Free Software with a Female touch

Free as in “Mark Shuttleworth”??!?!?!?!?!?!

During FISL, David "Novalis" Turner and Georg Greve showed me that I was completly wrong about Ubuntu and that it indeed contains proprietary software.

 Well, i checked whether I had the package they found in the CD, and since I was not using that package, I thought I was free (as in freedom).

 After that, I started to pay more attention to the Ubuntu Policies, what that restricted session means, etc.

 Today, when I received my really nice and new computer, I decided to try again Ubuntu, and then, after the installation completes, I removed the packages that has this description:

 Non-free Linux 2.6.15 modules on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV


Restricted Linux modules on PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/PIV

 Guess what???

 Bingo! The dependencies of those packages removed also the kernel. Who needs a kernel, after all?

So, I am not wondering whether there is an easy way to install Ubuntu without the proprietary package, or if the lies in the CD are not only about incuding non-free software, but also about not having even the option to delete them!!!

I am feeling free as in Mark Shuttleworth…whatever it means….

7 Responses to “Free as in “Mark Shuttleworth”??!?!?!?!?!?!”

  1. florianhaas Says:

    You sure that that software was unfree ?

    I thought the kernel-modules needed for unfree drivers are Free Software (licensing issue; only GPL-code linking to the kernel). To use the unfree drivers, you have to separatly install them. They consist of a binary blob used by the Free kernel-module.

  2. schiessle Says:

    It’s time for GNUbuntu…

    As far as i know Ubuntu enables “restricted” by default and installs non-free software if you set up a new system and the installer detects some hardware which needs non-free drivers to run (with all features).

    Maybe you should just build your own kernel and than remove all Ubuntu kernel packages.

    After you have set up your system and have only “main” in your sources.list you get only Free Software. With “restricted” and “multiverse” you get non-Free Software, too. I’m not sure what kind of software is part of the “universe” repository. On the Ubuntu Homepage you can read this “In universe you can find almost every piece of open source software, and software available under a variety of less open licences”, but until now nobody could tell me the meaning of “less open licences”.

    In spite of everything i switched to Ubuntu. Compared to Debian it’s a little bit harder to keep a free system but on the other hand you have a stable and up-to-date system, something Debian just can’t offer.

    Maybe it’s really time for a GNUbuntu, but beside this mail i haven’t heard anything about it.

  3. myriam Says:

    No GNUbutu in the future (at least not in the near)

    Well, Mark told me he talked more about it to RMS and as Richard didn’t seem to be very supportive of the project he dropped it, simply not to get RMS pissed.
    Sometimes just asking can help :-)

  4. schiessle Says:

    Re: No GNUbutu in the future (at least not in the near)

    Thank you for your information, myriam.
    Do you know the reasons why RMS doesn’t like the idea of GNUbuntu (beside he doesn’t like the name, like mentioned in the email)?
    I really wonder that RMS doesn’t like the idea of a complete free GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. As far as i know RMS searched a long time for a GNU/Linux distribution to endorse, it seems like he has found one with UTUTO-e. But i think it’s not a real challenger for the popular GNU/Linux distributions, it’s fameless, looks Spanish centric, you won’t find many third party packages and people who can help you, etc. On the other hand GNUbuntu could become a really popular free GNU/Linux Distribution through the popularity of Ubuntu, the large community and the connection to Debian (deb packages,…).

    I would be really interested in the arguments of RMS, if you know something, please let me know.

  5. greve Says:

    A naming issue only

    As far as I know, it is a naming issue only.

    Richard does not want it to be called GNUbuntu because it is not officially part of the GNU Project.

    I am quite certain that RMS would greatly appreciate a 100% Free Software Ubuntu, and so would I.

  6. reinhard Says:


    > Guess what???
    > Bingo! The dependencies of those packages removed also the kernel.

    No. The dependencies removed “linux-386″, which is a metapackage containing the kernel and the restricted modules. The kernel itself resides in the package “linux-image-386″ which is in main, contains no non-free software and has no dependency on restricted packages.

    I have removed all restricted modules on all the machines I have installed Ubuntu on, and they still work :-)

    – Reinhard

  7. arc Says:

    a libre ubuntu

    There IS a free (as in freedom) ubuntu: it’s called gNewSense (

    It’s the same distribution without proprietary stuff and it is listed on the Free GNU/Linux distro page on

    But surely you already know abou that. ;)