Comparing distributions

Richard Stallman rms at
Sat Jun 30 15:54:28 UTC 2001

The issues that we want to compare are:

* Does the Internet distribution include non-free software.  If so, how much?

* Does the distributor distribute any CDs that are 100% free software?

* If non-free software is included, is it labeled clearly as non-free?

* Does the distributor express any regrets for the inclusion
of non-free software?

* Does the distributor state that freedom is a goal?

* Does the distributor develop software?  If so, how much free
software development does it do, and what kind of software?  And does
it develop any non-free software?  Any non-free software that goes in
the distribution?

* Does the distributor call the system GNU/Linux?

It's vital to look at CD products, not just at what is available on
the Internet.  However, it's not necessary to look at all the CD
products of a given company.  It's enough to look at the ones that
come closest to satisfying our goals, and you can probably tell which
those are before getting them.

The FSF can pay for buying copies of CD products if that is necessary.
However, it could be that we could make contact with someone who
reviews products for a magazine, and look at his copies for this.
Does anyone know somebody to ask?  It might be possible to find
someone who can help in this way by looking at some of the "Linux"
magazines, or other magazines, to find the author of a product review

Could you ask your friend to get in touch with me directly?

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