Making Gentoo GNU/Linux libre and respect your freedom (sort of)

As explained on the GNU project’s website there are very few GNU/Linux distros which respect your freedom. One of the most common issues is that some distributions provide non-free and/or proprietary software in their main package manager. Same goes for Gentoo GNU/Linux, my favorite distribution.

However, it is still possible to make your Gentoo installation libre by configuring it a bit.

  • Add ACCEPT_LICENSE="-* @FREE"to your /etc/portage/make.conf.

This will restrict Portage to install only packages considered free in the set FREE. This set of licenses consist mostly of FSF-approved and OSI-approved licenses, in addition to some other licenses as specified by License Groups - Gentoo Wiki.

  • Add the deblob USE-flag to the package sys-kernel/gentoo-sources(or whatever kernel you are using).

This will strip out any binary blobs from the shipped source. I also suggest using deblob globally, as there may be more packages which ship non-free binary large objects.

These two simple steps will make (most of?) your Gentoo GNU/Linux installation free and libre. This does however not address the issue of non-free software package being encouraged by default - one of the issues that the Free Software Foundation mentions in regards to Gentoo GNU/Linux.