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#1 2013-03-22 21:21:06

Registered: 2013-03-22
Posts: 22

Free software



  * Is there a way to find out whether any non-free/proprietary software
    has been installed via pacman?

  * Can I configure pacman to only install free (as in speech) software?


I'm one of those idealists trying to avoid non-free software.  I believe
that not buing hardware that requires proprietary code puts pressure on
the manufacturers to produce open products, accessible to free software.

With Debian this was pretty easy.  Of course there were places
(firmware, bios) with non-free code working in them, but I never had to
install proprietary drivers on, or add proprietary blobs to any of my
older machines running Debian.  Right now I'm trying ArchLinux for the
first time, on a brand new machine, and of course I don't want to drop
this practice.

According to the ArchLinux FAQ [1], you guys seem to bee less concerned
about strictly using non-free software only.  Well, ok.  But I'm hoping
to find a way to sort out which software gets installed here, i.e., to
ban the non-free stuff from my hardware.

What's the Arch way to do this?

Thanks, Stefan

[1] … se_Arch.3F


#2 2013-03-22 21:27:51

Forum Moderator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2010-06-16
Posts: 7,156

Re: Free software

Check out Parabola. It's an Arch-based FSF-approved distro.

Last edited by WorMzy (2013-03-22 21:29:24)

Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO // Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.4GHz // GFX: nVidia GeForce GTX 970 // RAM: 32GB (4x 8GB) Corsair DDR3 (@ 2133MHz) // Storage: 1x 3TB Seagate SATAII 5x 1TB Samsung SATAII, 2x 120GB Corsair SSD

Making lemonade from lemons since 2015.


#3 2013-03-22 21:30:30

Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,892

Re: Free software

Well, pacman -Qi shows a "Licences" field. There are those desc files (one per package) in /var/lib/pacman/local, you could work some script magic (probably one line of grep) to filter all non-free licences.

There is no direct way of configuring pacman to not install non-free packages. You should check every new package with pacman -Si to see, if the licence suits your taste. You should generally check every ne package with -Si and learn a bit more about it, so there is no extra effort.

You could also have a look at Parabola.


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