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Licensing resource series: h-node hardware directory

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Aug 08, 2016 02:19 PM
This is the second installment in the Free Software Foundation's Licensing & Compliance Lab's series highlighting licensing resources.

While our Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program gets lots of attention from all the new fully free hardware being certified, the FSF has actually had more resources on hardware for quite some time. In the past, we maintained a list of hardware that worked well with free software. But a few years back we made this into a community run project, h-node.

Hardware listed on h-node doesn't come with FSF certification, but it does come with the information users need to find out the extent to which the hardware is supported by fully free GNU/Linux distros. Members of the community can submit entries to h-node whenever they get a chance to test it against one of these free operating systems. By sharing this information, everyone can help more users to make the switch to a fully free system by making it easier to know what hardware already works perfectly with a free system. Hackers looking to help increase support can also find hardware with some remaining issues and direct their efforts there.

The directory covers a wide breadth of hardware, from basic components like video cards to full laptops or towers, even peripherals like printers and webcams. So whether you're looking to upgrade a current computer, or buying a new one, h-node is a good resource to check before spending your money. The directory even has information on devices released quite long ago, so it can be useful for helping you decide how to re-purpose older hardware. It of course also covers recently released hardware, but it is only as up to date as its most recent contributor makes it. As stated before, h-node is a resource built by the community, so it depends on users like you stepping up to help out. Here's how you can help:

  • Create an account on h-node.org to test and add your own hardware to the directory. Or you can suggest features/bugfixes for the site itself.

  • You can keep up to date on this series and more free software news by subscribing to our newsletter, the Free Software Supporter and subscribing to our RSS feed.

  • You can help fund our work in creating these licensing resources by becoming a member or by making a donation.

Enjoy this article? Check out our previous entry on A Quick Guide to the GPLv3

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