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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] freedom problems in docker

From: Tobias Platen
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] freedom problems in docker
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 14:24:56 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/38.6.0

On 04/24/2016 11:23 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:
   > this is the repository
   > When you want to run container

   > you must type docker run The container in you want to run
   > docker will Download the container from the repository and run it

That means there are three different ethical issues:

* The system that does the packaging.
This one could be free (Trisquel 7 includes Docker) or non-free (Microsoft wants to run Docker on Windows).

* What it puts into a container (aside from the program
you want to package).  Of course, if you package a nonfree
program, the container will not be free.  But suppose
you package a free program: is the container free?
A container is similar to a GNU/Linux distribution, but it does not contain Linux, as Linux is already part of the host system.

* The repository where it stores containers.
You've just said it contains nonfree containers.
Dockerhub does not tell users that a container contains non-free software and there are no freedom-verifies as found on free GNU/Linux distribution. Even if the application is free, the OS environment could be non-free. Years before Docker, Musicbrainz began distbuting Ubuntu based Virtual Machines that include the free Musicbrainz server software and the database.

Also how are these related?

1. Do they distribute a program with which you can do
packaging on your own computer?  If so, is it free?
(I expect it probably is, but I don't actually know.)
Packaging can be done on your own computer with only free software.

Or does packaging work as SaaSS ?  See
Dockerhub is not SaaSS, its more a "cloud storage" service.

2. To run a container, are you compelled to run it from
their repository?  Or is their repository merely one way
that containers can be distributed?

Thus, I wonder exactly what this means:

   > you must type docker run The container in you want to run
   > docker will Download the container from the repository and run it

When you say "must", is this the ONLY way to run a container,
downloaded straight from the repository?  That method of distributing
them and running them is bad, because (1) if the repository contains
nonfree containers, we don't want to link to it, and (2) when users
run any program straight off someone else's server without the step of
deciding which package to install, that suppresses development and
release of other versions, and modification by the user.
Containers can be uploaded to any FTP site, so there is no force to use Dockerhub.

I once tried to use Docker on Trisquel 7, but I did not use its networking functions. Now I discovered GNU GUIX and use that as a docker replacement. As I prefer copylefted free software over non-copyleft free software, and GNU GUIX really solves the problems that Docker has tried to solve, I won't recommend Docker unless they change to license to GPLv3.

Sent from my Libreboot X200

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