I used Debian for a long time, than I moved to Ubuntu because I wanted to have more up-to-date software with predictable release schedules. But for some time now I'm no longer happy with the direction taken by Ubuntu. This just as a short background.
So I'm looking for a new distribution and I really like what I see/read about Arch so far. For me Free Software is a key value and one of the main reasons why I use Linux at all. I looked a bit around on the Arch web page and the Wiki but couldn't find any information about it. Does Arch has something like a "Free Software Guide"? Any rules what software(-license) is accepted in the repository or any way to make sure to get Free-Software-only?
Thanks for your answer!
As far as I know Archlinux gives you the freedom to install all the packages available and is no as strict as debian regarding the licenses. I like it this way.
The large number of packages and build scripts in the various Arch Linux repositories also support freedom of choice, offering free and open source software for those who prefer it, as well as proprietary software packages, for those who embrace functionality over ideology. It is the user who chooses.
any way to make sure to get Free-Software-only?
This is one way: https://parabolagnulinux.org/
But of course it's a separate distro, so you won't get support on these forums.
Another is to just not install those proprietary packages (like Flash or Opera); they normally are "leaf" packages, so they won't be pulled as dependencies for anything. If you're paranoid, you can do something like
$ pacman -Qi | grep 'Licenses *: custom$' -B 3 | grep 'Name' | sed 's|Name *: ||'
and look for suspicious packages.
If you want to be RMS certified "Free Software", use parabola as stated above, otherwise arch uses most of the "mostly free, but don't meet stallman's rigorous standards".
What comes to mind:
Linux Kernel - Arch uses the mainstream kernel, which has some unFree firmware in it.
Firefox - which allows people to search for addons which are not Free(seriously wut?)
you can get GNU icecat, and use the libre-linux kernel from AUR, but you'll be compiling and maintaining your own ver of firefox and your own kernel, which is not for everyone.
that said, if you just want to do without unFree projects like proprietary drivers, flash, gstreamer-ugly, etc... As stated earlier none of them are going to pull as dependencies
Here is a archlinux search function for firefox.
https://www.archlinux.org/packages/comm … ox-search/
Short version: Arch is focused first on usability, and second on software-freeness.
There's a preference on free software, but when no free solution exists, non-free software is available (for example, if there's no free driver for something, the non-free one will most likely be available).
Of course, while some software may be non-free, you're free to use it (or not use it), so you might say that Arch is free-er than some other distros, which make it hard for you to use non-free software.
Does Arch has something like a "Free Software Guide"?
LENOVO Y 580 IVYBRIDGE 660M NVIDIA
Unix is user-friendly. It just isn't promiscuous about which users it's friendly with. - Steven King