Waste of resources to ship your own OS?


Screw FSF approval.
Purism is about making a machine that is owned by their owner. This is a much weaker condition than what the FSF wants. E.g. a software with a license that allows reading it but not passing on modified is anathema for the FSF, but for Purism’s goals, it would be fully sufficient.
Of course an FSF-“free” distro would be better, but rolling your own distro is going to be very expensive over time. Collaboration with an existing distro, or just acquiring the critical mass to attract enough people that it gets maintained by a community, those would be smarter moves IMHO.

BTW “pushing upstream” is really easy, at least for drivers. Just submit your patches to the Linux kernel people, distros will soon pick them up.
While waiting for the patch to make the roundtrip Purism -> kernel -> distro -> PureOS, the driver can be written as a loadable kernel module as an interim solution.


Shh, don’t say things like that too loud or we’ll get the paddle…

But yeah I wasn’t aware that FSF approval essentially meant the device needs to be read-only or anything like that. Is that what you’re implying? Unless I’m reading your comment the wrong way here.

That makes sense for things like devices with free firmware, but I don’t think that’d make sense for a laptop… of course the drive can’t be read-only, that’d be ridiculous. I assume they must mean everything BUT the hard-drive being read-only, like the BIOS / Bootloader and stuff.

I wouldn’t WANT a computer that has a read-only hard drive. At least not as a personal computer. That sounds more like an… “access terminal” than a personal computer.

It actually sounds like a cool idea to me if I ever have the money to have two computers, one for just surfing the web and one that’s airgapped for everything else. But right now I need an all-around machine and something that’s read-only wouldn’t be good for that.


@toolforger, you don’t own a device if you can’t modify it. This goes for the OS as well as a boot loader.
@Alex I think you missunderstood. FSF does not require such a thing.
Not even with the TPM module that is now available is anything read-only. It just means that only you, who has the master key, is allowed to modify it.

Being able to modify firmware: freedom
Others not being able to do so: security


Nonono, I didn’t mean to say that the FSF requires read-only hardware. Quite the opposite actually.
The FSF demands that you can modify the software. I.e. that you get the sources, that you get the tools required to build them, and whatever else it takes to actually build it after modifying it. And that you can redistribute the new sources.
My point is: For the mission of Purism, it would be “just enough” if all software were “shared source”, i.e. if you can read it. In that situation, you could still verify that the software does nothing that restricts the user, and that’s the mission of Purism.
Now I’m evading the paddle by saying that FSF-approved would still be better; it’s just not (currently) practical.

Another point why one could ignore the FSF: It disapproves of all distros that merely allow the user to choose non-free software. However, that would be a non-issue for Purism: Just don’t install the non-free repositories. And, maybe, actively look for free alternatives. Though that’s hard to do in a world of patented Videocodecs - a distro that cannot play videos may be free, but it’s not useful for all tasks.
Here again a non-free codec would be against the FSF’s endorsement, but it would fit with Purism: Just code the thing up, cough up the licensing fees, publish the sources, people can validate the sources and experiment with them. They could even modify the code for experiments - they wouldn’t be allowed to publish the modified code, but they could publish the patches.


If you cannot build it how can you be sure what’s running on your phone corresponds to what has been shared as source?


Here are some interesting thoughts by “competition” (Pop!) why it makes perfect sense to create their own OS. These are just in addition to the reasons I stated earlier (also, I take back what I said on Pop! before :wink: )


@ruff I didn’t say that you need not be able to build; in fact it is necessary for exactly the reason you state.
However, you do not need the ability to redistribute if you want to validate.

@Caliga sorry, no time to hear a full hour of video just to guess which of their points you want to make.


You do realize that you wasted more than an hour of combined time of other users trying to convince them that Purism should be… less pure?
And then you can’t even realize that I elegantly crafted the link in a way that let’s you skip all the other intersting stuff they talk about, for your convenience?

But as you do understand the concept of the value of time, you might also understand why Purism staff did not participate in this thread.
It’s pointless to try to convince people that the goals of Purism are (not) exactly right, just the way they are.


@Caliga feel free to ignore me if you can’t stand running out of arguments - because that’s the usual reason why meta-arguments start.
Oh, and you’ve been misunderstanding my position anyway, but I’m not going to waste my time arguing that. If you want to put FSF above everything else, that’s fine by me, I can respect that - provided you can respect my position that the FSF’s arguments aren’t always the only thing to consider.


Doing the FSF dance to get endorsed by the FSF might mean something, but I think the Purism brand has received a lot of exposure, so there is no need for Purism to go for FSF endorsement, although one could consider it a nice milestone.

After the milestone has been reached, one could simply have two distro images. One that is FSF endorsed and another which isn’t and meets @toolforger’s requirements (and 95% of users).

I can seen some value for a completely clean FSF approved system for highly critical systems, but at this point we are talking about a niche of a niche.


My point is based on experience in dealing with some ‘exposed sources’ to qualify with GPL requirements but which are completely non-buildable. After receiving complain about license violation they publish something. But that something is completely useless, some relict linux tree snapshot with fragments of patches and no toolchain to build it whatsoever. So that kind of approach with “here, take your sources” is really meaningless.


waste of resources to ship your own OS ?

by “your own OS” i assume you refer to PureOS.

PureOS is a GNU+Linux distribution that strives to obtain the FSF blessing.

Once obtained the FSF recognition is the highest standard of ethics in computing meaning Libre Hardware+Software.

How can any FSF philosophy loving GNU+Linux distribution be considered “your own” ? as if Purism owns PureOS.

FSF endorsed GNU+Linux Libre distributions concern the PUBLIC DOMAIN and cannot be called “your own” as you @cinderella have stated in the title.

PureOS beeing in the PUBLIC DOMAIN can only be called “OUR OWN” thus what is the nature of your question ?

what i consider a WASTE of RESOURCES is having close to 8 billion (ONLY) mobile devices that run proprietary hardware and software designed to ENSLAVE and OPRESS FREEDOM and manipulate REAL PROGRESS