linux-libre advocacy question

Brian Gough bjg at
Sun Mar 29 10:06:49 UTC 2009

At Sun, 29 Mar 2009 02:54:40 -0300,
Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> The compelling argument to use Linux-libre, IMHO, is that "it is Free
> Software, and it doesn't induce you to use non-Free Software".

I totally agree.

I think many people may be "in denial" about the issue of non-free
code in the Linux kernel and it would be good to show actual examples
of the non-free code to prove that it is true.

Before I heard your talk I had an impression that the "firmware" in
the Linux kernel was very small -- essentially negligible -- no more
than a few magic bytes to initialise a device here and there, or small
data tables.  I did not realise that there were source files with 300k
of hex data in them, for example.

I don't know where I got this impression - perhaps from the media,
perhaps from circular reasoning ("Linux is GPLed, GPL means free
software, therefore Linux is free").  I never really questioned this
belief because I started out with the assumption that Linux is free.

Obviously that was wrong, but I am probably not the only person who
thought this.

Brian Gough

More information about the linux-libre mailing list