[Freedombox-discuss] Is there a list of executables that are on the DP, part of what's shipped?

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Fri May 31 18:07:16 UTC 2013

>       ... there is a substantial amount of space used by the .gz files
> under one of the man directories, I jumped to the conclusion that something
> was there to use them.
> Hence my question about what was the list of binaries (I used another term)
> that will be shipped with the FB?  I erroneously assumed that somewhere a
> list of software that we would assume to be on the end product.

The reason that the compressed man pages are there is that each
installed Debian package includes its man pages (since they are small
and often useful, and putting them in separate packages would complicate
the ongoing maintenance of each package).

The reason that the "man" command itself wasn't there is that nobody
had asked for it yet.  I'm sure it can be added to future builds.
(But, I note that adding it also drags in the Groff text-processing
package and the miscellaneous bsdmainutils package, which use another
megabyte of space in the image.)

The FreedomBox effort is not organized by a well-funded bureacracy.
It is instead a chaotic volunteer do-ocracy.  The fact that you found
FreedomBox releases at all is a minor miracle of self-organization.
Those releases were made by volunteers.  The volunteers are not
working based on some detailed plan produced by a committee.  They are
doing whatever piece of the effort they are capable of and that seems
best to them to do at the time.

There are rough ideas about GUIs for the FreedomBox, but we don't
currently expect it to show man pages for Unix shell commands.  It
would be more oriented toward high level system control operations
like "Add this friend to my secure network" or "Detach this encrypted
disk drive".

Thank you for pointing out the absence of the man command.

The list of software currently included is part of the Freedom Maker
build scripts, which are here:


(Bdale Garbee's version of FreedomMaker tends to be more conservative,
while Nick Daly's has the very latest changes.  I recommend using Nick's.)

The tool that does most of the work is called "multistrap" and one
of its configuration files is here:


On line 9 of that script is the primary list of Debian packages that
it includes.  This is where "man-db" would be added to include the "man"
command in future FreedomBox builds.

If this kind of information isn't readily accessible in the Wiki, I
recommend that you consider adding it to the Wiki, to help the next
person.  You too can join the do-ocracy, even merely by editing the

	John Gilmore

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