Packaging Request #2512

[ungoogled-chromium]: is it a go with Guix recipe?

dllud - over 4 years ago - . Updated over 3 years ago.

% Done:



I just found out that Guix (a FSDG compliant distro) distributes ungoogled-chromium after running it through a build recipe that removes a few extra files.

On Guix mailing list there is the following bold statement:

To the best of our knowledge, ungoogled-chromium as packaged in guix is completely free

Would Parabola devs be willing to replicate Guix build recipe and distribute ungoogled-chromium on Parabola?
Or are there further concerns that haven't been addressed by Guix?

This is tangentially related to #1167, which deals mostly with qt5-webengine. If Guix approach is deemed valid perhaps it could serve as a base for qt5-webengine. Although I reckon that qt5-webengine, being much more limited in scope, ought to include a smaller subset of Chromium than ungoogled-chromium (which is a fully featured browser).


purism.log (2.82 KB) purism.log IRC logs from #purism dllud, 2019-10-26 06:06 PM

Related issues

Related to Packages - Freedom Issue #1167: [chromium][electron][qt5-webengine][qt6-webengine] QTWebgine/Electron embeds "entire Chromium platform"confirmed

Related to Packages - Packaging Request #2926: ungoogled-chromium and your-freedom are in conflict (chromium).duplicate




Updated by bill-auger over 4 years ago

  • Priority changed from bug to wish

yes indeed that would be awesome, if the guix recipe were generally accepted to be FSDG-fit; but currently, only guix has deemed it to be so - the standing consensus of the FSDG work-group is that neither chromium nor any of its derivatives are convincingly within the FDSG; and by Feb 2018, the one FSDG distro that still distributed it (pureos), had removed it from their standard repos for this reason, closing a long standing freedom-bug report on their bug tracker

even if we wanted chromium, the blocker is that it is on the "List of software that does not respect the Free System Distribution Guidelines"; which offers recommended liberation procedures, and is among the FSDG criteria - if the guix recipe were acceptable, parabola probably would have done the same years ago, before guix and pureos existed; and today it would be guix and pureos duplicating the parabola recipe - the key point though, is that it would not be "the parabola recipe" - it would have been presented to the FSDG work-group for evaluation; and if the consensus were that it was an acceptable liberation procedure, then (as the first any only example to date) it would have become the standard FSDG recommendation for any FSDG distro that wants to package chromium - the corollary to that key point, is that if the consensus among the FSDG work-group were that it was not acceptable, then parabola would not have added it

as of today, no such liberation procedure yet exists; and the DSFG "Recommended Fix" is still: "Remove program/package. Use GNU IceCat, or equivalent"

until the FSDG recommendation for chromium validates the guix recipe, this packaging request reduces to a duplicate of the original from 7 years ago #140; because no new information has come to light since it was last discussed in 2018, which would change the FSDG recommendation - if this issue was as easily resolved as guix contends it to be; parabola probably would have added chromium 7 years ago


Updated by bill-auger over 4 years ago

  • Related to Freedom Issue #1167: [chromium][electron][qt5-webengine][qt6-webengine] QTWebgine/Electron embeds "entire Chromium platform" added

Updated by oaken-source over 4 years ago

frankly, the entire thing is pretty ugly. has always been.

and the involvement of guix in this mess hasn't made anything prettier. I'd be disinclined to trust that whatever guix has done here further than I can throw a chromebook.


Updated by dllud over 4 years ago

bill-auger: thanks for the detailed reply.

PureOs added Chromium back again. The replies on the issue imply that and GNUtoo confirmed, a few days ago (Oct 21), that it is available on the repos for both amber and byzantium. I am attaching the relevant IRC logs.

Has Guix presented ever their solution to the FSDG work-group for evaluation? If so, could you point me there? Thanks!


Updated by bill-auger over 4 years ago

FWIW, to pre-empt any rebuttals, i contend that this is not an issue for parabola to decide alone; so there is little point to discuss it on this bug tracker - if anyone is truly concerned about resolving this conflict, the appropriate venue to discuss it is the FSDG mailing list - i have raised this issue on that list again just recently (actually, quiliro did); and everyone is invited to voice their opinion


Updated by bill-auger over 4 years ago

no, guix did not present their work to the work-group - they entered the conversation briefly after some people had been cross-posting to the mailing lists of guix, the FSDG, and GNU, in opposition to the decision to add chromium to guix - when asked to help the work-group to resolve the conflict with the FSDG, the guix representatives declined, and suggested that people who want to resolve the conflict, should study the guix build recipe themselves, to determine if it is FSDG-fit - thats not to mention the massive source code, which is the main reason why this was not already resolved, years before guix was interested in it

not everyone in the work-group is a programmer though; so someone would need to read and understand the build recipe and audit the entire code-base, then explain it to the group in plain words, so that everyone can make an informed decision - that is yet to happen though; and most likely never will

if the group decides it is acceptable, and most importantly, is able to convince the FSF to accept it, then it could become the standard recommendation; which would also be in plain words - if the work-group decides that it is not acceptable, then most importantly, the FSF should step in and ask all endorsed distros to remove it (again), or revoke their endorsement

i have no strong preference, aside from deferring the matter to the FSDG work-group - any of those outcomes would be fine by me; but the current situation sucks (pardon my french), and it doesnt seem likely that any of those resolutions will come to pass any time soon


Updated by Megver83 almost 4 years ago

This Chromium thing looks like a never ending issue. When I read this, I felt like I needed to propose a real solution:

I've read some issues on the Iridium tracker, and they have Google Safe Browsing enabled by default

Idk what are the exact differences between Ungoogled Chromium and Iridium, but afaik UC also has Google NSA Browsing (:P) enabled. We should evaluate which one is better in terms of freedom, and in second place in privacy. Both disable a lot of Google crap, so the leftovers like the NSA browsing may not be too difficult to remove. I read that Iridium lends some patches from UC, so my fast-conclusion-brain-CPU tells my that they are like the same, but Iridium is privacy-security focused, nothing more. None of them seem to remove all the non-free crap, just Google stuff. Plus, Iridium's wiki claims that the Google stuff is "disabled", not "removed" (or maybe it's in fact removed, idk, I'm just kind of paranoiac with Chromium)


Updated by freemor almost 4 years ago

Megver83 I can understand the wish to move this forward. but as far as I know (and I may be a bit out of the loop these days) The question of the codes freedom WRT FSDG has not yet been cleared up. This isn't just a Google/Privacy thing. It is a fundamentally a "Does that code meet the 4 freedoms as required?" issue.

If I've missed something please let me know.


Updated by Megver83 almost 4 years ago

Yea, you're right, that's why I said "We should evaluate which one is better in terms of freedom, and in second place in privacy", but I was talking about Iridium and UC to consider them as potential projects that could be forked to create a freed Chromium browser, and in that sense my thought is that Iridium looks like a good candidate for that, only because by forking it we can save us time from removing Google stuff


Updated by bill-auger almost 4 years ago

from what i remember of the most recent discussion in 2018, both the ungoogled and iridium teams were asked if they made any changes WRT licensing issues; and they both said "no" - AFAICT, they only address privacy concerns; so the licensing audit "elephant in the room" is still in the room

and again (ive noted this so many times), the original upstream bug report from 2009 was never closed - that strongly suggests, that even it's own maintainers can not attest that it is properly licensed - that ought to be enough evidence for anyone to conclude that it probably is not; or that the code-base is so large that even it's maintainers do not know what is actually in it - either conclusion is sufficiently dubious to keep it on the FSDG's "ugly list"

thats about the size of it - that is where the issue was left two years ago, when the only FSDG distro which had chromium, agreed to remove it - no new information has been presented since that time - the only thing that changed, was that one distro decided to package chromium, then shortly afterward, the distro which had removed it, added it back; and both knew that it was forbidden

like it or not, the FSDG recommendation for chromium is still: "use icecat"; and unfortunately, no one, not even those who actually want this behemoth in their distro, wants to do the audit, which could change the recommendation - the FSF apparently does nothing, when distros intentionally stray from the explicit guidelines; so thats what we have folks - sadly, the FSDG trophy is not as shiny as it once was - some polishing is overdue


Updated by bill-auger over 3 years ago

  • Subject changed from ungoogled-chromium with Guix recipe: is it a go? to [ungoogled-chromium]: is it a go with Guix recipe?

Updated by bill-auger over 3 years ago

Also available in: Atom PDF