Making Free Software easy to use and commonly available

Otto Kekäläinen otto at
Tue Nov 19 06:57:29 UTC 2013

2013/11/18 Matthias Kirschner <mk at>:
> The other problem in this offer is Ubuntu itself. First because of
> spying on the users by default (see Richard Stallman's "Ubuntu Spyware:
> What to do?" <>
> or EFF's "Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Amazon Ads and Data Leaks"
> <>.

The Dell machine comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 12.04, which does not
have this Amazon lookup feature, and anyways I run Gnome 3 so pretty
much everybody I know who used to be Ubuntu fans have switched from
the Unity crap to something else: Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce, LXDE etc.. but
that is a different story.

> Second, as I assume you would also be interested to buy a machine with
> GNU/Linux preinstalled instead of Microsoft Windows, although you will
> afterwards choose another distribution, it helps to prefer offers with
> distributions which do not include non-free software like Ubuntu does.
> If the hardware works one of those distributios, it will also work with
> another GNU/Linux distribution, which does not include non-free
> software.

I haven't tried if I can run Trisquel on this, which would be the most
purest form of freedom, but also I don't think I fully understand the
issue either and I am not aware of which parts of standard Debian or
Ubuntu are actually non-free software like and claims.

Besides the normal Ubuntu repos, the Dell XPS 13 seems to have the
following extra repos for drivers

deb precise partner
deb-src precise partner
deb precise main
deb-src precise main
deb precise-dell public
deb-src precise-dell public
precise main
precise main

These all have at least deb-src-lines also and nowhere does my system
say any restricted (non-free) drivers are in use, like it would say on
Ubuntu computers where Ubuntu detects hardware that needs non-free
drivers. But I don't have time to investigate this to the roots, but
feel free to look at the repos above and tell me if you find non-free

Anyway I think Dell XPS 13 is great. It might not be perfect, but it
is still the best thing I've seen so far. It enables me to get a real
GNU/Linux system without unbearable cost or functional sacrifices. In
fact, it has functional advantages that makes it in the top range of
laptops available at the moment. Very cool.

Browsing through sites like or the FSF
directory I can find only one single laptop that is sold pre-installed
with Trisquel:
I am a customer of ThinkPenguin for other hardware and at least the
Fellow Tobias Platen has bought a laptop from there. They have at
least Spanish and Swedish(=Finnish) keyboards and ship
internationally. If their laptop is OK to you then that would be the
most freedom loving choice.

Unfrotunately the current model isn't an ultrabook.
In general, the Finnish keyboard requirement alone narrows down the
options alot (I can't stop using åäö, right?). I guess lot's of you
need Danish, German etc keyboards and Dell XPS 13 is a model that is
available in many countries with native keyboards. For me as a Finn I
can at the moment choose between Mac laptops, Windows laptops, a few
Ubuntu laptops and some Chrome laptops. Of these, I chose Ubuntu.

98 out of 100 Linux geeks I know - and also according to the two polls
I made at FOSDEM 2013 - don't by any kind of pre-installed Linux
machines, but they buy Windows laptops and Mac laptops and then
convert them into Linux machines, without supporting the pre-installed
Linux-industry in any way. This is the real problem we should seek to

I am proud I've done something about this, advertised it, and helped
things go in the better direction. We don't live in a perfect world
yet, but we will eventually get there if we vote with our money and
persuade our fellow geeks and perhaps even others to vote with their

Of those reading this thread - how many of you are currently running a
machine that did not come with any kind of Linux pre-installed?

Otto Kekäläinen                   []         otto at
Finnish Team Coordinator        [][][]  finland at
Free Software Foundation Europe   ||      +358 44 566 2204

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