[linux-elitists] Gutsy Gibbon to include strictly-free branch

Dave Crossland dave@lab6.com
Mon Apr 16 19:04:06 PDT 2007

On 16/04/07, Greg KH <greg@kroah.com> wrote:
> > takes an ultra-orthodox view of licensing: no firmware, drivers,
> > imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not
> > include full source materials and come with full rights of
> > modification, remixing and redistribution. There should be no
> > more conservative home, for those who demand a super-strict
> > interpretation of the 'free' in free software. This work will
> > be done in collaboration with the folks behind Gnewsense."
> Hm, to do this properly it should only boot if you have linuxbios
> installed, but what's the odds that people will realize that...

That depends how nasty proprietary BIOS behave...

"Intel EFI is a DRM bios, since it has unlimited control of your
memory and I/O, and implements a full network stack. So the BIOS can
veto your I/O, and report your being veto'd over the network. By
design. I know people at banks who are very unhappy with this. They
thought they were running GNU/Linux and knew what the whole thing was

A few years ago Intel were explaining the cool EFI stuff, how EFI can
download a new version of the BIOS and burn it to flash, on its own.
They explained how convenient this is - but chaos went off when the
banks heard about this. For the banks, like LANL, when we buy a
consumer machine, we either demand full, buildable, source code to
their BIOS, or that they ship LinuxBIOS, now."
- http://understandinglimited.com/2007/04/15/fosdem-2007-notes/

If you care about freedom, you'll be aware of this  problem, and your
next motherboard will be something listed on
http://linuxbios.org/Supported_Motherboards - the Gigabyte M57SLI-S4
is the current favourite, and FSF sysad Ward Cunningham has written


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