Incoming distros

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Endorsement Process

Distributions looking to join our list of Free GNU/Linux distributions will have their applications go through a review process with several steps. Their progress through this process will be tracked here on this page, so they can view where they are and what their next steps will be. If something goes awry, or if the distro just has questions about the process or particular issues, they can always contact the FSF licensing team <licensing@fsf.org>.

  • The process begins with an application sent to <webmasters@gnu.org> for an initial review. The distro should be sent to this page at this point so they understand the process and can track their progress. The webmasters do a brief check to make sure that it is a legitimate application (i.e. the application is filed by the maintainers of the distro, and is not clearly incompatible with the criteria for endorsement).
  • Each distro at this point will be assigned an "application manager", an individual volunteer on the list who wants to take on the role of ensuring that their application continues to move forward. The application manager should create a wiki page using our FSDG Checklist Template for the distro, and create an entry linking to that checklist page in the list under the 'Distros currently being evaluated by the community' heading below and noting themselves as the application manager. The application manager should make sure to update the distro's review progress on the checklist page.
  • If at any time, it becomes clear that no significant progress is being made toward addressing documented criteria discrepancies or deficiencies; the application manager or the FSF licensing team may move the distro's entry to the list under the 'Distros that are defunct or do not comply with the GNU FSDG' heading. This could be considered as an "on-hold" phase for some reasonably brief duration (perhaps to assign a new application manager or grace period for the distro maintainers to dispute the move); but unless there is timely objection or discussion by the distro maintainers and an application manager is willing to proceed, this may conclude the review process and the application manager may be relieved of it's over-sight. After some reasonably brief duration in this state, the distro would need to re-apply to the GNU webmasters to re-start the process. The state of the checklist page and notes should be retained however; in order to inform future reviewers or those who may fork or otherwise assume stewardship of the distro.
  • Once the distro has passed community review, the application manager should move the entry on this page from the list under the 'Distros currently being evaluated by the community' heading to the list under the 'Distros ready for final review by the FSF' heading; and then escalate it's application to <licensing@fsf.org> for final brief review and endorsement. The final determination of whether a distro gains endorsement will be made by the FSF licensing team. The FSF licensing team may decide to revert the distro back to the community review phase and/or modify the criteria in exceptional cases.

Distros ready for final review by the FSF

The following distros have been passed community evaluation for all FSDG criteria and are awaiting final review by the FSF licensing team.

Distros currently being evaluated by the community

The following distros have been accepted by the GNU webmasters as candidates for community evaluation on the mailing list.

Distros that have requested consideration

The following distros have expressed a commitment to following the "Free System Distribution Guidelines" and have requested consideration for endorsement. They have stable releases ready to be evaluated; but their review has not yet begun.

Distros in development but not yet ready to be evaluated

The following distros are in active development and have expressed a commitment to following the "Free System Distribution Guidelines" and an interest in being recognized by the FSF as a freedom-respecting operating system but do not yet have stable releases available.

  • Gnuinos
    • http://gnuinos.org/
    • email: aitor@gnuinos.org
    • currently in beta
    • freenode: <aitor> there will be a stable release of gnuinos in august
  • Heads
    • https://heads.dyne.org/
    • email: heads@dyne.org
    • irc.dyne.org:9999 #heads
    • currently in beta
    • freenode: <parazyd> no ETA for stable release of heads


Distros that are defunct or do not comply with the GNU FSDG

The following distros were evaluated and turned out not to actually be interested in fully complying with the guidelines, and/or project development had stopped.

  • Ichigo GNU Linux
    • A free distribution for devices with limited resources such as single board computers and tablets with sunxi processors. It includes the latest reverse engineered drivers and uses a modified version of linux-libre. The free bootloader will support full NAND.

This page was a featured resource in January 2019.