Group: Guix/Wishlist

From LibrePlanet
< Group:Guix
Revision as of 15:01, 11 September 2021 by GNUtoo (talk | contribs) (Network: Explain the situation with the Tor Browser)
Jump to: navigation, search

The below list contains software that users of GNU Guix would like to see packaged. If you are interested in contributing to Guix, please consider packaging something in this list while keeping in mind that some may have been listed because they are "difficult" or elusive. If the package you're interested in is already listed, feel free to either add a "(+1)" next to its name or increment the vote count, e.g. "(+1)" -> "(+2)", etc.

So Before adding a package to this list, please verify that it hasn't already been packaged.

In addition, Guix is a distribution that follows the Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG) and as such not only it only has free software but these guidelines also have additional requirements (like for instance not steering users toward the installation of nonfree software, no Malware, etc).

So it would be a really good idea to point if the package is already packaged by either a Free GNU/Linux Distribution or a Free Non-GNU Distribution, or at least try to see if that software is fully free software and doesn't have any nonfree dependencies (like nonfree firmwares, libraries, other nonfree packages and so on) or if not indicate if it wasn't checked in order to prevent accidental inclusion of nonfree software in Guix (that could happen for instance if each party assumes that the other people checked while no one checked).

This page should be synced with Free software replacements recommended by the FSF.

Communication

Mail

Multimedia communication

Instant messaging client

Social networking

Matrix

Production

Editor

Graphics

Office

System

Backup

Booting

  • Support booting from pre-existing systemd-boot, i.e. "grub-install --no-nvram".

DEs & WMs

Fonts

Hardware

Input

Media Transfer Protocol

Shell

Tools

Wayland

X11

Programming

Version control

Programming languages

Clojure
Emacs
Guile
Haskell
Java
Perl
Python
Eiffel
Ada

Misc


Emulation

Live USB

Audio

Music

Video

Education

Feed Readers

Games

Network

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser has an issue that makes it incompatible with the Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG): it is configured to use Mozilla the addons repository.

Several strategies are possible to get it in Guix and it might be possible to combine some of them together.

The Tor Browser project might find it very interesting to use Guix instead of Ubuntu for building the Tor Browser as Guix goes way beyond reproducible builds: It has extensive work that has been done to make Guix bootstrapable. Most other distributions only care about reproducible builds and so if the compilers binaries had a backdoor, software built with such compilers could then have a reproducible backdoor.

The issue is that the Tor Browser supports several operating systems (GNU/Linux, Android, Microsoft Windows, MacOS) and currently Guix only supports building software for GNU/Linux, GNU/Hurd and Microsoft Windows (this was contributed by someone wanting to build bitcoin with Guix precisely because extensive work has been made to make Guix bootstrapable).

Adding the ability to build applications for Android should probably be doable but I've no clue at all about MacOS.

In addition Guix already supports i686 and x86_64 for both Windows and GNU/Linux, and we might gain the ability to get the Tor browser for armhf, ARM 64bit (aarch64), powerpc, powerpc64le (the architecture used in the Talos II), riscV64.

And finally Guix pack also support several formats, like tarballs and Debian packages, and more can also be added as well. That would enable the tor-browser to be installed as a regular package. That could be handy with Tails for instance as last time I checked it was just a tarball being extracted.

In any case, it would really be a good idea to make the upstream Tor Browser project switch to Guix for their releases as we would avoid having to do any Q/A to verify that our version of the tor-browser looks exactly the same on the networks and that websites can't distinguish Guix users because it has been patched or built differently. And other FSDG distributions with less strict policies on bootstrapability could either build it though Guix or ship the tor-browser installer as it would then only ship software that is FSDG compliant.

We'd also need to make sure that users don't mess up trying versions that are not exactly the same as the released one (that might happens if the dependencies gets updated in Guix for instance). In any case we could then easily package the tor-browser installer in Guix too.

In addition it could push them to fix or accept fixes for the addon repository problem as Guix is probably not going to accept a tor-browser that is not FSDG compliant.

Now with the addon repository, several approaches could be taken:

  • It could be removed completely. The Tor Project advise against installing addons anyway as it could de-anonymize users. That's probably the best option here.
  • It could be moved to another list, for instance the one maintained the GNU project or one maintained by the Tor project.
  • It could also be fixed at Mozilla but I've no idea how easy it is, especially because we might need to check if the addons are really free software and can be built with free software, etc.

In any case it's probably not super important what option is chosen here as long as it's fixed.

References:

Self-hosting

Science

Translator

TODO: When libreplanet.org is upgraded to a new version of MediaWiki, use interwiki links to link to the Free Software Directory for descriptions of wishlisted software.

This page was a featured resource in February 2019.