About a week ago, I started working on packaging 100% Free Linux kernels for Fedora.

A number of people don't realize that the kernel distributed by Linus Torvalds isn't entirely Free Software. There are various pieces of binary-only code and other incomprehensible sequences of numbers that harm freedom #1: the freedom to study the source code, and to change it to do what you wish.

Well, a binary encoded as a sequence of numbers is not really source code, and if you don't the source code for that binary, you don't have freedom #1. So, a 100% Free Software program can't contain such sequences.

But there's more: even if it's not code, if you can't understand the sequences so as to be able to change them such that the program does what you wish, you still don't have freedom #1.

It's at this point that NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) for documentation used in the development of drivers renders the code non-Free. Even if people do get actual source code, it's intentionally deprived of documentation as to the meaning of e.g. hardware registers, to the point that you can still modify it freely, but you can't modify it such that it does what you wish.

Of course, not all insufficiently documented initializer makes the code non-Free. It depends on how the people who wrote the code came about the sequences, and whether they're entitled to share information that got them there. Restrictions on sharing hardware documentation or restrictive licensing terms for copyrighted sequences may render the code non-Free, let alone incompatible with the GNU GPLv2, under which Linux is licensed.

I thank FSFLA for encouraging me to work on this, to the point of permitting me to host the scripts, sources and binaries at its servers.

I'm disappointed to report that a number of people from the Fedora community didn't welcome the idea of adding a 100% Free kernel to Fedora, that removes the non-Free bits from the kernel along with the Free bits that depend on them, insisting instead that I spend my time in an uphill battle in upstream kernel (that others have already failed, FWIW), making it easier for people to surrender their freedom and feed the forces that want to keep people controlled, divided and helpless.

Evidently I don't feel like working towards this goal, so don't expect patches from me that move non-Free firmware out of the kernel in such a way that it can be loaded with the firmware loading infrastructure.

I guess this means I won't succeed in enabling people to create 100% Free spins of Fedora. This saddens me, for then I'll remain unable to distribute distros named Fedora to my friends, because I refuse to condone or take part in the distribution of non-Free Software, and you can't call it Fedora if you replace the kernel.

That's unfortunate, to say the least.

Anyhow, you can find details about this project at

I'd also like to thank the free radicals from gNewSense, and then BLAG and dyne:bolic, for taking the lead in creating 100% Free kernels for 100% Free distros. I hope my contributions in this project make their lives easier, and encourage more distros to follow the lead.

So blong...