Purism and Replicant


Aye, I was curious if I could get any response on the relationship between Replicant and Purism.
There is a related discussion thread for this: /boards/27/topics/14476?r=14813

Basically, is Purism or anybody else considering any ways to run/test Replicant on Librem 5.
What would it take to port Replicant to such a system?

Note: For anyone interested, Replicant also accepts hardware donations.



Can the Librem 5 phone run Android?
Quite likely, although we will not expend resources to test this.

Purism is a hardware and Linux company. They will encourage porting any free OS on it, but not dedicate resources to it.


Replicant claimes: “Replicant is a fully free Android distribution running on several devices, a free software mobile operating system putting the emphasis on freedom and privacy/security”

Does it contain blobs for hardware?


Nope it does not. (more than 20 characters)


Please, check again: https://www.replicant.us/about.php#faq :

"Is my device only running free software after I install Replicant?

While Replicant is a fully free system, other components run aside the system, such as bootloaders, firmwares and the modem operating system (if applicable). These components are usually proprietary software. Some devices can also run free software bootloaders: see the documentation specific to each device for more details.
For more information about these issues, read our freedom and privacy/security issues page."


Well technically yes, but there are no binary blobs in Replicant itself, so my answer to your exact question: “does it contain blobs” is true.


I’d love to see Replicant running on it, even if was just to give people an option to run a libre Android system. :robot: :smile:


It is hair-splitting to ask if the phrase “does it …” means the phone with Replicant installed, or the Replicant sotfware tree itself. In any case it means, with Replicant installed, on my phone runs software which is not FLOS, and for which the sources are not available to check if this software spies on me or phones “home”. No way for me compared with the L5.


Does X run proprietary software at runtime?
X=Replicant: YES
X=Librem 5: YES*

*but “contained” in separate chips or separated by addditional measures


Excuse me, but I don’t think @peterpan is splitting hairs. Just because on most systems you need additional unfree components doesn’t make it unfree.
It’s even FSF endorsed.
It’s just that according to this, no images can be distributed because supported devices need blobs.

However - the Librem 5 is a different story. No proprietary drivers are needed. So an upcoming image for the L5 could likely be the very first Replicant image with 100% free software.


Replicant doesn’t contain binary blobs but it runs on top of systems that contain binary blobs that is where the confusion is coming from.


I think we should care about systems owner not just about open or closed source.

Google own and develop android, no one else can contribute to it, and this is risky too. I think people who care about freedom should also care about it and do not support anything related.
Free and open source imho is valuable when the project belong to a community or a company who really care about privacy.


that’s completely untrue, the core Android OS code is FOSS and anyone can contribute, fork, etc. It’s the Google services (like Google Play services) that are proprietary/closed source


we have Purism now so that’s a better alternative for contributions.


Thanks for the reply
I was thinking that android developement was defined inside google till they release the version, alpha or beta, but not from start, but you know for sure more than me, so probably i had a wrong info.
Anyway i think the important decision are made by google, no offense but i do not trust them to lead anything, since they make money harvesting people infos, that’s the kind of business i really dislike i prefear to pay a service and be a customer, not a product


As far as I know, the development of android is made by Google privately, and only when released the sources are published. Every decision about feature and project direction, is made in house by them. This is not really FLOSS to me, even if you can fork it (like Replicant), you’ll always be binded to the main tree from Google. Otherwise in a couple of API level releases, you lose most of the compatibility with the main system. That’s not really FLOSS for me, maybe only OSS. Am I wrong?