FSF endorsed Free GNU/Linux distributions
(01-12-2022, 05:46 AM)as400 Wrote:
(01-10-2022, 12:39 PM)wpeckham Wrote: Pine64 hardware is, to my knowledge, all Open and safer in that way than most.  Feel free to correct that impression if you have verified information conflicting.

I outlined in my post which PBP hardware parts have proprietary firmware.
It seems like for you, even with the proprietary hardware firmware, it's "all open".

And if you look at FSF page - they don't use the term "open hardware". They use term RYF (Respects Your Freedom).
And in certification requirements they say:

"However, there is one exception for secondary embedded processors. The exception applies to software delivered inside auxiliary and low-level processors and FPGAs, within which software installation is not intended after the user obtains the product. This can include, for instance, microcode inside a processor, firmware built into an I/O device, or the gate pattern of an FPGA. The software in such secondary processors does not count as product software."

EXCEPTION - software doesn't count as software Smile

There are no systems on the market that can be called "fully open". Such thing simply does not exist.At least - I'm not aware of such a product.
For now, as close as you can get, is Apple Silicon. Where you have no hardware firmware whatsoever.
Firmware is written entirely by Apple and loaded on boot by macos.
So, theoretically, you could write your own firmware if documentation existed.

I'd say CoreBoot counts as an open firmware.

And when you want an open platform, stay away from Apple.
Why do you think they have such a hard time getting Linux running directly on Apple Silicon?

And when you want open hardware, I think RISC-V is the closest thing, although they do allow proprietary extensions.
(01-12-2022, 12:22 PM)djrxman Wrote: Could you explain why you do not see many benefits in using the Linux-libre kernel if the goal is to run the Pinebook Pro with as few non-free parts as possible?

Well, unless you do not use hardware that needs non-free firmware, the non-free firmware that may be contained in the "non-libre" Linux kernel won't be loaded anyways and, hence, has no chance to do any harm. And in some cases, after evaluating pros and cons you may even want to use non-free firmware for special scenarios, and you lose the freedom to do so by running a kernel that restricts you from doing so.

(01-12-2022, 12:22 PM)djrxman Wrote: Thanks for your article, and also for the previous one about Devuan. I would prefer a rolling-release distribution though. Do you know of one for the Pinebook Pro that keeps non-free software in a separate repository like Debian, so that I do not have to check every single package?

Sorry but unfortunately, I don't. This is probably mainly due to the fact that I avoid rolling release distros as I prefer having a stable system for work and not a toy for play. However, you could run Debian unstable which is kind of a a rolling release as well. From my experience, it is often more mature than other rolling distros that claim to be "stable". A common misconception is that Debian unstable ships unstable software - it does not as it usually only ships software released as stable by upstream. It's only the packages made by Debian that do not see much testing before they get into unstable.

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