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#1 2015-01-21 21:29:37

PikaBuchu
Member
Registered: 2015-01-21
Posts: 1

Non opensource in official repo's..?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but can't stop thinking about it. I'm still pretty new to the Arch distro, and linux in general..  But like it a lot so far..

Do non open source programs and drivers, like skype belong in the official repo..?   I mean stuff where the source code isn't available to the user.
And are there anyway to disable these when searching/installing with pacman, or make it give a warning first. ?? 

New users could easily end up installing programs, which they have no idea on what is doing on their computer.
I usually try to always check the archwiki before I install anything, but sometimes you're in a bit of a hurry and
just needs a certain program that solves whatever task..

So should non-opensource and other microsoft programs like dropbox belong in official..?

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#2 2015-01-21 21:32:48

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 6,439

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

PikaBuchu wrote:

And are there anyway to disable these when searching/installing with pacman, or make it give a warning first. ??

You should look at changing to Parabola instead:
https://www.parabola.nu/

It is Free (as defined by the FSF) and you can convert an Arch install to it (the only difference is the content of the repositories).

Vanilla Arch is all about user choice and control -- this extends to the choice of running non-FLOSS software.

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#3 2015-01-21 21:33:34

jasonwryan
Anarchist
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 30,186
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Skype is in community and Dropbox is in AUR...


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#4 2015-01-21 21:38:58

runical
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2012-03-03
Posts: 896

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

What is distributed in the official repositories is in the hands of the developers and trusted users [1]. They determine which software they want to maintain and thus shape what is available in the official repositories (guided by votes in AUR). Since Arch is not Debian and is pragmatic in which software to include, we do indeed have some non-free packages. However, this is always in agreement with the license. For example, dropbox, while very popular, will never be in community because the license does not allow third party distribution.

If you really care about the license, you can either look at the license beforehand using pacman or the package page on the website. In the case you really disapprove of having non-free packages in the repos, you can take a look at parabola linux. This is a free Arch derivative.

EDIT: It seems I was too slow tongue

Last edited by runical (2015-01-21 21:40:47)

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#5 2015-01-21 21:47:11

Alad
Wiki Admin/IRC Op
From: Bagelstan
Registered: 2014-05-04
Posts: 2,356
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

If you do go with Parabola, keep this in mind:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fo … pport_ONLY


Mods are just community members who have the occasionally necessary option to move threads around and edit posts. -- Trilby

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#6 2015-01-21 21:50:24

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 27,261
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

PikaBuchu wrote:

New users could easily end up installing programs, which they have no idea on what is doing on their computer.

What does this mean?  How would a pacman warning about a closed source package help any?  Are said users auditing the source code of everything they install?  If they are, then no pacman warning would be needed - they'd see it was closed source when they tried to view the source code.

I think there are many good reasons to favor FOSS software, but the implied knowledge here is not one of them.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#7 2015-01-21 22:17:29

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,440

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

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#8 2015-01-29 21:41:14

EscapedNull
Member
Registered: 2013-12-04
Posts: 129

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

That sounds too complicated. What we need is a slider that goes from Bill Gates to Richard Stallman. I'd put it at least to Linus Torvalds. :-P

Joking aside, an "AllowLicenses" option does sound like a good idea. Even better would be to make the ABS more accessible to non-developers, but that's a bit further off. You know it's open source when you can compile it yourself. (Technical note: or at least "available source")

I think the "Arch Philosophy" is a little inconsistent in the software freedom area. As soon as anyone challenges Arch's inclusion of non-free software in the official repos, they are met with the usual arguments of "we want Arch users to be able to use their favorite software", "Arch is all about choice", "Arch should be easy for new users". We have Skype in community, but I still have to get Tor Browser from the AUR, despite its GPL license and 365 votes? If Arch was targeting Linux newbies and the "just want to use it, don't want to tinker with it" crowd, one would think it would at least have a graphical installer by now (and don't get any ideas! :-P ).

</rant>

I still love Arch and its beautiful simplicity. Coming from Debian-based distros, I'd much rather worry about licenses than version numbers smile. And mastering the ABS is still on my to-do list.

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#9 2015-01-29 21:57:59

jasonwryan
Anarchist
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 30,186
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

We have Skype in community, but I still have to get Tor Browser from the AUR, despite its GPL license and 365 votes?

If a TU wanted to maintain Tor, that would change immediately. The reverse applies to Skype.


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#10 2015-01-29 22:23:55

fukawi2
Ex-Administratorino
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 6,212
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

Even better would be to make the ABS more accessible to non-developers, but that's a bit further off. You know it's open source when you can compile it yourself. (Technical note: or at least "available source")

I'm not sure how much simpler you can get (install `abs`, run `abs`), or why you think you can't compile it yourself (that's the point of ABS)?

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#11 2015-01-30 01:45:48

Allan
Pacman
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 11,221
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

That will likely never be implemented...

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#12 2015-01-30 12:49:46

runical
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2012-03-03
Posts: 896

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

I think the "Arch Philosophy" is a little inconsistent in the software freedom area. As soon as anyone challenges Arch's inclusion of non-free software in the official repos, they are met with the usual arguments of "we want Arch users to be able to use their favorite software", "Arch is all about choice", "Arch should be easy for new users". We have Skype in community, but I still have to get Tor Browser from the AUR, despite its GPL license and 365 votes? If Arch was targeting Linux newbies and the "just want to use it, don't want to tinker with it" crowd, one would think it would at least have a graphical installer by now (and don't get any ideas! :-P ).

I think the "Arch Philosophy" on this point is extremely clear, namely: there is no philosophy. This has to do with the organizational structure. There are the Arch developers, who develop software and package for the core and extra repos. Then we have the trusted users who package whatever software they want for the community repository. The community repository is historically different from core and extra, as it is packaged by the trusted users with their own guidelines and bylaws. The TU page even refers to [core] and [extra] as the official repositories. No mention of the community repository.

The lack of coordination and the lack of a real "overlord" (anyones seen phrak lately?) means that there isn't much discussion on issues like licenses. The only thing in place on this is "if we can't legally distribute it, don't put it in the repos".

This does of course not mean that we cannot discuss the issue, however, you'll have to talk to both the trusted users and the developers in order to get an overarching philosophy on licenses (which seems like quite a task).

That sounds too complicated. What we need is a slider that goes from Bill Gates to Richard Stallman. I'd put it at least to Linus Torvalds. :-P

We have a Stallman mode. Just install parabola smile

I still love Arch and its beautiful simplicity. Coming from Debian-based distros, I'd much rather worry about licenses than version numbers smile. And mastering the ABS is still on my to-do list.

Version numbers? I only know 'Latest'.

Very off-topic: For ABS, try ASP. If you know how to AUR, you know how to ABS.

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#13 2015-01-30 15:37:04

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 6,003

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

I*m not sure what kind of person would install software without prior research. A simple pacman -Si tells me more about the license. Is it custom, then I have a look. Many packages even tell me post-install to look at the custom license and GTFO upon disapproval.

for i in `pactree -sld1 MY_FANCY_PACKAGE`; do echo $i `pacman -Si $i | grep Licenses`; done

That's a bash one liner, written while thinking about the problem for a couple of seconds after reading the initial post. You can go deeper into the dependency tree, just change the "-sld1" to whatever depth you want or ditch d# entirely for all deps down to glibc. The tools are all there, pacman does not need another feature, we do not need another repository.

And because it is so primitive, that chances are somebody would have come up with the exact same implementation, I hereby release this piece of code under the WTPFL.

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#14 2015-01-30 16:18:19

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 27,261
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

I think the "Arch Philosophy" is a little...

There is no where productive a statement can go when it leads with that.  Groups are never led by philosophies (regardless of what we may like to tell our selves).  Groups are led by people.  People have philosophies, sometimes they write them down.  But in the end they'll just do what they want.  One's philosophy does not dictate their behavior - rather it is used only as a convenient shorthand to summarize the general patterns in their behavior.

When one's behavior doesn't match their philosophy it is not because they are 'failing' in any way to follow anything that they should.  Rather it is the failure of the philosophy to adequately describe the intricasies of their behavior.

This is the difference between a philosophy and a law.  Confronting someone on 'failing to follow' a philosophy is just silly.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#15 2015-01-30 16:57:36

\hbar
Member
Registered: 2014-03-15
Posts: 165

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Trilby wrote:
EscapedNull wrote:

I think the "Arch Philosophy" is a little...

There is no where productive a statement can go when it leads with that.  Groups are never led by philosophies (regardless of what we may like to tell our selves).  Groups are led by people.  People have philosophies, sometimes they write them down.  But in the end they'll just do what they want.  One's philosophy does not dictate their behavior - rather it is used only as a convenient shorthand to summarize the general patterns in their behavior.

When one's behavior doesn't match their philosophy it is not because they are 'failing' in any way to follow anything that they should.  Rather it is the failure of the philosophy to adequately describe the intricasies of their behavior.

This is the difference between a philosophy and a law.  Confronting someone on 'failing to follow' a philosophy is just silly.

But in this case, the word "philosophy" is not referring to a theory that accounts for human behaviour, but a set of guidelines (for example: Keep It Simple). So by using the word "philosophy" in that way, which one may argue is abusive, it certainly is possible to "stray from a philosophy".

In this specific case, it seems to me it's more KISS-y to have fewer repos rather than more of them.

Last edited by \hbar (2015-01-30 16:58:24)

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#16 2015-01-30 17:19:39

EscapedNull
Member
Registered: 2013-12-04
Posts: 129

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

jasonwryan wrote:
EscapedNull wrote:

We have Skype in community, but I still have to get Tor Browser from the AUR, despite its GPL license and 365 votes?

If a TU wanted to maintain Tor, that would change immediately. The reverse applies to Skype.

That seems to be very much the case in practice. The point I was ultimately trying to get at, however, was that the whole TU and "offical repo" layout is somewhat flawed in my opinion: "trusted user" is a bit of a fallacy because I might not trust the same users as you do. What exactly makes 'Sven-Hendrik Haase' more trusted than 'yar'? I suppose one could modify his own pacman-keyring to reflect his trust, but that's kind of infeasible given dependencies and the design of pacman. The same goes for the offical repos. I'd like to see a situation where there are no "offical repos," but rather the user adds many smaller repos that he wishes to use, i.e. by project/organization or package maintainer. (something like cross-repo alternatives via the provides= PKGBUILD directive). At that point, though, we would likely end up with Arch becoming less a distro than a mess of scattered and barely interoperable packages. I digress.

runical wrote:

I think the "Arch Philosophy" on this point is extremely clear, namely: there is no philosophy. This has to do with the organizational structure. There are the Arch developers, who develop software and package for the core and extra repos. Then we have the trusted users who package whatever software they want for the community repository. The community repository is historically different from core and extra, as it is packaged by the trusted users with their own guidelines and bylaws. The TU page even refers to [core] and [extra] as the official repositories. No mention of the community repository.

The lack of coordination and the lack of a real "overlord" (anyones seen phrak lately?) means that there isn't much discussion on issues like licenses. The only thing in place on this is "if we can't legally distribute it, don't put it in the repos".

This relates to my previous paragraph as well. It seems Arch is decentralized at the political level (no "overlord" to make the decisions), but centralized at the technical level (pacman and the majority of packages invariably assume that the official repos are enabled). This seems to work well at the technical level (any package can depend on "glibc" without having to worry about which repo it came from or who packaged it*), but at the political level, it really depends on what you want. I'm going to guess that Arch was never designed to be a security-centric distro, nor a "Richard Stallman approved" one, so in that case, Arch is doing quite well at what it aims for.
* This isn't to say that a user couldn't theoretically choose to get "glibc" from the [gnu] repo or the [core] repo or the [xyz] repo, so long as they are all ABI compatible and use the same name (or provides= directive).

It was also my mistake to refer to [community] as an offical repo.

Disclaimer: I'm saying all of this in a hypothetical, philosophical, off-the-top-of-my-head context. Please don't feel the need to point out the design flaws or implementation details or "that couldn't work because" for anything more than the sake of discussion.

runical wrote:

Very off-topic: For ABS, try ASP. If you know how to AUR, you know how to ABS.

fukawi2 wrote:

I'm not sure how much simpler you can get (install `abs`, run `abs`), or why you think you can't compile it yourself (that's the point of ABS)?

I have to admit that I actually haven't used the ABS outside of the AUR/makepkg, so maybe it's not as hard as I thought. I'm comfortable with the AUR, and I've become fairly familiar with makefiles, gcc, pkg-config, and the like. It's definitely on my to-do list to recompile some packages from the official repos using the ABS.

runical wrote:

We have a Stallman mode. Just install parabola

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

...you can convert an Arch install to it (the only difference is the content of the repositories).

What is the process of converting Arch to Parabola? Since they're compatible with each other and both use Pacman, is it as simple as adding the Parabola repos to my existing installation?

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#17 2015-01-30 17:30:23

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 5,019

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Regarding the definition of a trusted user, I guess it started as trusting them to share a repository without modifying the packages of their peers.

EscapedNull wrote:

What is the process of converting Arch to Parabola? Since they're compatible with each other and both use Pacman, is it as simple as adding the Parabola repos to my existing installation?

The process is documented in the parabola wiki https://wiki.parabola.nu/Migration


| alias CUTF='LANG=en_XX.UTF-8@POSIX ' |

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#18 2015-01-30 18:04:56

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 6,439

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

What exactly makes 'Sven-Hendrik Haase' more trusted than 'yar'?

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Trusted_user

They are community members who have demonstrated their competence and commitment to Arch.

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#19 2015-01-30 18:07:19

\hbar
Member
Registered: 2014-03-15
Posts: 165

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

@EscapedNull:

Keep in mind that KISS refers to simplicity in design, rather than in usage. Having a plethora of repos is complex (i.e. not simple), and pacman would have to implement complex operations to deal with dependencies coming from different repos.

A consequence of pacman being simple, is that if you are not satisfied with how a package is packaged, you can create your own with no more knowledge than that required to use the AUR.

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#20 2015-01-30 21:34:28

fukawi2
Ex-Administratorino
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 6,212
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

I have to admit that I actually haven't used the ABS outside of the AUR/makepkg, so maybe it's not as hard as I thought. I'm comfortable with the AUR, and I've become fairly familiar with makefiles, gcc, pkg-config, and the like. It's definitely on my to-do list to recompile some packages from the official repos using the ABS.

It's exactly the same, except you're getting your PKGBUILD's using the `abs` command instead of having to search the AUR.

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#21 2015-01-31 15:35:41

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 6,003

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Here, I put some more effort into a solution: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 2#p1498332. Either a bashrc function or run it as a script, it's bash and can run without additional packages.

This long discussion can be simplified: Pacman is not responsible for your political views. If you install a package without knowing anything about the package, then you have ignored at least a hand full of the little wisdoms the Arch community is proud of. Installing a package by just invoking its name is just as bad as summoning a spirit the same way, buy a book for the title or marrying somebody for being pretty. Even casually installing something should at least contain a look at the package info and you know enough about the license, as soon as it reads "custom", you know something is fishy.

Pacman is not yo mommah.

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#22 2015-01-31 16:27:11

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

PikaBuchu wrote:

I'm still pretty new to the Arch distro, and linux in general... Do non open source programs and drivers, like skype belong in the official repo..?   I mean stuff where the source code isn't available to the user.

Distributions that exclude closed-source packages from their main repositories are actually the exception. Most distributions contain at least a few packages that aren't open-source as a matter of "necessity." Case in point: Nvidia drivers. Sure, and open-source alternative exists, but quite frankly it sucks. You can get into all kinds of political/ethical debates over that all the same. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has no problem using the proprietary driver on account of the fact that I paid for it already. In any case, Arch is all about leaving it to the user to decide what to install.

As a side note, there are also other matters that are almost entirely ignored nowadays: when I first started using Linux (Ubuntu 9), one could not install the software needed to play MP3 files without reading a disclaimer. Technically the MP3 codec is proprietary, and its use restricted to those who have paid for a license. Yet to this day I know of no instance in which someone fell into legal trouble for illegally listening to their (legally obtained) music collection, and the number of MP3 players out there is staggering. It's perhaps a sign of changing mores that the MPEG group doesn't go around trying to cash in on their intellectual property. Yet if one is to hold strictly to a "No non-free software" stance, then MP3 would be a non-starter anyway.

EscapedNull wrote:

The point I was ultimately trying to get at, however, was that the whole TU and "offical repo" layout is somewhat flawed in my opinion...

The repo names are really just for the devs' sake. There's no strict "layout" to the repos. I'm having trouble finding a post by Allan, in which he states the devs don't take repository hierarchy and inheritance too seriously, but it exists. I swear.

Awebb wrote:

This long discussion can be simplified: Pacman is not responsible for your political views. If you install a package without knowing anything about the package, then you have ignored at least a hand full of the little wisdoms the Arch community is proud of.

I'll drink to that.

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#23 2015-01-31 23:43:53

fukawi2
Ex-Administratorino
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 6,212
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Awebb wrote:

Pacman is not responsible for your political views.

That pretty much sums it up. Perhaps that could be the pacman slogan? wink

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#24 2015-02-01 13:52:50

EscapedNull
Member
Registered: 2013-12-04
Posts: 129

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

Awebb wrote:

Here, I put some more effort into a solution: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 2#p1498332. Either a bashrc function or run it as a script, it's bash and can run without additional packages.

Off to a good start, I see. It sounds a little like the "vrms" command ("Virtual Richard M. Stallman") in the .deb world.

Awebb wrote:

Pacman is not responsible for your political views.

And I'm fine with that. The great thing about Arch is you can make whatever you want out of it. If you want to get your system up and running in under an hour, then pacman is a great tool. If you care about licenses, you can use the Parabola repos. If you want third-party packages, you can get it from the AUR or (though less popular) add a custom repo to pacman. If you want the code straight from the project (or want to apply optimizations, patches), you can compile it with the ABS, Gentoo/Lunar/Slackware style. And don't forget the good old `make install` either, if that's what you want.

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#25 2015-02-01 14:33:40

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 27,261
Website

Re: Non opensource in official repo's..?

EscapedNull wrote:

And don't forget the good old `make install` either, if that's what you want.

While I completely agree with the rest of your post, I'd differ on this last point.  You should forget the old `make install` unless you put it into a PKGBUILD.  Manually using `make install` will effectively break the package management system which is one of arch's greatest strengths.  One could of course use make install provided the makefile allows for a separate install location (maybe /opt, but preferrably ~/somedir), but if `make install` will work, then a PKGBUILD would be so trivially easy that it would be really silly not to use one properly.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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