do you mean to put this piece of information in the comments?

here are some good reasons to push this concern out of the
source code, or to remove the distros white-list entirely (an
empty or missing white-list file, could simply default to:
The issue with the distribution + version list is also that it needs to be maintained over time. And distributions often add new versions. It looks less a concern for distributions as the pace of change is very

I should try to find some time to add the missing distributions (like
Replicant and probably LibreCMC and ProteanoOS as they are very
different from regular self-hosted FSDG compliant distributions.

Sounds good.  BTW what do you mean by "self-hosted"?


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