jxself.org

APT Repository for Linux-libre

I've been maintaining this APT repository for the kernel called Linux-libre since September 2011, graciously hosted by the Free Software Foundation Latin America.

Linux as distributed by kernel.org contains proprietary software, and it induces you to install additional proprietary software that it doesn't contain.

Linux-libre is a modified version of Linux with all of the binary blobs, obfuscated code and portions of code under proprietary licenses removed.

The resulting combination of the GNU Operating System and the kernel named Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, although many (incorrectly) refer to it as "Linux."

This repository contains .debs of Linux-libre compiled for 32- and 64-bit x86 CPUs. It should work with most any GNU/Linux distribution that uses APT. It's known to be compatible with Trisquel, gNewSense, Debian, Ubuntu, and their respsective derivatives. Please contact me if you need support for additional CPU architectures or other GNU/Linux distributions.

I hope that this repository will make software freedom easier for more people, either by allowing you to replace the kernel in your existing GNU/Linux distribution with one that is entirely freedom-respecting, or for people already using fully-free GNU/Linux distributions to more easily get a newer kernel version if you need it for some reason.

To use this repository first install the package apt-transport-https:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https

Then add my repository:

sudo apt edit-sources

And add the line:

deb https://linux-libre.fsfla.org/pub/linux-libre/freesh/ freesh main

You should also fetch and install the GPG key with which the repository is signed:

wget https://jxself.org/gpg.inc

Check that it's the right key:

gpg --with-fingerprint gpg.inc

Make sure that you see:

Key fingerprint = F611 A908 FFA1 65C6 9958 4ED4 9D0D B31B 545A 3198

As long as it matches configure the package manager to trust the key and then delete the temporary copy:

sudo apt-key add gpg.inc
rm gpg.inc

Now you will now be able to update your package manager and install Linux-libre:

sudo apt update

The exact command to run next depends on how you want things to work. Please review all of the information below.

Current and upcoming kernel versions to know about:

Version Status Released Supported Until
4.9 Future version, expected at some point in December 2016
4.8 Latest released version October 2016 December 2016
4.1 Current long-term support (LTS) version June 2015 September 2017

Please keep in mind that a new long-term support version is selected roughly once each year and then supported for at least two years. The next one will be 4.9, which is expected in December 2016.

To determine if your CPU supports PAE (which is good to know for the chart below) run this command:

grep --color=always -i PAE /proc/cpuinfo

If pae is highlighted in the output then your system supports PAE. Otherwise it does not.

Please continue reading to find the use case that most closely describes what you want.

Use CaseCommand
"I always want the latest version of Linux-libre. No matter what." sudo apt install linux-libre
Same as above, but I have an older computer that doesn't support PAE. (See the earlier note about PAE.) sudo apt install linux-libre-nonpae
"I want the latest version of Linux-libre, but when 4.9 comes out as the next major new release I want to wait a bit before upgrading so that any problems can get sorted out. I'll decide when I'm ready to upgrade to 4.9, but I still want to get updates for 4.8 while I'm waiting." sudo apt install linux-libre-4.8
Same as above, but I have an older computer that doesn't support PAE. (See the earlier note about PAE.) sudo apt install linux-libre-4.8-nonpae
"I always want to be using the current long-term support (LTS) version of Linux-libre. No matter what." sudo apt install linux-libre-lts
Same as above, but I have an older computer that doesn't support PAE. (See the earlier note about PAE.) sudo apt install linux-libre-lts-nonpae
"I want to use the long-term support (LTS) version of Linux-libre but when 4.9 comes out as the next LTS version I don't want to upgrade to it. I want to stay with the current LTS (4.1) until I decide otherwise." sudo apt install linux-libre-4.1
Same as above, but I have an older computer that doesn't support PAE. (See the earlier note about PAE.) sudo apt install linux-libre-4.1-nonpae

If you use libreboot make sure to do this. If you do not use libreboot, skip this step.

cd /boot/grub
sudo ln -s grub.cfg libreboot_grub.cfg

I also recommend that you subscribe to the linux-libre-announce mailing list to be aware of important changes. The mailing list is very low volume.

Have questions? Need help? Please visit #linux-libre on irc.freenode.net or contact me.

Linux-libre is free software, licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2, as published by the Free Software Foundation. You should read the license so that you know your rights to run, study, and modify the software, as well as your obligations should you redistribute the software to others.

To ensure that I'm in full compliance with the license you may download the tarball containing the complete and corresponding source code, kernel configuration files, and the instructions to compile and install the kernel from http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/pub/linux-libre/freesh/.

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