New linux-libre gentoo ebuild

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at
Sat May 23 14:00:36 UTC 2009

On May 21, 2009, Nick <linux-libre-list at> wrote:

> Just to let you know, there's now an ebuild for linux-libre in 
> gentoo's bugzilla;

Thanks, I've added a link to this bug to the Linux-libre “binaries”
list, under “genfree” (heh, I couldn't help; too plus wan yields free,
right?)  It's too obscure, I agree, but...  who cares? :-)

> I did create a version of the build which got the latest vanilla 
> kernel, added patches, and ran your deblob script, but the script 
> took a very long time (I gave up after 2 hours), and around 1-1.5G 
> RAM to run. Even for the "I'd rather be compiling" Gentoo folks, 
> this makes it a really really long install, so I decided to stick to 
> just unpacking your pre-prepared tarballs instead (I posted the 
> deblob version in the ticket too, in case anyone can make use of 
> it).

Taking Free sources and applying patches is a better way to go anyway,
why would you want to steer people towards the non-Free Software in
upstream just to (hopefully) throw it all away afterwards? :-)

Most of the time, patches should apply just fine on top of Linux-libre,
but it would be nice to check that they don't add back non-Free stuff,
running deblob-check on them, like we do on Freed-ora.  These runs of
deblob-check are far less demanding of resources, for they're only
heuristic, without bringing in all the knowledge (and regexps) about the
false positives and known blobs in Linux.

> Is my experience of the deblob script being very slow and heavy 
> common?  Is there much we could do about it?

Unfortunately, it is normal.  There's a long post of mine from a few
days ago in which I delve into some experiments I've been doing to try
to address this very problem.  Look for “flex” and “perl” in

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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