Respects Your Freedom certification

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"Respects Your Freedom" (RYF) is a hardware certification program maintained by the Free Software Foundation. Hardware products need to use 100% free software and respect the end-users freedom in several other ways in order to qualify for a certification.


Fsf ryf logo.svg

All software included in a product must be free software. The source for included software must be available, and the software must be user replaceable. There is one exception to this rule, proprietary software is allowed inside low-level processors (CPU microcode, etc) and FPGAs. The FSF does not count such software as "product software"[1].

There is also a "No spying or back doors" requirement. Back doors include by-default enabled automatic software updates.

Certified devices are allowed to play patented file formats as long as they are also capable of playing comparable free formats.

Freely available documentation is also a requirement. This point seems somewhat oddly worded:

"Any generally useful technical documentation about the product, such as user or developer manuals, must be released under a free license."

This may mean that any end-user documentation must be released under a free license. It could also imply that any internal documents for technical staff and in-house developers must be released.

Certified Products

The page lists all the products that are certified as "Respects Your Freedom". There are not many products on that list as of early 2020. There are two really expensive PowerPC motherboards, a overpriced Wifi 4 (802.11n) wireless card, a Realtek RTL8169 network card and several re-branded Lenovo Thinkpad models.

Most of the RFY certified products are, as of early 2020, obscure and/or wildly outdated.

The FSF does not state if or what they charge companies who would like to buy apply for a certification on their "For vendors" page.


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