[Fsf-Debian] Comparison with Parabola

Ramana Kumar ramana at member.fsf.org
Sat Aug 4 06:49:06 UTC 2012

Hi list,

I'd like to know more about why Parabola GNU/Linux is endorsed by the FSF as
a free distribution, because I think it might provide new ideas for routes
by which Debian could be also. The reason is, Parabola has something
somewhat analogous to [nonfree] in the form of all the Arch repositories
([core], [extra], [community]) and the AUR which are all not restricted to
free software.

There are two ways Parabola excludes nonfree software:
  1. Putting the [libre] repo before the Arch repos, so a lot of
packages with free replacements are automatically superseded and
become invisible.
  2. Maintaining the your-freedom package, which must be explicitly
installed, which conflicts with any remaining known nonfree packages.
Parabola currently does nothing about the AUR, but there is a feature
request for dealing with it in their bug tracker.

To summarise:

Why does the FSF endorse Parabola given the situation above where
nonfree packages are available?

Is it possible for Debian to gain endorsement by using something like
the your-freedom package (or maybe a switch in the package manager)
which conflicts with the installation of known nonfree packages?


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