Proprietary Pinyin Add-on

My understanding is that the goal of PureOS is to be a Linux distro without non-free components such as proprietary drivers. However, when browsing the PureOS “Software” store and looking under “Installed”, I noticed under “Add-ons” there is a text input software titled “Pinyin”. Seeing as I don’t speak Chinese and don’t plan to learn to type in Chinese anytime soon, I thought I would remove this module for a reduced attack surface. To my surprise, I could find no option to remove the software and it is marked with a red “PROPRIETARY” mark.

Is this proprietary module installed with every edition of PureOS? Or is this something I have somehow accidentally installed myself? Why is proprietary software in the PureOS Software store at all?

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This looks like just a matter of incorrect license identification, since libpinyin is licensed under GNU GPLv3. Could you post some screenshots so we can see exactly the thing you are talking about?

I find this odd because in GNOME software on my machine is shows a free license:

From your terminal type:

sudo apt remove pinyin

or if you want to make sure anything related to it is also gone type:

sudo apt purge pinyin

Be aware that when upgrading PureOS is could get reinstalled with the update as I believe it is apart of the default packages.

It is the same package as posted by @joao.azevedo , but the licence appears differently.

When I said “no option to remove” I was specifically referring to the GUI.

this shows that for some reason the package is installed locally and not from the pureOS repositories.

Could that be the cause of the issue? Did you installed such a package locally and not from the repositories?

Now this is strange. I just did a PureOS update, and now the package appears as FREE licence and source of PureOS. I suppose I must have somehow installed the package from another source. I will look into this further.

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

So you would need to check /etc/apt to see what sources you have set up. Are you intentionally using a frankenstein repository i.e. potentially combining duplicated and conflicting packages from multiple flavours of the same underlying distro (Debian)? e.g. mostly installed from the PureOS repo but one or two things installed directly from Debian?

However it is also possible that you just downloaded a .deb file one time and manually installed it with dpkg (or equivalently via the GUI).

If I had my tinfoil hat on, I would be worried about this. Having random unaccounted for packages installed is not what you would want on a secure system.

It could depend on what hardware this is and how long ago you first installed it. I know from my own experience that if a computer is a few years old, it can be that I installed something one time in a rush to solve some specific problem and then forget to record that and then forget that I did it.

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