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Orwell
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07 Jun 2009, 11:05 am

one1ai wrote:
I didn't expect that many replies actually. I expected you to tell things like "yes I tried a fully free software distribution , Ututo" or "I tried gNewSense but it was really bad and I went back to Ubuntu".
I think someone on wrongplanet.net had tried blag(a "free as in freedom" distribution) which fits the free software foundation definition of what "free software" is.

I dual boot with Ubuntu and a free(as in freedom) distribution.

I would love to use a "fully free" distribution. Unfortunately, none of them currently support my hardware and I'm not interested in shelling out $1000+ just so I can avoid one proprietary driver. Also, none of them really seem to be fully mature with large communities. Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora all have strong free-software stances even if they include some firmware or drivers that aren't FSF-friendly. If you don't need them, they won't even be used and so you aren't using non-free software, and if you do need them they're the only way your computer will run.


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Keith
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07 Jun 2009, 11:38 am

The only thing I really hate about Linux distros and this differs with version. And that is having an nVidia graphics card. Different ways to set it up. I just want to download the file and use the terminal/console to install it. And the refresh seems to be too low in Ubuntu 60Hz it's the only option. openSuSE seems to have the 85Hz I want...



Fuzzy
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07 Jun 2009, 2:53 pm

Keith wrote:
The only thing I really hate about Linux distros and this differs with version. And that is having an nVidia graphics card. Different ways to set it up. I just want to download the file and use the terminal/console to install it. And the refresh seems to be too low in Ubuntu 60Hz it's the only option. openSuSE seems to have the 85Hz I want...


Thats a problem with your monitor drivers.


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pakled
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07 Jun 2009, 5:54 pm

Thanks, Orwell, that sounds encouraging. I'm just dreading my backup...;)

About the proprietary driver; what did the vendor say about a Linux driver? Is the compatibility that problematic? I find it hard to believe anyone nowadays (especially on the bleeding edge) would scorn writing at least a generic Linux driver.

I spent many a year with the 'well, you built it, you give me an answer' attitude towards vendors. more often than not, they'd at least come up with an answer.

hope you find something.



one1ai
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07 Jun 2009, 6:27 pm

Orwell wrote:
I would love to use a "fully free" distribution. Unfortunately, none of them currently support my hardware and I'm not interested in shelling out $1000+ just so I can avoid one proprietary driver.


I also have an nvidia graphics card. Proprietary drivers in the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system work well with my card, although I would like nvidia to know I'm not happy about their drivers not being free software. I think they are even against such drivers being developed.

I've not yet sent them a letter or communicated on their forum. I have neither communicated on related issues with all the other companies of hardware that I have(printer, scanner, motherboard(so coreboot can work)). I'm delaying this communication with them. If I don't tell them about it.... they might not learn there is 1 or more people who want free software drivers for their hardware .

Although there is some positive stuff on the horizon. Hardware is being designed and drivers developed that is free software, like one laptop that I know of(it also has free wireless drivers although I think they are problematic). I think even Intel has some integrated graphics in some laptops with 3D drivers that are free software. ATI is also going the way towards free 3D graphics card drivers for some cards.


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Orwell
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07 Jun 2009, 6:45 pm

pakled wrote:
About the proprietary driver; what did the vendor say about a Linux driver? Is the compatibility that problematic? I find it hard to believe anyone nowadays (especially on the bleeding edge) would scorn writing at least a generic Linux driver.

I used to use ndiswrapper so I could use a Windows driver, but I believe now Broadcom has now actually released a Linux driver. However, it is not open source, and Linux devs do not like this because if it breaks, or if it does not play nice with other parts of the GNU/Linux OS, there is nothing they can do to fix it.


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LostInEmulation
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07 Jun 2009, 11:58 pm

While I do use Xubuntu on my main system, I try not to use unfree software. I don't have the M$ fonts, the Flash plugin or unfree drivers. My desktop system ran Gentoo (but she no longer boots due to various hardware failures) without anything unfree. And my slower craptop runs a damn small inux. Let's say no self-respecting commercial application would run on her.


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peterd
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08 Jun 2009, 6:42 am

It's important to maintain some sort of awareness of what "free" means.

There's an ongoing battle going on about the intellectual property in software. If someone has a patent current that covers the area in which the software works - whether it's valid or not (in the sense of having survived court challenges) - then the software isn't, in the immediate sense - free.

Now, there are corporations who own patents that cover large parts of the known universe, and until the patent laws are sufficiently well understood to make sense, that's not going to change. Those of us who invented and moved on from techniques covered by such patents tend to ignore that s**t, but a lawsuit landing in your mailbox has a marvellous affect on the attention span.

The important point to keep in sight is that if you can do what you want to do without paying licence fees to someone who hasn't helped you do it, then you're on the side of the angels. If you can solve new problems without laying yourself open to the above mentioned lawsuits, you're doing OK too. The rest is like democracy - nice in theory but not good to get too absorbed in the details of.



Keith
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08 Jun 2009, 1:18 pm

Technically speaking, nVidia drivers are free, but not free to modify at will. I can't find the settings to change the driver for my monitor, or know-how to up the refresh rate...



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04 Dec 2009, 7:12 pm

I also use the gnewsense operating system, and I think it is very impressive in most respects - bash shell, word processing, text editing, pdf reading, internet browsing/creating software, USB key support, cd writing, audio playing, never crashing, etc.

However, there are some major limitations. For example it will not play dvd videos, and my Nvidia TNT2 M64 VGA card has no non-free driver that will realise its potential (I think that is why I cannot run OpenGL applications). Also for some reason I need to restart every time I insert a USB key; or it will freeze.

It is enjoyable learning commands/scripting to do things easily and efficiently, and makes me more productive and competent on the computer. I really like the find and grep commands, because it is much easier to manipulate files and do tasks, if you know where everything is.



Fuzzy
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04 Dec 2009, 7:35 pm

one1ai wrote:
I also have an nvidia graphics card. Proprietary drivers in the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system work well with my card, although I would like nvidia to know I'm not happy about their drivers not being free software. I think they are even against such drivers being developed.

I've not yet sent them a letter or communicated on their forum. I have neither communicated on related issues with all the other companies of hardware that I have(printer, scanner, motherboard(so coreboot can work)). I'm delaying this communication with them. If I don't tell them about it.... they might not learn there is 1 or more people who want free software drivers for their hardware .


You cannot. I attempted contacting them myself. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1190753


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RaceDrv709
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05 Dec 2009, 7:14 pm

I run only Ubuntu 9.10 on my laptop, but I dual boot it with Windows 7 on my desktop.


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06 Dec 2009, 8:00 am

Fuzzy wrote:
one1ai wrote:
I also have an nvidia graphics card. Proprietary drivers in the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system work well with my card, although I would like nvidia to know I'm not happy about their drivers not being free software. I think they are even against such drivers being developed.

I've not yet sent them a letter or communicated on their forum.<snip>


You cannot. I attempted contacting them myself. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1190753


I've posted on that thread on the ubuntuforums. I list the possible subforums one can post in. I think, but am not sure, that the subforum/subtopic "community" would be the best choice to post in.

It seems then by what you said that Nvidia doesn't accept direct contact. Then I suppose it will only happen through indirect contact, like posting on their official forums. They might not learn at all, but the main issue I think is that I want to give them the chance to know what someone thinks.


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Fuzzy
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06 Dec 2009, 8:20 am

one1ai wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
one1ai wrote:
I also have an nvidia graphics card. Proprietary drivers in the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system work well with my card, although I would like nvidia to know I'm not happy about their drivers not being free software. I think they are even against such drivers being developed.

I've not yet sent them a letter or communicated on their forum.<snip>


You cannot. I attempted contacting them myself. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1190753


I've posted on that thread on the ubuntuforums. I list the possible subforums one can post in. I think, but am not sure, that the subforum/subtopic "community" would be the best choice to post in.

It seems then by what you said that Nvidia doesn't accept direct contact. Then I suppose it will only happen through indirect contact, like posting on their official forums. They might not learn at all, but the main issue I think is that I want to give them the chance to know what someone thinks.


I agree. I declined that route because I felt that whoever was in charge of the forum would unlikely be tied to any one in charge of policy or marketing.

I applaud your activism though.

I actually research and purchase hardware and software that is linux supported. At times I purchase things I dont need just because of that.


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Goren
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06 Dec 2009, 8:26 am

I am using Ubuntu. I try to avoid non-FOSS as much as I can, but some pieces of non-free software are just unavoidable - most notably, Flash and JDK I use for my work. Also, rar and mp3 codecs are essential, as well as some other non-free media codecs.