Ethernet switch that is libre and not 10 times more expensive? if not, then at least trustworthy?

is there an ethernet switch that is libre and not very expensive?

by ethernet switch, i mean a small box that has 4 (or more) 8p8c connectors for 1000base-T or better and will forward ethernet packets to the correct port (i.e., it does ethernet bridging). i don’t think i need any ip-routing capability.

the only thing that i can find is the turris line of products. however, it seems that i would need to order the “Turris MOX Start” for £140, when a proprietary ethernet switch can be obtained for £10.

if there is no reasonably inexpensive libre option, how can i figure out which of the £10 to £20 switches is trustworthy?

what do y’all do?

long live libre software and libre hardware!


I assume all networks, including my own, are compromised and secure the endpoints.


just to be clear, when i wrote “what do y’all do”, i was mainly asking about libre options. is there anything whatsoever less expensive than the turris mox start + a turris mox module?

that said, if i go proprietary, it would be nice to be able to find an option where, e.g., there were security updates.

1 Like

In terms of ethernet switches, the cheapest switches are unmanaged and are generally not FOSS. Netgear has some not-crazy-expensive managed switches with FOSS firmware. See here for the firmware ( NETGEAR Open Source Code for Programmers (GPL) - NETGEAR Support ) … I think their switches start with “GS”. For example there is FOSS firmware for a GS108Ev3 (8 port Gigabit managed switch) … which runs $65 on Amazon (US) and you can find them on ebay for $45 new and $25-ish used.

That said: I don’t care with my switches. All the traffic I care about is encrypted/safe.


This is not Libre but Abierto. No te Confundas.

If you want a Truly Libre buy: Buffalo wzr-600dhp and Burn it with LibreCMC. I have Many of this.


8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch (TPE-8PTGIGSWIT2) |

1 Like

i don’t see where the thinkpenguin

is libre. sure, it is sold by thinkpenguin, but it seems to be just a standard proprietary box. what am i missing?

unfortunately, when you download the file for this model, it turns out it only contains a license pdf informing us of the conditions under which some non-libre code from broadcom is licensed. presumably the gs108ev3 uses this broadcom code.

1 Like
  • How far libre do you want?
  • What is your budget?

Liberty is not cheap.


this seems to be mainly a wifi box. but it does have 4 ethernet ports.

hoping there is just a libre switch.

purism, when are you going to see us a libre switch?

I pretty sure there are Just Switch, but i need to do a Scan.

The Turris products use Turris OS, which is based on OpenWrt.

Most of the source code is GPL, either 2.0 or 3.0. OpenWrt itself is GPL 2.0 only.

I only looked at the 10 or so most updated repositories, not all 136.

1 Like

Openwrt it is not Libre but Open, there are big differences at both.

You are going to have to explain that difference to me, as my perception of libre means “strong copyleft” and “Four Freedoms”.

Libre is stand from FSF to Gnu system to Free, but Libre mean 100% Libre-of-Blobs and 4 Freedoms. OpenWRT “Maybe” have the 4 Freedoms but is including a Huge Amount of Blobs which cannot be a Libre system.

1 Like

So basically, the FSF’s definition of a free distribution:

Clearly, Purism no longer follows this paradigm by installing Intel AX200 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth modules on new Librem 14s.


Yes and same to Librem 5 SparkLAN too.
So Librem 5 with Sparklan and Librem 14 with Intel AX200 the System can not be Libre anymore.

However, There was a valid Excuse for Purism because Purism seems ran out of Libre Controllers to keep going…so simply by saying that Purism ran out of supplies of the Libre Controllers this will an Acceptable Excuse for, BUT they made the Big Mistake by saying that the BLOBs is better controlled by the system, which is a NOT Valid Excuse for Libre Systems but also a Scam from Purism by affirm that.


unfortunately, when you download the file for this model, it turns out it only contains a license pdf

Interesting. The GS108T seems to have source on that page. Not only that, there are helpful notes about how to compile and install (without creating a netgear account) on here:

Purism is correct: there are no libre options moving forward. Putting firmware blobs in a jail is a practical stopgap until a better solution exists.