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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] freedom problems in docker

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] freedom problems in docker
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 19:37:59 -0400

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  > > * 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).

Sorry, that's a miscommunication.  By "system" I mean the packaging
system for making these containers -- not the operating system that it
runs on.

It seems that Docker's packaging system is free.

  > > * 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.

Ok, but that does not answer the question.  When you make
a container, Docker puts in the software you specify, plus some
other software.  Is ALL that other software free?

Other writers say that it is all free.

  > > 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.

That's good news.

  > Containers can be uploaded to any FTP site, so there is no force to use 
  > Dockerhub.

More good news.

IF all the software that it adds to the container is free (I hope
someone can verify that), then it seems everything is ok except that
the repository contains nonfree containers.

We could try asking them to make a filtered repository.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (,
Internet Hall-of-Famer (
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