Proposal: Revision of policy surrounding 3rd party and non-free software

Christian Schaller cschalle at
Tue Jan 21 19:40:09 UTC 2014

Hi Matthew,
I actually took the jump and moved my mothers computer over to Linux this Christmas. As it turned out the built in PDF viewer in Fedora couldn't properly handle
these PDFs she got sent every Month from a company she works with. Having this work was a crucial feature for her, so in the end I installed the Adobe Reader which
handled the files perfectly. If that had not been an option I would have had to revert her system back to Windows as I couldn't have left her with a system that for her was unusable.

So my mother is not very technical at all and not really part of the core audience for Fedora, but her example rings true for a lot of people who do fit into the audience
we are targeting. For a lot of users not having the Nvidia driver can for instance be the difference between the system being usable or not for them, just like Acrobat reader was for my mom. Or you could be working for a company which got a web service that only works properly in Chrome, so without Chrome Linux would not be an option for you (in my previous job that was the case with the business banking solution we used, it only worked in Chrome and Explorer).

I hope that answers your question, but to also clarify a second point, why this software needs to be available through our Software app. It is about making the users feel that we care about making things convenient for them. I have a lot of friends who have gone elsewhere because while they like Fedora and are supportive of the principles behind it they care even more about getting their jobs done. And Fedora just felt like it wanted to be your job instead of the tool to get things done.


----- Original Message -----
> From: "Matthew Garrett" <mjg59 at>
> To: advisory-board at
> Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:48:06 PM
> Subject: Re: Proposal: Revision of policy surrounding 3rd party and	non-free software
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 01:37:38PM -0500, Christian Schaller wrote:
> > So we have decided to change, both in technical terms with the Fedora Next
> > plan, but we also need to revisit
> > how we practice our policies, which is what this proposal is about. And to
> > be fair the change we are proposing here
> > is not that radical, someone installing Fedora even after this policy
> > change will still get a system using 100% free software
> > out of the box.
> Before discussing this any further, I think it'd be helpful for you to
> clarify why you think availability of non-free software is a significant
> factor in whether or not a user will choose to run Fedora.
> --
> Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at
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