[Sugar-devel] Compatibility report on latest Debian-based sugar live build - Xorg fails to load due to missing firmware

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Sun Jan 17 21:12:12 EST 2021

On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 04:56:06PM -0800, Alex Perez wrote:
> Answers inline

Thanks.  Me too.

> James Cameron wrote on 1/17/2021 2:16 PM:
> > On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 02:03:10PM -0800, Alex Perez wrote:
> > > James,
> > > 
> > > I booted up the latest Sugar-live-build image, which I'd
> > > downloaded from
> > > http://people.sugarlabs.org/~quozl/sugar-live-build/ and written
> > > to a USB stick, and booted it up in an HP-branded terminal from
> > > ~2012, which works perfectly fine with the latest Fedora SoaS
> > > images.
> > Thanks for testing.
> > 
> > > Simply bundling the 'firmware-amd-graphics' package from the
> > > firmware-nonfree repo when you build the Live image would mean
> > > the image would work correctly on a vastly larger amount of
> > > hardware, out of the box.
> > > 
> > > I would encourage you to take it one step further, and bundle
> > > the firmware-linux-nonfree metapackage, which will include
> > > firmware for things like Marvell wireless cards, Intel wireless
> > > cards, Atheros wireless cards (both USB and integrated/PCI/PCIe)
> > How will Sugar Labs comply with the licenses of these firmwares?
> > 
> I'm afraid I don't understand what the concern is here.

Okay, putting it differently; if a developer acting on behalf of Sugar
Labs distributes this firmware via Sugar Labs infrastructure, is this
action protected in any way?

> "Sugar" isn't subject to anything different from a licensing
> perspective, and therefore under no obligation to "comply" with
> anything:
> https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/8849/does-distributing-gpl-software-along-with-binary-image-force-the-binary-image-to
> All of the firmware images packaged by Debian in the non-free repo
> is freely redistributable, but not open-source.

https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-archive#s-non-free says
"not compliant with DFSG", "encumbered by patents or other legal
issues that make their distirbution problematic".

I don't think they are freely redistributable.

A next step is to review all the licenses of the packages you asked

> Fedora packages them, and includes them by default. Their
> LiveCDs/images work out of the box with them. Debian packages them,
> but does not install them by default, presumably out of ideological
> reticence.
> Since the goal of the Debian Sugar LiveCD

Okay, that's a new name.  I've been calling it Sugar Live Build.

> should be to work, transparently, on as many computers
> out-of-the-box as is possible, this would seemingly be an obvious
> improvement.

It can be a goal, but it was not my goal to begin with.  My goal was
to provide an environment for student developers who lacked the
capacity to install Sugar in the fashion we had required, while
bypassing the downstream distribution processes because we couldn't
rely on downstream to be timely.

> It's not possible to install from this LiveCD on a ton of "modern"
> hardware (the machine I'm using is from 2011) with the current state
> of bundled packages. If the goal is to only allow it to function
> fully on machines which are incapable of functioning fully without
> binary firmware blobs, I'd argue that this should be disclosed
> during the installation process.

It sounds like you share some of the same intentions as Martin Guy,
who needed i386 support.  He found what he needed with Trisquel.  Have
you tried that?

James Cameron

More information about the Sugar-devel mailing list