Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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rr7.num7
Member since:
2010-04-30

No, it is not GPL. Parts of it are, but others (very small, I must say) aren't. If you download the .tar.bz2 from the link that cmchittom provided, you'll find out there are some source files (firmware.h, for example) that have another license and explicitly forbid redistribution of modified versions. I am not lying. The files are there to download and check.

So as I said, one may or may not agree with Debian's free software policies, (I personally don't care much) but at leaste they don't lie about it, and they are generally consistent.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's very interesting! So it appears RaLink somehow managed to get DFSG approval yet is still not fully GPL, even though they claim to be? I wonder who dropped the ball there...

Debian is indeed right to drop support for that chipset if that is the case. And it appears I (and others) have been misled as well.

I still stand behind my agreement with the original reviewer, in that Debian seems to have taken steps backward apart from the wireless issue, and as I said in another post I will use what works for me until Debian is usable again.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Debian didn't "drop support" as you say. You can still use your ralink card, you just have to perform three post-install steps.

Add the non-free repo
apt-get update
apt-get install firmware-ralink

This means you cannot net-install via the card... unless you get the non-free net install disc.

It may not be the most convenient thing, but it's not like they just say "We don't care if it doesn't work." For that you need a FSF-approved distribution, like GNewSense, which strips the non-free firmware and doesn't offer to let you put it back yourself at all.

Reply Parent Score: 4