FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need

While other databases list hardware that is technically compatible
with GNU/Linux, h-node lists hardware as compatible only if it does
not require any proprietary software or firmware. Information about
hardware that flunks this test is also included, so users know what to
avoid. The database lists individual components, like WiFi and video
cards, as well as complete notebook systems.

The compatibility information comes from users testing hardware on
systems running only free software. Previously, h-node site guidelines
required they be running one of the FSF’s endorsed
. While the FSF does not include Debian on this list
because the Debian project provides a repository of nonfree software,
the FSF does acknowledge that Debian’s main repository, which by
default is the only place packages come from, is completely free.

“Unlike other common GNU/Linux distributions, installing official
Debian by default means installing only free software. As long as
Debian users do not add additional package repositories, their systems
are a reliable source of fully free compatibility information. We’re
looking forward to working with Debian to help free software users get
the hardware they need, and encourage the companies who provide it,”
said FSF’s executive director John Sullivan.

“By collaborating with h-node, Debian for the first time has the
opportunity to join efforts with other free software communities on
the assembly of a database of hardware that doesn’t require anything
outside the Debian main archive to work properly,” said Lucas
Nussbaum, Debian Project Leader. “Debian is confident that the fruits
of this collaboration will result in the largest curated database of
Debian-compatible hardware, and invites all Debian community members
to contribute hardware compatibility information to h-node.”

H-node was started by Antonio Gallo, who continues to be the project’s
lead developer. The FSF now provides infrastructure and support. The
software powering the site is also distributed as free software under
version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

Users can contribute either by running one of the FSF’s endorsed
distributions, or Debian with only packages from the default main
archive installed. Developers and translators can contribute by
working on the site’s code. Information for getting involved is at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free
software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at
https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
More information about the FSF, as well as important information for
journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Lucas Nussbaum
Debian Project Leader

Source: Free Software