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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Best e-reader for free software compatibility

From: Michael Lamb
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Best e-reader for free software compatibility
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2015 18:47:16 -0500

I'm currently investigating the Kobo e-readers. While the bundled
software is proprietary, it might not be impossible to eventually
develop Free Software replacements for it. The software is
single-purpose (not Android-based) and built upon GNU/Linux and the QT
toolkit (

Unfortunately the last free software replacement effort I knew of for
devices like these is abandoned. Kobo
nevertheless looks promising to me because:

- Kobo obeys the GPL and releases the source they are required to. (Or
at least, they have in the past, for at least some of their system):

- Some (like the $90 Kobo Touch 2.0) are built upon a Freescale i.MX6
Solo Lite processor. The Novena community is working to Free the GPU
on the more powerful versions of the Freescale i.MX6, so I hope this
implies the Solo Light version will work with stock Linux kernels
without issues.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what the touchscreen, display, and wifi
hardware in the Kobo Touch 2.0 is, or if it requires nonfree firmware
or drivers.

If I can somehow confirm that it hasn't been made *impossible* to
develop free replacement software for use on the device, that's good
enough for me, given that most devices require herculean
reverse-engineering efforts to even get started, if they don't
restrict the user from modifications altogether.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 9:59 PM, Koz Ross <> wrote:
> I've been looking at Defective By Design, and would like to switch several of 
> my family members over to something better than their Swindles. However, the 
> site only talks about DRM, not software freedom - and I would really prefer a 
> free-software-friendly e-reader. Which ones are good in this regard?

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