FSF updates list of free GNU/Linux distributions, adding Kongoni and announcing the Trisquel 3.0 release
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Friday, September 11, 2009 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced updates related to its list of fully free GNU/Linux distributions, including the addition of one new distribution called Kongoni, and a milestone release of the Trisquel system.
Trisquel, which was added to the list last December, has issued its 3.0 release, codenamed "Dwyn." It is the first in a new series of short term support releases that will be updated every six months with new software to add features, improved performance, and hardware compatibility.
Kongoni, named after the Shona word for "gnu," is based in Africa. For optimal performance with minimal bandwidth requirements, it uses a packaging system called "ports" that downloads programs as source and builds them automatically.
Trisquel, Kongoni, and the other GNU/Linux system distributions on the FSF's list only include and only propose free software. They reject nonfree applications, nonfree programming platforms, nonfree drivers, nonfree firmware "blobs," and any other nonfree software and documentation. They uphold a commitment to remove any such components as they are discovered -- a commitment most well-known GNU/Linux distributions do not follow.
FSF operations manager John Sullivan said, "It's very encouraging to see this list continuing to increase in both quality and quantity. While others continue to propagate the outdated claim that it's too hard or not possible to make distributions without proprietary binary firmware and other nonfree programs, free software activists and developers working on projects like Kongoni and Trisquel continue to prove them wrong."
Both Trisquel and Kongoni are calling for more contributors to help. Trisquel is seeking mirrors, package maintainers, beta testers, translators, and documentation writers. Kongoni is looking for people to help with publicity, and writing new package ports. More information about using and contributing to Trisquel and Kongoni can be found at their respective Web sites, http://trisquel.info/ and http://kongoni.co.za/.
The FSF's guidelines for free system distributions are online at http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html, and the distributions committed to those guidelines are listed at http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html.
About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
About Free Software and Open Source
The free software movement's goal is freedom for computer users. Some, especially corporations, advocate a different viewpoint, known as "open source," which cites only practical goals such as making software powerful and reliable, focuses on development models, and avoids discussion of ethics and freedom. These two viewpoints are different at the deepest level. For more explanation, see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html.
About the GNU Operating System and Linux
Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See http://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.
In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without nonfree software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.
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