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I really love GNU GUIX SD (the distro based on this package manager). I just wish the linux-libre crew would bite the bullet and simply publish an actual HCL. "Some transmitters with this chipset may not work because they require non-free firmware (that we deliberately changed the kernel to refuse to load)" doesn't really work for me.

The district looks very consistent and nice. I wish there was a version that did have firmwares so those of us with hardware that requires non-free firmware could use it. Yeah, idealism of FSF, but I'm not in a position to buy a Linux-libre-compatible machine right now.

FWIW: it's not hard to obtain hardware that works with Linux-libre. My main machine is a Thinkpad X200S where the restrictive Lenovo BIOS has been replaced with Libreboot, allowing me to install a WiFi card from Tehnoetic (using the Atheros driver).

I have a couple of other machines and only one of them has reduced functionality when using Linux libre (e.g. the on-board Radeon graphics chip needs nonfree firmware for higher resolutions).

Guix and GuixSD makes it easy to use a custom kernel package, so you can choose to use a blobby kernel, if you can accept that.

To share my own story, I flashed a hacked version of the proprietary BIOS on a Thinkpad X220 and was able to replace the Intel wireless chip with an Atheros chip. At the time Libreboot wasn't available, but it could still be a viable method of using a newer Thinkpad with a fully free OS, downside being that the proprietary BIOS is still in use.

The HCL you're looking for pretty much already exists.[0] If you're looking for more specific recommendations, the Respects Your Freedom certification is a more limited list of hardware that is known to work without non-free firmware.[1]

[0] https://h-node.org/ [1] https://fsf.org/ryf

> that we deliberately changed the kernel to refuse to load

I've heard this myth before too. Here's someone else's succinct answer to it:

It's a common misunderstanding to think that the Linux-libre project forbids loading non-free modules/drivers by user's request after the kernel was installed. In fact, it's a bug that is very hard to fix due to the way that the Linux kernel itself is made, as Alexandre Oliva, member of Linux-libre project, states at http://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/blogs/lxo/2013-11-08-linux-libr... (when answering the question "Is there anything that the project wants to do that it can't do now? In general, what are the future plans for the project?").

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