librian: check Debian installations for possible software freedom issues

Initially published at 2009-04-20.

This script runs various checks on the local Debian system to detect, if it has any non-free software installed. It is similar in spirit to vrms (and uses it as one of the sub-checks), but does more and explains what it has found more verbosily.

It is very simple and not perfect at all, which means it could both miss some non-free packages and falsely report as non-free some perfectly free ones. If you need a more reliable guarantee that all the software which you use is free, install one of the completely free GNU/Linux distributions instead of Debian.

Currently, the script marks as possibly problematic:

  • The running kernel, if its version string does not contain libre, fshoppe, gnewsense or trisquel;
  • Any firmware files in /lib/firmware/<kernel version>/;
  • Everything that vrms lists as non-free;
  • The firefox and iceweasel packages;
  • Any packages matching mono-* and libmono*.

Example output

$ librian
* Your kernel ("2.6.28.9-libre2-rm") has installed some firmware with it.
  The firmware files are:
    /lib/firmware/2.6.28.9-libre2-rm/keyspan_pda/keyspan_pda.fw
    /lib/firmware/2.6.28.9-libre2-rm/keyspan_pda/xircom_pgs.fw
  Some (or all) of these files could be non-free, e.g. come with no source code.
  Please refer to the http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/ website for details.
  
* "vrms" has detected the following non-free programs on your system:
    unrar
  Consider using the free alternatives to those programs, or help develop
  such alternatives if there aren't any at the moment.
  The page at http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority.html may have more info.
  
* You have the Firefox (or Iceweasel) browser installed.
  Firefox has a repository of extensions which contains some non-free ones.
  It does not warn the user before installing the non-free extensions.
  If you would prefer to exclude the possibility of unknowingly installing
  and using such extensions, consider switching to a GNU-provided Firefox
  derivative called IceCat.
  Its official website is at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

Download

Installation

After downloading, set the execute permission on the script:

chmod +x librian

Then copy or symlink it to /usr/local/bin/.

You also need to have the following packages installed:

  • findutils
  • grep
  • php5-cli
  • vrms

Install them using the command:

apt-get install findutils grep php5-cli vrms

Usage

Just run:

librian

at the terminal. If some issues are found, the explanation will be printed at the console, and if everything is fine, there will be no output.

If you would like a more verbose output (for debugging, mostly), use:

librian -v

en/librian.txt · Last modified: 2009-05-01 14:49 UTC (external edit)