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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2024 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 191, March 2024

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 191, March 2024

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Mar 01, 2024 01:00 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update - being read by you and 231,420 other activists. That's 686 more than last month!

Exciting talks, hands-on workshops, and thrilling discussions await you at LibrePlanet 2024

From February 26

Exciting talks, hands-on workshops, and thrilling discussions await you at LibrePlanet 2024: Cultivating Community. If you haven't registered already, register now to save your spot!

This year's theme is Cultivating Community and besides our regular program of free software projects and developments, the schedule is full of sessions on mobilizing from the grassroots, increasing diversity in the free software community, facilitating the participation of volunteers, and encouraging users to contribute to their favorite projects. If you would like to volunteer at this year's conference, please send an email to

Register now to save your spot!


  • FOSDEM 2024: Two days on software freedom
  • Free software is not antithetical to commercial success
  • Celebrate KDE's 6th Megarelease!
  • Dems are at it again, trying to break open black-box algorithms
  • Guix Days 2024 and FOSDEM recap
  • February GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Group: FreedSoftware
  • February GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Nineteen new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here:

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Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at

Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll to the end to read the Supporter in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

FOSDEM 2024: Two days on software freedom

From February 26

We depend on software as a society. In such a world, software freedom has to be protected. Free Software Foundation's (FSF) Licensing and Compliance Manager, Krzysztof Siewicz is sharing his personal account of FOSDEM 2024.

In this article, Krzysztof reflects on his experience at FOSDEM and provides context for his talk at the conference, "Fireside Chat on Further Restrictions, Imposed Downstream on Copyleft, Wreaking Havoc," delivered jointly with Bradley M. Kuhn of Software Freedom Conservancy.

Free software is not antithetical to commercial success

From February 12

A common misunderstanding regarding the concept of free software, or a question you might see tossed around by people on the internet in different chat rooms, forums, and whatnot, comes from the misconception that the "free" in "free software" means free as in "free beer," i.e. gratis.

In this article, Gabriel Cezarin Popovici, intern with the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) campaigns team, explains why developing free software and earning money do not have to exclude each other.

Celebrate KDE's 6th Megarelease!

From February 28 by Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss

KDE's 6th Megarelease took place on February 28, 2024, though there is no need to celebrate the same day. Celebrations are happening all over Europe and online, so use KDE's wiki to coordinate and find an event in your area.

Dems are at it again, trying to break open black-box algorithms

From February 16 by Thomas Claburn

Democratic lawmakers once again have proposed legislation to ensure that the software source code used for criminal investigations can be examined and is subject to standardized testing by the government.

On February 15, House Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) reintroduced the Justice in Forensic Algorithms Act of 2024, a draft law that forbids using trade secret claims from barring defense attorneys from reviewing source code relevant to criminal cases and establishes a federal testing regime for forensic software.

Given that proprietary software can be used to put an alleged criminal away for life, it is imperative that these programs be free software to ensure a fair trial.

Guix Days 2024 and FOSDEM recap

From February 10 by Steve George

Guix contributors and users got together in Brussels to explore Guix's status, chat about new ideas and spend some time together enjoying Belgian beer! This article contains a recap of what was discussed, including Spritely Goblins, Hoot, Guix Home, and more!

February GNU Emacs news

From February 26 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: Tips on Embark and Repeat-mode, user-shared configurations, the System Crafter's Absolute Beginner's Guide to Emacs, tips for structuring an init.el, and more!

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and exciting free software projects.

To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, March 8 from 12:00 to 15:00 EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Group: FreedSoftware

Every month on the LibrePlanet wiki, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting the "FreedSoftware" wiki group, which contains information on the GNU Free Software Distribution Guidelines (FSDG), the current list of free GNU/Linux distros, and areas where help is still needed.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

February GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Nineteen new GNU releases!

Nineteen new GNU releases in the last month (as of February 29, 2024):

For a full list with descriptions, please see:

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list:

To download: nearly all GNU software is available most reliably from Optionally, you may find faster download speeds at a mirror located geographically closer to you by choosing from the list of mirrors published at, or you may use to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month, we welcome Anton McClure as new maintainer of gnutrition.

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see

As always, please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

FSF and other free software events

  • March 14-17, 2024, Pasadena, CA, SCALE
  • March, 15-17, 2024, National Institute Of Technology, Calicut, FOSSMeet'24
  • April 12-13, 2024, Austin, TX, TXLF
  • April 16-18, 2024, Seattle, WA, OSSNA
  • May 4-5, 2024, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, LibrePlanet 2024
  • June 7-9, 2024, Sheraton Charlotte Airport, Charlotte, NC, SELF
  • July 12-14, 2024, St. John's University, Queens, New York City, HOPE XV

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, and we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have donated $500 or more in the last month.

This month, a big Thank GNU to:

  • David Bruce
  • James Wilson
  • Jason Compton
  • Ramana Kumar
  • Stefan Antun
  • Valerio Poggi

You can add your name to this list by donating at

GNU copyright contributions

Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:

  • Thomas Allen (GNU Emacs)
  • Barra Ó Catháin (GNU Emacs)
  • Kouhei Akiyama (GNU Emacs)
  • Bruno Fernando Alexandre Boal (GNU Emacs)
  • Hank Greenburg (GNU Emacs)
  • Noé Lopez (GNU Emacs)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aquí:

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici:

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui:

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em português, clique aqui:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Take action with the FSF!

Contributions from thousands of individual associate members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at If you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:

I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!

The FSF is always looking for volunteers. From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaigns section and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management, free software adoption, OpenDocument, and more.

Do you read and write Portuguese and English? The FSF is looking for translators for the Free Software Supporter. Please send an email to with your interest and a list of your experience and qualifications.

Copyright © 2024 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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