Free Parrot , Free user - Default Proprietary Cages

Hi There,

I have tested Parrot Security and Home edition (full and basic) and i have discovered there are many proprietary software preinstalled without user agreement/awareness.

Someone will say these proprietary software/firmware (called blobs) are useful for users to have for e.g their proprietary wifi chip will work when installing parrotos without further configurations = Thats true BUT this is invading user freedom and its by force making him using these preinstalled proprietary software (not to mention the possibility of malware functions of these blobs) So what is the solution?

Solution is simple:

Collect all these proprietary software and dont install them by default but instead in the installation process of parrot ask the user for e.g:

:white_check_mark: Would you like to install blobs/proprietary firmware (useful for proprietary chips wifi , printers…etc)

Its ticket by default for users who doesnt know and just want to everything work as their first usage to parrot, But for users who does know then they can untick this option and have their full software freedom when they use parrot.

Give The Parrot Freedom of Choice.


Well, I am not a developer but I would like to add my thoughts in this case.
Parrot OS is a distro built basically for Pentesting/CyberSecurity related stuffs. Considering that, and the needs of people, putting myself in the situation, when I first install the distro, I want my WIFI to work, my bluetooth, my touchpad drivers, and that sorts of things. After that, it is peoples’ choice whether to keep these types of proprietary software or not.

Well being a Pentesting Distro, it is likely to be installed these types of software/firmware to be ready out of the box. Others proprietary software that posses risk of harming the freedom of users can be removed by own consent.

Even other distros that need to be built from scratch like Arch needs proprietary WIFI firmware/software to install the necessary stuffs.

My thoughts:

  1. It seems devs are already working on a number of different images already between security, home, mate, kde, and netinstall adding another for what is…lets be realistic, kind of a niche request.
  2. Parrot is based on Debian and Debian is not fully GNU compliant to begin with.
  3. If one doesn’t want the software, whatever that may be then they can also uninstall it themselves

Thats for security edition , but we cant say that on home edition because it comes with basic tools same for any other distro.

Plus Parrot specially home edition doesnt market itself as a pentesting distro, So this statement is ok to say it for describing parrotos in general but if we come to specifics thats not the case.

  • I never said dont provide an ability to have proprietary software and register your distro in GNU FSDG list , so user will have the ability to install proprietary software when/if needed.

  • How come ppl choice when its already installed? there is no choice when its preinstalled and there is no list identifying which installed and which not. Add to this when software preinstalled with the distro users can not even remove these software safely and they will remove tons of other unrelated software as well due to packages dependencies (only Atomic package manager will solve this but this is not the case with most GNU distributions)

No actually not all main distros , Debian which parrot based on it comes as free software distro without any blobs and doesnt even give you choice to have tons of blobs to install and mostly user will use just one or two from them. Instead blobs are in their repository and if user need one he simply call it and install it.

So to conclude:

  • blobs are not freedom respecting software.
  • blobs are not secure , because proprietary software either malware or might be malware there is no way to find out for sure its not.
  • blobs cant be removed (easily at all) if its already preinstalled.
  • blobs cant be identified by the end user easily (needs real knowledge).
  • Give choice better than enforce thats called freedom.
1 Like

Debian deblobs its kernel and doesnt include any nonfree software by default at all and doesnt give you option to include them on preinstall. The only way to have blob is to have it from their repository after installation.

FSDG request that the distro project website/packages shall not explain or request or advise or contain any proprietary thing , Debian accept all of that except not mentioning nonfree in their website nor packaging nonfree in their repos thats why its not FSDG distro.

But as a distro software default installation is fully free software.

answered above.

I stand somewhat corrected, I did forget about that because I only ever use the spins with the firmware integrated.

I’ll stand by my point that it’s a considerable additional amount of work for devs for something most users are all that hung-up about.

Awesome post. I agree with everything.

Great read,and very informative.
in regards to adding options at preinstall.
I’ve mentioned on one other occasion that an option for using Zram or Zswap would be a great addition to the OS.
linux ,in general ,is a platform people switch to for several reason,one of those being adding life to an older or lower spec device.
for me,it was the latter,as well as the praise given for user security.
pentesting is only now becoming an interest,but at the moment, i’m still familiarizing myself with linux,and this OS.

i say all of that, to say, though advanced users typically use this OS for pentesting,the home mate version could benefit greatly by adding the compression that zswap or zram offer.
you can skip a dding a true swap partition,and simply use a virtual one.
that alone improved performance for me in ways unimaginable on win10,or parrot os with stranded swap…

as a new user,coming from windows 10,unaware at the time of how to debloat it for more space,i was barley capable of downloading the 1.5 home mate version in order to add it to thumb drive via rufus.
i feel many new users are likely in that position with windows 10 hogging so much memory and supporting fewer devices for upgrade as time passes.

i feel by adding those options,you allow a user to maximize/optimize memory of the device on the front end,only making them an even bigger fan of the OS,because of the user friendly options available at install.

so,i agree with the OP for that reason,though it is obviously more difficult,once it is done,it would likely be something that would only make the platform even better,and more popular with linux users,new and old.
if the the developers are hoping to grow the platform,by being user friendly,it seems like a great way to do so imo…