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Take your freedom back, with Linux-2.6.33-libre

Mar 03, 2010, 20:02 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alexandre Oliva)

"Linux hasn't been Free Software since 1996, when Mr Torvalds accepted the first pieces of non-Free Software in the distributions of Linux he has published since 1991. Over these years, while this kernel grew by a factor of 14, the amount of non-Free firmware required by Linux drivers grew by an alarming factor of 83. We, Free Software users, need to join forces to reverse this trend, and part of the solution is Linux-libre, whose release 2.6.33-libre was recently published by FSFLA, bringing with it freedom, major improvements and plans for the future.

"== History

"All firmware in Linux-1.3.0 was Free Software. Whatever little relevance the GNU/Linux operating system had back in 1995 was enough for a few hardware vendors to disclose the details of their hardware or even offer all the software needed to make it work under terms that respected users' essential freedoms. They knew Linux, already licensed under the GNU GPLv2, wouldn't have drivers for their components otherwise.

"Over the year that followed, Mr Torvalds changed his stance, and started accepting binary-only firmware in Linux. Because of this decision, GNU/Linux ceased to be an incentive for hardware vendors to respect users' essential freedoms. Since the Linux developers forfeited the defenses provided by the GPL, nearly all of the vendors decided to keep only to themselves the control over the ever-growing computers that passed for peripherals."

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