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Re: Debian Stretch new user report (vs Linux Mint)

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 7:39 PM, Jonathan Dowland wrote:

> Are we promoting hardware that *doesn't* require non-free firmware (not
> drivers, there is an important distinction) at the moment?

On our website, we don't promote hardware, just people/companies that
you can pay to install Debian for you:


On our wiki, there are numerous install howto pages but we don't
separate those by non-free firmware requirement, just by vendor.


> Where are we prominently explaining the problem?

In our install manual at least:


> Where are the links to the unencumbered hardware that
> people could/should be using instead?

We can definitely do better here, especially after promoting h-node in
a press release:


> Where are the Debian developers working on better supporting such
> hardware, where are the blog posts on Planet Debian about it, where are
> the unencumbered hardware platforms being distributed with Debian
> pre-installed?

mafm posted about his work on the RISC-V architecture port a while
ago, which has the potential to be

> Instead we prevent close to 100% of our new potential users from
> installing on their laptops due to the firmware issue. Those users are
> much more likely to go elsewhere than to be educated as to the merits of
> free software and unencumbered hardware.

We can definitely do better here and I think it is feasible to do
both, as mentioned in my other mail.

> Are *you* using non-free firmware?

Unfortunately yes, all of the devices I've acquired in recent history
have required firmware from Debian non-free and also had embedded
non-free firmware. Multiple devices even ran Linux and most of those
were GPL-violating, one even violated the BSD license for some of the


> I can understand the discomfort of grasping this nettle. But are you
> completely closed to the idea of revisiting our core value documents
> at all? The Social Contract and DFSG were written a long time ago.
> Should the project not be open to looking at what our collective values
> are today, or are we beholden to the terms layed down by braver people,
> all those years ago?

Personally, I think the values written down in the SC/DFSG are not
where we are going wrong, but our execution of them could use some