It was indicated that my question was a lot like the question following this, the edit suggested explaining why it is different. This is about the kernel, not about repositories. Refer to the following question and see the difference: Which repository are free software on 12.04

Additonally, I am not asking HOW to install a blob free kernel. I am asking for a solid answer about which are in it. The vanilla kernel includes blobs. If you are telling me there are none, please point to your sources so I can check them out. I am NOT criticizing Ubuntu, just looking for interesting information. Opinions are not interesting. Facts would help me.

I see in one reply that there are NO BLOBs in the kernel Ubuntu included. However, the vanilla kernel does have blobs. Is the Ubuntu kernel a different build? In 2013 it did: Does Ubuntu contain Non-free kernel blobs and other non-free system components?

I have read in the answer to the above question that the option of not including proprietary software is available when Ubuntu is installed. I have seen the option for not installing some mpeg decoding stuff, but have seen nothing about installing a blob-free kernel.

SO, assuming the kernel has blobs in it, regardless of the options we choose (and I'm neutral about the question of whether that's a good thing or not) I would really like to know what blobs are in there.

IF I am mistaken, THEN my question is this: Does Ubuntu have a separate builds, with no blobs in one and one with blobs? ELSE are the blobs contained in loadable modules?


Ubuntu kernels do not contain any blobs.

When you install Ubuntu the default is not to install any proprietary packages.

So the answer is: If you do not enable proprietary packages or do not install any proprietary drivers afterwards, you get a blob free installation.

There is an exception, but it is not in kernel. The linux-firmware package. It contains hardware firmware, that is set of blobs and it is installed by default. But this code is not supposed to be executed by CPU and can't be considered as "blobs" in the common meaning.

  • Depends on how reviews the Ubuntu kernel, which is why I think the question is off topic as opinion based. Linux-libre certainly feels teh Ubuntu kernel contains binary blobs -) See fsfla.org/ikiwiki/selibre/linux-libre – Panther Mar 30 '16 at 21:44
  • Show me a in-tree kernel blob. I gave a link to Ubuntu kernels sources. So where is the blob? – Pilot6 Mar 30 '16 at 21:47
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    I have no intention of reviewing the ubuntu kernel for "binary blobs", if you are interested, contact triaquil and linux-libre - they will point them out to you gladly- launchpad.net/~linux-libre/+archive/ubuntu/ppa jxself is very nice and usually on IRC. MOst of the time there is disagreement, but if you want, run a diff on the libre source in the ppa. – Panther Mar 30 '16 at 22:01
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    @Pilot6 - Again, that is why I feel the question is off topic, opinions vary depending on who you ask – Panther Mar 31 '16 at 1:08

[Info from reddit][1]As for what I meant by "blob," this link explains it clearly. I need no opinions - Wikipedia explained it clearly enough for me. I read that Debian "deblobs" their kernel and that Ubuntu is built around the Debian distro. So I looked further and found this: [1]: https://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comments/3ndgx0/how_to_deblob_vanilla_kernel/ So, now at least I have a working understanding of what a 'blob' is, I know where to find more information, and I've learned to do the research myself because otherwise I'll drown under a sea of opinions. I wonder if ANY QUESTION can be on topic in this forum, since everything is subject to off-the-cuff opinions. If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen, as they say, so thank you, and adios. I'd hoped for more but learned I must stand on my own. Good luck everyone!

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